Wednesday Night Rumble: Orange Juice Ecstasy

Written January 8th, 2014 by Jason

Things didn’t go as expected in Miami. Players are deciding to stay or go. New recruits are on board. We’ll start putting a bow on the 2013 season. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!

Orange Juice

Braxton Miller at the Discover Orange Bowl

Braxton Miller at the Discover Orange Bowl

By now you’re probably tired of hearing about what went wrong and what should or could have happened at the Orange Bowl on Friday night. I won’t deny it, I’m with you. Unfortunately there are a few things I think need discussed, or at least have my opinion weighed in on. Some are a bit out of the box.

I’ve read and heard a lot of people talk about how Clemson is a talented team, and that can’t be denied. I’ve read and heard people say that the better team won, and maybe there’s some truth to that.

The fact is that you can throw out whatever cliched line you want, the Buckeyes were winning at halftime 22-20. A lead that came about despite one of the worst halves of football we’ve seen since Urban Meyer took the controls. Ohio State came out of the locker room looking uninpsired and as though they really didn’t want to be in Miami at all. Of course Clemson errors played a big part in the Buckeye advantage, but no matter how you slice it up, they were leading at halftime.

The third quarter absolutely belonged to Carlos Hyde. I’m not sure what was discussed at the break, but the decision to come out and ride Carlos was simple and magnificent. The offensive live began getting huge movement as Hyde bullied behind them and brought the Buckeyes to a 29-20 lead with 5:50 to play in the 3rd. Camera shots on the Clemson sideline showed a team that was done. I had mentioned several times during the week that Clemson was prone to quit when a team leaned on them and took a lead, especially if they had been ahead early. It was happening. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Just Chills

Written January 8th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Well howdy do, Buckaroos! Long time no SBP!  Look, to make up for it I’ll give you two soundtracks for this week- one to celebrate 2014 and one that should make perfect sense.

Freeze!!

Buckeye 411

  • Farewell Shazier- Like I said, it’s been a while since I’ve shared your Wednesday with you; in that time Junior Linebacker Ryan Shazier announced that he was taking his talents to… You know what? Shazier’s to classy for that tripe. Ryan is foregoing his senior season and heading to the NFL.  While he’ll be missed on the field, his character and presence as a representative of the University may be his strongest lasting legacy.  Godspeed, Ryan.
  • Wither Braxton? Reports from this weekend announced that Miller had decided to stay for his senior season following the loss in the Orange Bowl. These were unofficial, however- the Miller family hasn’t said one way or another if XBrax360 was returning to Columbus. I can see it both ways- he has much development to do before he’d be successful in The League, but if you’re going to get pounded (with a new offensive line and missing Guapo), you might as well get paid for it.
  • This Is The Part where I mention casually that I played college football with Braxton’s dad.  Not that it means anything; we haven’t spoken since he graduated, but if Braxton goes pro my Buckeye name-dropping game loses some swag.
  • Spence For High-er? Sorry for the 80′s driven pun, but with Noah Spence’s suspension for the Orange Bowl a mystery at gametime, Tuesday’s news that he had actually tested positive for Ecstasy seemed very unusual. As you may know, it was initially reported as a performance enhancing substance, which is somewhat factual- the B1G characterizes MDMA as such, and initially suspended Spence for a year. The appeal to the NCAA, though, ended up with a ruling that it was in fact a “street drug”, and came with a three game suspension (Orange plus two in fall 2014). Spence’s family asserts that their son had been given the drug unknowingly, and is planning a possible lawsuit against the B1G. Read More

tBBC Preview: Orange Bowl – Ohio State vs Clemson

Written January 2nd, 2014 by Ken
OBC_New_Logo_ph9

Bowling for Oranges

  Ohio State (12-1, 8-1, B1G) vs Clemson (10-2, 8-1, ACC)

 January 3rd, 2014: 8:30 PM EST ESPN

Well, well, the Buckeyes get to head south for their bowl game rather than west.  Oh well, it wasn’t our first preference, but let’s go Orange Bowling. The bowl game that we know as the Orange Bowl was inaugurated in 1933 as the Palm Festival. The bowl game was renamed the Orange Bowl and under the new name, the first game was played on January 1st, 1935 between Bucknell and Miami, won by Bucknell 26-0. From 1935 through 1988, this contest was known as the Orange Bowl. From 1989 – 2010, buttressed by corporate sponsorship, it was renamed the FedEx Orange Bowl. Moving from logistics to financial services, the game was renamed again in 2010 as the Discover (Financial) Orange Bowl.

The protagonists this January are the Ohio State University Buckeyes, Big Ten Conference (12-1, 8-1) and the Clemson Tigers, Atlantic Coast Conference (10-2, 7-1). Both teams have a brief history in playing in the Orange Bowl, and have played one another. The Buckeyes enter this game averaging 46 points on offense, while giving up 21 points. The Tigers average 40 points on offense and 21 on defense. The early line is Ohio State -2.5 with an over/under of 67, so Vegas is anticipating both teams scoring in the mid-30′s. They are probably right. Look for a high scoring game. Without much further ado, let’s get into the preview.

Read More

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Silver Bullet Points

Written December 18th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

One more week until Christmas! Hopefully you’re getting your shopping all taken care of… and today’s soundtrack from three of my favorite artists will help inspire you to remember the real meaning of the season. (Honestly, that wasn’t the strangest thing I found this year…)

Someone made Santa’s list

Buckeye 411

  • Major Awards- This is the week that all of the “Best Of” lists and awards come out, and there were several Buckeyes who were acknowledged for their efforts during the 2013 season. Ryan Shazier led the list, being named a first team Associate Press All American (tree in the Buckeye grove!), to go along with the same honor from ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and USA Today.  Jack Mewhort was tabbed a first team AA by ESPN, a second team member from Sports Illustrated, and third team honors from CBSSports and the Associated Press.  Carlos Hyde was third team by the Associate Press, while Devan Bogard was third team according to CBSSports
  • Even More Importantly- A number of Buckeyes graduated this past weekend, including our soon to be favorite graduate assistant coach.
  • Did Someone Say Awards? You too can be swagtastic by winning our Bowl Challenge. Heck, join Bacon’s too.
  • Wheee. More Special Uniforms- The Lantern has great coverage of the University’s huge deal with Nike… you can bet there’s a ton of money involved.  While it’s certainly better than the adidas/Under Armour alternatives, I still can’t wrap my mind around Ohio State entering into a partnership which will essentially help build Oregon’s program.
  • Speaking Of Uniformity- Buckeyes will be in scarlet in the Orange bowl; the first time that they’ve worn the home gear in a post season game since… hell, I have no idea. 2000? Let’s see if this can break some of the recent bad luck in Florida, shall we?
  • Plenty Of Good Seats Still Available- If you’re headed to Florida (and why wouldn’t you?) you should be aware that tickets for the Orange Bowl are among the lowest on the secondary market for BCS contests.  While the Bowl itself says that it’s only got 1000 or so ducats left, I know where you can find a lot more than that… and for lower than face value.  So, go ahead and take your talents to South Beach- Be sure to celebrate the holiday appropriately there, though.
  • Coaching Carousel- At this point, none of the Ohio State coaching staff has left for another opportunity, although there’ve been plenty of rumors. Both Coach Fickel and Drayton were tied to the FAU job, with the former allegedly being offered the position and choosing to stay closer to home. Some folks said that Luke may be in the crosshairs for a position at Notre Dame, but at this point there’s nothing definitive. Coach Warriner has been linked to the Bowling Green and Army openings, although both sound as if they’ve got other candidates as their primary targets.  Interestingly enough, Coach Herman’s name hasn’t come up as of yet (knocks on redwood forest full of wood), but I wouldn’t be surprised to see his name listed as a candidate following the inevitable Texas Two-step shuffle.
  • I Think Santa Does This For The Elves On Christmas Eve- A couple of days old, but if this video of Coach Coombs doesn’t make you want to run through a brick wall, then bah freaking humbug: Read More

Announcing: tBBC Bowl Challenge

Written December 9th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Quick update on tBBC’s Championship Chase, our yearly contest for all of our Buckeye Yahoo!s…

Big Games Call For Big Leaders

Big Games Call For Big Leaders

Of the over 50 folks who signed up to play, Toasted Bucknut ended the season on top with 252 points! Drop us a note here at the mothership, and we’ll get you hooked up for your prize package and so forth.

Your humble correspondent ended up atop the Staff challenge, and found myself in the huge logjam that was the second place shootout.  You know what they say, though- “Second place is still not where Michigan finished this year.

And now that the Bowl Movement has been completed, we can also announce the next contest for all of the armchair defensive coordinators in Buckeye Nation. If you’re looking to have yet another reason to watch all 35 of the bowl games this holiday season, you can tell your family that you’ve got something important riding on it since you’ve entered tBBC Bowl Challenge.

In order to join the group, just go to College Football Pick’em, and click the “Join Group” button. From there, enter the following information…

Group ID#: 6433
Password: Shaz1er

As a reminder, since we switched our contests over from ESPN to Yahoo!, the BCS has died. Success! Read More

The Week That Were: 2013 Championship Weekend

Written December 9th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Look, I know it’s the holiday season and all that, but I’m not feeling it just yet. Here’s some Ella if you’re in a similar mood this Monday.

And so it ends… not with a bang, but a whimper. Not for everyone, but for fanbases who entered Saturday with significant postseason aspirations, the doors gently shut on both those dreams and on their season.

ku-xlarge

We Know The Feeling

While TWTW is usually reserved for Saturday’s festivities, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that Northern Illinois started the slide on Friday; poised for a shot at another possible BCS bid, the Huskies fell for the first time all season in the MAC championship. And not just “fell”, but were beaten by 2o points by Bowling Green in a game that cost the Falcons (and the other non-qualifying schools) some pretty major cash.

Saturday’s early slate started with some Bedlam, a game where anything can happen and often does- this year in the form of an earthquake during a field goal attempt.

As a rivalry game, you throw the records and season results out the window, as any Ohio State or Michigan fan can tell you. And while TBPU looked to be the easy favorite, icy conditions and the passion of their cross state rivals kept this from being an easy match.

While both teams struggled to score early on, Oklahoma tied things up in the third following a fake field goal that may or may not have happened before the play clock expired. No call, though, so on we went.

Much like last week’s game in Ann Arbor, OkSU drove down the field with relative ease at the end of the game, and scored with time left on the clock in spite of our warnings. And, you can guess what happened- Oklahoma managed a length of the field drive to score which left only enough time for the Northwestern-esque “throw the ball around and hope for the best” play, and like NU, Oklahoma State’s efforts were interrupted and scored upon.

Nice Aim

Nice Aim

Check out the gif on the left there; this is after the spread-covering score, and you can see both a Cowboy cheerleader attempt to trip a jubilant Sooner and also notice that some happy fan has decided to huck a snowball at the field toward the end of the clip.

That’s what it means to be in a rivalry game… it’s bigger than just a regular loss, particularly when you fall at home and fall out of the BCS.  I’m sure that excitement and emotion were behind the Sooner player’s decision to go full Marcus Hall on the Cowboy fan, and am certainly looking forward to them being benched for the entirety of their next game, the way that Hall was. And, media folks, feel free to spend hours discussing how classless this play was and what Stoops should do.  You’ve obviously got nothing else to talk about.

With the Cowboys’ falling in Stillwater, the late afternoon game between Texas and Baylor became the defacto Big12-2 Championship matchup. Let that roll around in your head for a minute- Mack Brown, who may be on his way out after yet another disappointing season, was one game away from a Conference Title and a BCS bid.

WEIRD-BAYLOR-FAN

Filled With The Spirit?

And yet, it was not to be… after a close first half, Baylor made the plays that it’s executed so well all season and pulled away from Texas to win their first conference title in forever. Given that they’re opening a new stadium next year and just signed their coach to a sizable extension, it’s quite possible that we haven’t heard the end of celebrations in Waco.

And their reward? A trip to Phoenix to face the University of Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl… the same UCF that held off SMU to win on Saturday. That game ain’t going to be pretty, folks.

By now, Buckeye fans know all to well that Auburn will be playing in the National Title game against Florida State. Poised in the computers to leap Ohio State with a blowout win against Missouri, the resurgent Tigers (no, the other ones) handled the B12-2′s SEC East’s finest handily in Atlanta on Saturday, in a game that seemed to be played with an understanding that each team was required to ration their tackles (perhaps the same memo OSU got?).

Best Tackle All Day. Seriously.

Best Tackle All Game. Seriously.

That’s not to say that there wasn’t any controversy on the way to the SEC crown. One of Missouri’s early scores was on a long pass that clearly was not fully possessed by the receiver- I have no idea how that wasn’t overturned. Later, an Auburn player pushed Missouri’s Josey out of bounds after the running back had another long scamper, and the shove caused Josey to hit a nearby cart and miss the remainder of the game.

Auburn’s win meant that, should one of the top two teams fall, they would be in. Florida State started first in their epic clash against the Duke Blue Devils, and managed to go the entire first quarter without a score.

That was about it, though- the Seminoles managed to roll up a 45-7 win and punch their tickets to Pasadena, while Winston possibly scheduled a trip to New York to pick up some hardware. It’ll be interesting to see if we get a 2006 repeat- an undefeated team with a Heisman Trophy QB against a one-loss SEC program who “backed in” to the title game.  That’s all I remember about the 2006 game… and I’m not listening if you try to give me any further facts.

No Roses For You

Roses? Not so fast…

Which brings us to Indianapolis. As if Ohio State fans didn’t have enough reasons to hate Sports Illustrated, this week’s decision to put Braxton on a regional cover added the Buckeyes to the list of Oregon, Alabama, and Baylor as teams who lost the week following their cover appearance.  Splendid.

Look, my thoughts on the game are probably the same as the rest of Buckeye Nation:

  • Hats off to Michigan State, whose defense played the way that Ohio State defenses used to play. Wonder why that is… What I wouldn’t give to have one of their DBs in the scarlet and gray.
  • Hats off to Sparty, too, for offensively game planning a perfect scheme to attack Ohio State’s weaknesses in the secondary, and to Connor Cook for the poise that he showed in the passing game. Enjoy California, Dino and folks… remember, it’s not too far of a drive for your offensive line coach to visit some family.
  • I’m as confused as the rest of you are about the Ohio State gameplan, particularly when it looked like our bread and butter were working. I understand the idea of getting Carlos into space against MSU’s secondary, but when every empty set led to a QB draw/counter, then it takes away the mystery. And mid-range passing? Does everything have to be a bomb?
  • “Frustrated” only partially covers my thoughts on the secondary’s play this past year… I’m not smart enough to figure out if it’s a scheme thing or a personnel issue or coaching, and I’ve read all three from the “experts” that make up Ohio State bulletin boards. I know that linebacker is something that Urban has identified as a “need”, so I’m just going to trust that this will improve overall in the coming season.

Again, no disrespect to Ben Affleck or to Michigan State, but it feels more like Ohio State let this one get away from them than the Spartans “took” it. While I’d prefer that it was the Buckeyes in Pasadena, I’m still excited to see Michigan State play Stanford in the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl.

Stanford won their rematch with Arizona State in a walk in front of less than stellar crowds. While some blame the “rematch” factor for poor attendance, I believe that it’s due to these being hosted on campus… as nice as that is for the home team, this time of year the trend is to allow fans the chance to travel to somewhere new. I’m conflicted on this, since I believe that any future Championship Expansion should consider home stadiums, but I also understand that there’s a huge money factor involved from tourism and so forth.

RICE1

The “Bowl-Bloat” Culprit

And that’s the heart of the silly season that we’re getting ready to enter- schools will pay lots of money for the “privileged” of making cash for television networks and tax exempt “bowl committees”; and only one game will “matter”, other than the contrived “Bowl Challenge” that the four letter network has created without consideration of even-matchups. When there are so many bowls that more than 50% of FBS teams get to go, is it really an honor?

That being said, this year should be a pretty good one for the B1G- in looking across the Bowl Landscape, there are only a few games that don’t feel like solid contests.  See what you think:

  • Rose Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. BCS/Pac-12): Michigan State vs. Stanford
  • Orange Bowl, Jan. 3: (ACC vs. BCS): Ohio State vs. Clemson
  • Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Wisconsin vs. South Carolina
  • Outback Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Iowa vs. LSU
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 28 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Michigan vs. Kansas State
  • Gator Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Nebraska vs. Georgia
  • Texas Bowl, Dec. 27 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Minnesota vs. Syracuse

The BCS games, then, would be Florida State/Auburn, Michigan State/Stanford, Ohio State/Clemson, Oklahoma/Alabama, and (bleh) Central Florida/Baylor.

All in all, a great set of excuses to gather friends and family for the holidays and then ignore them to watch TV. We’ll have breakdowns of each of these matchups in the coming days, as well as full coverage of Ohio State’s trip to Miami in an attempt to exorcise Charlie Bauman’s specter.

But with that… The Week That Were draws to a close for yet another season. Thanks for playing along with us all fall, and for being a part of tBBC Family. We’ll close with a bit of nostalgia to get you ready for Miami:

Silver Bullet Points Goes Trophy Hunting

Written December 5th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

We’re in uncharted waters here… it’s really an odd feeling to have a game after THE GAME. If you’re heading to the game, be sure to check out a great blues bar downtown… these guys are playing this weekend!

Trophy… bullet… either way

Buckeye 411

  • Meaningful Awards- Clair gave you the lowdown on the All Conference awards on Tuesday morning; later that afternoon, the Offensive, Defensive, Freshman, and Coach of the Year accolades were handed out.  Braxton repeated as the Offensive Player of the year, while Shazier was snubbed for Defensive POTY to Wisconsin’s Borland. The annual “Exceeded Expectations” award for Coach of the Year went to Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio. I actually don’t disagree with this, and am happy for ‘Dino, but am wondering if a Buckeye Coach will ever win this award- Cooper didn’t, Tressel didn’t, and now Meyer hasn’t after two undefeated seasons.
  • Got You Covered- Hey, if you happen to see a copy of this week’s Sports Illustrated at the store, can you pick one up for me? It’s Braxton’s third cover, and even it’s a regional one, it’s still pretty awesome (note: I retract that comment if the SI Jinx bites OSU on Saturday). Best part of the cover, as the guys at Eleven Warriors pointed out- Braxton is wearing his gold pants in The Game.  Like a Boss.
  • Got You Covered, Part Two- If you’re headed to Indy, here’s what’s waiting for you for what I’m sure will be a fair price. tBBC’s Patrick will be on scene covering the festivities, and our friend Janelle will be there as a part of her internship as well. Stay tuned!
  • It Ain’t Braggin’- Speaking of the B1GCG, the matchup with Michigan State is going to be spectacular, and the Spartans are ready for it. I’ve joked with friends that one of the things that worries me about this is that OSU has been preparing all season to win a national title while MSU has been focused specifically on beating Buckeyes. You can hear some of that in quotes from the defensive backs, calling for a “no fly zone” and saying that any ball in the air belongs to them. Connor Cook also mentioned on Monday that watching the Michigan games made him excited to play the Buckeyes, and that he’d be “licking his chops” at thinking about going against the tarnished Silver Bullets.  This season, the Spartans have certainly backed it up with excellent play on the field… like I said, this is going to be a spectacular matchup.
  • Not Convinced? Just watch this: Read More

Poll Position: Championship Week

Written December 3rd, 2013 by Patrick

Alabama’s run at the top of tBBC’s top ten was short lived. A missed field goal that was promptly returned 100 (officially) yards basically ended Bama’s hopes of a 3rd straight national title.

We’re Number Two!!

Ohio State survived a failed 2 point conversion attempt by TTUN to win their regular season finale and FSU beat and battered a Florida team who lost to Georgia Southern the week before.

Pos. Team (1st Votes) LW
1 Florida State (7) 2
2 Ohio State (3) 3
3 Auburn 4
4 Alabama 1
5 Missouri 5
6 Oklahoma State 7
7 Michigan State 8
8 Clemson 6
9 Baylor NR
10 South Carolina 10

Dropped Out – Wisconsin

That brings us to championship week. Three games will essentially decide who will play for the crystal ball.

The biggest one of all will be the 3rd annual B1G championship game in Indianapolis. For the first time in its short history, the game is a sell out and will match the 2nd ranked Buckeyes vs the 10th ranked Spartans of Michigan State. If the Buckeyes win, they should be playing for all the marbles. That game is at 8pm eastern time.

At 4pm, the SEC championship will be decided in Atlanta between Auburn and Missouri. If Auburn can win, they will no doubt sit back and watch the B1G champ game with baited breath.

Down in Charlotte, NC, the Duke Blue Devils will attempt to finish their Cinderella season with a monumental upset of the number 1 ranked Seminoles of Florida State.

Other games of interest: Oklahoma travels to Oklahoma State for Bedlam, Texas travels to Baylor and Stanford will travel to Arizona State to battle for the PAC 12 championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl.

Stop back next week and see who’ll be playing for the crystal ball in January.