As the season gets closer and closer, this reflection from our friend Janelle gives a good perspective on the tumultuous last season and the excitement that’s been building since November. Be sure to follow her on the old Twitter-machine!
What a difference a year can make.
Last year at this time, we in Buckeye Nation were preparing for a season of unknowns. We were anxious to see how interim head coach Luke Fickell would do after being thrown into the position. We were anxious to see if he would remain our head coach, or if Ohio State would hire someone new. Finally, we were patiently waiting for the NCAA to issue our sanctions.
We had answers to all of our questions by the end of the season. While he tried to keep the team together and produce on the field despite the absence of several key players, Luke Fickell proved he was not yet ready to take on the responsibility of being the head coach of our beloved Buckeyes. The NCAA made us wait until late December, only after we had accepted a bid to the Gator Bowl, to hand out its punishment of a one year bowl ban.
But even all of that was hardly enough to keep Buckeye Nation down after November 28th with the hiring of Urban Meyer. Suddenly, there was excitement among us again. One of the best coaches in the country was going to be leading our Buckeyes. There was finally a brilliant light coming from the end of the seemingly endless tunnel we had been in throughout 2011.
Fast forward to this year and there is more excitement than I can remember in a while surrounding the upcoming season. Even with a bowl ban, Buckeye Nation is pumped to see the 2012 edition of the Buckeyes.
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.
Today, Ohio States’ full coaching staff was available for interviews, including the newest members of Coach Meyer’s staff, Ed Warinner and Tim Hinton. These last two, most recently at Notre Dame, have been working with Buckeye recruiting over the past several days, but were only officially introduced and named today- they will also be a part of Coach Meyer’s introduction opportunity at halftime of the Hoosier Basketball game this Saturday.
Coach Hinton is a former Ohio State coach who’s career includes the following (from the press release):
Hinton’s 30 seasons of coaching experience includes 16 seasons in the collegiate ranks with positions at Ohio State, Wilmington, Ohio, Cincinnati and Notre Dame, and 14 years as a head coach at three Ohio high schools: Zane Trace (1987-88); Van Wert (1989) and Harding (1993-2003).
“I have always felt it would be an honor to have an opportunity to coach for and to represent Ohio State,” Hinton said. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to work with great people and great coaches at such a wonderful place.”
Coach Hinton will be working with the Tight Ends and Fullbacks- I’m sure Boren and Stoneburner are more than excited.
Coach Warinner doesn’t have previous Ohio connections, instead:
Warinner, who is 50, has coached at seven different schools: Akron, Michigan State, Army, Air Force, Kansas, Illinois and Notre Dame. In addition to his nine years in coordinator positions, he has spent 15 of the past 20 seasons coaching the offensive line. He has coached on teams that have won four national rushing titles, and earlier this season Rivals.com named Warinner one of the Top 20 “hottest assistant coaches” in the nation.
“I’ve always strived to coach in positions where I have a lot of responsibility,” Warinner said. “Serving as a coordinator goes beyond just coaching what my guys are doing. It is a thought process of attacking and moving the ball, and strategies and reading plays. There is a big picture as a coordinator that I am into and really enjoy, and it’s a position from where I think I can make a significant contribution to the success of a team.”
Coach Warinner will serve as co-offensive coordinator and work with the offensive line. Read More
Several Big Ten teams played bowl games today at around the same time, and nearly every one of them struggled . Ohio State joined that club in their game against the Florida Gators, losing 24-17. The Buckeyes valiantly attempted to stage a comeback in the game down 14 with 3 minutes left, but were unable to secure the onside kick with under a minute left. Braxton Miller showed some impressive passing at the tail end of the game, ending the game 18/23 for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns.
This is the first time since 1897 that Ohio State has had 7 losses in a single season, and the first time since 1946 that the team has lost 4 games in a row. It is the first time since 1988, John Cooper’s first season, that the Buckeyes have suffered a losing season.
The Florida Gators started the game with the football in excellent field position. Drew Basil was unable to keep the ball from going out of bounds at the one yard-line off a bounce on the opening kick. The error gave the ball to the Gators at the 40 yard line, where Florida quickly built a big head of steam running the ball to the left edge. Surprisingly, showing an early aggression that they haven’t been able to find all season, the OSU defense managed to respond quickly and force Florida into a fumble.
Boom Herron started things off for the Buckeyes going the other way with a couple nice runs up the middle. The Bucks were also helped by a Florida late hit on Braxton Miller as he was going out of bounds, eventually allowing the Buckeyes to work it down inside the 40. Unfortunately, the Gator defense stiffened and got a pair of sacks to put OSU in a 3rd and 18. Jim Bollman chose to go conservative and run a QB draw, hedging on the punt and the field position battle.
Today’s the day. The Buckeyes finally get a shot at a little payback against the Florida Gators at 1 PM in the Gator Bowl.
Our Buckeye Blogger friends will be joining us at 12:30 pm today to enjoy the game. You should go see what they’ve had to say about it! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Scarlet and Game, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, and Fox Sports Ohio.
Happy 2012! Here’s our version of the weekly wish list for the Gator Bowl… the last Buckeye bowl game for a while.
A Will To Win - This is the first time since 2004 that Ohio State isn’t in a BCS bowl…. With a whole new fold in place for the upcoming season, it’s important to go out and play like you want to win this meaningless bowl. It just sets up momentum heading into the spring and leaves a lasting mark.
Seniors and Juniors Play their Best - Seniors and Juniors, this is the last time you will ever compete in a bowl situation ever again. Cherish it. Enjoy it. Play your heart out like your life depended on it. It might just be another bowl to everyone else, but for you guys– it’s your last chance to compete in the “post-season.”
Run it Up the Gut - As much as everyone is looking forward to new Urban Meyer folds in the offense, I want to see a game like the Illinois contest, where Ohio State runs it a heavy amount. Okay, not that much, but still I’d love to see two 100 yard rushers and some secondary scorers out of the backfield.
Ebner Strike - The Bo Rein most inspirational player on the squad deserves a BIG day on special teams. Here’s to hoping that he gets that against Florida. Read More
The Basics: Tuesday, January 2, 2012, 1:00 PM EST on ESPN2, from Jacksonville. Ohio State (6-6, 3-5 B1G) and Florida (6-6, 3-5 SEC).
It’s really hard to believe that in the history of both programs that the 2006 National Championship game was the first ever match-up between these two teams. This one hardly qualifies as a rematch and it is getting plenty of press about being the Urban Meyer Bowl. Both teams are 6-6 headed into the game and have some similarities after the record but very few. Let’s start with the men in charge.
Will Muschamp took over the reigns from Coach Meyer last December after his retirement from coaching. He grew up in Gainesville and appears to be the leader of the future even after a very sub par season that had National Title expectations. Muschamp has a great pedigree of coaching and more recently was the head coach in waiting at Texas but just couldn’t pass up the Gator opportunity. In his 17th year of coaching he has a defensive background and has had great success as a coordinator posting several top 10 defenses and this years squad is NO different coming in at #9. He has a bright future in Florida and has been left with some great talent as a result of Coach Meyers recruiting efforts.
Luke Fickell is admired by many for what he has done in leading these Buckeyes this season. Tabbed originally as the interim head coach to stand in while Coach Tressel took a five game suspension, he was eventually given the title for the entire season when Coach Tressel resigned. Fickell played for Ohio State on one of the best lines to ever play there and lived in the trenches with Mike Vrabel and Matt Finkes. He has spent all of his time coaching at Ohio State save for two years at Akron. He recently turned down an opportunity to coach the Zip so he could return to his alma mater under Coach Meyer. He was the only person for the job this year and has done an admirable job at holding things together and giving the team a good reason to win this game and finish on a high note before Coach Meyer takes over the next day. Read More