The NFL Combine is over. Basketball season is getting good and maybe, just maybe the Buckeyes are catching their second wind. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
NFL player factory
Seven Buckeyes were selected to participate in this year’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. John Simon, Jonathan Hankins, Jake Stoneburner, Zack Boren, Reid Fragel, Nathan Williams and Etienne Sabino were poked, prodded and dissected by doctors and NFL executives. They then went onto the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for tests of agility, speed and overall skill. Read More
Today’s soundtrack is brought to you by 70 degrees and sunny skies in Los Angeles. Oh, and a little bit of EW&F.
We’re one week away from National Letter Of Intent Day, and the excitement (and chaos) is building. We’ll talk a bit this week about the idea of “verbals” and visits, but let’s dig through the news bucket a bit first, shall we? Oh, and Mark Titus’ favorite band brings us our musical inspiration for the morning. Happy Wednesday.
Commentary- Commitment Read More
The Buckeye hoops team dropped a tough one in East Lansing. Recruiting rankings were released and the Buckeyes are on a roll. My girlfriend is hotter than Kate Upton. Yeah, so what if we’ve only met on the internet?! What’s the worst that can happen? Let’s rumble!
The Rivals top 100
On Monday, the newest and last Rivals top 100 for 2013 was released. Among those 100, Urban Meyer’s coaching staff has received seven verbal commitments and is still waiting patiently for answers from two others. The most “top 100” players the Buckeyes have ever claimed were 8 commits in 2008. If either Vonn Bell (safety from Rossville, Georgia, ranked number 32) or Dontre Wilson (running back from Desoto, Texas, ranked number 100) commit to Meyer’s 2013 class it will match or exceed that ’08 record. I am a math genius.
A bit of a different look at things this Wednesday, as I was fortunate to join Jim, JoeL, and Janelle in attending Ohio State’s win against Iowa in the hoops of shootyness. So, here’s your musical interlude for this festive event.
Buckeye Hoops Thoughts
The National Championship has been awarded. Recruits are making commitments. Excitement for the 2013 Buckeye football season is already full throttle. Let’s rumble!
Notre Lame and the championship debacle
Let me be the first to say it, I was wrong, just completely and utterly wrong. I thought that the Irish would have learned from the mistakes of the 06 Buckeyes and some of the other programs to challenge the SEC in the years since. I was wrong. They had to learn for themselves, stubborn to the end.
So to you, the great people of Buckeye Nation, I am sorry. I allowed my disdain and overall loathing for the Southeastern Conference to put my faith in one of the most heinous college football villains of all time, the Fighting Irish. This is a mistake I shall not repeat. Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me.
Heading into the game, the Irish brought one of the country’s best defensive units, at least statistically. They were led by Manti Te’o, a player that I still feel deserved to win the Heisman Trophy, but more on that later. While Te’o was their heart and soul, their defensive line was their backbone. Against Alabama, that backbone was broken in half. Read More
It all comes down to this: The Fightin’ Irish attempting to “wake up the echoes” from the coma they have been in for nearly twenty years against Nick Saban and his SEC juggernaut, the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Historically this is a match-up for the ages. Two of the nations all-time premier programs, a north versus south pride war for all the marbles.
History: Given the recent history of the SEC some would consider this a surprise, but coming into the championship game Notre Dame holds a 5-1 all-time record vs the Crimson Tide in head to head match-ups. Perhaps the surprise is lessened when it is revealed that these two have not met on the gridiron since 1987, a 37-6 blowout by the Irish in South Bend. The only win in the series for the Tide came a year earlier in 1986, a 28-10 win that was played in Birmingham, Alabama.
This isn’t the first time they have met in a bowl game. Notre Dame edged the Tide 24-23 in the 1973 Sugar Bowl and beat them in the 1975 Orange Bowl 13-11.
As far as championship games pitting the titans of a sport against one another, Notre Dame vs Alabama is hard to beat. The Irish are third on the all-time wins list while the Tide come in at number seven. Alabama has 14 national championships, Notre Dame with 11, however they are tied at 9 a piece if you only count the “poll era” post 1936 to present day. Love them or hate them, they are titans of the sport. Read More
Interesting Tuesday in college sports, to say the least. We’ll get to all the movers and shakers, but first a little traveling music.
Most of the frustration was aimed at the inclusion of Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, who we’ve argued here before is only a finalist due to his team’s success, solid (but not great) numbers, and the great “story” that his season has been- both for him and as a heart of the awakened echoes of the Irish program. Tony Gerdeman from the OZone compared Te’o to AJ Hawk, the last linebacker to be seriously considered for the Heisman, and found that Hawk’s numbers eclipsed the Irish’ star. He, along with the guys at Land Grant Holy Land (check out the infographic) continue to compare his numbers to Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier- Gerd points out that, in the last three games of the season, Shazier outplayed Te’o and almost doubled his statistics, minus the interceptions. Given that Te’o plays in a variation of the Tampa 2 defense which requires more coverage, this might make sense- different roles for both players. But it does highlight the fact that Te’o is a debatable finalist… and as such, might have just as well been left home with Miller and Marquis Lee (who I believe is the best player in the country this season).
With no hope of a national championship, the Buckeyes saw excellence as its own reward—and achieved it. What better example of pure sportsmanship could there be? Next year, Ohio State will once again be jockeying for a high-profile bowl berth and all the cash that flows from it. This year’s team, by contrast, will stand forever as the one that played not for money but for pride.