2014 Big Ten Conference Preview: West Division

Written June 30th, 2014 by Patrick
Not content to only preview Ohio State’s schedule, Patrick is taking a two part look at the B1G for 2014. Here’s a look at the newbies and our Western Division brethren; after lunch the East gets due scrutiny in addition to the championship game predictions.

Motivation Fuel

When the dust settled on the 2013-14 season, the B1G had a Rose Bowl champion and……another bad bowl record as a conference.

Michigan State and Nebraska were the lone winners (Rose and Gator Bowls respectively) and the conference was 2-7 overall. Yet even after that showing, many pundits feel like the B1G is poised to be a top tier conference this season. When the season opens, they will more than likely have two top 10 teams (Michigan State and Ohio State) as well as a slew of others ranked in the top 25.

The B1G welcomes two new members this season as well. Maryland and Rutgers will make their football debuts in 2014. The B1G received a ton of criticism for the recent additions. Other conferences such as the SEC are adding schools like Texas A&M and Missouri while many people feel the B1G adding “schedule padders” for football. What people won’t tell you is that these two schools gets the B1G into markets (Washington DC and New York) that they haven’t been in since its inception.

The non conference schedules for a lot of the B1G schools is very very good this season. Defending champion MSU will travel west to Eugene, Oregon to take on the Ducks, Ohio State welcomes Va Tech into Columbus, Wisconsin takes on LSU in Houston, Nebraska travels to Fresno for a battle with Fresno St and then back home the following week to take on the Miami Hurricanes, Michigan will try to avenge a loss to Appalachian St (did I really just type that) as well as take on Notre Dame for the last time and welcome the Utes of Utah to Ann Arbor, and Minnesota will travel to Texas to battle TCU. The B1G as a conference will need a lot of wins from these non conference tilts in order to gain some respect from the rest of the country and the national media

2014 will also mark the first year of new conference alignment. Gone are the awful Leaders and Legends divisions and we finally get a traditional East/West divisions.

*2014 will also mark the 3rd year that Penn State will be ineligible for post season play.

2014 WEST PREVIEW

Even though the B1G divided up the divisions by east/west location, many feel the west is by far the weaker of the two. Nebraska and Wisconsin should battle for the next few years for the west crown with little challenge. Read More

Champions Deserve Silver Bullet Points

Written June 4th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

With our lead story today being what it is, of course there’ll be the obvious tie-ins for the soundtrack of today’s SBP.  If 70′s rock ain’t your thing… here’s some 80′s pop and some country instead.

Buckeye 411

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Silver Bullet Points Is Ready To Battle On

Written April 23rd, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Like the rest of Ohio, we’ve got Stanley Cup fever here… we’re on a series of shots and medications, but to be honest, we hope it sticks around for a while.  So, in preparation for tonight’s game, here’s a little something to help you get ready to #BeatPittsburgh.

Gametime

Gameday

Buckeye 411

  • The League- Pretty good week for Buckeyes in the NFL, as Cam Heyward’s 5th year option was picked up by the Steelers.  This comes one day after Terrelle Pryor was traded from the outhouse to the penthouse the Raiders to the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks. Rumor across the league were that the 49ers and ‘Hawks were both pursuing Pryor diligently, with Pete Carroll finally winning the day. Good luck in the Emerald City, Terrelle… be sure to pay for your doughnuts, m’kay?
  • Next Men Up- NFL news on Tuesday also included Draft Day invitations… and not to the latest Costner flick. Bradley Roby and Ryan Shazier will both be in New York City; here’s hoping that neither win the Brady Quinn Sitting Around By Yourself For A Really Long Time Award.
  • Night Moves- Ohio State added a fourth night game and a third one on the 2014 home slate on Tuesday, when the BTN announced that the intra-state tilt against Ohio’s BCS Team would be under the lights in the ‘Shoe.  There’s still the possibility that the number could grow- the game in East Lansing might just be pushed into prime time if both the Spartans and Buckeyes have the seasons most are projecting.
  • Flippity Flop- Over the weekend, Ohio State “lost” one of their 2015 recruits, as Ben Edwards followed up his “soft verbal” comments to North Carolina by giving his verbal to the Auburn Tigers. As you can imagine, this unleashed the highest in philosophical and intellectual debate among some Ohio State fans… many of whom are way too emotionally invested in the lives of 16-17 year old boys to be healthy.  One question, though… Would you as a fan rather that the staff pursue in-state kids that are sure to be 100% Buckeye but may not be the caliber of other recruits, or would you rather that they continue to pursue out of state players who may not end up in Columbus but could make a bigger impact? I look forward to your answer in the comments; be sure to show your work.
  • Next Man Out? As if the Edwards news wasn’t discouraging enough, Tuesday’s Canton Repository had the following blurb about one of the other OSU verbals in the 2015 class:

There was a relatively serious altercation involving McKinley quarterback Eric Glover-Williams and another McKinley player during the school day last week at the high school. New McKinley football coach Thom McDaniels declined to comment on the situation, other than to confirm there was an altercation between Glover-Williams and a player who is a senior.

There had been speculation that Glover-Williams had a previous incident in the fall as well, so it’s possible that this could be the issue that costs him his shot at an OSU opportunity.  Eleven Warriors has video of the end of the altercation in question, even though it’s in “crappy cell phone quality” it does serve as an interesting Rorschach test for folks to judge what might be the consequences/outcomes for EGW, both from the school and from Ohio State.  Stay tuned…

Silver Bullet Points. Shaken, Not Stirred.

Written April 2nd, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Happy Wednesday, and happiest birthday to the young Buckeye in my avatar photo.  Given all of the excitement here on the left coast over the past weekend, my choice for today’s soundtrack was pretty much decided for me. Thoughts and prayers go out to our friends in Chile and South/Central Americas as well…

Ken has his beverage, I have mine

Buckeye 411

  • He Guapo’d Me With Science! In news that’s sure to make Charles and Eric gleeful, former Buckeye Carlos Hyde will be involved in an upcoming edition of Sports Science. He also got some tips from a legend today as a part of his trip to Los Angeles… there are exciting things ahead, for sure!
  • Injury Bug Strikes- Already missing Vonn Bell and Jalin Marshall, the Scarlet and Gray announced today that starting tight end Jeff Heuerman will miss the rest of the spring following surgery to address an ankle sprain. According to Meyer’s press conference on Tuesday, though, Nick Vannett and Marcus Baugh are more than picking up the slack in practice.
  • Good Day For The D… Coaches continue to rave about the defensive line and their efforts during Spring ball; and Coach Meyer pointed to Josh Perry as someone who’s also rising to the occasion at the linebacker position.
  • …Means A Bad Day For The O- Taylor Decker and Cardale Jones were both identified as players who struggled Tuesday, although Curtis Samuel was mentioned as someone who’s really catching on quickly in practice. We’re also hearing solid things from Mike Thomas, who’s work in the off season may be starting to pay huge dividends.
  • On Collars- Coach Meyer again addressed his passion for having a “blue collar” team, and said that the defensive side of the ball was what needed the most attention in this area; that the “culture had slipped”. Later, though, he talked about his belief that college student athletes, while working hard, are not employees… but also said that they deserved a greater stipend than what they currently received.
  • Something To Keep In Mind- Using the NCAA’s Strength Of Schedule Metric, Ohio State’s upcoming season is ranked #35 in the country. The mighty Crimson Tide come in at 95… out of 128 or so.  Roll Freakin’ Tide.
  • Hoop Hope From Hokie? Thad Matta has already added one “big man” via transfer this season, might seven footer Trevor Thompson be next? Would certainly change the face of the team…
  • Spring Game- Will be televised on BTN, and livechatted here at tBBC.
  • Student Day- If you’ve still got your BuckID, head down to the WHAC on Saturday for the third annual event. If you needed motivation, Sammy Silverman provides it: Read More

Nothing Conflicted About Silver Bullet Points

Written March 26th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Life is full of decisions. Sometime soon (Friday?) we’ll get the official word that LaQuinton Ross has decided to head to greener pastures… but until then, here’s the soundtrack for our midweek musings.

Decisions, Decisions…

Practice Notes

  • Receiving Praise- Coach Meyer talked on Tuesday about the need for the receiving corps to be a strength of the team, and highlighted Devin Smith,  Corey Smith, Michael Thomas, and Johnnie Dixon as players who were standing out.  Jeff Greene is working hard as well, but has some catching up to do. Dontre Wilson is in the “H” position full time now, and has put on the weight necessary to be successful this season.
  • We Are The Champions- After Saturday’s scrimmage, Tyvis Powell and Nick Vannett joined Pat Elflien as those who graded out with a “champion” mark. Elflien has also earned the starting right guard spot, according to Meyer. The center position is a “toss up” between Jacoby Boren and Billy Price, according to coach Tom Herman
  • Getting Defensive- The defense “won” the scrimmage this past weekend, and Meyer said that the Fickell/Ash process is going well.
  • Those Who Can’t, Teach- Braxton is being used to help groom the younger quarterbacks, including breaking down and grading their practice footage. Cardale still is taking the majority of reps at the position, but the others are coming along, according to Tom Herman.
  • Running On Empty? Not a chance, with the backfield being a source of strength for Ohio State this season.  That being said, the coaches spoke about how the offense will look different- losing four starting linemen and El Guapo will do that to you. Rod Smith had a good Tuesday practice, and EzE is still showing some “freshman moments”. Read More

BBN Basketball Liveblog: Northwestern

Written February 19th, 2014 by Eric

The Buckeyes are playing hosts again this evening. This time, the surprisingly stout Northwestern Wildcats are visiting Columbus. The Wildcats are on a bit of a slide, losing their last three. However, their wins at Wisconsin and at Minnesota at the beginning of the month stand out as big, blaring warnings for the Buckeyes this evening.

The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 PM Eastern time. You’ll be able to see the game on the Big Ten Network. Go Bucks!
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Silver Bullet Points Celebrates Excellence

Written February 19th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

This week we lost a musical legend and great Ohioan… so, this morning’s soundtrack should help you get through the middle of your workweek.

Silver Is Pretty Freaking Awesome

Buckeye 411

  • Net Success- Congrats to the Tennis-Bucks, who won this year’s NCAA Indoor Championship earlier this week. In doing so, Ohio State defeated top ranked Virginia (who hadn’t lost in 30+ matches) and perennial power Southern Cal. When you’re led by the B1G Athlete Of The Week, good things happen.
  • Decorated And Bona-fied- Tonight as the Buckeye hoopsters face off against Nerdwestern, Braxton Miller will be awarded his second straight silver football as the B1G’s top player. This brings Braxton up to 7 conference year end awards, most for any player according to OSU’s SID.
  • Mat Excellence- After falling to Minnesota in the National Duals, Ohio State rebounded with a solid beating of Oklahoma to pick up third in the tourney… although, I’d love to have seen them square off against second ranked Cornell.
  • Even More Awarding- The Aaron Craft Tour De Elegance continues, with Swoony C being a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award.
  • Proud Moment- Ignore the misspelling on this thing… I’d be totally down with an annual “Marcus Hall” award as an addition to the Gold Pants, for the MVP of The Game.  Thoughts??
  • Next- And this weekend in Indianapolis, six Buckeyes look to continue that legacy: Read More

Silver Bullet Points Dethaws

Written January 29th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Well, given the news today in college sports and elsewhere, I think I’ve got a couple of soundtrack offerings that will draw it all together.  Stay warm people!! (it’s supposed to be down to the 60s in Los Angeles today… brrrrrrr.)

Squirtgun In January

Buckeye 411

  • Chosen Frozen- We’ve got to give major kudos to Buckeye coach Tom Herman, who was stuck for 12 hours in the Atlanta Traffic crapstorm following their epic blizzard of about one inch or so of snow.  Seriously, I guess the folks in the Snow Emergency Conference are in need of someone from the north to show them how to deal with the cold.
  • RE: Crootin’- Last time we chatted, it was Demetrius Knox that had Buckeye Nation wringing their hands in worry of a last minute exodus from #TheDream14. That was addressed by Coach Meyer and Coach Johnson, and ‘Meech is fully locked and loaded once again.  Now, though, we’ve got another offensive lineman who may be wavering, this time Illinois’ Jamarco Jones who is reconsidering his choice of Ohio State over the Spartans from East Lansing. Jones, who has several friends headed to Sparty in the fall, has his official “in home” from Dantonio and staff today, with Ohio State’s Warriner and Johnson following up tomorrow.  Jeremy Birmingham at Eleven Warriors has the best overview of the situation, and it will definitely be worth watching… if Jones heads to East Lansing this weekend for his “official”, then I think the writing is on the wall.
  • Four! More! Years? Well, if you’re not a fan of current Athletic Director Gene Smith, this won’t make you happy: It was announced today that he’s been promoted to Vice President and given a contract extension/raise.  Hooray?
  • Final Visit, Final Answer? Also of note this last weekend of “recruiting season 2014″ is that H-Back David Njoku will be in Columbus on an official visit, as will Michigan defensive lineman standout (and one time Wolverine “lock”) Malik McDowell.  Again, Birm’s got the latest.
  • Presidential News? Rumors on Tuesday began swirling (I think they started on Scout, but I saw it on twitter and other OSU boards) that The Ohio State University would soon be naming Michael Drake as their next President. Drake currently serves as the Chancellor at the University of California at Irvine, and is notable for his work with the health sciences within the UC system.  Given the significance of Ohio State’s medical centers, that may be an important skill set to bring to the table. Even though he’s currently an Anteater, there’s hope that Mr. Drake can bring something else to Columbus with him…
  • This Week In Silverman- Another great design from Ohio State’s master of visual excitement: Read More
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