Silver Bullet Points Is A Real Patriot

Written September 6th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

News and notes from the Ohio State Press Luncheon and around the world of college sports

Wanna shoot down Rockets? Here you go...

Buckeye News

  • Injury Update- Today, Coach Fickell said that he was hopeful regarding having Jamaal Berry back from his hamstring injury- as of this time, though, there is, no news on Underwood/Philly Brown.
  • Captain, My Captain- This weeks’ leaders, based on the performance against Akron: Joe Bauserman, Andrew Sweat, and Nate Ebner. We write about a guy, and good things happen…
  • More of the same- No change in the QB rotation/depth chart are in the works for Toledo; if it ain’t broke and so forth.
  • Guess who’s back- As of this week, all of the “Trinket Three” (Jordan Hall, Travis Howard, Pittsburgh Corey Brown) have been reinstated as was tattoo recipient Jordan Whiting- however, Coach Fickell was adamant that all will need to earn their positions.
  • Get off my front yard! Old Man Bauserman talked about owning a house and mowing his own lawn the only way he knows how.
  • Game Awards- Following his first career win, Coach Fickell got a game ball from Gene Smith. Got to wonder if it was autographed, though?
  • Picture’s worth a thousand words- Check out this action shot of Evan Spencer’s catch:

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Silver Bullet Points Locked And Loaded

Written August 31st, 2011 by MaliBuckeye


Ready... aim...

It’s finally here… the first SBP of the 2011 season. No more preseason talk, no more countdowns- it’s time to squeeze the trigger. Let’s do this.

Buckeye 411

  • Injury update- Word is that the Buckeyes are healthy, with the exception of Jamaal Berry (nursing a hamstring). Tyler Moeller and Etienne Sabino have been practicing at full strength, and are part of the lineup for Saturday.
  • Fickell Speaks- The head coach of the Buckeyes held his first presser of the season, and the initial reaction was how different it was than the previous administration- a lot more openness in the Q&A, which went for about half an hour. Missing, though, were the “as so forth”s… it’s up to us to continue the legacy. Great quote from the new boss-

Come Sunday morning, the first thing I do when I come in is I put on the special teams reel and I’m going to put on the fourth quarter. I want to see what your body language is like, your competitive nature is like. I don’t care if you’re a third team, a first team guy. If you’re on special teams, I want to see how you compete. I want to see your body language looks like in the fourth quarter whether you’re up 35 or down 35, whether it’s a tie ball game or not. Those are the things we want to see. Read More

Here We Go Again (or not): Conference Expansion News and Notes

Written August 13th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

You will be assimilated

Update: Well… huh.  The SEC has stated that they’re not extending an offer to aTm at this time, bringing this whole shebang to a screeching halt.

Sources say that the argument over who might be the 14th team and Aggy counterpart was partially responsible for the decision.

No word yet on whether or not the Big 12-2 will just preemptively break up with aTm in response to their looking around at other suitors.


After last summer’s exciting adventures in conference expansion, it seems as there might be a nice refractory period for at least a couple of years.

Ah, but like an addict jonesing for the next hit, university administration, conference leadership, and sports fans across the nation couldn’t stay away from the possibility of becoming bigger and better, particularly where money and egos are involved.

Yup, I referred to Freud… since much of what is going on seems to also be impacted by a sense of fear and frustration; schools not getting the respect they deserve, so leaving for greener pastures becomes a bright, shiny option.

The major factor, as before, is TV money. Just like the BTN started this gunfight last year with it’s ability to pay programs more than they might have been getting from other conference revenue sharing agreements, network exposure and cash are also at the heart of this wave of rumors.

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Know Your Neighbor- Nebraska Edition

Written June 11th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

With the exciting news that the Big T1e1n has extended an offer to the University of Nebraska, I thought it would make sense to use my “connections” to give Buckeye fans a little bit of insight from the other side of this announcement.

So, in the spirit of great internet memes, here’s the first installation of “Ask A Husker“. Today’s guest is my brother in law, a 2000 graduate from Nebraska, and the grandson of  team doctor during the Devaney and Osborne years (who is also member of the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame). My bro-in-law is also the one that got me interested in recruiting, keeping me informed during the head to head battle for the services of Mike D’Andrea.

Here we go:

What are you excited about for this season? Even if Nebraska stays in the Big 12, what things are the Husker faithful looking forward to in 2010?

Certainly as a collective fan base we are looking forward to proving that we are back, and putting a beat down on Texas when they come to Lincoln on October 16th. Don’t look for the refs to add an extra second back on the clock. Uh, uh, not in our house.

Blackshirt tradition

Since our string of bad seasons in the post Option Football era, I am always looking to see some sort of progress being made. We went from being one of the worst statistical defenses in the nation in 2007 to the nation’s leader in scoring defense and pass efficiency defense in 2009. A true Blackshirt defense is back and we are excited about that.  This year will be interesting to see what we can do wit out the big fella in the middle (Suh). But with preseason all American Jared Crick manning the trenches and a potential stellar defensive backfield led by Prince Amukamara, Alfonzo Dennard and Eric Hagg, we are looking for them to pick up right where they left off last season.  Living up to Pelini’s prediction that they will be better than last year may be a tall order, but Husker Nation is pumped about the potential we see in them.

Conversely, what makes you the most nervous? Are there areas that are still question marks?

Our Offense is still a mystery. It was all but nonexistent at times last year, especially during Big 12 play. Whether that was lack of experience, injuries, or playing to our defensive strength by keeping the opposing teams offense off the field, who knows? Our offensive coordinator has shown a consistency for putting decent squads together wherever he’s been, so I’m guessing it was a one-year fluke.

The biggest issue is who’s going to be our leader at quarterback?  Senior and returning starter Zack Lee will be coming off injury, after missing spring practice with shoulder surgery. Athletic and exciting youngsters in Cody Green and Taylor Martinez are chomping at the bit for a chance to take the reins, but will their lack of experience cause more headaches much like our 8 turnover performance loss at the hands of lowly Iowa State do us in again?

With improved depth and health at quarterback and along the offensive line, and the backfield returning Senior Roy Helu and super Sophmore Rex Burkhead, we are looking for a dramatically improved offense. We lost 3 out of 4 games by two points or less in 2009. Should Nebraska find an offensive game plan and another consistent Blackshirts squad show up, it should be enough to launch us into the conference title game. Either way, we are expecting big things and to be playing in a BCS game in January.

Welcome to the Big T1e1n! Do you get the sense that Nebraska is a good “fit” for the conference? What are your feelings about this move? Anything surprise you in the way that it happened?

Coming soon to a stadium near you

Still so weird to think how all this has happened. Big 10…strange. Never would have thought it in a million years.

Looking at the potential divisional opponents in this new conference, I like our “fit”. A lot of bordering type of states, all within 9 hours drive of Lincoln. Not close, but certainly a reasonable weekend traveling distance wise.

That being said, the biggest thing that irks me about the move is potential disruptions that traveling to play eastern division schools, specifically Penn St. and other new potential expansion teams from the East Coast.

I also am sad for the loss of the long standing tradition of playing schools from the old Big Eight. Our tradition with Kansas is one of the oldest in the nation. Beginning in 1892 and has been played 116 times, consecutively since 1906! What a sad day this will be when it comes to an end.

It’s still too early to say I’m excited about playing in the Big 10, too many years of following my conference. No offense to the Big 10, it is a great conference and we will be happy to be here once everyone is settled in and conference play begins. But with the end of an era and the destruction of so much tradition, this whole thing is really quite sad.

Are there specific ways that you see this transition helping the Huskers? Recruiting, television, other sports?

The biggest impact that moving to the Big10 will have on Nebraska will not be in the athletic department, but on the academic front. The credibility of belonging to the Big10 conference and their outstanding institutions is far and away more prestigious than the Big 12. This should undoubtedly help the University of Nebraska in focusing on becoming a better university, not just an extra $10 million a season in television revenue.  I was reading what a difference it made for Penn State in research dollars once they joined the conference. Puts the measly TV contract to shame. I suspect this was a bigger selling point to our University Regents and Administration than we are lead to believe.

What are going to be the challenges for Nebraska in this new conference?

First off, this is an excellent football conference that has taken a bad rap the last few years. We will need to adjust our defense to a different style of play from the spread-heavy offenses of the Big 12.

My concern is on the recruiting front. Being able to maintain a presence in Texas and California. Without our ties to Texas and the promise of playing close by to some of these kids, it may be more difficult to get them to seriously consider signing with us.

Then again, Texas hasn’t always been where Nebraska goes after talent. The Osborne years were highlighted by players hailing from all over the country. Times they are a changin’…we’ll adapt to our surroundings and in this case do what we do best regardless of where the talent comes from, and that’s win.

The Big Ten was often called “The Big Two and little eight”; when Penn State joined, it became “The Big Three and little eight”. Historically, there’s been a lot of consistency at the top of the conference standings, with a surprise program rising up every now and again (Northwestern, Illinois, Wisconsin). Where do you see Nebraska fitting in? Do they come in as one of the top programs from day one, or will it be something that may take some time?

Depending on the alignment of the new Big10, Nebraska will most likely be sitting in a favorable side of the conference, competition wise. Much like they have been in the Big 12 North, I see the potential for Nebraska being one of the teams to beat.

Having fallen on hard times during the Callahan era, we are now gaining momentum and may be on the verge of successful run.  Mind you, all this is football talk…I haven’t even begun to think about the implications or the match-ups within other sports.

Indiana wishes their stadium was this red

When the Big 8 transmogrified into the Big 12, the Huskers lost their great rivalry with Oklahoma. Now that you’re moving into a new configuration, the Thanksgiving game with Colorado goes to the wayside. Who do you see as the new “rival” for Nebraska?

I for one will not miss the “rivalry” with Colorado, who has one of the worst fan bases in the country (ed. Wait ’till you go to Happy Valley). But we’ll miss the end of the tradition and long standing partnership with the likes of Kansans and the Oklahomans. That’s what I’m most bummed about, but at the same time we are looking forward to playing Iowa every year. Iowa State never really counted as a rivalry, yet there’s always been this tension between the two states. I predict this will be the biggest of our new rivals, and hopefully will replace Colorado on the day after Thanksgiving game. (ed- I’ve heard that this game may be referred to as “Farmageddon”.)

There are rumblings that this may not be the end of expansion, that the Big Whatever We’re Calling It Now may add a couple more teams to expand their footprint to the east coast. Are there any programs you’d like to see invited to join the party?

All I know is, this whole massive conference realignments that are happening is unfortunate. In the day and age where we need to be more concerned with our carbon footprint (ed. Did I mention he lives in Oregon?), shouldn’t we be curtailing unnecessary travel. By adding teams west and East and broadening the scope of the conference on the map, we are making matters worse. The impact they ultimately have on other sports and the affect they have on the student athletes juggling between school and sports midweek between parts of the country can be harmful and downright shameful thing that occurs.

As far as teams: Who doesn’t want Notre Dame to finally be forced to join the Big 10? It’s about time it happens!!

Other than that, as long as Nebraska is not in the same conference as Texas, I’m good. They think they can have their cake and eat it too. They have now ruined the Big 12, after ruining the Big 8 and the SWC and are to blame for this fallout. If all the conferences start realigning and College Football is forever changed, don’t blame Nebraska for being the catalyst, blame Texas for causing us to leave.

In responding to the rumors that Texas may try and back in to the Big 10 after all: Not too thrilled, but if it happens they must relinquish control. You guys have been around long enough and Delany has enough of a spine to stand up to their demands. And that would mean their hopes for a Texas TV network would have to die as well. Too many factors are in play that I don’t see this happening, but if it does at least it keeps the doors open to the fertile Texas recruiting grounds. And without a doubt they would bring a great academic reputation, a huge endowment and one of the biggest and most successful athletic departments in the country to the Big 10. Plus this may finally get Notre Lame on board.

Important question: Thoughts on Mich1gAAn?

Not a fan. I’ve come to pledge allegiance to The Ohio State University having a brother in law as a die hard Buckeye…so now that we both get to play them at least I’ll know what it’s like to truly despise Michigan. Unfortunately the realignment ultimately may end my relationship with a best bud who’s a Wolverine through and through. Oh well.

Coming home

What do you think it will be like for Bo and Carl Pelini to stand on the visitors sidelines of the Horseshoe, especially since Bo was a team captain for the Buckeyes?

The Pelinis seem to be locked and loaded on game day and as serious as it gets on the sidelines. I don’t think it will affect them outwardly, but who wouldn’t stop and stand in awe in that moment you come back to your Alma Mater and lifelong favorite school.

Final question- What suggestions do you have to keep the peace in our family when the Huskers and Buckeyes finally play?  Am I gonna’ be allowed to go to grandma’s house for Christmas, or am I now officially banned? Is there still any chance I’d get to use the family tickets when Ohio State comes to Lincoln?

Ha! I wouldn’t worry about the family issue.  Being on opposite sides of the conference, we won’t play each other every year in football. This is what doomed our rivalry with Oklahoma to the point of having this almost healthy respect for each other. I have come to root for the Sooners as it was better for our conference if we were both doing well.  I see this as inevitably my take on Ohio State. A rivalry sure, in some form or fashion, but a respect that says ‘hey, we’re the Big Whatever Conference, don’t mess with us!’ Plus we both wear ‘Scarlet‘/Red, so that’s cool.

I look forward to years of healthy family rivalry, but good luck on getting Grandma’s Husker tickets!

Welcome, Husker Nation!

Written June 11th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

Only time the scarlet and gray will be on the bottom

According to the Omaha World Herald, the University of Nebraska has accepted an offer to join the Big T1e2n conference.

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents have approved this move as well, and there’s speculation that it may be approved by the Big Ten Conference as early as this afternoon

UPDATE: Official announcement from the Conference:

“By unanimous vote, the Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to the Big Ten Conference,” said COP/C Chair and Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon. “We believe Nebraska is an extraordinary fit, reflecting the criteria we established at the beginning of the process – high academic quality, competitiveness, cultural compatibility and fiscal responsibility. The extensive and in-depth discussions my colleagues and I have had about Big Ten expansion permitted us to act expeditiously and prudently on the application submitted by Nebraska. We look forward to working with our colleagues at UNL in the years ahead.”

“We are pleased that the Presidents/Chancellors of the Big Ten universities agree that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a proper partner from both an academics standpoint and athletics perspective,” Perlman said. “This makes sense for the future of our University. We are honored to be included in the Big Ten.”

“The Big Ten Conference has much to offer,” Osborne said. “This is a tribute to our athletic program, our academic programs and our fans. This is the right move at the right time. This is a rare opportunity that may not have been an option for us in the future.”

In order for an institution to be admitted to the Big Ten Conference, it must submit a written application, which must then be approved by at least 70 percent of the Big Ten COP/C. The University of Nebraska Board of Regents formally submitted an application to join the Big Ten Conference Friday afternoon. The Big Ten COP/C then met via conference call and approved Nebraska’s application.

“While Big Ten expansion is exciting and important both academically and athletically, what we are really excited about is building solid, long-lasting relationships with the University, its administrators and staff, its fans and the people of Nebraska,” Delany said. “We look forward to reaching out to these groups in the months and years ahead.”

We’ll continue to update this as it develops.

Conference Expansion Update and Rumor Mongering

Written June 11th, 2010 by Eric

UpdateSpecial Rules for Texas and ND? Interesting addition, posted by the same guy who infuriated Delaney so much with his previous information releases.

Update 2- Boise State to the Mountain West? Is this an attempt to replace Utah or keep them from jumping to the Pac-10?

Update 3- BSU to MWC, officially.

Update 4Omaha World-Herald reports that Nebraska is officially a member of the Big Ten.  Welcome home Cornhuskers!

Today’s a big day for many of the conferences in the nation, so let’s quickly debrief and make sure everyone is on the same page going in to today’s announcements.  If I don’t link to a particular article for a point it’s because there are more articles discussing it than are worth linking to (or the point is made in a previously posted article).

Oh Big 12, we hardly knew thee.

What we know:

  1. Colorado is in the Pac-10.  This one is so official that I’m surprised the Pac-10 hasn’t updated their website images to include the Buffaloes yet.
  2. Nebraska is a veritable lock for the Big Ten.  It’s not set in stone yet, but it might as well be at this point.  The NU Board of Regents are meeting today to discuss their future, so you can just imagine how that discussion will likely go.

Pretty interesting news keeping us entertained during this offseason, eh?  It’s only going to get better in the next couple days.

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Nebraska… the heart of it all?

Written June 7th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

Depends on your perspective...

And now, your “Conference Expansion” update.

This weekend was a big bunch of doin’s across the nation, as Pac-10, Big 12, and Big T1e1en staff all held their meetings. Understandably, expansion was the topic of discussion across the board.

We’ve heard what the Pac-10 has on the table: Among the options are take part of the Big 12 (UT, TTU, aTm, OkSU, OU, CU), take the entire Big 12 South (UT, aTm, TTU, BU, OkSU, OU), or take Utah/Colorado. According to sources, they have received approval to extend these offers.

The second option listed above is a recent development- Texas legislators who are concerned that UT make a move without aTm and TTU are also preparing to demand that UT’s move include Baylor and exclude Colorado. This is the same legislative ideology that demanded that TTU be included in the Big 12; their academic caliber may be one of the reasons that the Big T1e1n wouldn’t extend an invitation to them, and may be the heart of Dr. Gee’s “Tech problem” reference.

In Colorado, this was greeted with the idea that CU join the MWC. Expected this week is an offer to Boise State to join the MWC; Colorado joining as well would then have the conference’s membership including Colorado, Utah, BYU, TCU, Boise State, and would strengthen state rivalries with Colorado State and Air Force.

So, what does this have to do with Nebraska? Well, it’s like this- at the Big 12 meetings, conference members were asked to reaffirm their commitment to the conference. Three schools did not: Missouri, Colorado, and Nebraska. In fact, Mizzou and Nebraska have allegedly been given a timeline to make up their minds on their future with the conference, although what would happen if they declined to take a position has not been stated.

Actually, the decision is a little bit bigger than that...

Nebraska’s role in the history of the Big 12 is an interesting one. During the original merger between the Big 8 and the SWC’s teams, there was contention surrounding the new conference’s perspective on “partial qualifiers”- Nebraska wanted to maintain the Big 8′s willingness to allow unlimited numbers of these students as a part of the program (what has been described as a key part of their famous ‘walk on’ program); Texas wanted limits on the numbers of these types of students that would be allowed. Texas’ opinion won out. Recently, Nebraska AD and former football coach Tom Osborne was the only “nay’ vote in regards to maintaining the conference championship game’s location in Dallas; he thought that it should be split between Dallas (Big 12 south) and St. Louis (Big 12 north) regions. Remembering his school’s last experience in Dallas, this is more than understandable. Check out the great work on for more details on Nebraska’s position in this discussion.

So, if Nebraska decides that it will forsake the Big 12, it a) opens the door for others in the conference to do likewise (either to the Big T1e1n or Pac-10) and b) makes the national landscape unstable enough to potentially push Notre Dame into joining the Big t1e1n as well.

Ah, yes… Notre Dame. Remember them? They’re still in the picture- in spite of all of their conversations about “proud independence“, this weekend we heard the following from the Big T1e1n meetings-

The 11 school presidents and chancellors along with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick met for about 4 1/2 hours, and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney said the majority of time was spent on expansion dialogue.

I’ve got a couple of thoughts on this whole kettle of corn: Read More