Right about now, you’re either getting ready to sit down for an awkward family dinner with that weird uncle, or you’ve already eaten and are letting the tryptophan course through your body… Ah, the Holidays.
Here at tBBC we wanted to take a moment and reflect on the highs and lows from the past year, which will give me just enough time to snag that last piece of sweet potato pie while everyone is reminiscing.
Janelle: Coach Meyer. We knew that the Buckeyes would be better this season, but undefeated going into TSUN week? That far and away exceeded expectations. We knew it was possible, but after last season, I don’t think anyone was sure what would happen this year. He has rallied the troops and gotten them to play with so much heart and intensity. It has truly been fun to watch.
WVa: Braxton and Coach Meyer. In a season that the expectation was that the Buckeyes just be more competitive than last year, they have excelled because of these two. I am thankful for the relationship that they have forged as they lead the Buckeyes. The next two seasons will be very special because the Buckeyes have the best coach and the best player hands down. It’ll be interesting to have the discussion next year, when will their first loss together be?
Gary: Two things. I am thankful for being part of Buckeye Nation. This Nation has the best fans in all of college football. No one is more passionate than Buckeye fans. Second, I am thankful for a great football team that has fought through tremendous obstacles to become one of only two undefeated teams!
Eric: I must say that I am most thankful to have been able to participate on this blog for the last 4 years without having a drastic effect on my real life job. That it has enabled me to drastically improve my writing, improve my understanding of the sports I love, and participate in activities and events that I never thought possible a few short years ago. It may be the kind of activity that causes you to sit around for long hours of the day in your pajamas, but it is worth every anti-social minute.
I’m also thankful to have worked with some of the best sportswriters on the face of the earth here at the BBC. Each and every one of them has been an absolute pleasure to work with. The jokes shared, and the back and forth commentary and discussions we have both behind the scenes and in public are without a doubt some of the most enlightening, engaging, and entertaining I’ve ever had. Thanks guys. I hope to keep doing this with you for quite a bit longer.
Jason: Urban Meyer. Who knows where we would be and what the future would look like if anyone else had been given the job. With Urban we know the future is bright. I’m also thankful for 11-0 and the chance to be 12-0. I’d also like to thank the guys (and girls) here at the BBC for giving me a place to rant each week. Thanks!
JoeL: Jim Tressel putting this program back on the map. I am so excited for him to be back in the shoe on Saturday and I am sure many people have mixed feelings about it, but without him, we wouldn’t be where we are today, we were stumbling against tsun, we were in shambles academically, and he resurrected the program, and while it wasn’t the way we wanted to see him go out, he was able to turn a successful program over to another great coach that I am thankful to be here.
Mali: I’d echo everyone’s sentiments thus far, particularly the pleasure of getting to be a part of this great group of writers and fans. In addition, I’d say that I’m also continually amazed by and grateful for the folks who come by every day and join our party- readers, commentors, facebook friends, and members of the twitterati. We don’t do this without you.
The other thing I’m most thankful for, Buckeye related, is John Simon. And Nathan Williams. Etienne Sabino, Justin Boren, Reid Fragel, Orhian Johnson, Jake Stoneburner, Ben Buchanan, and ALL of Ohio State’s senior class. Their dedication to the program, their willingness to stay and lead after one of the most challenging seasons in the program’s history is something that is rare in the “what’s in it for me” culture in college sports, particularly knowing that there’d be no post-season for them. Here’s to hoping that their final game is the type of victory that they deserve.
JoeL: I hate to do it because I know this hurts us Buckeye fans and the horse has been beaten to death, but Gene Smith. To not be able to see us in a National Title game if we when on Saturday is very disappointing, and yes I can turn to those that actually did the wrong thing and put us where we are at, but I am still not sure that a bowl ban this year would of been our penalty if we would of taken one last year. Can one imagine the hoopla and excitement around an OSU/ND national championship game? Would probably be the most watch game in the history of college football.
Jason: For me, it’s easily the SEC and the pundits. After Texas A&M went to Tuscaloosa and beat Alabama the curtain was pulled back and the wizard was revealed. This is a league that for too long has been getting by and gaining a Paul Bunyan-like reputation of its teams having the most brutal schedules every year simply by competing with each other. The Aggies proved that simply isn’t true. The SEC plays nobody other than themselves, the middle and bottom of the league have drastically weakened and it’s catching up with them. So, gobble gobble to Mike Slive, ESPN and all the other experts. Your precious SEC is on the way down.
Eric: The biggest turkey this year has to be Bret Bielema. Just consider the reasons:
Gary: I would have to say that my biggest turkey would have to be ESPN. They are so sold on the SEC when there are so many good teams out there. Ohio State and Notre Dame are still undefeated. One loss teams are ranked ahead of no loss teams all because ESPN drives the media and how they vote.
WVa: Hands down has to be Mark May and his total lack of professionalism towards the Ohio State Buckeyes. I can still remember Trev Alberts and his ridiculous banter towards the Buckeyes that ultimately cost him his job and he never really rebounded from it. Mark May has gone out of his way to be the biggest hater of the Buckeyes this year. To that end, this past weekend he made the statement that Braxton Miller isn’t even in the top 15 players in the nation. It is my hope that ESPN will end their relationship with him ad get rid of the one person I cannot stand to even acknowledge.
Janelle: I have to echo what Chris said. It has to be Mark May. This guy…I just can’t deal with him. It was no secret before this year that Mark May despises Ohio State. However, his blatant unprofessionalism this year in regards to the Buckeyes has been over the edge. To say that Braxton Miller is not a top 15 player in the country is ludicrous and simply untrue. You’re not fooling anyone, Mark. People don’t forgive and forget 72-0, do they?
Mali: Again, most of what I was going to come up with has already been taken, so I’ll fall back onto one of my soapboxes from this season- I think that the biggest “turkeys”, in terms of a negative impact on college sports, are the folks who look at young adults and see dollar signs rather than mentoring and developmental opportunities. This could be network execs who are signing multi billion dollar TV deals to broadcast sport, or coaches that are more concerned for their contract bonuses than the well being of the kids in their care, or the hangers-on and boosters who are looking to gain prestige or significance from befriending future first round stars, or even friends and family members who are focused on what will happen when the student gets to the show. Is this avoidable? Not in our culture, unfortunately… but it still is a part of college athletics that I wish could disappear.
As a holiday bonus, our friends at Y.E.A.H. sent us their new video for the “Hard In Ohio” song that we highlighted earlier. Certainly gets you ready for The Game- Enjoy!