Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ohio State Football: Silver Lining for 2011 Despite Suspensions, Rumors



The previously insignificant blog ChicagoNow posted a story that so far seems completely false and unfounded in which its' author suggests Buckeye coach Jim Tressel will step down after the Sugar Bowl.

It would be shocking if this had any basis in fact and it would seem very unlikely that an unknown blog (at least outside of the greater Chicago-land area) would have the inside track on such a potential huge story out of Columbus, while the Columbus TV stations nor the Columbus Dispatch have made any mention of it.

Therefore, it should be considered phooey until proven otherwise. Tressel's contract runs through 2014 and the odds of him resigning prior to the end of the 2014 season are practically nil, so don't hold your breath.

Now, as for the suspensions that were levied by the NCAA against Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, and Soloman Thomas—they (the NCAA) are a joke. Five games for selling your own property to help your family?

The punishment does not fit the crime, and while the suspensions could be reduced to three or four games, it's still is unfair to the individual players.

Hopefully the NCAA takes a log hard look at itself in the mirror after this and removes the rule that prevents players from making a little money to help their families, but don't hold your breath on that one either...

That being said, here's where the silver lining comes in for the 2011 Buckeyes.

Some would say Tressel is often considered loyal to a fault when it comes to his upperclassmen, even when there may be a younger, more talented player behind an upperclassman on the depth chart.

With the loss of skill-position players Pryor, Herron, and Posey for at least a handful of games, Tressel will be forced to evaluate some younger guys and give them a shot sooner than he otherwise normally would have.

Joe Bauserman has been the No. 2 QB for the Bucks the last two seasons but it has to be painfully obvious to everyone including JT that he is not even a DI-level backup, let alone starter.

Quarterback is obviously the most important offensive position.

Ohio State has Braxton Miller, the No. 2 rated high school QB in the nation, signed to their 2011 class.

Many experts believe the dual-threat Miller is very comparable to Pryor, except he actually can throw the ball and has the mechanics of a pure passer. The knock on Pryor has always been his below-average mechanics, so this could open the door for Miller.

The Buckeyes could also turn to redshirt sophomore Kenny Guiton or redshirt freshman Taylor Graham.


Guiton, a less-heralded dual-threat QB, was the winning quarterback in the 2010 Scarlet and Gray spring game. While Bauserman struggled (as usual), Guiton completed 11 of 21 passes for 167 yards with two touchdown tosses.

Graham, son of former-Buckeye QB Kent Graham, is more of a prototypical pocket QB.

His Scout.com profile says of him, "Has prototypical size for the position. He stands tall in the pocket, has good mechanics and has solid arm strength, although adding velocity is something which could really help him in college. He is accurate and throws the ball on time, displaying the ability to hit receivers in stride. He makes quick decisions, showing good football acumen. He is not a running quarterback by any stretch, but does show the ability to throw on the move."

The fear in this situation is that Tressel might still go with Bauserman, the upperclassmen who has put in the most time, a la Todd Boeckman in 2008, but we all know how that turned out after just three games, so let's hope JT selects his QB based on ability, not seniority.

When it comes to running back, Tressel won't have much choice but to play some of the guys the fans have been wanting to see and that could be the biggest silver lining of all to come-about from the tat-gate fallout.

Senior Brandon Saine will be gone and Herron may elect to turn pro, leaving Jordan Hall, Jaamal Berry, Carlos Hyde, and Rod Smith to choose from.


Hall has seen the most playing time to date so he is probably the leading candidate at this point—however—Berry displayed flashes of great potential while averaging 8.3 ypc in 2010—Hyde saw some game action in 2010 as well and has been compared to Beanie Wells—and Smith has been turning heads during the Sugar Bowl practices, earning praise from the staff and his teammates, while garnering comparisons to Eddie George.

The biggest hurdle the 2011 Buckeyes will face is replacing senior Dane Sanzenbacher, who led the team in receiving, and Posey, the second leading receiver.

There are a slew of young wideouts on the roster, but very few have had much of an opportunity to play thus far.

Corey Brown (pictured at right), James Jackson, Chris Fields, TY Williams, James Louis, and Verlon Reed are all recruits from either 2009 or 2010. Brown is really the only one who has seen much playing time as a WR.

The 2011 recruiting class includes four-star receivers Devin Smith and Evan Spencer.

Perhaps they get an early shot at earning some playing time.

There are a lot of questions as the 2010 season winds down, and as the off-season is nearly upon us.

Are there any truth to the rumors about Tressel considering retirement?

In the face of their pending suspensions, will Pryor, Herron, Posey and the others jump ship in hopes of NFL fortune and fame?

Is it Miller time in 2011, as in Braxton Miller, or does BM redshirt in favor of Bauserman while Tressel rebuilds for 2012?

Which of the young running back(s) will emerge as "the guy" in 2011?

Will whomever ends up as the starting quarterback have anyone worth a hill of beans to throw the ball to?

The only thing for sure right now is these questions will be answered eventually, and it's going to be a long off-season until they are...







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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ohio State "D" Overrated, Buckeyes to Drown in the River Knile… ?



Hey gang, HD here again.

Another "writer" named Brad Audrain (what is it with that site and guys named Brad hating on OSU?) on the SEC Football Blog, Saturday Down South has posted yet another gem of an article that we felt needed some attention and rebuttal from Buckeye fans.

Please forward a link to this article to every Ohio State football fan you know!




Copyright Brad Audrain / Saturday Down South


Since Knile Davis arrived on campus at the University of Arkansas, life has been frustrating for the 4-star back from Texas.

Soon after committing to be a Razorback, his entrance was trumped by the transfer of Broderick Green from USC, and the signing of a more highly touted running back in Ronnie Wingo Jr.

Davis graduated early and moved to Fayetteville in January to be ready for Spring practice. Unfortunately, after a week of practice, Davis broke his collar bone and had to sit out until the fall.

Davis never wavered in his decision to be a Hog, but with Michael Smith, Wingo, Green, De’Anthony Curtis, and Dennis Johnson all sharing time in the backfield with him, Davis knew it would be very difficult to see much playing time in his freshmen campaign.

Davis played through some more injuries his freshmen year and always ran hard when his number was called, but he received only 33 carries and averaged right around five yards a pop.

Once Michael Smith had graduated, the backfield opened up a little more. Dennis Johnson was lost for the season only a few games in, and Knile Davis was finally able to get his much needed carries.

For some reason, Bobby Petrino stuck with Broderick “chubby” Green for the first half of the season, and it ultimately cost the Razorbacks at least one win (possibly two because Green had a miserable game against Auburn that included a game altering fumble that lead to an Auburn TD return).

Davis did not complain even though anyone that watched Green take 8 seconds to hit the hole, knew he wasn’t worth the “charmin that he wipes his butt with.”

Knile finally had a big run against Texas A&M, and he never slowed down. After compiling 82 yards on 10 carries against the Aggies, Petrino continued adding to his work-load with fourteen carries for 91 yards at Auburn and 22 carries for 176 against that sweaty son of a bitch Houston Nutt.

Knile finished the season with 4 straight games gaining over 100 yards against some of the nations' top teams (3 of these 4 teams are currently ranked in the BCS Top 25, and they were all ranked in the Top 18 when the game was played).

The Buckeyes and E. Gordon Gee believe that they have faced a real schedule this season, and that their defensive statistics aren’t a complete joke to this point.

Ohio St. continues to brag about their defense against the pass and how it’s so highly ranked.

Well, Ryan Mallett and crew are up for the challenge, but the two-headed monster directed by Bobby Petrino is more than Ryan Mallett, Joe Adams, Greg Childs, Cobi Hamilton, and DJ Williams.

Ask LSU and their number one ranked run defense, which saw Arkansas two days after Thanksgiving. Knile Davis compiled 152 yards on 30 carries only one week after thrashing Mississippi St. for 187 on the same number of touches.

Arkansas finally has its' running back, and that is not good news for the Buckeyes and their overrated defense.

Arkansas does not intend to drop the ball on the SEC’s undefeated record against Ohio St. in bowl games, and Knile Davis is the reason the Hogs are confident.

The Sugar Bowl will be rocking on January 4th, and the River Knile will be running all over those Buckeyes.

I just wish E. Gordon Gee were on the field to take a stiff arm from the River Knile on his way to the end zone.



As we stated before, we'll keep an eye out for any future garbage from either of the Brads and Saturday Down South. We can always use, and share, a few more good laughs. It should also prove GREAT to revisit these articles AFTER the January 4th Sugar Bowl...


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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Arkansas Talking Trash About Ohio State and (Shocker) Piggybacking the SEC



Hey guys, HD here. Before you read the following article, I wanted to preface it and reveal its' origin.

It was penned by one Brad Wilkerson and recently appeared on a SEC blog known as Saturday Down South.

Whenever fans of a program (Arkansas) that has never beaten a Big Ten team in a bowl game or really ever had any national significance trash-talks a program like Ohio State, it is just too priceless not to share here on BlockONation.

And certainly no other grouping of college football fans in the nation can piggyback the accomplishments of the legit teams in their conference like those KINGS OF PIGGYBACKING SEC fans...

Please forward a link to this article to every Buckeye fan you know!




Razorbacks Criticize Buckeyes



It’s THE school that has never beaten an SEC team in a bowl game. It’s THE Alma Mater of such great Americans as Maurice Clarett. It’s THE State University of THE state known for its flaming rivers, the rust belt and Lebron James fleeing like the place was on fire… It’s THE Ohio State University. But what do we really know about Ohio State? This is the first in a series designed to introduce SEC fans to the team that will take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.


Part One: Q & A

Q: Hasn’t Ohio State been in the news recently?

A:
Yes they have. You might recognize University President E. Gordon Gee as that goofy guy in the bow tie that appointed his self as spokesperson for all BCS schools when he blasted TCU and Boise State for playing the “Sisters of the poor.” Mr. Gee went on to refer to Ohio States Schedule as a “Murderer’s Row” which should strike the SEC fan as interesting considering that THE Ohio State University defeated exactly zero teams ranked in the final regular season BCS top 25, compared to the four that Arkansas defeated.


Q: Who is that nice looking man in the sweater vest?

A:
That man is Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel but don’t let his looks fool you. Tressel has been at the center of several pay-for-play scandals involving such high profile recruits as Troy Smith and Maurice Clarett.


Q: Maurice Clarett… What ever happened to that guy?

A:
You mean inmate #37224? Well, after dominating college football as a true freshman, Mr. Clarett fell on hard times that included several arrests, a dismissal from the team and a failed NFL career (this probably had something to do with allegedly drinking Grey Goose Vodka before practice, or “Getting my Goose on” as he was fond of saying) . It all seemed to hit rock bottom when Clarett was arrested in 2006 after a high speed chase with police. A Kevlar-clad Clarett was arrested with several assault rifles, a samurai sword and, of course, a bottle of his precious “Goose” after he drove over a spike strip laid out by police.



Q: What are their fans like?

A:
The Ohio State fan base is comprised mostly of people known as F.I.F.O.’s. F.I.F.O. is an acronym (word made up of the first letter of other words, for the Ohio State fans reading this) used to describe any resident of the Buckeye State. I’ll let you figure out what the first “F” stands for but the rest is “Idiot from Ohio”. Ohio State fans are some of the most nostalgic in college football. If you didn’t know any better you would think that Archie Griffin still played for Ohio State based on the way fans incessantly talk about his Heisman Trophy winning days of the mid 1970’s.


Q: Surely they can’t be that bad…

A:
Think of the most obnoxious, D-cell battery throwing, LSU fan you have ever encountered…Now, give him a northern accent, take away any class he might have had along with all common sense and shorten his vocabulary to pretty much just the F-word, and you have a F.I.F.O. Beware of these people. Your southern hospitality might make you feel so inclined as to welcome these visitors to the South but I would advise against it. Any communication with an Ohio State fan will more than likely just result in a bottle of Jagermeister or Ed Hardy Vodka being poured on your head.


Q: How do I spot an Ohio State fan?

A:
They will be wearing a jersey. It’s not known exactly why, but Ohio State fans LOVE wearing jerseys. This may seem odd to anyone from the South where we tend to leave the jersey wearing to the players on the field but it is a way of life for them. You might catch some Buckeye fans in a T-shirt but you can rest assured you will never see one wearing a collared shirt.


Q: Do they have any unique school cheers?

A:
They spell the name of the state they live in, seriously. Yep, O-H-I-O is as creative as it gets for the Buckeyes. Don’t be surprised if you see a few F.I.F.O.’s ducking for cover the first time Razorback Nation stands up and calls the Hogs as they will have no idea what is going on due to their limited mental capacities.


Q: What does an Ohio State fan do after the game?

A:
Riot. Win, lose or draw the Buckeyes love a good riot. Need proof? Just ask former University President Karen Holbrook who, in a job interview, was quoted as saying of the student body “When you win a game, you riot. When you lose a game, you riot. When spring comes, you riot. African-American Heritage Festival weekend, you riot”. She went on to say “They think it’s fun to flip cars, to really have absolute drunken orgies.” Certainly looks like a great way to celebrate a win…



The article abruptly ends there without any closure or mention of an actual Part 2 that might be in the works, but we'll keep an eye out for any future garbage from Brad and SDS. We can always use, and share, a few more good laughs.


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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ohio State—Arkansas: National Rankings Favor Buckeyes Despite SEC-Bowl Game Woes



0-9.

There, I said it.

It's the elephant in the room, and the giant gorilla on Ohio State's back.

Here's another one for you.

0-3.

Jim Tressel has faced, and lost to three SEC teams in bowl games since taking over at Ohio State—South Carolina in 2001, Florida in 2006, and LSU in 2007.

On a positive note that might favor Ohio State, Arkansas is 0-3 in bowl games vs. teams from the Big Ten.

Someone's o-fer streak will finally come to an end this year.

We all know the history (key word history), so now that we have that out of the way, let's move forward and talk about this game and this year.


Ryan Mallet / Knile Davis: Buckeye Killers?

I keep hearing (from Arkansas/SEC fans and of course eSECpn) that QB Ryan Mallett is going to pick apart the Buckeye secondary, RB Knile Davis is going to run over and through the Buckeye front seven, and once again (and this one is my favorite of all), Ohio State's offense will be shut down by the blazing SEC speed Arkansas apparently possesses simply by being a team from said South-Eastern-Conference.

Can we change the *#$%^@ record already?

Mallet's best performances this season came against Tennessee Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Georgia, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, UTEP, and Mississippi State. These teams aren't exactly defensive powerhouses.

Davis had exactly five big games (out of 12 played) the entire season—that is it.

The teams that allowed the most yards to Davis are South Carolina, LSU, Mississippi, UTEP, and Mississippi State.

Nationally, LSU has a top 10 defense and Mississippi State is decent (27th), but South Carolina (48th), UTEP (58th), and Mississippi (108th) all gave up plenty of yards and a lot of points to just about every team they faced.

Don't misconstrue my sentiments here. Mallett and Davis are fine players despite some of the lackluster defenses they faced, but why so many fans and so-called experts are so quick to praise them and project that they are going to dominate in the Sugar Bowl is beyond me...


Ohio State Defense / Arkansas Offense

Am I having a bad dream and this some some alternate universe where the Buckeye defense that gave up just 23 total scores all season is somehow considered mediocre and slow, and thus dismissible?

Let me say that again. This Ohio State defense gave up just 23 total scores (16 touchdowns, seven field goals) all year.

They are No. 2 in total defense (250 yards per game) and No. 3 in scoring defense (13.3 points per game).

On offense, Arkansas is 65th in rushing (151 yards per game), 3rd in passing (338 yards per game), 16th in scoring offense (37.3 points per game) and 10th in total offense (489 yards per game).

I'm not saying Arkansas won't be able to gain yards or score points, but it is very unlikely that the Hogs will equal their season averages. This is the best defense that they will face all year.

Don't expect 500 yards and 40 points from Arkansas. It's not going to happen.

I'm not just making these numbers up either. I have read these kind of projections on numerous SEC-friendly forums and blogs and even on a couple Buckeye sites that the OSU-hater trolls have infiltrated.


Arkansas Defense / Ohio State Offense

The Razorbacks are 34th in total defense (340 yards per game) and 44th in scoring defense (22.8 points per game).

Something of interest worth mentioning—Auburn and Cam Newton, a team and a QB that has been compared to Ohio State and QB Terrelle Pryor, hung 65 on the Hogs "D".

Take that for what it's worth to you, but it could be foreshadowing the future—just saying...

The last time Ohio State gave up 60-plus was in 1994 to Penn State. That season, the Buckeyes were 9-4, while Penn State was 12-0. The Nittany Lions scored 45 or more seven times that year.

The Buckeye offense is 14th in rushing (220 yards per game), 55th in passing (229 yards per game), 11th in scoring offense (39.4 points per game) and 18th in total offense (449 yards per game).


Closing Thoughts

If either of these two teams is going to close in on 500 total yards and 40 points, my money is on the Buckeyes.

That being said, I do not believe either team is going to be that prolific in yards gained or points scored.

On paper, the Buckeyes finally appear poised to earn their first bowl game victory over an SEC opponent in their 10th attempt dating back to 1977.

The game however will be played on the turf (not paper) in New Orleans and when toe meets leather on January 4th at 8:30PM, you can bet this one will be a dogfight.


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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Redshirt Running Back Rod Smith Impressing Ohio State Veterans During Bowl Game Workouts


Watch out for running back Rod Smith.

Ohio State always uses part of bowl practice to give the younger players a chance to shine as the veterans step to the sidelines.

This year, the star of what the Buckeyes call showtime won't be on the field at the Sugar Bowl. But it sounds like Ohio State may have to find a spot for him next season.

"Somehow, some way, he will have the football," senior cornerback Devon Torrence said.

Smith, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound back from Indiana, was the second-highest ranked player in Ohio State's 2010 recruiting class according to Rivals.com. But he didn't join the team until several weeks into the season as he waited for his transcript to be approved by the NCAA, and with the backfield already crowded, the Buckeyes made an easy decision to redshirt him.

Brandon Saine is graduating and there's always a chance fourth-year junior and 1,000-yard back Dan Herron could go to the NFL, but even if that happens, there should be plenty of running back options next season with Jordan Hall, Jaamal Berry and Carlos Hyde. And it sounds like Smith has to go near the top of that list.

"Today everyone was talking about Rod Smith," senior linebacker Ross Homan said. "He's going to be an unbelievable back, I'm telling you. He has all the physical assets, he's got size, speed, but Rod really just sits back and takes everything in. He's a humble guy, he's always in the weight room ... I always tell him, 'There's Beanie Wells' and he always smiles."

Wells, a first-round draft pick after the 2008 season, is the obvious comparison for Smith, though Wells was about an inch shorter and 15 pounds heavier. Smith is certainly that style of back, which is something OSU didn't have this season.

"It's just how he runs, where he finds creases, explosion and stuff like that," senior defensive tackle Dexter Larimore said. "And he's a bigger guy, which Ohio State always loves.

"He cuts very well for a bigger back, and I just watch him on and think, 'Man, that kid's going to be good.' I mean, obviously, he's not going to juke somebody out of his shoes—actually, he probably could do that if he wanted to. But he's able to be physical in the hole, which we always kind of liked."

Even Jim Tressel first mentioned Smith when asked for the younger players who have stood out. Maybe some big runs Smith made in Tuesday morning's practice right before interviews put his name on everyone's lips.

Safety Jermale Hines mentioned first-year cornerback Bradley Roby as someone who has impressed him, while Torrence also threw out linebackers Dorian Bell and Storm Klein and receiver Chris Fields of Harvey High School as guys making the most of their shots. Tressel mentioned a nice catch Tuesday by receiver T.Y. Williams of Shaw High.

But on Smith everyone agrees.

Though Tressel had mentioned him a few times during the year as Smith showed his potential on scout team, it's always a little bit different when the young players start running the Ohio State plays in bowl practice. Now, the praise means even more.

"I think he's going to make a lot of noise in the coming years," senior defensive lineman Cameron Heyward said.


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Written by Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Cleveland.com

Monday, December 13, 2010

Big Ten Unveils New Logo, Division Names



So, the Big Ten unveiled its' new logo today that will go into effect starting in 2011 when Nebraska moves in from the Big 12.



Notice how easy it can go from B1G Ten to B16 Ten, leaving the door open for future expansion without another major logo overhaul?

The new divisions will be called Legends and Leaders.


Legends Division

Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Mich St, Minn, Northwestern


Leaders Division

Ohio State, Penn St, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue


A few fans who really are not happy with the changes (the logo and especially the division names) have had a reaction similar to this:




Trophy Names

The Stagg-Paterno Trophy will go to the Big Ten title game winner.

The Grange-Griffen Trophy will go to the title game MVP.

There are 18 new trophies total, and you can view all of them over on the Big Ten Network's website.

========================================

So, what does everyone else think?

The trophy names are actually pretty cool, and the logo is OK, but I'm not sure the division names are all that great...

Then again, I do like that they didn't just cop-out and call them East-West, or North-South.

However, if they truly wanted the division names to reflect on the history of the conference and the teams of yesteryear that used to be good, along with the future of the conference and the teams that are good now and going forward, then the LEGENDS Division should have been Michigan, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, & Purdue and the LEADERS Division should have been Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa, Michigan State, & Northwestern.



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Future Buckeyes and Potential Recruits set to Play in the 2011 Under Armour All-America Game



On January 5, 2011, the top high school football players in the country, including those committed to or interested in Ohio State, will be showcasing their skills at the Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Florida.

While many of the players have made a verbal commitment to the schools they intend to enroll at in 2011, several are still undecided.

This game will be broadcast live on ESPN, allowing this crop of young men, and elite football players an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities to the entire nation one last time before February and national signing day.

QB Braxton Miller (pictured) and Steve Miller are two of the Under Armour All-America players you will see in this game that have already verbally committed to the Buckeyes.

Others with scholarship offers from the Buckeyes that Ohio State fans may want to keep an eye on include the nation's top prospect DE Jadeveon Clowney (6'6, 240, Rock Hill, SC), S Jabari Gorman (6'0, 180, Miami, FL), S/CB Doran Grant (5'11, 177, Akron, OH), ATH Darius Jennings (5'11, 175, Baltimore, MD), and DT Kevin McReynolds (6'2. 275, Washington, D.C.).

Landing at least two or three of the undecided players listed would guarantee Ohio State the overall top recruiting class in 2011. As of now, the Buckeyes 2011 class is ranked second, but as noted should easily jump to No. 1 after NSD.

Be sure to catch the game on January 5th, and stay tuned to BlockONation for more recruiting news!

You can visit and explore the Under Armour All-American website by clicking on their site logo below.




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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ohio State vs. Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl—Ryan Mallett, Buckeyes Meet Again


When former Michigan QB Ryan Mallett transferred to Arkansas as a freshman on January 9, 2008, nobody would've imagined that the highly-touted superstar would see the Ohio State Buckeyes ever again.

Fast forward almost three years where Mallett has developed into a top-10 NFL prospect under the eye of Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino and taken the Razorbacks to their first-ever BCS bowl game.

And in an ironic twist of fate, Mallett's BCS opponent is none other than the team we all thought he would share battles with in Ann Arbor: the Buckeyes.

Mallett's transfer happen two months before Terrelle Pryor committed to Ohio State in March of 2008, meaning that a chance to imagine a Mallett vs. Pryor matchup in The Game never materialized.

The Arkansas gunslinger has gotten a taste of Ohio State's defense, filling in for Chad Henne in a rainy and windy contest in 2007 where he was 1-3 for just eight yards and was sacked once.

But this is different. This is a fully-developed QB under a coach who has coached in the NFL, albeit for only 13 games, and who loves to air it out.

And the defense Mallett will face is a much different unit compared to the group he saw in 2007.

This OSU defense is much more aggressive and faster than the 2007 defense, and most of all, they are opportunistic, tied for 12th with 29 takeaways.

The difference for Mallett is that he has seen good defenses in the SEC, including against Alabama and LSU, so this challenge may be nothing new to him.

And although OSU is ranked No. 4 in passing defense, they have not faced a better passer all season than No. 15 for the Razorbacks.

But for Mallett, looking back at his experience and his year at Michigan, he might have an extra edge to play against Ohio State simply because of that year with the Wolverines.

Even Jim Tressel felt relieved that he did not have to worry about seeing Ryan Mallett in Michigan, as he told The Ozone's Brandon Castel on Sunday.

"What was my reaction when he left? I'm not gonna lie, I was happy," he told Castel. "I thought I was done with Ryan Mallett."

Even back in early 2008, Tressel knew of the type of talent that Mallett would turn out to be.

And he has lived up to that billing and so much more.

Just imagine for a second if Les Miles had taken the Michigan job instead of Rich Rodriguez and had Mallett as his QB...

Scary thought. That winning streak over Michigan would not be as easy to extend as it has been in the past three seasons.

But nevertheless, Tressel must gameplan to shut down one of the game's best passers and arguably the best pure passer OSU has faced since NC State's Philip Rivers in 2003.

The OSU secondary has been banged up tremendously all season, but DBs Chimdi Chekwa and Devon Torrence have been very good and should help take away favorite targets in WRs Jairus Wright and Joe Adams.

Rarely does a transfer from one big school to another work as a benefit for a QB.

But for Ryan Mallett, it has worked out better than anyone could have imagined.

Now he gets his chance to show his old rivals just how much he has improved since his days under Lloyd Carr at Michigan.


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Written by BlockONation Contributor Tim Bielik

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Like Autographs? Join the BlockONation College Football Bowl Mania Group on ESPN and Follow us on Twitter



Hey Buckeye fans, it's that time again to match wits and strut your college football knowledge in Bowl Mania, 2010. It's free and it's for any and all Buckeye fans!

Test your bowl pick'em skills against other Ohio State fans by clicking on the bowl mania logo below to join the group!

The group is open to all OSU fans, so invite all the Buckeye fans you know and see who knows really knows their college football!


Picks can be made starting Sunday night as soon as the ESPN bowl special announcing the pairings ends. It airs at 9PM right after the final BCS standings are revealed.

So join the group, invite your friends on Facebook, Twitter, AOL, etc, and let's find out who is the cream that rises to the top!

P.S., the person with the winning entry at the end of this years bowl mania will win a certified authentic autograph from former Buckeye punter A.J. Trapasso!



Also, if you have not done so as of yet, follow us on Twitter to have a chance at winning an autographed Ohio State football once we hit 1,000 followers (984 and counting as of this moment). More details to come!


GOOD LUCK TO ALL & GO BUCKS!


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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Michigan Football: Coach Rich Rodriguez Needs Help Raising Up—Can Anyone Spare a Cialis?



Surely everyone has heard by now that Michigan Wolverines Coach Rich Rodriguez turned the UM banquet for his players, specifically his seniors, into a one man show.

He basically made it all about himself, and his sorrowful struggles during the last three years in Ann Arbor. It's been rough on the DickRod. He wants so badly to be a Michigan Man (cough, please don't fire me, cough)...

When times are tough and life has you down, everyone knows the best bet is to pray to and take solace in the words of,..........Josh Groban?

Watch the video below...It's absolute gold!

We here at BlockONation love you Coach Rodriguez!

Four more years, four more years, four more years......




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Friday, December 3, 2010

Ohio State Football: Why Jim Tressel's Buckeyes Are a College Football Dynasty


For as much as Ohio State struggled in the 1990's under John Cooper, Buckeye fans have great reason to be proud of the work that Jim Tressel has done.

Since 2001, Tressel has won a BCS national title, played for two more, and won or shared seven Big Ten conference titles, including a record six straight.

Even coaching legends such as Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler weren't able to do what Tressel has.

So does this make Jim Tressel's OSU teams of the 2000's a dynasty? Considering their consistency of staying in the top ten, the answer has to be yes.

While in Columbus, Tressel has won at least 10 games in eight of his 10 seasons.

Although he gets flack for not being flashy and having an inability to beat big non-conference opponents, he has mostly avoided the type of seasons that Texas and Florida are going through currently.

The most common complaint about Tressel has been his overly conservative nature on offense. Some would even say at times watching the Buckeyes is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

But plain and simple, he wins.

He wins conference games in November and he owns Michigan, having gone 9-1 against the arch-rival Wolverines during his tenure.

Tressel, however, has an Achilles heel—the SEC. He is 0-4 in bowl games vs. teams from that conference and overall, Ohio State is 0-9 vs. SEC teams in bowl games dating back to the 1970's.

Ironically, the other teams in the Big Ten that Ohio State has dominated in recent years have not had as much of a problem with SEC teams for some reason.

Despite Tressel's struggles against SEC teams, he has pulled off a few bowl upsets as well, including the 2010 Rose Bowl where Oregon was favored.

The game that everyone will remember him for is the shocking upset of double-digit favorite Miami in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, where a powerful Hurricane offense came up against a roadblock defense from Ohio State.


And consider the Miami offense featured powerful weapons including WRs Andre Johnson and Roscoe Parrish, TE Kellen Winslow, Jr. and RB Willis McGahee, all of whom have been good to great in the NFL.

While the pass interference call heard 'round the world is what most people will associate with that game, don't forget how Tressel's team was in control of that game for a majority of the second half.

Since then, it seems as if Tressel's Buckeyes have put up a residence in the BCS, playing in seven BCS bowl games in nine seasons (not including this season).

While other programs like Miami-FL are has-been dynasties, Ohio State has been a model of consistency.

Does Tressel need to improve on flaws? Like all coaches, of course.

Tressel's offensive philosophies hinge on protecting the football and not turning the offense loose unless he trusts his players to keep possession and not make costly turnovers.

But this philosophy does at times restrict the playmaking ability of his skill players by not using them in the most effective and explosive manner.

Regardless of the criticisms, there is no doubt that Ohio State football under Jim Tressel is as good as it's ever been, going back to the days of Woody Hayes.

The bottom line here is that Buckeye fans can almost certainly celebrate a win over Michigan and a trip to the BCS practically every season, and nobody should be complaining about that.

If you're a Buckeye fan, life in Columbus is very good these days...


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Written by BlockONation Contributor, Tim Bielik

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

BlockONation Exclusive: Ohio State-Michigan Hi-Def Game Highlights

Columbus, Ohio -- Once again, the Buckeyes defeated their arch-rivals from the North soundly, and in the process, earned a share of the 2010 Big Ten title, their record-sixth straight outright or co-championship.

The No. 6 Buckeyes (11-1, 7-1) likely may have also secured their record-ninth BCS Bowl game invitation with the win over the Wolverines.

Ohio State is now 9-1 in THE GAME under Coach Jim Tressel (2001-2010).

Led by Terrelle Pryor, Dane Sanzenbacher, and Dan Herron, the Bucks put up nearly 500 yards of total offense and 37 points, while the Buckeye defense held Denard Robinson and the high-powered Wolverine offense to 351 total yards and just seven points.

The following highlight video was produced by Lednerk, and is presented here for your viewing pleasure, exclusively by BlockONation—Enjoy!





Jordan Hall posted an 85-yard kick return for a TD, the first for tOSU in quite some time.


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