Just a friendly warning that there are only four more days to borrow money from your pops so you can buy him a gift. If you’re looking for ideas, check our friends at The Buckeye Room… And now, the news.
We Hardly New Ye- Well, it wasn’t news to us, as we’d heard for a while that Brian Bobek was looking to transfer, but earlier this week the University made it official. Potential landing spots could be the University of West By God Virginia, and a B1G program yet to be named. Brian’s got family across the conference, so we wish him luck in all of his games except one. A bit of a sad note, since he was supposed to be “next up” after Brewster graduated; however he was jumped on the depth chart in the spring, including being passed up by the latest in the Boren Legacy (just an incoming freshman). Again, godspeed!
Once the B1G had added Nebraska as their twelth member in the Summer of 2010, the conference expansion discussion found itself quietly simmering in the other room – out of sight, but not entirely out of mind. Every once in a while, not surprisingly, someone has to get up and stir the pot a little.
We’ve watched the Big East scramble to find partners, seeing their own demise written on the wall with the loss of Syracuse and Pitt to the ACC. We’ve seen the SEC poach Missouri and Texas A&M off the Big 12. And we’ve seen the Big 12 pick up WVU and TCU to boost their flagging numbers.
In the last two weeks that simmering pot just had to go and boil over onto the floor and force us to really pay attention to it again. This time though, the B1G fans and bloggers get to sit back and watch someone else clean up the mess.
Word passed down this weekend, reportedly from very high up sources at FSU, that the Seminoles will indeed be leaving the ACC for the Big 12. With this move Clemson will very likely follow right along behind, as has been speculated for the last week or so.
This is a major shift in the nature of conference powers. A conference that many of us wrote off as dead a little over a year ago, having lost 33% of their composition to the SEC, B1G, and Pac-12, is now potentially a surging power in College Football again. With the inclusion of WVU and TCU the Big 12 will again be at 12 member institutions.
And there’s always the chance this could grow into something bigger.
The madness continues here at the Buckeye Battle Cry! This has to be one of our favorite times of the year (really, who doesn’t feel that way?) and we love to celebrate by talking about as many teams, games, and players as we can! Joe Dexter was kind enough to get the whole thing kicked off this morning with a preview of the West Region. Now it’s my turn to take a look at the home-favorite East Region. Tomorrow, WVaBuckeye and MaliBuckeye will take a look at the two remaining regions, so that you can have plenty of time to read and peruse your way to what is hopefully a winning bracket!
Make sure you join the BBN’s Bracket Challenge this year! Bragging rights abound!
Favorites: The East region is graced with a few powerful teams that could be poised to make a deep run. The Syracuse Orange obviously stand in the best position of everyone in the region. The Orange hold a 32-2 season record, including non-conference wins over fellow tournament teams Florida and NC State. Seven-footer Fab Melo, a Sophomore out of Brazil, anchors Syracuse in the paint and is assisted by senior forward Kris Joseph, who leads the team in scoring at just under 14 per game, and senior guard Scoop Jardine, who seems to have been at Syracuse for 50 years. The ‘Cuse lost in the semi-finals of the Big East tournament to fellow East Region member Cincinnati, but looks to bounce back in the Big Dance.
History: Originally known as the Blockbuster Bowl, CarQuest Bowl, and MicronPC Bowl, the Champs Sports Bowl has been a regular feature in late December in Orlando Florida for the last 10 years. The Big Ten last participated in this game two years ago when Wisconsin defeated Miami (FL).
Florida State: While the Seminoles have ended up in a relatively low level bowl, it belies the quality of their season. Their four losses were by a grand total of 21 points, with ten of those coming at the hands of then #1 Oklahoma. This FSU team might be one of the toughest teams you’ll see play this December. They lean on the strength of quarterback EJ Manuel and his 2417 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season.
Notre Dame: The list of teams that has defeated the Irish this year is a who’s who of good football teams: Michigan, USC, Stanford, and….South Florida? Ok, maybe not all of the games were, but the South Florida game occurred at the very beginning of the season. It’s tough to hold that against them. The Golden Domers will be up for the task of taking on the Seminoles. Expect a high flying passing act through the entire game as ND quarterback Tommy Rees attempts to keep up with Manuel.
Fun Fact: Ohio State has never participated in this bowl game. However, exactly half of the current Big Ten members have – Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Purdue. Penn State, however, last participated on the last game they were an independent: January 1, 1993. The following year, the Nittany Lions were playing in the Big Ten.
Who we got?
Yesterday the Ohio State men’s basketball team took care of business in the men’s Big Ten-ACC Challenge. Today the OSU women’s team got their turn as they hosted Florida State in the women’s Big Ten – ACC Challenge. The Seminoles started the year with high expectations but have had a disappointing season so far, despite this they were still a very dangerous team.
After the two teams traded baskets for the first four minutes of the game, Florida State scored 7 straight to open up an 11-4 lead. Ohio State responded with a six point run of their own to cut the lead to 11-10 with twelve minutes remaining in the half. The Seminoles fired right back with another 7 point run to extend the lead to 18-10. The two teams went back to trading baskets with the Buckeyes slowly chipping away at the lead. A Samantha Prahalis three-pointer tied the game at 31 with just over a minute remaining before halftime. Ohio State took the lead seconds later as Amber Stokes came up with a steal and took the ball to the basket for a layup. Neither team managed to score in the final minute of the half and the teams went into the locker room with the Buckeyes up 33-31.
Time for the stroll through the week’s absurdity in college football… this week’s soundtrack is inspired by a conversation with a colleague and the Stomping in the ‘Shoe- Enjoy the Stone Foxes.
The big game of the week, according to the folks at the four letter network, was Saturday Night’s matchup between LSU and West By God Virginia. When the smoke had cleared (not from burning couches, ironically), all we knew was how good the Tigers are, particularly on defense. That’s not a commentary on their O- it’s great to see Princeton HS star Spencer Ware excel- but the fact of the matter is that the LSU defense is the best in college football. In today’s poll has Les Miles’ team at the top, and given their victories over ranked teams (Oregon, Mississippi State, WVa), I can’t say that I disagree. You want to be the man? Beat the man… and LSU has done just that.
Those who might be wondering how LSU manages to both recruit top athletes AND to keep them motivated may have found an answer on Saturday night- I’m pretty sure that’s a benefit, although I will withhold judgement on if it’s improper (mostly ’cause I’m jealous). Read More
Well, after a loss there really is only one choice for this week’s soundtrack… Just be thankful I didn’t go all Broadway on you. I know that there were exciting things on the field to talk about, but the big story brings us to…
This week in EXPAND-A-PALOOZA: Well, well, well- Saturday awoke to the ACC getting their big boy pants on, and Sunday it became official- Pitt and Syracuse would be joining the conference in all sports. This was a surprising move, since the ACC has been relatively quiet throughout this process, although last week the powers that be agreed to raise the conference buyout to $20 million (from $12-$14 mil). While it looks proactive in many ways, it’s got to be influenced by rumors that the SEC was looking to poach several schools (FSU/Clemson) from the conference. The addition of Pitt and Syracuse also effectively block the B1G; these programs were always in the minds of those who believed that B1G Commish Jim Delaney was looking to connect with the NY media market- that ship may have now sailed. As a reminder, the B1G is constrained, in a good way from my perspective, by the belief that the conference’s affiliations should transcend television dollars or “great matchups”, and include schools that are parts of the CIC or AAU to share research revenue opportunities.
Other rumors today are that TBPU, OU, UT, and TTU would head to the PAC-16 and be in a western division with Utah, Colorado, and the two Arizona schools. To solve the problem of “not playing in California” for recruiting purposes, the conference would move to a “pod” system that would have teams playing three other schools every year, and then two schools from the other two pods on a rotating basis. Yeah, it’s that complicated. Be aware, though, that UT folks were just in LA for the UCLA game (more later), and that UT and OU have board of regents meetings called for Monday, with Texas having “Conference Alignment” on the agenda.
Elsewheres, UConn has also been rumored to head to the ACC (holy cow, is that going to be a basketball powerhouse conference), while WVa is rumored to have submitted it’s petition to be the SEC’s #14. Where does that leave the B1G? Notre Dame/Rutgers/Mizzou are supposedly the next targets… although the CIC/AAU thing is still a strong draw for some who are connected to Longhorn Nation.
Oh, and if the insiders at a certain Northwestern message board are to be believed, ESPN is at the heart of this. Anyone else curious how media conglomerates became involved in the actions of institutions of higher education? And you thought the “coverage” of B1G sports by the four letter network had an agenda now… what do you think will happen when three of the four super-conferences have deals with Bristol’s network. Now THAT’s something congress should look into, if you ask me- particularly given the fact that the organization that was created to monitor and guide these matters is pretty much powerless on top of other issues.
Your weekly update from the Ohio State press conference as well as notes from around the world of college sports- this week, we take a pointed look at the NCAA after the jump.