So, let’s face it: PR is not the NCAA’s strong suit. Of all the things the organization struggles with, this might be No. 1. Of all the people guilty of a lack of nuance when discussing issues surrounding major college athletics, the NCAA’s spokespeople (be they official or de facto) could be the worst offenders.
We are reminded of this every time they simply deny athletes should be paid rather than point out they already are (and have been almost from the beginning) paid, and yesterday’s response from the organization following the news that football players at Northwestern have started an effort to unionize probably did nothing but blow a bigger hole in the organization’s credibility on this issue with the general public. Continue reading
So Ohio State finally confirmed the hiring of Chris Ash as safeties coach and co-defensive coordinator. Along with new defensive line coach and assistant head coach Larry Johnson, Ash completes Urban Meyer’s staff for 2014.
After the two get off the road from recruiting, they will find a defense left in shambles at the end of last season, the last of three years of regression that followed a decade of stellar play.
Ohio State lines up against Indiana last November
Johnson has a reputation as an outstanding position coach, and he will find a group that performed well in a trial by fire this past season. The stout, fundamentally tough play he taught at Penn State could blend very nicely with the aggressive style outgoing coach Mike Vrabel instilled in the group.
Ash’s job figures to be much tougher, though he will have a nearly clean slate when he and holdover Kerry Coombs work to rebuild a secondary that gave up 268.0 yards per game last season, almost 25 more than a year earlier. Continue reading
This is admittedly a couple of weeks late, but you know time doesn’t stop anymore for the end of football season. Of course I like to let things breathe a little before picking them apart anyway…
Ohio Stadium from the north tunnel after the 2013 season finale.
What we learned this season: The 2013 Ohio State football team did not have enough mature talent to compete for a national championship.
That really is the long and the short of it. There might be enough good players on the roster to compete with the best of the best if the recruiting rankings are correct (and they usually are), but not enough of those youngsters contributed this season.
Interestingly enough, one could say the same thing about Michigan, which would show the stark difference in the state of the programs Urban Meyer and Brady Hoke respectively took over considering the respective 2013 records, but maybe that’s a topic for another day. It’s also worth pointing out both teams forced at least a couple of youngsters into the fire with widely divergent degrees of success (i.e., the OSU defensive line and the UM offensive line). Continue reading
Ohio State 2014 signee Makayla Waterman personally tied Springfield 11-11 Wednesday night in Greater Western Ohio Conference girls’ basketball action. Meanwhile, Waterman’s Kettering Fairmont teammates outscored the Wildcats 91-0 as the defending Ohio Division I state champions improved to 14-1 on the season (H/T).
Makayla Waterman shoots against Twinsburg last season. (Photo courtesy Fairmont HS.)
As you might expect, the 102 points for the Firebirds is their season high, but they have rolled early in GWOC play with an average margin of victory of 43.2 points during a 5-0 start.
Their level of competition will ramp up considerably this weekend when they head to Berlin, Ohio, for the annual Classic in the Country, where they are scheduled to play Toledo Notre Dame and Solon. TND (despite what ESPN might think) is led by Tierra Floyd, one of the top junior prospects in Ohio.
The final 2014 Scout 300 had 17 Ohio State verbal commitments and 19 players from Ohio.
There are 21 four-star prospects in Ohio, and those Buckeye Staters who aren’t going to be Buckeyes are going to the SEC, Big Ten, ACC and – believe it or not – the Ivy League.
Read on: Ohio well-represented in Scout Top 300 | FOX Sports on MSN.
The ’88 freakin Bengals. Man… 25 years ago they were the first team I learned to love and the first to break my heart.
I wouldn’t learn until later the brilliance of the zone blitz, the beauty of a play fake or the genius of Guns n’ Roses, but that was a season that marked me forever as a sports fan.
I’d been going to football games since literally before I can remember, but that’s the year ideas began to congeal. I didn’t know everything that was happening on the field, but I knew Ickey Woods and James Brooks were a killer running back tandem and Boomer Esiason was the MVP of the league. No idea what a zone blitz was, but I remember David Fulcher was a bad man. Continue reading
The last man to quarterback the Bengals to a playoff victory acknowledged the current Cincinnati signal caller played a role in the Bengals’ 27-10 loss to the Chargers on Sunday, but Boomer Esiason had larger issues with the lack of response he saw from Marvin Lewis and his staff in the second half.
Meanwhile, the southpaw praised the San Diego staff for turning up the heat on defense and pushing the pace on offense.
Boomer blasts Bengals coaches | FOX Sports on MSN.
So another season of college football is over. And what did we learn?
The SEC isn’t the only conference where teams can be made up of big, strong Southern athletes, although anyone who didn’t know that must be under 30 or have a very short memory.
Clemson runs out the clock on Ohio State.
That’s because Florida State cornered the market on dominance for more than a decade leading up to and through the beginning of the BCS era. Before SEC teams were getting the benefit of the doubt in the polls because of recent history, it was the Seminoles. And they earned their place at the top by taking the place of the Miami dynasty that went off the rails after a swaggering, successful decade of the ‘80s.
I am curious what Michigan State might have been able to do in the national championship game because of its defense – the same reason I stopped being curious about how Ohio State would fare on the same stage. Continue reading
Ohio State could be missing two or three starters in the Orange Bowl against Clemson Friday night.
Scout.com: Personnel Issues Looming for OSU D.
New head coach Kevin McGuff inherited an Ohio State women’s basketball roster with only 13 players for this season, and it shrank to 11 available after one decided to transfer and another suffered a likely season-ending injury.
He signed five players in November for the 2014 class, and this week added two more who were part of the 2013 class when top 50 recruits Kianna Holland and Shayla Cooper decided to transfer to Ohio State from Duke and Georgetown, respectively.
Ohio State picks up pair of transfers | FOX Sports on MSN.