The Week That Were: 12.1.12

Written December 3rd, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

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.

It Gets Better

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

Thanksgiving with tBBC: Time for Turkeys

Written November 22nd, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Right about now, you’re either getting ready to sit down for an awkward family dinner with that weird uncle, or you’ve already eaten and are letting the tryptophan course through your body… Ah, the Holidays.

Here at tBBC we wanted to take a moment and reflect on the highs and lows from the past year, which will give me just enough time to snag that last piece of sweet potato pie while everyone is reminiscing.

We’re Thankful For…

Janelle: Coach Meyer. We knew that the Buckeyes would be better this season, but undefeated going into TSUN week? That far and away exceeded expectations. We knew it was possible, but after last season, I don’t think anyone was sure what would happen this year. He has rallied the troops and gotten them to play with so much heart and intensity. It has truly been fun to watch.

WVa: Braxton and Coach Meyer. In a season that the expectation was that the Buckeyes just be more competitive than last year, they have excelled because of these two. I am thankful for the relationship that they have forged as they lead the Buckeyes. The next two seasons will be very special because the Buckeyes have the best coach and the best player hands down. It’ll be interesting to have the discussion next year, when will their first loss together be?

Gary:  Two things. I am thankful for being part of Buckeye Nation. This Nation has the best fans in all of college football. No one is more passionate than Buckeye fans. Second, I am thankful for a great football team that has fought through tremendous obstacles to become one of only two undefeated teams!

Eric: I must say that I am most thankful to have been able to participate on this blog for the last 4 years without having a drastic effect on my real life job.  That it has enabled me to drastically improve my writing, improve my understanding of the sports I love, and participate in activities and events that I never thought possible a few short years ago.  It may be the kind of activity that causes you to sit around for long hours of the day in your pajamas, but it is worth every anti-social minute.

I’m also thankful to have worked with some of the best sportswriters on the face of the earth here at the BBC.  Each and every one of them has been an absolute pleasure to work with.  The jokes shared, and the back and forth commentary and discussions we have both behind the scenes and in public are without a doubt some of the most enlightening, engaging, and entertaining I’ve ever had. Thanks guys.  I hope to keep doing this with you for quite a bit longer.

Leader. Legend.

Jason: Urban Meyer. Who knows where we would be and what the future would look like if anyone else had been given the job. With Urban we know the future is bright. I’m also thankful for 11-0 and the chance to be 12-0. I’d also like to thank the guys (and girls) here at the BBC for giving me a place to rant each week. Thanks!

JoeL: Jim Tressel putting this program back on the map.  I am so excited for him to be back in the shoe on Saturday and I am sure many people have mixed feelings about it, but without him, we wouldn’t be where we are today, we were stumbling against tsun, we were in shambles academically, and he resurrected the program, and while it wasn’t the way we wanted to see him go out, he was able to turn a successful program over to another great coach that I am thankful to be here.

Mali: I’d echo everyone’s sentiments thus far, particularly the pleasure of getting to be a part of this great group of writers and fans.  In addition, I’d say that I’m also continually amazed by and grateful for the folks who come by every day and join our party- readers, commentors, facebook friends, and members of the twitterati.  We don’t do this without you.

The other thing I’m most thankful for, Buckeye related, is John Simon.  And Nathan Williams. Etienne Sabino, Justin Boren, Reid Fragel, Orhian Johnson, Jake Stoneburner, Ben Buchanan, and ALL of Ohio State’s senior class. Their dedication to the program, their willingness to stay and lead after one of the most challenging seasons in the program’s history is something that is rare in the “what’s in it for me” culture in college sports, particularly knowing that there’d be no post-season for them.  Here’s to hoping that their final game is the type of victory that they deserve.

The Biggest Turkey Of This Season Is… Read More

Today’s The Perfect Time For Silver Bullet Points

Written October 31st, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

This week’s soundtrack takes you back to 1978, well before vampires were sparkly and werewolves were dreamy. Happy All Hallows Eve, folks…

Useful, that.

Buckeye 411

  • Meaningful Awards- This week, we more about how well Ohio State’s players are being perceived nationally, as several more “just happy to be nominated” lists included Buckeyes. Jonathan Hankins is one of 16 being considered for the Bednarik award, given to the nation’s best defensive player, while Roby is one of 15 being looked at for the Thorpe trophy as the nation’s top defensive back. Braxton is getting some national appreciation as well, and is one of the 16 folks up for the Maxwell award this season.
  • Walking Wounded? Coach Meyer said on Tuesday that Etienne Sabino will miss the game against Illinois, which isn’t a surprise to those of us paying attention- the additional two weeks will be helpful for his recovery for the last part of the season. Zach Domicone, though, may be back this week against the Illini, which will certainly help on special teams. Also, for the first week this season, Jordan Hall is not listed on the depth chart- speculation that he might seek a medical redshirt are pretty strong at this point.
  • Awards, Continued- The B1G recognized Ryan Shazier on Monday as it’s co-defensive player of the week. If nothing else, it’s good that he’s getting kudos for joining Pick Six University’s fraternity.
  • In Case You Forgot- This weekend is the “Battle For The Weird Wood Turtle”. Wheee!  The newest (and only?) Illini blog on the web gives us a little history into the background of this fanciful beast.
  • Meyer’s Musings- Coach agreed that Shazier played his best game of the season, and said Tuesday that he’d finally settled down, and is playing like a safety more than a linebacker. He talked candidly about the punt issues, have all been due to missed assignments, in spite of the fact that the coaching staff continues to simplify things. Coach Meyer said that he was “disappointed: in Braxton’s progression as a passer, because he knows he can be much better, with no ceiling on his abilities. He finished his time on the B1G chat by owning that the team is tired, beat up, and looking forward to a break next week, but are first and foremost focused on getting to 10-0.
  • Word To The Wise- Coach Vrable takes his pumpkin carving pretty seriously. Good to know.
  • Honor. Don Steinberg, member of the 1942 championship team, died Monday at the age of 90.
  • Tricks? Nope. Treats- Our friends at the Buckeye Room have an amazing deal for Ohio State fans on Halloween- 50% off in-stock merchandise. 100% better than stale circus peanuts in the bottom of your bag. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Braces For Impact

Written September 19th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Win/Win Scenario?

Yup, it’s that week again- we find ourselves looking to the skies and hoping for an astronomical event to head toward… let’s see… this year the game is in South Bend, so that will do just fine. Just think, if Notre Dame’s previous coach was still on the sidelines, there just might be enough gravitational pull between the two head men to facilitate this.

Buckeye 411

  • Injury Update- Not much new on this front this week: We know that Carlos Hyde won’t be participating this Saturday, and there’s been no update on John Simon’s shoulder. That’s not totally true: the best thing to come out of Coach Meyer’s Monday press conference was commentary that Simon’s shoulder was a long way from his heart… meaning that he could work though the pain. Meyer then went on to comment that Michael Bennett was still injured, and that “He’s got to play some time. So I don’t know how far that groin is away from the heart.” If you needed proof that Urban Meyer understands the Ohio State legacy- his paraphrase of Woody Hayes’ famous quote regarding what his ’74 class should use to think with should seal the deal.
  • Bombs Away- One thing that Coach Meyer is concerned with against the Blazers of UAB is the deep ball. Several times over the past week, he’s talked about the strength of quarterback Jonathan Perry’s arm. This has to be a point of emphasis for the Buckeye secondary, who have given up their share of big passing plays during the first two games of the season thus far.
  • Good Hands, People- When the season started, Ohio State was looking for “playmakers”, and it seems that they’ve found a few. Corey Brown has shown flashes as a dependable “pivot” player in the new offense, and receiver Devin Smith continues to shine as a reliable option for the big play.  Wonder how long it is until he earns Cris Carter’s moniker of “only catching touchdowns”.
  • Bloody Tuesday- From what we’re hearing, Tuesday’s emphasis for the defense was… you guessed it… “Tackling”. And not just on the field, but in the weight room and film room as well.  In talking with a couple of folks, and in looking at the game again, the “chicken and egg” argument of “was it poor scheme or poor execution?” on Saturday is answered by “Yes”, although there are a number of clearly missed assignments on the big touchdowns that made everyone’s nightmare list Saturday afternoon. So, in at least the big play categories, it seems to be execution that was at issue.
  • On To The Next One- If you’re not following Samuel Silverman on twitter, you’re missing out on great Ohio State graphics- like this one: Read More

Silver Bullet Points Goes Boating

Written August 29th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Straight Up The Olentangy...

Midweek look at news and notes from around Ohio State and the nation… getting ready for what’s been predicted to be a very wet weekend.

Hey! Have you signed up for pick-em yet?

Buckeye 411

  • Injury Updates- We found out Monday that Warren Ball has had surgery on his foot and will be redshirting this season, but Tuesday brought good news to the Scarlet and Gray.  According to Coach Meyer, Nate Williams passed the agility and mobility tests that the program had for him, and will more than likely see some action on Saturday against Miami.  While this will be more limited than he’d surely like, I’m confident that this gradual move to get him ready for the rest of the season will pay huge benefits.  It remains to be seen, though, if this plan gets adjusted in the weather situation… sloppy conditions might lead to a re-injury, and Ohio State will work to avoid that.
  • ‘Bloody Buckeyes- Tuesday’s practice was the most challenging of the week, but players interviewed afterwards said that it was mostly mentally taxing.  From the sound of it, they emerged with flying colors, and will not be “full go” for the rest of the week.
  • Explosive- That was how Carlos Hyde described this year’s offense, and it also sounded as if Philly Brown has become a significant playmaker in the team’s eyes.  Braxton also talked about Jake Stoneburner’s move to receiver creating a number of opportunities for the team, given his skill set.
  • Stormy Saturday? While Isaac will be on the minds (and raincoats) of tailgaters at the ‘Shoe, one Buckeye who will be glad to be in the weather is newly reinstated Storm Klein.  While his role with the team is still to be determined, Coach Meyer said that it was the conversations with both the Klein family and the family of the alleged victim that made him decide to allow the senior to return to the team.
  • Earning Their (Loss Of) Stripes- Three more freshman became “Buckeyes” on Tuesday, including Armani Reeves and walkons Craig Cataline and Craig Fada.
  • As If There Were Any Doubt- After a 12 year study, the four letter network finally announced why they give OSU so much coverage… eyeballs. Whether it’s creating covering controversy and scandal or blowing really bright sunshine up the derrieres of Buckeye fans during All Access, the number don’t lie: Columbus is the highest rated college football market in the country. They tie for that spot with Birmingham Alabama, although the latter only has ‘Bama football, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo“, QVC, and episodes of “Cops” on their cable packages.  They had more channels, but they cut them loose. (see… ’cause they oversign a lot in Alabama… nevermind.)
  • Rocketman- While Ohio and the nation mourn the loss of Neil Armstrong, a great idea popped up on reddit regarding a way to honor the hero during an upcoming OSU game. Huge h/t to Mark Titus, who pointed us in this direction- the idea being that Armstrong, an Ohio native and a Purdue grad should be remembered during the OSU/Purdue game in the ‘Shoe this season.  What do you think??
  • Consider Yourself Warned. You’re getting ready for the Miami University game this week, and need your breakdown of the matchups to watch for between the Buckeyes and the RedHawks.  You want in-depth coverage and previews that will get you even more ready than you already are.  Get ready for something amazing on Thursday… the analysis that this team deserves.  What if there’s just a touch of greatness yet to come… how cool would that be? #BuckeyeVoltron

Read More

Silver Bullet Points Is Conflicted

Written August 15th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Well... uh....

So here’s the thing.

The story of the day yesterday was the first episode of All Access, a behind the scenes look at the Buckeye program under the new regime.

The problem? It was on one of the ESPN channels… and you know how we feel about those fine individuals.

But… in a moment of weakness, I DVR’d it And watched it.

And loved ever second.

How can you hate quotes like “Abso-smurfly”, “Bozo the freakin’ clown”, “I’m glad you’re a Buckeye, bro…”, “I like coaching you…” and other admonitions to play “hungry” and “angry”.

And the precision of the offensive staff’s work, the pride that Coach Mariotti puts into his time with the team, and the focus and plan that Coach Meyer is instilling into the team… it’s a really good piece. If you missed it and don’t mind the spoilers, the gang at LGHL have a really good review with picture pages and everything.

I’d be really excited about this, to be honest, if all things were equal. Given the bad PR that my favorite program received over the past few years for numerous self inflicted wounds, it’s great to get excited about OSU football again- and to see a national response (including Southern Cal and Clemson recruits commenting on it) that was pretty positive.

But, I’ll be honest- It’s still hard for me to not be wary about this series. You kick a dog and reach to pet him, he’ll wince and cower even if he lets you stroke his head again. Given what we know about ESPN’s agenda (Entertainment Sports Programming Network), it safe to see that they are interested in a narrative of redemption up until the point that they bang the drums marking a fall from grace.

Just watch the history- 2002 upset their narrative, and then the 2003 Clarett story was a bottom. The 2006 season’s coverage was the apex of good vibes, and then this past year seems to be yet another trough in their coverage- again, a story that Ohio State wrote for itself, but one that got presented over and over and over again on the largest stage while others were way way off Broadway in Coral Gables and Columbia and Chapel Hill.

So- we’ll watch (yup) and see. And, if nothing else, this will give us the chance to celebrate the splendor and power of an Ohio State team on a very particular mission.  Buckle Buckeye up.

Buckeye 411

  • Earning Your Stripes- Or, more correctly, earning their removal. Today Tommy Schutt became the next defensive player to have his rite of passage and his “newbie stripe” taken off his helmet by his big brother. He joined Noah Spence and De’Van Bogard as the first three who were “welcomed” to Buckeye football. This afternoon, their numbers grew as Taylor Decker was the next first offensive rookie to cross the line into “Buckeye manhood”.  Really excited about this process, and it sounds like it’s something that everyone has really bought into. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Is Appealing

Written August 8th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

It’s your regularly scheduled look around the world of college sports- a bit more in depth than the tidbits we’ve got after practice. Following Tuesday’s notes, be sure to check the latest on “reform” from the NCAA and thoughts on Penn State’s constant appeals processes.

Buckeye 411

  • Always. Forever.

    Not So Fast…  Any speculation about Roby playing offense and defense was shut down by the coaches today. He made a spectacular play on an overthrow today, though- he’s going to be special. However, Corey Brown said that Roby wasn’t the fastest guy on the team, and called him out saying that he (Corey) wasn’t able to run during testing but that he could beat Roby in a race.

  • Dunn Update- Brionte spent much of the day with the second team offense. He will be a part of this year’s successes offensively.
  • Granted- Curtis Grant was back at practice after spending time in Virginia with his ill grandfather Josh Perry was back as well.
  • That’s Nate!  Also out today in helmets and shoulder pads was Nathan Williams, who did some contact drills without a brace on his leg. It should be noted that the contact was only 3/4 speed, working technique with tackling sleds and dummies.
  • Abandon Hope, B1G QBs- Shazier is now up 25 pounds and is actually faster than last year, although he’s honest that he played too fast last season. He talked about being able to let the play happen rather than rushing past it.
  • On The Blocks- Orhian Johnson blocked a field goal attempt in today’s competition.
  • Tackle Football- Reid Fragel and Taylor Decker split time at tackle today, with Decker working with the #1s during the final segment. This may be due to hydration issues from the heat today.
  • And So, It Begins-  The “We still love you, can we be besties?” between the Buckeyes and ESPN kicks off with this coverage from ESPN The Magazine Read More

Silver Bullet Points- 2012 Training Camp Edition

Written August 3rd, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

The Sandman And Friends

With today starting the 2012 Ohio State football season, we’re going to be hitting you with odds and ins during our regularly schedule inanity.  Here goes-

  • Ch-ch-ch-changes: With the move to semesters, the practice schedule is a bit different than it was in the past. Today, for instance, there are two practices (veterans first, rookies this afternoon), but true “two a days” won’t start until next week to accommodate the conclusion of the summer semester’s classes.
  • Uncovering the truth: Because of the above, most of the players moved onto campus over the past few days, depriving us of the glorious “guys carrying luggage” photos. While that’s the rationale that SID Jerry Emig is telling everyone, our research shows a deeper, more sinister reason for this change- Cameras are afraid of John Simon.
  • Feed The Beast- Thursday night was the “Champion’s Dinner” for those who excelled during the off-season’s training, and also as a “last meal” in prep for the work ahead. As we get updates on who was honored during this, we’ll add them to this post.
  • All About Timing- Some pre-camp testing 40 times are coming in: B. Roby ran a 4.39 (twice), and Carlos Hyde ran a 4.35.
  • Buckeye dilemma: Yesterday, we were informed that the Four Letter Network has been granted access to the Buckeye training camp for a special series of telecasts on ESPNU/and the main channel (Ball State will be on The Ocho, if you’re interested). Times and dates are at the link above.  We had this discussion on the ol’ twitter yesterday- does this mean that OSU and ESPN have kissed and made up? I think that it’s a mutually beneficial relationship between the two- OSU gets great PR and exposure, and starts to re-set the narrative. ESPN does what ESPN does, find a way to get viewers and sell product.  I still believe that the network is less than enthusiastic about the BTN “snub”, but with the ESPN/B1G contract coming up for renewal in the near future (as well as the economics of the new playoff), perhaps they’ve decided to shift their coverage. We’ll see… unless you’re still boycotting, which I totally support.
  • On the other hand- ESPN’s access means that local coverage will be significantly reduced this season. So, the people who know the program the best and cover it the closest have been pushed aside for the new hotness from Bristol. Yup.
  • It begins- It’s not RobbyD (you’ll see his work here soon), but the guys at MotSaG (BBN brother from another mother) posted a great pre-season video:

  • And finally- Ten years ago today my household went from pure scarlet and gray to including a little bit of red and white. The first words I remember hearing her say at the party where we met? “Yeah, but they don’t play defense on the west coast”. Thanks for putting up with my stupidity passion for this long, dear…  you’re welcome for Coach Pelini, and get ready for October 6.
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