Buckeye 50 Staff Predictions - Week 1
August 31, 2005

The staff of Buckeye50 would like to bring you are own predictions for five games each week.  This might be big match-ups, or they might just be games that are pivotal for OSU as they climb to one of the top two spots in the BCS and earn their right to play for the National Championship.  Our guest prognosticator is Rick DeSutter, here we go for week #1.

Game - Week 1 Brent JoeSU Gregg Rick Comment                                             
Miami at OSU     OSU     OSU     OSU   OSU(Gregg) OSU doesn’t lose home openers.

Va Tech at NC State    Virginia Tech   Virginia Tech  Virginia Tech  Virginia Tech(JoeSU) NC state has installed the west coast offense and Va Tech has 3 new NB’s.  Unfortunately NC State plays on the East Coast.

USC at HawaiiUSCUSCUSCUSC(Rick) What could be more fun than a scrimmage in Hawaii?

Miami at FSUFSU   Miami  FSU     FSU(JoeSU) Peter Warrick may watch from the sidelines as he has nothing better to do.

Ga Tech at AuburnAuburnAuburnAuburnGeorgia Tech(Rick) This is my upset special!

Upset SpecialBGSU over Wisc.Boise St over GeorgiaGeorgia Tech    (Brent) Bowling Green over Wisconsin doesn’t even seem like an upset to me.


YTD Results0 - 00 – 00 – 00 - 0As Bobby Bowden always says, ”So far, we are undefeated.”
 


Monday, August 29, 2005

11:44 PM (Eastern)  The Big Ten Preview for Minnesota is now available.  LINK

This is from first hand reports.  So far this fall practice:

  • Maurice Wells looks extremely promising with the speed and cutback as promised
  • Alex Boone is extremely talented, but needs to get into a better weight/strength combination (a.k.a. - lose the baby fat)
  • Albert Dukes is looking good
  • Our kicking and punting game looks surprisingly good
  • Boeckman has been up and down, but still shows tremendous promise
  • True freshman Malcom Jenkins may be SO good they won't be able to keep him off the field
  • If you think Teddy looks good returning punts, wait until you see him return kick-offs.  Apparently the few extra seconds for him to survey the situation just rips return squads
  • Brandon Schnittker has awakened and smelled what The Rock is cookin'
  • The offensive line has developed a serious attitude problem - they don' t want their backfield touched
  • The front defensive seven think they WILL outperform the 2002 team.  If so, this is one hell of a tall tale to spin
  • The temporary insanity showed by the coaching staff in the last two games of last year (you know, the one where they turned the offense loose!?) may still be afflicting them.  Don't count on seeing ANYTHING exciting against Miami though.

Finally, here is my Top 25 Pre-Season Picks.  And yes, I am serious.  LINK

Pat


9:45 PM (Eastern) Brent's call on the Miami game is now live.  Click here to check it out.  The depth chart has also been updated based on The Universities Official Release (pdf file) today.

blb

Sunday, August 28, 2005

11:10 PM (Eastern) The Big Ten preview of Penn State is now available.  LINK

8:35 PM (Eastern) The first game of 2005 is just six days away.  We will be discontinuing the countdown to the season opener since it is this week.  

Unconfirmed rumors have it that Zwick is penciled in to start against Miami.  That is subject to how well he continues to heal, but at his present recovery rate this is what I heard today (again, unconfirmed but from a good source).

We will have the rest of the Big Ten preview up over the next few days, while we start our regular game week coverage.

Pat

Saturday August 27, 2005

1:15 PM (Eastern) Ohio State has selected AJ Hawk, Nate Salley, Rob Sims and Nick Mangold as captains for the 2005 season. 

blb

Sunday August 21, 2005 

9:40 PM (Eastern) It only took five months, but the 2006 recruiting page has been updated.  Click here to check it out.

blb

5:20 PM (Eastern)  Wondering how the depth chart is shaking out?  We've done our best in trying to determine the current pecking order with this projected depth chart.  In the chart, you will also see projections as to which true frosh will play and an update on the current injury situation.  And in case you haven't heard, the coaches, the players and other practice observers seem to be going gaga over true frosh Malcolm Jenkins (CB) from New Jersey.  Jenkins was considered an afterthought by many OSU recruiting junkies, but apparently the coaches knew the kind of skills this kid had.  And don't look now, but John Kerr may have finally arrived and may see the field often this fall despite the wealth of talent at the LB spot.

blb

12:25 AM (Eastern)  OSU's official website has a report on today's scrimmage LINK

2:15 PM (Eastern)  Andy's next Big Ten preview is of Iowa.   LINK

Today is the team jersey scrimmage.  There is a lot more at stake here than just bragging rights.  Out of this scrimmage comes the first shakedown of how the starting 22 may start to shape up.  There is no media coverage allowed, so we will have to give assessment later.  This will be Todd Boeckman's big day to shine.  Also, we will get reports on Maurice Wells and others.


Thursday August 18, 2005 

7:35 PM (Eastern)  Andy previews his second Big Ten team; Michigan State.   LINK  

Todd Boeckman worked out with the "ones" today while Justin observed with his new foot ware.  It will probably be another day or two before the final extent of the twisted ankle is known.  The problem for the coaches is that right now, we only have two QB's available for Miami; Boeckman and true freshman Rob Schoenhoft.  Apparently, Maurice Wells has been impressive the last few days.  That has to be a major source of relief for everyone.

Wednesday August 17, 2005 

11:35 PM (Eastern)  The latest  HaveBlue report is now available.  For those who believe that pigs could never fly, you may need to read this one!  LINK

10:29 PM (Eastern)  Today was the first day of "real" practice.  "Real" practice means full equipment, full contact.  With Justin slightly injured, Jim Tressel and company might be tempted to reopen their Alamo Bowl playbook, which required some quick thinking by the coaches to replace Justin when he came up limp with his hamstring.  This time, the coaches can turn to Todd Boeckman if needed.  This was not an option for them during the Bowl game, as they wanted to save Todd's redshirt.  

Some fans have been clamoring to see Todd in action.  I imagine that will happen in some form during the Miami game.  Not because Justin's injury is bad, because it apparently is very minor.  I just think the coaches will want to get Todd as much game experience as they can.

Apparently, the defense feels a need for vindication, as they reportedly went through practice with a vengeance.  Many of the offensive players were taken aback as the defense appeared to be back to their attacking style of play, which was so effective during Dantonio's tenure.  Our linebackers are reportedly going to be turned loose from day one.  We'll have to wait and see, but so far Jim Heacock has struck ALL the notes with his defensive players.

10:19 PM (Eastern) Joe-S-U now has his top 25 national poll up.  LINK

3:39 PM (Eastern) OSU confirmed Justin Zwick has a mild sprain of his left foot/ankle.  He is in a protective boot, but is only expected to miss a few days of practice.  More later.


Pat

Tuesday August 16, 2005 8:29 PM (Eastern)

Our first Buckeye 50 Yard Line national poll is available from Gregg Watson (Pre-Season National Poll.)  We will have several different staff provide their pre-season polls, thereafter a master site poll.

Joe-S-U tries his hand at photography during the recent media day. Link

The first installment of Andy's Big Ten 2005 preview is now available.  Our first team is the Purdue Boilermakers.  LINK

We will have much more tomorrow, as well as a report from camp.

Pat


Monday, August 15, 2005 9:29 PM (Eastern)

JOE-S-U's latest report: "IT'S ROSE BOWL CHAMPIONS OR BUST".

The latest editorial is up.  LINK   FYI, We will be out for two days, returning Sunday August 14, 2005.  We will then start out Big Ten preview and I have been notified there will be an incoming HaveBlue report next week.

Pat


Monday, August 15, 2005 1:29 PM (Eastern)

The newest print has just hit our inventory.  This is a beautiful, 16" x 20" print, signed and numbered with a limited edition printing of just 2,000 prints.  If you want one, get it right away.  Anything with Ted Ginn Jr. sells quickly.  Click on the picture for a direct link.

We will have MUCH more tonight, so check back.

Pat

Thursday, August 11, 2005 8:20 PM (Eastern)

We have an exclusive photo of the OSU team.  Link.  Before you get overworked, it is a picture of the very first OSU football team from 1890.  

Pat

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 5:45 PM (Eastern)

Just a friendly reminder that this is one of the few remaining sites that is TOTALLY FREE in all aspects.  Patronizing our shops and superb framing partner really helps out.   Click on the photo or our Buckeye 50 Fan Shop for a direct link.  

So far, so good as far as injuries go.  It looks now like D'Andrea may redshirt, although it is not final.  Feel VERY good about the back-up LB's though.  These are extremely talented younger LB's that would start for most teams at this time.   Also, Andre Amos is being looked at for corner.  After watching him in the Big 33 Game, there is little wonder.  He covered his man like flypaper.

Also, this first week is the wake-up call for incoming freshman.  They are learning quickly that their previous star status with recruiting writers has disappeared and they are now the lowest life forms on campus.  Seriously, this week and next is a rude awakening even for the most talented.  Fortunately, Jim Tressel has stressed senior leadership in the form of mentoring that will take at least some of the sting away.

More later.

Pat

Tuesday, August 9, 2005 9:45 PM (Eastern)

With today being the first "real" day of fall camp and practice, that means for us the season has officially started, even though we are still in the pre-season.  In the next 1-2 weeks, you can expect our own exclusive, in-depth Big Ten preview, the first of our own Buckeye 50 Yard Line National Polls, HaveBlue report, reports from camp, editorials and then preparation for Miami of Ohio.  Once we finish the Texas game, we will only have one countdown clock and that will of course be for you know who.

I don't particularly like to advertise or support competitors, but there is an excellent article I think all Fifty Yard Line people should read from the O-Zone.  Here's the link.  The article basically deals with the impact already of Butch Reynolds, on everyone from offensive/defensive lineman to skill positions.  This is a well done article worth the read.

Finally, picture and autograph day is this Thursday at 6:30 PM at French Field House (next to St. John Arena).  Each person will be allowed only one item, so make it count.

See you soon.

Pat


Tuesday, August 9, 2005 8:07 AM (Eastern)

Gregg Watson, the digital image guy, has formulated the first editorial of the season.  Here, he discusses the national polls in depth.  Link

Pat

Monday, August 8, 2005 2:07 PM (Eastern)

Isn't there a saying something to the effect of, "Bad news travels fast?"  Well, Gregg Watson has just updated us with three breaking news stories:

Texas end Williams will miss second straight season 
Associated Press 

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas defensive end Mike Williams will miss his second straight season with the Longhorns because of academic ineligibility. 
Freshman running back Henry Melton and offensive lineman Kyle Thornton are also ineligible to participate in the team's first practice Monday, but both said they plan on reporting once their academic issues are resolved. 

Williams, a junior, had six sacks in 2003. He said he will still attend classes at Texas this fall. 

Thornton is a redshirt sophomore who was expected to back up Will Allen at right guard.

Also:

Trojan injured in first fall practice 

It didn't take long to register the first casualty of fall camp. Jeff Schweiger, a talented pass-rushing DE for USC, suffered a stress fracture in his right foot and is likely to miss two months. 

This is a sizeable blow for the Trojans, given the relentless 6-foot-4, 250-pound sophomore's potential and USC's question marks along its D-line. The Trojans still have DE Lawrence Jackson, who isn't far from All-American status and veteran Frostee Rucker, who Schweiger was battling for the speed rush end slot. The three-man group, backed by unproven Chris Barrett and Rashaad Goodrum, was the strength of a D-line that was sorely depleted in the middle. 

Finally:

Updated: Aug. 7, 2005, 1:37 PM ET 
Walker lone returning starter in Sooner's secondary 
Associated Press 

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma cornerback Marcus Walker suffered a dislocated left shoulder during Saturday's practice in Norman. 
The sophomore, the only returning starter in the Sooner's' secondary, underwent surgery to repair a damaged right shoulder last January. Coach Bob Stoops said the injury's severity wasn't immediately known. 

"We'll just have to wait and see how it goes," Stoops said. "We hate to see that happen for him, but he wasn't in a lot of pain after they put it [the shoulder] back in place, so we'll just see." 

After the injury, true freshman Reggie Smith worked with the first team at Walker's position. Co-defensive coordinator Bobby Jack Wright said if Walker wasn't available for Monday's scrimmage, Smith would start in his place.
 
Wow!  And to think this is only the first day!  More tonight.

Pat

Sunday, August 7, 2005 8:25 PM (Eastern)

We all know there are many web sites, and even more forums.  However, I want to take time to acknowledge those who contribute on our Fan Forum.  I want to state in advance I am NOT recruiting for the site.

Of all of the sites and forums I used to go to (I only go to ours now), none even come close to the Fifty Yard Line Fan Forum.  The sole reason for this is the absolutely tremendous people that frequent and post on it.  I believe without question it is the most intelligent, classy and informed forum on the web for Buckeye football.  The regulars (too many to name, as I don't want to miss anyone) are courteous, helpful and have a very keen eye for college football.  Their insight and dedication is greatly appreciated and I want to personally thank each and every one of them.  

There is a lot of diversity as well.  We have some who post from the military around the world, many from Ohio, some transplants now living in Canada, New York, California and some just from right here at Buckeye ground zero - Columbus.

I wish I could do something special for each one of them.  For while I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting any of them yet, I feel a connection and appreciation to every one of them.

So I sincerely want to thank and salute our posters on the Forum.  You make up an elite group.  Between us, I think we cover virtually every conceivable aspect of Buckeye football.

THANKS GUYS (and Becky!).  Let's give 'em hell this season again.

Below are some selections from a few of the posts, just to provide some insight.  These are actual posts, taken word for word from the Forum.  I have removed the poster's names.

Pat


It seems to me that some of the hopes for the development of this year's D-Line have not been realized.

Prior to the season, the loss of Smith, Scott, and Anderson loomed large. It was hoped that the individual ability lost could be compensated for in the depth and development of new players. A few stats (comparisons are not truly even as a poor defense will in part generate more stats as it is on the field more):

Last year's defense had 37 sacks. This year's defense has 6 so far.

At Defensive Tackle;

Pitcock -- Has 19 tackles through 4 games which would project to 57 over the season with I think 1 sack thus far. Tim Anderson had 45 tackles year ago with 3.5 sacks for the season.

Green -- Has 10 tackles in about 3 games counting the injury. He also has (I think) 3 sacks. Darrion Scott had 36 tackles in an injury marred season along with 4 sacks.

Patterson has 6 tackles and Penton has 5 tackles. Year ago in comparable roles Pitcock had 19 and Green 17 tackles respectively.

At DT then, the production compares reasonably well to year ago. Pitcock has been far and away our best defensive line stalwart looking like a candidate for Big 10 honors of some kind and making some solid plays. Green has been strong when able to play, but it may be, that what seems to be an ongoing shoulder problem will prevent him from realizing his full potential. Nonetheless, he has been an important force for the defense thus far despite shoulder and ankle problems. Patterson has not yet demonstrated the stardom that we hoped might come and Penton has seldom made his presence known. We can continue to hope for improvement.

At Defensive End:

Fraser -- Has 10 tackles and no sacks. Will Smith had 49 tackles and 10.5 sacks year ago.

Richardson -- Has 9 tackles and 1 sack. Fraser had 34 tackles and 1.5 sack year ago.

Kudla has 3 tackles. He had 9 year ago.

At DE, the comparison is dismal. I continue to believe that the key problem on defense is at DE. We are getting little or not pass rush on the edge. Offenses are creating running lanes on either side of the DEs. There is litttle pressure upfield and there is little pursuit into the flats. The problem is both in the run defense and pass defense. One example, in a way, typifies the problem and shows the lack of "play making." During the NWestern game, Fraser actually broke into the running lane at one point and came pretty clear to meet the ball carrier -- rather than deliver a physical blow, he simply grabbed hold and struggled to bring the ball carrier down. This was about his only noticeable tackle all night. Compare that with the hits that Anderson and Scott used to deliver. 

We have a problem at DE and that is creating opportunities for the offenses, clogging up the space the LBs need to operate, and giving opposing QBs the comfort they need to attack our DBs.

I see little to give me the comfort that this will get much better.



Re: blocking and tackling 
________________________________________
I have read most the post on the sight and I think we all agree that it is a very frustrating time to be a Buckeye fan. As some of you have pointed out, we are not at the practices, locker room, film room...... But it just seems like the offensive play calling has been killing us, if you want to pass on first down what is wrong with the I formation with play action to freeze the defenders? When you line up in the spread on first down everyone knows what is going to happen. Running out of the shotgun is driving me nuts also, I think our average gain is less than a yard. What is wrong with having a release valve if the receivers are covered? I think we finally did that on one play yesterday. I could ramble all day about the play calling. On defense I think they have done enough to keep us in each game, it is hard to keep points off the board when the offense is going 3 and out or turning the ball over. The line is not the greatest but I think they showed a little life Saturday, I would like to know why our corners are lining up 10 or more yards off the receivers every play. Are they that slow? Hard to get pressure on the QB when they can dump it off to the receiver as soon as the ball is hiked. I did not expect this group to run the table this year but a solid season with progression each game was.

Re: summer 
________________________________________
I'm with tressel on this one. I dont care who the qb is. A lot of the points I've made , I also heard tressel allude to about zwick. He likes zwick a lot , but I also think he likes smith too. Its not all about arm strength and feet. Bottom line - I dont care if boeckman starts at qb. I want the qb position to eventually fulfill the immense talent that we have there in the form of zwick, smith, boeckman, and incoming, Schoefeldt. I would be very upset if we didnt see at least one of these guys have a great career here. If you just look at the moment, superficially, then there's no doubt Troy smith is the starter, period. But Tressel has a lot to consider - not just a win against indiana. And like he said he's going to first look at zwick's shoulder injury. Then review the game tape (and he will see the quality of football being played - it doesnt matter about records or stats - its what happens on the field that given day and there's NO DOUBT indiana was by far the worst playing team we have played at the time we played them) and then look at the week of practice. 
Personally, I think zwick's bad shoulder is going to hold him back (which it has already) and the fact that we won - no matter who it is and no matter the innaccurate passes or the almost int on the great play by ginn or whatever - YOU HAVE TO START SMITH. But tressel has a tricky challenge for the future, but I'm sure he'll figure it out and do what's best for the team. And hopefully smith, zwick will fulfill the talent that I see from them and one or both become the best qb that we've seen here. I think its still a good possiblity and I'm excited about it. I really feel that in the near future OSU will finally have the play at the QB position that's worthy of the great tradition that's been set by our past great defenses, olines, rbs, and more recently the wrs



 my analysis 
________________________________________
I actually got to see the game live yesterday. It is ironic that on the way to the stadium, my brother and I were talking about how deep the team was. We said the only players OSU could not afford to lose are Fox and Holmes. Then, Fox breaks his arm, and Holmes leaves with cramps. I think the loss of Fox, especially for next week's game, is a HUGE blow to this team. We will definitely miss him. Now, for what I saw.
- The D-line is non-existent. Hawk and Carpenter have to work so much harder this year because the line does not even occupy blockers, let alone make plays for themselves. I can't believe Marshall ran for 150 on us. I was one who said OSU would not experience much drop-off from last year's D-line, and man was I wrong. I would like to see more of Richardson and see Gohlston or Barrow get some time. They can't do worse than the guys in front of them.

- O-line still didn't look too good, but they aren't giving up sacks, and they seem to be making some progress.

- Holmes is an unbelievable talent!

- Ross is not. It is time to say it, Lydell Ross is not a good tailback. People have made excuses for him for four years, but the bottom line is that he is not very talented. Pittman was hurt yesterday, but if he is healthy, you have to give him more carries. Ross has no vision and takes a half hour to hit the hole.

- DB's played a great game. I think Youboty is going to be a good one, although I wish we still had Fox. Salley was steady as usual. Also, I think Whitner clearly proved that he is better than Everett. Everett plays way too far off the line and waits for something to happen. Whitner is much more aggressive and makes something happen. I hope the substitution is made in the starting lineup.

- Minus the two picks, Zwick had one of the best games ever. I thought he looked good, but the turnovers are going to kill us. He needs to accept the fact that he can't score on every play. If it isn't open when we are winning, throw it away. Hopefully, he will learn that with time. While he seems to be the man, I still would have liked to see more of Smith.

- Ginn seemed to quit running on routes and may have a Maurice Clarett attitude. I saw him after the game, and he looked like they had lost instead of won. Don't know how he is adjusting to not being the star. Also, maybe he should be moved to defense with the loss of Fox.

- Turano and Nuge were what we have come to expect from our kickers - perfection.

- Offensive playcalling was great again. Defensively, Snyder did not seem to make adjustments. Again, we cannot let people run like that on us.

All in all, it was another win, coupled with a Michigan loss. Not too bad. 

________________________________________
OK - Here's what I've been seeing from my viewpoint in 14C.
The holes are there, but the oline can't hold them indefinitely ?!?! Unlike what we used to call a 'quick opener',
where the RB gets forward movement toward the line immediately as the ball is snapped, Lydell waits for JZ to come back and give him the ball b/4 making any forward progress.
This is entirely too long to expect the oline to sustain the block. I believe this offensive strategy also allows opposing LBs to better read where the play is going.
IMO the oline is doing a good job, and will only get better.
One last thing...we're coming away from this game this w/e
victorious.


Re: What's everyone think of the "new" offense we 
________________________________________
The reason we have no identity on offense is because we have primarily changed every position on that side of the ball... Hard to find consistence to establish an identity when you change qb's, rb's, wr's and ol.... I'm not saying some of the changes were not warranted; but still hard to have rhythm in that situation... 


Re: Jay... 
________________________________________
As far as solving the QB conundrum, the situation in 2005 will have gone from a two ring circus to a three ring circus. I think both Zwick and Smith show promise and Boekman is an intriguing question mark.

What I worry about with Boekman is that if he plays next year he will be a real virgin when it comes to playing against a pass rush because he sure isn't seeing one in practice. Good luck JT. I imagine that sandy beach in a place without a zip code is looking better and better. :>)




Monday, July 25, 2005 4:45 PM (Eastern)

Accordinng to OSU' athletic compliance office, Troy Smith violated no NCAA rules with his June attendance at Steve McNair's camp.  

“We have spent nearly six weeks thoroughly reviewing all the information concerning Troy’s employment at Steve McNair’s camp,” said Lyke. “After talking to a number of key people and collecting the necessary documentation, we were able to determine there were no NCAA rule violations. We have been in contact with both the Big Ten and the NCAA and they concur completely with our findings."

“Anytime we receive information on a possible violation, we look into it thoroughly. While this incident only became public recently, we have been reviewing it since early June.”

If you notice,  I said he didn't violate NCAA rules.  However, Tressel-rules are different.

“Anytime a student-athlete misses a class, it is unacceptable,” said Tressel. “Troy understands how I feel about the situation and knows there will be consequences.”

Pretty much sums it up.

Pat


Sunday, July 24, 2005 1:05 PM (Eastern)

This game is similar to the Spring Game - you are more interested in individual performances than the outcome, even though Ohio won again.  I have some observations from last night's game relative to those players bound for OSU next month:

  • Rob Schoenhoft.  In a word, WOW!  It was my understanding this kid had awesome potential but was a real work in progress.  In this game he threw with precision, power and touch.  He had several TD strikes, all of which were dead-on.  He is a big strong kid that had great touch and timing with crossing routes, seam routes, out routes and a post route.  He is good at stepping up in traffic in the pocket.  Size wise, he reminds me of John Navarre but with the touch of Joe Germain and the zip on his passes of Dan Marino.  He also showed good decision making behind a line that was only decent.  It will be very different in college, but last night he was the man!
  • Andre Amos.  In a word, WOW!  This guys will turn into a true cover corner.  While I didn't get to see all of the game (over 3/4) this guy was stride-for-stride with his receivers, so much that Pennsylvania started going away from him.  He was also very quick to provide run support.  Reminds me Shawn Springs.
  • Lawrence Wilson.  This guy is a load and fast off of the line.  He disrupted several plays in the backfield and put regular pressure on their QB.  So what?  The Pennsylvania offensive line was massive, with several players OVER 320!.  Wilson should be outstanding with very good lateral speed.
  • Austin Spitler.  I have been high on this kid since right before he committed to Jim Tressel. Last night, I saw why the coaches like him so much - he reminds me a lot of A.J. Hawk.  Fast, excellent lateral movement and takes it personally if anyone gets by him.  It seemed like he was in on most plays, almost as if he was playing 2 positions.  Last year, Chad Hoobler impressed me the same way.  This is one tough kid who bleeds just about everything Buckeye.  Watch for him, but will probably redshirt with the depth in front of him.
  • Brian Robiskie.  I didn't see a lot of him, but when he played he struck me as running highly disciplined routes and had excellent hands.  I think he will eventually be a real contributor for us.
  • Brian Hartline.  In a word, WOW!  We are going to see this kid A LOT in a Buckeye uniform!  Tremendous speed with great desire and even better hands.  Other than Schoenhoft, he was the one that really blew me away.  Caught one TD pass while jumping high and going parallel to the ground.  This kid is already exciting!!!
  • Todd Denlinger.  I didn't see much of him so I can't report much one way or the other.  I don't mean to slight Todd, but my time was limited due to attending a wedding.
  • Andrew Moses.  I didn't see much of him so I can't report much one way or the other.

Two other quick observations from the game.  Jevon Ringer is really fast but didn't make good decisions in my opinion.  This should be coached out of him in college.  Also, and I hate to say it, Mario Manningham (who is headed to the land of the ugly helmets) was very, very impressive.  We will regret not landing this one.

As I said, I attended the wedding of a neighbor's daughter last night.  Just when I was thinking it was another plain, nice wedding, I heard three clicks, then a drum cadence from backstage.  It was the unmistakable drum cadence of the OSU marching band's ramp entrance to each game.  Out from behind the curtains poured representatives from the OSU Alumni marching band.  It was only fitting since the reception was being held at the Longaberger Alumni House here in Columbus.  Fred, the father of the bride, is a good friend and a true Buckeye.  Now that I think about it, I should have expected it.  

Needless to say, the audience all jumped to their feet and started clapping and roared their approval.  At this point forward, business picked up a lot and the rest of the evening was tremendous.  Great job Fred and Mary, and congratulations to Erin and Devin, the bride and groom.  Subsequently, I will officially now have trouble sleeping until 9/3/2005.

We are getting revved up around here, so stay tuned.  The fur will be flying soon enough!

LOVE this job!!

Pat


Saturday, July 23, 2005 12:25 PM (Eastern)

If you think this game is just "summer filler," think again.  

Big 33 Alumni include: Tony Dorsett, Matt Millen, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, John Cappelletti, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, to name a few. Current NFL stars include: Kerry Collins, Kyle Brady, Orlando Pace, Ricky Watters, Antonio Freeman, Ed McCaffrey, Marvin Harrison, Sean Gilbert and many more.

Tonight at 7:30 PM, the 48th edition of this classic will kick-off.  It will showcase some of the premiere talent headed to many Big Ten and other Div. I schools.

Included here are some files and links if you want to look into rosters, details history, etc.  You will need Microsoft Word to open these files.









LINK TO PAST NFL SUPER BOWL PLAYERS THAT PLAYED IN THE "BIG 33" GAME.

If you open these files, you will notice there are no OSU-bound players on the Pennsylvania roster this year.  Also, there are some incoming players that are not listed due to early enrollments, or other issues impacting their "traditional" fall start of school.

The game will be telecast on the following channels and outlets:


  • abc27

  • OHIO NEWS NETWORK

  • WTOV STEUBENVILLE, OH

  • WJAC-TV JOHNSTOWN, PA

  • FOX SPORTS PITTSBURGH

  • WPVI-TV PHILADELPHIA (DELAYED TO JULY 24TH)

Last year, some of the players I thought stood out included:

  • Chadd Henne
  • Ted Ginn
  • Chad Hoobler
  • Erik Haw
  • Alex Barrow

If you can get the game, it is very well done and worth the time.  If you can't we'll have a full report like we did last year.

For those in the midwest, stay cool!  After this weekend, business will start to pick up so check back frequently!

Pat


Tuesday, July 19, 2005 10:05 PM (Eastern)

Odd's n ends.

First, deepest sympathies to the family and close friends of Jim Parker.  What can you say about someone that was a two time All-American, our first Outland Trophy winner, NFL star, and gentleman.  Woody called him, "The greatest offensive lineman I ever coached."  Jim is a legend in Ohio State football history.  He will be missed.

Next, we have our opinions on who we think will earn Freshman of The Year awards in The Big Ten later this year.  Here they are, with their college team listed at the end of each line:


2005 Preseason Freshman All-Big Ten Team

Offense

QB- Jake Christensen – 6’0” 200 lbs. 4-star from Lockport Illinois – Iowa 
RB- Kevin Grady – 5’10” 230 lbs. 4-star from East Grand Rapids Michigan – Michigan
RB- Maurice Wells – 5’10” 185 lbs. 4-star from Jacksonville Florida – Ohio State
WR- Derrick Williams – 6’0” 190 lbs. 5-star from Greenbelt Maryland – Penn State
WR- Mario Manningham – 6’0” 174 lbs. 4-star from Warren Ohio – Michigan
TE- Anthony Moeaki – 6’4” 250 lbs. 4-star from Wheaton Illinois – Iowa
OT- Alex Boone – 6’8” 310 lbs. 5-star from Lakewood Ohio – Ohio State
OG- Marques Slocum – 6’4” 331 lbs. 4-star from Philadelphia Pennsylvania – Michigan
C- David Moosman – 6’4” 270 lbs. 4-star from Libertyville Illinois – Michigan
OG- Rafael Eubanks – 6’3” 290 lbs. 4-star from Roseville Minnesota – Iowa
OT- Dan Doering – 6’6” 300 lbs. 5-star from Barrington Illinois – Iowa

Defense

DE- Doug Worthington – 6’7” 255 lbs. 4-star from Athol Springs New York – Ohio State
DT- James McKinney – 6’3” 263 lbs. 4-star from Muskegon Michigan – Michigan
DT- Terrance Taylor – 6’1” 285 lbs. 4-star from Louisville Kentucky – Michigan
DE- J.B. Paxson – 6’3” 265 lbs. 4-star from Greenwood Indiana – Purdue
LB- Travis Beckum – 6’5” 220 lbs. 4-star from Oak Creek Wisconsin – Wisconsin
LB- Jerome Hayes – 6’2” 225 lbs. 4-star from Bayonne New Jersey – Penn State
LB- Alex Daniels – 6’2” 219 lbs. 4-star from Columbus Ohio – Minnesota
CB- Justin King – 6’0” 180 lbs. 5-star from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania – Penn State
FS- Chris Rowell – 6’0” 170 lbs. 3-star from Warrensville Heights Ohio – Iowa
SS- Otis Wiley – 6’2” 180 lbs. 3-star from Flint Michigan – Michigan State
CB- Jamario O’Neal – 6’1” 200 lbs. 4-star from Cleveland Ohio – Ohio State

Special Teams

KR- Derrick Williams – 6’0” 190 lbs. 5-star from Greenbelt Maryland – Penn State   
PR- Mario Manningham – 6’0” 174 lbs. 4-star from Warren Ohio – Michigan
K- Joe Kleinsmith – 5’11” 180 lbs. 3-star from Lakewood Ohio – Indiana
P- Zoltan Mesko – 6’4” 230 lbs. 3-star from Twinsburg Ohio – Michigan

Andy Steger

Finally, we are hoping to have a recruiting update later this week, although quite frankly things have been unusually still throughout the land.  There may not be much to report, but we'll at least check in.
 
Pat



Wednesday, July 6, 2005 7:42 PM (Eastern)

For those who love Woody Hayes and the game against Michigan, we have two new outstanding prints that just joined our collection - LINK.

For Woody Hayes fans, our latest print captures some of his classic poses (and he had many).  This print, Reflections of Woody II , faithfully remembers one of the greatest coaches in college football.  For the devout OSU fan, nothing says "Ohio State" more than Woody Hayes.  This is a beautiful 16" x 22" print that will stand out in any room or office.

And for those who just can't get enough of a great thing, you can re-live one of the most electrifying moments in the 100 + year history of THE GAME.  Last year, Ted Ginn returned a third quarter punt 82 back-breaking yards for a TD.  This extraordinary print titled; "Buckeye Domination," captures the exact moment that Michigan punter, Adam Finley, missed the last opportunity to stop Touchdown Teddy.  This play actually cost TBGUN much more than six points as it turned the tide for the last time toward OSU, and what remaining air Michigan had left in their sails followed the vacuum left by Ted Ginn as he went into warp along the Michigan sidelines.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a limited printing and we have less than 500 available.  THEY WILL GO VERY QUICKLY!

Starting in July, we will be finally going back to football this month.  Some of the July highlights will include:

  • The 2005 Big Ten Preview
  • The Buckeye 50 Yard Line pre-season All-America list
  • The All-Big Ten pre-season list
  • A review of the incoming freshmen
  • Coverage of the annual "Big 33" Game (played on July 23) which is slated to feature incoming OSU freshman; Brian Robiskie, Fred Lenix, Brian Hartline, Lawrence Wilson, Austin Spitler, Robby Schoenhoft, and Andre Amos.  There are also many other Big Ten bound players in this game.
  • More HaveBlue reports
  • Recruiting updates

We will also have news updates as they become available.  So stick around - the fun is about to begin!

Pat

Friday, July 1, 2005 9:512 AM (Eastern)

"Well, if you have settled down from the basketball excitement, we have some football news and updates for you from master digital image guy, Gregg Watson.

"OSU will be on ABC for their first three games this season, but EJ Underwood will not.
 
ABC has announced they will carry the first three Buckeye games.  Previously announced was the 8:00 pm prime time kickoff with Texas. Now we know the network will televise the season opener, September 3rd against Miami, at 12:00 noon (sorry Joe).  In addition, they will bring the San Diego State game on September 17th, at 3:30 pm.  All games are home games.  Michigan will likely be on ABC as well, with a 1:00 pm start. 
 
ESPN / ESPN2 will carry the Penn State game which will be a 7:00 pm / 7:45 pm start depending one which station is chosen.
 
OSU announced that EJ Underwood is no longer on the team.  He has not been involved with conditioning in 2005, with academics cited as the reason.  He may be looking to transfer to another school.  His brother Brandon remains on the roster."  - Gregg Watson

How would you like being a QB and having a 6'8" target to throw to?  That's exactly what will happen in a few years as Josh Chichester, a 6-foot-8, 210 lbs. receiver from West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West gave a verbal commitment to Ohio State late yesterday as Jim Tressel received commitment #6 for 2006.  He is primarily known for his basketball skills, but wants to be a football player.  If his hands are any good, no problem!

Pat

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 10:50 PM (Eastern)

As the story goes, in the U.S. Navy's nuclear submarine service, no one person on a ballistic missile sub can have both the launch keys AND the launch codes.  This theoretically prevents any one person from launching devastation and destruction.  Well, today OSU basketball head coach Thad Matta served notice to the rest of college basketball that he is doing the equivalent of having BOTH the launch keys and the codes (recruiting-wise) by receiving two more verbal commitments.  The consensus #1 NBA draft pick, Greg Oden from Indianapolis, and his teammate, super point guard Mike Conley, verbally committed to OSU for the 2006 class.  

They will be joining David Lighty and Daequan Cook in that class, with some writers describing this incoming class as good as any one single class in NCAA history.  Personally, I think that remains to be seen as that is an incredibly tall statement to live up to, but what do I know about basketball?

I must regress for a moment.  I find this intellectually interesting because according to most sports journalists, OSU basketball should barely have a heartbeat, let alone be flourishing.  So why have these four future superstars, who could attend literally anywhere they wanted to, choose Ohio State?  Additionally, with all of the problems with our corrupt (cough-ESPN) football program, have the five signees this year committed to OSU, let alone commit early?  Yes, obviously I am being sarcastic, as I am fed up with the national media and their smear-jobs.

The answer as we know is that these players and their families know the truth about the program and believe categorically in Thad Matta, Jim Tressel, and Gene Smith.  So I advise any and all Buckeye fans or casual observers who may have been holding their breath about Ohio State, to let that air out.  Because at Ohio State, integrity endures, tradition is and will ALWAYS be upheld, and champions always have, and always will, BLEED scarlet & gray!  Congratulations, Greg and Mike.  You will be welcomed into the family unlike you can possibly imagine.  

And don't think for a minute that Thad Matta will hesitate to input the launch codes and turn the key to destruction of the rest of college basketball.  Illinois knows he has already started his countdown.

Pat

Saturday, June 25, 2005 4:50 PM (Eastern)

Our inside operatives have some interesting and confidential information on players TBGUN believes will commit to play in Ann Arbor.  More HERE.

Pat

Friday, June 24, 2005 3:20 PM (Eastern)

Greg Oden of Indianapolis Lawrence High School has decided to play for Thad Matta at Ohio State in the class of 2006, according to the Indianapolis Star newspaper.  LINK

How huge is this?  Oden is NOW the number 1 ranked NBA draft choice!!!  Additionally, Mike Conley who is a teammate of Oden's is also reported ready to commit to OSU as well and is considered to be one of the top five guards in the country.

When the NBA announced their age limits this week, apparently that sealed the deal for Oden.  Conley has said he and Oden were pretty much a package deal.  Official announcement is expected soon.

Oden and Conley will join other 2006 verbal's David Lighty and Daequan Cook.  MANY sportswriters are tabbing this class as one of, if not THE single greatest recruiting classes in college basketball history.

For those of you who are regulars here, you may remember I am on record from last year as saying that Thad Matta would have us in the Final Four within his first five years.

WOW!!!

Pat

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 11:05 PM (Eastern)

The next four weeks are just about as slow as it gets all year long.  However, our seismic detectors have picked up some activity that is brewing beneath the surface.  What now?

It seems a current national poll of just fans from all over the country believe that Ohio State is best poised to win this year's National Championship.  It's not scientific, but it is fun.  Take a look for yourself. LINK

Pat

Sunday, June 19, 2005 1:15 PM (Eastern)

Purgatory, as defined by Merriam Webster OnLIne:
 

Main Entry: pur·ga·to·ry 
Pronunciation: 'p&r-g&-"tOr-E, -"tor-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -ries
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French or Medieval Latin; Anglo-French purgatorie, from Medieval Latin purgatorium, from Late Latin, neuter of purgatorius purging, from Latin purgare
1 : an intermediate state after death for expiatory purification; specifically : a place or state of punishment wherein according to Roman Catholic doctrine the souls of those who die in God's grace may make satisfaction for past sins and so become fit for heaven
2 : a place or state of temporary suffering or misery  
 
Now, one could interpret this to reference Ann Arbor.  One could also interpret this to refer to the time of year for OSU football addicts.  Well fortunately, super photo guy Gregg Watson as come to the rescue.  He offers, HOPE.  Hope in the fact he has timelines for the rest of the waiting.

Aug. 7 — Players report (upperclassmen and freshmen)

Aug. 8 — First practice (helmets)

Aug. 9 — Practice (helmets)

Aug. 10 — Practice (shells)

Aug. 11 — No practice (media and photo day, 5:30 p.m.)

Aug. 12 — Practice (shells)

Aug. 13 — Practice (pads)

Aug. 14 — No practice

OSU does have their annual June football camp for upcoming high school seniors which will start shortly.  Typically, some players surprise the coaches with their performances and some scholarship offers are often extended during or right after camp.  This means there will be a little action in the next week or so.  After that, most of the coaches are on vacation for part of July.  We will try to have some coverage of camp later this week and next.    Until then, we can at least count the days.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO ALL OF OUR BUCKEYE DADS OUT THERE!

Pat

Saturday, June 18, 2005 2:15 PM (Eastern)

Tonight, the cream of Ohio High School football tee it up for the annual North/South all star classic.  This event has turned into one of the premiere high school and college football events nationally.  Below, Brent has compiled the line-up for both the North and South.  As you can see, Ohio seeds many excellent football programs.

I have somewhat jokingly said over the years that if TBGUN had to field a team based upon no Ohio players, they couldn't hold their own in the MAC!

We apologize ahead of time for the messy display, but our hosting service does not use a decent word editing product we can just drop into.  OSU-bound players are highlighted in RED.


 NORTH
No.  PlayerPos.Ht.Wgt.High School College

1     Jeff Thompson       DB5-9     180Worth. Kilbourne  Miami, Ohio
2      Andre Amos         WR6-2   175Middletown        Ohio State
3      Brayden Coombs   DB6-1     180Cin. Colerain     Miami, Ohio
4      Cory Burcham       DB5-10    155Symmes Valley Ohio U.
5      Dante Love             QB5-10    175Cin. Withrow      Ball State
7      Bruce Palmer         LB6-3      215Indian Creek     Malone
8      Chris Wright           WR5-11   175Middletown        Bowl. Green
9      Tyler Clifford           DL6-4      215Portsmouth       Cincinnati
11     Greg Orton           WR6-4      195Huber Hgts. Wayne   Purdue
12     Robby Schoenhoft    QB   6-6230Cin. St. Xavier   Ohio State
15     E.J. Morton-Green   WR    6-4       205Cin. Princeton             Miami, Ohio
16     Nick Yahl           WR  6-1      190  St. Mary’s Memorial    Mt. St. Joseph
18     Cedric Tolbert      RB6-2      205Xenia               Cincinnati
19     Jared Humphreys     QB6-1        175   Jackson                     Ohio Domin.
21     Drew Quinn          LB6-2      225Cin. St. Xavier   Columbia
22     Arthur Zurcher      K/P5-11   160New Philadelphia  Walsh
24     Gary Stubbs         DB5-9     172Steubenville      Walsh
26     Eric Heller         LB6-2      230Cols. Beechcroft   Toledo
27     David Bruton        WR6-3      185Miamisburg         Notre Dame
43     Matt Shumaker       RB6-2      235Delphos St. Johns   Toledo
50     Josh Bloomfield     LB6-2      220Lima Shawnee       Tiffin
51     Austin Spitler      LB6-3     230Bellbrook       Ohio State
52     Joe Crawford        OL6-6      245Watkins Memorial   Tiffin
53     Andrew Moses      OL6-4     261Cols. Watterson     Ohio State
56     Mark Sexton         TE6-3      235New Philadelphia  Walsh
63     Jess East           OL6-4      240Cambridge      Ohio U.
66     Kevin Mahoney       OL6-6     305Springfield North    Bowl. Green
69     Derek Moore         DL6-4      270Newark Catholic     Undecided
72     Jovon Davis         OL6-4    306Cin. Withrow     Tenn.-Martin
76     Tommy Stuck         OL6-2      285Lancaster           Ohio U.
78     Brady Minturn       DL6-5      245Loveland             Bowl. Green
79     John Buckner        OL6-5      290Cols. Beechcroft   Air Force
88     Damien Plaugher     TE6-4    230Hardin Northern        Undecided
92        Todd Denlinger      DL6-4   285Troy              Ohio State

  SOUTH

No.PlayerPos.Ht.Wgt.High SchoolCollege

1Mario Manningham   WR6-0180Warren Harding         Michigan
2      Marcellus Bowman   DB6-3200Youngs. Liberty       Boston Coll.
3      Ryan Brinson       RB5-9     175Canton McKinley  W. Virginia
4      Derrick Stewart    DB5-11   170Youngs. Ursuline   Cincinnati
5      Fred Lenix         LB6-0   205Cleveland GlenvilleOhio State
6      Joe Kleinsmith     P/K  5-11   185Lake. St. Edward  Indiana
7      Billy Cundiff      QB6-5      205Uniontown Green         Connecticut
8      Jamario O’Neal     DB6-1200Cleveland GlenvilleOhio State
9      Greg Micheli       DB6-2     185Upper Sandusky  Mount Union
10     Tim Hiller       QB6-5212Orrville    W. Michigan
11     Jim Ramella         TE6-4    230Cleve. St. IgnatiusBoston Coll.
12     Jared Martin        DB6-1175Clyde            Cincinnati
13     Andrew Means        DB6-2     205Avon Lake            Indiana
20     Tyrell Sutton       RB5-9     195Akron Hoban     Northwestern
21     Kendell Davis     DB6-0   195Alliance          Michigan St.
24     Aaron Waldie        WR5-11     167Sylvania Southview   Hillsdale
34     Marcus Waugh       RB5-11    228Toledo St. John’s     Cincinnati
35     Mike Gray           LB5-11   200Tallmadge         Ashland U.
44     Curtis Smith        LB6-2     230Cleveland GlenvilleCincinnati
50     Rocco Cironi        OL6-6285Warren Harding    Michigan St.
51     Mike Godsil         DL6-2     260Mansfield Madison Liberty U
52     Tim Reed            OL6-3      285Madison          W. Virginia
55     Brian Mellott     DL6-3254Austintown FitchOhio U.
61     Alex Boone    OL6-8     330Lake. St. Edwards  Ohio State
54     W.C. Clements      OL6-3      245Mentor Lake CatholicDayton
64     Chris Dyko          OL6-3      305Tol. Cent. CatholicToledo
72     Steve Gawronski     OL6-3          295Toledo Rogers        Cincinnati
76     Nick Simon          LB6-2     225Shaker HeightsMercyhurst
79     Michael Sheridan    OL6-3         280Cleve. St. Ignatius Villanova
80     Chris Banks         WR6-3      190Alliance          Indiana
84     Lawrence Wilson    DL6-5    240Akron SVSM     Ohio State
90     Stephen Zywotek     DL6-3245Avon Lake             Findlay
92     Conor Reilly        OL6-4    250Hudson           Ohio U.

Top Players not playing in the All Star Game

Javon RingerRB5-9186Dayton ChaminadeMichigan St
Mister SimpsonRB5-10195Cin. ColerainMichigan
Brian HartlineWR6-2174Canton GlenOakOhio State
Brian RobiskieWR6-3190Chagrin FallsOhio State
Trey StrossWR6-3195Avon LakeIowa
Richard QuinnTE6-4225Maple HeightsNorth Carolina
Zach MarshallOT6-7280MasonMaryland
Jim CorldeOG6-2   285LancasterOhio State
Matt TennantOG6-5250Cin. MoellerBoston Coll
Marlon TerryDT6-1275Akron BuchtelPittsburgh
Brandon LongILB6-2219Canton GlenOakMichigan St
BJ TraversILB6-0    228WestlakeIowa
Brandon Harrison CB5-8190Dayton ChaminadeMichigan
Bryan WilliamsCB6-0193Akron BuchtelPittsburgh
Adam Myers-WhiteS6-4190HamiltonTennessee
Chris RowellS6-0   170Warrensville HeightsIowa
Zoltan MeskoK6-4    230TwinsburgMichigan
Mike ChambersATH/WR6-0    175Walsh JesuitMinnesota
Alex DanielsATH/OLB6-2219Cols BrookhavenMinnesota
Keith MasseyATH/WR6-0186Cols BrookhavenMinnesota
Kyle McCarthyATH/S6-0   172     Young. Cardinal Mooney  Notre Dame

For those who want to know more, go to this link and you can find out just about anything about these players and their program LINK.  

Pat

Sunday, June 12, 2005 8:25 PM (Eastern)

A grand total of ten Ohio State football players received their diplomas today.  The list includes:

  • Jason Caldwell
  • Simon Fraser
  • Dustin Fox
  • Maurice Hall
  • Mike Kne
  • John McLaughlin
  • Brandon Mitchell (graduating early)
  • Kyle Turano
  • Will Smith
For those who like to find mistakes, I was correct when I said ten.  Yes, I know I only listed nine.  The tenth is; Joe Montgomery.

There is a great story behind every young man who graduated today.  However, I have a special place in my heart for Joe Montgomery.  For those who saw it, there was never a more gruesome appearing injury than his knee injury in November 1996.  In so many ways, Joe IS the living spirit of what it means to be a Buckeye.

Joe came from a miserable home life in every respect back in Illinois:  Ghetto conditions, no father, gang shootings and everything else you see in the movies was Joe's normal life in Chicago.  All of these things ended up making Joe tough.  However, his problems were not over when he left high school and he would need his toughness.

He and his mother thought he had a breakthrough when offered to play at Ohio State, but he was a Prop 48 academic casualty and had his scholarship withdrawn before classes even started in the fall.  Joe now needed his toughness steeled into resolve.  He worked his butt off instead of chucking it in and won his scholarship back with no less than a 3.3 GPA.  Now, his dreams were ahead of him.  Sort of.

He was well on his way to an excellent career as a full back and tail back when against Minnesota, a tough tackle turned into highlight footage for the surgery channel as he blew his knee completely out.  Few gave him a chance to walk normally, fewer game him any chance of playing.  Here is where the really cool Buckeye stuff comes into play!

Apparently, Joe refused to believe his doctors and trainers.  The day he returned in an Ohio State uniform was a day I had tears in my eyes.  Against all odds, here he stood right in front of me.  He had gone through surgery, agony, rehab, more agony, hard work, determination, belief in his team mates and now love for his school - Ohio State.  He had become a Buckeye a long time ago.  Giving up, just simply isn't an option for true Buckeyes.  Joe was now back in uniform and went on to finish his career as a TB at Ohio State and played with the New York Giants for four years.

For those in the military, I beg your understanding when I use the term warrior for Joe Montgomery.  I told one of you I would never refer to players as warriors - I hope you forgive me this one time.  For today, Joe didn't just battle a knee injury.  Joe became one of Archie Griffin's protected masses as an OSU alumni.  Today, Joe graduated from Ohio State University.  He overcame major family issues, guns, gangs, Prop 48, competition, a debilitating knee injury and caring for a loving mother.  Today, Joe is a business person who defied the odds and won.  Today, Joe was on campus again.  From today forward, he is part of the standard that young players must learn to aspire towards.  He IS part of the legacy.  But more than anything, Joe Montgomery IS a Buckeye.  And as we know, 

CHAMPIONS BLEED SCARLET AND GRAY

Congratulations to all graduates today.  Go out and leave your imprint as citizens and Buckeyes.  For no matter what you achieve, or what you lose, there is one thing that can never be taken from you - the fact you graduated from THE Ohio State University.  God Speed.

Pat

Monday, June 6, 2005 7:49 PM (Eastern)

Call it what you want; southern justice, hair-trigger, or tough-love.  Regardless, head football coach of the University of Georgia drew a line in the sand this weekend.  No doubt he was influenced by the goings on at Ohio State, Tennessee, South Carolina, etc.  He decided, at least on his watch, the Georgia Bulldogs were not going to get a bad name.  Over the weekend, he kicked senior star linebacker Derrick White off of the team following his arrest Friday on charges of driving under the influence near Union City, Ga..  Yes, there is a rest of the story.  Essentially, it was Derricks first offense WHILE on probation for previous misconduct.  The story can be found here.  

As I understand it, Mark Richt and Jim Tressel have much in common; they are both men of faith, family and work, in that order.  I find this order noble, refreshing and commendable in an era where situation ethics are practiced with more frequency.  While certainly no Georgia fan, this might make me a Mark Richt fan.

Some of you will find this too tough.  For me, it is I believe, the appropriate medicine as Derrick White appeared to fear no reprisal while on probation.  I have to believe his teammates are looking long and hard at their former star linebacker as he sways in the breeze at the end of the hangman's noose.  Sad, but the message is being sent effectively.

I hope, just truly hope, that other Georgia players will stop to think, even if for a split second, before making more bad decisions.  If so, Richt will have done more good with this one dismissal than he could otherwise accomplish with a boat load of pleading.  And Derrick, you now have your third chance at life - play it smart this time.

Pat

Saturday, June 4, 2005 11:29 AM (Eastern)

You just HAVE to love someone who really knows what they want.  That is exactly the case with Jake Ballard of Springboro, Ohio.  On Memorial Day, Wisconsin officially offered Jake, then on Tuesday both Ohio State and TBGUN offered.  It took Jake two days (less in his mind) to commit to Jim Tressel and John Peterson.

Jake is a mere 6'7" and 248 lbs. and 4.8 in the 40.  He a tight end and will make a mountain of a target for QB's.  Although huge, one of his greatest assets is how disciplined he is at running pass routes, combined with excellent hands.  Based upon photos, he appears to have very little body fat.

Jake joins tough-as-nails LB Ross Homan and super-back Chris Wells as 2006 commitments.  This class so far, is made up of serious blue chips.  At this rate, it could end up as Jim Tressel's best class, although admittedly there is a lot of time left.

Pat

Thursday, June 2, 2005 10:10 PM (Eastern)

What were you doing on November 9, 2002?  Probably watching Ohio State come from behind in what may have been the gutsiest play Craig Krenzel ever made.

Yes, the feature picture is EXACTLY what you think it is; Michael Jenkins hauling in THE CATCH against Purdue that day in 2002.  Arguably, the lynchpin play of the season, or at least Joe Hylton thinks so.

May and June are the slowest months for us.  It is just a little early to look ahead, so we thought the next best thing is looking in the rear view mirror at some of our greatest moments recently.  One things is for sure - this is MUCH more fun than listening to police reports and innuendos!

Here is Joe's analysis of this play and what it REALLY meant to 2002.  After you are done reading this, go to the link in the bottom left for the full audio and video playback with all the noise you would expect from Ohio Stadium - except it was played in West Lafayette!

Enjoy Joe's LINK to the now infamous, "HOLY, BUCKEYE!"

Pat

Monday, May 23, 2005 7:46 PM (Eastern)

Another first for the Buckeye 50 Yard Line!  The first of what will be many outstanding photos, prints, and framed work by Gregg Watson is now officially available.  For now, the easiest way to get them is through My Team Prints.  The specific Gregg Watson link is here.

There will be much more to come.  You can purchase his works as stand alone prints, framed photography or he has just started specific collections.  Available now is some of his works from his Brutus Collection.  

THESE WILL MAKE GREAT FATHER'S DAY GIFTS (hint, hint).

Pat



Sunday, May 22, 2005 7:16 PM (Eastern)

There is another editorial available from Andy. Click here.

For links to all editorial archives starting this year, click here.

Pat

Saturday, May 21, 2005, 12:13 PM (Eastern)

AN EDITORIAL.

 According to Merriam-Webster Online, the word "discipline" is as follows:

Main Entry: 1  dis·ci·pline

Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): -plined; -plin·ing
1 : to punish or penalize for the sake of discipline
2 : to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control
3 a : to bring (a group) under control <discipline troops> b : to impose order upon <serious writers discipline and refine their writing styles>
synonym see PUNISH, TEACH
- dis·ci·plin·er noun

This is in obvious reference to the incident this week of Erik Haw being cited for marijuana, which was on the heels of Skeete's drug trafficking.  I wanted to take some time to be able to think clearly through this issue, because what I WANTED to write on the day of the incident wasn't fit for publication.

Here are perhaps the choices of how to look at this most recent event:

1) We have a few "bad apples"
2) This is just too many things happening under Jim Tressel's watch - something is wrong            within the program itself
3) This is just part of the current social fabric of kids in today's society - this stuff is happening                at most programs
4) Things like this have always taken place.  It's just with the media attention and scrutiny,                      things that happened 20 years ago and weren't published, are being published now.
5)  We aren't being selective enough.  

If I believed I had both an answer and solution, I would probably be consulting for $200/hr. with the university.  But I don't, and I am not.

Here is what I think is happening:

For whatever the reason (I have a theory presented below), it appears the players either don't fear repercussion, don't believe it will be forthcoming, feel the punishment to be mild enough to take the risks associated with breaking rules - classic risk/reward, or simply don't care.  For some, doing wrong and violating policy/rules/law just is not off of their radar screen - and it should be.

What to DO about this is another matter.  First, I think the root cause of this problem is likely a combination of all five of the above explanations.  It almost assuredly is not just one item.  Real world problems are rarely just as simple as one root cause.  Second, it is ridiculous to think there will never be another problem.

Some of these five factors are just simply out of any one person's control.  For example, number 3. If any of you think this is not a problem, a little research will show problems over the last twelve months at many, many programs.  Just this week a Tennessee player was arrested on felony assault charges (msn.foxsports.com/cfb/story/3623380).  Without question, this is far worse than any indiscretion OSU players have committed or allegedly committed.  Not long ago, a Michigan player was arrested for exposing himself.  There have been fights with USC players.  South Carolina and Clemson got into a disgraceful show of sportsmanship with their on-field riot last year.  South Carolina players have also been arrested for theft.  Not too long ago, there was the "shoe story" out of Florida State.  As I said, with a little research, this list would get too long to post.  What any coach or coaching staff does to prevent something like this is beyond me.  I have to personally suspect that upstanding (cough) professional athletes who serve as role models (such as the Ron Artest incident in the NBA) have to be further fueling poor college behavior.

The other remaining four factors have varying degrees of control/influence by coaches.  Without being too long winded, I believe that the borderline kids and perhaps the wild ones could be more positively influenced if the punishments were more severe.  I think most reasonable people believe in second chances, but I think Jim Tressel and staff have been too lenient with first level punishment.  If I were Erik Haw, I would expect to perhaps run more laps, miss a game (maybe), be sent to third string, etc.  Not much to worry about.  However, if his teammates were to see him be suspended for 3-6 games, perhaps that would get more attention.

I offered a previous editorial on discipline where I basically said that until outlaws in the wild west saw other criminals "swinging from the hangman," they didn't believe they had anything to fear.  I am not equating handing out "death sentences" for something like what Erik Haw did, but by God if you can get kids to stop and think before they do something, a lot more of them will make better decisions.

I don't think for a second that Jim Tressel or any one person or even an entire coaching staff can realistically monitor behavior once players leave the locker room or practice field.  Parents similarly can't monitor what their kids do at school once they leave home in the morning.  HOWEVER, that parent is responsible for what their kids do and the choices they make.  In the end, it is really all about each person (child, athlete, adult) having to take responsibility for their own choices and living with the consequences.  Coaches and parents alike can only prepare for what is about to come or deal with the outcomes on the other side, once something has happened.  

In summary, I think we have great coaches and players.  I think however, that Jim Tressel HAS to do a lot more to get the attention of the players either before, or after.  I think he has likely fallen down in the "after" department.  Let's help our players who break laws/rules better learn from their mistakes.  Having a stronger approach to discipline will be something that Buckeyes can feel better about and should improve outcomes.  As it is now, I think few players under Jim Tressel believe their is even hangman's noose, let alone seeing anyone "swing" from it.

Pat


Tuesday, May 17, 2005, 7:13 PM (Eastern)

Now that the NCAA has published their findings, and now the whole world knows they found NOTHING associated with Clarett's assertions, there is a burning question I have; Where does Ohio State send the bill for the costs involved in defending themselves against claims made without merit?  For the story, click here.

For links to all editorial archives starting this year, click here.

Pat

Monday, May 16, 2005, 5:53 PM (Eastern)

The good news from this afternoon's OSU press conference is that there are really no surprises.  Certainly, the news was "good" for the football team; Troy Smith's incident is the only wrong-doing the NCAA found.  Nothing was unearthed relative to Maurice Clarett.  With the university's self imposed punishment on Smith of a two game suspension, one of which was the bowl game, speculation is there will be no further sanctions.  However, for the basketball team, the news was not so good.

The allegations associated with Jim O'Brien's handling of Alex Radojevic's recruitment and matters relating to Boban Savovic surfaced, along with recent allegations which came to light from last week's dismissal of the lawsuit by Kathleen Salyers.  Paul Biancardi appears within the investigation and things are far from settled relative to the hardcourt.  For a full list of the NCAA investigation, visit here.  

Pat 

Monday, May 16, 2005, 12:43 PM (Eastern)

New athletic director Gene Smith will get his first major test with the national media later today.  He is expected to present preliminary findings from the NCAA on their investigation of football, and the men's and women's basketball programs.  We will provide coverage as soon as it breaks.

Pat

n, and ranked #3 in the country. Tressel decided to go for it.  OSU lined up..., well....., see for yourself here Truly, one of the single most stunning moments in OSU football history.  You will need Apple Quicktime to see this, which you can download for free from our download link bottom left.  It is a little slow loading and not that long in duration, but VERY worth the time.  ENJOY!  

Pat 






Sunday, May 15, 2005, 3:43 PM (Eastern)

Andy has done his homework and has encouraging thoughts on the many changes being made in our defense for this fall.  Here is his survey of what to expect from the defense this fall.

"Even though it’s been a while since Mark Snyder resigned as defensive coordinator and being replaced by defensive line coach Jim Heacock, I want to weigh in on the situation.

As many fans and sports writers know, the Buckeyes under Jim Tressel have always stressed solid defense, with consistent special teams and an offense that doesn’t turn the ball over. When Snyder was promoted after former defensive coordinator Mark Dantonio was hired as the University of Cincinnati’s new head coach, Snyder wanted to re-tool the defense.  Sadly, Snyder got his way and he implemented among other things, zone defensive secondary coverage.  This was in stark contract to much of the attacking nature of the Dantonio defenses.

Zone coverage is where the defensive back drops back in coverage on passing plays and is assigned to cover any offensive player that comes into their “geographic zone.” Some players and coaches don’t like zone coverage for a reason - the zones are spread out leaving gaps in the defense.  This means that a spread offense can often tear apart zone schemes if receivers find the “soft” spots.

Zone coverage and schemes also make it harder to stop the run, not just because of the assignment the DB’s have, but because they are spread out on the field. What this means is that DB’s are rarely playing close enough to the line of scrimmage to help with run support, meaning that if a running back or quarterback takes the ball past the line of scrimmage they have a little bit more room to run around before being tackled or reaching the end zone.

Not only did Mark Snyder resign for another coaching job during the off-season, but so did long-time defensive backs coach Mel Tucker who is now the Cleveland Browns defensive backs coach. Tucker was a valuable coach who developed great DB’s and was also co-defensive coordinator last year alongside Coach Snyder.  Since Snyder has left, the zone schemes and coverage's have been all but abandoned. Tressel promoted former defensive line coach Jim Heacock because Heacock and Tressel want to run a defense similar to that of former coordinator Mark Dantonio. 

Tressel had more juggling to do on the defensive coaching staff and went to Michigan State’s staff and hired away the Spartan’s DB coach, Paul Haynes.  Tressel also hired defensive specialist Tim Beckman.  Beckman was previously the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Bowling Green State University.  Beckman should turn out to be an awesome hire for Tressel as he is considered a defensive genius against spread offenses and has been a recruiting coordinator.

Haynes and Beckman are now combined with Heacock, Fickell (co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach), and the new defense in 2005 should be similar to the aggressive defense that Dantonio used so effectively. The mainly negative issue I and other fans and sports writers seemed to have against Snyder was that his system and schemes were much too laid back for a team that had previously thrived on aggressive, attacking and strong defense.

In the 2004 season, Snyder’s defense only accumulated 24 sacks on the season, and there were two games where our defense didn’t get a single sack. During the 2002 national championship season, Dantonio’s defense racked up an impressive 39 sacks on the season, including 4 in the national championship game against #1 Miami. Dantonio’s defense wasn’t quite as successful in the 2003 campaign, finishing with only 31 sacks. A big reason for this was that Dantonio had to break in many new starters that year and we played in one less game in 2003 than in 2002. Regardless, it was still an impressive defensive season.

If you weren’t able to tell by watching the two different defenses that Snyder’s was softer and less aggressive, then hopefully those blitzing statistics paint the picture.  Snyder put less pressure on quarterbacks and dropped too many men into zone coverage, so not only did we get less pressure on the quarterbacks, but our rush defense gave up bigger numbers than the previous two seasons as well. 

In 2002, opposing teams ran the ball against us 409 times for 1054 yards which averages out to 2.5 yards per carry while giving up an unbelievable 5 rushing touchdowns the entire season. Not only did we allow so little rushing yards in 2002, but we only allowed 5 rushing scores the entire year as well. In 2003, teams ran the ball against us 400 times for just 739 yards which comes out to an average of 1.8 yards per carry, in addition to only allowing 12 rushing touchdowns. In 2004, during Snyder’s first year, opposing teams ran the ball 440 times against us for 1571 yards which averages out to 3.5 yards per carry, while giving up 10 rushing touchdowns.

As you can see, running backs had more success against the zone schemes that Snyder implemented as did quarterbacks. It should be mentioned that only three running backs ran for over 100 yards in a game over both the 2002 and 2003 seasons when Dantonio was coordinator. In 2002, only Wisconsin’s Anthony Davis ran for over 100 yards against the Silver Bullet defense, while in 2003, Wisconsin’s Booker Stanley and Michigan’s Chris Perry both broke the century marker for rushing yards in a single game against our defense. A notable stat for the 2003 season, in both of the two games we lost, the opposing team’s running back ran for over 100 yards.

In Snyder’s one year tenure as defensive coordinator, two running backs broke the 100 yard mark in a game. In back-to-back weeks of October 2nd and October 9th, Northwestern’s Noah Herron and Wisconsin’s Anthony Davis respectively both ran for over 100 yards in a game and combined for 3 touchdowns.

What we can expect from the new Heacock defense, is a lot more pressure off the edge with the initial pass rush in effort to make quarterbacks make mistakes. There will also be more run support from the DB’s, not just the safeties, but the corners. Heacock’s defense is going to be similar to Dantonio’s which often sent corners and safeties in some of his blitzing packages. So ideally we’ll be better this year at stopping the run and our coverage schemes will be much tighter, opting to go to man-to-man coverage schemes over the inferior zone coverage schemes which will hopefully constrain opposing offenses options."

Andy Steger

Thursday, May 12, 2005, 7:55 PM (Eastern)

Even though Justin Boren could probably play the offensive line just about anywhere in the country, he has eliminated all but two schools.   One is in his backyard, the other is in his blood lines.  Yep; it's Ohio State or TBGUN,  PERIOD.  He also has a self imposed target timeline for a decision sometime in the next week or two.

Justin's father is Mike Boren.  If this sounds more than vaguely familiar, it's because Buckeye fans often saw only the name on the back of his U of M jersey.  He was a linebacker for TBGUN in the 1980's, and a darn good one at that.  Mike swears he will support Justin completely, regardless of where he goes.  However, for Justin, what was once a great thing has turned into the tug-of-war of a lifetime.  You see, he is actually close to both programs.

Justin has become close with the coaching staff at both schools.  He and his father are very high on Jim Tressel, which in itself if you think about it, is a monumental statement about how much Tressel and friends have been able to impress a former Wolverine varsity standout.  This folks, is no small feat.  

Justin and his father are extremely close.  Subsequently, Justin has a natural affinity for his father's alma mater.  Last weekend, the two attended a camp in Ann Arbor where TBGUN pulled out all of the stops in recruiting Justin.  This included a one-on-one with Bo Schembechler, who was his dazzling self.

Still, Justin is torn.  The decision that so many high school players wait for their entire lives, has now become such a war he probably would give anything for it to be over.  It is now work and no fun as Justin sees only one thing ahead - disappointing one school and a coaching staff he has come to highly regard.  I have a friend that knows the family and says they are very quality people and Justin will be a great asset to the university he attends, both as an athlete and as a student.

Perhaps Justin could decide easily just by a simple blood test to see what colors are revealed?  For you see, Justin was convinced for a long time that he bled Scarlet and Gray!

Pat

Wed., May 11, 2005, 8:51 PM (Eastern)

This job is so much fun when we report on exciting, positive events.  Unfortunately, life has its ups and downs.  Today is not so good news for OSU football.

Ohio State announced today that redshirt freshman kicker Jonathan Skeete has been suspended following an arrest on an outstanding warrant for drug trafficking.  Skeete allegedly sold marijuana to undercover agents on two separate occasions earlier this year.  This of course, is a felony charge and would be a setback for the football program which has started to climb out of the national limelight of controversy.  Skeete is an excellent student majoring in engineering and would be the number two kicker this fall by most accounts.  He was offered by both Ohio State and Northwestern.

Jim Tressel admitted to being completely floored by the news and had no real comment pending the outcome of the incident.  Tressel said he informed the rest of the team today and awaits hearing from Skeete as soon as Skeete can contact him.

Pat

There May Not Be Aliens, But OSU Still Has A Secret To Keep
May 9, 2005

If you said Area 51, Groom Lake, Nevada you would be correct.  

But based upon the Ohio State spring practice of 2005, if you had said The Woody Hayes Athletic Center (WHAC) on the Ohio State campus you might also be correct!  Why?

While it received only minor publicity, Jim Tressel closed virtually all spring practice this year.  No no, we mean he REALLY closed it.  Except for a few fleeting moments, ALL of spring practice and the football facilities were completely off-limits to everyone, including those with university-approved press credentials.  And during those few fleeting moments we were told that the players and their practice routines changed from what they had been working on and became very ordinary and vanilla.  So, what's going on here?  Conspiracy theory, paranoia, or as in the case of Area 51, top secrecy?   The correct choice is C: Top Secret.

Those who know me understand I love the x's and o's of football.  I love analysis and dissecting a game.  Those who know me also know I am a cheerleader and don't mind some intrigue from time to time.  However, in this case, the intrigue is more serious than fun.

It is true that spring practice was closed.  It is also correct to say there were armed, uniformed police officers at all major entrances at times.  I even drove up to practice one afternoon, parked in the Jesse Owens track stadium and started walking up to the area in back of the old baseball field where you could actually get a slight glimpse of practice.  I was about 50 yards away from the outdoor practice field which was separated by two chain link fences.  Before I could even get to the first fence, I was politely ushered away by someone from the athletic department.  Of course I didn't mind because if it is that important to them, I would not want anything to be compromised, so I left.  I have never been to Groom Lake, Nevada, home of the infamous Area 51, but I understand the same thing happens if you try to get onto their property - you are escorted off.

I didn't give it much thought until about a week ago when a good friend (one of my inside sources) told me privately that the secrecy was for a good reason.  He gave me little more than indicating that parts of a new offense were being installed.  Apparently, they also didn't want anyone to see just who was doing what.  I bring this up because since then, the Columbus Dispatch did a post-spring practice analysis and actually referred jokingly to the WHAC as, Area 51.  There were even those within the athletic department using the Area 51 reference.  

This has me thinking long and hard about the possibilities.  Perhaps a new offense around Ted Ginn?  Perhaps with the presence of a valid running attack, Jim Tressel might be able to do what he has probably wanted to do since he first arrived; have a power running game based upon a balanced offense.  Or, perhaps, he is plotting to stretch opposing defenses BOTH horizontally AND vertically with the likes of Holmes, Ginn, Dukes, Gonzalez, Lyons, R. Hall, Hamby, Frost, Nicol.....

Think about it:  All of a sudden what started out as light fun at the top of this article might very well have turned into serious stuff for this fall!  

Pat
 





















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