Tag Archives: Buckeyes

Requiem for Urban Meyer’s read option

This Week in Big Ten Football looks first at Ohio State’s offense under Urban Meyer, whose scheme might have just evolved beyond its name.

Thursday on his weekly radio show, Urban Meyer declared the read option dead in his current version of the Ohio State offense. OK, that’s a bit dramatic, but we had to get your attention somehow.

What he actually said: “When you hear spread option, it cracks me up when I hear that. We don’t run really an option very much at all and it’s more of a pro-style from a spread set. So it’s a much different offense than what it was years ago.”

While that made headlines, it’s news a long time coming.  Continue reading Requiem for Urban Meyer’s read option

Ohio State football: J.T. Barrett and the Bear

Ohio State football’s offseason as the first reigning national champions of the College Football Playoff era is nearly over, and two items are of particular note as the final hours tick away: J.T. and the Bear.

Sounds kind of like a Burt Reynolds movie, doesn’t it?

Well that isn’t it. Just a quarterback from Texas and a defense from, well, a lot of places but in this particular case the mountains of western Virginia.

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett at media day in Columbus
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett at media day in Columbus

I think we’re going to see both J.T. Barrett and the Bear defense the first time Ohio State takes possession in 2015. In the case of Virginia Tech, there seems to be a belief that is their best chance to win (They are probably correct). As far as Barrett? Only time will tell.  Continue reading Ohio State football: J.T. Barrett and the Bear

Playing two quarterbacks has merit for Ohio State

Could playing two quarterbacks regularly this season work for Ohio State?

Maybe the best answer at this point is, “Why not?”

Initially I doubted we would see it (barring injury), but a lot of the rhetoric seems to be pointing in that direction. Well, the chatter from the coaches, at least, as Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Ed Warinner both talked up some of the potential positives of using both J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones rather than picking one with which to sink or swim. That comes a couple of weeks after Barrett and Jones both expressed some misgivings about a two-quarterback system, though one got the impression from both they would go along with whatever they were asked to do.

Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones and daughter at media day
Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones and daughter at media day

The quarterbacks both made good points, too, as far as being able to get in a rhythm and play through mistakes. I certainly think that is valid. Does it trump the possibility of getting more of the good than the bad out of each of them, though? I don’t think we can answer that definitively.

And while I don’t think they should play both simply as a way to avoid hurting feelings, I am starting to see how it could work.

The bottom line is hardly anything that has happened before compares to this situation. Almost no quarterback battle includes two players who have actually performed well and won on the big stage. What Meyer and Warinner and quarterbacks coach Tim Beck are making isn’t an educated guess like it is when trying to choose between two guys who have only done it in practice, which is a poor substitute for games, and that is great for piece of mind if not for drawing distinctions between the two. Continue reading Playing two quarterbacks has merit for Ohio State

Big Ten Football Media Days review: All the links fit to aggregate

Big Ten Football Media Days mean the unofficial start to college football season in the Midwest.

Ohio State Spartans football coach Urban Meyer at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago
Ohio State Spartans football coach Urban Meyer at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago

All 14 Big Ten football coaches and players from every team got together in Chicago for the conference’s annual media days last week to talk about the upcoming season, and while you no doubt saw plenty of stories emerge from the event, you probably missed some, too (especially since it wrapped up well after 5 on Friday in the East).  Continue reading Big Ten Football Media Days review: All the links fit to aggregate

This Week in the Big Ten wants better basketball

Welcome to the first week of the year college basketball gets dramatic enough a large portion of the population can stomach watching a whole game in one sitting!

OK, maybe that was a little over-the-top, but I am somewhat amused at the growing sentiment that college basketball has a big problem as far as entertainment value. Where have y’all been? Do you not watch the NBA at all, because it’s practically a different sport when guys can, you know, make shots on a consistent basis.

A representation of Ohio State's game plan last week
The state of basketball play in college

It’s been going this way for a long time, and the one-and-down thing ain’t the biggest problem. It’s just the extreme example of the larger issue that not enough guys stick around long enough for teams to learn how to play together or become recognizable and marketable. Going to two-and-done would only be a slight improvement for this overall. I’d trace the decline back to when guys like Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury started making skipping more than one year of college more the norm.

I don’t blame guys for going pro when they can. They’ve got to do what’s best for them — or at least what they think is best, which sometimes turns out to be not the case. But the fact teams are harder to get to know makes following the sport more difficult. That’s generally a bad business prospect, but the decline of the product’s watchability has larger implications.

And based on a lot of what I’ve been reading lately, I’m not sure there’s much reason to expect it to get better.

Exhibit A would be a piece from Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated that presents two critical issues as “myths” then goes on to provide more evidence for their veracity than anything else.  Continue reading This Week in the Big Ten wants better basketball

First impressions from Ohio State spring football 2015

Reporters were allowed to watch an hour of practice on the first day of Ohio State spring football, and then we spoke with Urban Meyer, Joshua Perry and Taylor Decker. There was not a whole lot to learn, but a few interesting things did pop up….

The issue of motivation becomes a cliched one, but Meyer and both players had some interesting things to say about the topic.

Ohio State football spring practice at the Woody Hayes Athletics Center
Ohio State football spring practice at the Woody Hayes Athletics Center

Well, Meyer actually said he’s not worried about it right now, which came as a surprise because I was under the impression he is ALWAYS worried about motivation and other various psychological issues surrounding his team. The coach said right now he just wants everyone in the mood to work hard, but I guess I would think that’s a matter of motivation, too.

Then I have to admit Perry and Decker both made fairly strong cases about how the Buckeyes — you know, the defending national champions who return 14 starters, including a whole bunch of guys who were really young and figure only to get better as more members of their recruiting classes move into starting roles — could actually be doubted.

Continue reading First impressions from Ohio State spring football 2015