If you’ve recently run out of ways to brag about old alma mater, Pro Football Reference has just the tool for you: a database of high schools for the 22,000+ NFL players in the site’s database.
It’s not perfect as there are some duplicate schools and typos that need to be cleaned up, but it’s still awesome if you’re a nerd who wants to know where the best players come from (And if there was any doubt, I’ve proved I fall into that category with previous pieces on the recruiting of Urban Meyer, Jim Tressel and John Cooper at Ohio State for Buckeye Sports Bulletin).
And speaking of bragging rights, the Ohio schools at the top have one of if not the premier rivalry in the state: Canton McKinley and Massillon Washington.
Stanford’s win over North Carolina in the second regional final game played Tuesday night means a fourth Final Four in five years for Beavercreek’s Mikaela Ruef, who redshirted because of a foot injury early in her career.
Ruef joins Malina Howard (Twinsburg) and Chloe Pavlich (Cincinnati Sycamore) of Maryland as the three players from Ohio to earn a trip to Nashville.
Meanwhile, Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer is headed to her 11th Final Four with the Cardinal since leaving Ohio State after the 1985 season, when she led the Buckeyes to the Elite 8.
VanDerveer coached Ohio State as women’s basketball became an officially sponsored Big Ten sport and led the Buckeyes to the first conference title.
Her top assistant at Stanford is Amy Tucker, the captain of the 1982 Ohio State squad that played in the first NCAA women’s basketball tournament.
Ohio State came in second for Ruef, who has family on the West Coast and was also swayed by the opportunity to get a Stanford education. Interestingly, back then Ruef’s father told me VanDerveer talked to them about what great memories she had of her time at Ohio State.
The Buckeyes also went hard after Howard, who was ESPN’s No. 1 center prospect in her class two years ago, but she did not have Ohio State among her finalists when she chose the Terrapins.
I have to agree with a piece earlier this week from BSB editor Jeff Svoboda regarding the dearth of in-state schools on Ohio State’s basketball schedule in the past decade-plus.
Scout.com: SvoNotes: Its Time For More In-State Battles.
As he mentioned, we have in the past discussed an idea for an All-Ohio tournament that could take on one of several forms and drive interest in roundball throughout “the heart of it all” early in the season.
Some will argue Ohio State has more to lose than to gain from changing the way it does business now, but I’m not sure there is much evidence to support that claim.
If you really get down to it, the Ohio State basketball brand is still underdeveloped. Considering the success both recently and historically, fan support should probably be much more intense. Continue reading
In his “10 players to watch at the 2014 NFL Combine” for the National Football Post, Dave Miller compares former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron to Andy Dalton, saying that he has a chance to have a beginning of a career similar to the Bengals quarterback. That’s an interesting way to put it I would say because Dalton’s early career has been very admirable. The big question now is where he and the Bengals go from here.
Better quarterbacks have had great careers that didn’t start off as well as Andy Dalton, although there are other good quarterbacks especially recently who have had as good or better starts than him from a numbers perspective.
Dalton is an interesting case because he doesn’t have the physical tools that create high early expectations for somebody like a Matthew Stafford or a Cam Newton, but now he’s won enough, in part because of him and in part because the situation created by the Bengals suddenly learning now to draft over the past five years or so, that the expectations are very high just the same.
Ohio State, Cincinnati, Xavier and Cleveland State are all included in this edition of “Vegas Bracketology” published by Fox Sports and Don Best Sports gaming analyst Todd Furhman.
He has the Buckeyes highest at at No. 4 in a killer region with No. 1 seed Louisville, No. 2 Arizona and No. 3 Kentucky.
Cincinnati gets a six seed in another region while Xavier is rated as a No. 11 seed, Cleveland State is a 12 and Toledo a 13.
As Furhman freely admits, this bracket projection has some unique and surprising entires topped by Iowa receiving a top seed, but he explains the differences are a result of using the power numbers generated by Vegas oddsmakers.
Check it out: Vegas Bracketology : Outkick The Coverage.
This morning Jerry Crasnick reported former Reds catcher Joe Oliver will be named manager of the Lowell Spinners, a Single-A club in the Boston Red Sox organization.
I spoke to Oliver for Reds alumni feature for Reds Report late last year and he shared his desire to get back into pro ball after devoting much of his time raising his family in Orlando (kids are all now nearly grown) over the past decade, so I’m happy to hear that an opportunity has arrived.
Oliver had a very solid 13-year career in the majors after the Reds chose him with a second round pick in the 1983 draft, and the finest moment is pretty certainly his game-winning hit against the Athletics in Game 2 of the 1990 World Series.
Joe Buck’s call is fantastic, and he notes the Reds beat stud Oakland pitchers Dave Stewart and then Dennis Eckersley to establish their 2-game lead in the series.
via 1990 WS Gm2: Olivers single off Eckersley wins game – YouTube.
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.
Late September 2013 is a strange time to follow Cincinnati pro sports, that’s for sure, so here is something to ponder while we wait to see what October has in store: Who would have thought there would come a day when the Reds and Bengals could both become good enough to be frustrating rather than bad enough to be depressing? Continue reading
By now, the discussion about Ohio State’s place in the hearts of Cincinnati sports fans is tired and lame.
There are plenty of Buckeye fans in and around the Queen City, but people in the rest of the state don’t get why there aren’t more, and some of them are bitter about it. As far as that goes, to each his own.
But there is a tangible reason why Ohio State’s influence matters in Cincinnati, and it relates to football recruiting.
In that realm, there can be no debate that Cincinnati takes a backseat to Cleveland when it comes to producing future Buckeyes, at least in the past 10 or so years.
Jim Tressel is a native of the Cleveland area with extensive ties throughout northeastern Ohio (although he was an assistant at Miami University for two years), and he leaned heavily on those while recruiting at Ohio State.
From 2002 (his first full year on the recruiting trail) through 2011 (his last), he offered roughly as many players from one school in Cleveland (Glenville) as he did the entire greater Cincinnati area. Continue reading