The Heisman trophy has been awarded. The Buckeyes are gaining recruits. Buckeye basketball players are shooting hoops. It’s almost Christmas time. Let’s rumble!
On Saturday the Heisman trophy was awarded to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Why did people outside the SEC region vote for Manziel? Yes, he accumulated 4600 total yards on the season. Sure, he won at Alabama. So, let me get this straight: The requirements to be the “most outstanding player in college football” is to have the most yards and beat an SEC “super power”? Being a leader no longer matters. Neither does keeping your nose clean off the field. Leading a team with the hardest schedule in college football to an undefeated season and spearheading a defense that allows ten (10!) touchdowns for an entire season doesn’t matter either apparently.
I should be ecstatic. Apparently having the name Notre Dame attached to yours no longer guarantees trophy’s the way it has in the past. We all remember when Troy Smith won the Heisman in 2006 and being worried that Brady Quinn might edge him out simply because of the name Notre Dame. After Saturday’s Heisman vote, that is clearly a thing of the past. Unfortunately, it’s been replaced by another stigma or fallacy, and that is simply being associated with the mighty SEC. Why do I say that? Let’s be honest: If Manziel plays for Texas A&M of the Big 12 and has his “Heisman moment” Thanksgiving night against the Texas Longhorns, I don’t care how many yards Manziel accumulated, Manti Te’o would be the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. But because Manziel plays in the SEC and beat Alabama, well, that’s Herculean and should obviously be rewarded.
If you don’t believe me, look at the voting. The southern region of the country ie SEC-land voted overwhelmingly for Manziel. Not really that surprising. The shocker was the amount of folks in the Midwest and East that voted for Manziel. Some surely voted for “Johnny Football” because they dislike the Irish, while others I can guarantee voted for him “because he did what he did in the SEC”. And that’s rubbish.
Manziel was not “the most outstanding player in college football” in 2012, stats be damned. The Heisman has always been an accumulation of stats, team achievement, off the field success, highlight moments and their personal story. With the exception of stats, Manti Te’o trumps “Johnny Football” in every category. But he didn’t win it. He lost to the stigma of the SEC.
How far is this going to go and when is it going to end?
Chris Childers of Sirius XM College Sports channel 91 posted on his twitter account Monday night that he had officially submitted his ballot for coach of the year. His top three finalists: 1. Brian Kelly at Notre Dame, 2. Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M and 3. Penn State’s Bill O’Brien. I have no problem if you think Kelly deserves it since his team is 12-0 and in the national championship… but Kevin Sumlin at number two ahead of Bill O’Brien, Urban Meyer and even Bill Snyder at Kansas State? I asked him point blank “Meyer going 12-0 isn’t more impressive than Kevin Sumlin?” to which he replied, simply “it was impressive indeed”.
So you’re now telling me that simply playing in the SEC and succeeding is more impressive than Bill O’Brien leading Penn State through everything he inherited from deserters to rumors to sanctions to conspiracy theorists polluting the newspapers and airwaves in State College to simply having a team that on paper really isn’t that good and taking them to an 8-4 record? It’s more impressive than Urban Meyer taking over a 6-7 Ohio State team that was in shambles after 2011 and going 12-0? It’s more impressive than Bill Snyder bringing Kansas State seemingly out of nowhere to a number one ranking at one point in the season, an 11-1 finish and a BCS birth?
Let me ask you this, Chris: Is it possible that maybe the SEC, short of the top 2-3 teams, is just as average as any other league in the country? I mean, your runner-up to coach of the year selection led a Big 12 middle of the pack squad with a freshman quarterback, took on the big boys and walked out standing tall and with some “impressive” wins under their belt, no? But it’s not possible? Won’t even entertain that thought? I didn’t think so.
So when and, maybe more importantly, how does this narrative change? It’s simple: Win. Beat them. Until that happens, it will only get worse. We need (gulp) Michigan to show up and beat South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. We need to see Northwestern beat Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl. Somehow, some way Nebraska needs to rally itself and beat Georgia in the Capitol One Bowl. What if Louisville can knock off Florida in the Orange Bowl or Clemson beat LSU in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl? The big one would be seeing Notre Dame beat Alabama for all the chips in Miami. Then the conversation begins to change.
I can’t recall a time in my life, regardless of the situation or opponent, that I have declared that I am pulling for and hoping to see Notre Dame and Michigan win football games. Never. That may change for the benefit of the greater good on 1/1 and 1/7.
Then I think about the greater good of college football falling on the shoulders of Notre Dame and Michigan and can’t help but think “we’re screwed.”
A recruit and a pro destination
Donovan Munger, a mammoth of a defensive tackle from Shaker Heights, near Cleveland, decided to become the 19th member to verbal for the 2013 Buckeye football recruit class. Read more about him later by clicking this link to the BBC’s coverage of the news.
It seems like good timing for the Munger verbal, as Ohio State received some not so good news for its 2013 defensive line when junior Jonathan Hankins announced he is forgoing his senior season and entering the National Football League draft. Hankins is easily the most NFL ready of the underclassman and in some circles his announcement seemed almost like a forgone conclusion. Several draft experts expect “Big Hank” to be one of the first defensive linemen off the board as a first round pick. I echo the sentiments of most when I say that I wish Hankins nothing but the best of luck and thank him for his time at Ohio State.
Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye. Good luck Big Hank!
Hoops on hoops on hoops
At press time for this write up, the Buckeyes are about to or are doing battle with Savannah State at the Schottenstein Center. The Buckeyes come in to the game with a 6-1 record and ranked 7th in the country. While the road isn’t difficult for the next three games, staring them down is a matchup with 9th ranked Kansas at The Schott on Saturday, December 22nd (4:00pm tip time). After the Kansas game there is one more cupcake in Chicago State before Big Ten play starts on January 2nd at home against Nebraska.
I’ll be at Everything Buckeyes in the Eastwood Mall on Saturday for the autograph signing with Jake Stoneburner, John Simon, Zack Boren and Ben Buchanon. If you’re going to be there, send me a tweet and let me know so I can say hello!
Big Hank’s departure means the Buckeyes will be replacing all four starters from 2012 on the defensive line. We’ve all discussed how deep the Silver Bullet d-line is and in 2013 we’ll find out if we were correct in that assumption. Michael Bennett, Tommy Schutt, Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington, Joel Hale, JT Moore: Hey boys, next man up!
When Pennsylvania decided to pull the plug on the Big 33 game it left the Ohio football all-stars with nobody to beat up. Rumors are swirling that a proposed yearly matchup with all-stars from, you guessed it, Michigan may be on deck and a reality as soon as 2013. Let’s hope so!
The other big rumor coming out of the annual The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association year end wrap up meeting: Spring football in the state of Ohio. I don’t know how it would be done or the parameters for it, details etc, but what an impact it would have on the quality of play here in the state of Ohio. Already known for being a hotbed for college recruits, imagine if Ohio coaches had another 3-4 weeks in the spring to work with their teams and hone the skills of the state’s finest athletes in an actual practice setting? Sounds good to me!
Wrap it up:
I hope to see some of you at Everything Buckeyes on Saturday. Support our guys and make sure and say hello! Until next week, Go Bucks!
Metallica track of the week
One year ago this week, Metallica concluded their week long set of four shows at The Fillmore in San Francisco to celebrate their 30 year anniversary. What an incredible week it was! The shows were packed with Met Club (Metallica’s fan club) members only and they not only came from around the country but all over the world to be a part of this historic event. Yes, yours truly made it too.
The shows were more of a party than a typical Metallica concert. Each night started with trivia contests and a short comedy set by master of ceremonies Jim Breuer (Goat Boy still to some!) followed by an opening set from a band that Metallica once opened for before they were signed and began their rise to utter world domination. In between the opener and the trivia contests and Jim Breuer they ran a video of some of the world’s greatest rock musicians and bands giving their congratulations to the Metallica boys, including Jimmy Page, U2, Rush, Aerosmith and many others. In the midst of all this, the members of Metallica were openly walking through the crowd and making appearances on the stage, really giving you a feeling that you were at their party, not just another Metallica show. Once the festivities had ended, Metallica came on the stage and belted out classics, new material and even some tracks that hadn’t seen the light of day for years if not ever. Then the guest segment of each night began and Metallica brought out one after another pertinent participants in their long history to perform a song or two with them. Now, these were no normal guests, unless you consider the likes of Dave Mustain, Ozzy Osborne, Rob Halford, Jason Newsted, Jerry Cantrell, King Diamond and many others as “normal”. In all, each night saw anywhere from 6-8 special guests and zero were repeated on any night.
Guess what the tickets for this event cost? $6.00! Same as ticket prices were in 1981 when the boys played their first show. And you wonder why I love these guys so much… who else gives their fans so much and does things like this for their fans?
Our track of the week is not so much a track as it is a moment of spontaneity by Metallica’s newest member (he’s been in the band for 10 years now) bass player Robert Trujillo. During the show on night one, the band Apocalyptica (their first ever album was a Metallica cover album) was brought out as a guest to do a few songs with Metallica, however there were some issues in getting their cello’s mic’d up and a delay was occurring. Seizing the moment to pay tribute to the guys who asked him to join the band and to give the ultimate tribute to the great Cliff Burton, Trujillo knelt down and belted out Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth) completely out of the blue and to the surprise of all, including the people on the stage with him.
So, after a long introduction, here is out track of the week: Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)