This has been a difficult week. “Gee, you think?” – People in Happy Valley
Even as someone who’s not affiliated directly with PSU football, the news and headlines coming out of this story has created a pall over all of the games this weekend. This story reminds us that there are things greater than the trivial games that we enjoy, and that these are (after all) just games. It makes us take a step back and wrestle with the support we give to programs and the expectations we have for people who are in charge of them. It is the icing on the cupcake of a season already filled with reminders that the purity of the sport is not what it should be (particularly if you buy your cupcakes at one of those overpriced “boutique” places).
In addition to the national news, we hear that Urban Meyer lost his father this past week- thoughts and prayers to him and his family. With all that’s been going on, this has been a difficult look back at this past week’s contests- but the games can also be reminders of the better things that can happen on the fields and in the lives of the young adults who represent the Universities we follow. So, with that, this week’s soundtrack is some older U2- here we go.
If Disney were in charge of college footbal (and they aren’t. Yet.), Nebraska would be filled with evil villains and Penn State’s valiant, moxified seniors would figure out a way to beat the evil Huskers to honor their “fallen” coach. Alas- we’ve seen that movie, and while miracles happen in real life, the truth of the matter is that two good football teams played and the one with the better strategy managed to emerge victorious. Penn State’s defense is as advertised, as is their offense- it will be interesting to see if this week’s matchup against Ohio State will make the LSU/Alabama game look like a scoring juggernaut.
Eric, Joe, and Michael from Our Honor Defend join up to discuss the excellent Ohio State win over the Wisconsin Badgers. In particular they discuss the game planning and overall play of the team, especially in the waning seconds of the game. They contemplate if this win was enough of a signature victory for Luke Fickell to keep his job, and ponder what should happen with Jim Bollman. They also talk about the future of the conference race and try to divine which teams are most likely to make the first ever B1G Championship Game.
All this and more on this week’s Postgame Show!
Notes from Tuesday’s Ohio State press conference and around the realm of college sports. No soundtrack today, but we’re totally shopping for a El Camino.
Closing out our trip to Lincoln for the matchup between the Huskers and Buckeyes. And now, it gets ugly.
“It’s tough to watch your spouse’s favorite team play yours. Your excitement is tempered by the fact that it’s killing them inside.”- Mrs. Mali
I’ll be honest… for the first half it was difficult to keep my excitement in check, particularly because I was seated on the Nebraska home sidelines and because of what my wife mentioned above. But- the first two quarters were so glorious, so wonderful, so Buckeye Football… it just felt good. After months and months and months of bad news Fridays and “expose’s” and debates, after being looked at with pity by gracious home fans, after being sold as an 11.5 point underdog and somehow believing that wouldn’t be a bad bet… to witness the first half of football yesterday in Lincoln was about enough to restore my hope in the goodness of the world. Read More
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
If there was ever a need for a demonstration of Murphy’s Law, Ohio State’s offense against Michigan State might be an apt tool to use. Everything that could go wrong for the Buckeyes did last Saturday when the scarlet and gray had possession of the football.
Nothing went right, and any glimmer of hope that occurred, like the 33 yard pass completion to Chris Fields, was instantly snuffed out before the offense could make anything of it.
With all the on the field issues, the last thing the Buckeye faithful needed were more NCAA issues that crept up at the beginning of this week. With so much unknown, it is time to dive into a little Scarlet and Gray Q&A.
What’s wrong with the offense?
How long have you got? I could write a book this week about what is plaguing the Ohio State offense, but instead I have compiled a list of concerns and ways to fix them.
The first is clearly the Ohio State quarterback spot. Braxton Miller did not look good, and while he didn’t have a whole lot of help, he still did not play well. It is funny how fast fans have turned on the true freshman quarterback. To go from savior to goat in the less than a week had to have left Miller’s head spinning. Read More
Quick look at Tuesday’s press conference, Nebraska prep, and other news from the world of college sports:
Probably we went ahead and went with our three points of wisdom from John Wooden that said: Don’t whine, don’t complain and don’t make excuses. And I think that’s what we have got to be able to do, and it starts from the top down with all of us as coaches.
How many times have we said, we are going to focus on what we have, not what we don’t have and focus on moving forward. So that’s what we have to do. We are not going to make excuses for guys. We are not going to allow them to be down and we are not going to allow them to do that; as coaches we are not going to do that as a team, and we believe everybody will follow suit.
Here are a list of things that everyone who has played college football on a video game system in the last five years knows about calling plays on offense, but apparently Ohio State offensive coordinator Jim Bollman does not.