The Buckeyes and Nitany Lions are meeting this evening in Happy Valley for a rematch of the game the Nits stole a few weeks ago.
The game is scheduled to tip at 7 PM Eastern Time on ESPN2. Come stop by and chat with us during the game!
When Penn State was rocked by arguably the biggest scandal in college sports in 2011, they one thing on most B1G football fans minds was, who will be the guy to lead PSU through this dark time. Many names were tossed about and when the dust settled, they landed on a little know NFL assistant named Bill O’Brien.
O’Brien had no ties to Penn State and had no head coaching experience at the top level of college football. He had a knack for developing quarterbacks and designing great offensive game plans. His passion and desire for football quickly won over most of the PSU faithful, although many in the college football world wondered aloud how long O’Brien would stay at PSU.
Some felt he would bolt for the NFL once a good opportunity arose and others felt he would use PSU as a stepping stone to a bigger named school. Over the course of his two year tenure, his name would come up when any top job became available. Texas, USC, Auburn, the Cleveland Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs were just a few over the past two years that O’Brien was linked too.
O’Brien received a raise and contract extension after his first season in Happy Valley and went as far as telling an Orlando Sentinel reporter after the 2012 season,
“The players who are here now and the guys who were here last year could’ve gone anywhere…They didn’t have to stay at Penn State, but they committed to each other, they committed to Penn State, and they committed to our coaching staff. I felt it was important that they understood that I was committed to them. What are you if you’re not a man of your word?”
Many of the PSU faithful took solace in that quote that O’Brien would be the guy to guide them through the last two years of their probation and return them to top of the college football mountain.
THEN……..it happened. Read More
After suffering back-to-back road losses at Wisconsin and Purdue, the Ohio State women’s basketball team returned home to Columbus hoping the friendlier confines of the Schott would help them get back to winning. The Big Ten scheduling gods were not going to make that easy though as standing in the way was 9th ranked Penn State who had already defeated OSU 66-42 in Happy Valley back in January.
Things started off well for Ohio State as a Darryce Moore layup opened the scoring and the Buckeyes got up to an early 7-4 just over two minutes into the game. Penn State would use a 9 to 4 run to change that and take a 13-9 lead with just over fifteen minutes remaining in the half. The Buckeyes would narrow that gap to one only to see the Nittany Lions quickly open the lead back to 5, 19-14, near the midpoint of the half. Down 24-19 with just over eight minutes before the break, Ohio State got a spark from three points by Amy Scullion and Martina Ellerbe and used that momentum to go on a 14 to 2 run that gave the Buckeyes a 33-26 lead with just under five minutes to go in the half. Despite all the momentum on their side, Ohio State suddenly found themselves going cold from the field and Penn State responded by chipping away at the lead and then making a layup just before the buzzer to go into the locker room leading 38-36.
OSU’s cold shooting continued at the start of the second half and the Buckeyes quickly found themselves in a double-digit hole, 47-36, just four minutes into the second period. Five straight points by the Buckeyes pulled them back within six but they still couldn’t find their shot and the Nittany Lions used a 10 to 1 run to put themselves back up by double digits and put the game out of reach as PSU would coast the rest of the way to a 74-54 win.
The Buckeyes are still at home tonight to welcome in the Penn State Nittany Lions. Despite Penn State sitting in last place, the Nits possess a couple excellent scorers that could make life difficult for the Buckeye’s defense.
The game is scheduled for 7:00 PM Eastern time on the Big Ten Network. Stop by and say hi to all of your favorite Buckeye bloggers and friends! Go Bucks!
Welp, here we are Buckaroos… the Basket Bucks and Football version both have two game losing streaks. Nevertheless, there’s great things happening in Columbus…. give this a listen as we dive right in.
“Michigan State is Ohio State’s new rival.” This theme began around 11:30pm Tuesday night.
To be fair, rumblings of this new theme began long before the Spartans defeated the Buckeyes in overtime at the Breslin Center, but they began to emerge heavily after the scarlet and gray’s 72-68 defeat.
I reject this thought immediately. Michigan State is NOT our new rival. Ohio State has one rival, and only one rival.
Tradition dictates that the Michigan Wolverines are the lone rival to my alma mater, and their misfortunes of late do not knock them from the ranks of rivalry. (By “misfortunes of late”, I mean their football team being a steaming heap of dung throughout the entire 21st century. Boom, roasted.)
Michigan State is atop the Big Ten, and they earned it by knocking the Buckeyes from the ranks of the unbeaten twice in five weeks. I can accept that they are the champions in football and the current leaders in basketball. They’re a damn good team in both sports, and while I am not happy about it, there’s no denying it.
But I cannot and will not allow history and tradition to be rewritten over an excellent stretch of athletic competition.
To me, a rivalry requires more than wins and losses on a stat sheet. It takes decades of hatred, frustration, glory, and respect. Michigan State will never evoke those emotions the way Michigan does.
The Spartans are our chief competitors for the title. They are our most difficult opponents. They are our toughest struggle. But they are NOT our rival.
So what’s the difference between MSU and UM?
There are several teams that want to claim us as their rival. That’s fine with me – they do it because beating us would make their season. We’re the kings. But just because Penn State or Indiana wants to declare us their rival doesn’t mean we should reciprocate. Let it go. Take the games seriously, but there simply is no massive rivalry aside from the maize and blue. You’ll never compare to our greatest rival.
If that’s not enough to convince you, perhaps a history lesson is in order.
Towards the end of the John Cooper era at Ohio State, there were similar rumblings coming from Ann Arbor. Michigan had handled us so many times recently, and their fans were losing the flavor for The Game. They were declaring Michigan State to be their biggest rival. Perhaps they were doing it to get under our skin, because that’s what Ohio State and Michigan does to one another – constant contempt and mockery.
It worked. It got under our skin. Michigan began to take us for granted, and after they knocked us off 38-26 in 2000, we’d had enough. We went and hired Jim Tressel. Since that day, the Wolverines have paid the price for disrespecting The Rivalry. They’ve only tasted victory twice in the 13 years since.
Buckeye fans, I urge you – do not declare MSU to be our new rival. They simply aren’t.
Keep your eyes on the ball. Those bastards to the north are our rivals, and they always will be.
On New Year’s Eve, Penn State lost their head coach to the NFL.
Bill O’Brien, who took on the enormous task of manning a wounded Lions program two years ago, left the college game for the NFL. He will now lead the Houston Texans, another franchise that needs rebuilding (but that’s another story for another time).
When O’Brien arrived at Penn State, many believed that the once-heralded team in Happy Valley was at death’s door. NCAA sanctions and a devastated reputation left the entire school in shambles, and it was going to be at least a decade before they could begin the recovery process.
The critics were wrong.
O’Brien turned PSU around in quick order. A 7-5 record in 2013 was unexpected, and so were two victories over two giants of the Big Ten. Wins over Michigan and Wisconsin, both ranked at the time, highlighted the 2013 season and took away the pain of their 63-14 destruction at the hands of Ohio State.
But now O’Brien is off to greener pastures and Penn State fans are feeling betrayed again.
I share no love for Penn State fans, having watched their willful ignorance over Joe Paterno’s enabling behavior during the crimes of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. They threw Sandusky to the wolves as they should have, but repeatedly buried their heads in the sand when shown undeniable proof that Paterno was complicit in allowing the unmentionable crimes to continue unabated.
But with O’Brien’s departure, I feel their pain. Their head coach made promises to Penn State, and he has now broken them by leaving before the end of his contract.
If a player at Penn State decided to leave for a different school after two years, he’d likely be forced to sit out for a full year before he could take the field again. (Yes, I’m aware there are situations that allow a player to avoid being put on a shelf for a year, but that is the exception rather than the rule).
Should a coach of an NCAA program not be held to the same standards as the players he recruits? If a coach convinces a player to attend his university, should both men be asked to stay for the same length of time or face minor penalties?
When Bill O’Brien sat in the home of a recruit in January of 2012 and told him that he would be a part of the rebirth at Penn State, there was no mention that the coach might be gone by the end of the player’s sophomore year at PSU.
That player will not have an easy time changing schools, now that his coach has abandoned him. The NCAA has rules that will make his life difficult if he wishes to transfer to a different school (it goes well beyond sitting out a year and deep into bureaucracy). Even if he is skilled enough to succeed at the next level, laws forbid him from jumping to the NFL until he is three years removed from his high school football years.
That being said, is it time to place rules on college coaches that leave their programs before their contracts expire? Should coaches have to sit out a year before they can take on another job within the college ranks?
Obviously, the NCAA cannot mandate rules in the NFL for such situation – unless Roger Goodell behaves like he did towards Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor, having doled out suspensions for both men when they entered the NFL. But within the NCAA, can the same rules be applied to coaches and players?
Yes, the NCAA rule book is already a mess and it should be tightened up immediately. I propose that the rules for coaches are included in the next set of changes. Read More