The #4/3 Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0) host the Fightin’ Ferentzs’ of Iowa (4-2, 1-1) for an afternoon game in Columbus on Saturday. Up until a couple years ago, I always considered this a match-up of two teams with similar philosophies. Now, I see the game as the “new/improved” Ohio State playing a Tressel-ball bound team with less quality athletes, in Iowa.
Iowa under 15th year coach Kirk Ferentz are 104-76 (.578). Other than the team uniform’s similarity to the Pittsburgh Steelers (thanks, Hayden), Iowa is noted for cranking out offensive linemen (Bollman, you listening?) and having a stoic note-taking, gum-chewing head coach.
Coming off an very impressive 11-2 season in 2009, Iowa AD Gary Barta decided to elevate Kirk into the Hayden Fry pantheon with a contract extension through the year 2020 at $3.75 million per year, per HawkCentral.. With this contract, that’s a lot of chewing gum and notepads. Since the impressive contract extension, Iowa has been a less-than-impressive 19-19.
Back to football: Iowa ended their non-con portion at 3-1, then opened their B1G slate with an impressive 23-7 win over Minnesota. The next week, the Hawkeyes got roughed up, physically and statistically, against Michigan State, 26-14. Since I see OSU having a better offense but worse defense than MSU, things will not improve for Iowa. Read More
Tony Gerdeman started things off wondering why the narrative against Ohio State’s strength of schedule had started so early, particularly when that wasn’t the case for other schools in the past. Hell, ESPN created the “Let Boise State Play!” narrative to counter the BCS “bad guys”, and now they seem to be denigrating a team on an 18 game winning streak.
Gerd points out something that Ramzy Nasrallah highlights as well- the Buckeyes are damned if they do and damned if they don’t- Beating Wisconsin/Northwestern soundly makes the conference look bad, winning close games makes Ohio State look bad. Nice of our old friend confirmation bias to show up before the holiday season.
Ramzy goes on to point out that paying attention to things outside of Ohio State’s ability to control is pointless, and that fans should enjoy every moment as they follow their team. What people outside of the program think is not only beyond your ability to adapt, it also shouldn’t matter.
As you’re reading this, I’m prepping for the drive from Los Angeles to the Bay Area with the Mrs. for Saturday’s game. Given that we got engaged on the Marin Headlands, this song by one of her favorite performers is the obvious choice for this week’s soundtrack. Gonna’ warn you, though… this week’s reflection is… uh… verbose.
Notes and thoughts as Ohio State wraps up the SDSU game and gets ready for Cal!
Great game, great venue and it was just good to see the Scarlet and Gray back on the football field again this Saturday.
Granted, we didn’t really “learn” much in this practice with a scoreboard, but there were some things that stood out. We’ll continue to talk more about this in the coming days, but I’m excited about the pistol formation that we saw throughout the scrimmage… yet another angle to attack and destroy.
We all identified things that we were looking for- let’s see how our folks did. We’ll be using my elaborate and completely subjective scoring system which awards as follows: 2 points for a correct answer, 1 point for a partial, mockery for everything else.
Thanks again to our friend Josh Winslow for his great photo coverage!
What player scores the first points of the game? Correct Answer: Braxton to Smith
Who’s the offensive MVP? Correct Answer: Braxton Miller Read More
2013 is here, I hope everyone rang in the New Year safe and sound but still had a lot of fun! With a new year brings the opportunity to look forward to what we are expecting and would like to see at this time next year. Let’s rumble!
No drop off on the d-line
For the first time in who knows how long, Ohio State will go into the upcoming football season replacing all four starters on its defensive front line. Gone are Jonathan Hankins, John Simon, Nathan Williams and Garret Goebel. The guys taking their place have big shoes to fill as Hankins may potentially be a top ten pick in the NFL draft, Williams and Simon were deadly on the ends (most notably when on the field together) while Goebel came into his own in 2011 and really blossomed in 2012 as a solid run stuffer. Goebel and Simon were named captains at the end of fall practice.
Fortunately, the Buckeyes appear to be loaded. We watched true freshman Tommy Schutt, Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence see significant snaps, some in critical junctures of big games. Junior Joel Hale was solid when called on. Another junior, Michael Bennett, has the potential to be the next “big time” defensive lineman at Ohio State. More troops are on the way as incoming freshman Tracy Sprinkle, Joey Bosa and Michael Hill are being looked at to perform as well as the Schutt-Spence-Washington trio did in 2012 or better.
There’s also the enigma that is J.T. Moore. He has the size and speed to be a steady hand in the rotation but has yet to show an ability to stay on the field when opportunities arise. Along with Moore, what will become of Chris Carter? Carter has the size to shut down run lanes in the manner that Hankins did in his career, but does he have the desire?
The REAL Linebacker U
Andy Katzenmoyer. A.J. Hawk. Ike Kelly. Bobby Carpenter. Randy Gradishar. Chris Spielman. Steve Tovar. Pepper Johnson. Tom Cousineau. James Laurinitis. Matt Wilhelm. Marcus Marek. Na’ill Diggs. Tell me, Penn State, is your list remotely close to this one? Didn’t think so. Read More
As we get closer to Kickoff Week, here’s some quick notes from Ohio State and beyond. Don’t forget to sign up for this year’s “Pick-em” contest!