Tag Archives: Buckeyes

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

This Week in the Big Ten is agreeing with The Vest

Some weeks figuring out the biggest story is hard. This was not one of those weeks.

Jim Tressel did something last Monday he almost never did when he was head coach of the Buckeyes: Create headlines with a substantive speech.

Not only did the former Ohio State head coach stir up the rivalry between his old employer and Michigan by declaring the Wolverines are “a ways away from being at the level where there’s going to be a 10-Year War,” he also shared one of the secrets of their decline over the past decade or so: problems recruiting Ohio.

In referring to his 2002 recruiting class that was highly acclaimed, mostly Ohioan and ultimately very successful, Tressel said (Per ohio.com), “I think we might have lost one guy that whole year to Michigan. The door closed and it hasn’t been open.” 20111221-071738.jpg

This is a key point. Michigan kept bringing in highly regarded recruiting classes in the years after Tressel arrived at Ohio State, but fewer highly coveted Ohioans became Wolverines than in the preceding decades when it seemed Michigan had a never-ending string of stars from the Buckeye State. Tressel was particularly dominant in northeast Ohio, the home of Desmond Howard, Elvis Grbac, Dan Dierdorf and Dennis Franklin, to name a few.

So Jim Tressel was not only 9-1 against Michigan, he also hurt the Wolverines’ chances to beat everyone else. He didn’t do it alone, though. The slide of Michigan also coincided with strong recruiting of Ohio by Big Ten schools such as Iowa and Wisconsin, but of course Michigan State is the gold standard in recent years. Zanesville native Mark Dantonio has made a mint on recruiting his home state since leaving Tressel’s OSU staff to become head coach at Cincinnati and then moving on to East Lansing.

In the past 10 years Ohio State and Michigan State have also won a lot of battles against Michigan north of the Ohio border, a double-whammy that has seen Michigan stripped of its backbone and having to face kids who are more fired up to beat the Wolverines than the average recruit who grew up somewhere else.

I’ll probably have more on this topic in the near future.

Elsewhere…

I’m surprised this came from a traditional media site, and I’m starting to wonder if they are losing their sanity in Nebraska.

Of course many traditions are up for interpretation and they can mean different things to different people, but the idea Bo Pelini making guys earn the Blackshirts was a mistake or some kind of crime against the tradition is fairly laughable for a few reasons.

First, if you read the history of the Blackshirts (which I have always thought from afar is an awesome, badass tradition, BTW), you’ll find they began as something that was earned from day to day. Second, Pelini took over a defense that was like literally the worst in school history, an actual laughingstock. It’s not as if Pelini took something that was working and undid it.

If ever there was a time to have to earn the jerseys, that would be it. Also note this is a very frequent practice among coaches these days, particularly with the current generation of players for which entitlement is generally considered a big problem. It’s actually happening right this minute with the Nebraska basketball team and the coach who was a darling as recently as last year.

Third, the defense actually got good for a while under Pelini, so I guess he knew what he was doing at least at one point. Fourth, the reason the defense went downhill is not because of the clothes but because Pelini didn’t recruit and/or develop good enough players.

If Riley doesn’t change that — and it would be a minor miracle if he does — it won’t matter what guys are wearing or when they get it. But I guess I’ll be interested to see how history is revised then, too…

Michigan’s new offensive coordinator says winning tends to cure most ills. I say so does not having to rely on too many young offensive linemen.

Whoever wins the starting quarterback job for the Wolverines can expect to have the attack tailored to his strengths, another departure from the previous regime.

Connor Cook has high expectations for himself and offers a frank assessment of what he did well and needs to improve from last season. He’ll need to find some new targets this year to continue to improve himself.

Five questions for Maryland as the Terrapins begin spring football.

Strange things continue to happen with officiating when Ohio State travels to Penn State for things.

Ohio State football recruiting Mike Weber: Winners and losers

Am I the only one who feels like Mike Weber probably handled the whole circus surrounding his recruitment and the related coaching change better than anybody else?

Granted, his Tweet about being “hurt as hell” was a catalyst for the first wave of reactions, but it’s hard to blame anyone for having an emotional reaction to something affecting his or her future and expressing that reaction. That’s especially true with a teenager who just made a big life decision then saw some of the information he probably used to make it change almost immediately.

Feeling and expressing emotions is an important part of life no matter our age. But actually being part of the process is also kind of key to having an emotional attachment, isn’t it?  Continue reading Ohio State football recruiting Mike Weber: Winners and losers

Ohio State football: The new narrative

Of course when something like “winning a national championship” happens, everyone has something to say.

The theme of my reaction column at BuckeyeSports.com was simple: Ohio State not only won a fancy gold trophy on Monday night, it also wiped out every narrative people have used against the Buckeyes — sometimes more correctly than others — since that stunning night in the desert in January 2007.

Need proof? After the jump, find a sampling of the new narrative from around the web, including writers who cover Ohio State and others more national in scope.  Continue reading Ohio State football: The new narrative

Some overdue Ohio State Big Ten championship thoughts

So, it’s been a week since Ohio State throttled Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.

In an effort to cover that for Buckeye Sports Bulletin and then get back into some semblance of what passes for a normal life during the 36 or so weeks of the year that are not college football season, I haven’t taken the time to get down much about what I thought about that whole thing. I don’t mind giving things some time to sink in, anyway, so I can’t say I went out of my way to sort things out. Because a lot has happened both with Ohio State and some of the programs that are of interest to Ohio State in one way or another.
Continue reading Some overdue Ohio State Big Ten championship thoughts

Buckeyes rounding into form at right time?

Top takeaways from reviewing the win at Minnesota:

With quarterback J.T. Barrett busting off long runs the last two games, this really is the Urban Meyer spread offense in full bloom now at Ohio State. Power back inside, speedy slot receivers who can run and catch, outside receivers who can go the distance via slant or fade. Powerful offensive line greasing the skids. Tight ends who are powerful blockers and can at least chain movers in the passing game.

OSU Football Second Thoughts: Minnesota - Ohio State - Scout

 

If the offense has arrived as an all-around threat as opposed to one revolving around just an outstanding talent or two, the defense is still finding its way. The stop unit was respectable at Minnesota against a Golden Gopher offense that does certain things very well and others pretty poorly, but it will probably need to continue refining its process as the season wears on.

Read more: OSU Football Second Thoughts: Minnesota – Ohio State – Scout.

Buckeyes looking to lock up Big Ten East division against Indiana

A return to the Big Ten Championship Game is in sight for Ohio State, but first the Buckeyes must dispatch Indiana at home this weekend.

Urban Meyer was happy to acknowledge this has been a big goal of the team since the end of last season, when they saw their national championship hopes snuffed out in Indianapolis by Michigan State.

The Buckeyes’ pass defense was their undoing at the end of last season, but that has looked much better under the direction of Chris Ash.

The run defense? Not so much.  Continue reading Buckeyes looking to lock up Big Ten East division against Indiana

Ohio State-Minnesota football week in review

With another week of football season in the books, here’s a roundup of the marks I left on the Internet as Ohio State and Minnesota got ready for a big November football game.

Of course we spent a lot of time looking back at the Buckeyes’ big win at Michigan State, including what that taught us about both programs, but the Golden Gophers deserve some respect after already winning seven games this season, including a spanking of Iowa last season.

There was also time for a little fun from the world of Major League Baseball.

Enjoy!

At BuckeyeSports.com:

OSU Football: Scouting Minnesota – We take a look at the Buckeyes’ next opponent on the gridiron

OSU Football Second Thoughts: Michigan State – The Buckeyes made use of their various talent advantages

Cus Words: Better Not Look Down – The Buckeyes are back on top of the Big Ten, but they can’t afford to overlook Minnesota

OSU Assistants: Warinner and Ash – Buckeye coaches talk win at MSU, look ahead to Minnesota

At FOXSportsOhio.com:

Buckeyes bring in another top 10 class

Adorable daddy-daughter moment highlights reaction to Kluber’s Cy Young

Buckeyes turn sights to Minnesota

Buckeyes lose Wilson to foot injury