Silver Bullet Points Gets Apocalyptical

Written December 19th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Advent Calendar Of Sorts

This could quite possibly be the last SBP of… well forever. The Mayans have spoken… or the Aztecs, I always get them confused. So, of course there’s only one soundtrack for the moment… it’s been a good ride.

Buckeye 411

  • Something Significant- As exciting as this season was, I’d be willing to bet that the most important game that Urban Meyer coached this year might just be the one involving military veterans just back from tours of duty. It’s part of  the “Tostitos Homecoming” event that will air on January 3rd, but Coach Meyer once again found himself across the field from Bobby Bowden. The event also included stars from the NFL and pop culture… a great event for a great cause.
  • Longsnapper Update! It’s no secret that we’ve got a soft spot in our heads and a warm spot in our hearts for current Buckeye and Nittany Lion scourge Bryce Haynes. That why we received Monday’s news that Ohio State had gotten another verbal for the 2013 class on Monday with mixed emotions; sure, it’s a “preferred walk on”, but the position in question is long snapper. Thomas Worthington’s Nick Sharick joins the team by way of Tennessee- he took a grey shirt with the Volunteers after not participating in fall camp. Eligibility wise, he’ll be a freshman while Haynes and Makridis complete their eligiblity in the next two years- as a “preferred walk on”, he’ll have the opportunity to earn a scholarship during his tenure. This is definately a move that is impacted by Ohio State’s scholarship restrictions this season- we’ll talk more about that a bit later in today’s commentary.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye’-  Wide receiver Verlon Reed has left the program, and will transfer to a yet to be determined institution. It sounds as if the transition is “amicable”; Reed was recovering in 2012 from a knee injury after having a relatively successful 2011 campaign.
  • Mo’ Money, Mo’ Compliance? One of the interesting stories recently has been Ohio State’s “strengthened” compliance efforts following the self audit and issues in 2010-11.  As a part of that, student athletes are receiving valuable “real world” coursework, including budget creation and money management. Folks who mock these as unnecessary “jock” instruction haven’t worked with college students recently- I’d love it it my students leaders had the same requirements.

As a part of this, though, the University is requiring students to have “open” bank accounts- to allow the University to better monitor incoming funds to avoid no-show jobs and booster “gifts”.  Read More

The Ohio State Roster and Stefon Diggs

Written February 10th, 2012 by Eric

WR/DB Stefon Diggs (Photo by Tin Nguyen/The Gazette)

Just yesterday the official Ohio State Athletics website posted an updated depth chart for the Buckeyes.  There were some big changes, though many were fully expected.  Of particular note were the losses of Jamaal Berry (cut for off-field issues) and David Durham (transfer to Pittsburgh).

But the question that still lingers is the one of Oversigning.  Ohio State fans and media have been justifiably wringing their hands since the moment that Urban Meyer started recruiting like crazy.  It’s not unusual around this time for Buckeye fans to worry about oversigning, particularly considering how badly they view the practice.  To see the Buckeyes commit such an act would be incredibly shameful for nearly everyone.

Accounting for scholarships, though, is a tricky business.  Whether a player has maintained their scholarship over the course of time, particularly if they’ve remained a walk-on, is hard to figure out.  It’s also difficult to keep track of which walk-ons have managed to pick up scholarships during the course of time.  Plus, the constant addition and subtraction of players through transfer and recruiting just adds another level of complication.

With the Buckeyes still hunting after one additional recruit, we have been told by Urban Meyer that there are currently 81 scholarship players on the team.  Those numbers would leave one available scholarship in the 2012 recruiting class if his accounting is correct.  Of course, there’s still a player out there that Meyer thinks could fill that spot.

Stefon Diggs, a Wide Receiver/Defensive Back recruit out of Maryland, is scheduled to announce his college destination this evening.  Where he is going, currently a battle between Maryland, Ohio State, and Florida, has been a hotly contested topic of conversation on Twitter and college football recruiting boards across the country.  Diggs would be a huge addition to any recruiting class, and would be the kind of significant playmaker that could see the field quickly in a big way.

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Silver Bullet Points To The Rafters

Written January 18th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

It’s hump day, which means the mid-week linkage and notes from around the world of college sports.

Flying High, As Always

Buckeye 411

  • Dennis Hopson’s number hasn’t been retired by Ohio State. As someone who grew up in Ohio during his reign, I find that unbelievable… almost unforgivable. So, like a lot of other folks, I’m 100% behind the #Hop2theRafters movement to let OSU know it’s time for jersey number 32 to be honored… you can get involved, too: http://www.change.org/petitions/retire-32
  • Mark your calendars- Right now, Ohio State’s spring practice is set to begin March 28. The spring game will be played April 21 at 1:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. While Urban is out recruiting the next wave of Buckeye legends, the fact of the matter is that the team might look very very different come March 28- particularly if February goes as has been prophesied.
  • Not Just Recruiting Players- Coach Meyer has an open coaching position as well, and the OZone’s Brandon Castel has a look at the candidates. My three “favorites”:
    • Chuck Heater, Temple Defensive Coordinator
    • Troy Douglas, former UNC DB Coach
    • Travaris Robinson, current Florida DB Coach
  • Vested Interest- Speaking of open coaching positions, the Colts has one.  And, you know our opinion is that they should look no further than the man upstairs. (No, Tim… not that one)

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2012 BCS National Championship: The Castaways

Written January 6th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Updating an earlier post…

Well, here we are, on the cusp of the “Hyperbole Bowl!!!1!1!!”. Alabama -vs- LSU; the game so great it had to be played twice.

Same Game, Different Shirt

Granted, both LSU and Alabama are amazing teams, and deserve their top rankings. Each program is led by a coach that has won a national championship; with Coach Saban doing it at both schools. Both come from the tradition and experience laden SEC, winners of the last five national titles.

So, in many ways the extreme coverage is warranted. Given that both teams have had a significant time to prepare, and that their conference has exclusive coverage from the network that creates news stories, I’m actually surprised at how understated the buildup to this game has been. But no, I won’t be watching.

It’s not simply because I’ve already seen this game and believe that another team should have been given a chance… others have covered that already.  It’s also not due to the fact that this proves nothing new- an Alabama win only evens the series… when’s the rubber match?

No, the main reason I’m not interested in tuning in to the four letter network is that their coverage of this game has been woefully incomplete (go figure). In addition to the fact that both teams are on NCAA probation (who knew?), there’s another shadow over this “epic clash”. For all the talk about strategies and “SEC Speed” and Heisman Finalists, one key reason that these two teams are so successful is being completely overlooked and under-reported in the build up; again, surprising given all the time dedicated to previewing this match.

Look, I’m on record as being very “anti-human interest angle” pre Super Bowl, and my perspective here is why I refuse to watch the Olympics. However, there are student athletes who have been forgotten and cast aside here, not just by the media coverage, but by the programs themselves.

I’m referring, of course, to those players who have ‘left’ the active rosters of each team for what might be considered questionable reasons.

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Urban Meyer, the SEC, and Oversigning

Written December 22nd, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

‘Tis the season for bowls and so forth- our friend Dave has another look at the some of the inconsistencies between conferences. Be sure to tweet your thoughts to him @DaveRini

That’s supposed to read like Clint Eastwood’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Hopefully you like bad jokes because I’ve got plenty more and I harbor no shame.

Who'll Think Of The Young People?

At this point, you’ve undoubtedly heard the term “oversigning” along with its technical definition, and more importantly what it means to your team/conference. If you haven’t, I highly recommend reading this outstanding article written right here at tBBC about 6 weeks ago. It covers the rising issue very well and the team at Oversigning.com has also done a fantastic job of not only putting all of this in context, but being extremely vocal of just how detrimental this has become to not only a team and its conference, but the kids involved. Now, I’m not going to get on my soapbox to claim that this is all about the kids and how unfair it is to them because we all know that ultimately this is still a business with an educational false-front. But for some schools, this has been taken too far, for too long.

On the flip side, the other hot topic this fall/winter is unquestionably the hiring of Urban Meyer. All of the cynics have definitely come out in full force since Urban accepted tOSU head coaching job and are doing everything in the their power to paint an evil picture of him. I think it’s safe to say that all of us had some sort of reservation be it big or small, given how things ended at Florida.

Well, they can question his motives for his oddly timed departure and return. They can question the number of players that were in some sort of trouble under his watch, and they can even question the fact that the talent he won with may not have been all of his own recruits. That’s fine; there are arguments on all sides of each of these points, but there are no questions swirling around his oversigning habits…because there are none. You see, even though the SEC created their very own rules on this oversigning debacle, Urban was still not a major offender, so he’ll have no problem adhering to the rules set in place by the B1G in 1956 which ban oversigning in the entire conference. Read More

The Week That Were: 11.05.11

Written November 7th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

The Week That Were looks at the hyperbolic and the unexpected. Once again, I was wandering around the wilderness on gameday, which explains why Stevie makes a repeat appearance as our soundtrack for “The Review Of The Century”:

NOTE- Scroll down for our comments regarding Penn State coverage.

Knowing Your Target Demographic

Well, let’s get right to it… the game that many saw as a pick-em at kickoff, between the top two teams in the country, was the “highlight” of an interesting week.  Sorry for those of you playing the “oversigning” drinking game- in the hours and hours of lead up and coverage, not a single mention of the biggest issue behind the scenes for this matchup. At least you could be the Designated Driver, right?

As for the game itself- it was a classic matchup of two solid defenses. Or, it was a clash between two teams that could not offensively amount to much of anything. It all depends on your perspective, I reckon.

That’s not to say that there weren’t moments to enjoy, though. I’m someone who normally appreciates defensive struggles but also hates soccer,  and I can admit the players that Alabama and LSU didn’t run off during the offseason put on the field showed the “SEC Speed” that we continue to hear so much about during home game bowl season. To keep Trent Richardson in check when he’d been running through offenses like he was a fancy car or something… that’s significant. These teams both were firing on all cylinders on the defensive side of the ball, even if they couldn’t outscore a baseball game.

Only one thing frustrated me, to be honest- Les Miles absolutely should have faked the third down field goal and gone for the touchdown.  Lester… man, you’re getting soft. Saban, on the other hand, was in championship form- I can see why people want to play for him… he’s so cuddly! Read More

LSU/Alabama- The Forgotten

Written November 2nd, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

This week, the hyperbole has kicked into full gear as the top two teams in the nation play each other in what must certainly be the “Game Of The Millennium!!1!11!!”.

There's A Shirt... It Must Be Serious

Granted, both LSU and Alabama are amazing teams, and deserve their top rankings. Each program is led by a coach that has won a national championship; with Coach Saban doing it at both schools. Both come from the tradition and experience laden SEC, winners of the last five national titles. Heck, there’s even speculation that this may only be a precursor to the National Title game; that the tubes and wheels inside of computers might match them again in the Sugar Bowl for another go at it.

So, in many ways the extreme coverage is warranted. Given that both teams have had a week off to prepare, and that their conference has exclusive coverage from the network that creates news stories, I’m actually surprised at how understated the buildup to this game has been. And yes, I will be watching.

That being said, though, there’s one set of stories that won’t be covered in all of the leadup to this spectacular matchup. I’m on record as being very “anti-human interest angle” pre Super Bowl, and my perspective here is why I refuse to watch the Olympics. However, there are student athletes who have been forgotten and cast aside here, not just by the media coverage, but by the programs themselves.

I’m referring, of course, to those players who have ‘left’ the active rosters of each team for what might be considered questionable reasons.

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The Week That Were: 9.10.11

Written September 11th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

This week’s journey back through the world of college sports is a bit more subdued than usual- due, in part, to the lack of “marquee” games, but mostly due to perspective.

There are lots of things in life that are important… and college sports are among them. But today and yesterday and this past week, we’re reminded that the big picture is a lot richer and deeper than just what happens between the sidelines and in athletic departments.

So, with that, we launch into our favorite distraction knowing that we’ll re-visit moments that ground us to reality throughout.  Today’s soundtrack is in memory of Zenith… enjoy.

Midseason Form

With all the buzz last week about conference realignment, all eyes were in Austin when the Cougars of BYU came to town.  The team from Provo had recently launched itself into the world of football independence, yet rumors swirled that they might be one of the teams to come to the Big 12-2-1 upon aTm’s absence and “save” the conference. On the other sidelines were the belle of the realignment ball- a Texas team looking to rebound from one of their worst seasons in recent history… yet one that still commands a place at the table when you discuss power programs.  So how’d the game turn out? Bout like you’d expect…

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