Injury Updates-According to sources, Braxton practiced Tuesday with no major issues other than being sore. We haven’t heard word about Philly Brown or Hankins, other than that they’re fine and will play on Saturday. Monday, though, Coach Meyer confirmed that yet another member of the piranhas has been lost for the season; Devan Bogard will miss time due to a knee injury suffered against Purdue.
Rivals? In case you forgot, this weekend is Penn State’s Super Bowl; they have invited 100 recruits for the game against Ohio State, and are planning yet another one of their wonderful “white outs”. The seniors, who have come together under significantly challenging circumstances this season, identify this game as the biggest of their careers, and point to the Buckeyes as their number one rival. As if Happy Valley wasn’t difficult enough at night, this will be the first time all season that the Lions have a capacity crowd.
O’Brien The Lion- In today’s B1G conference call, coach O’Brien commented that they are preparing for Braxton to be healthy and leading the Ohio State offense. He spoke highly of his senior quarterback, Matt McGloin, calling him smart and tough and the reason that they’ve been so successful this season. Penn State’s “NASCAR” offense, which has been averaging 90 plays a game in conference play, is reliant on execution and communication, and O’Brien believes that his senior leadership has bought in totally- no “doom and gloom” in what could be a very dour locker-room, considering the off season events and team transfers.
Meyer’s Musings- One comment from the B1G presser that should be both refreshing and obvious to Ohio State fans is that the Buckeyes will not have a problem with overconfidence this weekend against Penn State. Coach Meyer talked about both the circumstances of the win against Purdue and the fact that Beaver Stadium is one of the loudest in the conference as factors that the team will have to take into consideration. Ohio State, he also said, is not creating any matchup problems for other teams due to the inconsistency that they’ve shown this season on offense and on defense. Saturday is sure to be a struggle.
Fuel To The Fire- If that wasn’t enough, PSU’s Michael Mauti may have inadvertently given some “bulletin board” material to the Buckeyes, commenting that the sanctions facing Penn State had nothing to do with players’ actions. While true that current Ohio State athletes Jordan Hall, Corey Brown, and Travis Howard were all involved in the circumstances which led to a bowl-less post season in Columbus this year, it may not be a great idea to go throwing stones for either team or fanbase this game. As I commented on twitter earlier- it will be nice to have a game that focuses on football and not on stupid comments from the other side about off field events. Nope, we’ll have to trust in the four letter network for that brilliance.
Scheduling, Part One- Well, the Rose Bowl was so much fun back in 2010, Ohio State has decided to go Duck hunting once again. It was announced on Tuesday that the Buckeyes have added a trip to Eugene to their 2020 schedule, with Oregon returning to Columbus the following year. As you know, Ohio State holds an 8-0 all time record against the Ducks, although it’s only 1-0 since they had a fanbase that actually noticed their team. In the announcement, Gene Smith commented
“Oregon has developed into one of the premier football programs in the FBS.We are excited to add them to our future slate of games.”
Unspoken, but inferred- “Plus, we’ve sold our soul to Nike anyway with our ‘one time tribute’ jerseys and such that this move only makes sense.”
Scheduling, Part Two- Ohio State also added today that they had completed their 2016 schedule with the additions of Central Michigan and Tulsa. Ohio State is already inked in to face Oklahoma that season as well.
Scheduling, Part Three- Also on Tuesday, the Dispatch is reporting that Ohio State is in conversations with San Diego State to fill the 2013 slot abandoned by Vanderbilt last week. If true, SDSU would probably fall into the September 7 slot, and Buffalo would move up to August 31. SDSU will be playing in the Big East, so technically this will be another game against a BCS opponent.
Scheduling, Finale- So, for those of you keeping score, here’s what Ohio State’s current out of conference schedule looks like against BCS competition for the immediate future: 2013- Cal/SDSU?, 2014- Virginia Tech/Cincinnati, 2015- Virginia Tech/North Carolina, 2016- Oklahoma, 2017- Oklahoma/North Carolina, 2018- Cincinnati/Texas Christian, 2019- Texas Christian, 2020- Oregon, 2021- Oregon, 2022- Texas, 2023- Texas. Your move, SEC… not everyone can schedule The Citadel and Furman every week.
Meanwhile Near Opelika-
It’s interesting, as a person who cares deeply about college sports, to see how “outsiders” perceive the things that we love and follow so closely. That’s why, when magazines or journals that are more known for literary engagement or investigative journalism write about the NCAA and its programs, I tend to find their perspectives more engaging than the coverage that we get from Sports Illustrated or ESPN The Paperweight.
This idea, outsourcing a good portion of the investigative/enforcement aspect of the NCAA, would certainly limit the conflict of interest issues that currently exist (such as Miami’s president involved in USC’s investigation while their own ship was adrift), and the apparent inconsistencies that emerge as a part of sanctioning. The article suggests the following steps be taken:
Outsource Major Investigations- Turn these over to people trained in the skills and particulars of the necessary conversations and explorations. Sounds a bit similar to Gene Smith’s idea of hiring private detectives to follow up with OSU student athletes, although these folks would more than likely be engaged after there were concerns raised.
Outsource Punishment Decisions- Another amalgamation of experts in the legal realm, this group would make recommendations to the NCAA, who would ultimately decide on what institutions would face and would work to ensure compliance.
Be Transparent- Unlike the NCAA, an outside group could publish recommendations openly in order to ensure consistency and build a general consensus of good will in the larger population.
Encourage Investigations- This is where things get more “aggressive”, as an outsourced group would allow for investigations to occur outside of institutional purview alone. For instance, it’s possible that an outside group could have found out about the “merchandise” situation in Columbus long before it escalated to the level that brought it to the University’s attention.
Commit Financially- The NCAA has the money to support this endeavor, but has chosen not to at this point. Outsourcing might be able to help streamline the process, and in a small way, save on some of the overall cost. But it will take resources.
The Atlantic article is ell worth the read, if only to put in motion discussion about what might be a better model moving forward. Personally, I think that these ideas would be a solid foundation for a future model similar to the one proposed here in the past and echoed recently by Barry Alverez regarding the major programs forming their own alliance and legislative body. Which, if coupled with some clarification regarding the relationship between the educational and athletic/economic components of major programs, might help correct a lot of the issues currently muddying the water in college sports.
Around the NCAA
These Guys Seem Like Fun- Ah, Mizzou… getting all big time” on us and everything, right down to the interesting use of university funds for food and entertainment. And by that, I mean Steaks and Strippers. Yup, that’s a part of the educational endeavors that they’re striving for in Columbia (the city, not the country).