No, it’s not time for the IlliBuck trophy again… Tuesday’s “news” was full of terrapin conversation, so we go where it leads. As such, here’s this morning’s soundtrack… I’m sure my folks will recognize it.
Wednesday was a memorable day for Ohio State fans, as the program again finished National Letter of Intent Day with a class ranked in the top three in the nation, with some calling it the very best for the 2013 recruiting cycle.
It was a memorable day for Orlando’s Johnny Townsend as well, although for different reasons. What he expected to be a day of celebration for his achievements was put on hold; parties and press announcements held up for a bit as things sorted themselves out.
Townsend was supposed to be a part of Ohio State’s record setting class, but as of this article he has not yet submitted his signed letter of intent. In fact, as of late Wednesday night, rumors were swirling that he would join Florida’s 2013 class on Thursday.
The reasons for that are difficult to pin down. Early reports were that he was having second thoughts, or that Ohio State had rescinded the offer at the last minute. However, comments from his family indicated that this last possibility was not true, and that he instead had the paperwork for a full, four year tenure at Ohio State.
There was even speculation that he had decided to attend the University of Alabama, where he was offered the opportunity to gray-shirt prior to verballing to Coach Meyer; to be a part of the team at his own expense until a scholarship was made available for him, typically within a year. Again, at this point it seems that this report was also inaccurate.
What happened on Wednesday? And how does Townsend’s situation reflect an under-reported aspect of the recruiting process? Read More
We’re one week away from National Letter Of Intent Day, and the excitement (and chaos) is building. We’ll talk a bit this week about the idea of “verbals” and visits, but let’s dig through the news bucket a bit first, shall we? Oh, and Mark Titus’ favorite band brings us our musical inspiration for the morning. Happy Wednesday.
Commentary- Commitment Read More
The National Championship has been awarded. Recruits are making commitments. Excitement for the 2013 Buckeye football season is already full throttle. Let’s rumble!
Notre Lame and the championship debacle
Let me be the first to say it, I was wrong, just completely and utterly wrong. I thought that the Irish would have learned from the mistakes of the 06 Buckeyes and some of the other programs to challenge the SEC in the years since. I was wrong. They had to learn for themselves, stubborn to the end.
So to you, the great people of Buckeye Nation, I am sorry. I allowed my disdain and overall loathing for the Southeastern Conference to put my faith in one of the most heinous college football villains of all time, the Fighting Irish. This is a mistake I shall not repeat. Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me.
Heading into the game, the Irish brought one of the country’s best defensive units, at least statistically. They were led by Manti Te’o, a player that I still feel deserved to win the Heisman Trophy, but more on that later. While Te’o was their heart and soul, their defensive line was their backbone. Against Alabama, that backbone was broken in half. Read More
Congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes, the only remaining undefeated team, and the team that we have unanimously chosen to be our National Champions for the 2012-2013 Football Season!
The Buckeyes improved all season long and completed their season on November 24th with a 26-21 victory over rival Michigan. Former #1 Notre Dame, the only other undefeated team following the regular season, lost in dramatic fashion by a score of 42-14 to the Alabama Crimson Tide in their bowl game tonight.
College Football has a storied tradition of not having an NCAA sanctioned official national championship. This has resulted in teams claiming national championships every single time any two-bit publication declared them to be the champion. Alabama, as it turns out, may be the worst offender in that regard, claiming as many as 13 national championships. That includes 1961, where they claim a unanimous championship, despite the fact that Ohio State also claims a Championship in 1961!
So, here you are ‘Bama. We’re gonna play your game. Let the debates begin, but I claim the Buckeyes are better than you simply because Ohio State didn’t lose a football game. Period.
Our official, and totally meaningful, Top 25 appears below the break.
It all comes down to this: The Fightin’ Irish attempting to “wake up the echoes” from the coma they have been in for nearly twenty years against Nick Saban and his SEC juggernaut, the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Historically this is a match-up for the ages. Two of the nations all-time premier programs, a north versus south pride war for all the marbles.
History: Given the recent history of the SEC some would consider this a surprise, but coming into the championship game Notre Dame holds a 5-1 all-time record vs the Crimson Tide in head to head match-ups. Perhaps the surprise is lessened when it is revealed that these two have not met on the gridiron since 1987, a 37-6 blowout by the Irish in South Bend. The only win in the series for the Tide came a year earlier in 1986, a 28-10 win that was played in Birmingham, Alabama.
This isn’t the first time they have met in a bowl game. Notre Dame edged the Tide 24-23 in the 1973 Sugar Bowl and beat them in the 1975 Orange Bowl 13-11.
As far as championship games pitting the titans of a sport against one another, Notre Dame vs Alabama is hard to beat. The Irish are third on the all-time wins list while the Tide come in at number seven. Alabama has 14 national championships, Notre Dame with 11, however they are tied at 9 a piece if you only count the “poll era” post 1936 to present day. Love them or hate them, they are titans of the sport. Read More
Getting ready for the next phase of college fandom, that wonderful world filled with gifts of college hoops and bowl catastophies. As such, here’s the soundtrack for this week’s look back.
Robert Frost once said, “Nothing Gold can stay”; and so, another leaf turns and this college football season comes to a close. Before we jump into Championship Weekend, let me take a second to say “Thank You” to a great Ohio State blog and BBN member who hung up their keyboards this week- Dave and Drew, Godspeed on the next adventure.
Well, the crapocalypse is surely upon us- we’ve now got the choice to pull for Notre Dame or for Alabama in the Mythical National Title game come January; although I’m still holding out hope that the Mayans were right.
Alabama punched their ticket to yet another dance via a dominant second half performance against a very game Georgia team. Throughout the first half and into the third quarter, it looked as if the Bulldogs had figured out a way to neutralize the Bama defense, a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown only extended the sense of dread that Alabama fans must have been feeling throughout the sold-out Georgia Dome.
And then Nick Saban remembered that he had a running game. From that moment on, the Crimson Tide’s offensive line and stable of running backs managed to decimate the Georgia defense, churning clock and yardage. After running all over the Black and Red, it only made sense that Alabama’s last score would come on a beautifully executed play action pass- everyone, including the cameramen and your humble correspondent bit on the fake, and McCarron’s ball was perfectly targeted for the score.
Again, kudos to the Georgia team; they refused to give up even under dire circumstances and dwindling clock. They managed to drive to the red zone in a short amount of time, but then made decisions that I’m still trying to figure out.
After passing for the first down on the Alabama 8 yard line, Georgia chose to run a play and not spike the ball for clock stoppage goodness- they had used their last time outs forcing the Tide to punt on the previous series. The process of setting the play up itself cost them a good 5 seconds or so, and then they chose to run the following attempt:
There’s a lot of things that went wrong here- the pass was tipped at the line, and the receiver should have intentionally dropped it (although that’s a hard thing to do, as it goes against years of practice). But the decision to not control the clock a bit better at the end send Nick Saban to Miami to defend his team’s national title, and ended up pushing Georgia to game against the B1G Championship Runner Up (more later). Read More
A bye week can make for a lazy Saturday. Maybe you finish up some yard work before the weather really changes for the worst or maybe one last trip to do your favorite outdoor activities. For me, fun during a bye week is seeing the defending national champion aka the unbeatable aka the mighty aka the lock for the national championship game again from the otherworldly Southeastern Conference fall (at home!) to a mediocre Big 12 team with a freshman quarterback. I also enjoy thinking about the inevitable whipping that the Buckeyes are going to put on Wisconsin and the ensuing painful look on Bert Bielema’s face.
Maybe nobody has actually said it but it has been pretty apparent that Wisconsin has become the secondary rival to our Ohio State Buckeyes. The Badgers fill the “next level” rival spot for Ohio State that Penn State wishes it could be. The players this week have been pointing to the 2010 game (when the Buckeyes were ambushed at Camp Randall and a perfect season was ruined) as the spark that ignited the rivalry, but I think it goes back a lot farther than that. Let’s go back in time…
In the 1999 meeting of the Bucks and Badgers, the Buckeyes delighted the home crowd to a mid-second quarter 17-0 lead. Things seemed to be in cruise control and a blowout eminent, especially with freshman quarterback Brooks Bollinger filling in for injured senior Scott Kavanaugh for Wisconsin. The outcome? 42-17… Badgers.
The Buckeyes got revenge a year later in 2000 winning 23-7 in Madison. It should be noted: This game was played with the lingering stigma of Wisconsin finally returning to full strength after having 26 players suspended for obtaining illegal benefits from a local shoe store earlier that summer. In other words, Wisconsin felt due to the suspension their season was a bust.
In 2001 back in The Shoe, the Buckeyes once again went up 17-0. They would again not hold the lead and lost 20-17 to another Brooks Bollinger lead Badger team.
This made tensions high heading into the 2002 meeting at Camp Randall. As we all remember, the Buckeyes were undefeated and in the midst of making a magical championship run. The Badgers were beginning to be a real thorn in the Buckeyes sides. Would they play the role so many Michigan teams played in the 90’s and spoil the championship dream?
A little added fuel to the fire to help a blossoming rivalry also helped inspire and drive the Buckeyes to remain undefeated. The accelerant came in the form of an autographed picture Brooks Bollinger had given to a friend that was likely never meant to see the light of day. He signed the photo “The Horeshoe. They built it. WE OWN IT.” The Buckeyes won 19-14 and went on to win the national championship. Read More