May’s second midweek madness gets existential. The big story of the day was the “discussion” about the future of our favorite sport- more on that after the jump.
But one thing is for sure – Urban Meyer will bring hardware back to Columbus with him before all is said and done. Gold pants, B1G titles and crystal footballs. For everyone who has piled on over the last twelve months – from those in Ann Arbor, Madison, and SEC country to those posted up at the headquarters of ESPN, Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News – there’s simply no way around it. Urban Meyer wins, and he wins big.
The benefactor? THE Ohio State University.
Ah, the joys of a new server to bring you the midweek morass that is SBP. Thanks to everyone’s patience as we had a bit of a sabbatical earlier this week to upgrade the hamsters in the wheel.
Before we get into the usual links and fun-making, I wanted to talk a bit about fan expectations.
Over the past few days, Buckeye Nation has seen both sides of the loyalty of young adults, and hopefully our amazingly rabid fan base can gain a bit of perspective.
First, we watched in shock as Ohio State Senior (and tBBC favorite) Michael Brewster went undrafted in the NFL selection process. Even more shocking was that several centers from inferior programs did not suffer the same fate- Western Oregon? Michigan? C’mon…
While there are surely lots of reasons that this happened, including, as our friend Jeremy Birmingham pointed out, really REALLY poor coaching during his college career, it’s difficult to pinpoint one specific instance that led to Michael falling from a first rounder as a junior to an afterthought as a senior. It could be some of the season’s struggles- Michigan State and Florida both indicated that they could get a jump on their rush due to his rhythm (Might also explain Shugarts’ issues); at times his shotgun was a bit off target as well. It could have also been the “post-season”; reports that he had some challenges at the senior events, rumors of a rift that led to a last minute change of agent. Or, like many members of last year’s team, perhaps all of the off field drama and change caught up with him all at once.
But for Buckeye fans, our feelings of empathy and sympathy for Mr. Brewster were also tempered with another realization- this happened, in part, because he is a Buckeye. No, I’m not insinuating that the NFL is intentionally snubbing Ohio State players- the data proves that to be less than accurate. Instead, I believe the Michael cost himself lots of money because his loyalty to the program and to the coaches wouldn’t let him cut and run in the middle of the chaos.
Granted, we don’t know what went on behind the scenes other than this- of the members of the “Block O/Brew Crew”, Michael was the highest profile recruit and player to not find himself in the papers on a regular basis for off field issues, particularly during the past 13 months. To the contrary, as his friends and teammates (some of whom he helped bring to Columbus) continued to make decisions that led to last season’s issues and were over and over again sanctioned in ways that hurt the team, Brew was the anchor that sought to keep things together. During a time when it would have been easy to jump to the next stage in his career- first round projections, programmatic instability, loss of friends and coaches, Michael chose to stay in the Scarlet and Gray.
And that decision, in part, cost him on draft day 2012.
Let me be clear- Michael Brewster doesn’t need me to be an apologist for him. He’s landed with his home-town team (although Kansas City would have been nice for family reasons), and is bringing the positive attitude and hard work mentality to his current situation in the same fashion that he showed in Columbus. Tuesday’s Dispatch has a great article on where he’s currently at, including this great quote-
Just more people that I get to prove wrong. I think it’s an exciting challenge.
But you’ve got to wonder- if you took off your Ohio State glasses for a minute, and imagined that he was your son or grandson or family friend; If you knew in January 2011 how the season would end up for the Buckeyes, what would you tell him to do? Would you ask him to be loyal to his alma mater, or pursue his dreams in “The League” even if that made Ohio State weaker in a key position?
You’d hopefully choose the career option in your advice- particularly if you had the wisdom of hindsight. And yet, as fans, we often want young adults to think not of their own needs and dreams, but to have the same needs and dreams that we do- to be enthralled with Carmen Ohio no matter the cost.
And that brings us to Lewis Neal. Read More
In this week’s edition of news and notes, we take a look at the ever swirling world of college “playoffs”; helping you get to the bottom of the matter. You can probably guess where this is headed…
(Gee) knows more about bow ties than he does about journalism.
Probably true, but since Gordo is a fifteenth level bow-tie ninja, what does that say about your point?
OT J.B. Shugarts (seventh or free agent): Good size, but had false start and some foot problems with the Buckeyes.
An Easter basket full of Ohio State and college sports news and notes, as we await one of the sacred holidays of the year. That’s right- “Easter Chocolate On Clearance Monday”.
Our weekly look around the rest of the Buckeye Bloggers Network, with highlights from the best damn sites in the land
If you’re not already reading all of the BBN’s sites, you can also stay up to date with the RSS feed that we’ve placed over in the right column.
Coming off of the loss to Michigan and Michigan State in hoops had a lot of Ohio State fans at a loss to understand what had happened to a team that was favored to win the conference and make a run at a title. Dave at TSB took a look at several possibilities, including-
Lack of an inside enforcer. I admit that I failed to truly appreciate Dallas Lauderdale. I called him “stone hands” and used to get frustrated at how often he had the ball slide between his big mitts. But he did two things this year’s team really misses: 1) He provided an inside force defensively who could block shots when players were beat off the ball. This year, when someone bursts by a Buckeye defender they usually have an open lane to the hoop. Big D played some ferocious D and that is greatly missed; 2) He occupied space in the lane on offense, allowing Sully more freedom to roam. Dallas not only set screens but forced the opponent’s big man to guard him or surrender uncontested dunks. That helped Sully more than we realized.
Ah, Illinois. Nothing like a little revenge in the form of a massive, home court blowout to make things all better. Take a look at Scott’s review of the game- it was just what the Scarlet and Gray doctor ordered;
The handwringing among Buckeye Nation regarding both Buford’s recent woes and the lack of playing time for the bench can stop, at least for a day. Despite the audible groans when Buford missed an open three and turned it over in first half, the senior was greeted with an overall warm reception and had one of his best shooting games of the year (7-9 from the field, 2-3 from three).
In other news, in honor of the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s trip to space, Sam Thompson put on an anti-gravity display with an early dunk and a couple of high-flying blocks.
Speaking of Buford, BHC’s newest author got us ready for his final game in the Schott with a look at his legacy at Ohio State;
But of all his basketball statistics, there is one intangible quality that supersedes all others. It is a quality that all of us share … something that binds all of us together and pulls us through tough times. It’s a love … it’s a passion … it’s beyond words … it’s Buckeye Pride! “[Buckeye Pride] comes from the people before us. We just try to keep that thing going. It’s not about us. It’s about the school. The school is bigger than us.” Now THAT is spoken like a true Buckeye! It is easy for us as fans to get caught up in the performance of one or two games, but on this weekend, let us honor a true Buckeye as he wears our school’s colors for the last time at home. He has earned the respect of all of Buckeye Nation.
Time for the hump day look around the world of college sports, with a soundtrack from a reunited legend. We look at playoffs, SEC controversy, NCAA hypocrisy, and other items this week.
With the “off season” (or as Urban calls it- “Hunting Season”) upon us, SBP takes a bit of a different twist. Usually focused on news and updates from OSU press conferences and weekly preparation, during the off season, we’ll use this spot to affirm my ADD and help you stay on top of news from the national scene. In other words- things that you might have missed or will want to print to read during those boring meetings or your “consulting” trips to the washroom. I read it so you don’t have to.
Bowl championship Series
But because the agreement between cable network and bowl series has to make you wonder where the relationship between ESPN and the football it pretends to cover begins and ends. Are they partners? Is this a legitimate subject-reporter situation? Once ESPN buys access to an event don’t they then turn from journalist to promoter?
Everyone already knows.
When ESPN selectively covers stories, as it does during a college football season, and attempts to dictate what is news and what is not to the public, how can any of us not be left wondering if they’re really reporting the news or simply protecting their bowl-week product? After all, they’re in this thing together now. When they’re slow to break a story, can we be sure why?