Injury Update- Tuesday, Coach Meyer said that it was better than 50/50 for Etienne Sabino to return for the Wisconsin game, something that will add a much needed boost to the Ohio State linebacker corps. No other injury news was given, so it’s safe to assume that Reid Fragel and Orhian Johnson are both OK following their leaving the Illinois game.
Freaking Flyer Miles- There’s no rest for the Buckeye coaching staff, who are traveling the nation reconnecting with current verbal commitments and starting to reach out to some new names. Joe will have an update later this afternoon, but we do know that the coaches are hitting Ohio harder than the presidential candidates as well as canvassing Texas, the DC area, and renewing connections in the south (Carolinas, Louisiana, Florida). They’re doing some bye week fishing, and with a much wider net than we’ve seen in the past… we’ve even got 2015 and 2016 offers starting to go out.
Stiffarm Trophy? In spite of the fact that his coach has been a bit closed mouth about it until recently, Braxton Miller has emerged as a candidate for the Heisman. He talked briefly with the media about this opportunity yesterday- check out The Sporting News’ coverage of the conversation.
Other Awards- Monday also saw Bri’onte Dunn named the B1G Freshman Of The Week for his work in the fourth quarter of the Illinois game. Defensively, Ryan Shazier was named B1G Player Of The Week for the second straight game… see Sammy Silverman’s tribute after the jump.
Yeah, But… Urban Meyer in the B1G teleconference on Tuesday said that the Illinois game wasn’t Ryan’s best as a Buckeye, and he left a lot of opportunities on the field. Remember, folks- he’s only a sophomore…
Meyer’s Musings- Coach also mentioned that there’s a two edged sword in dealing with bye weeks; it gives you the chance to get healthy, but it can also lead to a lack of focus and momentum. He spoke briefly about Reid Fragel as well, and said that it was the senior’s work that was evident in how well that he was playing- that when he didn’t apply and push himself, he was only “average”.
Rumblin’, Bumblin’, Fumbling? The fumbles were not an issue for Rod and Bri’onte, in Coach Meyer’s mind; they are something to work on, but not something to take away from their playing time. Additionally, much to the nightmares of B1G defensive coordinators, Coach Meyer said that the two back look that Ohio State thrived from on Saturday would be something that Ohio State would continue to utilize, given the production and development of all of his running back corps.
Getting Carrier-ed Away- As you know, Ohio State kicks off the season against Marquette in the “Carrier Classic” on Friday, and the stadium has finally started to come into shape. Hopefully they’ve got enough basketballs available for when Thompson swats one or two into the ocean.
Given the basketball attire for this weekend, it’s probably time to start discussing this year’s look for the football team. Word is starting to trickle out about the “special” uniforms that Ohio State will be wearing in The Game this year, and there’s mixed news. The pants/jerseys are pretty similar to what you’re seeing now, we’re hearing, which makes sense given the 2002 tribute theme. The helmet, though, is the same “silver bullet” look, but will be chromed, similar to what Nike/Ridell has been doing with other teams this season. Again, this is based on what folks who’ve had early access have shared with us.
While it’s been rather quiet this year about the new duds, that’s not atypical for what we’re seeing from other schools- Michigan State didn’t release their information until right before their game with Michigan, and other Nike programs (except for Oregon) have not been as forthcoming as in the past. Given that the “rivalry foil” shirts have already been for sale for a while now, it could be that we won’t see the big rollout like we’ve had in the past.
Part of the lack of a big announcement is due to this becoming common place- the “one time” thing (in Gene Smith’s words) is here to stay. Another part, in my opinion, comes from Nike’s now having the NFL contract, which limits their ability to get new merchandise out in the quantities that we’ve seen in previous years with the pro-combat gear; again, this is speculative, but our friends at the Buckeye Room have talked about how challenging it is to get authentic jerseys in this season.
Even though there’s some reason to be hopeful that this year’s edition might actually look like what we’re used to seeing the Buckeyes wear, there’s still tension regarding doing this thing every year. For some, the scarlet and gray is iconic- even “throwback” or “tributes” take away from that. This is particularly true on the helmets- these young men have worked all season to earn their buckeye leafs, and don’t have them in one of the biggest games of the year.
Personally, I can live with the once a year ‘opportunity’, although I wish that it wasn’t in “The Game”- anything that creates a distraction is not a good thing, in my opinion. I also appreciate at least the nominal attempts to keep it within the heritage of the program, and not some ridiculous clown attire.
But I still can’t understand why, for Ohio State and other programs, they’d want to be in bed this way with Nike, given that the shoe company is unabashedly supporting (some would say “buying”) a BCS foe- one that the Buckeyes may someday face again in the Rose Bowl or National Championship Game.
Call me old fashioned, but Carroll Shelby didn’t buy Corvettes for his design team.
Ryan Mallett Bowl- Arkansas and Michigan will play in 2018 and 2019, and the Wolverines have added home games against BYU and Hawaii in 2015 and 2016. Hawaii, huh? Wow- don’t pull anything there…
Goin’ Bowlin’- Earlier this year, the SEC and B12 agreed in principal to a “Champions Bowl” between either the top two teams in their conferences or the next best thing (should the top teams be in the playoff). Today, both conferences announced that this matchup would take place in what’s currently the Sugar Bowl. This came as somewhat of a surprise, as there was speculation that Jerry Jones would be able to influence the powers that be to make his dome as a game of this magnitude.
Money Well Spent? The final numbers are all over the place, but by some estimates … carries the two… a crapload of money was spent on campaign ads this season. And just think, that’s only in Ohio! Here’s an interesting look at the history of this medium- That Goldwater fellow seems nice.