One Fan’s Opinion: From The Mouth Of Babes

Written January 11th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

As is tradition here at tBBC, we give contest winners the chance to write an article to share with the rest of the world. This year is no different, even if the contest winner is a seven year old Oklahoma State fan. Introducing Caleb, as interviewed by his dad (our B1g12 correspondent):

IMG_20140111_0953431) Caleb, do you like playing the pick ‘em games? I don’t know.  Kind of.  I prefer not to but I never knew you could win before so now I like it.

2) What was your strategy in picking the games? At first I picked the teams that I liked the most, and then I looked at the match ups and picked the team with the highest percentage.

3)  Caleb, you said you picked the teams you liked most.  What made you like them the most? From states I’ve been to (CO, TX, KS, NE), states I grew up in (Cali and OK), and states I’ve learned to like.

4)  What is your favorite state? California, because I grew up in it and have a lot of family in it.

5)  Who is your favorite sports team? OKC Thunder because they are the first team I’ve known about and I really like going to their games.

6)   What are your thoughts on winning this game? I’m a kid and I beat all the grown ups.  I should teach my dad and uncle Mali how to pick better.

7)  What sport would you like to play?  None of them because I like science experiments, math and building things.

9)  Caleb, as we end, do you have anything else you want to say? I have a joke.  ”Where do all the sport shirts come from?  Jersey”

The Week That Were: 2013 Championship Weekend

Written December 9th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Look, I know it’s the holiday season and all that, but I’m not feeling it just yet. Here’s some Ella if you’re in a similar mood this Monday.

And so it ends… not with a bang, but a whimper. Not for everyone, but for fanbases who entered Saturday with significant postseason aspirations, the doors gently shut on both those dreams and on their season.

ku-xlarge

We Know The Feeling

While TWTW is usually reserved for Saturday’s festivities, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that Northern Illinois started the slide on Friday; poised for a shot at another possible BCS bid, the Huskies fell for the first time all season in the MAC championship. And not just “fell”, but were beaten by 2o points by Bowling Green in a game that cost the Falcons (and the other non-qualifying schools) some pretty major cash.

Saturday’s early slate started with some Bedlam, a game where anything can happen and often does- this year in the form of an earthquake during a field goal attempt.

As a rivalry game, you throw the records and season results out the window, as any Ohio State or Michigan fan can tell you. And while TBPU looked to be the easy favorite, icy conditions and the passion of their cross state rivals kept this from being an easy match.

While both teams struggled to score early on, Oklahoma tied things up in the third following a fake field goal that may or may not have happened before the play clock expired. No call, though, so on we went.

Much like last week’s game in Ann Arbor, OkSU drove down the field with relative ease at the end of the game, and scored with time left on the clock in spite of our warnings. And, you can guess what happened- Oklahoma managed a length of the field drive to score which left only enough time for the Northwestern-esque “throw the ball around and hope for the best” play, and like NU, Oklahoma State’s efforts were interrupted and scored upon.

Nice Aim

Nice Aim

Check out the gif on the left there; this is after the spread-covering score, and you can see both a Cowboy cheerleader attempt to trip a jubilant Sooner and also notice that some happy fan has decided to huck a snowball at the field toward the end of the clip.

That’s what it means to be in a rivalry game… it’s bigger than just a regular loss, particularly when you fall at home and fall out of the BCS.  I’m sure that excitement and emotion were behind the Sooner player’s decision to go full Marcus Hall on the Cowboy fan, and am certainly looking forward to them being benched for the entirety of their next game, the way that Hall was. And, media folks, feel free to spend hours discussing how classless this play was and what Stoops should do.  You’ve obviously got nothing else to talk about.

With the Cowboys’ falling in Stillwater, the late afternoon game between Texas and Baylor became the defacto Big12-2 Championship matchup. Let that roll around in your head for a minute- Mack Brown, who may be on his way out after yet another disappointing season, was one game away from a Conference Title and a BCS bid.

WEIRD-BAYLOR-FAN

Filled With The Spirit?

And yet, it was not to be… after a close first half, Baylor made the plays that it’s executed so well all season and pulled away from Texas to win their first conference title in forever. Given that they’re opening a new stadium next year and just signed their coach to a sizable extension, it’s quite possible that we haven’t heard the end of celebrations in Waco.

And their reward? A trip to Phoenix to face the University of Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl… the same UCF that held off SMU to win on Saturday. That game ain’t going to be pretty, folks.

By now, Buckeye fans know all to well that Auburn will be playing in the National Title game against Florida State. Poised in the computers to leap Ohio State with a blowout win against Missouri, the resurgent Tigers (no, the other ones) handled the B12-2′s SEC East’s finest handily in Atlanta on Saturday, in a game that seemed to be played with an understanding that each team was required to ration their tackles (perhaps the same memo OSU got?).

Best Tackle All Day. Seriously.

Best Tackle All Game. Seriously.

That’s not to say that there wasn’t any controversy on the way to the SEC crown. One of Missouri’s early scores was on a long pass that clearly was not fully possessed by the receiver- I have no idea how that wasn’t overturned. Later, an Auburn player pushed Missouri’s Josey out of bounds after the running back had another long scamper, and the shove caused Josey to hit a nearby cart and miss the remainder of the game.

Auburn’s win meant that, should one of the top two teams fall, they would be in. Florida State started first in their epic clash against the Duke Blue Devils, and managed to go the entire first quarter without a score.

That was about it, though- the Seminoles managed to roll up a 45-7 win and punch their tickets to Pasadena, while Winston possibly scheduled a trip to New York to pick up some hardware. It’ll be interesting to see if we get a 2006 repeat- an undefeated team with a Heisman Trophy QB against a one-loss SEC program who “backed in” to the title game.  That’s all I remember about the 2006 game… and I’m not listening if you try to give me any further facts.

No Roses For You

Roses? Not so fast…

Which brings us to Indianapolis. As if Ohio State fans didn’t have enough reasons to hate Sports Illustrated, this week’s decision to put Braxton on a regional cover added the Buckeyes to the list of Oregon, Alabama, and Baylor as teams who lost the week following their cover appearance.  Splendid.

Look, my thoughts on the game are probably the same as the rest of Buckeye Nation:

  • Hats off to Michigan State, whose defense played the way that Ohio State defenses used to play. Wonder why that is… What I wouldn’t give to have one of their DBs in the scarlet and gray.
  • Hats off to Sparty, too, for offensively game planning a perfect scheme to attack Ohio State’s weaknesses in the secondary, and to Connor Cook for the poise that he showed in the passing game. Enjoy California, Dino and folks… remember, it’s not too far of a drive for your offensive line coach to visit some family.
  • I’m as confused as the rest of you are about the Ohio State gameplan, particularly when it looked like our bread and butter were working. I understand the idea of getting Carlos into space against MSU’s secondary, but when every empty set led to a QB draw/counter, then it takes away the mystery. And mid-range passing? Does everything have to be a bomb?
  • “Frustrated” only partially covers my thoughts on the secondary’s play this past year… I’m not smart enough to figure out if it’s a scheme thing or a personnel issue or coaching, and I’ve read all three from the “experts” that make up Ohio State bulletin boards. I know that linebacker is something that Urban has identified as a “need”, so I’m just going to trust that this will improve overall in the coming season.

Again, no disrespect to Ben Affleck or to Michigan State, but it feels more like Ohio State let this one get away from them than the Spartans “took” it. While I’d prefer that it was the Buckeyes in Pasadena, I’m still excited to see Michigan State play Stanford in the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl.

Stanford won their rematch with Arizona State in a walk in front of less than stellar crowds. While some blame the “rematch” factor for poor attendance, I believe that it’s due to these being hosted on campus… as nice as that is for the home team, this time of year the trend is to allow fans the chance to travel to somewhere new. I’m conflicted on this, since I believe that any future Championship Expansion should consider home stadiums, but I also understand that there’s a huge money factor involved from tourism and so forth.

RICE1

The “Bowl-Bloat” Culprit

And that’s the heart of the silly season that we’re getting ready to enter- schools will pay lots of money for the “privileged” of making cash for television networks and tax exempt “bowl committees”; and only one game will “matter”, other than the contrived “Bowl Challenge” that the four letter network has created without consideration of even-matchups. When there are so many bowls that more than 50% of FBS teams get to go, is it really an honor?

That being said, this year should be a pretty good one for the B1G- in looking across the Bowl Landscape, there are only a few games that don’t feel like solid contests.  See what you think:

  • Rose Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. BCS/Pac-12): Michigan State vs. Stanford
  • Orange Bowl, Jan. 3: (ACC vs. BCS): Ohio State vs. Clemson
  • Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Wisconsin vs. South Carolina
  • Outback Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Iowa vs. LSU
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 28 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Michigan vs. Kansas State
  • Gator Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Nebraska vs. Georgia
  • Texas Bowl, Dec. 27 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Minnesota vs. Syracuse

The BCS games, then, would be Florida State/Auburn, Michigan State/Stanford, Ohio State/Clemson, Oklahoma/Alabama, and (bleh) Central Florida/Baylor.

All in all, a great set of excuses to gather friends and family for the holidays and then ignore them to watch TV. We’ll have breakdowns of each of these matchups in the coming days, as well as full coverage of Ohio State’s trip to Miami in an attempt to exorcise Charlie Bauman’s specter.

But with that… The Week That Were draws to a close for yet another season. Thanks for playing along with us all fall, and for being a part of tBBC Family. We’ll close with a bit of nostalgia to get you ready for Miami:

The Week That Were: 11.09.13

Written November 11th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Today’s soundtrack thanks our Veterans for all that they’ve done

Ok, class… time for a quiz.  What did we learn this week?

Ducked

Cathartic, I’m Sure

We learned that the template for beating Oregon has not changed. Control the ball and the clock with power running, Don’t turn the ball over, Take advantage of turnovers, and Hold on for dear life.

While this would seem to be the obvious solution to beating any team, Stanford has certainly shown that it’s a template for stopping one of the most powerful offenses in the country. By continuing to do so on Thursday night, the Cardinal looked like Ohio State and Auburn and LSU… and the Duck Dynasty were bumped off the path to the National Title game.

If that wasn’t enough, on Saturday the Head Duck even showed his newest uniform… and this one will probably not be welcomed with open arms in Eugene.

We also learned something that we should have already known; sometimes these are the most difficult of lessons.  Even here at tBBC we’ve highlighted again and again that “Big Game Bob” is a myth, that other than a BCS game against UConn (not a difficult thing, no matter what Michigan fans will tell you) and some wins over Texas during their programmatic slide, the Sooners have not managed to win the big one at anywhere near a dominant success rate.

We're Disappointed Too

We’re Disappointed Too

Even this year they were embarrassed by a Texas Team that was searching for it’s identity, and have a “quality win” over a Texas Tech team who’s now dropped three in a row. We should have known better than to expect wonders from the team from Norman, but there Buckeye fans were, hoping that they’d handle a Baylor team that’s been setting scoreboards on fire.

We forgot that they have no downfield passing game, and their running game is predicated on a fullback at quarterback. And so, even though it looked close at the outset, we couldn’t be too surprised when Oklahoma collapsed in a heap of it’s own making.

And Baylor? Well, Baylor continues to look absolutely fabulous. With contests against TTU, TBPU and Texas upcoming in their season, the Bears are by no means shoo-ins for the conference title, but the path is pretty clear.

To be fair to the Longhorns, they’ve turned the season around and remained undefeated after their overtime win in the first Texas trip to Morgantown as a part of the new conference configuration. Judging by the responses on Shaggy Bevo, fans are somewhat torn by this turn of events- Winning is good, but how can they fire Mack if he manages to bring home a B12 Title this year? Read More

Weekend Wonderings

Written November 10th, 2013 by Ken

thinking chimp

Welcome to the latest edition of Weekend Wonderings. Take a minute, grab whatever you drink on a Sunday afternoon/evening and let’s carry on. This will be a nice break from yard work for you. Besides, the Browns and the Buckeyes are off this weekend, so what else would you have planned?

The James/Wexner, Cleveland Clinic

As expected, we have a couple items this week.

First up, researchers at The James have determined, through whole-genome sequencing, that the human papillomavirus (HPV) can directly damage genes and chromosomes, thus contributing to cancer.

Published in the journal Genome Research, this laboratory study used whole-genome sequencing to investigate the relationship between the HPV and host genomes in human cancers.

“Our sequencing data showed in vivid detail that HPV can damage host-cell genes and chromosomes at sites of viral insertion,” says co-senior author David Symer, MD, PhD, assistant professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics at the OSUCCC – James.

“HPV can act like a tornado hitting the genome, disrupting and rearranging nearby host-cell genes,” Symer explains. “This can lead to overexpression of cancer-causing genes in some cases, or it can disrupt protective tumor-suppressor genes in others. Both kinds of damage likely promote the development of cancer.”

“HPV can act like a tornado hitting the genome, disrupting and rearranging nearby host-cell genes,” Symer explains. “This can lead to overexpression of cancer-causing genes in some cases, or it can disrupt protective tumor-suppressor genes in others. Both kinds of damage likely promote the development of cancer.”

Read More

The Week That Were: 10.12.13

Written October 14th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Great week to be on a bye- Three undefeateds and a top ten team lost, and two other top 10 teams struggled…  And, as much as I hate to admit it, only one song came to mind for Monday’s soundtrack.  Enjoy.

KI37Ggw

Yup.

Of course we’re going to start off in Happy Valley, where Michigan’s Brady Hoke continued his longstanding legacy of struggling on the road. As excellent as the Wolverines have been at home under his tenure *coughhomecookingcough* he’s only 6-8 on the road, including a nailbiter of a win against something called a UConn this season.

Hats off to the Penn State coaching staff, who essentially nullified Michigan’s running game- Toussiant and Green had 30 rushes for 28 yards. And big kudos to the Lion’s Christian Hackenburg and Allen Robinson, who made big plays late to tie the game and send it into what would be four overtimes.

But “player of the game” award goes to that upstanding citizen Brendan Gibbons, who missed three of four field goals, including big shanks in overtime and a kick at the end of regulation that was just short. Penn State played to win, Michigan played not to lose and still managed to do so. The Lions will now have a bye week before heading to Columbus to face Ohio State in what’s sure to be a hard fought battle.

Because I’m a petty person, we’ll be enjoying visual reminders of this game throughout the rest of this post… but let’s talk about the other games of note.

We’ve talked before about “Big Game Bob” and the pass that Coach Stoops gets in spite of some collapses on the national stage; recently, though, his Sooners have made hay in the Red River Shootout at the expense of a down Texas program.  So much so, in fact, that they even tried to make a clever graphic about it- it was assumed that yesterday’s game would be the final straw to lead to Mack Brown getting the Lane Kiffin treatment on the grounds of the Texas State Fairground. Funny thing about narratives, though…

Not only did Texas dominate the Sooners from the opening snap on their way to a 36-20 victory, they also gave us that greatest of college football gifts: a fat guy touchdown. Enjoy the majesty:

fatguyfromtexas_medium

Read More

Silver Bullet Points Gets Some R&R

Written November 7th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

It’s the bye week, and there’s only one song for the occasion. Well, two… something for everyone.

Nice...

Buckeye 411

  •  Injury Update- Tuesday, Coach Meyer said that it was better than 50/50 for Etienne Sabino to return for the Wisconsin game, something that will add a much needed boost to the Ohio State linebacker corps. No other injury news was given, so it’s safe to assume that Reid Fragel and Orhian Johnson are both OK following their leaving the Illinois game.
  • Freaking Flyer Miles- There’s no rest for the Buckeye coaching staff, who are traveling the nation reconnecting with current verbal commitments and starting to reach out to some new names.  Joe will have an update later this afternoon, but we do know that the coaches are hitting Ohio harder than the presidential candidates as well as canvassing Texas, the DC area, and renewing connections in the south (Carolinas, Louisiana, Florida). They’re doing some bye week fishing, and with a much wider net than we’ve seen in the past… we’ve even got 2015 and 2016 offers starting to go out.
  • Stiffarm Trophy? In spite of the fact that his coach has been a bit closed mouth about it until recently, Braxton Miller has emerged as a candidate for the Heisman.  He talked briefly with the media about this opportunity yesterday- check out The Sporting News’ coverage of the conversation.
  • Other Awards- Monday also saw Bri’onte Dunn named the B1G Freshman Of The Week for his work in the fourth quarter of the Illinois game.  Defensively, Ryan Shazier was named B1G Player Of The Week for the second straight game… see Sammy Silverman’s tribute after the jump.
  • Yeah, But… Urban Meyer in the B1G teleconference on Tuesday said that the Illinois game wasn’t Ryan’s best as a Buckeye, and he left a lot of opportunities on the field.  Remember, folks- he’s only a sophomore…
  • Meyer’s Musings- Coach also mentioned that there’s a two edged sword in dealing with bye weeks; it gives you the chance to get healthy, but it can also lead to a lack of focus and momentum. He spoke briefly about Reid Fragel as well, and said that it was the senior’s work that was evident in how well that he was playing- that when he didn’t apply and push himself, he was only “average”.
  • Rumblin’, Bumblin’, Fumbling? The fumbles were not an issue for Rod and Bri’onte, in Coach Meyer’s mind; they are something to work on, but not something to take away from their playing time.  Additionally, much to the nightmares of B1G defensive coordinators, Coach Meyer said that the two back look that Ohio State thrived from on Saturday would be something that Ohio State would continue to utilize, given the production and development of all of his running back corps.
  • Help Us Help You?  Hey- if you’re on the ol’ Twitter, your favorite bunch of miscreants is trying to get to 2002 followers by the November 24 game against That Team Up North. Yup, the one where they’re paying tribute to the 2002 national championship team… see what we’re doing there? Oh, and if you’re the Fake Jim Mora, nevermind. Read More

The Week That Were: 10.27.12

Written October 29th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

In spite of the huge win in Happy Valley on Saturday, I’m feeling a bit of the blues are in order for this week’s recap. So, enjoy some Collins, Cray, and Copeland.

It’d be easy to say that this week was “spook-tacular”, and “scary” for a lot of top teams, but that would be way to easy. So, let’s just admit that Saturday once again proved that we’re fans of the greatest sport in the world; because anything can happen once the ball is kicked.

Whoops

As a promise to a “friend” that’s a Notre Dame fan who I’ve been justifiably ripping for the last ten years, we’re leading off this week with the Irish’s huge win in Norman over the Sooners.  Like most of America who pays attention to the sport, I imagined that Oklahoma would stomp a mud hole into Brian Kelley’s team- Stoop’s defense, high powered offense… not exactly playing Air Force here. So, because the Irish emerged victorious, undefeated, and “relevant” enough to bump up to the third ranking spot in the BCS, I tip my journalistic cap to them- particularly their defense, which is playing lights out this season.  Although they gave up their first* (non-official assisted) rushing touchdown to Oklahoma, they were able to keep Sooner QB Landry Jones guessing all night long. That’s not to say that we’re not without some controversy, as the “luck of the Irish” continued when Heisman Candidate Manti Te’o intercepted the Sooners late in the game to seal away the victory. Your perspective of the play will depend on your hopes prior to the game- Irish fans were elated, others thought that the initial play was a case of pass interference resulting in a ball that clearly touched the ground. At any rate, complaining about the officiating is better left to other fan bases; the Irish are undefeated, and have overcome all but one of the games that had people pointing to theirs as the toughest schedule in college football. Congrats indeed.

Although… How much of this gets pinned on Bob Stoops? “Big Game Bob”, as we’ve discussed before, has built a reputation on an early BCS championship and his ability to beat his rival. However, given the state of his rival over the past few years, is it really fair to continue to give him a pass for his team’s coming up short in these types of games? The loss to Notre Dame is the second at home this year… although, to be fair, both teams are undefeated currently. So, Sooner fans- enjoy that BCS win over Connecticut a few years back, and hope that things can get turned around in the B12 for your squadron in the near future.

Since we alluded to them, let’s talk Texas, shall we? It took some late game heroics by a McCoy (no, not that one) to keep from being beaten by Kansas.  You read that correctly… the Jayhawks and their “Coach by weight” strategy were within seconds of beating the Longhorns and turning the heat even higher up on coach Mack Brown. I’m not one to jump on a dead bandwagon- check out the great “post a picture of our defense” thread on Shaggy Bevo- but I still can’t figure out how the flagship school in one of the most talent rich states in the nation continues to struggle on the field. Granted, it may be the competition in the conference and adjacent conferences, but you’ve got to think they’d be able to be successful whether or not there’s a prodigy at quarterback.

Also in the B12, Kansas State, the new #3 in the BCS continues to roll, playing even with Texas Tech for a half and then making the adjustment necessary to blow out the Raiders in Lubbock. Read More

The Week That Were: 10.20.12

Written October 22nd, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Ah, fall… the wind turns brisk and in Los Angeles the birds turn colors and fall from the trees (ht: David Letterman). We talked last week about “pumpkinitis” that’s sweeping the country… some people are taking it seriously. Instead of subjecting yourself to such a task, take time to kick back with some new tunes and enjoy a great weekend in college sports.

In case you haven’t noticed (and if you haven’t, please PLEASE let me know how you’re managing to pull that off), it’s election season. And you thought the BCS was complicated and overwrought… three more weeks, people. You can do it.

“But Mali- there’s never been politics on tBBC… what gives?”

Theological Disagreement

That’s a fine point, but it’s the only way I could think of to lead into this week’s “marquee” matchup. Given how much they like football, I’m sure that there was some tension on the Romney/Ryan campaign bus when Notre Dame and BYU squared off in South Bend.  (See, ’cause one candidate is a Mormon and the other is a Catholic… oh, nevermind.)  Yup, The Golden Domers met the People of the Golden Plates, with the former looking to continue their undefeated season.  The Cougars managed to do something that was pretty rare this season, and scored an offensive touchdown against a resurgent Irish defense, led by Heisman (?) candidate linebacker Manti Te’o. It wasn’t enough, though, as they fell to .500 in a 17-14 loss to Brian Kelly’s team, who was led by backup quarterback Tommy Rees’ and his one completed pass after halftime. So, yeah- that Notre Dame fan in your office has yet another week to be a bit boisterous regarding his fifth ranked favorite squadron.

In order to make sure I cover both sides of the 2012 election, here. Ok, I’m done talking religion and politics… you can come back now.

On the topic of mistakes that I’ve made recently, I’m more than willing to acknowledge that my purchasing the hype regarding West Virginia was misguided. They still seem to be a Big lEast team of sorts, where defense is even more optional than it has been in the B12 lately. This isn’t to take anything away from the October Heisman frontrunner; Colin Klein has rightfully taken the crown from Mr. September, particularly in their “head to head” contest on Saturday.  The Wildcats now sit at 7-0 , and even managed to jump Oregon in the BCS rankings this week, all the way up to #3. While I won’t argue with the BCS… At least Oregon beat a team this week that had a defensive pulse. We’ve not seen that from West Virginia, so it’s hard to assess Kansas State’s victory fully. Hooray subjectivity!

Ah, Eugene...

Although this is traditionally a “Saturday” wrap up, the truth of the matter is that Thursday’s game between the Ducks and Arizona State was pretty freaking impressive. After an initial ASU score, Oregon cranked up it’s offensive game and scored 43 points before there was even ten minutes left in the second quarter. Mercifully, they pulled back the horses at that point- although, they certainly could have kept rolling if they chose to… when a team scores on a two point conversion this easily, you’ve got to know that they are only stopping themselves for the rest of the game.  If you didn’t know any better, you’d think that Chip Kelly was pissed that his team was only ranked third in last week’s BCS- since they actually fell one slot this week, I’m afraid to see what happens to this week’s victim opponent. Read More