Buckeye Weekend Update: 6.16.12

Written June 16th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Since you’ll certainly be out doing awesome things for Dad this weekend, here’s a quick update of the happenings around Ohio State Athletics for Saturday and Sunday. Look at it this way; you can use this information for Father’s Day dinner conversation, when the monosyllabic grunts turn to awkward silence (or is that just in my family?).

Stoneburner, Mewhort plead guilty, suspension continues. Per the OSU athletic department and Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Doug Lesmerisis, Jake and Jack both plead guilty to lesser charges (disorderly conduct rather than obstructing official business”), which resulted in a fine of $299 and court costs.

Their sanctions don’t end there, though, as the University has announced that they will be removed from their athletic scholarships effective immediately, including their ability to train with their teammates this summer. In a statement released tonight, Coach Meyer said,

“We are disappointed with the decisions made recently by two of our football players. Jake Stoneburner and Jack Mewhort will each be removed from athletic scholarship beginning with the summer term, and they will continue to be suspended from team activities until stipulations are successfully met. They will have an opportunity to return to the team in good standing following the summer session.”

While I have no doubt that they’ll be back in good standing at the end of the summer, I love the fact that this statement indicates that they need to earn their way back onto the team… that it’s a privilege, and not a given, even though both are anticipated starters for the fall campaign.

While you can argue that this response is pretty significant given the apparent pettiness of the offense, I think that this will go a long way toward setting the tone that Coach Meyer is looking for in Columbus. Given the ridiculous questions that some have asked about his ability to maintain discipline, this certainly is indicative of the expectations that wearing the scarlet and gray brings. Read More

Thoughts From Buckeye Nation: 5.26.12

Written May 26th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Happy Memorial Day Weekend…here’s a little something to peruse whilst you get ready for the 500

Hate “Leaders” and “Legends”? Us too, which is why we were so excited to read Jason’s take on what the first year of the new B1G would look like if they’d divided the conference differently-

While a few more years in the books are necessary before any real conclusions can be reached (and who knows how many teams/divisions the Big Ten will have by then), it seems that the Big Ten was right to go for competitive balance, but may not have properly achieved it.  For now, the fan favorite East/West split is actually better than what we have, so we can at least pat ourselves on the back for that.

One of the best things going in the Buckeye Inter-trons is the “Favorite Buckeye” series at OHD. Check out this week’s edition, where Michael reminds us of Jay Burson’s greatness-

Baby-faced Burson arrived at Ohio State after scoring an Ohio state high school record 2,958 points in four seasons at John Glenn High School in New Concord. That record held sway for 22 seasons, until another assassin—one Jon Keith “Threebler” Diebler—blew it up in 2007. Burson (and ultimately, Diebler) scored more points in high school than the likes of Jim Jackson, LeBron James and Jerry Lucas. For those of you who never saw Burson play, we call that “putting it into perspective.”

After the “situation” with Alex Anzalone, a lot of Ohio State writers and fans got introspective about how they should act and react to Buckeyes (and potential Buckeyes) online and elsewhere. Michael has a solid reflection this week; check it out-

I think it is time we all, I included, take a deep look inside and realize that our “fanaticism” has gone a little too far; actually, a lot too far.  When fans are threatening the lives of families after a missed shot, and when 17-year-old boys incur the wrath of a university fan base to the point where their daily living is influenced, things have gotten out of hand.

It was overzealous fans that got OSU in trouble in the first place.  Overzealous fans paid money for players’ paraphernalia, paid too much money for jobs, and sent emails to coaches.  Ohio State has a three-year probation and has already taken great pains to ensure that no further damage will take place to the football program. Let we, the fans, not make it any harder.

If you haven’t already downloaded Grant’s Season Schedule for your laptop, you should go ahead and do that now.  We’ll wait.

Back? Cool- now click back over to BHC and take a gander at what a little internet surfing will help you discover about a conference foe; this time, the good people in Iowa-

It’s amazing what you can find online – or at a tailgate – or a dorm – or – at volleyball practice (video). Today we look at those who support the black and gold of the University of Iowa. It’s not always pretty, but it can be. As is the case with any fan base, you’ll find your share of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Truer words have never been spoken in and around Kinnick Stadium. Apparently.

With the release of the 2015-16 football schedules, Chris Holloway decided to get a little round table together with other “experts” and discuss initial impressions of Ohio State’s chances-

Many thanks to everyone who participated: Jeremy Birmingham, Professor of Birminology at UnScripted Ohio, Grant Edgell, Editor in Chief of BuckeyeHouseCall.com, Jeremy Schneider of OurHonorDefend.com and my good friend Chris Hunt, writer for TheBuckeyeBattleCry.com

We went through many virtual adult beverages in this conversation, had a few laughs, and generally had a Real Good Time discussing Buckeye Football in a positive manner. The questions may have been written down beforehand, but the answers are all UnScripted.

James brings his summertime looks at various positional situations, starting with the Defense-

Overall: B+

The line will carry the defense and hopefully mask some of the growing pains and/or lack of depth at linebacker and in the secondary. If everything goes as planned (no injuries, living up to potential etc.), this could be an above average to very good unit.

It will almost certainly be an improvement over last season. The key will be whether the front can get a consistent pass rush and pressure the QB.

An offense that can stay on the field wouldn’t hurt either.

Thoughts From Buckeye Nation: 5.19.12

Written May 19th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

It was a quiet week near Mirror Lake, where all the students are above average…

This week, you’ll (hopefully) be seeing a concerted effort from the BBN fellers to honor The Senator as the one year anniversary of “The Happening” approaches.  Grant has kicked things off with a great series of interviews with former players-

Devin Barclay

BHC: What is your single fondest memory of JT the man, not the coach?

Devin: His leadership. He was and is a tremendous leader! He always knows how to get the best out of people, and understands what it takes to do so without being negative. He meets people once and remembers their names, it’s unreal. You know how many people Tress met? Haha

Brian Rolle

BHC: What do you miss about having Tress in your life on a daily basis?

Brian: I just miss his overall presence as a person. When coach Tress is around it isn’t like most coaches where you have to get uptight because he was like one of the guys and that’s why he was so successful. He created a family atmosphere in the locker room and didn’t look down on his players.

T.J. Downing

BHC: What was the most important thing coach Tressel taught you in your years at Ohio State?

T.J: I mostly learned how to be a man. I showed up on campus in 2002 thinking I was the man and I wasn’t. He was there to pick up the pieces and shape me into a guy that was able to contribute to the success of the program. Physically he always challenged me to be a better athlete from stretching and jump roping to always getting on my case about playing lower and bending at the hips. Mentally he expected 100% focus at all times. From knowing your assignment to snap counts and not committing stupid errors that would hurt the unit as a whole. I always felt very military like with the discipline we were expected to have. Those things stick with you for life.

 

Here on the Mothership, Eric and I had a friendly debate about the “worth” and “purpose” of college football. After looking at my initial attempt, Eric weighed in: Read More

Thoughts From Buckeye Nation: 5.12.12

Written May 12th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Happy May, everybody! Let’s check out the ways that the BBN fellers are keeping out of trouble.

As part of their ongoing “Favorite Buckeye” series, Dan at OHD gave us a look at wrestler Kevin Randleman, who might just join Vrable in the BBAMF Hall of Fame:

There’s a lot of talk about toughness in sports. In fact, some time there is so much talk that it ends up getting tuned out. Well, I assure you that when I tell you that Kevin Randleman’s 1993 was one of the most impressive displays of toughness that I have ever seen in any sport, I’m not being hyperbolic.  Randleman entered the tournament as the #1 overall seed and he backed it up scoring an impressive first-round victory over Clarion’s Dan Payne. In the second round, however, things took an ugly turn. During his match against Central Connecticut’s Mark Frushone, Randleman suffered a dislocated jaw. The injury wasn’t caused by an illegal move, so if Randleman couldn’t get back on the mat within the allotted “injury time” he would forfeit the match and be eliminated from the tournament. However, instead of taking the easy and understandable way out, Randleman popped his jaw back into place and kept wrestling.

The Yahooligans over at the newest OSU Blog and rookie member of the BBN took umbrage at the way that many in the media were responding to some of former OSU Quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s comments in Sports Illustrated, and asked some pointed questions of the “media elite”-

Then there is ESPN. I don’t even know where to start with these guys. Brian Bennett of the Big Ten Blog drew the short straw to do the writeup on this and, as usual, kowtowed to his employer’s agenda. Here’s a tip Brian. When the NCAA has investigated Pryor and found zero evidence of an infraction occurring, that’s probably a good indication that it didn’t occur. For instance, you referenced the ESPN story about how Pryor was receiving a steady stream of checks from Dennis Talbott for signing memorabilia so that Talbott could sell it. I, as well as many others, have talked with Talbott. He categorically denies giving Pryor any monies. In fact, the NCAA declined to even contact Talbott as part of their investigation.

Read More

Nothing Says Loyal Like Silver Bullet Points

Written May 2nd, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

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.

Circle of Life

Buckeye 411

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

Thoughts From Buckeye Nation: 4.28.12

Written April 28th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Time for another wander around the BBN for a look back at the week in Ohio State Sports. Oh, and be sure to check out one of the newest places for news from Buckeye Athletics, Unscripted Ohio, from our friends Chris and Jeremy and the Buckeye Sports Bulletin/Yahoo!/Rivals family. It’s a great resource… and we hope to add them as the seventh seal on the BBN in the near future.

We’ll toot tBBC’s horn first this week, if only to give best wishes to our own Jim, who ties the knot to his beautiful fiance today.  Mazel Tov, guys… Enjoy your amazing day and your time together on the honeymoon. Oh, and remember: come August his heart belongs to Urban.

James led off our double look at recruiting this week, covering the post- spring game options for football’s class of 2013-

Most people are projecting 21 as the upper limit of scholarships in 2013, so with Heuerman on board (speculation as I write this- ed. He verballed to Notre Dame… what can you do?), that leaves approximately seven spots to fill.

On Friday, Joe talked hoops, given that there are still some options for the Buckeye 2012 class now that transfers and the NBA have increased Ohio State’s numbers-

Now that it seems that the rest of Ohio State’s open scholarships will be turned down for other programs across the country (Amile Jefferson, Anthony Bennett), Thad Matta and company will be looking at the best transfer options and gauging interest in the upcoming month.

Yet, there is still one more interesting option that has evolved from the class of 2012…

The team from the Buckeye Blog evaluated last Saturday’s Spring Game, first with a take on the “Hoot And Holler” drill that kicked off the game-

This is exactly what the 2012 Ohio State team will be playing for – pride and respect. There is no Rose Bowl or Big Ten Championship to play for this year, and some (including myself) have worried about where the motivation will come from for the players. Worry no more. This new coaching staff has instilled a competitive spirit amongst the Scarlet and Gray ranks that was palpable throughout the stadium during this drill.

The review continued by evaluating not only the quarterback performances, but the way that their new coach is grooming them to be the tip of the spear for the new Buckeye offensive philosophy-

Although I’m still a fan of Big 10 style threeyardsandacloudof football, at some point even a successful Jim Bollman offense gets frustrating (not to mention the emotions associated with an unsuccessful Bollman offense). Meyer has said that this is still Ohio State and that we can expect to see a solid running game come fall. Unlike 2011 however, not only will there be the threat of a passing game (which was non-existent at times last year), we should actually have a solid passing game in place.

While there were a number of great articles at TSB this week, the one that made national news was Michael’s interview with Kyle Dodson, which addressed the “Bret Bielema” allegations of a “bumping” recruiting violation- Read More

Thoughts From Buckeye Nation: 04.14.12

Written April 14th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

With seven days to go until the Spring Game, let’s take a gander around the BBN to see what folks are a’talkin’ about.

Ohio State fans this week found themselves again target by “journalists” seeking pageviews; this time in the form of a Sporting News article that “exposed” Urban Meyer’s destruction of the Gator program prior to leaving Gainesville.

Drew took a closer look at the article in question, and helped put some perspective on it for folks who follow the scarlet and gray:

Sadly, I can guarantee that most of the public won’t see through this piece for what it truly is. Like mindless idiots, most will use this as evidence that Ohio State is a dirty program and that Urban Meyer is a cheater (some journalist already are). It amazes me when I talk to rival fans (and some Buckeye fans for that matter) how uneducated they are about the sports world, and how they take these cover stories at face value. While I guess it shouldn’t matter all that much, it still annoys me.

Since “scandal” was already on every sportswriter’s mind with the situation involving Bobby Petrino at the University of Arkansas, several other writers chose to make the lazy connection between his actions and the downfall of former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.  Andrew looked at the coverage and Buckeye fan response and found that the latter says more about us than it does about the state of college football or athletic journalism:

But some refuse to let go, a fact that is proven by fans’ disproportionate reaction to the week’s events. The logic: we lost our coach under humiliating circumstances, so let’s make sure to pile on the Razorbacks when the same thing happens to them. And a member of the media wrote a story tangentially related to and critical of the Buckeyes, so let’s make sure he doesn’t forget he and his colleagues’ misbehavior a year ago.

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Thoughts From Buckeye Nation: 3.24.12

Written March 24th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Before we all get together to enjoy a little Orange Juice, here’s a look back at the week’s best from around the BBN

It was a week for getting things off your chest, and we had no better example than Scott’s open letter to the fans of the Bearkitties-

Maybe we aren’t afraid to play you like you think. Maybe we just don’t want to waste our time. It was very clear who the best team on the court was Thursday night. And it wasn’t the one that was obnoxiously dragging out the inevitable in the final three minutes with a ridiculous display of unnecessary fouls.

As for Cincinnati, enjoy the view of the rest of the tournament from our shadow. It’s always going to be there.

 

Speaking of ranting at fans, Joe took it to Buckeye Nation this Friday for the way they treated senior Will Buford on that most eloquent of social media sites, twitter-

To be honest, I was so upset with how you handled this game that I didn’t want to finish writing this recap. What ever happened to rooting for and pulling for those in the Scarlet and Grey? Are we at a time in sports fandom where that doesn’t matter anymore?

In a game that the Buckeyes WON, Ohio State fans wiped their pride right off their sleeves. Instead, they took to every social media provider possible to rip one of the most celebrated players in school history.

Well Buckeye Nation, when it comes down to it – I hope you don’t choke on your words when the Buckeyes move onto the elite 8. Hopefully you swallow them down the stretch and think about what it means to say that a player is not part of Buckeye Nation.

…After a 20-6 run in the second half, to cut a 13 point deficit, everyone from Aaron Craft to Thad Matta was thrown under the bus.  When the Buckeyes responded with a 17-1 run to seal the ballgame, it was like nothing ever happened.

Also, we added yet another piece of swag to your wardrobe, guaranteed to make everyone around you swoon with joy

Disclaimer: tBBC is not responsible for anything that happens to you while wearing this gear, no matter how much it looks like one of those AXE commercials

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