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 December
 2006
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Third Former OSU Assistant Fired
December 31, 2006 10:30 pm EST

The University of Minnesota announced they have fired Coach Glen Mason.  This is following a 44-41 bowl loss to Texas Tech which included blowing a 31 point lead in the 3rd quarter.  Overall he was 64-57 in ten seasons with the Gophers, including seven bowl appearances.  This is the third coach fired this season that had previously served on the OSU football coaching staff.  Previously, Walt Harris was fired from Stanford and Larry Coker is coaching his final game tonight as Head Coach of the Hurricanes.


DRIVE #3: 2002 Ohio State 14  Michigan 9
December 30, 2006 12:30 am EST

The Buckeye 50 "OSU Greatest Drive Series" is now up to the #3 greatest drive in Ohio State football history.  Joe-S-U continues to deliver his masterful accounts of some of the greatest memories of Buckeye football history.  There is not a Buckeye fan out there that will not remember this game, the 2002 game against TBGUN.  Read here the account as only Joe-S-U can bring it.


Bowl Update: Rutgers Gains First Ever Bowl Win
December 29, 2006 8:50am EST

Rutgers caps off a great year with it's first ever bowl win, a 37-10 victory over Kansas State.  Also winning last night was the Cal Bears over Texas A&M 45-10 giving the Pac-10 their first bowl win of the season.  And the Oklahoma State Cowboys win on a late field goal over Alabama 34-31.  Six of our pickers had all three of these games right, but check out our Bowl Predictions page to see who everyone favors for the remaining games.


Pittman & Wells Will be Running in Glendale
December 28, 2006 2:06 pm EST

An Ohio State investigation has concluded no NCAA rules violations occurred at a spaghetti-dinner fund-raiser in Akron to help families of four Ohio State players attend the national championship game.  At risk was a possible suspension if they were found in violation of rules that prohibit athletes from receiving special benefits.

Starting tailback Antonio Pittman and his backup, Chris Wells were at the Dec. 23 spaghetti dinner but left midway through after Paulette Wells, Chris Wells' mother, called Ohio State offensive coordinator Jim Bollman to ask whether it might violate NCAA bylaws. It was at that time the players were told to leave, to which they complied.

Doug Archie, Ohio State director of athletics for compliance. is confident that no rules were broken. "We have talked to all the principals involved and are confident that the players and their families had no prior knowledge of the event. Additionally, no money was given to anyone associated with the Ohio State football program. Those are the litmus tests."

The NCAA office was closed at this time, however Ohio State SID Steve Snapp said it was not necessary for the NCAA to approve Ohio State's findings.  "It does clear us with the NCAA because if we don't self-report anything, there's nothing to investigate," he said. "This is clearly a non-violation. No eligibilities will be affected at all. It's a non-issue."

The families of sophomore defensive end Lawrence Wilson and senior defensive back DeAngelo Haslam also would have benefited from the event but did not attend. 

The original intent of the dinner was to defray travel costs for the families to the Championship game in Glendale. Almost 100 people at $8 per person attended the fund-raiser. "I don't think anybody had intentions of doing anything illegal," Bollman said earlier this week. "But people did some things without thinking about it."

Dawn Stigger-Ferguson, a friend of one player's family and the fund-raiser organizer, said previously the money would go instead to local youth football organizations, but later indicated the event lost money because of the cost of food and supplies.  Her intent was to help a family friend and she did not ask the players to attend, Stiggers-Ferguson said.  "I would like to apologize to Ohio State, the fans, the players and their families for this unfortunate incident," she said.

Pittman is the team's leading rusher and scorer with 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns. Wells, a freshman, is second in rushing with 567 yards and has scored seven times. Wilson is in the rotation on the defensive line and has played in 10 games, totaling 14 tackles including five for negative yardage -- sixth best on the team. Haslam has not played this season.

Based on the recent charges against the OSU basketball program, the university remains proactive on compliance matters.  Included in the 2006 football media guide includes NCAA regulations and compliance notes. One subtitle is: "Got Questions? Ask Compliance."

Quarterback Troy Smith, who won the Heisman Trophy earlier this month, was suspended for the 2004 bowl game and the 2005 season-opener for accepting $500 from a team booster. Soon after that, Ohio State began putting messages to boosters and fans in the media guide and on video screens around venues.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said major problems were avoided because the players recognized that the fund-raiser might be an extra benefit as defined by the NCAA.  "Obviously, the coaches and compliance staff are doing a good job of educating our players, and our players are listening to what they are saying," Smith said.

The Buckeyes expect to leave for the national championship game on Saturday.   


Bowl Update: UCLA Loses to Florida State
December 27, 2006 11:50pm EST

The Bruins can beat USC, but they cannot handle a 6-6 Florida State team, as Bobby Bowden wins his 20th bowl game.  The B50 staff and all our guest pickers had UCLA in this game, but how do they view the remaining bowl games...  Be sure to stop by our Bowl Predictions page to find out.


Barton Back for Another Season
December 27, 2006 4:15 pm EST

According to University sources, Kirk Barton announced he will be returning for his senior season.  It had been reported that he was filing with the NFL to preview his status if he were to declare for the NFL draft early.  This will certainly help the 2007 Offensive Line which will be losing Doug Datish and Tim Schafer at the end of this season.


Only 12 Seats Remain to travel to Glendale With Buckeye Players
December 27, 2006 8:00 am EST

Carlson-Wagonlit has put together a travel package which will allow you to go to the Championship Game with former OSU stars.  Only a few seats remain... click here for contact information and details.


Pittman and Wells Await Ruling From NCAA
December 26, 2006 1:30 pm EST

As reported yesterday in the Columbus Dispatch, running backs Antonio Pittman and Chris Wells await a decision on their eligibility for the Championship Game.  The school and the NCAA will review their explanation about an event they attended in their hometown of Akron on Saturday night. Apparently, they showed up at a fundraiser spaghetti dinner put on by well-wishers.  The fundraiser's intent was to defray the cost of the families' trips to the National Championship Game January 8 , 2007 in Glendale, Arizona.  The fundraiser was also to benefit the families of Defensive End Lawrence Wilson and walk-on Defensive Back DeAngelo Haslam.  They did not attend. 

When OSU Offensive Coordinator Jim Bollman was informed by phone of the dinner about midway through the event by Wells’ mother, Paulette, he advised her to have Pittman and Wells leave. He also advised the families to refuse the money raised because such fundraisers are not permitted by the NCAA.  The fundraiser, which attracted about 100 to the Akron Buchtel High School cafeteria, was organized by Dawn Stigger-Ferguson.  Stigger-Ferguson has been involved with pee-wee football in the Akron area for 25 years.  No money amounts were revealed, but reportedly Stigger-Ferguson stated that any funds raised will now go to several pee-wee football organizations in the Akron area. 


MERRY CHRISTMAS Buckeyes
December 25, 2006 9:00 am EST

Merry Christmas to all of you, our loyal and faithful readers.  May you have a great Holiday Season and a wonderful New Year.  The Buckeyes had their final practice in Columbus on Saturday and will not be together again until December 30th, in Phoenix.


Bowl Update : Four Bowl Favorites Win
December 24, 2006 11:45 pm EST

As Hawaii easily wins in their home state, all the bowl games yesterday and today were won by the favorite.  After the first seven bowl games Joe-S-U and Gregg are managing to keep a 7-0 record in Bowl predictions.  But who does everyone have winning the rest of the games.  To find out and see our updated 'Bowl Picks' standings, click here.


OSU to Send 12 Players to All-Star Bowls
December 23, 2006 8:20 am EST

After the Buckeyes WIN the BCS National Championship, a dozen of their seniors will be participating in post season All-Star games.  For the "Senior Bowl" OSU will be sending Quinn Pitcock, David Patterson, Doug Datish and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.  

Five players have been invited to the Hula Bowl on January 14th in Honolulu: Quarterback Justin Zwick, Receiver Roy Hall, Defensive Tackle Joel Penton, Defensive End Jay Richardson and Cornerback Antonio Smith. 

Fullback/Tight End Stan White Jr. will play in the first North-South All-Star Classic on January 13th in Houston.   

Guard T.J. Downing and Safety Brandon Mitchell have been invited to the East-West Shrine Game on January 20th in Houston. 


Antonio Smith seen with a Shoulder Sling
December 21, 2006 7:00 am EST

Senior Cornerback Antonio Smith was seen yesterday with his left arm in a sling.  Coach Jim Tressel said he could not be specific about the injury, but said, "You know what slings usually do." They usually signify a shoulder problem.  He further indicated his status will be evaluated once the team arrives in Phoenix on December 30th. The Buckeyes wrap up two weeks of practice Saturday morning, then break for Christmas.  Smith started in all 12 regular-season games and was a Thorpe Award finalist.


Troy Smith Named AP Player of the Year
December 19, 2006 6:27 pm EST

Troy Smith's evolution from running quarterback to precise passer helped him win The Associated Press Player of the Year honor announced today.  The senior won the AP award about as easily as he won the Heisman Trophy, drawing 59 of 65 first-place votes.  Arkansas tailback Darren McFadden and Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan tied for a distant second, each receiving two votes from the AP poll voters. Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn and West Virginia tailback Steve Slaton each got one vote.

Smith will wrap up his college career against Florida on Jan. 8 in the Tostitos BCS National Championship. He'll try to lead Ohio State (12-0) to its eighth title and first since 2002, the year he arrived on campus in Columbus as part of a heralded recruiting class.  He was the last player signed by the Buckeyes that year, recruited more for his speed and strength than his passing ability. Coach Jim Tressel never promised him he'd play quarterback in college.


Buckeye 50 Bowl Predictions are In
December 19, 2006 6:00 pm EST

As we have all season, our Buckeye 50 staff is providing our predictions for all 32 of this season's bowl games.  You can click the menu bar above on 'B50 Bowl Picks' to see how we think the games will play out or go here for a quick peak.  In addition to our staff, 5 of our guest prognosticators have decided to participate as well.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY Buckeye 50!!
December 19, 2006 8:00 am EST

Today, our site turns SIX!   Founded December 19, 2000 by Brent Baver, these pages have evolved into what you see today.  Brett continues to contribute along with the rest of our B50 staff and we appreciate your support.  As always... we would love to receive your feedback (both positive and negative) as it can only make the Buckeye 50 better.  On behalf of Brett, Pat (PJSBuck), Joe (Joe-S-U), Rick, and myself... thanks for your continued support.
Gregg 


Buckeye 50 BCS Coverage
December 18, 2006 1:45 pm EST

Click here to visit the B50 BCS coverage.  We have info on parties, pep rallies, alumni activity, Game Day information, and more...  Visit often as we will be adding to the site daily.  Be sure to provide your feedback.  In addition, please stop by our Web Poll and provide your valuable feedback and input 


Greatest Drive #4 - Getting Closer to #1
December 17, 2006 11:00 pm EST

We have been waiting in anticipation and the countdown is now down to #4.  Joe-S-U brings us the latest in his great series of great OSU drives.  Read his latest contribution which takes us back to Archie's last win.


OSU Recruiting Gets a Win Over Florida
December 17, 2006 10:00 pm EST

Originally committing to the Gators, James Scott announced at his team's High School banquet last night that he has decided to go to Ohio State.  The 5' 10" defensive back from Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach becomes the 6th defensive back in the 2007 class.  Scott plans to graduate early so he can be at OSU for Spring practice.  Visit our recruiting page for more recruiting information. 


4 Buckeye Juniors Talking to NFL
December 15, 2006 1:45 pm EST

While the rest of the team is concentrating on preparation for the Florida Gators, four of OSU's juniors (Ted Ginn JrAnthony GonzalezAntonio Pittman and Kirk Barton) have filed paperwork with the NFL requesting information about their potential draft status.  This is not bidding for these student athletes, it is a process that allows them to make an educated decision about leaving early for the NFL. 


EDITORIAL: "I know who will win the BCS Championship Game"
December 14, 2006 10:39 pm EST

Pat thinks he has the championship game figured out.  Read his editorial here for his different take on the upcoming championship game. LINK


Airport Security Alert : Troy Learns from Eddie
December 12, 2006 4:25 pm EST

Troy Smith returned to Columbus today without his Heisman Trophy, a move designed to ensure the award arrives in one piece, and not a conspiracy by Wolverine-loving airport security, as some have suggested.

The Associated Press reported that Smith was not allowed to take his trophy on the plane. In fact, Smith didn't even take the 25-pound bronze statue to the airport. Smith had his trophy packed up and shipped before he went to the airport, a school spokesman said.  Smith wasn't just looking to meet the airlines' carry-on requirements; he learned from another Buckeyes Heisman Trophy winner.

In 1995, when running back Eddie George won the Heisman, he brought the trophy through airport security. It got stuck in the X-ray machine, breaking off parts of two fingers.

"I don't want that to happen to mine," Smith said.


Tribute to Troy
December 11, 2006 7:30 pm EST

I wanted to do a tribute of some kind to our latest Heisman winner, but after thinking about it all weekend realized there is not that much more we can say.  So I have decided that a picture truly is worth a thousand words.  We will be paying Tribute to Troy all week long (in addition to our regular news, updates, editorials and such) via pictures.  Most of these pictures were sent to us without any identifying sources, or from the Gregg Watson Photography Collection (PhotOSU).  

Of course, we will save the best for last later this week  ENJOY!


Smith Wins OSU's 7th Heisman Award
December 9, 2006 9:00 pm EST
Troy Smith is now the 6th player to win the Heisman Award as an Ohio State Buckeye, beating out second place Darren McFadden of Arkansas by a wide margin. For a brief summary of the event and a complete list of award winners, visit our Award Page.


MUST-READ for All Buckeyes on this Heisman's Eve
December 9, 2006 3:45 pm EST

If you have spent much of any time here on The Buckeye 50 Yard Line, you know how we collectively feel about ESPN, and that is essentially we can't publish how we feel.  For us, at least for today, that has changed.  We however hold no hope that this will be a lasting feeling.

Read here for yourself, one of the best written, most touching, most sincere articles about Troy Smith you will likely get your hands on anywhere.  It is a story so revealing and so real that it is hard to believe ESPN wanted to air this let alone write it.  The story was written with pride for Troy Smith.  It is also a rare look into the person that takes the snap from center for us so well.  Read for yourself this classic story, befitting a true champion in life.

LINK TO STORY

One word of caution; have plenty of Kleenex handy, for even the strongest won't get through this article without tears of joy and pride.  This is Buckeye Pride at it's very best.  Thanks, Pat Forde!


Troy Smith Wins Walter Camp and Davey O'Brien Awards
December 7, 2006 10:45 pm EST

Troy Smith won the Davey O'Brien Award after winning the Walter Camp player of the year award earlier today.  For a complete list of award winners announced, visit our Award Page.


Woodley wins 2006 Lombardi Award
December 6, 2006 11:30 pm EST

Michigan's LaMarr Woodley won the 37th Rotary Lombardi Award as the nation's top college lineman or linebacker, becoming the first Wolverine to win the honor.  The 6-foot-2, 269-pound Woodley was the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year after ranking among the nation's leaders in sacks (11), tackles for loss (15.5) and forced fumbles (4).  Check here for the full story.


2006 Team Photos - BCS Championship Buttons Available
December 5, 2006 9:30 pm EST

Looking for some holiday gifts for that Buckeye fan on your list.  Click here to check out the Football team photo as well as the BCS Bowl game button available through Buckeye50.


Buckeye 50 Yard Line to Provide Basketball Coverage This Year
December 5, 2006 1:30 pm EST

We started covering basketball somewhat last year for the first time.  Your response was favorable, so we will be trying our best to provide quality coverage once the Big Ten season begins in January.  There has rarely been so much hype and anticipation regarding basketball at OSU as this season.  It promises to be awesome!  Until then, we will be following:

  • Post Season Awards
  • Recruiting
  • Bowl Game Coverage

In the meantime, on our Fan Forum (link above and left), one of our regulars "Progolfer" will periodically be providing excellent and accurate recruiting updates.  Last year, "Progolfer" provided the most accurate and timely coverage of any of the services that follow recruiting... and as our founder Brent says "with only the meat and potatoes" -- no fluff! 


Laurinaitis Wins Nagurski Award
December 5, 2006 6:30 am EST

The week started with OSU being invited to the National Championship game.  Now the awards begin!  James Laurinaitis won the Bronko Nagurski Award, which goes the Nation's top defender.  He lead the Buckeyes this year in tackles with 100 and interceptions with 5.  He is a finalist for the Butkus Award, which be announced Thursday.


Big Weekend With BCS Implications - Buckeye 50 Predictions
December 1, 2006 3:00 pm EST

There are not that many games left, but almost every one has BCS connections.  Check out how the Buckeye 50 staff and their guests see the games playing out.


Drive #5 - OSU' Greatest Drives
December 1, 2006 9:00 am EST

Many of you have been following Joe-S-U's series this year on OSU's greatest drives.   We are now up to #5 and you might say this is the one that inspired Mr. Hylton to write the series in the first place.  It was the 2005 game in Ann Arbor...  OSU found themselves behind... deep in Michigan territory... with very little clock left...  Click here to re-live that game as only Joe-S-U can relate all of its exciting details!