The Buckeyes needed some help during the bye week in the form of three wishes: A loss for Florida State, Alabama and/or Oregon. One of those wishes came true. Now the final stretch is upon us as they head to Illinois and prepare to close out the regular season in a convincing fashion. In the AP and the BCS, the Buckeys are up to number 3. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
The Big 3 games
Last Thursday was an absolutely huge night in the world of college football and for the imminent future of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Quick rising Baylor hosted 10th ranked Oklahoma while the number 2 team in the country went on the road to their biggest nemesis of late, the Stanford Cardinal.
On Saturday the defending national champions and top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide hosted their regular season rivals, the LSU Tigers.
Baylor vs Oklahoma
While the Baylor game had nothing to do with the three teams ahead of the Buckeyes, it was of some concern in that the undefeated Bears are seemingly winning over voters in the Associated Press and Harris polls on a week basis. They are gaining ground on Ohio State and are a clear threat to potentially jump the Buckeyes in the upcoming weeks should they win their games over TCU, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. It would have been nice to see the Sooners end the Baylor discussion, but alas it was not meant to be as Bob Stoops and his gang did what they do when the spolight is brightest: They melted and were obliterated.
Call me a Big 12 pessimist, despite their recent success I don’t see Baylor beating Texas and probably not Oklahoma State either. I realize they score points in bunches (they’ve gone over 70 four times this year) but when the rubber hits the road they aren’t experienced in games that have a lot on the line. Should they win their next three, the big night is December 7th when the Bears host Texas to close the season. Don’t look now, but Mack Brown is coaching his rear end off in Austin and would like nothing more than to steal the Big 12 automatic BCS bid by upsetting Baylor.
As for the much discussed jump of the Buckeyes and if it should happen, I don’t see it lasting even if they finish unbeaten. A Big Ten Championship game win over a top ten ranked and 11-1 Michigan State will be plenty to vault the Buckeyes back ahead of the Bears.
Stanford vs Oregon Read More
There is nothing than returning to the podcast and ripping anything and everything to do with TTUN! On this week’s show, Joe and Clair have fun with the latest in Michigan failure — including Marie Sue Coleman’s Drunk Halftime speech, Ron English’s adjective to explain the type of football his former Eastern Michigan team plays, plus a Michigan fan that literally blamed all his drunken sorrows on Al Borges.
Oh, and we get you ready for Illinois/Ohio State on Saturday too!
Joe and Clair also talk about the current state of football through the recent bullying scandal in Miami, Where this coaching staff could end up after the season and how Luke Fickell could be a wanted commodity by more than just Florida Atlantic.
One school that comes up is the zero win Miami of Ohio program.
This and much more on the program this week! Thanks for listening!
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Comin’ off a bye, The Chase continues…
Well, you’ve got all day to plan your attack for tonight… personally, I’ve got plans to go to “all the candy is on sale” day tomorrow. We’re digging through our country albums for today’s soundtracks; one goofy, one “creepy”. Country not your thing? Well remember, we used to think this and this were OK as well.
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
Welcome to the Big Ten football season! Has it hit you yet that after this weekends matchup the Buckeyes half way through the 2013 season? What did you think of the Wisconsin game? We’ll discuss it and more, it’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
Brax on, Brax off
As we learned would happen late last week, Saturday marked the return of Braxton Miller behind center for the Buckeye offense. If you watched the game then you know why I’ve been saying it for almost three weeks now: There is no quarterback controversy at Ohio State. This is Braxton Miller’s team, always has been and will be until he departs for the NFL.
Miller came out in full command of the troops leading the offense to quick score early to get the Badgers in fast 7-0 hole with a touchdown pass to Evan Spencer that simultaneously let Buckeye fans know who is “the man” and announcing to Heisman voters around the country not to count him out just yet.
The back shoulder strike to Devin Smith was impressive and the 4th down scoring pass to end the first half to Philly Brown was a laser shot. Miller finished the night 17/25 for 198 yards with 4 touchdowns and an additional 83 yards on the ground off 22 carries in case anyone still thinks he is fragile. Read More
The #4/3 Buckeyes (5-0, 1-0) move their Prime Time show from Columbus, OH to Evanston, IL for another 8:00 PM kickoff. The opponents, the undefeated (4-0, 0-0) #16/15 Northwestern Wildcats. Yes, another night game against another ranked B1G team.
When I saw this game on the schedule, I was only mildly concerned about the outcome. And that was based on the 2004 night game debacle in Evanston, not on this year’s talent/performance. Northwestern will be a different challenge from Wisconsin, in that, despite what we saw on Saturday, the Wildcats bring a legitimate balanced offense into this game.
Northwestern has two legitimate quarterbacks in Kain Colter (27-35, 264 yds, 4TD, 2INT)/Trevor Siemian (47-70, 671, 3,2), two quality running backs in Venric Mark (if healthy)/Treyvon Green (101 YPG)and two quality receivers in Tony Jones/Christian Jones (39 Rec, 15 YPR, 5TD). Their offense is also a bit different from Wiscy’s in that rather than relying on raw power, Northwestern brings more speed and elusiveness to the field.
Last year’s all-everything running back Venric Mark appears to be healthy enough to be listed on the Wildcats depth chart as the starting running back for Saturday. This could be a Carlos Hyde situation where a player comes back to play in a big game after a 2-3 game layoff. Whether Venric Mark gets the every down workload remains to be seen, but I expect him to see spot duty in the backfield and to line up as kick/punt returner. Last year, Venric was 2nd team all-conference as a running back, and All-American as a punt returner, so look for Pat Fitzgerald and his staff to put him in positions to handle the ball, particularly in the open field.
After rolling the overmatched FAMU Rattlers last week, things get a bit tougher this Saturday night as Ohio State hosts B1G/Leaders leader Wisconsin in an 8:00 PM game. The Buckeyes (4-0, 0-0) look to move into 1st place in the Leaders Division by shutting down the Badgers (3-1, 1-0).
First year Badgers Head Coach Gary Andersen was defensive line coach at Utah in 2004, Urban Meyer’s last year as Utah head coach, so there is familiarity between the two gentlemen. After a 4 year stint as Utah State’s head coach, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez hired Andersen to replace the departed Bret Bielema, who was banished to coach at Arkansas.
I’m going to gloss over most of the season-to-date statistics for both teams because I don’t think those numbers are relevant for this game. Wisconsin’s wins and “numbers’ were racked up against University of Massachusetts (MAC) who has won 1 of its last 16 games, FCS school Tennessee Tech (2-2) and a not very good Purdue team. Unfortunately, Ohio State’s schedule is pretty similar.
Here are two tables that summarize both teams’ offensive and defensive performances so far this season. As I mentioned above, with both teams having sketchy schedules, use these numbers more for a general indication of performance. The first table, is relative offensive performances comparison between Wisconsin and Ohio State.
Yep, a lot of yards and points against so-so competition.
Here’s the defensive comparison; it’s looks similar.
Now that we really know that Wisconsin and Ohio State took care of their early season opponents, we move on to the game at hand.