2014 Big Ten Conference Preview: West Division

Written June 30th, 2014 by Patrick
Not content to only preview Ohio State’s schedule, Patrick is taking a two part look at the B1G for 2014. Here’s a look at the newbies and our Western Division brethren; after lunch the East gets due scrutiny in addition to the championship game predictions.

Motivation Fuel

When the dust settled on the 2013-14 season, the B1G had a Rose Bowl champion and……another bad bowl record as a conference.

Michigan State and Nebraska were the lone winners (Rose and Gator Bowls respectively) and the conference was 2-7 overall. Yet even after that showing, many pundits feel like the B1G is poised to be a top tier conference this season. When the season opens, they will more than likely have two top 10 teams (Michigan State and Ohio State) as well as a slew of others ranked in the top 25.

The B1G welcomes two new members this season as well. Maryland and Rutgers will make their football debuts in 2014. The B1G received a ton of criticism for the recent additions. Other conferences such as the SEC are adding schools like Texas A&M and Missouri while many people feel the B1G adding “schedule padders” for football. What people won’t tell you is that these two schools gets the B1G into markets (Washington DC and New York) that they haven’t been in since its inception.

The non conference schedules for a lot of the B1G schools is very very good this season. Defending champion MSU will travel west to Eugene, Oregon to take on the Ducks, Ohio State welcomes Va Tech into Columbus, Wisconsin takes on LSU in Houston, Nebraska travels to Fresno for a battle with Fresno St and then back home the following week to take on the Miami Hurricanes, Michigan will try to avenge a loss to Appalachian St (did I really just type that) as well as take on Notre Dame for the last time and welcome the Utes of Utah to Ann Arbor, and Minnesota will travel to Texas to battle TCU. The B1G as a conference will need a lot of wins from these non conference tilts in order to gain some respect from the rest of the country and the national media

2014 will also mark the first year of new conference alignment. Gone are the awful Leaders and Legends divisions and we finally get a traditional East/West divisions.

*2014 will also mark the 3rd year that Penn State will be ineligible for post season play.

2014 WEST PREVIEW

Even though the B1G divided up the divisions by east/west location, many feel the west is by far the weaker of the two. Nebraska and Wisconsin should battle for the next few years for the west crown with little challenge. Read More

tBBC Interview: Catching Up With Terrelle Pryor

Written June 12th, 2014 by Jason
Pryor

3-0 Against That Team Up North

There are all different types of Buckeye student athletes.

Most are the ones that put in their time and move on to “regular” life beyond college, while some others go on to be mega stars professionally in their sport. And though they are few, there are those in both categories who are honored and cheered at just the mere mention of their name.

Then there is the even rarer athlete whose name always manages evoke a response; emotionally and sometimes even causing people to discuss their careers. Terrelle Pryor is one of those athletes- from your barber to your mother-in-law, everyone in Buckeye Nation has an opinion on the legacy he left at Ohio State.

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Buckeyes top Sparty, get No. 5 seed

Written March 9th, 2014 by Scott

They’ve been ranked as high as No. 3 in the country and have felt the pains of being unranked and unimpressive.

But now the Ohio State Buckeyes have a signature win and some momentum heading into the Big Ten Tournament.

Michigan State’s Gary Harris missed a jumper as time expired and OSU came from behind to beat the Spartans 69-67 at Value City Arena on Sunday.

Ohio State said goodbye to seniors Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr., and had a chance to say hello to the No. 4 seed and a much-coveted bye in the upcoming B1g money-maker, uh, tournament, but Wisconsin ruined that idea by choking against Nebraska Sunday night.

So Ohio State gets the No. 5 seed and a matchup against Purdue on Thursday. The winner gets Nebraska, which likely earned an at-large NCAA Tournament bid. That winner gets top-seeded Michigan.

LaQuinton Ross scored 22 points and had five rebounds while Craft had 12 points, 7 assists and became the conference’s all-time steals leader to help OSU overcome a pathetic 19-of-31 effort at the free throw line, which almost cost OSU in the final seconds.

Adreian Payne led all scorers with 23 points while Harris had 12 and Denzel Valentine 11.

The Buckeyes improve to 23-8 and 10-8 in the B1G. MSU, the No. 1 seed in the tourney, is also 22-8 and is 15-4 in the B1G.

It was one of those games where it felt like Sparty should have been blowing away the Buckeyes at times, but could only manage a 7-point lead as the game’s biggest spread.

More than once OSU was down at least five points but didn’t let that deter them from winning on Senior Day.

OSU trailed 38-36 at the half but began the second half with a 6-0 run, which ultimately sparked the Buckeyes to a 44-39 lead with about 17:30 left. Michigan State quickly answered and took a 49-44 lead with 16:56 left on a pair of Harris 3-pointers, a Payne dunk off a Harris assist and a Travis Trice dunk.

That led to an OSU timeout with 15:16 left.

Harris hit a pair of free throws to increase the lead to 51-44 and a cap a 12-0 run.

Craft hit a pair of free throws to end the run and make it 51-46 with about 14 minutes left.

Harris then hit a long catch-and-shoot bucket to increase the lead back to seven with about 13 minutes left.

But OSU wasn’t done despite having no real go-to scorer.

Amir Williams made one of two from the line and a Ross 3-pointer cut it to 53-50 after the under-12 timeout. Trice missed a shot, the Buckeyes rebounded and after a foul at the other end and Shannon Scott hit a pair of free throws to cut it to one.

That caused Coach Tom Izzo to bring his starters back in the game as he was resting Branden Dawson, Valentine and Keith Appling.

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Ohio State’s Sunday Woes Continue at Wisconsin

Written February 2nd, 2014 by Charles

Raven Ferguson came off the bench to lead OSU with 17 points but it wouldn't be enough in Madison.

Raven Ferguson came off the bench to lead OSU with 17 points but it wouldn’t be enough in Madison.

After dominating Illinois in their best offensive game of the year, the Ohio State (14-10, 4-4) women’s basketball team traveled to Madison looking to put together their first set of back-to-back wins in the Big Ten this season and to get above .500 in conference play.  Wisconsin (9-11, 2-6) had struggled for much of the season but had given Michigan State a scare in East Lansing on Thursday in a 71-67 loss.

Neither team got off to a good start offensively. A free throw and then a layup by Darryce Moore gave Ohio State an early lead but then pretty much anything resembling offense disappeared as both teams struggled to make a basket.  A three pointer by Wisconsin tied the game three and a half minutes into the game.  The Buckeyes take a 5-3 and a 7-5 lead over the next two minutes but then the Badgers got their offense going and scored 10 straight points to take a 15-7 lead eight minutes into the game.  A Raven Ferguson layup finally broke the Wisconsin run but Ohio State couldn’t get an closer than six before the Badgers scored 6 unanswered to stretch their lead to 23-11 just past the midpoint of the half.  A timeout by Kevin McGuff seemed to get things going for the Buckeyes who quickly got four points to cut the lead back to single digits only to see the Badgers push it back to double digits, 30-17 with five minutes to go in the half.  The OSU offense showed some improvement in the final three minutes of the half and managed to trim the Wisconsin lead to 36-28 as the buzzer sounded.

Shooting was the big difference in the first half as Ohio State struggled with their shooting and even with improvement in the closing minutes of the half, the Buckeyes only shot 36% from the field while going 1 of 7 from three point range.  Meanwhile Wisconsin was hard to stop at times as the Badgers shot 43% from the field while going 3 of 9 from outside.  A major surprise for the Buckeyes was that Ameryst Alston, who leads the team in scoring on the season, was limited to only four points in the first half.

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BBN Basketball Liveblog: Wisconsin

Written February 1st, 2014 by Eric

After Wednesday night’s results, things looked pretty grim for the entire conference. Just three of the 12 teams possessed winning records in conference play.

Neither Ohio State nor Wisconsin qualify for that standard. Amazingly, both teams were #3 in the country at some point, and were undefeated in their first 15 games. Now, both teams lost to league “bottom dwellers” at home on Wednesday night. They are 1-1 over their last two games, and 1-4 over their last 5.

The slap-fight is scheduled to start at Noon on ESPN. Make sure to stop by and commiserate with all of your favorite Buckeye bloggers and friends. Go Bucks!
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New Silver Bullet Points In The Clip

Written January 15th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

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.

Buckeye 411

  • Choose Wisely- Amidst the chaos of the past week or so in Ohio State shootyhoops, it might be easy to miss that Aaron Craft (swoon) has been named a finalist for the Wooden Cup, a great award that recognizes on and off court performance and certainly doesn’t look anything at all like I thought it might.
  • n00bs- Ohio State welcomed seven new Buckeyes earlier this month, as the January enrollees began their steps toward their scarlet and gray legacies.  So, it’s now officially OK to start getting excited about QB Stephen Collier, LB Raekwon McMillan, OL Kyle Trout, OL Marcelys Jones, WR/DB Curtis Samuel, K Sean Nuernberger, and WR Johnnie Dixon
  • Coaching Hires- The biggest news on Tuesday was the conclusion of the Ohio State coaching searches, with both defensive positions being filled within a 12 hour period. (Technically, they can’t be filled until posted for a certain amount of time, but it’s all but done). Monday night, whispers started that former Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. had been approached by Ohio State to fill the position left when Coach Vrable left to join the Houston Texans. “Approached” soon turned into “All but accepted”, and by Tuesday it was all but considered as a sure thing. This was solidified around lunchtime, when the news then broke that Ohio State had found their defensive coordinator, former Arkansas and Wisconsin defensive coordinator Chris Ash (who also worked with Tom Herman at Iowa State and Brady Hoke in San Diego).  After the jump, we’ll give you a chance to get to know these new fellers a bit more, but for now- Welcome to Buckeye Nation!
  • More Coaching Options? With all of the shuffling around, it was interesting to hear that Jim Caldwell, former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts had been tabbed as the new leader for the Detroit Lions.  What made it especially unique was the possibility that he might bring former Buckeye coach Jim Tressel along with him… which certainly makes sense, given their brief relationship with the Colts and the obvious other reason. Alas, it looks like the possibility may have just been wishful thinking on the part of Buckeye fans wanting to troll that state up north.
  • Still Crankin’ Out The Hits- Even though it’s the off-season, Ohio State’s Sammy Silverman brings great visual reminders of Buckeye excellence, including our header photograph and this great gem: Read More

tBBC Preview: Capital One Bowl – Wisconsin vs South Carolina

Written December 29th, 2013 by Charles

capital-one-bowl-2010

#19 Wisconsin (9-3, 6-2 B1G) vs #9 South Carolina (10-2, 6-2 SEC)

The Capital One Bowl is one of the oldest and most prestigious of the non-BCS bowls.  Originally known as the Tangerine Bowl, the game was first played in 1947 in front of a crowd of about 9,000 (which seems like about the number of people who watch some of the lesser bowls we have today such as the Idaho Potato Bowl).  The bowl didn’t start out very prestigious, originally featuring matchups between schools in the South, the game often featured the Ohio Valley Conference champion and other small colleges though major schools would occasionally feature in the game.  Being in the South, the bowl followed along the racist trends of the region at that time and prohibited African Americans from participating in the game.  This resulted in boycotts of the game by Hillsdale in 1955 and Buffalo in 1958; Morgan State would become the first historically black college to play in the game in 1966.

From 1968 to 1975 the Tangerine Bowl featured the MAC champion versus the champion of the Southern Conference or the SEC.  As time went on the game began to feature more prestigious matchups as the major conference began to allow more of their teams to play in bowl games.  Renamed the Citrus Bowl in 1983, the game jumped a lot in prestige as it signed an agreement to pit the ACC champion against an at-large opponent from 1987 to 1991.  Its prestige grew even more after the 1991 game which saw Georgia Tech defeat Nebraska to finish 11-0-1 and be named the national champion by UPI. 

Renamed as the Capital One Bowl in 2003, marking the start of the bowls completely selling out on naming rights, the game now features a matchup between the Big Ten and the SEC, earning the first pick of teams from each conference after the BCS games.  The game is played at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando.  Over the past decade the stadium has drawn a lot of criticism due to its poor condition and lack of modern facilities which likely resulted in it not being included in the upcoming college football playoff system.  After years of delays and debate, the stadium will finally undergo an almost complete reconstruction in 2014.

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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

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