So much can happen on the first Wednesday of every February, keeping up can be hard, so here’s a look at some of the things that went down in the Big Ten.
From the weekend:
Luke Kuechly’s high school coach knew early on he could be a special player, but the rest of the world needed more time to catch on.
The Super Bowl’s representation of Ohioans is not limited to those players who played for Ohio State.
Maybe the highest-profile player from the Buckeye State did not even have an offer to be a Buckeye.
That would be Luke Kuechly, whose coach told me last week he knew early on he had a potential pro at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.
He was a two-star recruit heading into his senior year and ended up a three-star after picking Boston College over Jim Harbaugh-coached Stanford among others. Continue reading Cincinnati native Luke Kuechly has risen from 2-star recruit to NFL star
Interesting nugget from FOX Sports college football reporter Bruce Feldman in the latest podcast between Feldman and colleague Stewart Mandel:
In the course of a discussion between the Feldman and Mandel about Ohio State potentially repeating and the difficulty of that because of the different variables that come into play, Feldman draws a distinction he’s seen between the Buckeyes and the last team coach Urban Meyer tried to lead to repeat titles at Florida. Continue reading National writers praise Meyer for Buckeyes’ personality
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.
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
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.
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.
The Buckeyes began work on defending their national title today.
Look for plenty of info on that in the days to come, but first here’s a peak at some of the new banners in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Continue reading Ohio State football facility has some new decorations