Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer have plenty in common — more so now than ever since they’ve both coached Buckeye champion squads — but few would disagree the former and current Ohio State football coaches’ methods and philosophies diverge in plenty of ways, too.
Yet the 2014 national champions could not have been built without heavy influence from both.
As an example, take the defensive line that started the title game victory against Oregon: Four different bodies, four different talents, four different personalities — three Ohioans of varying natural ability and one out-of-stater with almost supernatural talent who just happened to be pulled north by the magnetic Meyer. Of course, Joey Bosa also possesses one of those ties to the Buckeye State that so many people all across the country seem to have, too, but that’s another story.
The result was championship football forged through talent meeting hard work and perseverance with a final game that featured Meyer’s formations but a game plan that could have fit Tressel’s style pretty well.
Read on for a full rundown of how the roster breaks down between Tressel guys and Meyer men: Link
With Ohio State off this weekend, Ohio had a chance to focus on its pro football teams, and the Browns and Bengals certainly delivered plenty of storylines to get us through. Some thoughts on the men in stripes…
OK, so it wasn’t all bad. And it isn’t all bad. But it sure felt bad. And a day later it really hasn’t started feeling better.
The Bengals did some good things Sunday against the Panthers. They also did some bad things. The latter could have been erased with one kick by Mike Nugent, but the home-state hero didn’t come through.
The result was a 37-all final score that left the Bengals in first place in the AFC North but lots of questions about the rest of the season.
The way the Browns whipped the fading Steelers made the result all the more meaningful, leaving the division lead feeling more precarious, but the tie was not really the top story in Cincinnati.
Continue reading When a tie feels like a loss
Most avid fans of Ohio State football know Michigan football has long made a living off talent from the Buckeye State. Mark Dantonio has taken up the practice at Michigan State over the past seven years, too, but that’s not all.
Turns out the Spartans’ defensive strategy is a direct import from Ohio as well.
Dantonio, of course, first became well known nationally when the defense he coordinated at Ohio State was an integral part of the Buckeyes’ 2002 national championship season. Dantonio, a Zanesville native who was brought to Columbus by Jim Tressel in 2001, moved the Buckeyes from the imposing, press defense installed by Fred Pagac Sr. in the late 1990s to a scheme built around more zone concepts, though pressuring the quarterback was a key for both men.
Continue reading Ohio’s latest football export to the north? Michigan State’s defense
The biggest sports story in Ohio this year — and perhaps in much longer — is the return of LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers after four years in Miami.
Ohio State has long maintained a relationship with the Akron native, even setting up a locker for him in the men’s basketball locker room and wearing LeBron-branded stuff. Continue reading The Ohio State response to the return of LeBron James
Ohio State picked up a pair of verbal commitments Wednesday morning, first four-star linebacker Justin Hilliard of Cincinnati St. Xavier then four-star defensive end Jashon Cornell of St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham.
While Hilliard’s hop on board highlights one issue of interest in regards to recent recruiting (Ohio State in Cincinnati), Cornell’s commitment has its own significance. The 6-3.5, 270-pounder is in line to be the first player from Minnesota to pick Ohio State since Willie Mobley in 2008 and only the third since 1988 (but probably much longer). When eventual All-American linebacker James Laurinaitis signed with Ohio State in 2005, he was believed to be the first scholarship Buckeye football player from the Land of 1,000 Lakes since the great Sid Gillman in the early 1930s.
But we’re getting at a larger trend here.
Continue reading Ohio State football recruiting continues to spread nationwide, but Ohio not being left behind
Naturally, I couldn’t let the Flyers’ surprise run to the Sweet 16 pass without sharing something from Dayton native son Paul Laurence Dunbar, a contemporary of the Wright brothers who was one of the first nationally popular African-American writers.
Love of home, sublimest passion
That the human heart can know!
Changeless still, though fate and fashion
Rise and fall and ebb and flow,
To the glory of our nation,
To the welfare of our state,
Let us all with veneration
Every effort consecrate….
Continue reading Toast to Dayton