Silver Bullet Points Are Firing On All Cylinders

Written July 30th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Well hello there! I take off for a week into the wilderness and come back to find that a) Dexter went Lizard King on me and b) Charles broke the site with his excellent coverage of the Waters situation (more later). It’s good to be needed, ya heard?

Seriously, thanks for your patience as we’ve been updating our server and so forth. I especially want to apologize to those band members who were kind enough to let us publish their stories… you deserved better than having us offline as much as we’ve been.  At any rate, I think we’ve got a good handle on things now and ideas for a strong future as well… I think we’ve got the problems derezzed.

Buckeye 411

  • Targeted- At the B1G Media Days, the BTN took several informal polls among the players who attended. As you can imagine, the Buckeyes were pretty well represented, including Top Team, Toughest Stadium, Best Uniform, and Best Player.  #LikeABoss
  • Waterfall? Waterwall- If you haven’t seen the new Ohio State football locker room, check out this look from Sammy Silverman. Worth every penny, but certainly doesn’t help the “we can’t pay student athletes” argument much.
  • Meyer Muses- You can read all Coach Meyer’s remarks here, but there were a couple of things that stood out. The battle for starting center is going well, with Boren, Lindsay, and Price all in the thick of things.. which is good, as the Offensive Line is the key worry for Ohio State this preseason. Dontre Wilson has made a significant jump in the offseason, putting on good weight and getting a better understanding of his role. The linebackers, while young, are a position of strength if they can rise to their talent level on gameday. Braxton is full go and healthy, and the goal of fall camp will be to keep he and the rest of the team that way.
  • Tracy Sprinkle- Not with the team, according to Meyer, although he did say that there was always the possibility of that changing.
  • Players’ Perspectives- Michael Bennett also echoed the remarks about the linebacker corps, saying that it’s deep and fast and will surprise some people. Both he and Jeff Heuerman talked about the Michigan State game and the need to make up for last year’s efforts- something they’ve been focusing on. Heuerman also said that he was healthy, and that the tight end depth chart will be a surprise to folks as well, with Baugh and Hubbard standing out.  Braxton spoke briefly about not “liking” Mr. Bennett, since the latter tends to go a bit more “all out” than the QB would like during practice. He also said, though, that he’s not concerned about his offensive line, and has been throwing for some time now. Seems like they all had a pretty good trip.
  • Buckeyes With Sticks- Great news for the women’s lacrosse program, who announced this week two additional members of their coaching staff.
  • Enjoy It While It Lasts- “It” being “The Tom Herman Experience”, as he’s been tabbed as the top assistant coach in the country as far as future employment goes.  We’re hearing that WVa may take a run at him at some juncture, based on his relationship with Head Mountaineer E. Gordon Gee.
  • The King Wears A Crown… And A Shoe- As a part of his comments during B1G Media Days, Coach Meyer indicated that he’d already informed LeBron James that his presence was expected on the sidelines come Fall.  Makes you wonder who really rules Ohio, don’t it? (hint… it probably doesn’t)
  • Recruiting Thoughts- Coach Meyer talked today about how the media circus that comes with recruiting high school kids is a problem, and how he actually works to “de-recruit” an athlete to get him to think beyond himself and focus on the team.  Nebraska’s Bo Pelini made comments about recruiting as well, which makes sense if you look at the context.

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Silver Bullet Points Tips Its Cap

Written July 16th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Happy “Archie Days Until Football!“, people.  Oh, and please notice that I spelled that with two “Os” and not a “U”, just the way St. Woody would have demanded.  Look, Imma let you finish Germany, but College Football is the greatest game of all time

Sorry Jeter, This Is My Favorite #2 Jersey

Ahem. Here’s your Wednesday morning soundtrack. Looking forward to Block O and TBDBITL bringing this to The ‘Shoe

Buckeye 411

  • Team Dissension? Did you hear about the all out conflict that the wide receivers and linebackers had within their position groups? Certainly brings a new update on the “shotgun” and “pistol” formations.
  • Watching The Watchmen- More “Watchlist” updates this week- Devin Smith has been named to the Bilitnikoff Award list for the nation’s top receiver, while Michael Bennett and Joey Bosa add the Lombardi award to their end of season possibilities.  Interestingly enough Curtis Grant was named to the Butkus List, which must focus on his senior status at Linebacker U.  To be fair, I’d love to see him excel and win the thing… the timing, though, just seems odd. Update: On Wednesday Morning, Braxton was named to the Davey O’Brien watchlist for the nation’s best QB; he was a finalist in 2013.
  • Paid Forward- The American Football Coaches Association also named Michael Bennett to the Good Works team for his work with Columbus area charities. Making the great state of Ohio proud, son.
  • Getting Crafty! Living on the West Coast, my cable company will often show Laker D-League games; so it was great to watch LaQuinton Ross and Aaron Craft go at it when the Warriors and Lakers squared off.  Q’s time was unremarkable, but Craft stood out both statistically and to the coaching staff. AC4 with the Warriors would be fun, if only because I love watching their current point guard run the show as well.
  • SNAPPER- Rigged or no, the Dude Perfect team is pretty well known for their trick shot videos… and the latest one includes current Rams and former Buckeye (as well as friend of tBBC) Jake McQuaide.  I’m sure he called “Bank”.
  • Dip Jar Not Available- Love the auction based “reality shows”? Well, here’s your chance to get that fix for yourself, courtesy of a Buckeye player and coaching legend, as well as a Super Bowl Champion. When the Vrabel’s moved to Florida, they left some things behind and now those can be yours! (Dibs on the Ohio State varsity jacket)
  • Wanna’ Go Back? Gotta’ Go Back? For those of us who live across the country and can’t get to Columbus on the regular, this panoramic tour of the campus is a quick way to get our fix. I really hope they update it throughout the year; autumn leaves, gameday, Mirror Lake jump would all be spectacular.
  • Getting Closer- While you’re in the office working on TPS reports or at home watching your stories, the Buckeyes are working, as evidenced by Sammy Silverman’s latest:

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The Week That Were: 2013 Championship Weekend

Written December 9th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Look, I know it’s the holiday season and all that, but I’m not feeling it just yet. Here’s some Ella if you’re in a similar mood this Monday.

And so it ends… not with a bang, but a whimper. Not for everyone, but for fanbases who entered Saturday with significant postseason aspirations, the doors gently shut on both those dreams and on their season.

ku-xlarge

We Know The Feeling

While TWTW is usually reserved for Saturday’s festivities, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that Northern Illinois started the slide on Friday; poised for a shot at another possible BCS bid, the Huskies fell for the first time all season in the MAC championship. And not just “fell”, but were beaten by 2o points by Bowling Green in a game that cost the Falcons (and the other non-qualifying schools) some pretty major cash.

Saturday’s early slate started with some Bedlam, a game where anything can happen and often does- this year in the form of an earthquake during a field goal attempt.

As a rivalry game, you throw the records and season results out the window, as any Ohio State or Michigan fan can tell you. And while TBPU looked to be the easy favorite, icy conditions and the passion of their cross state rivals kept this from being an easy match.

While both teams struggled to score early on, Oklahoma tied things up in the third following a fake field goal that may or may not have happened before the play clock expired. No call, though, so on we went.

Much like last week’s game in Ann Arbor, OkSU drove down the field with relative ease at the end of the game, and scored with time left on the clock in spite of our warnings. And, you can guess what happened- Oklahoma managed a length of the field drive to score which left only enough time for the Northwestern-esque “throw the ball around and hope for the best” play, and like NU, Oklahoma State’s efforts were interrupted and scored upon.

Nice Aim

Nice Aim

Check out the gif on the left there; this is after the spread-covering score, and you can see both a Cowboy cheerleader attempt to trip a jubilant Sooner and also notice that some happy fan has decided to huck a snowball at the field toward the end of the clip.

That’s what it means to be in a rivalry game… it’s bigger than just a regular loss, particularly when you fall at home and fall out of the BCS.  I’m sure that excitement and emotion were behind the Sooner player’s decision to go full Marcus Hall on the Cowboy fan, and am certainly looking forward to them being benched for the entirety of their next game, the way that Hall was. And, media folks, feel free to spend hours discussing how classless this play was and what Stoops should do.  You’ve obviously got nothing else to talk about.

With the Cowboys’ falling in Stillwater, the late afternoon game between Texas and Baylor became the defacto Big12-2 Championship matchup. Let that roll around in your head for a minute- Mack Brown, who may be on his way out after yet another disappointing season, was one game away from a Conference Title and a BCS bid.

WEIRD-BAYLOR-FAN

Filled With The Spirit?

And yet, it was not to be… after a close first half, Baylor made the plays that it’s executed so well all season and pulled away from Texas to win their first conference title in forever. Given that they’re opening a new stadium next year and just signed their coach to a sizable extension, it’s quite possible that we haven’t heard the end of celebrations in Waco.

And their reward? A trip to Phoenix to face the University of Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl… the same UCF that held off SMU to win on Saturday. That game ain’t going to be pretty, folks.

By now, Buckeye fans know all to well that Auburn will be playing in the National Title game against Florida State. Poised in the computers to leap Ohio State with a blowout win against Missouri, the resurgent Tigers (no, the other ones) handled the B12-2′s SEC East’s finest handily in Atlanta on Saturday, in a game that seemed to be played with an understanding that each team was required to ration their tackles (perhaps the same memo OSU got?).

Best Tackle All Day. Seriously.

Best Tackle All Game. Seriously.

That’s not to say that there wasn’t any controversy on the way to the SEC crown. One of Missouri’s early scores was on a long pass that clearly was not fully possessed by the receiver- I have no idea how that wasn’t overturned. Later, an Auburn player pushed Missouri’s Josey out of bounds after the running back had another long scamper, and the shove caused Josey to hit a nearby cart and miss the remainder of the game.

Auburn’s win meant that, should one of the top two teams fall, they would be in. Florida State started first in their epic clash against the Duke Blue Devils, and managed to go the entire first quarter without a score.

That was about it, though- the Seminoles managed to roll up a 45-7 win and punch their tickets to Pasadena, while Winston possibly scheduled a trip to New York to pick up some hardware. It’ll be interesting to see if we get a 2006 repeat- an undefeated team with a Heisman Trophy QB against a one-loss SEC program who “backed in” to the title game.  That’s all I remember about the 2006 game… and I’m not listening if you try to give me any further facts.

No Roses For You

Roses? Not so fast…

Which brings us to Indianapolis. As if Ohio State fans didn’t have enough reasons to hate Sports Illustrated, this week’s decision to put Braxton on a regional cover added the Buckeyes to the list of Oregon, Alabama, and Baylor as teams who lost the week following their cover appearance.  Splendid.

Look, my thoughts on the game are probably the same as the rest of Buckeye Nation:

  • Hats off to Michigan State, whose defense played the way that Ohio State defenses used to play. Wonder why that is… What I wouldn’t give to have one of their DBs in the scarlet and gray.
  • Hats off to Sparty, too, for offensively game planning a perfect scheme to attack Ohio State’s weaknesses in the secondary, and to Connor Cook for the poise that he showed in the passing game. Enjoy California, Dino and folks… remember, it’s not too far of a drive for your offensive line coach to visit some family.
  • I’m as confused as the rest of you are about the Ohio State gameplan, particularly when it looked like our bread and butter were working. I understand the idea of getting Carlos into space against MSU’s secondary, but when every empty set led to a QB draw/counter, then it takes away the mystery. And mid-range passing? Does everything have to be a bomb?
  • “Frustrated” only partially covers my thoughts on the secondary’s play this past year… I’m not smart enough to figure out if it’s a scheme thing or a personnel issue or coaching, and I’ve read all three from the “experts” that make up Ohio State bulletin boards. I know that linebacker is something that Urban has identified as a “need”, so I’m just going to trust that this will improve overall in the coming season.

Again, no disrespect to Ben Affleck or to Michigan State, but it feels more like Ohio State let this one get away from them than the Spartans “took” it. While I’d prefer that it was the Buckeyes in Pasadena, I’m still excited to see Michigan State play Stanford in the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl.

Stanford won their rematch with Arizona State in a walk in front of less than stellar crowds. While some blame the “rematch” factor for poor attendance, I believe that it’s due to these being hosted on campus… as nice as that is for the home team, this time of year the trend is to allow fans the chance to travel to somewhere new. I’m conflicted on this, since I believe that any future Championship Expansion should consider home stadiums, but I also understand that there’s a huge money factor involved from tourism and so forth.

RICE1

The “Bowl-Bloat” Culprit

And that’s the heart of the silly season that we’re getting ready to enter- schools will pay lots of money for the “privileged” of making cash for television networks and tax exempt “bowl committees”; and only one game will “matter”, other than the contrived “Bowl Challenge” that the four letter network has created without consideration of even-matchups. When there are so many bowls that more than 50% of FBS teams get to go, is it really an honor?

That being said, this year should be a pretty good one for the B1G- in looking across the Bowl Landscape, there are only a few games that don’t feel like solid contests.  See what you think:

  • Rose Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. BCS/Pac-12): Michigan State vs. Stanford
  • Orange Bowl, Jan. 3: (ACC vs. BCS): Ohio State vs. Clemson
  • Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Wisconsin vs. South Carolina
  • Outback Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Iowa vs. LSU
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 28 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Michigan vs. Kansas State
  • Gator Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Nebraska vs. Georgia
  • Texas Bowl, Dec. 27 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Minnesota vs. Syracuse

The BCS games, then, would be Florida State/Auburn, Michigan State/Stanford, Ohio State/Clemson, Oklahoma/Alabama, and (bleh) Central Florida/Baylor.

All in all, a great set of excuses to gather friends and family for the holidays and then ignore them to watch TV. We’ll have breakdowns of each of these matchups in the coming days, as well as full coverage of Ohio State’s trip to Miami in an attempt to exorcise Charlie Bauman’s specter.

But with that… The Week That Were draws to a close for yet another season. Thanks for playing along with us all fall, and for being a part of tBBC Family. We’ll close with a bit of nostalgia to get you ready for Miami:

The Week That Were: 11.23.13

Written November 25th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Happy Thanksgiving week! Here’s a little music to get you ready for Thursday… and another ditty to prep you for Saturday.

Yowzers

One Of Those Days

You know what’s interesting about college sports? Call it “the circle of life”, call it “karma” (j/k, don’t do that) call it “Brent Musberger’s Vegas Connections”, but the fact is that things just seem to work themselves out.

In spite of efforts to create story lines and “narrative”, teams win and teams lose and everyone gets to play in a bowl. Well, almost everyone.

It’s like I’ve been saying all season- “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” Play well, win the game you’re in, and let the chips fall where they may.

Sure, it’s great that you’re averaging a metric bucketload of points every week, but when you don’t hit that target what will you do? Case in point: Texas A&M, Oregon, and Baylor combined for 41 points in their three losses. yesterday. That’s less than Oregon and Baylor were each averaging per game.

As the prophet said, “Everyone’s got a plan until they get hit in the mouth”.

The Ducks went down in spectacular fashion, giving Rich Rodriguez a home upset of a nationally ranked team that will surely a) earn him an extension and b) give Michi1gAAn fans eternal heartburn. Not only did Mariotti throw his first interception of the year in the game as a result of that great play you see above, but he then tossed his second on the way to a 42-16 loss in Tuscon. It’s not that the Ducks were without flash and sizzle… it’s just that they never found a rhythm and were unable to play Stanford football.

That Kind Of Night

One Of Those Nights

Baylor came into Stillwater not having won there in forever… and left the same way. The nation’s top offensive team was unable to deal with the different looks that TBPU gave them, and struggled to get their high octane offense going.

In addition, their vaunted defensive front didn’t create any consistent pressure or stop Oklahoma State’s bigger specialists from making play after play.  I guess the Lord helps those who help their Chelf.

Helmet sticker goes to the “turf monster”, though, who seemed to be the leading tackler for both teams.  He also made a big play by interfering with a Baylor snap late in the game to solidify the win for the up and coming Cowboy team.

As for Johnny Freaking Football, he and the Aggies continued their trend of underperforming against top competition. As our friend @FightOnTwist pointed out earlier in November, Manziel is an amazing quarterback, but his interceptions often lead to opposing teams’ scores; and other than the win in Tuscaloosa, he’s been pretty pedestrian versus teams that are nationally ranked.

Against LSU on Saturday, his one TD pass was coupled with only 1g completions and two interceptions as the Aggies fell again to LSU by a 34-10 score. I guess you could say he got beaten like a… well… yeah. Read More

Poll Position: Cowboy Up

Written November 20th, 2013 by Patrick

Help Your Chelf

If the pundits and voters would only listen to us, they’d understand that the B1G is due some respect.

With three teams in the latest tBBC Top Ten, the Legendary Leaders put one more than the ACC, PAC, B12, and SEC.

(Not that we’re biased or anything)

Pos. Team (1st Votes) LW
1 Florida State (5) 1
2 Alabama (4) 2
3 Ohio State (1) 3
4 Baylor 4
5 Oregon 6
6 Auburn 7
7 Michigan State 10
8 Oklahoma State NR
9 Clemson 9
10 (tie) Wisconsin/Stanford NR/4

The biggest mover is the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who leap up to the eight spot right before they host Baylor on Saturday. Mike Gundy’s team worked Texas over on Saturday in preparation of facing the undefeated Bears.

Wisconsin also joins the Top 1o for the first time this season, tied with their two loss brothers who forgot to play Stanford Football again on Saturday.

Missouri and South Carolina also received votes this week.

Are we on the money or off base? In the comments, let us know what you think…

 

The Week That Were: 9.7.13

Written September 9th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Given the rain delay in the BYU /UT game this week and the deluge of rushing that befell the Longhorns after kickoff, there’s only one option for this week’s soundtrack.

See, this is why there should be no polls before the first weekend in October.

Hook’em

Once again, we see a number of teams that got votes due to their “name recognition” shown up early in the season, and others who are rising to the occasion still find themselves with a long way to go until November.

Cases in point: Texas, Notre Dame, Florida, and Southern Cal; all of whom lost on the same Saturday for the first time since September 11, 1976.

For the Longhorns, it’s been a slide into mediocrity for a while now. I’m not sure that people really understand the significance of the Mack Brown era… As the flagship school in of the top three recruiting hotbeds in the country, Brown’s teams have historically underwhelmed with the exception of two “lightening in a bottle” moments- Vince Young and Colt McCoy. Outside of their leadership behind center, the program has struggled; and it can be argued that some of this is due to poor coaching (see the Major Applewhite -vs- Chris Sims debacle) or poor recruiting (Texas recruited the last two Heisman winners as defensive backs, and didn’t reach out to Jamies Winston- this year’s new hotness).

While those things may be true, Mack seems to think that the issue is defense; as evidenced by the 550 yards rushing that they gave up to BYU on Saturday, the majority of which happened in the first three quarters. In response, Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz was fired on Sunday. Before you get excited, Austinites- his replacement is none other than Greg “GERG” Robinson, who’s amazing Michigan defenses gave up over 100 points in two games against Illinois.  I’m sure he’ll get the team motivated to return to the lofty status that UT should assume.

But you’ve also got to think that this is merely shuffling chairs on the Titanic- when your team plays so poorly that Shaggy Bevo’s servers go down as they did on Sunday, then you’ve got yourself a problem. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Was Told There’d Be Cake

Written July 10th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Hey! It’s Urban Meyer’s Birthday today… and Thad Matta’s tomorrow!  Those are national holidays, right? {Takes off pants at work} {Is escorted Leaves work for the day}. So, today’s soundtracks will… uh… help set the mood for a “special celebration

Much better, and more realistic

Buckeye 411

2013 March Madness Bracketology: Midwestern Region

Written March 18th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Over the next two days, your favorite miscreants here at tBBC will be taking a deeper look at the path that leads to Atlanta, because people from Ohio know all about getting to Atlanta.

Hopefully, this will help you as you fill out your brackets in this year’s Tournament Challenge- the game locks on Thursday, so sign up now!

Midwestern Road To Atlanta

Midwestern Road To Atlanta

Regional Favorite- I’m not really going out on a limb here by saying that Louisville is the team to beat in this region. They’re the overall #1 seed, they’ll be playing in front of home fans that choose to make the trip up I-65, and are firing on all cylinders at this point in the season, as is typical of Pitino teams. Their athleticism, full court press, and having a coach that’s been there before makes them huge favorites not only to come out of Indy, but to win the whole thing. In addition, I’m not sold on Duke or Michigan State being able to make deep runs this year, particularly after what we saw in the ACC/B1G tournaments.  St. Louis looks threatening, but I believe that this one is the Cardinals’ to lose.

Which they can do if they find themselves not mentally in the game. As unlikely as that is, Louisville has seen it’s share of moments where it seems to be taking it’s time figuring out what its game plan is. While the story of the Big East final was certainly the enormous run that they went on to blow the doors off of Syracuse, the fact that they found themselves in a hole to begin with can’t be overlooked. The problem, as I see it, is that they won’t face teams able to take advantage of that until they’re already in Indianapolis for the Sweet 16.

Cinderella- For the purposes of this exercise, we’re picking an eight seed or lower that will make a deep run in the tournament. In the Midwest, that’s got to be the Oregon Ducks. Read More

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