Special thanks to Steve Spencer of The Columbus Dispatch for use of his "Mount Buckmore" artwork.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Weekend Read

"You lost it for yourself"

(Note: Most of this entry is based on reports that are founded in speculation and unidentified "insiders," proceed with caution. But, if the ESPN era has taught us anything, if there's smoke...)

Terrelle Pryor, the grail after which most top-tier programs are questing, continues to create suspense in the weeks leading up to his supposed announcement date (tenitavly the Army All-American game on Jan. 5th but there are whisperings that he might break the news before the end of the year). A
s referenced in yesterday's "Silver Bullet Points," this headline and subsequent article suggest that Pryor isn't the lock Buckeye fans once assumed.

The free article here, like that posted on Rivals, is...terrifying. Included are Pryor quotes like

"Oregon is now on my list...I really like the offense"
juxtaposed with
"that concerns me about Ohio State because they’ve never run an offense like the one we run at my high school or that they run at West Virginia, Florida, Oregon or other places."
Either Pryor is acting as a one-man hype machine to create some authentic surprise when he puts on his Block-O fitted at half time on Jan. 5th, or he's subconsciously speaking to Buckeye Nation's latent fear that highly talented skill players simply can't justify squandering their abilities in a traditional Big Ten offense.

Not to linger on this pseudo-story any longer, but if Pryor does indeed choose Oregon over Ohio State than it could be labeled as a "tipping point" for that program. Couple this potential steal for the Ducks with the Pac-10/BCS Championship season that should-have-been and consider the media-proclaimed end of an era f
or USC—is Oregon ready to step us as the class of the West? A long-time “bridesmaid” team , the Duck’s have the ingredients (money, facilities, media exposure and possible future-NFL stars Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart) to take the next step. Add in a nationally televised verbal from a consensus top recruit and we may be hearing a lot more of this in the coming years…

As I allow myself to become further caught-up in all this Pryor chatter along with feelings of nostalgia for one of the finer sports trilogies ever made, the mind begins to paint this picture…

Pryor ends up playing at Penn State for the evil, yet methodical Nittany Lions under vaunted coach Paterno. With Dixon playing on Sundays, the Ducks mirror the team they were at the end of November (a rag-tag group of players in kooky uniforms who can’t pass or receive). Midway through the season, the young(er) Mike Bellotti brings a shocking clerical error to the attention of Paterno: Pryor accidentally signed a LOI to the Ducks!

T.P. hesitantly transfers to Oregon where, after a series of comical and heartfelt follies, he learns to play with this lovable band of losers and leads them to the Rose bowl, only to meet…Penn State!

Pryor’s Ducks win in overtime after a Penn State QB, in the tradition of (almost) every quarterback to play for JoPa in recent memory, fails to live up to his potential and throws a fourth-down interception. The following conversation between Paterno and said underachieving QB ensues:

(begin at 10:00 end at 10:50)

Other items of note:
  • Pyror, as portrayed here by Charlie Conway, justly beats Penn St. QB’s (Gunnar Stahl) ass after being told “Good work, captain Duck."
  • “Let’s gogh shake their ‘aands”
  • How quickly we forgive the once-vapid head coach Gordon Bombay for his former life of admitted indulgence, alcoholism and moral side-stepping. Just like in real life.

But I digress.

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Silver Bullet Points

Been Caught Stealin'

Recruiting services such as Scout, Buckeye Grove and Rivals all agree this is a big recruiting weekend for Ohio State. Several blue chippers will be on campus including Florida State commit Moses McCray and the missing piece to the "Brew Crew," O-lineman Josh Jenkins who is listed as a soft verbal to West Va. Will this be the year that broken promises on signing day go in the Buckeyes' favor?

Of course this fantastic class will never achieve its full potential if QB Terrelle Pryor snubs Tressel and Co. for Penn State or, God forbid, Oregon.

Despite missing time to nurse an injury, Anderson Russell stood out as one of the most underrated defenders in the Big Ten.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

You've gotta love...

James Carville

By no means is this feature intended to mirror VH1’s guilty pleasure: Best Week Ever, but forgive me for using the eponymous phrase when I say James Carville is having the best week ever. Widely credited for the success of Wild Bill Clinton’s ’92 presidential campaign, Carville now spends his time lobbying for a college football playoff. Keep in mind Skeletor here is a Georgia-born LSU alumnus who makes a living being contentious and generally unlikable.

Note to Dana: Avoid poorly worded, loaded questions such as “James, do you think, in your lifetime, you’ll see a playoff system”

So not only did Jimmy C get a free plug for his XM radio show, he was also allowed to take the gloves off and tear into the hated Big Ten = Best Week Ever!

But wait, there’s more: Carville is also slated to appear in tonight’s episode of 30 Rock. I imagine that if there’s one thing the Ragin’ Cajun and I could agree on, it’s that a Times Square performance of "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah" would be better New Year’s day entertainment than Illinois-USC.

Here’s to you, James Carville!

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Silver Bullet Points

Sources: Using Doc Brown's DeLorean, Michigan AD Martin travels back to 1997 and hires John Cooper as head coach

No, no friends, just yanking your chain! But Martin did talk to Brady Hoke. (Who?)

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Spend the big Buck$ on...

2008 BCS 'Helmets Tee'

available at The Buckeye Corner

Nothing says buyers remorse like waking up on January 9th, 2007 after an early night, still in your game day jeans and '07 BCS 'Helmets Tee.' But there's no reason this year can't be different in your crisp, heather gray, '08 edition. Safe shoppers will get theirs early and enjoy over a month of garunteed satisfaction. Smart shoppers will pick theirs up Dec. 26th when retailers are desperate to rid themselves of this burden. Conversely, those fat-cat, high-risk Wall Street types will play the market and wait till January 8th when stores will either be tossing the left-over 'Helmet Tees' or immortalizing them in oak frames.

It's your call. Tears wash out with soap and hot water.

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Silver Bullet Points

Not to go over-kill with Troy Smith sightings, but #10 was in the ESPN studios yesterday for appearances on Cold Pizza and College Football Live. Good to see someone outside of Columbus still acknowledges his Heisman and place in the college football pantheon, even though he was clearly just the "de facto player of the year"...

  • Even though CFN unceremoniously stripped Troy and Eddie of their awards, the Buckeyes fair well throughout the conversation. Particularly flattering are the five OSU trophies ranked in the top 40 of all time. Beanie/Boeckman '08.

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'Eye Candy

Jalen Rose has a heart-to-heart with Braylon Edwards and Reggie Bush,er,Troy Smith
Truly a multiple viewing piece, albeit a red carpet train wreck of Tara Reid proportions. Though I'd like the viewer to simmer in the awkwardness cooked up by ESPN's Jalen Rose on his own terms, I've highlighted a few items below:

  • Jalen Rose, sans Final Four banners, has parlayed a mediocre pro career into a mediocre commentating career.
  • As evidenced by the Blair Witch- esque camera work, ESPN producers probably had no idea Rose was at the ESPY's, let alone harassing guests.
  • Rose seems to be filling that ever-so-necessary role of "the young Lou Holtz" with his unintelligible, nerve-fueled banter at the beginning of the interview.
  • If you make it to the end of the clip without sticking forks in your eyes, take to heart Rose's candid plea for help as he throws himself on the dapper Edwards (who, despite spending four years in Ann Arbor, wasn't aware Michigan had a basketball team.)

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Silver Bullet Points

Thanks, Captain Obvious

for this unprecedented take on the implications of January's match-up:

"OSU can't waste chance to regain lost stature"

Thesis: It would be for the best if OSU won the BCS National Championship.

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