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

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Besides the INTs, Boeckman Looks Pretty Good

Yes, the annual Scarlet-Gray spring game this year was a bonanza and by bonanza, I mean rainy and offensively-challenged.
Boeckman, leading the Scarlet against the hated Gray, turned in a head-scratching performance: 12 for 18, 145 yards and two picks. However, Boeckman was close to perfect completion percentage when he threw his second INT. So Becks' two interceptions were close to being his only two incompletions.
As my colleague noted, Boeckman showed his flair for underthrowing the long ball (his first pick). LB Ross Homan intercepted Boeckman when he made an shaky throw in traffic at the middle of the field. However, the inceptions tarnished the day Boeckman could have had--he nailed a 48-yard bomb to Brian Hartline that set up Scarlet on the one and a TD. Additionally, he showed great skill in completing the dink-dunk short slants to Hartline which will most certainly be a part of the offensive repertoire this year.
Thus, Boeckman joins Kansas QB Todd Reesing as competent returning starters named Todd who threw two picks in the spring scrimmage. But fear not, Buckeye fans. Beanie Wells, Brian Robiske, and a few O-linesmen did not participate, which would have certainly helped out Boeckman. Moreover, the conditions were not ripe for a Troy Smith at Michigan outburst. Rain damped the ball, field (and crowd).
Bottom line: its still spring, its still so early, and its still Boeckman's team.
Res ThaSequel bleeds scarlet and gray, but that is due to a botched blood transfusion and a whole lot of food coloring.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Is that Denzel Washington?

Greg lookin' fresh in pinstripes and a clean shave

Greg Oden, despite sitting out the duration of his first pro-season, is still a media fixation and can seemingly do no wrong. Other than some minor backlash when the understandably stir-crazy 20-year-old participated in a pickup game, Oden has managed to impress his team and fans alike without ever playing an NBA match.

We won't know this winter, when the gifted center finally earns a place in the box score, whether or not a season on the bench was for better or worse, but my feeling is that a year with nothing better to do than acclimate oneself to a new lifestyle will (ironically) expedite Oden's rise to greatness.

Though it's not too difficult to loose track of the #1 pick--what with his intimidating height, ESPN commercials, campaigning for Obama and a frequently-updated personal blog--SI.com's Ian Thomsen "caught up" with Oden in this flattering piece that bookends the former OSU player's season on the sidelines.

Thomsen learned that Oden is a workhorse in the gym, putting in more hours than any other Blazer and that coaches are hoping his return to full strength will help him drop weight before next season (Oden is 10 lbs over his playing weight with the Buckeyes.)

Those in Columbus will be happy to know that the departed fan-favorite still fondly recalls his time at OSU, many, many years ago.
One year later, Oden was in his Portland home with his uncle watching the NCAA tournament final, a game his Ohio State team lost to Florida in 2007. "The first play,'' he said, "the announcer said something about me and the trouble [Memphis' Joey] Dorsey had with me [in an Elite Eight game], and that was kind of cool -- like, 'Dang, I was there just last year.' "
Need more reason to like this 7-foot teddy bear? He makes ice bags with the ball boys during half time.

PHOTO/ Richard Clement-Icon SMI

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Rating The Tressel Era Games . . . So Far


It's hard to believe that Jim Tressel will begin his eighth tour of duty as Ohio State football coach this autumn. When he started, many OSU fans still smarted over not getting a bigger name coach, such as then-Minnesota man Glen Mason. I doubt you can find many now who still wish that Mason got the job.

So in recognition of the man who made sweater vests en vogue, I present my list of significant games in the Tressel era. Some are obvious, some less so, and some are losses, but all have contributed to the Tressel legacy.

Best Game: 2003 Fiesta Bowl vs. Miami (FL), 31-24 2OT, without a doubt. Also would have won awards for best bowl game, best game ever, and happiest I've ever been peeing myself. Amazingly, this game could have been won by the Bucks in regulation--the officials incorrectly thought a completed Krenzel to Jenkins third down conversion was out-of-bounds. However, the Buckeyes won after Jerry Porter's interference call--which was upheld as one of the best reffing calls in history--and a blitzing Cie Grant. If you would have told me before the game that Maurice Clarett would only have 47 yards and Krenzel would go 7-for-21 (yet still be offensive MVP because of 80 yards rushing) and OSU would win, I would not believe it for a second. Yet there it is--OSU's first national championship since '68.

Worst Game: 2007 BCS National Championship vs. Florida, 14-41, also without a doubt. Everything (besides Illinois and Michigan) came so easily for the 2006 Bucks. Most games were won by halftime, Troy Smith ran away with the Heisman, and away games no longer seemed an issue. Enter Florida, who crushed this OSU hubris like a frat boy crushes Natty Lites at a party. This debacle in the desert paved the way for ridiculous arguments on conference strength and delayed Tressel's ascension into absolute legendary status amongst Buckeye fans.
Best Michigan Game: 2005 @ Michigan, 25-22. While many would argue for next year's 42-39 offensive model, the 2005 game was far more of a struggle--capped with a great comeback. OSU had the early lead, then saw the Wolverines sprint past and lead by nine in the fourth. The Bucks really had to scrap for victory, epitomized best by Anthony Gonzalez's great grab late in the fourth. Antonio Pittman scored the winning TD with 25 seconds left.
Best Game That Was Still A Loss: 2005 vs. Texas, 22-25. In spite the outcome, this game was exciting. Vince Young played badly, then brilliantly as he rallied the Longhorns to victory. The game was back and forth as Texas led early 10-0 but the Bucks dominated the second quarter, but Texas refused to yield and instead of TDs, the Bucks settled largely for FGs. The Longhorns scored nine unanswered in the fourth en route to victory (and their National Championship). In terms of significance for OSU, this game proved that a two-QB rotation would not work as its two-quarterback platoon blew up as Justin Zwick fumbled the ball late and Troy Boy got sacked for a saftety, which ensured defeat. Troy Smith would soon seize the reins for good and OSU would get revenge the following year.

Best First Half: 2001 @ Michigan, with the Buckeyes up 21-0 (26-20 final score). This game was like Christmas. Up until this point, Tressel's first season was largely forgettable and mediocre. However with this victory in this game, Tressel became Tress and captured Buckeye Nation's collective hearts. (You may remember that in his first rally, he said that the team would make the community proud at Michigan, 310 days hence). Jonathan Wells made Tressel prophetic as he ran wild (129 yards, 3 TDs) over Michigan, who could not do anything right--fumbles, interceptions, even snapping the ball (OSU got a saftety off a bad snap in the second half).
Best Second Half: 2002 vs. Washington State, 21 unanswered (25-7). Maurice Clarett, the nation knew ye. After trailing 7-6 at the half, Clarett and the Bucks defense poured it on Wazzu led by then-Heisman hopeful Jason Gessler. Clarett racked up 194 yards in the second half (230 for the game) and two scores as Ohio State beat their first nationally ranked opponent of the year. The image of Clarett bowling over two Wazzu defenders will always make me smile, save until he holds me at gunpoint.

Game OSU Should Have Lost: 2002 vs. Cincinnati, 23-19. Coming off the big win against Wazzu, OSU came out flat versus the Bearcats. The Bucks trailed most of the game, then finally went up on a Krenzel scramble for a TD. UC receivers missed three catches in the endzone during the final minute before Will Allen intercepted Cincy's last attempt, in a move that woud become his trademark. In all of OSU's 2002 nailbitters, this one was the closet, ironically to a team that would finish unranked.

Biggest Statement Game: 2006 @ Iowa, 38-17. While the 2006 Texas game deserves consideration, that game was close in the first half. OSU unloaded on a supposedly good Iowa team (OMG, Drew Tate's back!) in primetime at their place. Troy Boy threw four touchdown passes, including the sickest play in OSU history, Gonzo's catch on a crossing route, then turning on a dime and eluding the defense for a 30 yard score. Sick.

Game That Most Epitomizes 2002: 2002 @ Purdue, 10-6. One word describes this game: CRAZY. Among the myriad of things that happened during the game: Clarett coming out due to his shoulder stinger, a last second first half FG that kept Nugent's consecutive made streak alive, a Chris Gamble game-ending interception, and Krenzel proving that he can win a game on his arm with his feet not set. Luckeyes indeed.

Res ThaSequel's favorite OSU football player growing up was SE #12 Buster Tillman, which even he admits is pretty weird.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Rich didn't get the memo

As Eleven Warriors reported earlier this week, during a press conference RichRod commented on Jim Tressel bringing to attention what a bottom feeder the new UM coach really is.

Specifically speaking, Tress, ever so delicately, called Rich out on pursuing and signing a previously committed player--within the Big Ten nonetheless.

The Palestra and it's team of Johnny-on-the-spot student reporters were on hand for said press conference and, with due respect to the printed word, it's becoming more and more apparent that a moving picture of this tactless traitor is worth 1 million words:

Uncouth, unprofessional, defensive (offensive), abrasive: these are words that come to mind when watching Rodriguez piss away the millions he's evidently worth every time he opens his mouth.

Judging by the tone and Rich's verbiage, it wouldn't be wrong to suspect that the following was edited out by a guerrilla UM public relations team before allowing the clip to air:

"Ima' pistol whip you, boy"
"I learned that rule book just like the rest of 'em, I learned it gooood."
"Spread offense"
"This here [inset noun]"
"Badeep, badeep, that's all folks!"

Stay tuned for this week's VIEW FROM THE HEDGES wherein ThaSequal pays tribute to a real coach who's about kick off his 8th (ten month long) college football season at the same school.

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Better than any viral Pete Carroll video

No April Fools but this effort by ESPN's Jeremy Green must be a joke.

Paired with Draft expert Todd McShay, the straight-faced B.J. Novak character in ESPN's ensemble cast, Green comes off as a cross between That's Amore! star Dimenico and a sports-crazed big-rig driver hopped-up on a fistful of Yellow Hornets.

For a fun Saturday night:

  1. drink every time Green gives the "OK" sign to McShay or the camera.
  2. waterfall whenever you feel like you're watching a latenight magic show at the Tropicana
As an added bonus, the clip is a Vernon Gholston greatest hits compilation.

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Reports: Adams out with injury, awaits surgery

Little over a week into spring practice and Jim Tressel may have his first casualty of the '08 season.

OL Mike Adams, ranking officer in the Brew Crew with overpowering stature, has sustained a shoulder injury that will require surgery and may sideline him until October, if not the entire season, according to various posting boards.

IF Adams were to have an extended recovery period, it wouldn't be surprising to see him sporting a red shirt this season back in action soon enough. Though having "Big Mike" around for another year of development while he waits out Alex Boone's departure isn't the end of the world, Adams was/is competing for first year playing time along with classmates J.B. Shugarts and Mike Brewster.

Expect official word from OSU by the end of the day if any of this info is factual. Jim Bollman has confirmed Adams' shoulder injury. Ken Gordon reports this encouraging news:

To put it into perspective, Bollman said if Adams had suffered a similar injury during the season, he probably would have played through it and had surgery in the offseason. That hardly sounds like a separation or serious tear. You can't "play through" those. Bollman compared it to a problem tackle Shane Olivea had in the latter half of the 2002 season. He played through that all the way to a national championship.

This is a setback to a promising freshman, yes. But he may be healthy by fall...

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Run Like A Cheetah, Score Like B. Sanders


Like millions, I am entranced by the mythos of Muhammad Ali.

An undersized heavyweight, Ali became the greatest boxer of all-time and the godfather of talking smack. Throughout his career, Ali made brash statements about his greatness and his opponents. When he was still young Cassius Clay, he emphatically predicted victory over the impressive champion at the time, Sonny Liston, and Clay backed up his words with two victories over Liston. As an aging, declining boxer Ali said that he could beat the stronger, ferocious George Foreman and he kept that promise too.
Beanie Wells is no Muhammad Ali.

At least, Wells does not compare with Ali in terms of arrogant self-promotion.
On Thursday, Wells told the media that he wants the Heisman. As you can read in the article, Beanie spoke plainly and truthfully. He also did not guarantee winning the Heisman or belittle any of his potential competitors. He simply said that he thinks about winning a little metal man trophy (and presumably, the kind of games that it will take for him to do it).

I am fine with this. In fact, I support it.

While these comments might make "bulletin board" material for OSU's opponents, they also serve a purpose in pumping up his team.

He is saying that he knows he is good and so too is his offensive line. Now its on him and them to make Beanie's wish come true. Sure, these statements put pressure on Beanie and Jim Cordle and co. to perform but an athlete without ambition will be Bode Miller. An athlete should have goals, and Beanie on Thursday just put his out there. Now, I know winning the Heisman is a big goal, but after you've run for a record 222 yards against Michigan (and 957 yards your last six games), how do you top that? Answer: by winning college football's most prestigious award en route to a national championship, of course.
Additionally, I am about as positive as Magic Johnson that some reporter asked Beanie about the Heisman; he did not go off shooting his mouth about it. Not that Beanie shot his mouth about anything, saying that he wanted to win the trophy is much different than saying he would win it. The whole college football considers Beanie a preseason Heisman favorite; Beanie knows this and there is nothing wrong with him admitting that he wants to win it. That's like Bill Murray admitting that he wants to win an Oscar or me saying I want to make out with a hot girl--it might not always happen, but a man can always dream.
Dream big, Beanie, dream big.

Thoughts not worthy of an entire article: Davidson-Kansas and Xavier-West Virginia are the two of the most recent examples of how to blow your last second shot opportunity (although Xavier prevailed in overtime). In both cases, the guards, Stephen Curry and Drew Lavender respectively, waited way too long before doing anything in order to get a good look, which is a perfectly good way to ruin a good game. For more about Davidson, read Big Daddy Drew's take on deadspin . . . Congrats on the Basketball Bucks and their NIT Championship. But the refs really let them bang away on each other--so many blocks, so many rebounds, yet only one player fouled out . . . With only 159 games remaining and the Indians and Reds both at 2-1, there's no way an Interstate 71 World Series doesn't happen this year.

Res ThaSequel lives alone, unless you count posters of Jerry Rudzinski. He is seriously considering buying an NIT championship shirt.

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Koufos "update"

The Dispatch's OSU bball blog was quick to begin to Koufos watch. "I don't know" was the most reporters could get out of the tight lipped freshman when asked if he'd return to OSU.

Though Buckeye fans just getting used to the one-and-done trend in college basketball, experience psycho-analyzing football underclassmen can come in handy here. When Koufos says "It's not a big deal for me right now" what he really means is that he's thought about it almost every day since arriving on campus.

As is the case with doomed high school relationships , it's never a good sign when a player still needs to "think things over" but it's not necessarily bad sign either. No one can blame the international all-star for weighing his options and getting some substantial feedback on his Draft status. Hoops & Scoops, the blog above, says he is a projected first rounder (no source named) but certainly not a lottery pick as expected before the season began.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

"This is what happens when you put an NCAA tournament team in the NIT"

Though a few weeks ago I couldn't have disagreed more with the "NCAA Tournament team" portion of the above Jamar Butler quote (inspired by Walter Sobchak's "This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass!" tirade?), I'm now fully convinced that the '07-'08 Buckeyes had the kind of heart, if not the kind of talent, to earn a spot in the field of 64.

Depending on how much value you personally place on the play-in game, OSU is now officially the 65th or 66th best team in the land. RPI rankings, for whatever those are worth (supposedly their weight in gold to the Tournament Selection Committee) placed the Buckeyes at 38th, before the win over YouMass. While on the subject, the last four wins OSU notched to finish out a suddenly satisfying season were over teams ranked 30th, 45th, 29th and 93rd, respectively (again, as of 4/3 and using bogus math.)

The game in NYC was as entertaining as one could hope for out of an NIT title match. OSU actually dug themselves out of a half-time deficit instead of tunneling deeper with errant perimeter shooting and the like. As far as the post game pandemonium goes, I missed the documented Butler catharsis but 11W and MotSaG have photos up. Though images from the post game celebration are far from Hallmark worthy, it would be an injustice to write off the NIT victory as insignificant--especially considering the steps made by Evan Turner, P.J. Hill (minutes are minutes), Dallas Lauderdale and the return of Kosta.

As for Mr. Koufos, the Mediterranean Mystery, all eyes turn to him between now and April 27th to see if he will return to Columbus for another season. Your guess is as good as any, as there seem to be few insider tips floating around about his leanings. Matta's philosophy on early departure seems to be even more laissez-faire (see: realistic) than Tressel's so if the Draft experts come a-knockin' then don't expect coach to stand between his prized recruit and the money he already turned down once. However, the good news for everyone that doesn't have a name rhyming with Mosta Loufos, is that neither NBADraft.net or DraftExpress list the OSU center as a first rounder.

The obvious "negative" to returning would be the possibility of being overshadowed by the pure-post player master work of incoming freshman B.J. Mullens. Jealousy, of course, is best remedied with a trip to the Final Four.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring is the time when a young man's thoughts turn to practice (and Henton)


Res ThaSequel is new to Old Columbus Town and once saw Thad Matta at a Columbus Pizza Hut enjoying the lunch buffet. Matta refused him as a walk-on despite ThaSequel's assertion that "he was a five, but could play the two." This clearly makes him qualified to report on Ohio State.

As Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch reported, Antonio Henton (and to a lesser extent Joe Bauserman--though he apparently has a quick release) will use the spring practices in order to get a leg up before [the] Terrelle Pyror arrives at school ready to live up to his monstrous billing. Indeed, Henton, Buckeye City's favorite forgotten son, is in a dilly of a pickle as he must now decide between battling the much heralded Pryor at OSU or seek his fortunes elsewhere.

It is a decision with no easy (and certain) answer. Though a January 28 article posted by Our Honor Defend reported that Henton is happy and staying scarlet and gray, that article was published before well before Pryor signed with the Bucks.

On one hand, Pryor could bust (or get injured) and Henton could become the starter next season. On the other side, Henton might turn into Scott McMullen or Jonathon Moxon--a talented player whose career is almost entirely eclipsed (save for injury circumstances) by someone else. Additionally, if Henton does transfer, he must confront the guidelines set forth by the NCAA and get permission to leave and all that.

Despite the overwhelming odds against Henton and significant playing time, he can stay at Ohio State and still succeed. Going to a smaller school will be precarious at best and obligatory Short North prostitute jokes aside, if Henton has built a niche within OSU, it would be foolish to break that now. Competition will almost certainly exist at OSU or anywhere, if not with Pryor than some other recruit. Transferring does not necessarily mean instant success at a smaller school, case in point Louis Irizarry, the former troubled TE who went to Youngstown State after OSU and fizzled.

It could turn out, that Henton could impress in these next few practices and entrench himself as No. 2 behind Boeckman. Instead of a Boeckman throw and Pryor run platoon, Henton could displace Pryor talk. But there are other options beside QB--namely receiver--that Henton could do. Should Pryor become Troy Tebow, a man of Henton's talents would still be welcome and utilized.

If Henton becomes a career backup, then it might not be the end of the world. QB Matt Cassel sat behind Matt Leinart at USC. Currently, Cassel backs up Tom Brady. Now, this is a rare occasion, but an important precedent to show that life as a career backup can indeed become a career.

However, with all the emphasis being on football, remember that Henton is still a college student. Remember that when various fans say he's stupid for not transferring. Not too get too preachy, but perhaps Henton just likes it here. Being 6'2" his NFL prospects for quarterbacking are slim to nil (to say nothing of his talent, which has yet to even be tapped). He might as well enjoy his college life regardless of if his future lies in football or not.
Rather than eat fortune cookies and read Tarot cards, Henton should stick to the gridiron and focus on playing well. He has precious few opportunities to prove himself now before Pryor-mania, and he should concentrate on these practices and worry about the future later. If he plays well in spring, the rest will work itself out. High scouting marks do not mean success: remember that Justin Zwick was also hailed as the savior and Troy Smith a mere "athlete."

On a much sadder vein, the Dispatch also acknowledged that Buckeyes wideout Dan Potokar's cancer did not respond well to treatment. I met Potokar last year and found his smiling enthusiasm was instantly apparent and appreciated. Ohio State is lucky to have Potokar on the team, and I certainly hope the best for Potokar and those close to him.

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OMG! We luv U Jamar!

Jamar Butler, despite voicing his frustrations earlier this season, made his final walk to the Schott's locker room with a smile on his face.

Ok, more like a smirk.

Butler and the Bucks beat Dayton last night, advancing to the NIT semi-finals in NYC. Below is the post-game interview. After he is dismissed we are treated to one of the more endearing images of his prolific career: A cluster of fans in the otherwise empty stands give Butler a farewell cheer as the senior sheepishly tugs on the towel slung over his neck and amicably acknowledges the home crowd for the last time.

The undisputed leader of the basketball Bucks since Terence Dials left will be remembered for his receding hairline, multiple school records, prison tats, and, perhaps above all, enigmatic and humble demeanor. On a more existential level, Butler, recruited during his Mr. Basketball campaign and before Matta arrived, is a rare relic that links to the Jim O'Brien era. Doug Lesmerises of the Plain Dealer writes:

The winningest player in Ohio State history, so famously grumpy after defeats, has been the con stant, the link from coach Jim O'Brien to coach Thad Matta, from center Terence Dials to center Kosta Koufos, from a 2005 postseason ban to the 2007 Final Four. Over four years, he has started 111 games with 15 other players, switched positions from point guard to shooting guard and back again, emerged as Ohio State's all-time leader in assists and 3-pointers, and made his name as a defender, distributor and scorer.

"We always felt like no matter who came or who went, he was always kind of the glue," said his mother, Nancy. "He was always a needed piece to the puzzle no matter what team it was."

Butler is the most unlikely soon-to-be OSU record book reference in recent memory. Though certainly a catch out of high school, he arrived on campus with a Brent Darby complex: thrown into the mix too soon; before loosing that freshman 15. His four year tenure, like that of classmate Matt Terwilliger, already sounds like a misprint in this age of one-and-dones. Butler's path into the annals of OSU legend seems even more round about when compared to that of NBA fast-trackers Daequan Cook and Mike Conley Jr., former teammates who's skill sets are similar to Butler's.

Conley, who inadvertently crashed Butler's coming out party last season, appeared to be the next fan favorite of the winter season. He was a bit undersized with some wrinkles to smooth out, soft-spoken and comfortable playing second fiddle to the big man down low. It could be argued that if Ron Lewis missed that epic three-pointer against Xavier to advance to the Sweet 16 last year, Conley would have never been considered a lottery pick and returned for at least one more season. But, as Gus Johnson can tell you, that shot was destined to fall just as Conley was destined for greener pastures.

All this is to say that Butler is a special player for the very reasons he is not an exceptional player (like Conley or sometimes Cook.) As the Matta recruiting machine gains momentum each season, devouring the top high school talent near and far, the Jamar Butler's of the game will be spit out and distributed to other sleeping giant programs in need of their services. He and his workman-like efforts will be fondly remembered, as he is emblematic of an already-dated aesthetic. If Greg Oden and the Thad Five built the towering framework for an era when Buckeye basketball will begin it's ascent to "powerhouse" status, then Jamar Butler laid the foundation.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

If spring predictions hold true, come December there's gonna be some fussin' and a-feudin' in Georgia (again)

College Football News, owned and operated by Scout.com, has long been my favorite of the myriad internet college football, uh, news websites. The staff seems genuinely passionate about the one sport that they tirelessly cover year-round while always making efforts towards non-partisanship and giving press to even the smallest D-1 programs.

Based on this flattery alone, one can only assume that their predictions carry the most weight and are always spot-on. In today's crystal ball: An Ohio State v. Florida rematch in the BCS title game.

Their Spring Preview began in late last month, highlighting the 40 Best Non-Conference Matchups (No. 1: OSU v. USC) and finished with their BCS predictions:

Rose: Wisconsin v. USC
Orange: BC v. Pitt. ( I know, right?)
Fiesta: Missouri v. BYU
Sugar: Georgia v. Oklahoma
BCS Champ.: OSU v. Florida

Last May, the wizards at CFN were a modest 4 of 10 when guessing who the BCS teams would be (like most, going with LSU in the title game.) If their guess that Georgia will be playing in one of the "other" statistically determined matchups holds true, then it's time to--at the very least-- rethink that New Years golf outing to Athens unless you want to run into this guy:

From the article:
College football fans outside of Columbus might welcome this matchup as much as a kick in the store, but it could happen even if they each have a loss.

Make no mistake about it, like it or not, Ohio State is the most talented team in America. With James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins and Alex Boone all putting off their millions for another year, arguably the best kicking game in the country, Beanie Wells running the ball, depth everywhere, and Terrelle Pryor providing a possible bolt of lightning here and there, it'll be a shocker if the Buckeyes don't roll through the regular season, and that includes road trips to USC, Wisconsin and Illinois. Even so, there will be a collective groan if they end up in Miami instead of Pasadena.

Most notable is their claim that even a one-loss Buckeye team could find their way back to the title game. Not only is this debatable, it's probably being debated at this very moment, in a dimly lit speak-easy somewhere between South Carolina and Alabama.

If Jan. 8, 2009 is too long to wait for another shot at the Gators, fret not, as an OSU v. Florida NIT Championship is looking more and more likely.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bucks set date with Flyers

To make up for all that missed time in the classroom over spring break, the Ohio State basketball team put on a clinic last night in St. John Arena, beating Cal 73-56.

The old field house was shaking on full tilt during the first half when Jamar Butler (right, v. UNC Ash.) hit 3 treys and the Bucks built a 12 point lead that would carry them the rest of the game. What's more, the team's defensive effort held the usually high-scoring Bears to their second-lowest point total of the season. Ryan Anderson, Cal's big answer who averages 21 pts/game, was regulated to 4-11 shooting and 11 pts.

All this begs the question: Is this silver medal tournament providing the low-stress atmosphere that this young team has searched for all season?

It would certainly seem so from the look and sound of last night's event, which rivaled the Springsteen concert as the best place for a 40-year-old in Levis and a red pullover to show his son some real history. Gabby Jay at Our Honor Defend spoke for all of us when asking if St. John was available for the Wednesday meeting with Dayton. The answer, unfortunately, is "no" and your guess is as good as mine as to what might be going on at S.J. that's more important (Uneducated guess: Cage fight or Jim O'Brien sleeps there.)

Concerning that delicious matchup with instate foe Dayton, it's hard to imagine a better scenerio for both teams--a scenario, I might add, that I foresaw in my NIT bracket that I submitted to Cuse Country. Enjoy the much deserved roasting they give me for picking almost every other game incorrectly. The OSU v. Dayton game will fairly crown the second best team in the Buckeye State this season (behind Xavier), considering Kent St. forfeited any hopes of that title last week.

Until then, we're left with the haunting and angry words of ThaSequal: Are the Bucks one step closer to salvaging this season?


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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Basketball 2007-08: Chernobyl or Mere Three Mile Island?



Res ThaSequel is a new contributor to the Old Columbus Town. He is the author of
The Dimitrious Stanley Story and still wears his 1999 Final Four gear without irony or fear of reprisals. You hear me, NCAA?

There is a simple answer to the question of if this year's installment of OSU Men's basketball was a disappointment.

The answer: yes.

While the squad undeniably lost a lot (I even find myself missing D-Cook's erratic play), they should have not been this bad. Two of the Thad Five returning was better than none, and Kosta Koufos was (is?) allegedly a lottery pick. Add in the steady play of Jamar Butler, the face of the basketball renaissance in Buckeye Town, and you have a team that looks intimidating--not Jennifer Aniston second season of Friends intimidating[ly hot]--more like a Courtney Cox.

The season started well enough (notwithstanding a loss to Findlay in preseason) where OSU beat the teams they should and played up to the likes of UNC and Butler. Then the team found out that Purdue is good, Iowa is tough on the road, and they lost to Minnesota for good measure. OSU got its groove back the last part of the season in defeating Purdue and MSU, but it was not enough.

There are simple reasons for Ohio State's bball downfall.

First, everyone except for Butler and Turner (and perhaps Kosta--he dominated at times) underachieved this season, and thus so did the team. For the first time in Matta's tenure, the team did not play up to its potential. In Matta's first couple years his squad's scrapped and made up for a lack of talent and Matt-fucking-Sylvester. Then came last year, where the team fought the best team this side of '92 Duke in the Finals. These teams played hard, whereas this year's squad did not have the same fight. Lighty and Hunter were supposed to be big and at times flashed brilliance (O-Hunt is still learning the game--its only his fifth year of playing organized ball) but then absolutely disappeared. Their paltry season averages (8.8 ppg and 3.6 rpg for Lighty and 9.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg for Hunter) partly tell the story, but the fact that Hunter went for 15 and 12 against Michigan the first time, and then 6 and 3 in the inglorious rematch are more revealing. They were as inconsistent as David Letterman or Michigan State football every year--you never know if its going to be really good or fucking awful.

Second, although I mentioned reasons earlier why OSU had good prospects for this season, the team did not blossom as Buckeye fans would have hoped. They were freshmen who played like freshmen. Diebler, who I want to call "The Faucet" because he can get hot or cold so quickly (mainly cold), never got that comfortable this year. Kosta progressed and regressed. He plays like a small forward trapped in a center's body. Turner, by far the team's most improved player, really came alive as a defender and scorer yet at times marred his game with bad passes and TOs. Main point, these guys are new to the NCAA game and Cbus, as usual, was expecting a lot.

Third, the deficiencies that have plagued Matta's teams hit this team hard. Namely, the team likes treys and not boards. Yes, I am glad that Kosta has a great shot. However, when you have four guys on the perimeter ready to jack it up at all times (including Terwiliger?!?!) that means rebounds are going to be in short supply. In 2005-06, the team took threes because it was three undersized guys and Matt-fucking-Sylvester, who will forever suck in my mind despite his big shots against Illinois and LSU, and Dials. They were a short bunch with only one real good post player. Now they have depth and good size and . . . still jacking up the threes. [Actually after watching the likes of Drake, who could have easily beaten Western 'Tucky if Kyle Korver's brother and co. drove to the hoop/went for easier points instead of jacking it from halfcourt every time, I think this is more a problem with college bball in general. Plenty of teams play ball like my friend does on NBA Live: launch threes regardless of the score.] Nevertheless, this hurt Ohio State. How else do you explain 7' Kosta and 6'9" Hunter and the rest getting out-rebounded by smaller teams?

But the sun has not set on OSU bball yet. Yes, they did not make the Dance but they are young and hopefully this can motivate them for next year (when B.J. Mullens comes to town). However, this year's squad still has a chance to please. And only an elusive National [Invitational Tournament] Championship will do.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Belmont coach employs the sweater vest look, nearly up-ends Duke

Rick Byrd, Belmont basketball head coach, put a new face to the sweater vest "trend" this evening during his near-upset of Coach K and the hated Blue Devils (71-70). It's uncertain as to whether the look is inspired by The Vest himself, but a quick scan of the Bruins website and the always reliable Google Images shows that Byrd is rarely seen without a handsome v-neck over a crisp button down.

Needless to say, coach Byrd is a poorly-executed inbounds play away from making my short list of complete strangers who I'd trust to tattoo a Block-O on my neck while driving recklessly through a suburban neighborhood.

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Can't score, can't win, Kent State

Taken earlier today: The Golden Flashes pose at the Delt house before departing for Omaha

Ragging on Kent St. is about as relevant as a Mad TV sketch, but today was an unpleasent reminder of why the Golden Flashes will always be that other MAC team from Ohio.

K-State was drubbed today by UNLV,71-58, in one of those hard-to-predict 8 v. 9 matchups. Other than mildly embarassing me in the opening round of what is destined to be my best pool showing ever, the Flashes only scored 10 points in the 1st half.

10 points.

A glance at the box score offers a few explanations for this offensive "output," the obvious being 17 turnovers (in the first half.)

This unceremonious early exit, though only one round earlier than I expected (UNLV will face Kansas in the second round), is most disappointing when considering the amount of positive press Kent St. earned leading up to the tournament. In fact, many experts were labeling this year's team as "giant killers" who had a legitimate chance against the mighty Jayhawks. We'll never know.

All eyes now turn to Xavier and Brookhaven grad Andrew Lavander, who barely escaped Georgia today, 73-61.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Terrelle Pryor narrows list down to 1

Terrelle Pryor will be attending The Ohio State University and is the dual-threat icing on top of the cake that is the best recruiting class in the Jim Tressel era (with the signing of Pryor, OSU "leapfrogs" USC to claim ESPN's 6th best class.)

His anti-climatic press conference has long past the 5- minute mark and one can imagine the strain traveling reporter Paul Germain feels in his left arm while holding his Blackberry up the TV back in Columbus.

I'll be looking for some kind of transcript of the p.c., as it played out more like a post-game interview. Most intriguing were the segments where T.P. reminisced about RichRod's plea for one more chance and gave us fans some reassurance that his diva status was the fault of us bloggers/media.

UPDATE: 10tv.com has screwed me again. Check here for the video (Thanks Vico, OHD)

Elsewhere, Mike Ferrell, Pryor's unlikely confidante throughout the saga, says goodbye to his most interesting story ever.

And finally, Kirk Bart--er, Michael Brewster's take on the deal (from Scout.com):

“Because we have one of the best coaches in the country,” Brewster said. “We’ve got the offense that will mold him into a Heisman (winner), a line that will protect him and this offense will not only mold him for a Heisman but will also make him ready for the NFL. The spread offense at Michigan and what they run, that will get you hurt as you can see in all those programs: Oregon, Florida, West Virginia. Also, nobody runs that in the NFL. I just want my good friend to be playing quarterback so I can protect him.
Check back for continuing coverage and join the effort to beat this dead horse for a few more days

Welcome home, Terrelle.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pryor to announce tomorrow

Projected to be bigger than the season finalies of Project Runway and Rock of Love 2 combined, Terrelle Pryor will finally end speculation and announce his decision tomorrow, high noon.

As evidenced by the brevity of the Post Gazette article, this is "breaking" news and there's no word of a televised press conference at this time.

UPDATE: It took a couple hours, but there's finally some substantial, non-recycled info surfacing in light of Pryor announcing his plans to announce his announcement. Bob Lichtenfels of Scout.com posted an article titled "Pryor Ready To Move On" this afternoon...and it sounds like Pryor to OSU isn't exactly a sure-bet.

Pryor has told various media outlets that he is down to two teams, but today he told us it still remains set at three.
One source who only spoke on condition of anonymity, but is very close to the situation has informed us that Michigan has made up a lot of ground recently and could be the wild card in this situation.
“Several very influential Michigan players past and present and other NFL people have been telling him that Michigan would be the best move for his future,” our source said. “Ohio State looks to be the front-runner, but I wouldn’t close the door on Michigan just yet."

I'm not sure who these "influential" Michigan players of the past could be since most of them seem to enjoy bad-mouthing their alma mater in the media. Perhaps all this additional reporting by Lichtenfels is just meant to add an element of suspense because I feel this quote says it all:

Pryor doesn’t appear to be very dramatic about the whole decision making process and was not evasive when we asked if the school of choice already knew his plans.
“I’m pretty sure they know I’m coming," Pryor stated.

If "they" isn't "us" at this point, I'd say Buckeye Nation has been duped.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Finally, another way to slow workplace productivity

The fine scholars at the Syracuse basketball blog, Cuse Country, are hosting their 2nd Annual NIT Bracket Challenge.

Thanks to some grade-A Microsoft Office work and a true commitment to the sport (of casual gambling and basketball), Cuse Country has given all of us Buckeye fans another reason to watch our team throw down with the rest of the best.

DEADLINE IS TUESDAY (TOMORROW), 6 PM so I encourage everyone to head over to Cuse Country and fill out your bracket.

For those following at home, the "official" OCT bracket is displayed below. Notice the juicy match up in the final: OSU v. former Buckeye coach Gary Williams and the Turtlepins (winner: OSU.) Other than that, use the following bracket as an example of what not to do.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bucks grab that elusive No. 1 seed after all

Only this year it's in the N.I.T., which, evidently, is not as "prestigious" as the NCAA Tournament.

Ohio St. will face that venerable, history-rich program from North Carolina, UNC-Asheville, which, evidently, exists. (Tuesday, 7PM, ESPN2)

The big story thats making everyone in Bristol, CT giggle is the possibility that OSU and Florida will meet again in a championship setting. It's still uncertain whether this scenerio would be good for anyone.

I'm trying to find a good site for electronic N.I.T. pools. Seriously.

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Did Gumbel almost say Ohio St.?

Absolutely. Someone get the selection show on YouTube, post-haste.

For anyone who missed the show or gave up after the first two regions were named, CBS's Greg Gumbel reeeeeallly sounded like he was about to read Ohio State in place of Georgia for the 14th seed in the West.

Alas, Georgia certainly deserves to be there after winning four games in three days to capture the SEC's automatic bid and, as 11w pointed out, officially booting the Bucks.

However, in the tradition of, who else, Georgia, we can certainly bitch about why we should have a more desirable post-season destination. CBS pointed out earlier in their broadcast that, essentially, the official brackets were locked in early this afternoon--taking into consideration the different outcomes of the SEC and Big 10 championship games. So, as I'm almost certain Gumbel almost said, Ohio St. would have been the 14th seed in the West if Georgia had lost today.

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Who's in, who's out?: Pryor & the basketball Bucks

Per Scout.com and the punctual reporting over at Our Honor Defend & Eleven Warriors, Terrelle Pryor is taking the plunge and announcing his decision "sometime" next week.

And with days to spare until the April 1 deadline!

Check out OHD/ 11W for the particulars of this breaking news (yes, there is mention of "the list.") The long and the short of it seems to be that old T.P. never did pencil in those visits to Oregon or Penn St. and might be choosing between OSU and Michigan after all.

As there was a relative Pryor gossip blackout after his brief appearance at OSU's Junior Day, there can be much speculation about who was whispering what into his impressionable young ears between basketball games. I'm looking at you, Rich.

Concerning the basketball Bucks...

With a few games underway/left to play today, Joe Lunardi, Phd, Bracketology, named OSU one of the "last four out" of his pre-selection show bracket. It was the last time you'll see "Ohio St." mentioned in the same stanza as "Illinios St. and New Mexico St."

Only time will tell.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Illinios in position to screw us again

Foiled again?

Top seeded Wisconsin will face the 10th seeded Fighting Illini tomorrow in the Big Ten conference championship.
Illinois, smokin' hot off a win over Minnesota, is just a win away from earning an automatic invite to the big dance and slamming the door in OSU's face. While you optimist-types out there aren't ready to fill out your N.I.T. brackets until after tomorrow's selection show, it's hard to believe that the selection committee would leave room for the Bucks after letting a 16-18 team from the Big Ten sneak in.

No need to lose sleep tonight, however, as Wisconsin has made it very clear down the stretch that it is the class of the conference, winning their last nine games.

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Pret-ty neat there, Gophers

This video would normally be 'Duly Noted' material but, in the interest of giving it as much exposure as possible, I'll post 'er here.

As we all know (What?, You stopped caring about basketball after the Bucks lost? Terrorist!) Indiana lost to the Minnesota in the Big 10 tourney today. I almost called the Gophers "lowly" but then I remembered that OSU also, um, lost to Minnesota.

The shocker was the fashion in which Indiana was knocked off.

ESPN is calling the shot "Laettner-esque." Personally, after watching Purdue lose, I'm wondering why the Buckeyes didn't get the memo about upsetting the top seeds in the Big Ten Tournament.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Yes, there is a blog here

Drewbie Neitzel: Very diesel
And we’re back.

As any LOST viewer knows, asking too many questions about sudden absences and inexplicable reappearances is a complete waste of time. So, instead of going into great depth about how a phone call from traveling reporter Paul Germain this afternoon sparked an Ali-like return to the ring (OK, more like a Josh Huston return to the field after getting a 6th year of eligibility, but lets not get picky) lets focus on the ‘dem Bucks.

It is now all but certain that Matta’s youngins are destined for mediocrity in the only tournament that celebrates it, The N.I.T. (insert clever acronym joke here.) After the winning two games over ranked teams, OSU couldn’t convert the back-end of a two-game series with Michigan St.

The villain this afternoon? Other than some aggressive, if not questionable officiating (3 fouls and a technical in under two minutes—all against the Bucks), Drew Neitzel (28 TP, 6 3-PT) can be blamed. Neitzel is the quintessential Big Ten basketball star: he’s awkward off the court, somewhat exotic yet catchy name, not attractive by any measure (*cough* Sigourny Weaver in Alien 3) , almost anonymous outside the conference and has been around for waaaay too long (See: Duany Duany.)

Give Koufos his due credit for playing like the natural talent he is before the whistle got in the way and try to avoid the "what if" game with Othello Hunter (right, sans O-Hawk) and what could have been if he was around for another two years.

What it boils down to: can you honestly say this is one of the top 64 teams in the country and still look at yourself in the mirror? I tried, and it doesn’t feel good.

On the other hand, I don’t doubt that this team, despite being streaky, clumsy and unlucky, could beat about 32 of the teams that will hear their names called on Sunday.

So, considering the flaky, contradictory musings above, one can expect a weird and appropriately ambivalent March in Columbus.


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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chris Long's dad is better than your dad

Well, the old NFL combine (not unlike the "old fashioned 3 point play" that Steve Lavin mentioned on more than one occasion during last night's hoops game) has come to an end.

Todd McShay of ESPN says some stuff, jumps on the Vern bandwagon and then talks about some other stuff.

The big news, as far as you and I are concerned, wasn't Gholston's brute strength or even his speed, but that the reigning king of sacks at OSU might actually be a better NFL prospect than UVA's Chris Long. Long, for those who don't know, was an All-American DE on an otherwise lame Cavaliers team who has the NFL build and pedigree (read, Howie Long). In his defense, based strictly on appearance and the one Cavs game I saw last year, Long looks like he power curls Harley Davidsons and bathes in the tears of O-linemen.

Events in which Gholston bested Long:

  • 40 -Yard Dash
  • Bench Press
  • Vertical Jump
  • Broad Jump
The 3-Cone drill and shuttle runs play more into Long's strength in lateral movement, agility, footwork, etc. and arguably make him the better catch. CFN believes that Long will still be the top defensive end taken, but also says that Gholston's overall workout was one of the highlights of the combine.

Kirk Barton and Larry Grant were the other Buckeyes in Indianapolis for the combine. Grant, who is part of a LB class thought to be weaker than usual, had a decent showing. He excelled in the agility drills, particularly the 3-cone, making his case for a first day selection.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Gholston creating a buzz at combine

Hey, Vern!

The recently departed Vernon Gholston (not to be confused with Ernest's omnipresent off-camera comrade) seems to be making an impression at the NFL combine.

ESPN is impressed with his meteoric rise to success and humble demeanor. Other than the intangibles, Vern is also the new prototype for NFL defensive ends.
Gholston had to be versatile enough to rush the passer and drop into coverage at the "Leo" spot, so he'll have any easier adjustment as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. If he winds up playing as a 4-3 defensive end, he admits there will be a harder transition with lining up in a three-point stance.
But Gholston did play offensive line in high school, so he has some experience with putting his hand on the ground. He's also smart enough to pick up any position, especially when considering how he played against [Jake] Long.
Then there's his improbable build and super human strength that liken Gholston to one of those greased-up extras in 300. The bulky defender put up 225 lbs 37 times in the bench press, tying the high for this year's combine. Watch him achieve what you never will.

The other prospect with 37 reps? None other than Michigan's Jake Long. Methinks an appropriate tie-breaker may be that sack Long gave up this year when the two went head-to-head.

Kirk Barton was three behind, with an impressive 34 reps.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

What game?

Scout.com has posted a few photos from this afternoon's cameo. Here, with Dublin Coffman's Mike Adams:

Per traveling reporter Paul Germain and the Newark Advocate, the previously mentioned commits that Pryor was with were J.B. Shugarts, Mike Adams, Michael Brewster and Jake Stoneburner.

Pryor and the gang evidently vacated their premium seats before things got ugly on the court and hopefully went somewhere more intimate to discuss their prosperous future together.

Paul, who is just begging for a pay raise or at least a reimbursement to cover all his text messages today, says to expect some "exclusive" information from local reporter Jeff Hogan, who appeared to grab the recruit for a minute of face-time. Contradicting reports, however, say that Pryor avoided making any comments to reporters.

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Pryor back in the 614

UPDATE: Elvis has entered the building. According to Paul, Pryor made a brief, if not premature, entrance as the Buckeyes headed to the locker room for half-time. He exchanged greetings with the Brew Crew before ducking out of view with Tressel.

Doug Lesmerises of the Plain Dealer reports that Terrelle Pryor is in fact in Columbus today.

Lesmerises spotted everyone's favorite unsigned 5-star recruit heading into the Woody Hayes Center with a modest entourage that included football teammate and potential future Buckeye, Jordan Hall.

As posted by Move the Needle and reported by The Post Gazette, Pryor put on his Kobe face last night and had a huge, huge (a near triple-double in the FIRST HALF) game in the Penn. state tourney.

Traveling reporter Paul Germain offered an extra set of eyes at the Schott and has been phoning in updates, anticipating a red-carpet entrance by the boy wonder. With about 4 minutes left in the first, no sign of the QB recruit.

According to Paul, a few members of the Brew Crew are at the game as well, including O-lineman J.B. Shugarts who is already enrolled at The Ohio State University.

On day when Twig is sinking threes and Butler comes off the bench, anything seems possible.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Schott off the mark again

In an interview with The Dispatch, Bill Jones of the OSU Athletic Dept. says he will be considering a change of policy for seating/tickets for men's basketball games.

According to Jones, 4,000 student tickets--of about 19,000 total--were alloted this season. Half in the, ahem, "Nut House" behind each basket and half in the upper bowl. The high-profile lower bowl seats are first come, first serve, (which is why the enthusiastic, demonstrative kid with novelty foam cowboy hat is usually court-side). The "nosebleeds" are reserved so those students can funnel the final pre-match beer just moments before tip-off in the Jesse Owens parking lot. However, these upper bowl ticket holders can't make their way behind the baskets if they notice their fellow students have failed to show.

The thorn in Jones' (in charge of ticketing and premium seating) side is the empty seats he's seen in these designated sections, particularly on big nights such as the Feb. 10th engagement with Indiana.

"It's really frustrating to us," Jones said. "(Students) want us to do this and this and this and this (for them), and when we do it, they don't show."
Welcome to the discussion, Bill Jones, one that's taken place behind your back for the last 10 years. And, yes, that's some pickle the athletic dept. has found itself in. Unfortunately, it sounds like Jones' knee-jerk reaction is to use this season as an example and distribute less reserved student tickets next year:
"I keep hearing rumors that students are going to propose (they be allotted) more basketball tickets next year," Jones said. "When you see the empty seats we have now, why would I think of doing that?"
It would be a shame to make the Schott a more sterile place based on the lack of enthusiasm during a season of uninspired basketball on the court. Jones is open to the idea of all student seats being first come, first serve.

Still, I think the crux of the matter is that Jones and his department are driven by the dollar (of which Schottenstein Center has been emblematic since its construction in the Geiger years.) He notes that the empty seats in the Nut House could fetch $27 from a non-student fan. But, as anyone who has been to a Buckeye game at V-a-l-u-e C-i-t-y Arena is aware, the typical non-student fan is nothing more than a red-sweatered body filling a seat.

Greed is good, and so are those potential lower -bowl revenues

While the Nut House isn't anywhere near as intimidating as the Cameron Crazies, or any ACC fan section for that matter, we've seen what kind of support the OSU student body can offer when given the chance. Instead of punishing students for skipping out on games that David Lighty would probably rather miss as well, Jones and his staff should take steps with the immeasurably important student fan base and not against them.

In other Schott-related news...

Earlier this week, Eleven Warriors dug up some rumblings that the chosen one may be making an appearance at Sunday's b-ball game vs. Wisconsin. Read the comments section to learn that this may be a sure-thing.

If so, expect no less than 30 cut-aways to Pryor and his entourage during the CBS telecast.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mullens, Buford named McD's All-Americans

B-ball class of '09 commits B.J. Mullens and William Buford (right) have been named to the McDonald's All-American squad. Only 24 high school players in the country are bestowed with this honor.

Though both future-Buckeyes are local (Mullens plays for Canal Winchester and Buford is a Toledo boy), they will be on opposing rosters. Big man Mullens will be playing for the West alongside Rivals' top-ranked player, Greg Monroe (Georgetown) and SG Buford will suit up with a handful of ACC bound players like Tyler Zeller (UNC) and Elliot Williams (Duke).

The McDonald's All-American game is unofficially the most prestigious high school all star game in any sport as well as a pretty accurate indicator of future success(click "Alumni.") Of course, you always have your Ivan Harris' of the bunch who never pan out like projected.

Not a McDonald's All-American, but a clown nonetheless

Talented freshman center Kosta Koufos, still waiting for that "dare to be great moment," saw limited time in last year's game but still managed nine points.

Mullens and Buford join former-Buckeye cagers like Greg Oden, Jim Jackson and Clark Kellogg who also played against the best in the Mickey D's annual showcase.

This year's game is will be played on March 26 in Milwaukee.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Pryor: "I don't want anymore attention"

At least that’s what the mystery recruit told his gal-pal Mike Farrell in this “hot off the press” interview from Buckeye Grove.

So, it only seems fitting to post about his request.

The article, as far as I’m concerned, could be a composite of several “updates” that Farrell has published since no new information has surfaced. If anything, the interview already sounds dated when compared to the reports coming from other sources of ill-repute.

The highlight reel:

Pryor said the media attention has slowed down a great deal since Signing Day.

"That day was tough because I was being criticized by everyone for not making up my mind and signing," he said. "Mark May from ESPN is criticizing me on national television and he doesn't even know me. That kind of stuff really bothers me, when people who know nothing about me are talking about me like they know anything. There was so much media there that day that I had to address the issue, but I'd prefer to be left alone."

This is where he gets into the “no more attention.” A big plus for the Buckeyes is that Pryor has already formed a mutual distaste for Mark May.

But is Pryor doing it to appease his father or is he truly interested in the Nittany Lions?

"I'm really interested," he said. "This isn't just being respectful of my father, this is thinking things through and making sure I have all the info I need before I make a big decision. I really like Coach Bradley at Penn State and they could end up being the right fit for me, I'm not sure."

Has any other school entered the picture?

"No, it's still Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Oregon," he said. "That's it."

So Penn St. may really have a shot and, despite these aforementioned reports otherwise, it’s still four schools in the race.

"I've seen everything at Michigan, but I didn't get to see everything at Ohio State," he said. "I am still in touch with all the Ohio State commitments I've become friends with, but they're being really cool about it, not pressuring me."

He goes on to say that Michigan is still on the same plateau as the rest but he sounds pretty nonplussed about his affair with Ann Arbor. Evidently the tour was pretty lackluster? They showed him the Big House and then the part of campus where students walk to class, followed by that one cool bar…you know the one.

Very Euro

There’s also something in there about Oregon and nice facilities but I wasn’t too clear on that issue. Read for yourself and find the hidden meaning to it all.

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