For this HOF Article, we revisit one I did in May of last year.
One thing is for sure when you take over as the head coach at THE Ohio State University, you better know what it means to be an Ohio person. A lot of people believe Coach John Cooper got the top post at Ohio State back in 1988 simply because he beat TTUN in the Rose Bowl the year before while at Arizona State. Truth is he really probably got the job because of his history as a head coach and as a person.
John Cooper grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee in the 1940’s and 50’s. He went into the U.S. Army right out of high school for two years before playing college ball at Iowa State. People then knew he was going to have a special talent for coaching with his abilities on the field that eventually led to him being team MVP and captain his senior year. He stayed on as an assistant coach with the Cyclones before taking a similar position with Oregon State. He made stops at UCLA, Kansas, and Kentucky before landing his first head coaching position at Tulsa in 1977.
His first season with the Golden Hurricane was 3-8 but they became pretty good after that winning five straight Missouri Valley Conference titles. Tulsa was in and out of the MVC for a year and when they returned Coach Cooper had them loaded. He began to put together a system for how he would recruit players and used it to bolster his resume. In the Top 25 ranked season of 1982, Cooper and the Golden Hurricanes went 10-1 and their only loss on the season was to Arkansas. This same year that SMU had the Pony Express, Coach Cooper had himself two 1,000 rushers in Michael Gunter and Ken Lacy and was called the Palomino Express. Despite its ranking and great season Tulsa wasn’t invited to a bowl game. Coach Cooper had the makings of a top-notch coach and was hired to take over at Arizona State in 1985. Read More
Another Monday, another week. Grab your coffee and let’s get right to it. Before we begin, I want to wish a (some posthumously) happy birthday to:
I’m sure there are others, but we need to move on.
Spring Practice began with a couple practices this week. Mali has some (Silver Bullet) points on it. The biggest take-away for me is that after the first day, Urban didn’t think the team looked like a “clown show”. Which he did last year, prior to the team going 12-0. If things have changed that much, I’m somewhat optimistic about this year.
The other item that caught my eye, was some prose by a fellow Big Ten blogger. He had little regard for OSU fans/commentators expressing their relief that Bollman left Purdue to take a better position at MSU. Evidently the source of his disregard is that “we (and he wasn’t clear if “we” were his fellow front pagers, Purdue fan base in general, etc.) don’t like Ohio State a whole bunch.” And then he goes on from there..
And, it took him 330 words so say that he didn’t care. Seriously. I get the (probably Freudian) antipathy towards All Things Ohio State. However, regarding the Purdue coaching staff, they do need to acknowledge their debts to Ohio State (Marcus Freeman), Muskingum University (Jon Heacock, brother of Jim) and both schools (Darrell Hazell).
Last week I took a look at the proposed rule changes for the 2013 college football season. As those of you who read the article can probably recall, I wasn’t a fan of many of the major changes that were proposed. That doesn’t mean that I think the rules of college football are perfect; while I do think the rules of the game are good as they stand, there are some changes that could be made to make the game even better. Today I propose a few of my own rule changes and talk about how they would improve the game.
Advancing Onside Kicks
The first rule I would like to see changed concerns what occurs when the kicking team recovers an onside kick. As the rule currently stands, the kicking team may not advance any kickoff that they recover, if the ball has gone the minimum ten yards the kicking team will take possession at the point where they recovered the ball while the receiving team may obviously advance any kickoff which they recover. The current rule creates an imbalance between the two teams in the case of kickoffs, or any free kick. The rules of a free kick consider any ball that goes at least 10 yards to up for grabs, able to be recovered by either team, yet what a team may do with the ball after recovery depends on whether they were the kicking or receiving team. By allowing the kicking team to advance the ball this would even out this rule disparity.
Welcome to the first BBN Liveblog of the new Football Season!
The Buckeyes are set to take on the Miami Redhawks at Noon EST. The Liveblog will kick off 30 minutes before gametime.
While you wait, check out the great members of the BBN: Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray (Make sure to check out their great new look!), Buckeye Empire, Silver Bullet, The Buckeye Blog, Unscripted Ohio, and Fox Sports Ohio.
In the past few months we’ve seen a number of examples of the OSU coaching staff reaching out to Buckeye fans in a number of ways. Most impressively was the inclusion of the students in the spring practices, and the active and exciting demonstration of drills with students. It seems to be hallmark of this team to be ever more involved in the larger aspects of the OSU family, and that new tradition took another step forward this weekend.
On Saturday, the Ohio State Football team invited women to participate in a football clinic. The purpose of the clinic was two-fold, to help raise money for the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research, and to give the fairer members of the OSU fanbase a chance to gain a better understanding of the game. Over 700 women flocked to the event, which was clearly an instant hit.
Luckily for us, close blog friend Margaret participated in the clinic and willingly agreed to talk about the experience and share a few pictures with us.
tBBC: What was the purpose of the camp?
Margaret: The primary purpose of the camp was to raise money for the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research. So we not only learned football but we also heard from a cancer researcher, dietician and chef from the James Cancer Hospital. In their brief talks they did get the point across that diet and weight control / healthy lifestyle is important to keeping cancer at bay.
Just yesterday the official Ohio State Athletics website posted an updated depth chart for the Buckeyes. There were some big changes, though many were fully expected. Of particular note were the losses of Jamaal Berry (cut for off-field issues) and David Durham (transfer to Pittsburgh).
But the question that still lingers is the one of Oversigning. Ohio State fans and media have been justifiably wringing their hands since the moment that Urban Meyer started recruiting like crazy. It’s not unusual around this time for Buckeye fans to worry about oversigning, particularly considering how badly they view the practice. To see the Buckeyes commit such an act would be incredibly shameful for nearly everyone.
Accounting for scholarships, though, is a tricky business. Whether a player has maintained their scholarship over the course of time, particularly if they’ve remained a walk-on, is hard to figure out. It’s also difficult to keep track of which walk-ons have managed to pick up scholarships during the course of time. Plus, the constant addition and subtraction of players through transfer and recruiting just adds another level of complication.
With the Buckeyes still hunting after one additional recruit, we have been told by Urban Meyer that there are currently 81 scholarship players on the team. Those numbers would leave one available scholarship in the 2012 recruiting class if his accounting is correct. Of course, there’s still a player out there that Meyer thinks could fill that spot.
Stefon Diggs, a Wide Receiver/Defensive Back recruit out of Maryland, is scheduled to announce his college destination this evening. Where he is going, currently a battle between Maryland, Ohio State, and Florida, has been a hotly contested topic of conversation on Twitter and college football recruiting boards across the country. Diggs would be a huge addition to any recruiting class, and would be the kind of significant playmaker that could see the field quickly in a big way.
Do I think the Buckeyes can win on Saturday night? Yes, I always think the Buckeyes can win.
What changes for me is how likely I think that outcome will be. For most games, my level of confidence in a Buckeye victory is very high.
This week… not so much.
The reason for my extreme pessimism centers almost exclusively on offensive coordinator Jim Bollman. His performance last Saturday was the sad culmination of a decade’s worth of built up frustration stemming from his bumbling mismanagement of the offense.
My faith in his ability to put together a coherent, much less effective, game plan was utterly destroyed once and for all, and it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel while Jim Bollman is still on the staff.
Regardless of what happens for the rest of the season, getting a new offensive coordinator in 2012 is absolutely essential no matter what the head coaches name ends up being.
I still have faith in the players. The Buckeyes have some of the best talent in the Big Ten.
Unfortunately, when the offensive coordinator calls slow developing pass plays that require five offensive linemen to block seven pass rushers while the QB stands in the pocket waiting for receivers to get open 20 yards down the field over and over again; well, talent can only take you so far.
(And as an aside, let me say that the poor pass protection against the Spartans was NOT the offensive lines fault given that the scenario I outlined above was standard operating procedure throughout the entire game. Everyone railing against the offensive line needs to find another scapegoat for the pass protection problems; his name is Jim Bollman and his play calling put the entire offense in a no-win situation the entire game regardless of the level of individual or group performances.)
If Ohio State continues to squander its talent on offense under Jim Bollman’s leadership, the game against Nebraska and the rest of the season will not be pretty.
Here are my keys to the game. Read More
The Buckeye Battle Cry Radio Hour returns with our first 2011 game preview! Eric chats Akron with Jim and Joe, along with how we feel the team will fair in their first game without Jim Tressel. They chat about the defense, and about the pessimism Jim feels regarding the offensive line.
After that, Eric is joined by Matt Sussman, Editor of Hustle Belt, SB Nations MAC blog. Matt discusses Akron, including their prospects for this upcoming season, along with his thoughts on their offense and defense. We end by discussing the prospects for the entire MAC this season, along with a fearless prediction of who will be MAC Champion.
All this and more on this week’s tBBC Akron Preview!
Also, don’t forget that you can subscribe with us on iTunes! Just look up “The Buckeye Battle Cry Radio Hour” and you’re sure to find us. With what we have planned for this season, you don’t want to miss a single show!