We Hardly Knew Ye- A bit of bad news to start today, with reports that Se’Von Pittman has been given his release and has left the program. There were whispers that this might be in the works earlier, but we can’t help but wish the kid well moving forward.
Spring Forward! Tuesday was the first practice in a bit of an unusual Spring Session, and one that started earlier than almost any other time in Buckeye history. Due to the switch to Semesters, the team will practice twice this week before heading off to warmer climes; upon their return they’ll go two or three times a week until the Spring Game at Paul Brown Stadium. This will give the young team a chance to have more meeting time AND stay healthy as the spring progresses, according to Coach Meyer.
Injury Update- Ryan Shazier was limited today, as was Najee Murray and De’van Bogard, Jamie Wood, and J.T. Barrett.
Highlights- With Shazier out, the defense was in nickle most of the day with Tyvis Powell at the “Star” position. Coach Meyer mentioned in his presser that Tyvis’ work this off season helped earn him this opportunity. Bradley Roby stood out, with what would have been two pick-six moments. Offensively, Jordan Hall doesn’t seem to have lost a step in his role at “pivot”, and outleaped Christian Bryant for a great 40 yard catch. Braxton, by all reports, was throwing darts today- several commented on his improved footwork.
Just For Kicks- Both Basil and Epitropoulos were punting today, with the latter being described as “booming” his attempts.
Line Ups- On the defensive front, the first team was- Spence, Washington, Bennett with Schutt and Hale splitting time in the middle. Also of note Jamal Marcus was listed among the defensive linemen
Big Nastys- The offensive front returners were all the same, with Chase Farris and Taylor Decker getting a look at the open spot.
Truth- Coach Meyer, “If we put together a good D-line and linebackers, I think we’ll have a good team. If not, we won’t. It’s pretty simple.”
Chasing- This year’s mantra is “The Chase”, as evidenced by Sammy Silverman’s work above. Coach Meyer talked about how it was both a team and an individual mantra- they started behind every other team in the country due to the lack of bowl practices and are trying to catch up; players are chasing their legacies, their opportunities, their dreams.
Appetizers- Couple of good highlight/pump-up videos dropped this week. Here’s one that’s awesome, but uses a bit too much 2011 footage for my taste. This one, though- simplicity and electricity:
Tourney Time- The Lady Buckeyes have drawn the Gophers of Minnesota in the first round of the B1G tournament, with the conference leading Nittany Lions waiting upon the winner. A tough draw, but a neutral court… we’ll see what happens.
Streak Broken- Penn State’s Maggie Lucas won the B1G PotY award; the first time in nine years that title didn’t go to a Buckeye. Think about that- eight consecutive years the conference’s best player has been in the Scarlet and Gray.
Might Want To Re-Think That- Indiana held off on honoring their seniors until after the loss to Ohio State, where they then cut down the nets in Assembly Hall. Seriously. Oh, and Tom Crean showed up for the post game interviews at 1:37 AM.
Awful Announcing has great overview with all the details: UFC, Soccer, College basketball (particularly the new “Big East”/Catholic 7+), College football (more later), and the NFL and MLB. In addition, one of the things that stands out to me is the fact that they are working to avoid cutting away from live action to go to commercials- choosing instead to do a picture in picture format for their sponsors.
While not the only network taking a shot at “The Worldwide Leader”, with NBC launching their own network and CBS rumored to do the same, Murdoch’s resources make him the a formidable competitor for the Disney/ABC conglomerate- particularly if you consider the international connections (good and bad).
So why are we talking about this on an Ohio State website, other than the fact that El Jefe is now under the employ of Fox Sports Ohio? Well, it’s important to remember a couple of facts. First, recall that almost all of the conference realignment shuffling is about television revenue (and research revenue, if you’re in the B1G).
Second, it’s important to note that Fox is a 51% owner of the Big Ten Network, and a major partner with the Pac12 Network. So, as conferences shift and shuffle chasing the bigger fish of financial resources, you’ve got to think that the folks at Fox are also invested in creating content for their new network. As we’ve been saying all along- Follow the (television) money.
Two words of caution, though- First, there are some who are speculating that the “Cable Economics Bubble” may be on the verge of blowing up because of “bundling” potentially being done away with. I think, though, that the fact that live sporting events is the only content that’s mostly DVR proof takes this out of the equation- there will always be a market for folks wanting to watch games, particularly as ticket prices continue to climb.
Second, it’s important that these new networks remember who they are and what their audience wants. ESPN made its mark with live sports coverage; it’s only been the recent influx of talking head programming to fill their 24 hours of broadcast time and their decision to create and drive stories rather than just cover them that find sports fans turning on them and turning them off. If Fox Sports 1 is able to provide the games that people want to see and stay away from the “commentary” that’s polarized ESPN’s audience, they will have a leg up, in my opinion.
However, it’s easy to imagine that this won’t be the case- ESPN has set the standard, for good or for bad, and it’s quite possible that the new channels will try to replicate their model as they look to replicate their successes. For Fox, some have pointed to their News wing as an example of the ESPN model- Fox News leans heavily on commentary to maintain their viewership, as do all the major news networks.
Here’s hoping, though, that the competition arising from Fox and NBC and others will be able to bring not “more of the same” for sports fans, but will instead create competition that pushes all of them to be better as they fight to gain or maintain their market share.
Either way, I’m looking forward to the extensive use of the “picture in picture” feature on my television this fall.
It’s A Medical Miracle- Saban makes up medical reasons to get rid of kids, Michigan makes up medical reasons to keep them: Devin Gardner received his Medical Redshirt today. You’ll remember that it came during his freshman season, when he was still able to dress and travel for road games, and saw some action against Michigan State prior to the “injury”. Don’t matter, though- they’ll move him back to Wide Receiver soon enough, I’m sure.
OK, there are a ton of “Goats Yelling Like Humans” video mashups, including the original… but this is the one that makes me laugh out loud every single time I watch it: