Potential Roster Addition
August 29, 2010 9:30 PM
With the loses OSU has suffered to the roster this summer, it is nice to hear news that we may finally be adding someone.
The OSU office is not ready to confirm but according to receiver Taurian Washington, Florida State cornerback Dionte Allen is transferring to Ohio State this season. Washington and Allen were teammates in high school. Allen would have one year of eligibility left after sitting out this season. He redshirted in 2007 and has appeared in 14 games, with one start, over the past two seasons. Coming out of high school, Rivals.com ranked Allen as the No. 5 cornerback nationally, and the No. 40 overall prospect.
2010 Captains Announced
August 25, 2010 6:15pm EST
The season doesn't start until next week, but the team announced their captains today. I doubt they will have a 'designated weekly captain' as six players were selected this year. The six are offensive lineman Bryant Browning, defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, linebackers Ross Homan and Brian Rolle, tailback Brandon Saine and receiver Dane Sanzenbacher. It is only the second time in 121 years of football that OSU has had six captains. The first was in 1982. And it's only the fifth time OSU has more than four.
All six captains are seniors. During Tressel's years in Columbus, 37 of 38 captains have been seniors. The only exception was linebacker James Laurinaitis as a junior in 2007. This means that junior Terrelle Pryor will have to wait another year. Then again a junior quarterback lead the Buckeyes to a national championship in 2002, and was named captain the net year. Can history repeat?
Offense Wins Back Scarlet Jerseys
August 21, 2010 7:00pm EST
The Buckeye offense was able to get a measure of vindication from the defense and get their scarlet jerseys back. The offense has been wearing the gray jerseys all fall since losing to the defense in the spring jersey scrimmage.
The offense won the fall jersey scrimmage 54-48 in Ohio Stadium. Tressel was happy to see a lack of turnovers.
"The (offense) only turned it over once," Tressel said. "And the reality is if you only turn it over once in 140 plays, you're probably going to win. To me, that was the only significant thing."
Ohio State was led by quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who started the day off slow by leading the first-team offense to a 3-and-out in addition to missing on his first four pass attempts. Then he calmed down and hooked up with senior wide receiver Taurian Washington on a 25-yard touchdown pass to give the Buckeyes their only touchdown of the game. Pryor finished the day completing 10-of-22 passes with a touchdown and no interceptions.
The Buckeye defense was without starting cornerbacks Devon Torrence and Chimdi Chekwa, starting defensive end Nathan Williams, starting safety Orhian Johnson and starting linebacker Ross Homan.
Marcus Hall to Redshirt
August 21, 2010 9:45am EST
The Buckeyes have lost another member from their depth chart. The Columbus Dispatch confirmed today that offensive lineman Marcus Hall will be taking a redshirt season this year. The sophomore, who appeared in nine games in his first season in scarlet & gray, did not satisfactorily complete his academic responsibilities. Hopefully he will take this year as an opportunity to focus so he can return in 2011, when he will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Purdue Joins in for the Smack Talk
August 19, 2010 5:45pm EST
It is one thing for Michigan and their press to take a shot at the Buckeyes, but when an ex-Purdue quarterback does it, it catches you off guard. Yet Bob Griese made his bold statements on ESPN's College Football Live that OSU would lose to Miami, Iowa and Wisconsin this year. Can he be serious?
I guess that means that all of the experts, and I mean ALL of the experts have OSU in the top 5 nationally are wrong and Mr. Griese is correct. Maybe he can get some support from Mark May. I am not sure what he was thinking when he made his prediction. Perhaps he was "out having a taco".
State Up North Talking Smack Already
August 18, 2010 4:30pm EST
Ohio State's Newly Humble Terrelle Pryor Says He Wants To Be A Four-Year Man
BY STEVE SCHRADER
DETROIT FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER
Terrelle Pryor says he wants to be an Ohio State Buckeye for life, or at least until his senior year, when Nebraska joins the Big Ten in 2011. The junior quarterback also told the Cleveland Plain Dealer he's a much better person now. "I think I was a little arrogant, to tell the truth," he said. "You think about it and I came in as a junior in high school and everybody was praising me, everyone was being around me and everybody was telling me how I great I am. "It can be kind of... you lose your humbleness. And (now) I feel humble. I feel very humble, very appreciative."
Don't be so hard on yourself. Isn't arrogance part of the Buckeye tradition?
OSU May Schedule Colorado for 2011
August 15, 2010 2:00pm EST
First the Big Ten gets Nebraska to join the conference. Now the Buckeyes may be playing another 'former' Big 12 foe next season as Ohio State negotiates with Colorado University to schedule a game with the Buffalos in 2011. OSU AD Gene Smith confirmed the hope to have a formal announcement with in the month. It is likely they would take the open date of October 15th. But with the changes in the schedule to allow for the new Big Ten alignment, it could really be any week of the season.
Overall, Ohio State is 3-1 versus the Buffalos, including a 27-10 victory in the 1977 Orange Bowl.
Buckeye's First Full-Out Practice
August 10, 2010 4:30pm EST
The No. 2 (USA Today Coaches Poll) Ohio State Buckeyes worked out for over two hours in full pads Tuesday morning at the Harmon Family Football Park practice facility adjacent to the Woody Hayes Athletics Center.
Practice started a little past 9 a.m. on a day when the Big Ten Network was in town taping interviews and practice footage for its Big Ten Football Preview show that will air at 8:00 p.m. August 17th. Football studio hosts Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith were on hand, interviewing Coach Jim Tressel, Terrelle Pryor, Brandon Saine and Cameron Heyward, and tweeting away with comments like these from Revsine:
"Pryor threads the needle to Posey on a really nice TD pass vs. the 1 "D" after being flushed out of the pocket."
"The level of intensity is really impressive. There is no entitlement here. Also - Ross Homan just made a great hit in a 1 on 1 drill."
"Wouldn't worry about the LT spot with Mike Adams. He looks great - Gerry and Howard raving about him too."
"Can already see a difference in Pryor as a leader - just turned around during a drill and said to everyone, 'no balls on the ground.'"
Here Today -- The BTN's Big Ten Football Preview tour bus began its Midwest trek Sunday at Indiana and it continues tomorrow at Penn State. After a Thursday travel day, the crew will visit Michigan on Friday and Michigan State Saturday. The tour continues next week with six more stops.
Cool Gadget -- Team video coordinator Mark Quisenberry was keeping track of the temperature on the new Field Turf practice field with a hand-held infrared thermometer. At one point near the edge of the playing field, the turf was reading 108 degrees.
Tyler's Back -- Senior Tyler Moeller returned to full contact practices Tuesday after missing all of last year with a head injury. The hard-hitting safety from Cincinnati said it felt good to be back and his hits felt "bigger" because of his time away. "It felt pretty good to be back," Moeller said. "The hits felt bigger since I hadn't hit in a year-and-a-half." Moeller said his first big hit actually came yesterday (Monday) in a drill against DeVier Posey. He also said that his mindset has been centered on playing the way he knows how to play. His play this first week of practice has been noticed by his teammates. "Tyler Moeller is tailor-made for football, period," senior safety and hard-hitting Jermale Hines said.
Good Chemistry -- Hines, fourth on the team last year with 57 tackles from his free safety/nickel back position, was complimentary of his running mate at strong safety, Orhian Johnson, a third-year sophomore looking to replace three-year starter and 2009 tri-captain Kurt Coleman. "He's very athletic and has a knack for the ball," Hines said of Johnson, a high school quarterback at Boca Ciega H.S. in St. Petersburg, Fla. "He always sticks his nose in there." Hines and Johnson were each running with the second team for parts of last year. The time spent together in 2009 is helping the duo so far in 2010. "We have good chemistry," Hines said. "We were No. 2 safeties together sometimes last year. There was lots of communication and talking."
And on the Last Play...Touchdown! -- Coach Tressel pitted the first-team offense vs. the first-team defense in "the last play of the world" (and second team offense vs. defense, etc.) at one point during the practice. With one second to play and the ball on the 15, Pryor rolled to his right and fired a strike to DeVier Posey, who was running to his left in the end zone and away from his defenders. Posey made a tough catch on a ball that was slightly tipped by Hines. Second-team quarterback Joe Bauserman had his pass broken up by second-year freshman linebacker Dorian Bell and third-teamer Kenny Guiton was sacked by Jon Lorenz and Don Matheney.
No Rolle? No Sweat! -- Starting middle linebacker Brian Rolle missed the majority of the practice today because of a class commitment. He made it to the field at the tail end of practice and participated in conditioning drills. Junior Andrew Sweat stepped in and ran plays with the first defense, playing alongside 19-game starter Ross Homan and soon-to-be first-year starter Etienne Sabino.
Two Tomorrow -- The Buckeyes will experience their first two-a-day practice Wednesday. The team is slated to be on the field at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
OSU Opens #2 in Initial 2010 Coaches Poll
August 6, 2010 6:30 am EST
Defending national football champion Alabama will start the 2010 season on top the USA TODAY Coaches' Poll. The Crimson Tide received 55 of the 59 first-place votes from the American Football Coaches Association panel. Ohio State, which came in #2 got the other four, which will help the Buckeyes start ahead of #3 Florida and #4 Texas. It is interesting to see how high the Gators and Longhorns start while both need to replace long time starters at quarterback.
Boise State is #5. Virginia Tech, which opens September 6th against the Broncos, sits sixth and TCU seventh. The positions for Boise State and TCU represent the highest preseason spots for teams from conferences that do not receive automatic bids to Bowl Championship Series games since the BCS system started in 1998. No other such team has started ranked higher than 16th. We all need to be Hokie fans that firs week!
Boise State was voted as high as second (by six coaches) and as low as 13th (by one). Of the six who voted the Broncos 10th or lower, five are from schools in conferences that get automatic BCS bids.
Future Big Ten team Nebraska, opens at #8, Iowa is voted #9, Wisconsin is #12, and Penn State is #14. Northwestern and Michigan State also received votes. SEC who?
Martin to Transfer
August 3, 2010 11:15am EST
Reports from the Big Ten meetings confirmed Coach Tressel announced that Jermil Martin will be transferring from Ohio State. At this time, we do not know if this is based on academics or if it was a concern over playing time. At best, Martin was projected as the fourth or fifth option in the 2010 Buckeye backfield. After Brandon Saine and Dan Herron, and he would have been fighting for playing time with Jamaal Berry, Jordan Hall, and Carlos Hyde.
This is the third player loss this summer. Keith Wells and Duron Carter have previously left the Buckeyes.
OSU is Team to Beat
August 2, 2010 4:30pm EST
The Big Ten Conference Media Days has begun and as expected the Buckeyes have been selected by the media to finish first in the Big Ten. In addition, Iowa was picked to come in second, and Wisconsin to come in 3rd. For the second straight year, Terrelle Pryor was selected as the 'Pre-Season' Offensive Player of the year, although I am not really sure what that means. I know he would much rather be the post-season winner, but the positive recognition is always good.
Commissioner Jim Delaney indicated that it will be at least another month before the new conference alignment would be announced, and that future expansion talks are being tabled for now.
Other interesting stats which were presented during the Media Day (or at least I thought they were interesting): When you look at the Big Ten teams in only this current decade, OSU has 102 wins, the most ever for a Big Ten team in that time span. To point out just how much the Buckeyes have dominated in that time span, they lead the league in fewest loses, with 25. The closest team to them is Wisconsin, with 43! .... OSU leads all teams in the country with 8 appearances in BCS bowl games, USC and Oklahoma each have 7 appearances .... Coach Tressel's record at OSU is 94-21 so he will get win 100 this season, and equally important, he is 8-1 against Michigan.
Our Readers Want the Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil in Indy
August 1, 2010 8:00pm EST
We have the final results of our poll asking where you want to play the Big Ten Championship game, which should begin starting with the 2011 season. By far, you favored Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, home of the Colts. Overall, 44% chose the 2 1/2 hour drive from Columbus, which would also be climate controlled, which I think will play a big role in the decision making process, especially for the sponsors. Coming behind Lucas Oil was Browns Stadium (21%) closely followed by Soldier Field (20%). The other outdoor venue we suggested was Lambeau Field, which only managed 8% of the votes. Coming in the rear was Ford Field, I guess no one wanted to make any extra trips to the state up north.
Big Ten Conference Meetings to be Televised
July 27, 2010 10:30pm EST
The Big Ten Conference announced that the Big Ten Network and ESPNEWS will air coverage of the opening session of the 2010 Big Ten Football Media Days on Monday, August 2nd. The media days and luncheon will take place at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place and McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago.
The Big Ten Network will provide four hours of live coverage on Monday, including the full press conferences for all 11 head coaches and Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. Mike Hall and Chris Martin will anchor the network's coverage from the Big Ten Network studios beginning at 11:00am EST. The Big Ten Network will provide live online coverage of the media sessions on Monday and Tuesday via Twitter and www.BigTenNetwork.com. Monday's press conferences will be streamed live on www.BigTenNetwork.com, and the website will also feature blog updates, frequent video clips and interviews with Big Ten newsmakers.
On Tuesday, the Big Ten Football Saturday crew of Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith will sit down with Big Ten football coaches to get their thoughts just days ahead of preseason camp. These interviews will be featured on a 90-minute Big Ten Kickoff Special that will air at 2:00pm EST on August 7th.
The 2010 Kickoff Luncheon will take place Tuesday, August 3rd, at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago with the annual players and coaches autograph and photo session set to begin at 10:00am CST, followed by the luncheon.
OSU Great Jack Tatum Dies From Heart Attack
July 27, 2010 2:00pm EST
Tatum retired from the NFL in 1980 and suffered diabetes-related issues the rest of his life. He had all five toes on left fe later had
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel later instituted the "Jack Tatum Hit of the Week Award," given to the Buckeye player who had the best defensive hit of the game.
"We have lost one of our greatest Buckeyes," Tressel said in a statement that was issued Tuesday. "When you think of Ohio State defense, the first name that comes to mind is Jack Tatum. His loss touches every era of Ohio State players and fans."
He is survived by his wife and three children.
OSU Continues to Lead the Pack of Professional Players
July 26, 2010 8:45pm EST
As football training camps begin, there may be more OSU players on rosters than any other college team in America. In all, a total of 50 former Buckeyes will begin training camp in the next week in preparation for the 2010 National Football League season, on 27 different teams. It will be the first training camp for 11 players off the Rose Bowl champion team of last season.
Here is a list of former Buckeyes, and the team they are with at this time:
7/26 - Kurt Coleman* (Philadelphia Eagles)
7/28 - Chris Gamble, Aaron Pettrey* (Carolina Panthers); Troy Smith (Baltimore Ravens); Mike Nugent (Cincinnati Bengals); Shawn Springs (New England Patriots); Jay Richardson (Oakland Raiders)
7/29 - Michael Jenkins (Atlanta Falcons); Malcolm Jenkins, Will Smith (New Orleans Saints); Rob Rose* (Seattle Seahawks); Anderson Russell*, Darrion Scott, Joey Galloway (Washington Redskins); Donte Whitner, Ashton Youboty (Buffalo Bills); Mike Vrabel, Donald Washington (Kansas City Chiefs)
7/30 - Chris Wells (Arizona Cardinals); Lawrence Wilson* (Chicago Bears); Rob Sims (Detroit Lions); A.J. Hawk, Ryan Pickett (Green Bay Packers); Antoine Winfield, Ray Small* (Minnesota Vikings); Na'il Diggs, Larry Grant, James Laurinaitis, Bobby Carpenter (St. Louis Rams); Brian Robiskie (Cleveland Browns); Brian Hartline, Austin Spitler* (Miami Dolphins); Will Allen, Thaddeus Gibson*, Doug Worthington* (Pittsburgh Steelers)
7/31 - Nate Clements, Matt Wilhelm, Alex Boone, Ted Ginn (San Francisco 49ers); A.J. Trapasso, Kirk Barton (Denver Broncos); Doug Datish, Donnie Nickey (Tennessee Titans)
8/1 - Jake Ballard*, Jim Cordle* (New York Giants); Anthony Gonzalez (Indianapolis Colts); Vernon Gholston, Nick Mangold, Ben Hartsock, Santonio Holmes (New York Jets)
* - Rookie
Erin Andrews Sues Ohio State
July 20, 2010 7:30am EST
Buckeye 50 Readers Believe 12 Teams is Enough
July 1, 2010 5:00pm EST
Our recent poll just ended and at this point, the majority of our readers believe that 12 teams should be enough for the Big Ten. 41% of those who voted think this may all the moves the Big Ten need to make, but closely behind that, 39% think two more teams would be better. And for those that believe in the superconference plan, 20% are of the opinion that it takes 16 teams to send the right message to the rest of the college landscape.
Where will it all end? It is very likely over the next few years there will be a lot of changes in how the conferences line up, and ultimately how we decide a national champion. Stay tuned!
Brent Baver's Big Ten Preseason Predictions
June 29, 2010 7:30 pm EST
Most of the preseason magazines have the Buckeyes in the top five and a lock to win the Big Ten. But you have to do it on the field, you have to play every game to win or you might lose (2009 Purdue game come to mind). How do you think the Scarlet & Gray will fare in 2010. Here are some thoughts from our staff.
Brent's predictions and thoughts....
1 Ohio State (2009: 11-2) -return 9 on offense, 7 on defense. The Buckeyes are still the class of the league and are again the team to beat in 2010. A veteran offense returns and Terrelle Pryor continues to get better, which is not good news to the rest of the league. The Iowa defense may rival Ohio States, but no other Big Ten team’s will. Cameron Heyward can change a game at defensive end. Wisconsin or Iowa may trip up the Buckeyes but the Buckeyes likely go 7-1 at worst in the Big Ten.
2 Wisconsin (2009: 10-3) return 10 on offense, 6 on defense. Scott Tolzien leads an experienced offense that may be the league’s best. TB John Clay will challenge Penn State’s Evan Royster as the league’s top TB. The O-line is one of the best in the land and the Big Ten’s best. There are some questions on the other side of the ball, although the Badgers return all 3 LB’s. Wisconsin has to be considered a dark horse BCS championship candidate and the schedule outside of Ohio State and Iowa is as easy as it gets.
3 Iowa, 2009: 2009: 11-2, return 6 on offense, 9 on defense. It took overtime for Ohio State to beat the Hawkeyes in Columbus last year. Then, Iowa went to a BCS bowl and took it to Georgia Tech. Iowa has to replace the right side of the O-line, but has a stable of TB’s and a pretty good QB in Ricky Stanzi. The Hawkeye defense was 8th in scoring defense nationally last year and looks even better in 2010. Iowa hosts both Ohio State and Wisconsin, and like the Badgers, are a dark horse national title candidate.
4 Penn State, 2009: 11-2, return 7 on offense, 5 on defense. Outside of OSU, Wisconsin and Iowa, Penn State is the only other Big Ten team that deserves national top 25 consideration. The QB job still appears to be unsettled and that position may go a long way in determining how good this team is. TB Evan Royster is on track to become PSU’s all-time leading rusher. On the other side of the ball, there are some question marks, although the secondary is deep. This is another Joe Pa team that can be dangerous.
5 Northwestern, 2009: 8-5, return 8 on offense, 6 on defense. 5th through 7th in the Big Ten is a tight call between Northwestern, Michigan State and Michigan. With Northwestern missing Ohio State on the schedule, they get the nod for #5. The Cats will miss QB Mike Kafka, but return most of the rest of the offense. On defense, the NU linebackers are among the best in the league and all three return. Pat Fitzgerald appears to have this program heading in the right direction and this year’s team could surprise.
6 Michigan State, 2009: 6-7, return 7 on offense, 5 on defense. Sparty may have the best passing attack in the Big Ten this fall, but need more of a presence from the rushing game. 3 new starters on the right side of the line is a concern. Defensively, they don’t get much better than LB Greg Jones. But outside of Jones on defense, there are more questions than there are answers. Mark Dantonio is a solid football coach that looks like he could be a long timer at MSU, but can Michigan State get better than simply middle of the pack?
7 Michigan, 2009: 5-7, return 7 on offense, 8 on defense. Sugar coating aside, the two years under Rich Rodriguez have been nothing short of a disaster, on and off the field. It’s do or die for him this year. UM needs a QB to emerge between Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson. The O-line has a star in Stephen Shilling and a budding star in David Molk, but potential problems at the other 3 spots. Michigan was 82nd in total defense last year and that has to change or the Wolverines are looking at a 3rd straight losing season.
8 Illinois, 2009: 5-7, return 5 starters on offense, 7 on defense. The tale of the tape seems to suggest Illinois is destined for the cellar this year, but when expectations are low, that’s when Ron Zook is usually at his best. Juice Williams and Arrelious Benn will be tough to replace, but Illinois still has some talent. How they finished 81st in scoring in 2009 is mind boggling. On the bright side, the defense may be much improved. Zook overhauled his coaching staff and needs to be competitive this year to keep his job.
9 Purdue, 2009: 5-7, return 6 starters on offense, 5 on defense. Quarterback and Miami (FL) transfer Robert Marve will make things interesting on the offensive side of the ball. He’s got one of the best WR’s in the league to throw to in Keith Smith. But TB Ralph Bolden tore his ACL in the spring, leaving the running game with many questions. Defensively, DE Ryan Kerrigan will be All-Big Ten. The Boilermakers have to replace all four starters in the defensive backfield. The jury is still out on 2nd year head coach Danny Hope.
10 Minnesota, 2009: 6-7, return 9 starters on offense, 2 on defense. WR Eric Decker will be almost impossible to replace, but most of the rest of the offense is back. The Gophers need a tailback to step up. The entire O-line returns and should be decent. The other side of the ball could be a disaster. The only two defenders returning are the safeties. Tim Brewster is 14-24 in three years and this team appears to be headed in the wrong direction. I hear Glen Mason chuckling.
11 Indiana, 2009: 4-8, return 8 on offense, 4 on defense. There is some hope on the offensive side of the ball. All the skill players return and WR Tandon Doss is one of the most underrated players in the league. The biggest problems are on defense where there are concerns everywhere. Indiana’s defense will likely rival Minnesota’s as the worst in the league. Bill Lynch, like most Indiana coaches, doesn’t have much to work with. He is 14-23 in 3 years, which is probably in line with expectations. A 6-6 season would be a step in the right direction.
Buckeyes Lose Two Players
June 21, 2010 7:15pm EST
Ohio State is coming of it's best bowl win since the Fiesta win 4 years ago over the Irish. The 2011 recruiting class keeps growing and is looking like it might be top five in the country. Unfortunately we are losing some of our promising players presently on the roster.
Reports from the university confirm receiver Duron Carter has enrolled at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. Coffeyville coach Darian Dulin has said Carter was scheduled to take part in summer workouts at Coffeyville, and must stay at the school for at least a semester before possibly heading back to OSU. That means the earliest Carter could be back is January. If he wanted to attend another school, he would have to finish the 2010-11 academic year at Coffeyville before moving on.
The Columbus Dispatch blog reported Duron appears to be wanting to come back though. About 1:45 today, Carter tweeted: "And yes, I would love to go back to OSU. I’m a Buckeye all the way."
Dulin said one of his assistant coaches knew Carter's father, Cris, and "recruited" him to Coffeyville. The selling point was a smaller class size (Coffeyville has about 1,300 students) and smaller town so Duron could work on improving his grades. After a promising freshman year, Carter was declared academically ineligible for the Rose Bowl, and then also sat out spring practice.
But that was not the end of the news day for the Buckeyes. Ohio State confirmed today that not only has receiver Duron Carter left for junior college, but also sophomore defensive end Keith Wells has left the program. Though no reason was given for either move, sounces have said that academic deficiencies were the reasons for both. Wells saw limited action as a freshman in 2008 but was redshirted last season. It is not known what his next step will be.
Poll Results: Buckeye50 Readers Think the Big Ten is Going to Grow
June 1, 2010 10:30pm EST
With all the talk lately about Big Ten expansion, it only made sense to offer a Poll question about just how big the conference might get. Our readers have responded. Only 13 percent thought the conference will remain at 11 teams. It doesn't appear it will be very long before we will hear of official offers to other universities. 35% of those responding, thought we would grow to 14 teams, which is the same amount of votes from those expected the conference to grow to 16 teams. Now the question remains, who will be the new teams?
2010 Pre-Season Consensus - Ohio State #2?
June 1, 2010
Early thoughts on the Buckeyes from Brent Baver…
I am probably in agreement with most in saying the 2010 Ohio State team should challenge for the national title. This is a team that went 11-2 last year, beating media darling Oregon in the Rose Bowl, and finishing top 5 in the nation for the 6th time in 9 years under Tressel’s watch. And this year’s team looks like it may be an improvement over last year’s. There is a decent chance that the Buckeyes will be favored in every regular season game this year, although at Iowa and at Wisconsin will be big challenges.
The strengths? As long as the left tackle plays at least adequately, this should be one of the better O-lines we’ve seen in the past decade, probably with more depth than we have seen in a while as well. Terrelle Pryor may be on the verge of stardom. And there are several other bright spots including: very quality starting WR’s in Posey and Sanzenbacher; depth at tailback that is matched by few others; a starting D-line that is on par with any other nationally, which includes Cameron Heyward, who is probably the most talented DE Ohio State has ever had; and an elite LB crew, as is always the case.
The concerns? I can’t help but wonder if Pryor is going to be dinged up most of the rest of his career here. I believe Jamal Berry is probably the most talented back on this team and can take the offense to a new level, but can he stay healthy for more than two week periods at a time? The starting D-linemen are big-time, but there’s little to no proven depth after the starting four. The safety spot could be a weak point if someone doesn’t step up. The kickoff coverage has to be better after watching the success Iowa and Oregon kick returners had against the Bucks late in the year. And if you saw Ben Buchanan in the spring game, you have to at least have a few concerns with the punting game.
•I said that Pryor may be on the verge of stardom, but I think too many people are basically assuming he is going to be Vince Young. I’ve never seen anything like what Young did in 2005. To think that Pryor is going to be that good is probably wishful thinking; Vince was one of a kind. And one Rose Bowl win does not mean the maturing process is over. •Tyler Moeller could bring a lot to this team. I thought he was on the verge of hitting the big-time last year before the incident that could have cost him his life. Should he be given the full-go green light in August, it is going to be almost impossible to keep this kid off the field. •Keith Wells, Solomon Thomas, Melvin Fellows: these guys are going to need to step up. You simply have to have fresh (talented) bodies to rotate in at defensive end. Fellows and Wells have a boatload of potential, but need to turn that potential into output very quickly. (7/1/10 update: it looks like Wells decided to step out instead of step up) •It would be nice to see Duron Carter get his act together and come back to take the #3 WR spot. No one took the bull by the horn this spring, so that spot is there for Carter to take if he gets his priorities in order off the field. I don’t have a lot of faith in Taurian Washington and was hoping Chris Fields would have made more of a splash this spring. (7/1/10 update: Like Wells, Carter will not make the contribution this year we had hoped. Will have to wait and see if he really returns to OSU as he claims) •Lots of talk this spring about how Pryor loves to throw to Stoneburner. I’ve said this many times and will continue to say it: I will believe Tressel will actively utilize the TE in the passing game when I see it. I love Tressel, but this is an area that can be frustrating, especially when you saw LSU hit the TE twice for TD’s against OSU in the title game a few years back.
I may be a bit over-confident about the Miami game, but I think this is a game the Bucks may handle with ease. I think the Bucks should take care of a decent, but not great Penn State team. You of course have to guard against the lesser teams like Purdue catching you with your guard down, but I think the season will boil down to the road games against Wisconsin and Iowa. Logic tells me the Bucks win one and lose one (between those two games) and that one loss would be enough to keep Ohio State out of the BCS title game. But, Ohio State seems to have as good or better chance as anyone of running the table in the regular season this year.
What do the national polls look like? Where are the Buckeyes coming in? First off, the Bucks are coming in top 3 in pretty much all of them, although I have yet to see any publication pick the Bucks #1. Alabama is #1 in most of the polls. I’ve compiled 5 of the bigger name Top 25 preseason polls that are out now and have come up with a consensus Top 25. The polls used: Lindy’s, Athlon, The Sporting News, Phil Steele, and The Gold Sheet. 25 points given for a #1 pick, 24 points for a #2, and so on. Number of points in parentheses.
1 Alabama (122), three #1 picks
2 Ohio State (118)
3 Boise State (114), one #1 pick
4 Florida (99)
5 TCU (97)
6 Nebraska (96)
7 Texas (89)
8 Oklahoma (85), one #1 pick
9 Virginia Tech (80)
10 USC (76)
11 Iowa (75)
12 Oregon (75)
13 Wisconsin (66)
14 Miami (62)
15 Arkansas (47)
16 North Carolina (44)
17 Pittsburgh (36)
18 Florida State(31)
19 Georgia Tech (29)
20 Georgia (25)
21 Auburn (24)
22 LSU (24)
23 Penn State (17)
24 Cincinnati (17)
25 Utah (15)
Others receiving votes: West Virginia (13), Oregon State (11), Notre Dame, (10), Connecticut (6), Houston (6), Missouri (5), South Carolina (5), Navy (3), Arizona (1), Clemson (1), Washington (1)
Here is some further information on the top 25 teams, including returning starters and big games.
1 Alabama – return 8 on offense, 2 on defense. Host Penn State in week #2, host Florida in week #5 and play at LSU in early November. When you go through the SEC regular season undefeated back to back years, it doesn’t matter that you only return 2 on defense; you’re still the team everyone in the nation is gunning for.
2 Ohio State – return 9 on offense, 7 on defense. Host Miami in week #2, play at Wisconsin in mid-October and play at Iowa in mid-November. Defense will be strong, as it usually is. Pryor tries to pick up where he left off in January, where he collected Rose Bowl MVP honors.
3 Boise State – return 10 on offense, 10 on defense. Play Virginia Tech in Landover, MD on Labor Day and host Oregon State in week #3. This may be the best non-power conference team in 25+ years, at least on paper. Starting QB Kellen Moore is 26-1 as a starter.
4 Florida – return 6 of offense, 7 on defense. Play at Alabama in week #5, host LSU the following week and travel to Florida State in late November. New QB John Brantley has some big shoes to fill. The offense should still be strong behind a veteran O-line.
5 TCU – return 9 on offense, 7 on defense. Play Oregon State in Arlington, TX in the opener, host Baylor in week #3 and host BYU in mid-October. Outside shot at the title game, but will need to dominate the suspect competition they play. Legit top 10, at a very minimum.
6 Nebraska – return 8 on offense, 7 on defense. Play at Washington in week #3, host Texas in mid-October and host Missouri in late October. Pelini appears to be on the verge of getting NU back to where they should be. Defense will be top 5 in the nation.
7 Texas - return 5 on offense, 7 on defense. Play Oklahoma in Dallas in week #5, travel to Nebraska in mid-October and finish on the road at A&M. Garrett Gilbert takes the reins at QB. Still plenty of talent on this team to finish top 10 nationally, if not better.
8 Oklahoma – return 8 on offense, 6 on defense. Host Florida State in week #2, travel to Cincinnati week #4 and play Texas in Dallas week #5. Brutal schedule to start the year. Landry Jones now the #1 guy with Bradford having moved on. Overall talent level, like Texas, still very high.
9 Virginia Tech – return 7 on offense, 5 on defense. Play Boise State in Landover, MD to open season, play at North Carolina in mid-November and follow that up with a trip to Miami. Loaded backfield, but the defense may be a notch below fans’ expectations.
10 USC - return 6 on offense, 5 on defense. Host Oregon in late October, travel to Oregon State in mid-November and host Notre Dame a week later. Even without Carroll, USC has a decent shot to start 7-0 before things get rough. Still may be the class of Pac 10. (update 7/1/10: Brent does point out that the sanctions against USC may hamper their chances this year and the next few years to come. This should be a huge test for Coach Kiffin)
11 Iowa - return 6 on offense, 9 on defense. Host Penn State in week #5, host Wisconsin 2 weeks later and host Ohio State in mid-November. With its toughest opponents all at home, Iowa is at least a dark horse national title candidate. Defense should be very good.
12 Oregon – return 9 on offense, 8 on defense. Play at USC in late October, host Arizona in late November and finish with Oregon State on the road. Year-long suspension of Jeremiah Masoli hurts, but like USC, a weak early schedule could mean Ducks start 7-0.
13 Wisconsin – return 10 on offense, 6 on defense. Host Ohio State in mid-October and follow that with a trip to Iowa. Badgers miss Penn State and really have only two tough opponents. Beat Miami in the Champ Sports Bowl and appear to have a better team in 2010.
14 Miami – return 6 on offense, 8 on defense. Play at Ohio State in week #2, at Pittsburgh in week #4 and host Florida State in mid-October. Vicious schedule to start the season. If QB Jacory Harris can check his ego at the door, Miami could make some noise this year.
15 Arkansas – return 9 on offense, 7 on defense. Play at Georgia in week #3, host Alabama a week later and host LSU to end the season. Didn’t take long for Bobby Petrino to field a nice looking team. The Ryan Mallet led offense will be one of the best in the nation.
16 North Carolina – return 10 on offense, 9 on defense. Play LSU to open season in Atlanta, travel to Miami in mid-October, play at Florida State in early November and host Virginia Tech the following week. Tarheel defense is loaded with future early round NFL picks.
17 Pittsburgh - return 5 on offense, 6 on defense. Open season on the road at Utah, host Miami two weeks later and end the season at Cincinnati. If the interior O-line can step up, the Panthers should be able to put some points on the board. TB Dion Lewis is one to watch.
18 Florida State - return 9 on offense, 4 on defense. Play at Oklahoma in week #2, play at Miami in mid-October and finish by hosting Florida. The post-Bowden era begins with a team that should have no problem scoring. New philosophy should help on the other side of the ball.
19 Georgia Tech – return 6 on offense, 8 on defense. Play at North Carolina in week #3, play at Virginia Tech in early November and host Miami the following week. Jury still out on Paul Johnson’s option offense; Hawkeyes had little trouble defending it in January.
20 Georgia – return 10 on offense, 5 on defense. Host Arkansas in week #3, play Florida in late October in Jacksonville and finish by hosting Georgia Tech. Offense should be much improved. (Scoring) defense was 63rd last year and must get better.
21 Auburn – return 7 on offense, 7 on defense. Host Arkansas in mid-October, host Georgia in mid-November and travel to Alabama to end the season. Soft early schedule may enable Tigers to start 6-0. JUCO QB Cameron Newton should be fun to watch.
22 LSU – return 6 on offense, 4 on defense. Play at Florida in mid-October, host Alabama in early November and finish on the road at Arkansas. Gruesome schedule may lead to another 4+ loss season and the natives are getting restless down on the bayou.
23 Penn State – return 7 on offense, 5 on defense. Play at Alabama in week #2, travel to Iowa in week #5 and travel to Ohio State in mid-November. 3 nasty road games likely keep Lions from making much noise this year. TB Evan Royster will be one of the best in the land.
24 Cincinnati – return 7 on offense, 5 on defense. Host Oklahoma in week #4, play at West Virginia in mid-November and host Pittsburgh to end the season. Brian Kelly didn’t leave the cupboard bare on offense where the Bearcats should excel. The defense is another matter.
25 Utah – return 8 on offense, 4 on defense. Host Pittsburgh to open the schedule, host TCU in early November and follow that game with a trip to Notre Dame. If Boise State gets by Virginia Tech, the Utes are the only team standing in Boise’s way.
University Athletics Adding Another FieldTurf Field
May 16, 2010 7:30pm EST
Do you remember just a couple of years ago when the grass field in the Horseshoe was so bad they replaced it a couple of times during the regular season? The university made the decision to invest in FieldTurf. I guess they have enjoyed it so much the have decided one is not enough.
Ohio State is adding another FieldTurf football field to its athletic complex. The new surface will be a full-sized football field, and it will be a part of The Woody Hayes Athletic Complex at OSU. The installation of the new FieldTurf field is expected to commence around June 1. This new installation will be the third FieldTurf field on the Ohio State campus.
The new FieldTurf football field will allow the Buckeyes to practice on the same surface on which they play their home games. Ohio State has played on FieldTurf at Ohio Stadium since it was installed there during the spring of 2007.
The new installation at OSU further strengthens FieldTurf's ties with The Big Ten, as the world leader in artificial surfacing has a strong presence at 10 of the 11 universities in the conference. In addition to Ohio State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin have FieldTurf installed at their respective football stadiums. Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue have major full-sized FieldTurf football fields at their athletic complexes/practice facilities.
"It will be a tremendous advantage to our football program to have the same surface on our practice field as we have at Ohio Stadium," said Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel. "With FieldTurf, there's never any question of playability."
"Ohio State is one of the true legendary American universities, and we're thrilled to further expand FieldTurf's relationship with the Buckeyes," said FieldTurf Regional Vice-President (and Ohio State alumnus) Jim Knazek. "We have all been so pleased with the success of the first three seasons of the FieldTurf surface at Ohio Stadium, and we're confident that this new practice field will meet with similar feedback. Athletic Director Gene Smith, Coach Tressel and the staff at OSU have been a pleasure to work with. We will continue to provide the Buckeyes with what has become known as the world's finest and safest playing surface."
Time Set for Homecoming Game
May 5, 2010 6:00am EST
The university has announced the start time for the 2010 Homecoming game against Purdue will be 12:00 noon. The television partner has not been determined yet.
Three Buckeyes on NationalChamps.net 2010 Preseason All-America Teams
May 4, 2010 8:30am EST
NationalChamps.net has officially released its 11th annual Preseason All-American Team for the upcoming 2010 season. Three Buckeyes have been selected All-Americans by the website.
Senior offensive lineman Justin Boren and senior linebacker Ross Homan have been chosen as second team honorees. Senior defensive lineman Cameron Heyward has been chosen as a third team honoree. Receiving honorable mention status is junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
Ohio State is one of only eight teams to place three or more players on the preseason All-American Team (Boise State, Georgia, Pittsburgh, Houston, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oregon State, West Virginia).
New Buckeye 50 Fan Poll - How Big Does the Big Ten Get
May 3, 2010 9:45pm EST
A few months back, we ran a poll to see what team you thought might be added the the Big Ten conference if we should expand. Now the talk is not if the conference will expand, but when. Just how big will be big enough as all the other major conferences are likely to follow the Big Ten's lead. Our fans suggested that the likely teams would be Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Missouri and Rutgers would be the likely candidates. Those teams are still in the discussion but now we hear schools like Nebraska and Texas as possibilities.
So our current fan poll is "When the conference expands, how many teams will there be"?
As for our last poll asking what back will get the most carries this year, the overwhelming majority suggest Brandon Saine (62%) will get the bulk of the run calls in the 2010 campaign. The closest to him was junior Daniel Herron with 20% of the votes. Jaamal Berry (7%) and Terrelle Pryor (4%) were next on the list. I will say right now if Pryor is in the top two in carries this year, we will not be successful.
Finishing up the voting was Roderick Smith (3%), Jordan Hall (2%), Carlos Hyde (2%), and one vote was cast for fullback Jermil Martin. I do hope he gets more carries this year, but let's remember it has not been the duty of the fullback to run the ball for a long time for OSU.