Ohio State Academics: Often Overlooked Excellence

Written September 25th, 2013 by Charles

Seal_of_the_Ohio_State_UniversityAs we have reported in many stories here at tBBC, including Ken’s excellent updates on things going on at the James, Ohio State does exceptional things in the classrooms and research labs as well as on the field and court.  However, awareness of OSU’s academic and research excellence isn’t as widespread as its reputation for athletic achievement, often leading to people view Ohio State as an athletics factory where education comes second; see for example numerous comments made across the internet by Cal fans last week as well as an insulting column that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.  While Buckeyes know that this reputation isn’t correct, it does speak to the need for the university to do a better job of spreading the message about how good the academic side of OSU is; in fact most of the Big Ten needs to do this better.  To help with this, let’s take a look at how OSU and the rest of the Big Ten stack up in terms of some academic metrics.

There are numerous rankings of universities out there that all employ different methodologies, none of which can completely reflect a university, and it would take forever to look through all of them so we will use two of the most cited and respected ones.  First let’s take a look at how the Big Ten compares to the rest of the US using the US News and World Report ranking of American universities.  In the 2013 edition of the rankings, Ohio State comes in 52nd among National Universities and 16th among public universities.

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TBDBITL Preview: Week 4

Written September 20th, 2013 by Charles

OSUMB_logo2-300x280One of the first things that anyone watching the OSU at Cal game this past week noticed was the amount of scarlet in the stands as Ohio State fans invaded Memorial Stadium, turning it into a sort of ‘Horseshoe West’.  The feeling of a home game was enhanced by the fact that the Ohio State University Marching Band was also in attendance.  Thanks to a new funding deal put in place by former university president Gordon Gee, the band had money to travel to additional road game this year and they have already taken advantage of that thanks to a busy road trip to California that included performing at pep rallies and fundraisers in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The OSUMB always tends to be well received on the road, even initially hostile fan bases tend to be won over by the quality of the performance put on by the band, Michigan fans tending to be the exception.  The band didn’t have to fight too hard for a warm reception in Berkley though thanks to the number of Buckeyes present, something that became immediately obviously during pregame as the band was met with a roar from the crowd when they took the field and launched into Fight The Team while forming a floating ‘OHIO’ that traveled down the field.  The band then did its customary salute to the opponent, playing the Cal fight song while forming their logo, something that was well received by the Cal fans.  The customary road game double Script Ohio also felt like a home game as you could easily hear the crowd clapping along and then erupting into cheers as the ‘i’s were dotted. 

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TBDBITL Preview: Week 3

Written September 13th, 2013 by Charles

OSUMB_logo2The Ohio State University Marching Band obtained its fame and reputation of excellence thanks to the hard works of thousands of alumni stretching back over a century.  Just as all those alumni left a lasting mark on the band, the band left a lasting mark on them; most band alumni wouldn’t hesitate to say the being a member of the band was one of the best parts of their college career.  It is this lasting mark left by the band that causes hundreds of band alumni to make the journey back to Columbus for the annual TBDBITL alumni reunion game.

Participating in the TBDBITL alumni reunion is no trivial task.  Band alumni report to St. John Arena on Friday evening for a two hour music rehearsal where they work through all the music that will be played on the field and in the stands during the game.  After spending the rest of the evening catching up with old friends, Saturday morning comes all too soon.  Thanks to the 3:30 pm kickoff this year band alumni got a bit of break, not having to report to St. John until 9:00 am; most reunion games are at noon which requires a 5:30 am report time.  After a short music rehearsal, the alumni head out to the practice field when in a short, two hour rehearsal they will learn their entire halftime show and practice the ramp entrance and the quadruple Script Ohio with the current marching band.    Lunch follows the marching rehearsal and then it is time for Skull Session and pregame.

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TBDBITL Preview: Week 2

Written September 6th, 2013 by Charles

OSUMB_logo2-300x280While people can debate about the proper reaction from fans to the football team’s 20 point win in their season opener, what cannot be debated is that the Ohio State Marching Band got the season off to a great start.  Coming off an amazing 2012 season that featured several shows that received international attention, expectations for the band were sky high this season and with an a show featuring music from some of our favorite animated movies including Shrek, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Toy Story, and The Incredibles; TBDBITL showed that it is ready to meet and exceed those expectations.

Perhaps the most popular parts of last season’s shows were the animated formations and the band broke out a pair of them in this show: a dancing crab (at 3:15 in the video) and a superhero lifting a car (at 6:47).  The tricky part of these animated formations is that you have created a recognizable image and thus everyone in the audience can tell if a mistake is made in forming or moving that image; more abstract formations are safer for a band as the audience cannot tell as easily if the formation is off from the design.

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TBDBITL Preview: Week 1

Written August 30th, 2013 by Charles

OSUMB_logo2With only one day remaining until the start of the 2013 football season, last minute preparations are underway by thousands of people at Ohio State.  While the football team and coaches are having their last practice and making their last tweaks to the game plan, stadium workers are finishing getting Ohio Stadium ready for over 100,000 fans, campus area bars are stocking up on beer and food, and fans are making sure all their gameday gear is out and ready.  Another important part of the OSU gameday experience, the Ohio State Marching Band is also getting ready for their first game of the season.

While Buckeye fans have always known that the OSUMB is truly The Best Damn Band in the Land and the band has gotten prays from numerous sources over the years, the bands fame went up several notches last year due to a series of amazing shows, highlighted by the now famous video game show from the Nebraska game that went viral.  That show is still getting talked about and it is featured in the battle of the bands contest being conducted on NCAA.com ; TBDBITL is currently leading but Texas A&M is still within striking distance so take a minute or two and go vote.  The NCAA isn’t the only website giving the band some attention, ESPN is conducting a poll ranking the top college football traditions; currently Script Ohio is way down in 9th place and in need of some serious help.  While all the attention that the band received last season was great, this season presents an even bigger opportunity for the band to get well deserved recognition thanks to the busiest performance schedule the band has ever had; TBDBITL will be performing at four away games in addition to home football games and some concerts and high school band festivals.

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tBBC Kickoff Countdown Celebrates 10

Written August 21st, 2013 by Charles

Craig Krenzel prepares to make the throw that would go down in history.

Craig Krenzel prepares to make the throw that would go down in history.

The 2002 season was filled with many close games that came down to the wire but only one of them ended due to a play so spectacular that it earned its own nickname.  On November 9th, 2002, the second ranked Ohio State Buckeyes rolled into West Lafayette to face the Purdue Boilermakers.  Purdue entered the game with a 4-5 (2-3 conference) record and nobody expected the epic game that was about to unfold.

Purdue got off to a good start, moving the ball well and getting deep into Ohio State territory before Dustin Fox intercepted a Kyle Orton pass to end the scoring threat.  Neither team did anything with the ball for the next few possessions until Craig Krenzel was intercepted, giving the Boilermakers the ball deep in Buckeye territory; fortunately the OSU defense held strong and limited Purdue to a field goal to go up 3-0 late in the first quarter.  The Buckeye offense finally showed signs of life in the second quarter and with the clock running down and no timeouts left, Mike Nugent and the special teams unit hurried onto the field to kick a field goal as time expired in the first half.

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Congratulations to the 2013 Edition of TBDBITL

Written August 12th, 2013 by Charles

tbdbitl_logoAfter two grueling days of tryouts featuring more than 400 people, 225 lucky individuals had their dreams come true tonight as they heard their names called as members of the 2013 Ohio State University Marching Band.  As a TBDBITL alumnus, I know about the numerous hours of hard work required to prepare for tryouts; all the hours in the summer where you could be out working or hanging out with your friends but instead you are practicing your playing or marching up and down a field somewhere, making sure every aspect of your marching is perfect.  I also remember the amazing feeling at hearing your name called and how that, and the season that followed, made all that hard work more than worth it.  On behalf of everyone here at tBBC, I wish to congratulate the members of the 2013 OSUMB and wish a great season, continue to make us proud and to show everyone why you are known as TBDBITL.  To those who tried out and didn’t make the band, I also know your disappointment but you should be proud of your efforts and hopefully you will tryout again next year and be better because of your experience; I also encourage you to be involved in the athletic band at OSU.

The hours after hearing their names called are a busy time for the band members.  After some hugs and shared joy with friend and row mates, most band members will grab their cell phone and make some happy, excited calls to friends and family.  After the phone calls, the party really starts and most rows go off to celebrate together, giving the new rookies and the veterans in the row a chance to get to know each other better and bond.  The party can’t go too late though as everyone has to be up bright and early tomorrow for practice; it takes a lot of hard work to be worthy of being called The Best Damn Band In The Land.

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TBDBITL Tryouts Begin

Written August 9th, 2013 by Charles

Script-OhioThis is an important week for Buckeye fans everywhere, after a long summer without OSU sports; things are finally kicking into high gear in preparation the fall sports season.  On Monday the Ohio State football team hit the practice field for the first time this season, looking to continue their undefeated ways under Urban Meyer. While the football team is obviously the main attraction on fall Saturdays, there are other vital components that make gameday in Ohio Stadium so special.

Another key part of gamedays also got things going this week as today marked the beginning of tryouts for the Ohio State University Marching Band.  The tryout process for the band is long and grueling and it plays a vital role in making sure the band lives up to its standard of excellence.  Every member of the 225 person OSUMB must try out every year, this ensures that only the best people make the band each season and pushes everyone trying out, even the veterans, to work harder.

The tryout process begins with two candidate days which are designed to get all the candidates who have never been in the band before up to speed on TBDBITL’s marching style and fundamentals.  While many new candidates know all the marching fundamentals from attending optional summer practices, which are held twice a week for most of the summer, working with a veteran, or using the marching fundamentals videos produced by the band (see example below), candidate days are designed so that a person who has never been exposed to the OSUMB’s style of marching could come in and be taught everything that they need to know to have a chance of making the band.  Under the watchful eyes of the directing staff and the row leaders, who have already tried out for the directors, the candidates start at the beginning and work through all the marching fundamentals as well as having music rehearsals on schools songs and other music that is part of tryouts.  Candidate days feature three hours of marching rehearsal and two hours of music rehearsal on Friday plus another six and half hours of marching on Saturday but the practice field is often filled with people working on their marching into the late hours of the day.

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