Rumblin’, Stumblin’, Bumblin’

Written January 24th, 2014 by WVaBuckeye

It’s taken me quite a while to build to just talking about basketball on a Friday night in RSB and alas, I will have a singular reference to football. To be fair, I will take care of that pre-RSB.

Someone in Happy Valley won't be so happy Larry Johnson Sr. landed in Columbus, HUGE recruiting get.

Someone in Happy Valley won’t be so happy Larry Johnson Sr. landed in Columbus, HUGE recruiting get.

The Buckeyes football program has done some work the past couple weeks with respect to coaching staff additions that will cause a lot of fans to be quiet, for now. First and foremost, and probably the biggest hire since Coach Meyer hired his original staff is the hiring of Larry Johnson Sr. to replace Mike Vrabel. Johnson will coach the defensive line where he was hugely successful at PSU and has already helped in some of the damage briefly felt after the Vrabel exit. Kudos to Coach Meyer for bringing him in.

The new co-defensive coordinator, Chris Ash, will have an opportunity to infuse some of his beliefs in a defense that needs a new direction. We will see a glimpse of them in the spring and should know pretty quickly what kind of an effect he has had. He will be going against an offense that will probably no longer be about power and be mostly about speed. It’ll be fun to see the match-ups in the spring! Now let’s get rolling with rumblin’.

RUMBLIN’

There are a lot of sports teams that you could change coaches with and the change would be minimal. Then you have the situation at Ohio State with the women’s program that has shed some considerable light on how little Coach Foster was actually coaching the women’s team. It had been said by several and was really probably the reason he was dismissed, but the proof they say, is definitely in the pudding.

the moment the change began. Coach McGuff has turned the program around with what was given to him. B1G COTY candidate

The Moment The Change Began

What Coach McGuff and his staff has done in a short amount of time, with practically the same group from last season is remarkable. There has been a higher standard of work ethic for sure. Coach McGuff has two on staff in Joy Cheek and holdover Patrick Klein who have done an amazing job developing what they have into contenders. With upsets against ranked opponents and paying TTUN back last night on the record, they have sent a message loud and clear, get your shots in while you can because they will be stealing some win this season.

They have what could arguably be the number one class coming in next season and has a great start on the future with two really good tranfers. The next class could have an impact on some of the size being lost. It’s nasty defense with some up tempo scoring that will get better as the season goes and then next year . . , look out. High fives all around for their efforts so far.

STUMBLIN

This will be the first time all season that I do not mention the stupidty of some fans . . , wait . . , I just did. Oh well, it will be okay!!

Hopefully The Worst Is Over

Even though the Buckeye men’s team got the monkey off their backs against the Illini last night, I don’t think they are out of the woods just yet. They played a team that is in an even worse downward spiral which may cost John Groce his job at the end of the season. The mesmerizing part of the Buckeye stumble is the play of the ever-consistent Aaron Craft. During the four game losing streak his assist to turnover ration was a disastrous 1:1, 31 assists to 31 turnovers!!! To put that in perspective, his career ration is 4.9 to 2.4 or right at 2 to 1.

To right this ship permanently, Shannon Scott is going to have to weather some of the load and Aaron needs to score alot more. It has been very uncharacteristic of the team but they will go as their leader goes with regards to taking care of the basketball. The other stumblin piece is the fact that this team could win a title with the level of defense they play; however, they haven’t got an offense going that requires a special defense by the opponent. Very little threat to bust the zone they have seen much of the time this season.

BUMBLIN

It amazes me at how frequently people provide me a topic to discuss in this portion of RSB. I haven’t been very picky in the past when it comes to who to include because mostly its been about the fans that have been off their rockers, and the one time I went off on our favorite person to hate in Mark “I’m a TOOL” May. The people square in my sites this week are the owners of the Cleveland Browns.

I am sorry, I couldn't hear you. Who?!

I am sorry, I couldn’t hear you. Who?!

At what point do the fans give up hope of things ever changing? They finally have their man, but I can tell you that most fans probably believe that he will not last two to three seasons. Pettine has an impressive defensive resume, but it is not the resume that Jim Tressel has. I don’t care what level you expect a coach to have experience at, JT can flat out coach any level in my opinion. The fact that Browns brass refused to even acknowledge the fans desire to give him a shot tells me they do not care what the fans think.

First and foremost, the fans pay the bills folks. I don’t care how many sponsors they bring in to suppor their payroll, the fans are the ones that never leave or base their decisions on how good the return on the investment will be. I am not a Browns fan, but I remember how disastrous it was when the original team left for Baltimore. All of those sponsors pulled out and went on their merry way and the local radio that carried the broadcasts suffered for it. Those fans that went through that then should have a say in what happens now.

The request to at least give Coach Tressel an interview was viable and needed. Now because of their refusal to do so, JT may end up in Detroit of all places. Hopefully this group will learn from this mistake and do whats necessary to bring coach in when Pettine fails to get things going.

Imagine him riding the shoulders of Browns’ fans

Rumblin, Stumblin, Bumblin: Football Final…Here’s Basketball

Written January 10th, 2014 by WVaBuckeye

So many things to talk about to finish up the final couple weeks of football and the first full month of men’s and womens basketball. I will do my best to be brief in each segment because I have a massive #tBBCFansInteract coming soon that includes the fellas from @TheGameColumbus  @FnAShow955 ; @Arch955 @MattFinkes and @Sabie955 , as well as Roy Hall and Mekka Don, so lets get with the very good in Rumblin.OrangeBowl

RUMBLIN’

The Football Buckeyes finished the season with a two game losing streak, which is the one and only of Coach Meyer’s tenure at The Ohio State University. Let’s put that into perspective. He was bound to lose and most of us felt 2013 was not the season for the Buckeyes to win it all, but Coach Meyer put those players and coaches in an unbelievable position to make it happen. Even with the back-to-back losses, Coach Meyer is rumblin’ into the off-season with momentum of great recruiting and superb coaching. I believe he will handle the changes with regards to staff remarkably, no coach would turn down the chance to come to Columbus.

The men’s and women’s basketball programs weren’t predicted to be sitting where they are for the most part. Is there a better duo of head coaches in America? All Thad Matta does is win and he has a chance to put this team n a position to win it all with a combination of a very good team and the national picture being a little down. There is no dominant team in the nation right now and it appears we could see the Buckeyes and Sparty again in the Final Four. Read More

Good Luck, Mike

Written January 9th, 2014 by Ken
mv

Mike Vrabel

Well, it was good while it lasted. It was announced today that Ohio State Defensive Line Coach Mike Vrabel will be leaving the Buckeyes to take a position with Bill O’Brien with the Houston Texans as their linebacker coach. Vrabel has just concluded his third year on the OSU coaching staff; in 2011 he was linebacker coach for his friend,  interim coach Luke Fickell, and was retained by Urban Meyer the past two years as defensive line coach.

Vrabel’s strengths were his ability to teach, his recognized recruiting skills and his passion for Ohio State. He spent 14 years in the NFL with the New England Patriots, most notably as a linebacker and goal-line tight end.

He is the 2nd coach to move on from Ohio State this year, with Everett Withers previously taking the position of coach at James Madison University. To be honest, because of Mike Vrabel being a Buckeye alum and his passion for the university and the team, this will be a significant loss.

During his three year at Ohio State, the Silver Bullets averaged 22 points per game. His immediate legacy are the stellar players that he recruited to Ohio State and their development. He took a position group with talented players but unknown performances and molded them into one  of the team strengths. His long term legacy is that is will always be a Buckeye.

Good luck, Mike. And thank you for everything.

Wednesday Night Rumble: Orange Juice Ecstasy

Written January 8th, 2014 by Jason

Things didn’t go as expected in Miami. Players are deciding to stay or go. New recruits are on board. We’ll start putting a bow on the 2013 season. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!

Orange Juice

Braxton Miller at the Discover Orange Bowl

Braxton Miller at the Discover Orange Bowl

By now you’re probably tired of hearing about what went wrong and what should or could have happened at the Orange Bowl on Friday night. I won’t deny it, I’m with you. Unfortunately there are a few things I think need discussed, or at least have my opinion weighed in on. Some are a bit out of the box.

I’ve read and heard a lot of people talk about how Clemson is a talented team, and that can’t be denied. I’ve read and heard people say that the better team won, and maybe there’s some truth to that.

The fact is that you can throw out whatever cliched line you want, the Buckeyes were winning at halftime 22-20. A lead that came about despite one of the worst halves of football we’ve seen since Urban Meyer took the controls. Ohio State came out of the locker room looking uninpsired and as though they really didn’t want to be in Miami at all. Of course Clemson errors played a big part in the Buckeye advantage, but no matter how you slice it up, they were leading at halftime.

The third quarter absolutely belonged to Carlos Hyde. I’m not sure what was discussed at the break, but the decision to come out and ride Carlos was simple and magnificent. The offensive live began getting huge movement as Hyde bullied behind them and brought the Buckeyes to a 29-20 lead with 5:50 to play in the 3rd. Camera shots on the Clemson sideline showed a team that was done. I had mentioned several times during the week that Clemson was prone to quit when a team leaned on them and took a lead, especially if they had been ahead early. It was happening. Read More

Wednesday Night Rumble: Youngstown Boys?

Written December 18th, 2013 by Jason

The Clemson Tigers await the Buckeyes in Miami to do battle in the Discover Orange Bowl on January 3rd. Meanwhile a little farther north in Georgia the Silver Bullets picked up what could be a centerpiece to the future. We’ll discuss “Youngstown Boys” and attack with quick hitters. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!

Orange decisions and Clemson (who also wears orange) 

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd

While it was unthinkable prior to, after the final gun sounded on the Big Ten Championship Game it became obvious to everyone where the Buckeye football team would be bowling this January. Outside of Dade County and the walls of the Orange Bowl committee, nobody wanted to think about or even consider the possiblity of the team being anywhere except Pasadena either on New Years Day or, more likely, the following Monday in the BCS National Championship Game. Meanwhile, all along it was a foregone conclusion that if eliminated from the games being played in the Rose Bowl the Buckeyes were going to be South Beach bound.

And while it seems like a consolation prize, and to a large extent it is, that’s something as fans we should take great pride in. With their first pick of the at-large schools (after Alabama was scooped up by the Sugar Bowl, which is an SEC tradition) the Orange quickly hopped on the Buckeyes because they know that it will get a high rating on television and there will be butts in the seats. Buckeye Nation travels and likes to spend money. Read More

Wednesday Night Rumble: We Will Endure

Written December 11th, 2013 by Jason

We have a lot to discuss. No sense in wasting time with a long introduction, let’s get right down to it. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!

Big Ten Championship game

Ryan Shazier and Adolphus Washington after the Big Ten Championship game

Ryan Shazier and Adolphus Washington after the Big Ten Championship game

I’m sitting here putting this together and still can’t belive the Buckeyes lost and the way in which it happened. I knew the Spartan defense was good, I just didn’t realize how physical they were. I knew the Silver Bullet defense was much maligned, essentially, all season but they’ve held on long enough to claim wins. Maybe the biggest shocker was that I didn’t think the Spartan offense was good enough to wear them out the Buckeye defense like they did.

Charles Davis pointed out in the late stages of the third quarter that the Buckeye defense, most notably the front four, were giving away all the tell-tale signs of a team getting gassed and worn out. I tried to deny it and hope Davis was wrong, but by the middle portions of the fourth quarter it was apparent that Joey Bosa, Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington and Michael Bennett were clearly running on fumes. As a result, Spartan quarterback Connor Cook suddenly had plenty of time to find his receivers and make solid throws.

Even when the Buckeyes brought a linebacker or defensive back on a blitz it was to no avail as the Spartans didn’t have to double team anyone up front and could dedicate a guard or tackle to taking on the blitzer. It was frustrating and discouraging. If there is a strength on the Buckeye defense it is the front four. They got beat on Saturday night. Read More

Rumblin, Stumblin, Bumblin: B1G Championship Eve

Written December 6th, 2013 by WVaBuckeye

So much has happened since the last time we ventured down the RSB path that I really had to put forth some thought into what I was going to talk about. There are a lot of things to discuss before tomorrow title match-up with Sparty that I want to briefly hit them before Rumblin.

Gardener carried the day, with 450 yards against a depleted secondary

Gardner carried the day, with 450 yards against a depleted secondary

As much as it hurts me to say this, I applaud the TTUN coaching staff for their game plan last Saturday. What’s funny about the plan is that everyone in #BuckeyeNation saw it coming, they just weren’t too worried because it was TTUN and their struggling offense. What most were saying was how easily the Buckeyes were going to roll and those fans couldn’t have been further from the truth. The Game or The Rivalry,  whatever you choose to call it, has rarely disappointed in regards to level of competition. As Buckeye fans know all too painfully, the underdog has had the sun shine on its back side quite a few times in this series.

What their coaching staff did, and it’s why most people in TSUN  love Hoke, is keep their focus on the prize and that was destroy the Buckeyes season. They came into the game ignored by many, including the Buckeyes defense, and just about put it to them. If not for the gutsy, putting it all on one play, decision by Hoke to go for two, the Buckeyes may have lost in OT and be settling for the Outback Bowl, again. I tipped my hat to a couple TTUN twitter friends after the game, they could feel a little bit of pride for the way their team performed.

Rumblin

As I have said before, I could go on and on every week about Carlos Hyde and what he has done in his abbreviated season. One of the relationships on twitter that I have enjoyed this season has been with Corey Linsley, who last week was named First Team All B1G Center. He is the anchor to that offensive line who has been destroying the opposition this season. Read More

Wednesday Night Rumble: On to Indy!

Written December 4th, 2013 by Jason

The regular season is over and the Buckeyes are 12-0 for the second year in a row. Their school record winning streak now sits at 24 straight games. After a thriller in Ann Arbor, the scarlet and grey now travel to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship game and a date with the Michigan State Spartans. We’ll look back, ahead and farther forward. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!

The Game blues 

Carlos Hyde on a record setting day

Carlos Hyde on a record setting day

As much as we all tried to say we expected a tough game, it didn’t seem like many of us actually believed it could possibly happen. I’m no different. After seeing Michigan the past couple of weeks and reading their stat-lines, I felt a blowout was imminent. We were reminded by the Wolverines just what rivalry is all about.

I certainly don’t mean to talk them up or give them much time in this column at all, but credit goes where it is deserved. Brady Hoke had his team ready to play and they performed for him. The Wolverines were not intimidated, they kept the Buckeye coaching staff guessing and turned the Silver Bullets greatest strength against them by keeping the Buckeye defensive line in check for the majority of the game.
The team up north reminded us of several things on Saturday: 1. Never count out your rivals and 2. Anything can happen, that’s why they play the game. Read More