Thanksgiving with tBBC: Time for Turkeys

Written November 22nd, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Right about now, you’re either getting ready to sit down for an awkward family dinner with that weird uncle, or you’ve already eaten and are letting the tryptophan course through your body… Ah, the Holidays.

Here at tBBC we wanted to take a moment and reflect on the highs and lows from the past year, which will give me just enough time to snag that last piece of sweet potato pie while everyone is reminiscing.

We’re Thankful For…

Janelle: Coach Meyer. We knew that the Buckeyes would be better this season, but undefeated going into TSUN week? That far and away exceeded expectations. We knew it was possible, but after last season, I don’t think anyone was sure what would happen this year. He has rallied the troops and gotten them to play with so much heart and intensity. It has truly been fun to watch.

WVa: Braxton and Coach Meyer. In a season that the expectation was that the Buckeyes just be more competitive than last year, they have excelled because of these two. I am thankful for the relationship that they have forged as they lead the Buckeyes. The next two seasons will be very special because the Buckeyes have the best coach and the best player hands down. It’ll be interesting to have the discussion next year, when will their first loss together be?

Gary:  Two things. I am thankful for being part of Buckeye Nation. This Nation has the best fans in all of college football. No one is more passionate than Buckeye fans. Second, I am thankful for a great football team that has fought through tremendous obstacles to become one of only two undefeated teams!

Eric: I must say that I am most thankful to have been able to participate on this blog for the last 4 years without having a drastic effect on my real life job.  That it has enabled me to drastically improve my writing, improve my understanding of the sports I love, and participate in activities and events that I never thought possible a few short years ago.  It may be the kind of activity that causes you to sit around for long hours of the day in your pajamas, but it is worth every anti-social minute.

I’m also thankful to have worked with some of the best sportswriters on the face of the earth here at the BBC.  Each and every one of them has been an absolute pleasure to work with.  The jokes shared, and the back and forth commentary and discussions we have both behind the scenes and in public are without a doubt some of the most enlightening, engaging, and entertaining I’ve ever had. Thanks guys.  I hope to keep doing this with you for quite a bit longer.

Leader. Legend.

Jason: Urban Meyer. Who knows where we would be and what the future would look like if anyone else had been given the job. With Urban we know the future is bright. I’m also thankful for 11-0 and the chance to be 12-0. I’d also like to thank the guys (and girls) here at the BBC for giving me a place to rant each week. Thanks!

JoeL: Jim Tressel putting this program back on the map.  I am so excited for him to be back in the shoe on Saturday and I am sure many people have mixed feelings about it, but without him, we wouldn’t be where we are today, we were stumbling against tsun, we were in shambles academically, and he resurrected the program, and while it wasn’t the way we wanted to see him go out, he was able to turn a successful program over to another great coach that I am thankful to be here.

Mali: I’d echo everyone’s sentiments thus far, particularly the pleasure of getting to be a part of this great group of writers and fans.  In addition, I’d say that I’m also continually amazed by and grateful for the folks who come by every day and join our party- readers, commentors, facebook friends, and members of the twitterati.  We don’t do this without you.

The other thing I’m most thankful for, Buckeye related, is John Simon.  And Nathan Williams. Etienne Sabino, Justin Boren, Reid Fragel, Orhian Johnson, Jake Stoneburner, Ben Buchanan, and ALL of Ohio State’s senior class. Their dedication to the program, their willingness to stay and lead after one of the most challenging seasons in the program’s history is something that is rare in the “what’s in it for me” culture in college sports, particularly knowing that there’d be no post-season for them.  Here’s to hoping that their final game is the type of victory that they deserve.

The Biggest Turkey Of This Season Is… 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

Silver Bullet Points Is Appealing

Written August 8th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

It’s your regularly scheduled look around the world of college sports- a bit more in depth than the tidbits we’ve got after practice. Following Tuesday’s notes, be sure to check the latest on “reform” from the NCAA and thoughts on Penn State’s constant appeals processes.

Buckeye 411

  • Always. Forever.

    Not So Fast…  Any speculation about Roby playing offense and defense was shut down by the coaches today. He made a spectacular play on an overthrow today, though- he’s going to be special. However, Corey Brown said that Roby wasn’t the fastest guy on the team, and called him out saying that he (Corey) wasn’t able to run during testing but that he could beat Roby in a race.

  • Dunn Update- Brionte spent much of the day with the second team offense. He will be a part of this year’s successes offensively.
  • Granted- Curtis Grant was back at practice after spending time in Virginia with his ill grandfather Josh Perry was back as well.
  • That’s Nate!  Also out today in helmets and shoulder pads was Nathan Williams, who did some contact drills without a brace on his leg. It should be noted that the contact was only 3/4 speed, working technique with tackling sleds and dummies.
  • Abandon Hope, B1G QBs- Shazier is now up 25 pounds and is actually faster than last year, although he’s honest that he played too fast last season. He talked about being able to let the play happen rather than rushing past it.
  • On The Blocks- Orhian Johnson blocked a field goal attempt in today’s competition.
  • Tackle Football- Reid Fragel and Taylor Decker split time at tackle today, with Decker working with the #1s during the final segment. This may be due to hydration issues from the heat today.
  • And So, It Begins-  The “We still love you, can we be besties?” between the Buckeyes and ESPN kicks off with this coverage from ESPN The Magazine Read More

Silver Bullets Reloaded: Defensive Backs

Written August 25th, 2011 by Jim

Orhian Johnson is the lone returning starter in the secondary.

 

After losing three starters from last season, one would think the secondary would be in rebuilding mode at camp. Like the rest of the defense, that has not been the case at all. The starters (with one small exception) have been set from day one.

Continuity in the secondary is important, and the Buckeyes have had plenty of it so far. Outside of the offensive line, communication and coordination is more important in the secondary than anywhere else on the football field, and having the same players together helps out tremendously.

I have been very impressed by the secondary during practice. Despite three new starters, they all play (and most importantly communicate) like seasoned veterans.

Bold prediction time: despite the attrition, the 2011 defensive backs will be better than a year ago.

Here is a player by player breakdown of the two-deep. Read More

Upperclassmen Check-In Coverage

Written August 7th, 2011 by Jim

UPDATE- Photos after the break, courtesy of Josh Winslow

Happy to be in camp- can you blame him?

Following check-in today there are now 104 players ready to start fall camp tomorrow morning.

Not among those 104 are LB Johnathan Newsome, LB Dorian Bell, and WR James Louis. Their official status remains unclear, but they did not check into the hotel today, so everyone can draw their own conclusions from that.

Outside of who didn’t show up, and despite my best wishes from yesterday, it turns out that players arriving individually over an extended period of time doesn’t create much more to write about than when they arrive all at once on a bus.

One interesting note is that former Buckeye and Cardinal OL Alex Stepanovich arrived at the hotel today, and he will apparently be helping the team in some capacity.

The pictures will tell the story of everything else much better than I can with words (1000 to 1 and all that) so stay tuned for more Josh Winslow photographs later this afternoon.

We will have continuing coverage from practice tomorrow morning as well.

Read More

 

It's coming soon.

It has been a long and arduous off season for Buckeye Nation.

The anticipation and anxiety surrounding the August 12th NCAA hearings alone are enough to put someone on edge. How severely will the NCAA ultimately punish Ohio State for its transgressions?

We can only speculate and hope for the best.

Next up was the resignation of all-time great Jim Tressel and the resulting uncertainty surrounding Ohio State’s next head coach. Luke Fickell is a great defensive coach and an even better Buckeye, but will he be the long term answer to Ohio State’s head coaching vacancy?

We can only speculate and hope for the best.

Finally, what initially looked like a 2012 recruiting class for the ages is quickly turning into another source of concern for fans. As I have mentioned previously, it is still much, much too early to give up on the class, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a source of stress for the next several months. Will Luke Fickell (or the next head coach) be able to salvage the 2012 recruiting class before signing day?

We can only speculate and hope for the best.

Clearly there will be plenty of uncertainty and things to worry about in the coming months. If you are like me, however, you are already so sick and tired of worry and speculation that you have entered a state of comatose. Obviously, being in a state of comatose isn’t very much fun, so I have decided to switch my coping mechanism.

While this off-season has dragged on to the point that it seems like it will never end, the light at the end of the tunnel is coming into view and the season is fast approaching.

Rather than worry about things outside of our collective control, it’s time to refocus our energies on getting excited about the football season that kicks off in 65 days.

Here is a list of some things that I am most excited about for this season and beyond. Read More

Spring Game: Players to Watch on Defense

Written April 20th, 2011 by Jim

 

Spring is the time for young defenders to shine.

The Buckeyes have to reload on defense more in 2011 than any year since 2006. If you remember back, the 2006 defense had to replace all time great A.J. Hawk amongst many others. The task was daunting, but players like James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins quickly emerged as the next great Buckeye defenders. A defense full of newcomers helped lead the team to a perfect regular season and a trip to the national title game.

Will Etienne Sabino be the next Laurinatis? Will Travis Howard be the next Jenkins? If anything, the players this season have more experience under their collective belts than the 2006 group did, which bodes well for the silver bullets.

Jim Tressel has received plenty of criticism on offense over the years, but on defense there is not much to complain about. The Buckeyes have been a top ten ranked D annually under Tressel regardless of attrition each year, and this season should be no different.

Here are the players to watch in the spring game who will look to continue the defensive tradition of excellence. Read More

Spring Game Primer

Written April 11th, 2011 by Jim

Excited for football yet?

With spring practice well underway and the spring game quickly approaching, it is time to move from “way too early looks” at each position into some more informed analysis based on practice reports.

[Note: I apologize for not getting to the defensive backs in my “way too early looks”.]

This offseason has been a tumultuous one to say the least. The tattoo revelations leading up to the Sugar Bowl and the resulting suspensions guaranteed a shadow over the off season. The additional news concerning Jim Tressel didn’t exactly make that shadow go away.

Fortunately, time heals all wounds, and cracking pads on the field helps to speed up that process- at least for me. After some time off from writing following the Tressel news conference (which is part of the reason why I didn’t get to the DBs), my enthusiasm for football is back in full swing.

So what follows will not only be a look at the DBs for the first time, but also a review of all of the position groups with some updated thoughts based on news from practice. I apologize ahead of time if this ends up being lengthy.

My rebuttal: FOOTBALL!

My attitude this offseason has always been that no matter what happens, when the Buckeyes take care of business on the field everything else will fade into the background.

Redemption through wins.

Off field BS be damned.

Here is a look at how each position is looking heading into the spring game.

Read More

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