The Week That Were: 11.27.10

Written November 28th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

Here’s the soundtrack for this week’s journey through the recent past. It’s from one of my favorite artists, and the greatest Thanksgiving movie ever ANDIWILLFIGHTYOUIFYOUDISAGREE. Ahem.

Although I usually don’t take requests, I almost made an exception for Coach Rodriguez.

What a great week of football- three days worth of collegiate goodness, interspersed with some NFL stuff, lots of food, and the occasional neighborhood game. Although, this year things ended up being a little messy.

There, there... let it all out...

I guess you could say that the mess all started on Thursday, when our friends in burnt orange managed to lose their rivalry game against the Aggies.  As you can imagine, the good folks at Shaggy Bevo are taking this well, particularly given that most of the losses happened in Austin.

The Longhorn’s collapse is the first time in recent memory that a team has gone from the BCS championship game to not even being bowl eligible.  As a “fun fact”; this BCS season will be without the following names: Pete Carroll, Mack Brown, Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and Les Miles, with the jury still out on whether Bobby Stoops gets an invite.  You know who’s going to be at the BCS Ball?  Jim Tressel.  Again.

Fridays’ games were just as exciting, with Auburn performing the “Greatest Iron Bowl Comeback Ever To Be Vacated” against ‘Bama after being down 21-0 in the first quarter.  Granted, Alabama QB McElroy was injured in the second half, but the Tide followed their protocol and inserted the next person with the same haircut. Read More

The Week That Were: 10.09.10

Written October 10th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

This weeks’ post comes with a soundtrack:

Not all that original, so if you want to get your “Gospel” on and hear the song that was going through my head all day yesterday, this is the link for you.

Almost perfect.

Like a no-hitter blown at the last minute, yesterday was this close to being the apex of the college football season. Ohio State won, as you know, and so many other teams failed to meet expectations (or came back to reality), all in all pretty good. Before we get to the good stuff, let’s get the disappointment out of the way. Read More

Total domination, thy name is Terrelle Pryor.

Most fans wanted to see total domination of one of the worst teams in college football on Saturday.

While it is difficult to call a 73-20 victory (the first time Ohio State has scored 70 since the “Mark May is going to hate Ohio State forever” beat down of Pitt in 1996) anything but that, Ohio State fans, as usual, are left with some questions.

The two biggest question marks revolve around the running game and defending the pass.

In the run game, Ohio State has failed to establish a “go to” back in the first four games. Brandon Saine and Boom Herron, the two most experienced players, have not separated themselves from the pack.  This has left many fans questioning the effectiveness of Ohio State’s ground game and calling for more playing time for the explosive Jaamal Berry.

The other question that fans are left with after EMU is why Ohio State’s passing defense looked so weak against such a bad offense.

In an uncharacteristic performance, Ohio State gave up 208 yards through the air against the hapless eagles to the point that they looked downright soft at times right in the heart of the Buckeye secondary.

Luckily for you, I have thoughts on both these issues after the jump.

Spoiler alert: I don’t think they are issues at all. Read More

The Week That Were- Opening Weekend 2010!

Written September 6th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

Late Sunday/early Monday during the season (what can I say- west coast timezone), tBBC will be bringing you reflections on that week’s game. And, since it’s always great to have mood music to read to, let’s start with this clip from Pitchfork’s top ten videos from the ’90′s

All is right with the world- football is back, baby! And what a slate of games we had… although, for Buckeye fans, it all seems anticlimactic after Thursday night, amiright?

Ignore Akbar at your peril

In case you’ve forgotten, Houston Nutt has a penchant for overtime games, being on the sidelines for several of the longest contests in history while at Arkansas.  The one thing, though- he needs to remember how to “win” in OT and not just “play for OT”, as the Rebels were upset Saturday by the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State. As a public service announcement, tBBC would like to remind you that Jeremiah Masoli is now 0-2 in his last two games. Best part? Ole’ Miss paid $300,000 for the pleasure of the upset. Almost as much fun as my favorite season opener ever.

We talked about Mich1gAAn during the livechat, and will do so again later on Monday. I will say this; their version of the wildcat offense looked pretty good. And UConn’s defense and offense looked pretty terrible. In my opinion, the highlight wasn’t the running game but something far more significant.

Kentucky’s new coach beat Louisville’s new coach, in the first match up of these two teams while each had an African American at the helm.  Interestingly enough, Kentucky’s three major programs (UK, UofL, WKU) are all led by African American head coaches- there are only nine others in Division 1A (FBS, whatever). For the Kats and Cards, it’s probably exciting to talk about coaches and not use the word “investigation” or “payoff“.

Late Saturday night “Ohio’s BCS Team” gave up a late comeback to lose to Fresno State… Are we sure they didn’t import the entire Western Michigan team along with their coach? In addition on Thursday, The Utes upset the Pitt Stachers, in overtime. Let’s see- UofL, UC, UConn, Pitt all blow opening weekend games… Yup, Big lEast it is. I hope Jim Delaney was watching as he ponders even more expansion options… each of these teams has a chance to win that conference. Read More

Better than sex – Browns beat Steelers 13-6

Written December 10th, 2009 by Jeff

There’s really no way to describe this feeling to anybody who hasn’t been a long-suffering fan of the Cleveland Browns, but I’ll try.

Yes, we’re still only 2-11.

Yes, we’re nowhere near a good team.

Yes, we have massive holes to fill on both sides of the ball.

But for one night, we did the one thing Browns fans have been desperately seeking since 2002.  We defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers.

And we knocked their sorry asses out of the playoffs in the process.

It can’t get much better than that.

i

This makes those 11 losses alllll better now

Buckeyes In The Fantasy World

Written August 26th, 2009 by Dave

If you’re like most football fans you probably play some form of fantasy football.  It gives me the ability to have a rooting interest in any NFL game I watch.  I also like to have hometown players on my team but since I live in Cleveland that’s not such a good idea.  So if you’re an Ohio State fan and are playing fantasy you may like to have a Buckeye on your team.  Here’s a quick look at OSU players in the NFL and what their fantasy prospects might be.

QUARTERBACKS

Troy Smith – Baltimore Last year his tonsils gave the job to Joe Flacco and he’s not getting it back anytime soon.  If Flacco struggles or gets injured jump on the waiver wire and snag him.  Other than that he’s not worth drafting

RUNNING BACKS

Antonio Pittman – St Louis Rams He’s number two behind Steven Jackson and won’t get many carries while Jackson is around.  If you draft Jackson in the first round he’s worth picking up as a handcuff but other than that probably not draft worthy.

Chris Wells – Arizona Cardinals This is an interesting one.  I had high hopes for his rookie season when I saw he was picked by Arizona, but since then I’ve become more skeptical.  He missed OTAs to actually finish his spring classes  and then suffered an injury early in camp.  Meanwhile Tim Hightower has been putting on quite a preseason performance.  What does this mean?  I don’t know – could go either way.  I would definitely draft him but I wouldn’t count on starting him until we see where the season is going.  Still I predict quite a future in the NFL for Beanie.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Joey Galloway – New England Patriots Injured last year, now in New England behind Moss and Welker.  Could see some production if he’s healthy, and remember it is Brady throwing the ball

Ted Ginn Jr – Miami Dolphins Lots of upside here.  Year three is when lots of receivers blossom in the NFL.  I’d draft him as my number 3 receiver.  He hasn’t shown he can do it yet but this may be the year.

Anthony Gonzalez – Indianapolis Colts His third year in the league.  Marvin Harrison is gone.  This guy has sleeper written all over him.  I predict 1200 yards and 10+ TDS.  Don’t jump too soon – he’ll probably slip into the 4th round but he will be a first round worthy pick this year.

Santonio Holmes – Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl winning catch will make him go earlier in the draft than he probably should.  Still he’s a good receiver playing for a championship team.  Hines Ward is getting older and Holmes will take over main receiving duties eventually.  Is this the year?  Maybe but don’t overreach for him.

Michael Jenkins – Atlanta Falcons Defenses will be keyed on Michael Turner running the ball and the Falcons two main aerial threats – Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez.  This should leave lots of one on one situations for Jenkins.  He’s developed into a deep threat and could put up some numbers this year.

Brian Robiskie – Cleveland Browns Last year I went against my better judgment and drafted a Brown.  That Brown was Braylon Edwards.  I learned my lesson.  That being said Robiskie has great hands and runs good routes.  Someone has to catch the ball in Cleveland.  I wouldn’t be against having him as a backup but I’d be wary of anyone wearing brown and orange this year.

KICKERS

Mike Nugent – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Don’t ever draft a kicker before the last round.  And Nugent may not even have the starting job in TB.  Stay away.

Two weeks, one day…

Written August 21st, 2009 by MaliBuckeye

Yup, we’ve reached day fifteen of our “Countdown to Kickoff”!

Today, AJ Trapasso drives us into the stratosphere on our way to the final two weeks of…

(No kickers this time? Are you kidding? Do you know how much research I’ve put into Gilman industries? Ah, well…)

Mr. Byars, I believe this is yours...

Mr. Byars, I believe this is yours...

Today, we honor the pride of Calumet City Illinois, home of Ray’s Music Exchange. A coach’s son, former Illinois High School Player of the Year, and a fifteen year NFL veteran, Michael J. Tomczak.

Like our day 19 honoree, he stepped into big shoes, following Art Schlichter’s assault on the passing record book at Ohio State. And yet, when he graduated, he was second only to his predecessor in many of the same categories; in spite of helping his tailback set his own record for most rushes in a season in 1984.

1983 saw Tomczak and the Buckeyes travel to Norman Oklahoma to battle the then #2 ranked Sooners. As this video from OHD shows, Oklahoma couldn’t win that big game either.

As that season came to an end in Tempe, Tomczak showed amazing poise in leading the winning drive against the Pitt Panthers with 2:39 on the clock. Here’s all 89 yards of glory:

What a throw to Jemison. And what is it with tOSU and Tempe?

During his senior year, he ended his career as all Buckeye players should (and most have, lately), with a victory over MACh1gAAn:

This resulted in a New Year’s trip for Ohio State to Pasadena, a trip they have made only one more time. As someone who lives within 10 minutes of the Rose Bowl, I’m looking forward to this trend changing ASAFP. Otherwise, I’m moving to Arizona.

Back to Mike.

His NFL tenure was mostly as a backup, although he did have the opportunity to exhibit his guitar skills on the way to New Orleans. His career ended with the Lions practice squad, but he’s best known as the reliable counterpoint to “Slash” during his seven year stint with the Steelers.

Mike, you done good. Thanks for bringing us one step closer to kickoff.

John Cooper remembered – And NOT in a good way

Written July 20th, 2009 by Jeff

This morning, our old friends at Eleven Warriors published a brilliant piece on John Cooper and his recent induction in the College Football Hall Of Fame.

Of course, you can’t write a Cooper-based piece with using the numbers 2, 10, and 1. 11W did that. Sprinkled around the article is a list of Coop’s accomplishments, and The BBC will not argue with the fact that these feats qualify our former coach for the HOF.

But our disagreements about Cooper end there. I haven’t yet forgiven Coach for many of his failures and perhaps I still hold too much of a grudge….but my frustration with him hasn’t faded.

My freshman year at The Ohio State University was 1987. Earle Bruce had a team with minimal talent and he caught a few horrible breaks that year (seriously, a TD on 4th-and-23 to Iowa….in The Shoe). But four days after the administration fired Bruce, his team went up to Michigan Stadium and beat Bo Schembechler. With Greg freaking Frey taking snaps, no less.

My sophomore year was Cooper’s first year, and the season hadn’t even begun before Cooper’s heart was being questioned. I recall an article in The Lantern in which Cooper was openly mocking students who had casually reminded him that he shouldn’t be wearing a blue blazer around campus. Rather than run to complain to the student newspaper, he should have pulled aside any one of his assistant coaches or players and asked them why it was so important to ditch the blue (and/or maize) colored apparel.

When the season began, the first three games would tell you all you needed to know.

  • Game 1 – No turnovers, no penalties against the Bucks, as Ohio State laid waste to Syracuse on national TV
  • Game 2 – Travel to Pitt, give up 6 touchdowns to the Panthers and lose by more than 30 points.
  • Game 3 – Fall behind 33-20 to visiting LSU with 2 minutes to play, and pull off the miracle win.  They scored 16 points in less than 90 seconds and beat the Tigers 36-33.

The Buckeyes were schizophrenic under Cooper and when they finally captured some sort of consistency, it wasn’t the type of consistency we wanted to see.

John Cooper, during the off-season, was a brilliant recruiter and nobody could ever (and possibly will ever again) put together a team like he could.  Every amazing player you saw in the 1990s was brought to Columbus through the charm and brilliance of John Cooper.  Eddie George.  David Boston.  Orlando Pace.  Shawn Springs.  Joey Galloway.  Etc, etc, etc.

But where we may have been the most talented team on the field every single Saturday, that talent was often wasted with poor coaching decisions time and time again.  Let’s not forget…..

  • Sensation RB Robert Smith, who was chastized by the coaches for missing a practice….to attend class.  Smith’s well-publicized run-in with the coaching staff led to his leaving the Buckeyes prematurely.
  • The whole “I was left with a pack of slow white guys” whine-fest.
  • The day Cooper allowed the game to end early because of rain.  In 1990, trailing USC with just under three minutes to play, the Buckeyes began making a hasty exit for the locker room, followed by the Trojans team.  A sold-out stadium was left wondering what had happened until we were later told that the game had been called due to weather.  Cooper later told reporters that he didn’t want any players to be in danger from lightning.  He left no word about whether or not he was concerned about the 100,000 fans in attendance who had no opportunity to run to the locker room before their job was complete.
  • Two words.  Air F***ing Force.
  • In the 4th quarter of a tie game in Michigan territory, Cooper calls for Greg Frey…yes, Greg Frey…to run an option play. On 4th down. Seriously.  Having never run an option play before, the Buckeyes failed.  Michigan used a handful of plays to move the ball forward just enough to kick the game-winning field goal.
  • Following the huge victory over Arizona State in the Rose Bowl, reporters rushed in to get the first comment from Cooper.  Rather than praise his team, his first words were an attack on Buckeye fans, as he said “let’s see if that’s a big enough win for them”.  Classy, Cooper.
  • Cooper’s final game against South Carolina, when the team fell apart and lost all semblance of discipline.  After a series of cheap shots from Buckeye players, LB Joe Cooper was finally ejected for a late hit in the end zone. John Cooper’s career came to end with that woeful afternoon.

I could actually go on and on for a long time.  I’m sure you could too.  Cooper’s issues are a novel waiting to be written.

Eleven Warriors closes their article with “if you can’t at least bring yourself to recognize and appreciate the good that Cooper did at Ohio State, then you’re either clueless, or hold irrationally long grudges. Neither is healthy.”

11W is right….Cooper deserves to be in the Hall Of Fame.  But let me be the first to stand up and say that while I recognize and appreciate the good that Cooper did, I am not at all prepared to forgive him for the shame and humiliation brought upon us by him.

To this day, I still can’t figure out why we haven’t hired him to be a recruiter for Ohio State, and then put a restraining order on him every Saturday afternoon in the fall to prevent him from showing up at Ohio Stadium.

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