Looking For The Exit?

On New Year’s Eve, Penn State lost their head coach to the NFL.

Bill O’Brien, who took on the enormous task of manning a wounded Lions program two years ago, left the college game for the NFL. He will now lead the Houston Texans, another franchise that needs rebuilding (but that’s another story for another time).

When O’Brien arrived at Penn State, many believed that the once-heralded team in Happy Valley was at death’s door. NCAA sanctions and a devastated reputation left the entire school in shambles, and it was going to be at least a decade before they could begin the recovery process.

The critics were wrong.

O’Brien turned PSU around in quick order. A 7-5 record in 2013 was unexpected, and so were two victories over two giants of the Big Ten. Wins over Michigan and Wisconsin, both ranked at the time, highlighted the 2013 season and took away the pain of their 63-14 destruction at the hands of Ohio State.

But now O’Brien is off to greener pastures and Penn State fans are feeling betrayed again.

I share no love for Penn State fans, having watched their willful ignorance over Joe Paterno’s enabling behavior during the crimes of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. They threw Sandusky to the wolves as they should have, but repeatedly buried their heads in the sand when shown undeniable proof that Paterno was complicit in allowing the unmentionable crimes to continue unabated.

But with O’Brien’s departure, I feel their pain. Their head coach made promises to Penn State, and he has now broken them by leaving before the end of his contract.

If a player at Penn State decided to leave for a different school after two years, he’d likely be forced to sit out for a full year before he could take the field again. (Yes, I’m aware there are situations that allow a player to avoid being put on a shelf for a year, but that is the exception rather than the rule).

Should a coach of an NCAA program not be held to the same standards as the players he recruits? If a coach convinces a player to attend his university, should both men be asked to stay for the same length of time or face minor penalties?

When Bill O’Brien sat in the home of a recruit in January of 2012 and told him that he would be a part of the rebirth at Penn State, there was no mention that the coach might be gone by the end of the player’s sophomore year at PSU.

That player will not have an easy time changing schools, now that his coach has abandoned him. The NCAA has rules that will make his life difficult if he wishes to transfer to a different school (it goes well beyond sitting out a year and deep into bureaucracy). Even if he is skilled enough to succeed at the next level, laws forbid him from jumping to the NFL until he is three years removed from his high school football years.

That being said, is it time to place rules on college coaches that leave their programs before their contracts expire? Should coaches have to sit out a year before they can take on another job within the college ranks?

Obviously, the NCAA cannot mandate rules in the NFL for such situation – unless Roger Goodell behaves like he did towards Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor, having doled out suspensions for both men when they entered the NFL. But within the NCAA, can the same rules be applied to coaches and players?

Yes, the NCAA rule book is already a mess and it should be tightened up immediately. I propose that the rules for coaches are included in the next set of changes. Read More

Silver Bullet Points: Halloween Edition

Written October 31st, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Well, you’ve got all day to plan your attack for tonight… personally, I’ve got plans to go to “all the candy is on sale” day tomorrow. We’re digging through our country albums for today’s soundtracks; one goofy, one “creepy”. Country not your thing? Well remember, we used to think this and this were OK as well.

How Firm Thy... Pumpkin?

How Firm Thy… Pumpkin?

Buckeye 411

  • Injury Updates- Other than what Clair mentioned on Tuesday, not much new in the “owie” front. Braxton is “100%” according to Coach Meyer, after having a flare up of his knee issue in the week leading up to Penn State.  Evan Spencer has been limited in practice, but will be good to go for this week. Other injuries from last week are all non-issues at this point.
  • Big Awesomes- Coach Meyer had a couple of points of praise regarding the offense after Thursday’s practices, and started with the men up front. He consciously said that Carlos is the engine that drives the running game, but continued to stress that everything in the recent Buckeye successes starts with the work that the offensive line has been putting in during practice, film study, and then on Saturdays.
  • Good Readin’- The other element to recent offensive success? Braxton Miller’s maturity in taking what the defense gives him, both in the passing game and in making the correct sight adjustments on the team’s option series.
  • Leadership- One of the offensive linemen mentioned earlier that’s been an integral part of this week’s preparation is senior Jack Mewhort, who has been very vocal with his teammates about avoiding a repeat of 2011′s upset.  Coach Meyer said that the senior, who was also a part of the 2009 loss at Ross-Ade Stadium, has spoken frequently about what it will take to win there, and the conditions that the team should expect on gameday.  Hopefully they’ll be all business come kickoff.
  • Special Moments- The Boilermakers lead the nation in net punting, leading Philly Brown to allude to something “special” for Saturday’s return game.
  • B1G Speed- Ryan Shazier talked about his issues overrunning plays in the past due to being “too fast” at linebacker. Good problem to have, no?
  • Under Pressure- Bradley Roby mentioned that, early on, he was trying to do too much because he felt that’s what it meant to be a leader. Now? He can trust his teammates and get back to basics.
  • Media Matters, Part One- Dan Wetzel, Yahoo!: Did Urban run up the score? If not, he should have.
  • Media Matters?, Part Two- Matt Hayes, Sporting News: Urban Meyer is a mean meanie who does mean things. (nope, not giving him traffic. Google it)
  • Media Matters, Part Three- Gregg Doyel, CBS Sports: What’s happening at Ohio State is Special, even if the media tells you otherwise.
  • Hey! Guess What!!- It’s almost Buckeye Hoops Season! Read More

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Written October 23rd, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

You can’t tell me that you were surprised.

If Only They Were That Honest

I have a hard time believing that anyone, particularly Ohio State fans, thought that the NCAA’s decision regarding Miami’s morass would be severe.

If you were, then I have some lovely desert space in that state up north to sell you.

That Tuesday’s announcement of the Hurricane program finally receiving it’s clarification following a two year process filled with grandstanding, ineptitude, and foot dragging would shock some folks is difficult to fathom. In spite of the allegations, in spite of the evidence and information gathered by an outside source, in spite of what seemed to be a tsunami of facts and accounts that was described as “the biggest scandal in college sports”, the NCAA’s decision to accept Miami’s self imposed sanctions and add a few minor flourishes was just the latest in the long decline in that Association’s ability to be considered integrous.

Actually, that’s not correct.  Being consistently inconsistent has a certain integrity of it’s own, right? Broken clocks being right twice daily and all that.

Before we go much further, let me state that this is not an attempt to critique the Hurricane program or it’s fans. I’ve long believed that consequences should be levied at the players/coaches/administrators who were involved, and am glad that the ‘Canes are now able to move past Damocles’ sword and instead focus on the upcoming run at an ACC/BCS title.

However, it’s difficult to not see Tuesday’s decision as anything other than a justification for what many have been calling for in a while- a complete overhaul of the NCAA’s “judicial” arm, if not a full dissolution of the Association itself. Read More

The Hunter Needs Silver Bullet Points

Written September 5th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Well, given Coach Meyer’s perspective for this season, the soundtrack for today should be pretty obvious. There’s the awesome option, and the Ah!Sum! possibility. Happy Thursday, Buck-aroos!

Heart you, Dee Dee McCall

Buckeye 411

  • Health Update- According to Coach Meyer, CJ Barnett will be back in action this week against SDSU, and Corey Lindsley will see more time; although the staff will continue to be cautious with his recovery.
  • Back On The Attack? Although he had a good practice today, Bradley Roby has not yet been bumped up to the starter at corner this weekend. Rod Smith, curiously left off the depth chart released on Tuesday, finds himself on several special teams this weekend, which is a pretty good sign.
  • Isn’t That Special- A lot has been made of Ohio State’s practice of having players earn playing time by being a part of Coach Coombs’ charges for a time. If you want to play, prove that you’ve got the heart and passion… I like it, and am hopeful Bri’onte Dunn (who seems to have been singled out this week) will rise to the challenge.
  • Hybrid No More? Coach Meyer mentioned that Dontre Wilson is more of a receiver at this point than a running back.
  • Getting Defensive- San Diego State runs a 3-3-5 Stack Defense, which is a bit different than what the Buckeyes have seen in the past. However, several players mentioned that Buffalo chose a similar look on Saturday, so they feel more prepared. That being said, don’t be surprised to see quite a bit of unorthodox pressure coming from the Aztecs.
  • The Chase- While Ohio State dropped in the AP poll to #3 (I guess beating an FCS school is a good idea, huh NikeU?), they stayed at the #2 slot in the Coaches’ poll.  Oh, and they’re #1 on the Facebook poll… which reminds me; can we be friends? Read More

Monday Musings

Written September 2nd, 2013 by Ken
zevon

We miss you, Warren

Welcome to Monday Musings, glad that you decided to stop in. Grab your beverage of choice and let’s get to this. If you’re at work, I’d suggest something refreshing, but not too stimulating. If you’re at home, it probably won’t matter. And, since this is Labor Day, I’m guessing it’s possibly the latter.

The James/Wexner

I have two short videos for you today; one on Omega-3′s and breast cancer with Dr. Farrar of The James and the other on coffee’s effect in preventing basal cell carcinoma, with Dr. Trotter.

On a related note, I come across these videos, and other information via Twitter. So can you. Do so @TheJamesOSU

I can see why Coach Meyer followed me to Twitter.  OK, look, he actually doesn’t ‘Follow’ me in Twitter sense, he just created his Twitter account after I did.

Read More

A Closer Look At The Basketball Rules Changes

Written June 28th, 2013 by Charles

NCAA_primaryc.gifAt the start of the week the NCAA announced a set of rules changes for men’s and women’s basketball that will take effect immediately for the 2013-2014 season.  Rules changes happen every year and are often met with mixed reactions however this year’s rules changes will likely be met with enthusiasm by most fans who have been calling for these things for years.  As someone who officiated high school basketball before I moved to Australia, I have often found myself with differing views on rules and officiating than the average fan.  In today’s article I take a look at the rules changes from both the perspective of a fan and that of an official.

The first set of rules changes concern the use of replay in a game.  In a move that should please lots of fans, officials will now for the first time be able to use the replay monitor to confirm a shot-clock violation or determine who caused the ball to go out of bounds on a deflection involving multiple players, however this rule only applies in the final two minutes or regulation or overtime.  Fans have been calling for an increased use of replay for years and the deflected ball going out of bounds is probably one of the situations where fans have most wanted replay to be used; well it seems the NCAA actually listened to fans for a change and responded.  In general I think this new expansion of the replay rules seems like it will be a good thing, both the shot clock violation and deflected ball plays are bang-bang plays that are tough to call in real time and which replay can greatly improve the accuracy of the call.  The thing I do not like about this rule is that it only applies in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime.  While I understand the need to keep replays from happening too often, this new rule just furthers the mistaken idea that the final minutes of the game are special and should be called differently than other parts of the game.  Yes, an incorrect call made in the closing minutes gives the teams less time to respond and overcome that mistake but imagine the following situation:  team A is in the middle of a big run early in the second half and has all the momentum and the crowd behind them when team B hits a big three pointer as the shot clock expires only to have the shot waived off due to a shot clock violation that turns out to be in error and which could have been fixed had the officials been able to go replay.  Instead of quieting the crowd and disrupting team A’s momentum, team B is still on the wrong side of a scoring run and team A and its fans are probably even more fired up now and have even more momentum on their side; do you think team B would still say that the missed called was less important than one that might occur in the final two minutes?

Read More

Silver Bullet Points Loves The Nightlife

Written May 1st, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Welcome to Wednesday, the first of May… it’s officially grilling season (unless you live in California, where it’s always that time). Here’s today’s soundtrack; if you don’t know why, then… well… keep reading.

Archie’d

Buckeye 411

  • Is The Right Time- The ABC/ESPN/Disney schedule for college football came out on Monday, the the Buckeyes will get to show their stuff in prime time on at least three occasions this upcoming season: Against Wisconsin, at Northwestern, and again when Penn State comes to town. Some interesting history with those teams- Obviously, the Badgers and Buckeyes have loads of fun under the lights, and I think Jim Tressel is still trying to run up the score for the last night game in Evanston. The Lions were gracious hosts last year for a late game, certainly a payback for the darkness in the ‘Shoe back in 2008. While it hasn’t been announced as of yet, there’s also the possibility that the Cal game could end up as a 7:30 or so kick off on the East Coast.
  • Why? Recruiting. Urban Meyer loves the big game atmosphere, and having the Buckeyes on TV with the eyes of the nation’s top recruits on them cannot be a bad thing. Also- With Ohio State’s “questionable” schedule strength next season, the more exposure they can build will certainly help toward addressing any rankings situations for the end of the season.  C’mon, Pasadena…
  • Congrats- To all the 2013 graduates from THE Ohio State University, particularly the bros who got Heisman Bombed above.
  • The Future- With top QB recruit Deshaun Watson sticking with his commitment to Clemson, it seems that Ohio State has started to look more closely at Louisiana’s Brandon Harris.  Worth keeping an eye on.
  • Hoops Updates- Our friends over at The Buckeye Room are hosting Evan Ravenel for autograph sessions; and your Aaron Craft adorable meter needs recalibration.
  • Also? Evan Turner doesn’t like geese. So there’s that.
  • Design Du Jour- From the mind and computer of Ohio State’s graphics guru: Read More

Silver Bullet Points Collects Change

Written April 24th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Lucrative? Well…

After a weekend in the land of authentic pizza and corrupt government, there’s really only one choice for this week’s soundtrack, particularly with all of the news coming out of B1G headquarters.

Buckeye 411

Gonna’ be honest- not much in the way of news in Columbus these days, Thank Woody. Here’s some tidbits, though:

  • Hockey Bucks- Whispers on Tuesday were that Ohio State will make current interim coach Steve Rholik the permanent leader for the upcoming season.  Not a “slam dunk”, but certainly a solid hire nonetheless.
  • Getting Drafty- The NFL Draft starts on Thursday, and there’s a good possibility that the entire B1G will be shut out of the first round for the first time in forever.  For OSU Draft prospectus, be sure to check out the earlier take from our NFL Expert.
  • iTBDBITL- Interesting article in The Lantern today regarding the OSU Marching Band’s efforts to save paper and procure iPads for everyone involved in the program. There are a ton of advantages to this idea,

Using certain applications available on the iPads, members of the band would be able to read music, send out videos of rehearsals and also read field charts. Normally, only the band director is able to see the bigger picture in motion while the band members look at papers.

“Instead of one person getting to see the bigger picture, now everyone gets to see the actual animation,” Barta said.

King and Barta said they are not aware of any other university band using this type of technology, which they hope will also help them recruit future Buckeyes.

“We are similar to sports teams in terms of recruiting,” King said. “We are trying to get the best high school student musicians to come play our band.”

The funds that TBDBITL need to raise are around $120K… meanwhile, all of the student athletes have been provided iPads for a while now.  This has been your weekly “athletes and students are not the same” reminder.

  • More Silver, Man- From the work of Ohio State’s graphics expert: Read More
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