One Fan’s Opinion: A Year Two Remember

Written July 19th, 2013 by Patrick

Buckeye fan Patrick jumps in with his pre-season look at what may be an epic year in Columbus.  Remember, if you’d like to give us your two cents, or even are interested in joining our merry band on a more regular basis, feel free to hit us up via gmail.

When Jim Tressel led the #13th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes onto the field August 24th, 2002, the expectation in his second year was not very high.

Coming off a less than impressive 7-5 campaign in his first season, albeit defeating Michigan, most Buckeye fans were just hoping for improvement. There was a new quarterback, a freshman running back, and an offensive line that had lost its anchor in LeCharles Bentley.

If you had told the most die hard fan that day, “hey, this team is going 14-0 and will win a national championship” they may have thought you’d stayed too long at the Varsity Club before the game.  What happened that year was magical and historical as we know.

We can only hope that year two of Urban Meyer can have the same result.  The only key difference is the expectations.  Most of the country in 2002 didn’t have the Buckeyes winning the Big Ten, let alone a national championship.  Ohio State was picked second in the Big Ten media poll behind Michigan and many felt this was just simply a rebuilding year for Tressel and the Bucks.

As for Urban and the 2013 Buckeyes, many have picked this team to unseat the SEC and win his 3rd National Championship.

There are many similarities when you look at what was for ’02 Bucks and ahead for the ’13 Bucks.  Read More

tBBC Kickoff Countdown Celebrates 55

Written July 7th, 2013 by Ken

Sweet as honey

In today’s edition, we celebrate number 55, specifically Ohio State’s 31-24 multiple overtime win over the Miami Hurricanes Thugs on January 3rd, 2003 in the (Tostitos) Fiesta Bowl for The National Championship. Nothing mythical about this one.  The double-digit underdog Buckeyes showed a tenacity and athleticism that surprised many (national) collegiate football fans. However, True Believers, such as us, pretty much knew how this game would end up.

In fact, as I write this, I have the game DVD playing, on mute of course, since Dan Fouts is such a jackass and Keith Jackson was well beyond his “whoa Nellie” days. Fouts was jones’ing so much for a Miami win.. suck it Dan.

This was as gritty performance by any Buckeye team, particularly QB Craig Krenzel. I’ll forego the stats for this game, since there weren’t any outstanding numbers other than Craig Krenzel’s 2 TD’s and Maurice Clarett’s 2 TD’s.

And thus, it was over, the season completed at 14-0 and let the celebrations begin. Special shout-out to Cie Grant of New Philadelphia, OH. A lad from Tuscarawas County seals the National Championship for Ohio State. In the previous link, Cie showed his guns; here he shows his pipes. O-Hi-O.

Not at all sympathetic

Thursday Night Rumble: PERFECT

Written November 29th, 2012 by Jason

Vince Lombardi used to tell his teams that they would strive for perfection while knowing full well they’d never reach it. However, he knew that somewhere along the way in the pursuit of perfection they would end up being pretty good. By defeating (we can say the M word again) Michigan on Saturday, the Buckeyes achieved perfection. Along the way they faced adversity and doubters but still wound up being pretty good!

Celebrate!

The Reckoning: Mission Accomplished

The 109th rendition of The Game was more than an opportunity to finish a season unbeaten (only the 6th in school history) it was a chance to right a wrong. Heading into Saturday, the sting from last years game in Ann Arbor was still there. When Denard Robinson broke tackles for a 67 yard touchdown run in the second quarter all the emotions from 2011 came roaring back. It all finally subsided after seeing Carlos Hyde look to the Ohio State sideline and give Urban Meyer and his staff the “feed me” hand motion of spooning food into his mouth with around three minutes to play indicating he was more than prepared to finish off the game and that there wasn’t a thing the Wolverine defense could do to stop him.

Last week I introduced the idea of The Reckoning and wanting payback for the showboat antics, not to mention the loss in general, of the Wolverines in 2011. When Hyde motioned to Meyer and the Blue’s spirit and will had been broken, that indication and only then finally had The Reckoning been achieved. I didn’t want to see the Buckeyes win; I wanted to see Michigan broken and demoralized. It wasn’t until I read the stat sheet that I realized just how broken and demoralized Michigan actually was.

Silver Bullets to the rescue

Much maligned throughout the season, and rightfully so, the Buckeye defense stepped up huge and shut down the Wolverine offense almost completely in the second half. Luke Fickell and Everett Withers made adjustments at halftime that anticipated every move Michigan would make in the second half. They set up the Silver Bullet’s in a position to pin their ears back and fly around. The results were several big plays including sacks, fumbles and the eventual game clinching interception by CJ Barnett.

Early on in the game it’s easy to assume Fickell wasn’t sure exactly the extent of Robinson’s injury. Were they using him exclusively to run or did he have the treat to pass despite the injury to his right hand/wrist? Around the middle of the second quarter the discussions regarding Robinson abilities on this particular afternoon had to be compelling to listen in on. Ultimately the decision was made that in their opinions he wasn’t going to throw it and that they’d live with the consequences if he did. The gamble paid off, they were right, Robinson made zero passing attempts and his runs were completely shut down.

If you asked me before the game, I’d have almost guaranteed you that my vision of The Reckoning would have been realized by the Buckeye offense with an absolute onslaught of points and Braxton Miller dancing all over the Blue defense. I’m glad I would have been wrong as seeing the Silver Bullets intimidate and overpower the Wolverine offense was special and, in a way, much more satisfying. Read More

Shots from the Shoe – The Game

Written November 25th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

What a long and full day of excitement. Nothing will ever replace or beat my experiences in 2002(I don’t think), but this came very close to being as enjoyble.

There was so much happening after THE Game in 2002 that really the best part that I remember is being on the field with 100,000 screaming fans. I still look at the picture from time to time to play Where’s Waldo and find me. Yesterday will go down as the best day for THE Game because I got to spend it with some good friends and some awesome fans in my section.

Being two hours away and knowing the traffic would be ridiculous, I had to get up at 4:45 to head to meet Gary, Robby and Jerry in Zanesville. We got to our usual lot without any fanfare but we just missed the mayhem. We walked over to Lane Avenue as we usually do to pick up some drinks and a snack or two and saw this ugly thing on the way.

Stink Weasels Equipment truck

I gave our fearless leader (Mali) a call to see where he was and as fate would have it, he was only about a block away so we met up with him for a few minutes. After seeing him for the first time ever, we went into the 7/11 and got drinks for the brunch that we have with other ushers on D-Deck before the last game of the season. It’s always good food and fun. We headed up the avenue to see Roy and Maurice and check out the DRIVEN tent and see how things were going. Ran into Mali again with his wife, brother Scott, and a friend.

Roy Hall, Scott, Maurice Clarett and Mali

Heading back to the stadium for the brunch and to man our posts, I must say I was not surprised with the traffic but was surprised the area between St. Johns and the Shoe was like a ghost town. Very few booths set up and not at all very many people. The line had started for the Skull session but that was the extent of the crowd around 9am. Read More

The Flag Heard ’round the World

Written September 16th, 2011 by Eric

This article originally ran on September 8th, 2010 in the week leading up to last year’s battle between Ohio State and Miami. We post it again heading into tomorrow’s game with the Hurricanes.

This? This could be legal.

There have been few calls in the history of college football that have had earth shattering impacts on the entire collegiate fanbase.  The mysterious 5th down in the Missouri/Colorado game comes to mind as one of the absolute worst.  But in more recent times the first call that will pop off the tongue of anyone old enough is the “Pass Interference” call in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.

There has been an awful lot of time wasted in discussion of the topic.  Absolutely everyone has an opinion on it whether or not their favorite team was directly involved in the game.  It has gotten absolutely out of control despite some attempts to end the controversy and despite a few posts of a more vociferous variety. Of course, there have been more than a few attempts to exacerbate it and turn it into a larger than life disaster of epic proportions.

ESPN has begun talking up the pass interference call, along with other major media outlets, mostly because they know the topic sells.  This is, of course, one reason why I’m going to get my shot in on the argument – I’m tired of the fact that this is the one play from that game that everyone remembers.

My hope is to objectively analyze the play from the very basics of the rules.  The question in mind is “Does the defensive player clearly violate the rules as set forth in the College Football Rulebook?”  Of course, in this day and age we’re capable of doing that simply by downloading the appropriate rulebook (pdf)!

Yea yea, that’s not the 2002 rulebook.  I pull that one out later.  That’s the current rulebook which I desperately wanted an excuse to toss out there for you, our loyal readers, to see and enjoy this season.

Lets start off by first setting the stage.  During the first overtime of the 2002 National Championship, Maimi of Florida held the lead after scoring a touchdown on their attempt.  Ohio State was trying to drive the 25 yards but had met stiff resistance.  A spectacular 17 yard play on 4th and 14 to Michael Jenkins put the Buckeyes in good field position but it was squandered.  With the Buckeyes looking at 4th and a 3 from the 5, Craig Krenzel dropped back to throw..

Read More

Top 25 Buckeyes of the Decade: #13 Craig Krenzel

Written July 19th, 2010 by Jim

The Buckeye Battle Cry will be counting down the Top 25 players of the past decade all spring/summer.  Every Monday and Thursday, Jim will be announcing a new player.  Our #1 player will be presented on Monday, August 30th.  Three days later, the 2010 season officially begins.  To view the previous entries in our Top 25, click here.

Craig Krenzel (2002-2003)

Craig Krenzel is the quarterback that finally led Ohio State to the promised land, captaining the team to a national title in 2002 for the first time since 1968.

His unbelievable performances in the clutch made for some heart-attack inducing victories, but a win is a win, and Krenzel’s 24-3 record as a starter speaks for itself.

Krenzel was known as a “game manager,” meaning that he usually wasn’t going to win a game for you by himself, but he was always able to put the team in a position to win by moving the ball down the field when it mattered and avoiding costly turnovers.

Plays like “Holy Buckeye” and the 4th and 14 conversion in the first over time of the 2003 Fiesta Bowl show the when it was crunch time, Krenzel got the job done.

Read More

Top 25 Buckeyes of the Decade: #25 Matt Wilhelm

Written May 10th, 2010 by Jim

Matt Wilhelm (2000-2002)

Wilhelm had a knack for attacking, wracking up the second most tackles for loss for a linebacker in Ohio State history (behind Katzenmoyer).

Matt Wilhelm checks in at number 25 on our countdown of the top players of the decade.

He was an All-American and All-Big Ten performer in 2002 and was one of the leaders on the dominating defense that helped lead the Buckeyes to a National Championship.

Wilhelm led the team in tackles in 2002 with 121, but perhaps more impressively, he had 19.5 tackles for loss that year, good for the 6th best season in Ohio State history.

Being in the backfield characterized Wilhelm as a player. He was always attacking, always in the backfield, and even if he didn’t make the tackle, he was going to hit someone or something to disrupt the offense.

Wilhelm had a way of punishing quarterbacks, most memorably Ken Dorsey in the Fiesta Bowl, I couldn't find a picture of that but this gives you an idea of what it was like standing in the pocket during a Wilhelm blitz.

Wilhelm also has the 6th most career tackles for loss at Ohio State with 43.5, showing that his aggressive style of play was his signature throughout his three years starting at middle linebacker.

He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2003 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers, and is currently active with the San Francisco 49ers.

For his All-American and All-Big Ten season in 2002 and his key role on the national championship defense, as well as an ultra-aggressive style of play that made him one of my personal favorite Buckeyes of the decade, Matt Wilhelm earned his spot at number 25 on our countdown.

We are unveiling a new feature at the BBC today.

In order to help us get through the long summer months, we will be starting a countdown of the top 25 Buckeyes of the decade (2000-2009).

The staff submitted their ballots and the votes have been tallied. We will unveil a new Buckeye in the countdown once a week and as the season approaches the frequency may increase (I haven’t done the exact math to figure out how this is going to work out).

We will only be covering football players for this countdown, even though Ohio State has had some fine basketball players over the last decade as well, sorry Evan Turner.

One thing to note is that we didn’t really define what it means to be in the “Top 25 Buckeyes of the Decade.”

Do you measure on the field accomplishments? wins and losses? statistics? post season accolades? who you’d want most on this year’s team?

In the end, it is a mix of all of the above and then some, which means that different people will have different opinions about this list. We tried to eliminate some of the individual biases by polling all five writers here at the BBC, and I have to say I am happy with the results. However, by no means is this list definitive, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

And with that, here are the guys that didn’t quite make the cut for the top 25, but did receive votes, making them worthy of an honorable mention. Read More

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