Well, well, the Buckeyes get to head south for their bowl game rather than west. Oh well, it wasn’t our first preference, but let’s go Orange Bowling. The bowl game that we know as the Orange Bowl was inaugurated in 1933 as the Palm Festival. The bowl game was renamed the Orange Bowl and under the new name, the first game was played on January 1st, 1935 between Bucknell and Miami, won by Bucknell 26-0. From 1935 through 1988, this contest was known as the Orange Bowl. From 1989 – 2010, buttressed by corporate sponsorship, it was renamed the FedEx Orange Bowl. Moving from logistics to financial services, the game was renamed again in 2010 as the Discover (Financial) Orange Bowl.
The protagonists this January are the Ohio State University Buckeyes, Big Ten Conference (12-1, 8-1) and the Clemson Tigers, Atlantic Coast Conference (10-2, 7-1). Both teams have a brief history in playing in the Orange Bowl, and have played one another. The Buckeyes enter this game averaging 46 points on offense, while giving up 21 points. The Tigers average 40 points on offense and 21 on defense. The early line is Ohio State -2.5 with an over/under of 67, so Vegas is anticipating both teams scoring in the mid-30′s. They are probably right. Look for a high scoring game. Without much further ado, let’s get into the preview.
Notable in his absence from Orange Bowl prep this week, the reports were that Noah Spence had violated a team rule and was working his way back into the good graces of the team with hopes that he would rejoin the Buckeyes in time to face Clemson.
Today, however, those hopes were dissolved, as it was announced that the sophomore from Pennsylvania has been suspended for three games for violations of conference rules, beginning with this week’s game in Miami.
While the specifics of the infractions are not yet know, it’s speculated that it may not have been one thing but instead a combination of concerns. In the statement from the University, printed below, special attention is made to Spence’s being Academic All-Conference, raising speculation that the issues may be classroom related.
Here’s the official word from Ohio State:
It has been determined that Ohio State University sophomore Noah Spence has violated a Big Ten Conference rule and he has been suspended for three games, starting with the Discover Orange Bowl this Friday.
Spence’s parents, who did not agree with the rule violation nor the penalty imposed, were assisted by the Ohio State Department of Athletics in exhausting the appeals process that was available to them with the Big Ten.
Spence is an Academic All-Big Ten honoree and an OSU Scholar-Athlete. He will continue course work toward his sociology degree next semester and he will be able to practice with the team this spring, but he will not be eligible to play in a game until Ohio State’s third game of the 2014 season, Sept. 13 vs. Kent State.
The Department of Athletics will have no further comment on this issue.
From the tone of that, it certainly sounds like it’s not just Noah’s parents who are frustrated, but that the University is disappointed with the result of the appeal as well.
Due to numerous factors, we may never know the full extent of the situation. However, we’ll keep you up to date as information becomes available.
*UPDATE- There’s a lot of speculation that this issue was one with an improper dietary supplement, and was detected during the B1G Championship’s mandatory screening.
*UPDATE 2- Not totally related, but it appears that Ohio State will also be without Bradley Roby for the game as well. Curtis Grant is medically cleared and will play.
It’s pretty great to be a Buckeye fan… we’re in the midst of a great two year run in football and multiple years of success in men’s basketball- our teams are major news story, and people even pay attention to what the former University president says and does.
That being said… there’s still some grievances that need aired, so before we see if someone can pin Ken in the feats of strength, here we go:
What’s the thing about Ohio State sports that enraged you the most this year?
Jason: Wichita State and Michigan State ending dream seasons that were set up with what appeared to be cake-walk runs to a championship opportunity.
Joe Dexter: The one thing that bugged me most this year about Ohio State athletics was how the athletic administration handled some of it’s coaching changes during 2013. Many will argue about former girls basketball head coach Jim Foster, but the way it was handled was way off kilter in my opinion.
The one firing that made no sense to me was former head hockey coach Mark Osiecki. Athletic Director Gene Smith noted it was a “difference of opinion” that couldn’t be resolved. The program was on the upswing, was in the CCHA Semis despite being very very young, and had a ton of talent coming to Columbus despite always battling not having their own arena to call home.
Ken: This would be football related. The inability to show any meaningful improvement in the defense. “Defense wins Championships”, as MSU aptly demonstrated.
Eric: Like just about everyone else, losing out on potential National Title runs to Wichita State and Michigan State. Both losses were incredibly painful to watch.
Patrick: Charging more for “Premium Games”. As a season ticket holder, I pa them enough and then they pull this BS!?!?
Scott: Both teams were set up nicely to make it to the championship game and defense let us down. Read More
One more week until Christmas! Hopefully you’re getting your shopping all taken care of… and today’s soundtrack from three of my favorite artists will help inspire you to remember the real meaning of the season. (Honestly, that wasn’t the strangest thing I found this year…)
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
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
No matter what you might hear over the next few days, we’d never leave you for Austin.
Sure they’ve got great barbecue and music and… you know, on second thought… Nah. It’s always a great day to be a Buckeye- and there’s only one place in Texas that I’d be interested in going to anyway.
Kirk Herbstreit’s favorite BCS matchup.
The History: The Orange Bowl has been played annually since 1935, making it the second-oldest bowl game, along with the Sugar Bowl and the Sun Bowl, behind the Rose Bowl. Played in Miami, Fla., the Orange Bowl has been sponsored by Discover since 2010 after FedEx sponsored the game for 21 years before that.
Northern Illinois Scouting Report: The Huskies squeaked their way into the BCS party by finishing in the top 16 of the BCS standings after their 44-37 double overtime win against Kent State in the MAC Championship Game. Quarterback Jordan Lynch has thrown for 2,962 yards and 24 touchdowns this season and rushed for 1,771 yards and 19 touchdowns. To put it mildly, he’s decent.
Florida State Scouting Report: The Seminoles come into the Orange Bowl with two losses on the year–one to NC State and the other to rival Florida. Florida State’s defense is again one of the best in the country and quarterback E.J. Manuel leads the offense as he has thrown for 3,101 yards and 22 touchdowns on the year.
tBBC “Expert Selections:
My Selection: As you can see, all of us here at tBBC are not giving Northern Illinois a chance in this ballgame. A lot of people felt the Huskies didn’t deserve to be in this game so it will be their job to prove all of the naysayers incorrect. However, I just think the Seminoles have too much firepower, especially defensively. This one could get ugly quick and I see FSU winning 38-14.