The Buckeyes needed some help during the bye week in the form of three wishes: A loss for Florida State, Alabama and/or Oregon. One of those wishes came true. Now the final stretch is upon us as they head to Illinois and prepare to close out the regular season in a convincing fashion. In the AP and the BCS, the Buckeys are up to number 3. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
The Big 3 games
Last Thursday was an absolutely huge night in the world of college football and for the imminent future of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Quick rising Baylor hosted 10th ranked Oklahoma while the number 2 team in the country went on the road to their biggest nemesis of late, the Stanford Cardinal.
On Saturday the defending national champions and top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide hosted their regular season rivals, the LSU Tigers.
Baylor vs Oklahoma
While the Baylor game had nothing to do with the three teams ahead of the Buckeyes, it was of some concern in that the undefeated Bears are seemingly winning over voters in the Associated Press and Harris polls on a week basis. They are gaining ground on Ohio State and are a clear threat to potentially jump the Buckeyes in the upcoming weeks should they win their games over TCU, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. It would have been nice to see the Sooners end the Baylor discussion, but alas it was not meant to be as Bob Stoops and his gang did what they do when the spolight is brightest: They melted and were obliterated.
Call me a Big 12 pessimist, despite their recent success I don’t see Baylor beating Texas and probably not Oklahoma State either. I realize they score points in bunches (they’ve gone over 70 four times this year) but when the rubber hits the road they aren’t experienced in games that have a lot on the line. Should they win their next three, the big night is December 7th when the Bears host Texas to close the season. Don’t look now, but Mack Brown is coaching his rear end off in Austin and would like nothing more than to steal the Big 12 automatic BCS bid by upsetting Baylor.
As for the much discussed jump of the Buckeyes and if it should happen, I don’t see it lasting even if they finish unbeaten. A Big Ten Championship game win over a top ten ranked and 11-1 Michigan State will be plenty to vault the Buckeyes back ahead of the Bears.
Stanford vs Oregon Read More
In today’s edition, we celebrate number 9, the Ohio State’s margin of victory over Oregon in the 2010 Rose Bowl, 26-17.
This was an interesting matchup between the racehorse offense of Oregon’s Coach Kelly (Brian or Chip;I can’t remember, and it really doesn’t matter) and the relatively much slower defense of Jim Tressel. It was actually a fairly exciting game, with a tie and two lead changes, before the Buckeyes outscored the Ducks 10-0 in the last quarter and a half to secure the win.
How? Well, the hyperkinetic Oregon offense was held to 260 yards on only 53 plays. Meanwhile the Ohio State offense rolled up 419 yards on 89 plays. The other statistic that I usually don’t pay too much attention to is Time of Possession. Ohio State held the ball 41 .5 minutes to 18.5 minutes, which is a reflection of the number of plays metric. Quite a contrast isn’t it? I imagine the Oregon defense was a bit winded at the end of the game.
Nonetheless, you’ll enjoy this video. Note Devier Posey’s adjustment to the ball in his 4th quarter reception. Read More
What can I say, the dead period trudges forward like an Iowa running back in a race against an SEC cornerback. Up in Eugene the penalties on the Oregon Ducks have been levied. Aaron Hernandez is an idiot and his actions have allowed a door to open for a former Buckeye. Meanwhile, over in Youngstown the city mourns the loss of a great local business and sportsman. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
The 27 month investigation into Chip Kelly and Oregon is over. Remember 27 months ago? We were all tied up in the ongoing “tattoo” saga. Jim Tressel was still the head coach at Ohio State, and we all waited to hear what the next turn would be in the debacle that it was.
Before we get into the Oregon sanctions, something funny I wanted to talk about regarding the Oregon scandal. On June 1, 2011, a little twitter account called @ScriptOhio posted an innocent comment reporting what it had been told regarding the school (Oregon) to be the next ones put in the NCAA’s gun sights for investigation. The “tweets heard round Twitter” simply read “Remember the “recruiting scandal” that was about to hit Oregon and got buried when the Tressel story broke in March?” followed by “VERY STRONG source tells me that within a week the Oregon story will break and its going to make Ohio State look like “child’s play”.”
These two tweets were the definition of “viral” for someone as small time as myself, as they were both retweeted well over 100x each. I wrote about it then, I’ll summarize it for you right now: A friend went down and visited his very good friend Jim Tressel in mid May before the resignation/firing. Sitting in the coaches office with JT and a few assistants, they were discussing the impending sanctions etc., like guys do when they sit around and shoot the breeze. Tressel then let out that Oregon was next on the block and the assistants in the room all chimed in in agreement that what they were hearing about the Ducks was way worse. Read More
If you’re following us on the book of face, you know that I made it back from my trip to Mt. Whitney last week- when you’d usually be reading SBP, I was at 14,508 ft, as the picture to the right can attest. It’s Buckeye Nation everywhere, people.
To celebrate, today’s soundtrack is a personal favorite… And I’ll include a few more photos/notes from the trip at the end of this post.
Over the next two days, your favorite miscreants here at tBBC will be taking a deeper look at the path that leads to Atlanta, because people from Ohio know all about getting to Atlanta.
Hopefully, this will help you as you fill out your brackets in this year’s Tournament Challenge- the game locks on Thursday, so sign up now!
Regional Favorite- I’m not really going out on a limb here by saying that Louisville is the team to beat in this region. They’re the overall #1 seed, they’ll be playing in front of home fans that choose to make the trip up I-65, and are firing on all cylinders at this point in the season, as is typical of Pitino teams. Their athleticism, full court press, and having a coach that’s been there before makes them huge favorites not only to come out of Indy, but to win the whole thing. In addition, I’m not sold on Duke or Michigan State being able to make deep runs this year, particularly after what we saw in the ACC/B1G tournaments. St. Louis looks threatening, but I believe that this one is the Cardinals’ to lose.
Which they can do if they find themselves not mentally in the game. As unlikely as that is, Louisville has seen it’s share of moments where it seems to be taking it’s time figuring out what its game plan is. While the story of the Big East final was certainly the enormous run that they went on to blow the doors off of Syracuse, the fact that they found themselves in a hole to begin with can’t be overlooked. The problem, as I see it, is that they won’t face teams able to take advantage of that until they’re already in Indianapolis for the Sweet 16.
Cinderella- For the purposes of this exercise, we’re picking an eight seed or lower that will make a deep run in the tournament. In the Midwest, that’s got to be the Oregon Ducks. Read More
Oh, college football… How I love you!!
Well, that happened.
While a lot of people were saying that Alabama was ripe for a loss against a Texas A&M team that’s been playing really well over the past few weeks, most of this felt like lip service. You know, the kind of things that ESPN makes one person say on the Gameday set in order to appear unbiased.
And then- “Johnny Football”.
There are a lot of reasons why Alabama lost- coming off of an emotional win on the road in Death Valley, LSU’s offense showed a lot of people the issues that the Tide have in their secondary, Saban’s fear of the high speed offense is based on his knowledge of his team’s weaknesses; but the fact of the matter is that the Aggies outplayed Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, in several key areas of the game.
The Crimson Tide defensive front was stifled, for the most part, by the aTm offensive tackles. Combined with concerns about a quarterback’s mobility, the Tide were not able to mount the type of disruptive pressure that they are so used to.
Alabama’s offense made key mistakes and turnovers, and seemed out of rhythm all night long. The three turnovers didn’t help, particularly when the Tide defense couldn’t get any of their own… and the mental errors were even more egregious. On the final interception, it seems to me that the receiver on the end of the line of scrimmage did a poor job getting depth in the end zone, making it easy for defenders to cover both him and the primary target. In addition, with Bama’s defense stiffening and forcing a punt, to have a member of their punt return/block team create a neutral zone infraction for an automatic first down is an aggressive penalty, but one that is terrible to have happen in that circumstance. Again, the intensity was there for the student in question, but the lack of focus eventually cost them a final chance at victory.
But we can’t miss the point here- this game was won by Johnny Manziel’s continual ability to make plays and put the Tide defense on their heels.
After the third week in a row with this type of performance (Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State), the redshirt freshman has lifted himself into Heisman candidacy- and for good reason. Given the lack of a clear “star” this year, given Matt Barkley’s struggles, the game this weekend was his “Flutie to Phelan” moment; outstanding performance in high profile opportunity. I’ll leave the debate to others, but will certainly enjoy watching the electricity that all of these candidates provide.
Even if he doesn’t win this year, you’ve got to think that next year’s Heisman race is going to be something spectacular- Braxton Miller, Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, Everett Gholston, Tahj Boyd, DeAnthony Thomas… and those are just the ones I’ve got off the top of my head.
(And since I’m on the topic, I think that Marquis Lee needs to be included in this year’s debate. But that’s just me).
Does this loss end the run of SEC titles in the final year of the BCS? Well, not exactly… more on this in a bit.
In a week that was seen as a “meh” on the national scene, it was nonetheless a great Saturday for football. Here’s today’s soundtrack, inspired by Coach Meyer’s comments following the clash with Michigan State.
Well, it may have been the weekend before October, but it certainly was another chance for folks to show off their new costumes.. some for better and some for worse. Let’s start in Lincoln.
Proving yet again that they’re better geared as a soccer kit provider, Adidas decided that the game between Nebraska and Wisconsin would be a great opportunity for all the children of the world to bone up on either their periodic table or their consonants. Huge thanks to our friend Grant at Buckeye Empire for the in-game screencap that you see on the right… it wasn’t quite that bad, but pretty close. Watching the game was pretty traumatic, to be honest… way too many flashbacks… and it shows that this week’s matchup will be another major test for both teams. We’ll obviously have much more on the Cornhuskers this week, but if that’s what “skipping rocks” looks like, it might be a long night in Columbus.
Also in B1G play, the “Meandering Illini” were outfitted with some new duds as they welcomed Penn State to the wind tunnel that is Memorial Stadium. I’m torn on the “matte” helmet look- I really like it, until it gets scuffed. Then? It looks pretty junior varsity… and as a lineman, I can’t imagine a non-scuffed helmet. In the days leading up to this game, you just knew there’s be a lot of paint being traded on both sides; Illinois looking to rebound from their embarrassment against Louisiana Tech, and Penn State looking to rebound from… well… everything. Add the “Illinois sent assistant coaches to Happy Valley” angle, as well as two coaches looking to make a statement in their first conference openers, you’ve got to figure that these teams would look for every opportunity to put a lot of points on the other. Unfortunately for Coach Beckman, that ended up being pretty one sided 35-7 loss. Read More
One day late on this- sorry, I forgot that the TressPress was Monday during The Game week.
Well, don’t have to tell you what week this is. It’s exciting and there’s nothing like it. You can feel the energy in our building and amongst our kids and coaches and fans and all the rest and on the campus, and we’re looking forward to it.We’re looking forward to the fact that we’re honoring that 1942 team, which one could argue that that’s when a great part of our tradition began in Ohio State football, and not to mention the fact that what those men did once the season was over, they went and served in the ultimate way, and we even lost a couple members of that team in the war, so you put all those things together, I don’t know if you could make the Ohio State/Michigan game any more special, but I think when you mention that football team and what they mean to our program and what they meant to our country, it just adds a little bit more.
These 24 seniors are great kids. They’ve done everything we’ve asked. They’ve been a part of some good football teams and they’re trying to lead this team into being a good football team and they know they only have one more chance back in Ohio Stadium. And I know they’re anxious and nervous and have a lot of emotions going through them right now. It goes fast and there’s about half of them that have been here five years and the other half four, and they’ll all tell you, I’m sure, that it’s been a blur and it’s been wonderful, and they’re going to savor every moment of this week.
You know, I think all of the things that are real, are real, but the things that are most important is what you have to focus on and the execution in a game that you’re so excited about is the focus. The Ohio State /Michigan game is the focus, and then there are tons of by-products for everybody, but the single most one everyone knows that’s ever coached or played at Ohio State is that you’re defined by your Ohio State /Michigan games. Certainly they’re on their way to winning championships or not winning championships or going to BCS bowl games or not going to BCS bowl games, but they have a — the Ohio State /Michigan game has a compartment of its own that is what you need to be most aware of, in my opinion.
“A lot of times when those two are yelling at each other, I’m not sure, but that’s the love/hate,” Tressel said. “There’s got to be a good guy and a bad guy. I’m usually the good guy, and (Siciliano) is the bad guy. That’s the way I designed it. He knew that when I hired him.
“And I told that to Terrelle when I hired (Siciliano). I said, ‘Hey, this guy is going to be on your fanny constantly. If you have 6 inches wrong on a step, if your hip’s not just right, he is going to be all over you. So get ready for it.’”
It will be good turkey.