As we reflect on the legacy of Jim Tressel, it’s important to remember that “you win with people” was more than just a motto for his work. He impacted people in significant ways that are long lasting, and not just folks who played for him.
Grant at BHC has done an amazing job at talking with former players regarding the way playing for Coach Tressel changed their lives; we wanted to look just outside of that inner circle a bit. We’re thankful to our friend Billy Brewster, CEO of Time and Change Clothiers for taking some of his valuable time out to answer some of our questions and give us a deeper perspective.
I had the opportunity to work on Coach Tressel’s staff as an intern under Greg Gillum for 3 seasons (2007, 2008, 2009). While working for Coach Gillum, we worked primarily on recruiting associated tasks but would also work on miscellaneous operational projects. During that time, we were able to secure some of the best recruiting classes in the country.
That 3 years working on Tress’ staff was the opportunity of the lifetime. I was fortunate to build relationships with every staff member from Coach Tress to the other interns. The way Coach ran the program was nothing short of first class and it showed through our success.
Are there any things that you’ve taken away from your time at OSU? What “life lessons” or values did your internship there or your experiences with Coach Tressel leave you with? Read More
Ah, the joys of a new server to bring you the midweek morass that is SBP. Thanks to everyone’s patience as we had a bit of a sabbatical earlier this week to upgrade the hamsters in the wheel.
Before we get into the usual links and fun-making, I wanted to talk a bit about fan expectations.
Over the past few days, Buckeye Nation has seen both sides of the loyalty of young adults, and hopefully our amazingly rabid fan base can gain a bit of perspective.
First, we watched in shock as Ohio State Senior (and tBBC favorite) Michael Brewster went undrafted in the NFL selection process. Even more shocking was that several centers from inferior programs did not suffer the same fate- Western Oregon? Michigan? C’mon…
While there are surely lots of reasons that this happened, including, as our friend Jeremy Birmingham pointed out, really REALLY poor coaching during his college career, it’s difficult to pinpoint one specific instance that led to Michael falling from a first rounder as a junior to an afterthought as a senior. It could be some of the season’s struggles- Michigan State and Florida both indicated that they could get a jump on their rush due to his rhythm (Might also explain Shugarts’ issues); at times his shotgun was a bit off target as well. It could have also been the “post-season”; reports that he had some challenges at the senior events, rumors of a rift that led to a last minute change of agent. Or, like many members of last year’s team, perhaps all of the off field drama and change caught up with him all at once.
But for Buckeye fans, our feelings of empathy and sympathy for Mr. Brewster were also tempered with another realization- this happened, in part, because he is a Buckeye. No, I’m not insinuating that the NFL is intentionally snubbing Ohio State players- the data proves that to be less than accurate. Instead, I believe the Michael cost himself lots of money because his loyalty to the program and to the coaches wouldn’t let him cut and run in the middle of the chaos.
Granted, we don’t know what went on behind the scenes other than this- of the members of the “Block O/Brew Crew”, Michael was the highest profile recruit and player to not find himself in the papers on a regular basis for off field issues, particularly during the past 13 months. To the contrary, as his friends and teammates (some of whom he helped bring to Columbus) continued to make decisions that led to last season’s issues and were over and over again sanctioned in ways that hurt the team, Brew was the anchor that sought to keep things together. During a time when it would have been easy to jump to the next stage in his career- first round projections, programmatic instability, loss of friends and coaches, Michael chose to stay in the Scarlet and Gray.
And that decision, in part, cost him on draft day 2012.
Let me be clear- Michael Brewster doesn’t need me to be an apologist for him. He’s landed with his home-town team (although Kansas City would have been nice for family reasons), and is bringing the positive attitude and hard work mentality to his current situation in the same fashion that he showed in Columbus. Tuesday’s Dispatch has a great article on where he’s currently at, including this great quote-
Just more people that I get to prove wrong. I think it’s an exciting challenge.
But you’ve got to wonder- if you took off your Ohio State glasses for a minute, and imagined that he was your son or grandson or family friend; If you knew in January 2011 how the season would end up for the Buckeyes, what would you tell him to do? Would you ask him to be loyal to his alma mater, or pursue his dreams in “The League” even if that made Ohio State weaker in a key position?
You’d hopefully choose the career option in your advice- particularly if you had the wisdom of hindsight. And yet, as fans, we often want young adults to think not of their own needs and dreams, but to have the same needs and dreams that we do- to be enthralled with Carmen Ohio no matter the cost.
And that brings us to Lewis Neal. Read More
With the “off season” (or as Urban calls it- “Hunting Season”) upon us, SBP takes a bit of a different twist. Usually focused on news and updates from OSU press conferences and weekly preparation, during the off season, we’ll use this spot to affirm my ADD and help you stay on top of news from the national scene. In other words- things that you might have missed or will want to print to read during those boring meetings or your “consulting” trips to the washroom. I read it so you don’t have to.
Bowl championship Series
But because the agreement between cable network and bowl series has to make you wonder where the relationship between ESPN and the football it pretends to cover begins and ends. Are they partners? Is this a legitimate subject-reporter situation? Once ESPN buys access to an event don’t they then turn from journalist to promoter?
Everyone already knows.
When ESPN selectively covers stories, as it does during a college football season, and attempts to dictate what is news and what is not to the public, how can any of us not be left wondering if they’re really reporting the news or simply protecting their bowl-week product? After all, they’re in this thing together now. When they’re slow to break a story, can we be sure why?
I’m not going to wax philosophic after that Penn State game. Being in the stadium for Dr. Wood’s last home game was wonderful – particularly getting a chance to shake his hand and thank him for everything after the game. The game, though, left a lot to be desired.
It was a memorable Senior Day in Columbus, although not the memories that Buckeye fans were hoping for. Ohio State’s offense continued to struggle against a solid PSU defense, and the Buckeye D were unable to effectively stop the big plays as Penn State moved to a Wildcat package to have success running the ball.
After returning from his 10 game suspension, Devier Posey received a warm welcome at his introduction during the Senior celebration; there was speculation that the fans might not have responded well to the last member of the Tat 5. His presence helped in the game, but in the end it wasn’t enough.
Ohio State deferred to the second half, and PSU started on the OSU 20 after a huge kick. However, on the first play, Howard committed pass interference after biting on the play action. OSU’s D managed to shut out the Lions on first and second down, but gave up a slant for the first. PSU went to the wildcat, with Drake taking the snap and handing off to Green; who burst up the middle (and past Ryan Shazier) and ran 39 yards for the early PSU touchdown.
Ohio State’s Offense started with a run up the middle. Surprise, right? Miller took a sack on second down, and completed a pass to DeVier on a broken play. A pass to Herron on first down fell incomplete, but Miller’s keeper on the option look picked up eight yards; Boom picked up the first down off tackle. Boom was tripped up after a three yard gain on first down, but picked up nothing on the second. A fumbled snap on third down, and Buchanan came out and punted into the endzone.
Initially, this week was supposed to be “POPS”- Pink Out Penn State for Breast Cancer Awareness. While we’ve not heard anything more about that since things changed in Happy Valley, we’re more than glad to give our support. You know… given the circumstances.
Well Buckeye fans, we are halfway home to the end of the 2011 season. Standing at 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the B1G, this year has been some dizzying highs (winning the Sugar Bowl) and far too many lowest of lows. The real question is where the Ohio State Buckeyes grade out for the first half of the season and keys to improvement. Players and coaches will be broken down and evaluated on their performance so far. So, listen up scarlet and gray clad coaches and players. Professor Schmidbauer is here to hand out some first half grades.
Breakdown: Anyone wondering what kind of faith the offensive coaches had in Braxton
Miller got a pretty good idea as to how much last Saturday in Champaign. The play as a whole has been pretty poor sans two games for the Buckeye signal callers. Joe Bauserman’s initial start against Akron was a solid debut for the resident geriatric of Ohio State. Braxton Miller’s first start against the Colorado Buffaloes was a nice debut as well. The rest of the performances have been lackluster, and I think we would all agree that is putting it kindly. Now the team is officially Miller’s and it seems like the Buckeyes can ride him as far as the freshman can carry them, well assuming there is not a strong wind anyway.
Area to Improve: If there is one key to the Buckeye season reaching eight or, dare I say, nine wins, it has to be the passing game. Ohio State proved you can win a game by only completing one pass, but it goes without saying we don’t want to see if the team can accomplish that feat again. Braxton Miller has not been able to consistently make throws in big spots in games yet, and opponents know that. You can believe that a serviceable passing will be a necessity to reach a New Year’s Day bowl game. Read More
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.