Frogs May Invade Horseshoe
December 31, 2007 7:30 am EST 

As Army has backed out of a home-and-home series with the Buckeyes in 2009-2010, we will be looking for replacement teams.  It is not official yet, but it appears that TCU will be used to fill the void in '09, according to Associate AD Steve Snapp. 

Washington Will Be Eligible for the Bowl Game
December 28, 2007 3:00 pm EST

Gene Smith announced today that Donald Washington is eligible to play in the BCS national championship game. His status had been uncertain for the past week when football sources said that he and teammate Eugene Clifford had been suspended for violating an unspecified team rule. OSU announced Clifford's suspension the next day, but indicated that Washington was appealing his punishment.  Washington has been practicing since the team returned Wednesday from a holiday break. 

"Wii Would Like To Play"
December 27, 2007 8:45 pm EST
   
In addition to a chance at the national title, the Buckeyes took home another hard to acquire item, a Nintendo Wii video-game system.  Every player on the Ohio State and LSU teams received a Wii and several other items as part of a bowl gift package, according to the story reported by The Columbus Dispatch.

Along with the video-game console, the Buckeyes received four Wii games, a baseball cap, a watch and a fleece pullover.  Each bowl can spend up to $500 per team member, and bowl directors work to find the top prizes for their games.

Electronics are popular, and most bowls supply players with some kind of electronic gadget.

Illinois and USC players will receive a Sony Bravia home-theater system from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and Hawaii and Georgia will take home a Sony digital camcorder compliments of the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.  The Outback Bowl is giving a Sony digital camera, a custom ring and a watch.

At the Capital One and Champs Sports bowls, both played in Orlando, Fla., each player will receive a $400 Best Buy gift card and be let loose in the store. The teams will have their shopping spree while the store is closed to other customers.  The Holiday Bowl and the Alamo Bowl are also giving Wii in its gift package.

In addition to the $500 gifts from the bowls, each team can spend up to $350 per player.  Another perk for the Buckeyes is that every player on the travel squad receives six free tickets to the Jan. 7 game in New Orleans.

The NCAA usually prohibits players from accepting gifts but has no problem if they are rewards from the bowls or schools. The gifts just can't be cash, must be under the designated price level and are not allowed to be resold.

Ohio State Self Reports Tressel NCAA Violation
December 22, 2007 7:00 pm EST

Coach Tressel wanted to reward two of his players for being named Academic All-Americans. Unfortunately, his actions resulted in reporting a secondary violation to the NCAA, according to a published report.  Receiver Anthony Gonzalez and fullback Stan White Jr. joined Tressel on a private jet to see the Buckeyes' men's basketball team play in the Final Four earlier this year, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. 

Tressel reportedly believed the act was OK since both players had already used up all their eligibility, signed with an agent and were no longer considered student-athletes by the school.  The paper said Ohio State compliance director Doug Archie spotted White and Gonzalez sitting with Tressel. The school told the NCAA about the incident and said in its report that the trip was used to "cultivate the relationship of future and current donors."   According to Gene Smith, OSU Athletic Director, the team was not penalized for the incident.

Travelers Beware : Pick-Pockets
December 21, 2007 6:45 am EST
 
   ..... This was sent to us from one of our loyal readers.  If you are heading to New Orleans, you may want to take heed.

Buckeye Jim here , PLEASE warn your readers about New Orleans !! Been there many times and have seen the following . Pick pockets !! Well trained and work well in crowds . Will pretend to walk around and bump and snatchwallets , bracelets, and purses . Selling tickets on the streets ? Same routine , will surround seller and grab tickets from your hand. Keep tickets hidden, use a sign saying tickets for sale and negotiate away  from crowds. My friend lost eight tickets, stolen. Stay off and out of dark streets and alleys !!! Fun place but very dangerous . GO BUCKEYES !!!

Eugene Clifford Suspended For Bowl Game
December 20, 2007 5:30 pm EST

Freshman Eugene Clifford will not practice or play with the Buckeyes at the Superdome. The announcement was made in a brief e-mail late Thursday afternoon. There had been reports on WCMH-TV on Wednesday night and in Thursday morning’s editions of The Columbus Dispatch that Clifford and Ohio State’s starting cornerback, Donald Washington, had both been suspended for a violation of team rules.  Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith did not immediately return a call seeking further information.

“This is it. We’re not expecting anything more than what you have right now,” said Shelly Poe, the school’s sports information director for football.

Clifford has seen limited action this year in spite being a prized recruit last spring after receiving all-state and several national honors during his days at Colerain High School.  He was Malcolm Jenkins’ backup at border corner on the Buckeyes’ latest two-deep chart.  

No final word on Washington at this time, but he may not be in the clear yet.  Currently he is appealing his situation.

Rumor Mill: Washington and Clifford Suspended
December 19, 2007 9:45 pm EST

I am not big about spreading stories that are at rumor levels but this story seems to have legs of its own along the Internet routes.  As you may have seen on the bulletin boards and forum pages, the story is circulating that Donald Washington and Eugene Clifford have been suspended from team for the title game.  I doubt that if/when the story comes out, they will ever say the official reason, but the 'rumor' we are hearing is they were caught smoking marijuana.

It is unfortunate when ANY player is suspended for any reason, but Donald Washington would be a big loss.  He has been a starter all season long, with one interception (and may lead the team in most dropped interceptions).  Clifford has seen limited action as a player but is not be a stranger to the drug use.  In March he was cited for marijuana possession and simply paid a fine.  As he was not yet an OSU student, it did not effect his eligibility his freshman season.

We hate to lose players early for suspension or jumping to the NFL, but IF they are guilty, they should be shipped out just like Erik Haw was a couple of years ago. As you may recall, Haw was suspended from the team for marijuana use and later transferred to Jackson State.  We need to get the message out to the team that we need kids that are making the right decisions.  

Practice Done Until after Christmas
December 19, 2007 9:00 pm EST

The Buckeyes’ final workout before the holidays was today. They will be off until returning December 26th then practice for a week before flying to New Orleans on January 2nd.

Happy Birthday to Buckeye 50
December 19, 2007 12:00 am EST 

We turn 7 years old today.  On behalf of myself and the entire Buckeye 50 staff, thanks to you our readers, for our continued support.

Schoenhoft Moved to Tight End?  Can This be Real?
December 14, 2007 2:30 pm EST

Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch, reports that based on a need for a tight end on the scout team Rob Schoenhoft has been used to fill that void and Antonio Henton has been practicing as the No. 2 quarterback.  But there is no reason to believe that the line-up change will be implemented for the Championship game against LSU.  Although according to May's article, Brain Hartline believes Schoenhoft has the hands for the position.

The article did not mention if the need for a tight end has been brought on due to an injury or absence of solid performers Roy Nicol or Jake Ballard.  If nothing else, it is giving Henton much needed reps that he missed while being suspended during most of the 2007 season. 

Thirteen Buckeyes Apply For NFL Draft Evaluation
December 14, 2007 11:00 am EST

According to the report from The Columbus Dispatch, Coach Tressel said yesterday that after the Buckeyes' regular season ended November 17th, he encouraged any underclassman who would be eligible for the NFL draft to apply to the NFL's College Advisory Committee for an evaluation of his pro prospects.  Thirteen players decided to respond.  Although Tressel would not release the names, eight players have confirmed their participation.  Since 1990, 26 Ohio State underclassmen have been drafted, including six in the past two years.

Players must be out of high school for three years to be draft-eligible, meaning third-year sophomores can apply along with juniors. Sixteen starters are draft-eligible underclassmen.  The NFL committee generally takes about two weeks to send evaluations back. Tressel wanted players to have the information before they went home for a week on December 19th.  The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is in January.

Last year, just four Buckeyes underclassmen are known to have asked for a pro evaluation: receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez, tailback Antonio Pittman and offensive tackle Kirk Barton, only Barton stayed.

Several players who sent in paperwork said they had no intention of leaving, looking at the exercise more as a curiosity.  Players said they don't think draft talk would be a distraction before the national championship game Jan. 7. It has lost its shock value.

"It's very common nowadays, it's no big deal," cornerback Malcolm Jenkins said.

Players that have confirmed they applied: QB Todd Boeckman, OL Alex Boone, LB Marcus Freeman, DE Vernon Gholston, WR Brian Hartline, CB Malcolm Jenkins, LB James Laurinaitis, WR Brian Robiskie

Big Ten to Add  Bye Week To Schedule
December 12, 2007 8:30 am EST

Big Ten presidents have approved extending the season a week in order to restore a bye to the schedule, possibly as soon as 2009.  That would push the Ohio State-Michigan game back to Thanksgiving weekend. The 2008 season already includes a built-in bye week, and 'THE' Game will be played on November 22nd, before Thanksgiving weekend.  Conference spokesman Scott Chipman yesterday confirmed the presidents’ decision. Since the addition of the 12th regular-season game before the 2006 season, coaches have complained about the wear and tear of playing 12 straight weeks.

But some coaches, including Jim Tressel of Ohio State, have been in favor of finishing before Thanksgiving so players can go home for the holiday.  Big Ten coaches have pushed to start the season a week earlier, but NCAA legislation prohibits that. Extending the season later was the only remaining option.  OSU and Michigan have played 16 times on Thanksgiving weekend since the holiday was officially set for the fourth Thursday in November, most recently in 2001, Tressel’s first season.

Laurinaitis Earns Honor of Two-Time All-American
December 11, 2007 10:00 pm EST

Today, James Laurinaitis was announced to the first team AP All-American squad.  This is his second year to receive such recognition.  Joining him on the team as two-time winners was his award circuit travel buddy Glenn Dorsey of LSU, Darren McFadden from Arkansas and Michigan's Jake Long.  Joining Laurinaitis from Ohio State on second team was Vernon Gholston and Michael Jenkins.  Earning third team honors was offensive Captain Kirk Barton.  Click here for the entire team.

Laurinaitis Wins Butkus Award
December 8, 2007 8:45 am EST

Even though he had missed out on winning the Nagurski, Lombardi and Bednarik Awards this past week, linebacker James Laurinaitis finally received an award of his own. It turned out to be the one award he really wanted... the Butkus Award!  He became only the second Buckeye to win the award, which has been presented to the nation's top linebacker since 1985. This year's other finalists were Colorado's Jordon Dizon and Penn State's Dan Connor.

Andy Katzenmoyer was the only previous Buckeye to have won the Butkus Award, occurring after his sophomore season of 1997. Notable among OSU linebackers which have been passed-by over the years were consensus All-Americans Chris Spielman and A.J. Hawk.  Laurinaitis, the winner of the Nagurski Award as a sophomore last year, was a finalist for the Butkus Award last year.  A consensus All-American, Laurinaitis -- voted the Big Ten defensive MVP after helping the top-ranked Buckeyes to the National Championship game January 7 versus LSU -- was up for five major awards this past week. Laurinaitis could only watch as LSU's Glenn Dorsey took the Nagurski and Lombardi trophies, and Connor won the Bednarik Award. He still has an opportunity to win the Lott Trophy, which will be awarded this Sunday.

Les Miles : Signs New Contract
December 6, 2007 8:00 pm EST
 
According to reports out of Baton Rouge, LSU head football coach Les Miles signed a contract extension Thursday to keep him at the university through 2012, apparently ending speculation that he might leave for a job at the University of Michigan.  The deal was approved Thursday by the LSU board's athletic committee, but needs the approval of the full board, which meets Friday. The new contract doesn't change Miles' salary, which already will rise to at least $2.8 million annually based on LSU's Southeastern Conference championship this year. An SEC championship win requires Miles' salary to be at least the third highest in the conference.

If LSU wins the national championship, the contract provides Miles would become among the nation's top-earning college football coaches. University officials estimate that would put his annual earnings somewhere between $3.2 million and $3.5 million.

Also remaining unchanged is the $1.25 million penalty Miles must pay to LSU if he leaves for Michigan, a contract clause that college football fans became well acquainted with after Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr announced his retirement in November.

Just before his team played Tennessee in the SEC championship game on December 1st, Miles effectively stopped predictions he would bolt Baton Rouge for Michigan, announcing his intention to remain at LSU.  Miles wouldn't talk about the speculation that had dogged him for the past weeks about a return to Michigan, where he played, worked as an assistant coach and met his wife.

LSU officials praised Miles' coaching, his straightforwardness and his integrity.

"He told the people in this room he wasn't going to Michigan, and he never was. He never leveraged it," LSU Athletic Director Skip Bertman said.

During his three years at LSU, Miles has amassed impressive statistics that set records at the university. His overall record of 33-6 is the best three-year span in LSU history, and his 14 wins over teams ranked in the top 25 is a school record, Bertman said.

The contract extension signed Thursday added a series of financial incentive clauses to recognize players' academic achievements. If players hit certain academic benchmarks, Miles is given a pool of $150,000 to $250,000 to disburse to his coaching staff.

Also, the contract termination clause was changed. If LSU fires Miles without cause, the coach could be owed as much as $15 million, up from $10 million.

Heacock Wins Broyles Award
December 5, 2007 8:00 am EST

Coach Jim Heacock was named the 12th winner of the Broyles Award. Named after former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles, it goes annually to the nation's top assistant coach.  This is the first time an Ohio State coach has won the award.  Heacock was thankful, but he said there were three other defensive assistants -- Luke Fickell, Paul Haynes, Taver Johnson -- plus a slew of players who should have been taking the bow with him.

"This makes me feel proud because it recognizes what we did," Heacock said. "I feel so good for Luke, Paul and Taver, and all of those players -- I just got off the phone with (linebacker) James Laurinaitis.

Heacock is in his 12th season at Ohio State and his third year as coordinator. The reward is $2,500, a set of Callaway golf clubs, and a trophy valued at more than $5,000.  The other finalists this year were Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Christensen; Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp; West Virginia offensive coordinator Calvin Magee; and Kansas defensive coordinator Bill Young, a former OSU assistant.

Going to the Championship Game Comes with a Price
December 4, 2007 10:15 am EST

Ohio State fans always travel well to road games... particularly OSU bowl games.  But following the Buckeyes to the 2008 BCS bayou bash in New Orleans may cost fans a pretty penny.  16,000 tickets will be made available to the University and will be sold to the students, faculty, and staff for $200 ($175 face plus $25 processing fee).  For the rest of Buckeye Nation, it will be considerably more.  

If you visited TicketReserve and secured tickets, you made out big time this year!  Reservations were selling from anywhere form $10 to $500.  I used this method (as I did for the NCAA Final Four) and it worked great for me as I was able to purchase my reservation for $160.  If you don't know about TicketReserve, click here to learn more.  Be sure to take the 60 seconds needed to sign up and you will be all set for securing ticket reservations to future OSU events.  Ticket reservations for the 2009 BCS game are already available!

Prices for the 407 tickets available on TicketCity.com yesterday ranged from $1,150 to $3,000 for fans that are purchasing them separately from a University bowl package. The average price for last year's BCS title game between OSU and Florida was $795.

With LSU's campus being in Baton Rouge, just 70 miles from the Big Easy, travel costs will be minimal for the Tiger fans.  They will definitely have more money available to pay for those premium ticket prices since their travel expenses will be minimal.

"This is going to be one of the toughest tickets ever, because it's a 'backyard' game," said Randy Cohen who runs the online ticket-brokering company TicketCity.com. "And it should rival the (2006 BCS national championship) Texas-USC game, which was $1,500 the day of the game just to get in. That was a monster game because it also was a backyard game for USC, and Texas had not been there for a long time."

"The good thing is, you have a lot of tickets that are being given to the university," Cohen said. "The bad news is, Ohio State is going to have 35,000 fans who want to go down to this thing because they're some of the greatest fans in the history of the planet."

Mary Beth Romig, spokeswoman for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, said finding a hotel room will be a lot easier than scoring a ticket to the game. New Orleans has more than 32,000, and many are still available. "I'd act very quickly, though," Romig said.

And to help Buckeye fans, Skybus opened up additional flights to to Gulfport/Biloxi, Mississippi.

Buckeye Trivia : The Answer
December 3, 2007 7:00 am EST

Back on November 20th, Joe-S-U posed a trivia question to our readers. Thanks to all of you that responded, we always like to hear from you.  Joe-S-U has now posted the answer for those wanting to take a peek.  The Question/Answer

It is Official - The Bucks are In!
December 2, 2007 8:30 pm EST

They will face LSU in the BCS Championship Game, in New Orleans, January 7th. 

Laurinaitis Finalist for Lott Trophy
November 27, 2007 8:30 am EST

Little Animal can now add the Lott Trophy to the list of awards in which he is a finalist.

As Expected, OSU 3rd in BCS, Need More Help
November 25, 2007 6:00 pm EST

The Buckeyes have climbed back to 3rd place, still need some help to get in to the BCS Championship game.

Laurinaitis is Named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year : Gholston Also Awarded
November 19, 2007 9:30 pm EST

Linebacker James Laurinaitis was named the Big Ten's defensive player of the year by both the coaches and a vote of the media, the university announced tonight. The coaches selected Vernon Gholston the conference's defensive lineman of the year.

"This is a huge honor," said Laurinaitis, a junior who is a finalist for the Lombardi, Nagurski, Butkus and Lott awards. "With all the great players we have in the conference, it's a real blessing to be thought of in that light. It's a great tribute to the Ohio State team."

Said Gholston: "This is amazing, but I'm very proud to represent the Ohio State defense and football family, and all my teammates and coaches. A lot of good things will happen if you work hard. We're going to keep working."

Laurinaitis and Gholston are joined on the all-conference first team by offensive tackle Kirk Barton, running back Chris "Beanie" Wells and defensive back Malcolm Jenkins. Quarterback Todd Boeckman is a first-team selection in the media vote.  Offensive tackle Alex Boone was selected for the Big Ten second team, as was linebacker Marcus Freeman by the league coaches. Receiver Brian Hartline was recognized as a Sportsmanship Award winner. 

OSU Honored after Victory over Michigan
November 19, 2007 4:00 pm EST

Ohio State was recognized with honors in it's 14-3 victory over Michigan. The accolades started with Jim Heacock being named the defensive coordinator of the week by the Master Coaches Poll. Running back Chris "Beanie" Wells was named the Big Ten co-offensive player of the week for the second time this season, and defensive end Vernon Gholston earned the league's defensive player of the week award for the first time.

Heacock was honored for the way the Buckeyes shut down Michigan, which managed a mere 91 yards of total offense, only 14 yards in the second half. Ohio State won for the sixth time -- and fourth straight -- in the past seven games of the series.  Led by Gholston, who had three of the Buckeyes' four sacks, OSU gave up just one scoring drive, which led to a first-quarter field goal.

"Coach Heacock's defense has been the strong point for Ohio State all year long," former Syracuse coach Dick MacPherson said in the MCP release.  The MCS honored OSU offensive coordinator Jim Bollman after the Buckeyes' 37-17 win at Penn State on Oct. 27.

Wells was the driving force for the Buckeyes on Saturday, setting career highs for yards (222) and carries (39). He scored both touchdowns, including the second one on a 62-yard run early in the third quarter. He shared today's honor with Wisconsin running back Zach Brown.

OSU Climbs to 5th in the BCS Polls
November 18, 2007 8:45 pm EST

While the Buckeyes get a home cocked meal for Thanksgiving, the 4 teams above them are still playing.  We need to find new teams to cheer for these next two weeks.  Check out our BCS coverage to make sure you know who to support.

Carr To Retire
November 18, 2007 7:45 pm EST

As speculated all season, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr confirmed today that he will be announcing his retirement during the press conference Monday.  Now the speculation begins as to his successor will be.

Ohio State 14  Michigan 3
November 17, 2007 3:30 pm EST

The game was not as close as the score as Ohio State wins the 4th straight over Michigan 14-3.  The win gives them back-to-back outright Big Ten titles for the first time since 1954-55. Now we wait to see if we are in Pasadena or New Orleans.

Henton Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor Sex Charge
November 12, 2007 2:45 pm EST

OSU quarterback Antonio Henton pleaded guilty this afternoon to a misdemeanor count of loitering for prostitution. The judge waived a fine and charged Henton $156 in court costs.

“It was all a misunderstanding,” said the redshirt freshman's attorney, Jim Phillips, “but Antonio wanted to get back to life.”

Henton has been suspended from playing for the Buckeyes for six weeks. He was charged with offering an undercover policewoman $20 for sex on September 24. The original charge of soliciting prostitution is a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to six months.  No word yet as to if he will be available to play in the Michigan game.

Buckeyes Need to Think Roses
November 11, 2007 5:30 pm EST

The new BCS standings are out and OSU has fallen all the way to seventh place.  Although not impossible, it is very unlikely they will make it back to the championship game for the second consecutive year.  LSU has regained the top spot

BCS Championship Plans on Hold with Loss
November 10, 2007 7:00 pm EST

OSU's hope of returning the the BCS championship take a severe hit after their loss to Illinois 28-21 in Columbus.  They can still win the Big Ten outright with a win over Michigan next week and go to the Rose Bowl, but will need a lot of help to get back into the National Championship picture.

Recruiting: Sabino Tells ESPNU he is a Buckeye
November 9, 2007 8:30 am EST

Etienne Sabino, the 6' 3", 230 pounds, from Miami Krop High School, made his announcement on ESPNU.

Awards Watch: Laurinaitis a Butkus Finalist
November 8, 2007 10:15 pm EST

Junior linebacker James Laurinaitis is one of three finalists for the Butkus Award.

Laurinaitis is Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week
November 5, 2007 7:15 am EST

Linebacker James Laurinaitis has been named national defensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.  The junior had a career-high 19 tackles, with nine solo tackles -- in OSU'' 38-17 victory over Wisconsin. He also had two tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery.

The BCS Still Agrees OSU is #1
November 4, 2007 6:00 pm EST

The win over the Badgers keeps the Buckeyes on top of the BCS with the final standings available in 4 weeks.

Buckeyes Beat Badgers 38-17
November 3, 2007 4:30 pm EST

OSU trailed in the third period 17-10 but storm back to score 28 straight to defeat Wisconsin 38-17.  The victory gives them 20 straight Big Ten wins, a new conference record.

Trapasso Among Semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award
November 2, 2007 11:30 am EST

AJ Trapasso is among 10 semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation's top punter. The winner will be named in December.  In 2003 BJ Sander won the award with the Buckeyes.



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