The Week That Were: 9.7.13

Written September 9th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Given the rain delay in the BYU /UT game this week and the deluge of rushing that befell the Longhorns after kickoff, there’s only one option for this week’s soundtrack.

See, this is why there should be no polls before the first weekend in October.

Hook’em

Once again, we see a number of teams that got votes due to their “name recognition” shown up early in the season, and others who are rising to the occasion still find themselves with a long way to go until November.

Cases in point: Texas, Notre Dame, Florida, and Southern Cal; all of whom lost on the same Saturday for the first time since September 11, 1976.

For the Longhorns, it’s been a slide into mediocrity for a while now. I’m not sure that people really understand the significance of the Mack Brown era… As the flagship school in of the top three recruiting hotbeds in the country, Brown’s teams have historically underwhelmed with the exception of two “lightening in a bottle” moments- Vince Young and Colt McCoy. Outside of their leadership behind center, the program has struggled; and it can be argued that some of this is due to poor coaching (see the Major Applewhite -vs- Chris Sims debacle) or poor recruiting (Texas recruited the last two Heisman winners as defensive backs, and didn’t reach out to Jamies Winston- this year’s new hotness).

While those things may be true, Mack seems to think that the issue is defense; as evidenced by the 550 yards rushing that they gave up to BYU on Saturday, the majority of which happened in the first three quarters. In response, Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz was fired on Sunday. Before you get excited, Austinites- his replacement is none other than Greg “GERG” Robinson, who’s amazing Michigan defenses gave up over 100 points in two games against Illinois.  I’m sure he’ll get the team motivated to return to the lofty status that UT should assume.

But you’ve also got to think that this is merely shuffling chairs on the Titanic- when your team plays so poorly that Shaggy Bevo’s servers go down as they did on Sunday, then you’ve got yourself a problem. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Works For The Weekend

Written August 17th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Quick notes from week two of Ohio State’s pre-season practices. Obvious soundtrack is obvious

Doghoused

Buckeye 411

  • Thank You- Sad news out of Columbus the past few days; Adam Griffin and Jamie Wood have both undergone surgeries that will effectively end their careers with the Buckeyes, it was announced on Thursday. Saturday, Tight End Blake Thomas from Cleveland St. Ignatius also decided to hang up the cleats, after medical examination of a persistent “stinger” injury revealed the possibility of greater neurological damage from future injuries. All three have been valuable parts of the team throughout their tenure, on special teams, on the practice fields, and in the community. We wish Adam, Blake, and Jamie nothing  but the best, and pray for both their recovery and for them to find a way to continue to be involved with the scarlet and gray.
  • Video Evidence- Friday also saw the charges against Bradley Roby reduced to a class B misdemeanor, after security footage from the bar in Bloomington clarified the events in question. According to the initial story, Roby pushed/punched a bouncer after leaving the venue and trying to return; video showed that he was actually roughly escorted from the premises and then shoved several times by the security staff before “lunging” at one of them. It was at this time that he was accosted and handcuffed.  Interestingly enough, the initial police reports indicated that there was no footage available… Hoosiers, man. At any rate, it looks as if this will be deferred to a Diversion program.
  • But… On Saturday, Coach Meyer announced that Roby was suspended for the Buffalo game and perhaps further, dependent upon his meeting certain expectations.
  • In Rod We… Whoops- As we alluded to in Wednesday’s SBP, Rod Smith will also miss the Buffalo game, one that he was slated to start following Carlos Hyde’s suspension. Smith, we’re told, is being punished for a violation of team rules that occurred in January or February.
  • By Committee- Which means that, by default, the Running Back depth chart for Buffalo will be- Jordan Hall, Brionte Dunn, Warren Ball, and Ezekiel Elliott. Given that Dontre Wilson also plays a part in the teams running game, Marcus Hartman sums up the state of affairs nicely:

Hartman RBs

  • For Those Of You Keeping Score At Home- The “suspension count” is as follows: Carlos Hyde (3 games min), Bradley Roby (1 game min), Rod Smith (1 game), Najee Murray (unknown), Marcus Baugh (unknown). Two starting running backs and an All-American corner. Yup, Urban is sure lax on discipline… wonder if he’ll let the team vote on anyone’s punishment?
  • Movin’ Day- A couple of  positional notes, as JT Moore (TE) and Billy Price (C/OG) move from the warm embrace of Coach Vrable’s defensive line to Coach Warriner’s Legion of Doom. The LoD will be anchored on the right side by Taylor Decker, who’s wowed during spring camp.
  • Getting Defensive- Ryan Shazier ran a 4.35; 5 B1G Quarterbacks have filed for restraining orders. Joe Burger was running with the first team defense on Saturday, and not Josh Perry, which was a bit of a surprise. Noah Spence is up from 227 to 255, and is a bad man.
  • Offensive Notes- Braxton’s leadership continues to draw praise from players and coaches alike. Devin Smith has really stepped up, and was MVP of today’s scrimmage.
  • “Newest” Buckeyes- Here’s who’s lost their black stripes as of today: Joe Ramstetter, Dontre Wilson, Mike Mitchell, Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, Cam Burrows, Aaron Mawhirter, Billy Price, and Michael Hill. The rookies have started a cool new tradition- they’re taking the stripes (once removed), and linking them into a chain to indicate their connection to each other.
  • Who Does Number Two Work For? Well, if you believe Patrick, it works for Ohio State, who find themselves in that slot in the first AP poll of the season.

We’re number TWO!?

Written August 13th, 2013 by Patrick

Number Two… For Now

As a new college football season approaches, most fans are full of anticipation of what the 2013 season will hold for their beloved team. Fans are full of anticipation, eager for August 31st to get here so we can put shoe to leather.

One of the rights of passage for college football fans is the ever popular preseason polls. Some publications release their polls early in the summer, only to leave fans drooling with anticipation for the “official AP and Coaches poll”. When the first Coaches poll was released a few weeks back, fans combed over, analyzed, and dissected every aspect of 1-25 and who “also received votes”.

Most Buckeye fans were very pleased with their preseason #2 ranking, right behind the 2011 and 2012 national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. We will take a look back over the past 14 seasons and see how much preseason rankings actually mean when it comes to winning a national championship. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Changes The Game

Written January 9th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Well, it’s the day that I’m certain you have all been anxiously awaiting, leading us to only one choice for today’s soundtrack. Well, Ok… two, and anything from these guys would also suffice.

Spark Something Great

Buckeye 411

  • Turf to Surf- Well, it’s 9 days into 2013, and day two of Ohio State’s reign as National Champion… what are you going to do to celebrate? Coach Meyer seems to be interested in doing some fishing with his son, and will be doing a special edition of “Gridiron Outdoors“.  According to the press release we got earlier, the episode will

provide viewers a unique look into his life away from the sidelines. Urban offers insight into why he came back to coach, the passion he has to coach college athletes and what it truly means to “get away.” The episode is about more than just fishing as a sport; it captures how the spirit of the outdoors brings families closer as Urban and his son Nate tackle shark, barracuda, black jack, grouper and tarpon.

Not to be left out, Coach Hoke will head over to Long John Silvers’ for their “Whitefish Wednesdays”. Hushpuppies, beware.

Coach Meyer’s episode will air on Saturday, July 12th at 7:00 PM ET on the Outdoor Channel. Consult your local blah blah blah

  • Surf AND Turf? Following Ohio State’s third place finish in the AP poll (like anyone pays attention to that), Urban landed a $150K bonus as a part of his salary… enough to get some steak to go with the salmon he catches, I’m sure. There have been a number of articles written about the arbitrary nature of the final poll- why some people had the only undefeated team in the country ranked tenth, for instance- but when you realize that ending up one spot down the rung cost Urban an additional $100K, you can understand that your consternation is probably not anywhere close to what it could be.
  • Target Practice- Tuesday saw the “unveiling” of the BCS Championship Logo for 2014, the final year of the current configuration (more later). That’s the goal for this Buckeye team… and if you follow any current members on twitter or facebook, you know that they’re fully aware of this fact.  January 2014 will see the 100th Rose Bowl Game AND the BCS Championship hosted in Pasadena- tBBC is already working on tailgate options for either matchup should the Buckeyes head out to my backyard.  ‘Cause last time was AMAZING.
  • This Week In Slam Thompson- This happened Read More

The Week That Were: 11.10.12

Written November 12th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Oh, college football… How I love you!!

2012 Version

Well, that happened.

While a lot of people were saying that Alabama was ripe for a loss against a Texas A&M team that’s been playing really well over the past few weeks, most of this felt like lip service. You know, the kind of things that ESPN makes one person say on the Gameday set in order to appear unbiased.

And then- “Johnny Football”.

There are a lot of reasons why Alabama lost- coming off of an emotional win on the road in Death Valley, LSU’s offense showed a lot of people the issues that the Tide have in their secondary, Saban’s fear of the high speed offense is based on his knowledge of his team’s weaknesses; but the fact of the matter is that the Aggies outplayed Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, in several key areas of the game.

The Crimson Tide defensive front was stifled, for the most part, by the aTm offensive tackles. Combined with concerns about a quarterback’s mobility, the Tide were not able to mount the type of disruptive pressure that they are so used to.

Alabama’s offense made key mistakes and turnovers, and seemed out of rhythm all night long.  The three turnovers didn’t help, particularly when the Tide defense couldn’t get any of their own… and the mental errors were even more egregious. On the final interception, it seems to me that the receiver on the end of the line of scrimmage did a poor job getting depth in the end zone, making it easy for defenders to cover both him and the primary target.  In addition, with Bama’s defense stiffening and forcing a punt, to have a member of their punt return/block team create a neutral zone infraction for an automatic first down is an aggressive penalty, but one that is terrible to have happen in that circumstance. Again, the intensity was there for the student in question, but the lack of focus eventually cost them a final chance at victory.

Yeah, He's Good

But we can’t miss the point here- this game was won by Johnny Manziel’s continual ability to make plays and put the Tide defense on their heels.

After the third week in a row with this type of performance (Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State), the redshirt freshman has lifted himself into Heisman candidacy- and for good reason.  Given the lack of a clear “star” this year, given Matt Barkley’s struggles, the game this weekend was his “Flutie to Phelan” moment; outstanding performance in high profile opportunity. I’ll leave the debate to others, but will certainly enjoy watching the electricity that all of these candidates provide.

Even if he doesn’t win this year, you’ve got to think that next year’s Heisman race is going to be something spectacular- Braxton Miller, Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, Everett Gholston, Tahj Boyd, DeAnthony Thomas… and those are just the ones I’ve got off the top of my head.

(And since I’m on the topic, I think that Marquis Lee needs to be included in this year’s debate. But that’s just me).

Does this loss end the run of SEC titles in the final year of the BCS? Well, not exactly… more on this in a bit.

Read More

One Hundred. and One.

Written October 10th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

Yesterday, Jim Tressel was awarded this by the University:

No cake? Seriously?

And today, the Buckeyes were named the number one team in the country by both the Associate Press and the Coaches Polls.

Being number one in October is nice, but there’s a lot of football yet to be played. Tress himself said (emphasis added):

“You take a look at the Top 10 week to week and the precarious nature of any ranking is obvious – just review the change in the makeup of the Top 10 between the beginning of the season until now. The Buckeyes know what’s it’s like to have a target on our back, especially since we are now well into Big Ten play. We expect that every team will give us its best shot. How we respond will determine our ultimate ranking.

However, it would be special, to say the least, if the season also included another trophy along the way-

Glenville bound

Right Where We Want Them

Written August 21st, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

The first AP poll is out, and has the Buckeyes at number two. Deuces, baby.

#2 is fine with this little guy

Alabama is #1, in spite of losing a good portion of their defense. Boise State is at #3, Florida at #4.

The Big T1e2n has three teams in the top ten, with Nebraska and Iowa at 8 and 9. Wisconsin is at #12, with the Hurricane team they destroyed in the bowls coming in at #13. Penn State comes in at #19.

While I’m not a huge fan of preseason polls (the ACC with five teams in the top 25?) it does put the Buckeyes in an advantageous position. As we know, there have only been nine teams in 60 years to start and end the year at #1; the last being USC’s 2004 “season that didn’t happen“. Before that, you’ve got to go to 1999 and then 1993.

‘Cause, as you know, it’s not where you start, but where you finish.