Behind Enemy Lines: Thursday In Lincoln

Written October 6th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Greetings from the land of corn and… well, corn. After an uneventful flight, it was good to touch down back in a part of the country where smog isn’t a daily part of the experience.  Boredom? Well, that’s another story.

Like this, minus all the excitement.

Quick thoughts from Thursday in Nebraska:

  • Was able to give about three “O!H!”s to folks in the airport, and received the same number of “I!!O!”s in return.  I’ll admit, though, that having everyone involved wearing red is pretty freaking confusing.
  • The rent-a-car guy gave me a “Go Bucks” when I mentioned I was in for the game. We flew in to Omaha, and he was from just across the river in Iowa- “Represent the B1G Ten, man.” Read More

Across The Web: Nebraska

Written October 6th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

We’re continuing our give and take with “enemy” writers, and though our first conversation with Cornhusker faithful deserved something special. As such, we’ve eschewed the usual conversation with folks who blog and instead turned to the some of the geniuses behind the best Nebraska board on the intertubes.

Formerly anchors for Huskerpedia, HuskerDan and Tad Stryker are thriving at HuskerMax, which should be a required stop for anyone who cares about B1G sports (not just Nebraska). Here we go!

Husker fans seem to be experiencing “A Tale Of Two Taylors”- last season he started well, but struggled at the end of the year, and we saw similar issues in the two halves against Wisconsin.  What are your thoughts about his occasional inconsistency and how does Big Red adjust moving forward? Are Nebraska fans excited to have option football return to Memorial Stadium?

What Taylors Do Best

Husker Dan- I don’t think there is any nostalgia about option football. Frank Solich ran it and got fired. Husker fans want to win and they don’t much care what kind of offense Nebraska runs, just as long as it consistently wins games.  Last year, Taylor Martinez’s problems midway through the season dealt primarily with his foot and ankle injuries.  And Saturday night, it was poor play calling (among other things) during the middle of the second quarter and beginning of the third that force third that forced Martinez to try to be Tom Brady.  Passing is not one of Taylor’s strongest points. Three of his passes were intercepted and all led to Badger TDs. Game over.

Tad Stryker- Husker fans are in favor of option football; they would like to see the coaching staff commit to using the running game more, since it’s the strength of the team.  I am puzzled why Husker offensive coordinator Tim Beck had Martinez throwing the ball so much when NU led 14-13 late in the first half.  Martinez has started 17 games now but is still very erratic at times.  That is not a good sign. He still does not seem to realize that he has limitations throwing the ball. Nebraska needs Martinez to gain some maturity.

Quick word association- What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “ESPN”?

HD- Game Day.

TS- WalMart

Mali- I’m sorry, those are the wrong answers, although Tad was close. We would have accepted “Biased”, “SEC”,  or “Selective Journalism”… moving on. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Prepares For Harvest

Written October 5th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Quick look at Tuesday’s press conference, Nebraska prep, and other news from the world of college sports:

Grey and headed your way

Buckeye 411

  • Injury update- Nathan Williams still out, Verlon Reed has torn his ACL and will be out for the season.  Yesterday, we were also informed that Melvin Fellows had been classified as a medical hardship, but there’s still no further information at this time. Philly Brown is day to day, and may see action against the Cornhuskers. Solomon Thomas will see some action- he’s returning from suspension and from surgery for the broken leg he suffered in the spring. Brewster said after practice that Philly and Michael Bennett both were active this afternoon.
  • Fickell Speaks- On dealing with adversity and suspended players:

Probably we went ahead and went with our three points of wisdom from John Wooden that said: Don’t whine, don’t complain and don’t make excuses. And I think that’s what we have got to be able to do, and it starts from the top down with all of us as coaches.

How many times have we said, we are going to focus on what we have, not what we don’t have and focus on moving forward. So that’s what we have to do. We are not going to make excuses for guys. We are not going to allow them to be down and we are not going to allow them to do that; as coaches we are not going to do that as a team, and we believe everybody will follow suit.

  • Captain, My Captain- Brewster, Sweat, Moeller. Attorneys at Law.
  • Read More

Herron, Hall, Posey Declared Inelligible Against Nebraska

Written October 3rd, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Here’s the long and short of it, as far as we know:

During the investigation into former Ohio State Booster Bobby DiGeronimo’s connection with the charity event that saw several Buckeyes suspended earlier this season, the University discovered that there were student athletes who were working for his company, and that this employment hadn’t been cleared through compliance. Here is a link to the University’s self report to the NCAA: NCAA Docs

In reviewing the paperwork, it became apparent that there were instances of hours paid that differed from the hours actually worked. Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Marcus Hall, Etienne Sabino, and Melvin Fellows were the student athletes in question. The University argued that they were unaware of the additional hours (they did work, and were paid extra), but the numbers, particularly for Posey, don’t support that.

Herron, Posey, and Hall have been suspended for the Nebraska game, with expectations that Posey may be suspended for longer (based on the amount of money involved and the NCAA’s guidelines). These students are currently involved in the reinstatement process with the NCAA, so the actual number of games is still in flux. Fellows has taken a medical hardship, and Sabino has been cleared of these allegations.

DiGeronimo has been dissociated from the University after being a booster for 30 years. You can read the University’s letter here: NCAA Docs

The press release-

Ohio State Update on NCAA Investigation

The Ohio State University Director of Athletics Gene Smith announced today that, as part of the university’s continued investigation with the NCAA to resolve any remaining football compliance issues, violations have been discovered and three football student-athletes have been declared ineligible for the football game this weekend against the University of Nebraska. Those players are Marcus Hall, DeVier Posey and Daniel Herron. The university has submitted a request for reinstatement on behalf of each student-athlete, but it is anticipated that each will sit out at least the game this weekend.

“As we have previously disclosed, the university and the NCAA were not able to finish investigating all of the areas before the university’s August hearing with the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions,” Smith said. “Upon receiving the necessary records from outside parties and conducting a few additional interviews, the university and the NCAA enforcement staff have jointly determined that violations did occur. The violations that have affected the eligibility of these three players relate to their overpayment while being employed with companies associated with Robert DiGeronimo, an individual who was recently disassociated by the university as a result of several student athletes receiving extra benefits surrounding a charity event in February. The university and the NCAA enforcement staff are in the final stages of the resolution of this case, and I anticipate having further information in that regard in the near future.

In addition, Posey was cited for a secondary violation for a round of golf with Dennis Talbott- greens fees around $100.

Smith stated that this would be considered part of the ongoing investigation, and would push back the NCAA’s final ruling and sanctions.  He also said that he was confident that this was not a Failure To Monitor or Lack Of Institutional Control situation that the NCAA has reviewed Ohio State’s processes numerous times, and that these issues are indicative of individual decisions and not systemic issues.

What is most troubling, at least for me, is that some of this “work” occurred during March of 2011… while the NCAA investigation was ongoing, and about the time that Tressel’s knowledge of the memorabilia exchange was brought to light.

We’ll update this as it develops.

The Week That Were: 10.01.11

Written October 2nd, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Given their recent decision to disband, several people recommended REM tunes for this week’s soundtrack, from the obvious to the more fatalistic.

However, we like to keep it upbeat here at TWTW, so this week’s post was written with this R&B classic in mind.

In many ways, this was a weekend to forget, as eight members of the top twenty lost, several to unranked opponents. As disheartening as that might be, it’s crucial to remember the important truth of the matter, to keep things in perspective.

The Belichick Look

One team that no one should be overlooking at this point is the Clemson Tigers- In consecutive weeks, they’ve beaten a Florida State team who took Oklahoma to the wire and yesterday made an undefeated Virginia Tech look sloppy. While you can argue that the ACC as a conference is not the strongest in the country, something has gotten into Dabo Sweeny and his team is playing accordingly. Currently, they’re sitting at #8 in both polls, but with some  head to head matchups between the teams above them and only a game against South Carolina during the rest of the season, don’t be surprised if the Tigers aren’t in the national title conversation.

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Across The Web: Michigan State

Written September 30th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

As we get ready for conference play, we wanted to do something “special” for our weekly chat with an “enemy” blogger.  Given that we were playing co-champion Michigan State, and given the multiple connections that Spartan and Buckeye football have (coaches, players from the same high schools, hatred for all things scUM), it was even more imperative that we brought someone in that represented the Green and White with excellence.  And, if they continued to refer to themselves in third person, all the better.  So, we’re grateful to have The Enlightened Spartan swing by for nachos and chit-chat this week… be sure to check out Eric’s response to his inquisition, in the first (and most likely last) MSU PhD B1G Blog-off.

Kirk Cousins has obviously been a bright star for the team, and represented MSU particularly well at the B1G media days. Do you feel he’s reached the top of his game, or are there areas that he is still developing in?

Cousins has not reached the top of his game… but can he?  Yes, it is possible, he could be the best QB in the B1G, if not the country.  He has the talent, smarts, and confidence to be a la Tom Brady.  But, he seems to have difficulty consistently responding to difficult challenges.  He is showing how he can let the buzz get to his head.  While Cousins may have come from nowhere to be the Spartan starter, but he seems to be OVERconfident – Cousins throws off his back foot far too often, he still does, and he knows better.  With OSU pressure in his face, Cousins may likely give up an INT or two as much as he hits a streaking Cunningham or Nichol.  It’s a crap shoot with Cousins, but it shouldn’t be in senior year five.  Frustratingly fantastically just-short-of-championship potential – kind of like David Bowie or George Lopez. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Gets B1G

Written September 28th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Weekly update from Coach Fickell’s press conference as well as notes from around the world of college football.

B1G Game, Big Ammo

Buckeye 411

  • Injury Update: No news today on Philly Brown or Nathan Williams; it’s speculated that Brown may be back sooner of the two. Coach made no comments on some of the other guys dinged up- (Melvin Fellows, etc.)
  • Fickell Speaks: In preparing for Michigan State, coach Fickell will be facing one of his mentors in former colleague and current Spartan Mark Dantonio.  When asked about this, he said-

Just the three years Coach Dantonio was here with him, probably the one guy that I stay most in contact with since he’s been gone. Just probably because we’re more similar people in general, family oriented guys, a lot of those kind of things. That’s very important for him, how you handle these situations, what’s really important, don’t forget about those kinds of things. We have a good relationship. If there’s one person I’ve talked to as much as anybody, it would be him.

I’ve said before, if I was playing my brother, I’d want to beat him as bad as I want to beat anybody. I don’t think that changes or factors into it.

  • Captain, My Captain: This weeks’ “Leader-go-round” lands on Nate Ebner (his second tour of duty), Nate Oliver, and Jordan Hall.  First time in Buckeye History that there’ve been two “Nates” as captains. Read More

One Fan’s Opinion- Colorado

Written September 27th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Every now and again, we run across something at one of the great Buckeye message boards that deserve a longer look from Ohio State fans.  So, when our facebook and twitter pal JessiBuckeye (no relation) posted the following it made sense to ask her to give us permission to repost it at tBBC.  Enjoy, and thanks Jessi! First an introduction of sorts:

Enthusiasm personified

Hi! I’m Jessica, and I’ve been a Buckeye since the day I was born. There was never a time – even in my young childhood years, that I wasn’t rooting for my Buckeyes. I live in Orlando, Florida where I was born and raised, but came from McKinney, Texas. I am an Ohio State Alum, majoring in Early Childhood Education, but am now going back for Sports Broadcasting and Sports Journalism. I am a survivor of Anorexia, for which I spent 3 years in the hospital recovering from. I’m now more passionate about the Buckeyes then ever, because I can get on a personal level with the people involved. I love it.

Well, I don’t know about you, but it’s been a long time since I saw an Ohio State team rebound and dominate like this. Especially after a crushing loss to the Miami Hurricanes and no plays in the end zone. Especially just one week later.

The score was -to a Football Fan- an “acceptable” 37-17 Buckeye Victory. Looking at the score, it seems that this game to the unbeknownst eye was actually competitive at some point. But those Scarlet jerseys covered the field the entire game, in all the right places. Now, yes, the score does make the average fan do a double take. It seems like every play was huge, causing Ohio Stadium to erupt into a euphoric cheer. But it was still, despite the excitement – executed strategically and conservatively.

A lot of critics will jump on Fickell for being too conservative on the offense. Especially when it was 4th & 1 and he decided to punt. Some even blast the defense for allowing 17 points.

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