Basketball Buckeyes win the Big Ten Tournament
March 11, 2002 12:15 am EST

Big Ten Tourney Champs! (Brady Style)

Here's a story, of a man named OB, who's been bringing up some very gifted boys.  They finished first place, in the regular season, but they were not alone.

Till this Sunday when they Buckeyes won in Indy, and they knew that it was much more than just luck.  And this group is Big Ten tourney champs now.  Experts never should have doubted OB's Bunch!  Coach OB's Bunch.  Coach OB's Bunch.  Experts never should have doubted OB's Bunch!   

Big Ten Champs
March 3, 2002 10:00 pm EST

As mentioned in the past, 95% - 99% (or so) of this site will be dedicated to Buckeye football, but this site will occasionally take time out to look at the Basketball team.

Picked by most "so-called" experts to finish in the bottom half of the Big Ten this year, Jim O'Brien's Buckeyes defied the odds by earning a co-Big Ten title after beating Michigan 84-75 last night in Ann Arbor.  This makes 4 straight 20-win seasons for Ohio State and the Buckeyes will make the NCAA tourney for the 4th straight season.  Remember how upset many fans were when we settled for what some called a "Plan B" coach in 1997?  Congratulations to the 2001-2002 Buckeyes that have once again made us fans proud.

Arden Arrested
March 3, 2002 8:00 pm EST

Redgie Arden was arrested early Saturday morning on DUI charges in his hometown of Ironton, Ohio.  This marks the second DUI for Buckeye player in a four month span.  At this point, there has been no announcement by The Ohio State University Athletic Department as to disciplinarian action that will be taken against Arden.

Defensive Position Battles for 2002
February 28, 2002 8:00 pm EST

Here is a look at the defensive position (along with the kicking) battles heading into the Spring.

Defensive Tackles: Tim Anderson will play the most and will not be challenged for his starting position.  He may rotate in and out a bit, but should be the main force on this line.  The other DT spot looks to be open.  It is possible that Darrion Scott or Kenny Peterson could start here.  Both Scott and Peterson will again probably play both on the ends and inside.  The other DT that should see legit action and could potentially start is David Thompson.  Marcus Greene needs to be in much better physical condition if he expects to earn some playing time this year.

Defensive Ends: Will Smith will start at one end and should play more DE than anyone other Buckeye this year.  At the other end you will probably see both Scott and Peterson playing there at times.  Simon Fraser looks like he has a legitimate chance to crack the starting lineup. If he doesn't, he will still see plenty of action in a rotation.  Redgie Arden could end up playing DE as well, but it looks like he will start the spring at MLB.

Middle Linebacker: Arden could really benefit from additional reps he will probably get with the first team this spring since Matt Wilhelm will most likely not participate in spring action.  Wilhelm had ankle surgery recently but should be at full speed come August.  Freddie Pagac will get a lot of reps as well and you might even see Marco Cooper back at his old
position in the middle.

Outside Backers: Look for Robert Reynolds to claim the strong side starting job.  Pat O'Neill will likely be his backup but if it again looks like O'Neill will see little time, you could see him bolt after the spring session.  On the weak side there could be a battle between Marco Cooper and Cie Grant, assuming Grant does indeed move back to LB.  If Cooper can get more consistent, he could be a force, but he still seems to have some work to do.

Cornerbacks: The million dollar questions: Who will be the #1 corner?  Will Grant move to linebacker or possibly safety?  Will Fox play corner, safety or both?  If healthy, I believe that Bobby Britton could be the #1 cover guy at CB.  Fox will probably play corner, safety and nickel, but may have the inside track on a starting CB spot.  I don't think we'll see Grant at CB again.   Another potential starter at CB is probably Richard McNutt who came on late last year. Harlen Jacobs, LeAndre Boone and Maurice Lee will vie for time as well.  Jacobs is one of the fastest players on the team.  Boone is a phenomenal athlete but is still very raw.

Safeties: The position seems set with All-American Mike Doss and 4th year starter Donnie Nickey.  If the Buckeye coaches can get comfortable with 2 CB's, say Britton and McNutt, you may see Fox slide back to safety and challenge Nickey for a starting job.  Will Allen again should log in plenty of minutes.

Kickers/Punters: Another couple million dollar questions: Who will win the FG kicking job and can they be counted on to kick 30 yard field goals?  Boy, who knows?  I can't see this being decided in the spring.  It is a mental thing one of the top punters in the nation and will not likely be pushed by B.J. Sander.

Offensive Position Battles for 2002
February 21, 2002 9:45 pm EST

Buckeye football news is a little on the scarce side right now.  April 3rd can't get here soon enough.  For now, we'll take a real quick look at some of the offensive position battles that will be fought this spring.

Quarterback: Craig Krenzel is the incumbent and Scott McMullen probably has a lot of work to do to unseat him.  Krenzel's biggest challenge may be holding off Justin Zwick in August.  Krenzel and McMullen are the only two scholarship QB's who will be practicing in the spring.

Tailback: Lydell Ross will be listed as the first teamer when the spring starts, but will have plenty of talented backs on his tail.  Maurice Clarett will not be at full strength (thumb surgery) but figures to give Ross all that he can handle.  The Buckeye coaches will also want to figure out ways to get Maurice Hall more involved in the offense.  Redshirt frosh Ja Ja Riley appears to have what it takes as well, but it may be hard for him unseat Ross, Clarett or Hall.

Fullback: This may be the most wide open position on offense.  You have Brandon Joe, Nate Stead and Brandon Schnittker with the best shot of earning the starting position.  Keep an eye on #43 Brandon Schnittker who redshirted last year.  Joe figures to be penciled in as #1 when the spring starts, but Schnittker could open some eyes real quickly.

Wide Receivers:  It will probably take a lot for a WR to unseat Michael Jenkins, Chris Vance or Chris Gamble.  The coaches are extremely high on Gamble and it may be hard to keep him out of the first unit.  The staff may also try to find a way to get Bam Childress some more touches.

Tight Ends:  Ben Hartstock is your clear-cut #1, but the question is, who is #2?  Undersized Ryan Hamby could be a major weapon catching passes, but utilizing the TE as a pass catcher has never been Tressel's forte.  Jason Caldwell returns after missing last season and figures to challenge for the second team spot with Hamby.

Offensive Line: Bryce Bishop, Alex Stepanovich, Shane Olivea and Adrien Clarke are the top four O-linemen.  Bishop is your right guard and Olivea is your right tackle when healthy.  Stepanovich is probably your best bet to be the starting center, but if not, he will play left guard. Adam Olds has a long way to go to win the starting center job according to sources close to the team.  Andre Tyree will apparently stay on the offensive side of the ball and could get a look at center as well.  If not center Tyree will play guard.  The coaches think that Tyree's upside is enormous.  Clarke will start at left tackle or left guard, probably depending on his physical condition.  If Clarke checks in around 350 pounds again, he is probably slated for left guard.  That could open the door for redshirt freshman Ryan Cook or Ivan Douglas at left tackle.  Cook is another one that appears to have some big upside.

We'll take a look at the defense this weekend.

Clarett May Be Available For Spring
February 15, 2002 9:15 pm EST

Sources tonight are reporting that there is a good chance that Maurice Clarett WILL play this spring.  He apparently will wear a soft cast which will allow him to participate in some full-contact action.  

The Columbus Dispatch reported another injury in today's paper.  MLB Matt Wilhelm recently underwent ankle reconstructive surgery that may cause him to miss all of spring practice.

Happy Birthday Woody
February 14, 2002 10:30 pm EST

89 Years ago today....

Today would have been Wayne Woodrow Hayes' 89th birthday.  If you haven't seen "Woody Hayes: The Football Coach", do yourself a favor and buy it (about $20 on video.)  I know of no man who positively affected as many people he came in contact with as Woody Hayes.  Happy Birthday Woody. 

Clarett to Miss the Spring

This according to local radio today.  Clarett had surgery on to repair a torn ligament in his thumb and this will apparently sideline Clarett for 12 weeks.  Bad break for Clarett and good news (from a reps standpoint) for Lydell, Maurice, and Ja Ja.

Coach Conaster Leaves Buckeyes for Jayhawks

Ken Conaster, the Ohio State special teams coach this past season, has accepted the position as offensive line coach for Kansas.  No word as of yet as to who might be a candidate to replace Conaster.  I would expect Ohio State to still have a coach designated to the special teams in 2002, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a new coach will be brought into that position.  One of the current assistants could always take over those duties.  Will the Spielman talk start up again?

Maldonado To Leave the Team
January 29, 2002 7:30 am EST

1460 The Fan (Columbus local radio) is reporting that Sammy Maldonado has been granted a transfer by the The Ohio State University and is no longer with the program.  

Pigskin "Officially Official" and Spring Game Back to Ohio Stadium
January 28, 2002 10:00 pm EST

The Ohio State athletic department confirmed today that Texas Tech will be invading the Horseshoe on August 24th to face the Buckeyes in the Pigskin Classic.  A time has yet to be set for the game.  It has also been announced that spring practice will start on April 3rd and will conclude with the annual spring game in Ohio Stadium (not Crew Stadium) on April 27th at 1:30 pm EST

Buckeye Pro Prospects - Some Good, Some Not - Here is a somewhat early look at where some Buckeyes might go in this year's NFL draft.

Jonathan Wells - stock rising; anywhere from late first round to early third; scouts have been impressed with his speed.

LeCharles Bentley - stock rising; at worst, the second best center prospect in the draft; probably a second or third rounder.

Derek Ross - much upside here; off-the-field baggage may make him slide a little; probably late second to early third round.

Darnell Sanders - another year of college ball would have helped; probably a third to fifth round pick.

Jamar Martin - true blocking FB's just don't go that early; probably a 4th or 5th round pick.

Mike Collins - looking rough; maybe a very late pick on the second day of the draft.

Joe Cooper - someone might take a reach if they know about this kid's heart; possibly a very late pick

Courtland Bullard - not nearly as fast as people think; probably will not get drafted

Tyson Walter - not cut out for the NFL; virtually no chance at getting drafted.

Pigskin Matchup Appears to be Set
January 27, 2002 2:45 pm EST

The Columbus Dispatch recently reported that their sources indicate that Texas Tech will be Ohio State's opponent in the 2002 Pigskin Classic in Ohio Stadium on August 24th.  The Ohio State University is supposedly set to make an official announcement tomorrow.  The Dispatch also indicated that the game would start at 2:30 pm EST.  According to the last official depth chart released by Texas Tech for 2001, the Red Raiders will return 7 starters on each side of the ball in 2002, including heralded quarterback Kliff Kingsbury.  Texas Tech finished 7-5 this past season, dropping their bowl game to Iowa.

Pigskin Matchup Appears to be Set
January 18, 2002 7:45 pm EST

As you can see, this main page has been restored. It will be updated tonight or tomorrow.  If you missed it, redshirt freshman QB Rick McFadden has transferred to Akron.  Also, it was brought to my attention that I actually listed "Mike D'Andrea" and not "Mike Kudla" (as it should have been) under the picture of the person doing the clean lift.  This picture was on the backup board while this page was down. (Both are as strong as oxes.)  

Doss Will Return for His Senior Year
January 9, 2002 9:15 pm EST

The Buckeyes received great news today when junior All-American safety Mike Doss announced that he will return for his senior season.  This is huge for the Buckeye defense.  Doss figures to improve his draft stock by playing another year of college ball.  Doss was very emotional at the press conference held at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center this afternoon.  Think there will be a better pair of safeties than Doss and Nickey next year?

Darnell Sanders To Enter NFL Draft
January 7, 2002 10:00 pm EST

Ohio State junior tight end Darnell Sanders has decided to forego his senior year and enter the NFL draft.  The attention now turns to junior All-American safety Mike Doss who is expected to make a decision some time this week as to whether or not he will return for his senior year.  If Doss decides to head to the NFL, that will be three Buckeye underclassmen that have decided to skip their senior year.  There is still much talk about Doss actually staying, but remember that we heard the same talk about Katzenmoyer and Boston.

A Few Tidbits to Start the Year
January 4, 2002 10:30 pm EST

Mike Doss has until January 11th to make his decision on the NFL.  The talk before the bowl game from several sources was that Doss had one foot out the door.  Although I still would wager that Doss declares himself eligible for the NFL draft, it looks like there is a possibility Doss could stay.  There has now been talk that Doss is giving strong consideration to staying for his senior year.  Doss' NFL stock is falling.  There was a time where NFL draft gurus predicted Doss to go in the first round, but now it appears that Doss might be a lucky second rounder.  Miami safety Ed Reed is certain to go higher than Doss and if Oklahoma safety Roy Williams comes out (which seems very likely), he would probably go higher than Doss as well. 

Of course, nothing but rumors about transfers right now.  Jamal Muhammad has already transferred and I would expect a few more to leave before June.  The strongest rumors have involved Pat O'Neill, Sam Maldonado, John Hollins and Scott McMullen.  If these guys are buried on the depth chart after the spring session, you could see one or more of them leave.

It still seems very likely that Ohio State will host the Pigskin Classic in late August, but to my knowledge, a contract has not been signed.  Recent word is that Colorado, Kansas or Kansas State could be the Buckeye opponent.  This would become Ohio State's 13th opponent for 2002.

Rollercoaster Ride Ends
January 1, 2002 9:00 pm EST

Well, the rollercoaster ride through the 2001 season came to an end today with the Buckeyes dropping a heart breaking 31-28 game to South Carolina.  This season has really had it's high and low points.  7-5 isn't very impressive, especially at Ohio State, but you have to like the foundation that Coach Tressel is building.  Once again, this team showed a lot of guts.  I can't help but think that this team would have folded it's tent under the previous staff.  Good luck to the Buckeye seniors who played their last game today: Steve Bellisari, Jonathan Wells, Mike Jacobs, Jamar Martin, Tyson Walter, LeCharles Bentley, Tim Cheatwood, Mike Collins, Joe Cooper, Derek Ross, Courtland Bullard and junior Mike Doss.  (Yes, I'm afraid Mike Doss played his last game today.  We'll know shortly.)

Missing Bentley

The LeCharles Bentley injury was held quiet for some time.  Talk of Bentley possibly missing the game finally began to surface two days ago.  When you're as thin as Ohio State on the offensive line, you certainly can't afford to lose an All-American like Bentley.  This, along with the loss of RT Shane Olivea in the Michigan game, took it's toll on the Buckeye running game today.  And give Lou Holtz and his staff credit for their game plan.

The Sideline Penalty

The unsportsmanlike penalty call after the Buckeyes had picked off the pass late in the 4th quarter was called because Sam Maldonado had come out on the field celebrating.  This was sickening.  There is absolutely no way you can make a critical call like that with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game.  This was crucial in that it backed Ohio State up inside their own 20.  The Buckeyes would have been out past the 35 yard line and probably could have continued their 15 yard curl patterns that were absolutely killing South Carolina.  Instead, they ran on first down and of course, Steve threw the critical interception on second down, an interception that was returned into field goal range.  And of course, the winning field goal was made with only a foot or so to spare.  That penalty was so huge.

The Defense

I was really disappointed in the defensive effort for the first two-thirds of today's football game.  USC offensive coordinator Skip Holtz called the same short outs over and over again, and Ohio State just couldn't stop them.  And the tackling left something to be desired.  There is no reason that Ohio State should have given up four touchdowns to an average (at best) South Carolina offense.  They finally started shutting the Gamecock offense down in the late third quarter, but the damage had already been done.  Missing CB Derek Ross is not a good enough excuse. The Buckeye offense, which was missing 40% of their starting line, were handicapped much more than the Buckeye defense.  After the effort in Ann Arbor, Buckeye fans were expecting a little more out of the defense today.


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