Smith Not With The Team
December 31, 2011 8:00 am EST

The Columbus Dispatch reported this morning running back Rod Smith is presently not practicing with the team down in Jacksonville.  Normally if a player does not travel with the team, they have the opportunity to make their own travel arrangements to a bowl site, so it is possible that he has simply not made it to Florida yet.  However, Dispatch writers Bill Rabinowitz and Tim May think there may be more to the story.  They comment that Smith saw limited time after two fumbles in the first two games, even though he should have been able to earn additional playing time during the suspension of Boom Herron.  For the season he only had 29 carries for 116 yards.

So they imply that with the incoming prospects (assuming they sign) of Bri'onte Dunn and Warren Ball, there may not be a place for a player that can not hold on to the ball.  I guess time will tell but I do remember Eddie George having fumble issues that cost the Buckeyes his freshman year but he stuck it out and had a very nice finish to his career.

Too Early To Be Thinking Spring
December 29, 2011 8:00 am EST

We are certainly having spring like weather here in Columbus where the grass is still green and we seem to be staying in the 40's into the new year. Maybe that is way I am already thinking about the Spring Scrimmage.

There has been a rumor floating that several of the 2012 class members may actually enroll early, thus not counting against next year's scholarship limitation.  I am sure everyone remembers the bowl ban the NCAA gave us for next year, but it also came with a loss of 3 scholarships a year for the next three years.  We should start to see more very soon if that proves to be true.  But it made me start thinking about exactly when the spring scrimmage may be held.

No official date has come out of OSU just yet, but there is a lacrosse game scheduled for April 21st at 11:00 am (against Air Force). This would be the same starting time used the past few years when the Buckeyes used that for the undercard to the conclusion of spring practices for the football team.  It would make sense that would be the target day for 2012 as well.  But at this team there is no way of knowing exactly how new Coach Meyer will use that game

But we can still dream of that day, no? 

Former Coach Earle Bruce's Wife Passes Away
December 17, 2011 12:00 pm EST

Jean Bruce, wife of former coach Earle Bruce, died Friday in Cleveland Clinic. She was 75. Jean Bruce is survived by her husband, to whom she was married for 56 years, and their four children and families.

Fickell Interviewed For Pitt Job
December 16, 2011 5:00 pm EST

For better or worse, multiple sources have reported Luke Fickell has interviewed for the Head Coach opening at Pittsburgh yesterday.  Shortly after Urban Meyer had been announced as the permanent head coach for OSU, it was confirmed that Fickell would be retained on the coaching staff.  He responded by saying he "would rather be an assistant coach for the Buckeyes than a head coach anywhere else in the country".

Already planning to be in Pennsylvania to watch a 5-star recruit play in his state championship game, I guess he decided it was ok to take in an interview while he was around.  Pittsburgh has been in turmoil for a while as they have had 5 coaches in the last 12 months.  Will be interesting to see if they offer him the job.

Most stories out of Pittsburgh had Paul Rhoads. the Iowa State head coach as their favorite candidate to replace Todd Graham as head coach, and that the Iowa State coach may be open to listening to overtures from the Panthers.  However, ISU announced that Rhoads has signed a 10-year contract with the school.  In a subsequent release, the school stated that final terms of the contract will be released at a later date, although they did acknowledge the deal would total $20 million for the 10 years.

Former Coach Joe Daniels Passes Away
December 4, 2011 1:00 pm EST

The OSU athletic department lost a dear member of its staff this morning when Joe Daniels passed away after a long battle with cancer, he was 69.  Daniels spent more than 40 years in the sport as a coach and administrator, both on the collegiate and professional levels. 

In a statement from the university, “What a great, great human being Joe Daniels was,” Bob Tucker, former Ohio State assistant coach and program administrator, said. “He was a wonderful father, coach and friend to so many people. Everyone in the coaching profession knew who Joe was and asked about Joe.” 

Daniels joined the Ohio State staff in 2001. He coached quarterbacks and was the team’s passing game coordinator for eight seasons – through the 2009 spring drills – before moving into a personnel development position with the team before the start of the 2009 season. 

“Joe had a positive impact on everyone he met,” Gene Smith, Ohio State Director of Athletics, said. “There are hundreds of former and current football players who are blessed because of the relationship they had with Joe. It was an honor to be in his presence and we thank him for what he gave Buckeye Nation while he was a coach and administrator. Our hearts and prayers are with his wife Kathy, son Matt, daughter Kaitlin, daughter-in-law Jenny and the entire Daniels family.” 

Highly regarded on all levels as one of the outstanding teachers in the game, Daniels was instrumental in the development of many outstanding players, including 2006 Heisman Trophy winner and All-American Troy Smith. He also coached NFL standouts such as Ken O’Brien, Andre Reed, Ozzie Newsome and Dan Marino. 

Daniels, from Bethel Park, Pa, played running back for Slippery Rock University before graduating in 1964 with a degree in physical education. His coaching career included collegiate positions with Boston College, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Ohio State, and professional coaching positions with the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. 

Braxton Miller Named Big Ten Freshman of the Year
November 30, 2011 5:00 pm EST

The Big Ten Conference announced the winners of the top five individual awards for the 2011 football season. Braxton Miller was named the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year award winner.  A two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree, Miller is the seventh Ohio State player to take home the conference’s Freshman of the Year award. He played in 11 games for the Buckeyes and started the team’s last nine games. Miller finished the regular season ranked among the conference’s top 10 in total offense with 11 passing and seven rushing touchdowns to go with 1,692 total yards.

Wisconsin’s Montee Ball was named the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year, Penn State’s Devon Still was named the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year and Michigan’s Brady Hoke was named the Hayes-Schembechler and Dave McClain Coach of the Year

Big Ten Schedule Forces Changes in OSU Football Slate
November 23, 2011 8:30 pm EST

Ohio State contacted Tennessee to cancel scheduled football games between the two schools because of the Big Ten’s decision to go from an eight-game conference schedule to nine games in 2017. The two teams were supposed to play in Columbus in 2018 and Knoxville in 2019. The Volunteers agreed to the change, although I am sure fans for both teams hope something else can be arranged.

As for other schedule changes/updates, Ohio State has agreed upon a home-and-home with the University of North Carolina for the 2015 and 2017 seasons. The Tar Heels will make the trip to Columbus on September 5, 2015, and the Buckeyes will travel to Chapel Hill to face UNC September 23, 2017.  The Buckeyes are also scheduled to play the University of Oklahoma during their nonconference schedule in 2017. 

They also added a nonconference game against Florida A&M for the 2013 season. The game will be played at Ohio Stadium on September 7, 2013.  This will be the first meeting between the two schools. 

Urban Meyer and OSU Have Talked - So the Story Goes
November 20, 2011 7:00 am EST

Urban Meyer is building a house in central Ohio and Kirk Herbstreit is moving back into his unsold house in Upper Arlington and will be the quarterback coach when Meyer takes over at Ohio State.

We have also heard from a a source inside the Ohio State Finance department that Meyer is already in the payroll system starting 1st quarter, that is one of my favorites.

But one Buckeye friend simply texted "It's Done".

According to reports all over Buckeye nation and ESPN.com, Ohio State has been in contact with Urban Meyer about becoming the school's coach.  There is no absolute certainty that a contract is in place and no announcement likely would be made until after the regular season, but there is strong interest on both sides. 
 
Meyer said Saturday in the broadcast booth at the Nebraska-Michigan game that "there's no truth to that" when asked about reports that he has accepted the Buckeyes' coaching job.  Of course that is what they all stay at this stage of the game.

Contacted earlier this week by The AP, Ohio State AD Gene Smith said no deal had been struck with Meyer. Other Ohio State athletic officials also have denied the reports, and the integrity of Smith and the SID office is without reproach.

The 47-year-old Meyer is an Ohio native. He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach for the Buckeyes in 1986.

Simon Included As Lott Trophy Names Semi-Finalists
November 10, 2011 6:30 pm EST

The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has announced eight semi-finalists this year's Lott IMPACT Trophy.  Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, the Lott Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year.  Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation in Newport Beach, the award is given to the player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
 
This year’s semi-finalist list includes Ohio State's John Simon.  The other athletes include:Emmanuel Acho, LB, Texas; Brodrick Brown, DB, Oklahoma State; Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska; Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama; Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College; Chase Minnifield, DB, Virginia and Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame.

The eighth annual awards banquet will be December 11th at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, CA.  A National Voter Panel will select the winner and three other finalists, all of whom will be invited to the banquet.  The winner’s school will receive $25,000 for its general scholarship fund while the three other finalists will receive $5,000 for their schools.

Schedule Update - Cincinnati Out, Central Florida In?
November 1, 2011 5:30 am EST

It appears that once again the Buckeyes are taking the Bearcats off their schedule, and this time it has nothing to do with the faux rivalry.  Due to scheduling issues caused by Big East realignment, the Buckeyes and Bearcats agreed to change their scheduled September8, 2012 game to 2018 in Columbus.  Central Florida will replace Cincinnati on next year's schedule.  The scheduled game between Ohio State and Cincinnati in 2014 in Columbus remains on.

According to OSU spokesman Jerry Emig, the trigger for the change occurred when Texas Christian joined the Big East. That required Big East schools to modify their schedules, and Cincinnati approached Ohio State about changing the 2012 date.
 
Central Florida became available for the September 8th game because Pittsburgh, which was scheduled to play the Knights on the same day as the OSU-Cincinnati game, wanted out of its contract with UCF to increase its Big East scheduling flexibility.

Ohio State has won all 10 games against Cincinnati since losing in 1897. 

Central Florida plays in Conference USA. The Knights are 4-4 this year. Last year, they were 11-3 and defeated Georgia in the Liberty Bowl. It was their fourth bowl appearance since attaining Division I status in 1996.


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