Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Despite ESPN's Biased Tressel Coverage, There's Nothing To See Here Folks...Well, Not Yet Anyway

NEWSFLASH (not really): The latest news on the NCAA's investigation involving Jim Tressel isn't anything new.

Everything that the NCAA is now "officially" accusing Tressel of had already come to light and Tressel has copped to his crimes—and all before Monday's "breaking news" as it was so-coined by the ESPN bottomline.

We already knew that he didn't come forward last April, and that he didn't contact OSU's compliance department at any point before Yahoo ran their story about the emails, and that he notified Terrelle Pryor's mentor, and that he knowingly signed the compliance report with no mention of the violations he had been made aware of.

It's no secret that ESPN continually recycles the same negative reports as if there is something new in its' crusade to bring down Ohio State, but there really is nothing new here, period.

As of now, the majority of Ohio State fans still support Tressel as does the University. If the potential NCAA penalties will be the same regardless of Tressel staying or going, he will without-a-doubt remain the head coach at OSU.

The only way Tressel's job security changes is if the NCAA (essentially) forces Ohio State to fire him by basing the severity of additional penalties they could decide to levy against OSU on whether or not Tressel is retained.

Then, and only then, will a real story worthy of this ridiculous amount of coverage by ESPN and CBS (coincidentally both $EC bedfellows) exist.

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Video Highlights From Ohio State's 2011 Spring Game / Scrimmage

These Hi-Def highlights were produced by lednerk exclusively for

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

CFN's Big 10 Bloggers: 5 Thoughts On The New Big 10

CFN's Big 10 Bloggers give you five different perspectives on the new and improved (?) alignment.

What we'll miss the most -- what we'll miss the least -- the key rivalries that will be put on hold, and what's the story behind those division names? An overall in-depth look at the new Big Ten.

And coming next week, a look at all the key Big Ten spring games happening this weekend.

HD Handshoe: On new rivalries to get excited about

Almost every program goes through highs and lows, meaning that the best new Big 10 rivalries created by the addition of Nebraska and the new divisions is likely to be a fluid situation from year to year. That being said, there are new matchups to very much look forward to every year regardless of those fluctuations.

In the Legends Division,.....

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Ohio State Spring Football 2011: 5 Questions And 5 Answers On What to Watch For

Ohio State's annual spring game -- one of the last to be played among FBS schools -- takes place this Saturday afternoon at 1:30 PM in Ohio Stadium, and can be seen on the Big Ten Network if you can't make it to the stadium. This annual spring scrimmage is taking on a new format -- offense vs. defense -- instead of a split-squad scrimmage as is the norm.

And for fans and the media that have been hungry from some spring practice updates that we haven't gotten much of, this is a good chance to get an early look at the team we will see during the 2011 season.

But what exactly should Buckeye fans be watching for?

How Much Will The Weather Affect Play?

For the third time in the past four springs, rain is in the forecast, along with a flash flood watch for the Columbus area. The amount of rain can certainly have an effect on how Jim Tressel wants his offense to operate, as they may run the football more than throw it.

And in a situation where the battle for the starting job at QB, at least temporary, is the biggest question mark around the Buckeyes, this is the worst type of weather to have.

Wet weather affects the grip of the ball from everyone to the center to the QB throwing it, and the receivers that need to catch it.

It might not be a downpour, but consistent rainfall would certainly have an impact on the playcalling of the offensive coaches in the game.

Which Running Back(s) Will Get The Most Carries?

The starting job at RB may or may not be a lock for Dan Herron starting October 8 at Nebraska. The first five games, however, will have quite an interesting playing-time battle.

All eyes will be on the two young studs in the elusive Jordan Hall and lightning fast Jaamal Berry.

The two young backs anchored the No. 5 kickoff return average unit in the country, and saw plenty of carries as well last year.

Some conjecture that the starting job will come down to those two due to experience, but redshirt freshman Roderick Smith has drawn rave reviews from the coaches, his teammates, and other media members.

Whoever gets the most carries between Hall, Berry and Smith, and whomever takes the most advantage of those opportunities will certainly have the inside track to starting the season as the No. 1 back.

How Will The Running Backs Fit Into The Passing Game?

New WR coach Stan Drayton, formerly the running backs coach at Florida, was brought in to help make the passing game more explosive.

His biggest contribution to date would be something that Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid would be proud of -- the screen pass.

The OSU offense has rarely used screens, but the lack of depth at the WR position and the strength at the RB position makes this an intriguing addition to the passing game.

If Drayton has high hopes for any player in the screen attack, it's Hall, whom Drayton likens to a poor man's Percy Harvin, quite a high praise for the elusive back.

While Hall lacks the overall pure speed of Harvin, his elusiveness and burst do make him a formidable target out of the backfield. A la Brandon Saine last season, Hall may also line up on occasion in the slot.

Hall's versatility might mean that the OSU offense can have a back in the backfield and another out wide as a receiver. In year's past, the Buckeyes have been called predictable but these additional wrinkles in the offensive game plan will provide some much-needed punch to start off the 2011 season that will begin without Terrelle Pryor and three other offensive starters.

Who Will Emerge As The Seven New Defensive Starters?

The concern most Buckeye fans have pushed slightly aside due to the suspensions from Tattoogate is the fact that the defense must replace seven starters.

While most of the players vying for starting gigs have some experience on the field, some battles are still very much worth your attention.

The thing that should be noted most is who comes out with the first-team defense and who are the first players off the bench. Those players will be among the most likely to be inline for a starting role on the OSU defense this fall.

The new starters will have earned the job because of the tough competition. That competition is why most people say the OSU defense doesn't rebuild -- it reloads.

Be sure to keep a close eye on the LB and CB positions where four of five starting jobs are up for grabs.

Which QB (If Any) Shines In Pryor's Absence?

The biggest storyline of Saturday's spring scrimmage is which of the four QBs vying for the starting job -- Joe Bauserman, Kenny Guiton, Taylor Graham and Braxton Miller -- makes a statement?

By various accounts, the competition has been interesting to watch, as the early favorite to start (Bauserman), has been shaky at best -- throwing multiple interceptions in the spring practices.

In addition, Miller has reportedly turned out to be worth the praise given to a five-star recruit and has grown through every practice as he continues to grasp the offense.

But don't discount Guiton and Graham just yet as both have done pretty well at times for themselves. Guiton was strong in the spring game a year ago and Graham has quietly impressed the staff throughout the 2011 spring session.

While the depth chart at QB is expected to likely be Bauserman, Guiton, Graham, then Miller, any one of the four could be named the starter come the fall. With a strong showing on Saturday, Miller will have the fanbase buzzing more than they are already. Unfortunately for them, they don't get the final decision on who starts, or it would almost undoubtedly be Miller.

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Original article by Tim Beilik - BlockONation Featured Contributor

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

CFN's Big 10 Bloggers: 5 Thoughts on 2011 Spring Position Battles

CFN's Big 10 Bloggers give you five different perspectives on some of the top position battles taking place this spring.

Will new Michigan coach Brady Hoke mix things up at tailback?

Who's the second starting receiver at Nebraska, and who wants to be the starting quarterback at Indiana?


HD Handshoe: On Wisconsin's backfield

I wouldn’t call the running back situation in Wisconsin a battle, but rather, a timeshare.

It would appear that barring injury, both junior Montee Ball and sophomore James White will share top duties carrying the rock for the 2011 Badgers. So far this spring, they have shared equal time with the first team offense and I see no reason to believe that will change in the fall.

In 2010,.......

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reload Overload: Ohio State Stacked With Young Talent AND Depth

To all you casual college football fans and/or Ohio State haters outside of the great state of Ohio—specifically those who have no idea what goes on along the banks of the Olentangy in Columbus—just thought you may want to know that those nasty rumors forecasting the demise of Buckeye football have been greatly exaggerated.

No, in fact, surely much to your chagrin, it's quite the opposite actually.

Despite the skewed and misleading "breaking news" and "inside info" you hear and read on ESPN,, and, just to name a few culprits, Buckeye football is alive and well, and the Buckeyes are STILL the big fish in the Big 10 pond.

But you heard that Jim Tressel cheats and that without Terrelle Pryor and the rest of the Tat-5 thugs, the Buckeyes are going to be horrible, and now the program won't be able to recruit anymore, etc, etc...Sorry kids, but you are grossly misinformed.

Whether or not QB Braxton Miller is named the starter at some point during the 2011 season makes no difference since originally he would have been a definite redshirt this season. He's here, and now he gets to learn on the job early this season which will prepare him to lead OSU in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

The general consensus on Miller is that he is already a better passing QB than Pryor, while also possessing the same dual-threat capabilities that will give opposing defenders night terrors. If you somehow don't know who Miller is, come out from under your rock and watch this:

Of course, every great quarterback needs a running game to set up the pass. With Dan "Boom" Herron suspended until October, Jordan Hall, Jaamal Berry, Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith will all be called upon to carry the load in his place.

Four reasons NOT to worry in 2011:

Jordan Hall

Jaamal Berry

Carlos Hyde

Rod Smith (also pictured top right)

And as if those guys weren't enough to excite you or scare you to death (depending on your team affiliation), check out these running backs / 2012 Buckeye commits:

Warren Ball

Brionte Dunn

Yes, but without DeVier Posey, who is also out until October, Ohio State has no wide receivers....right?


Corey Brown

Chris Fields

James Louis

T.Y. Williams

While many of you are in the club that was hoping for the Buckeyes to crumble in the wake of recent events, they instead continue to thrive—much to your dismay—and FYI, that won't be changing anytime soon as you can see.

In the words of Wisconsin basketball coach Bo Ryan, "DEAL WITH IT."

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

CFN's Big 10 Bloggers: 5 Thoughts on Nebraska

HD Handshoe: On Nebraska's toughest home and road conference game in 2011

In their inaugural Big 10 season, Nebraska hosts Ohio State, Michigan State, Northwestern, and Iowa, and they travel to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Penn State, and Michigan.

While Northwestern and Iowa could both be good, or not, Ohio State and Michigan State could both be great. Michigan State is coming off an 11-2 season, while the Buckeyes finished 2010 at 12-1.

It’s tempting to pick the.......

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

10 Reasons Why Urban Meyer Could Replace Jim Tressel

By Tim Beilik - BlockONation Featured Contributor

Admittedly, I have been very critical of Urban Meyer in the past as evidenced here.

But considering the scandal surrounding Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, there is a chance the Vest will be forced out of his job.

Although he might not be considering resigning, the NCAA might force a show-cause ruling on Ohio State, all but forcing the university to let him go.

While Urban Meyer resigned his position as head coach at Florida due to health issues, he will almost certainly coach again, possibly at Ohio State.

Here's why:

10—Coaching in the Big 10 is less stressful than coaching in the SEC

Big Ten football fans don't want to admit it, but the amount of quality teams in the SEC is just higher than the Big Ten at this point, even with Nebraska.

For Meyer, most of his stress had to come with playing against a gauntlet week in and week out in the SEC schedule.

If he came to Ohio State, he would at least get a couple of cupcakes with Purdue and Indiana both in the Leaders Division with the Buckeyes.

While he will have to deal with the most volatile fanbase in college sports, the fact that Ohio State plays an overall lighter conference schedule than Florida might be appealing to Meyer if he's looking for a little less stressful October and November.

9—Ohio State can afford to pay him

It's no secret that Ohio State is quite the revenue powerhouse, annually finishing in the top three in athletic revenue in the NCAA.

In this case, whatever money Meyer might want, he might get as long as it's somewhat reasonable.

But for Ohio State, which has a nine-figure revenue, money is not exactly an object.

Jim Tressel already makes over $3.5 million. It's possible that when his career's over, Urban could get around $4 million as his replacement.

8—Meyer can recruit as well as Tressel

When Jim Tressel came to Ohio State, the first thing he did was build an iron fence around the state of Ohio making sure that he had his first choice of high school prospects.

Meyer is a more aggressive recruiter than Tressel in many different ways, but both men produce great results.

The difference between the two is that Meyer is better at getting guys at the end of the process, while Tress gets who he wants at the outset of recruiting.

But if Meyer gets the Buckeye coaching job eventually, there is no doubt they will still be bringing in the talent Buckeye Nation is accustomed to receiving year in and year out.

7—Surely, Meyer will coach again

Even though Meyer has stepped away from the game, he won't be gone forever.

At 46, Meyer may take some time to get his health back in check and be able to figure out how to manage his esophageal spasms.

Eventually, he will find a way back to the sidelines.

With Tressel's long-term Ohio State future in doubt, if and when Meyer is ready to to come back, Ohio State could be calling his name very soon.

6—Like Tressel, Meyer has been part of a winning culture

One thing Ohio State football does and does well is win games, both conference games and BCS games, especially in the previous two seasons.

Both Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel have been big winners in the past 10 seasons, with Tressel recording 106 victories and Meyer right behind at 104.

Meyer, like Tressel, knows how to win big games and has done that consistently as he rose through the ranks from BGSU, to Utah, to eventually top man at the University of Florida.

That type of personality and career would fit in beautifully with the culture of Ohio State football.

5—Meyer has a championship pedigree

Two SEC championships and two BCS national championships in his first four seasons as Florida head coach is a good start to anyone's career at a power conference school.

Meyer, like Jim Tressel, came in and replaced a coach underperforming with great talent, and led their teams to a national championship in their second season.

Tressel has not been able to win another one since, but Meyer did and came within one game from a third in four seasons.

Although Meyer will not have Tim Tebow in Columbus, he certainly has the ability to win a couple more national championships, especially with an easier road to get to the BCS each season.

4—Ohio State's cupboard is far from bare

Even with the Suspended Tat-Five out for most of the first half of the season, the Ohio State roster is still one of the more loaded groups in the country.

Ohio State has pulled in top five recruiting classes in three of the past four years, and could get another one this season with the home state full of blue-chip prospects, especially at defensive end and wide receiver.

The Buckeyes are one of the few programs that doesn't rebuild, but reloads year in and year out.

Urban Meyer in his first season, despite a schematic change from a pro-style attack to more of a spread look, could still be very good.

Which leads to the biggest difference between the Senator and Meyer...

3—More flash, same results

From a philosophical standpoint, Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel could not be any more different.

While we all know about the pros and most especially the cons of Tresselball, Meyer's gameplan is all about explosive plays and making big plays with frequency on both sides of the ball.

The only problem with that idea is that Meyer has been accused quite a bit of running up the score at certain times.

It may feel like the Cooper days if Meyer is hired at least from an offensive standpoint, but that would work best if he carried on the Tressel mentality when it comes to the Michigan games every year.

2—Braxton Miller

Although Braxton Miller may never reach the level of Tim Tebow, the thought of him being in Meyer's explosive spread offense could be very intriguing.

Miller, who enrolled at OSU in January and could start the first five games of the season, has that type of dual-threat ability that would make him dangerous in a spread-type offense.

While Miller is a very different player from most of the players Meyer has coached, he altered his offense to Tebow's skills. He can certainly work the offense to fit Miller's elusive running game.

If he can throw the ball well, the OSU offense under Meyer with Braxton operating out of the shotgun might be quite a dangerous thought for anyone to imagine.

1—Like Tressel, Meyer is a Buckeye at heart

In the same idea that Michigan had when they were looking for a "Michigan Man" to become head coach with Brady Hoke for this season, OSU would be considering something along those lines.

And oddly enough, Urban Meyer fits the model of an "Ohio State Man" almost to a T.

A native of Ashtabula, Ohio, Meyer was a lifetime OSU fan, a graduate student at the university and was a graduate assistant in the mid-80's under Earle Bruce.

Much like Brian Kelly at Notre Dame, Ohio State's coaching job is one of Meyer's dream jobs along with the Irish gig.

Whether or not Meyer opts to take the job whenever Tressel leaves Columbus remains to be seen (pending the outcome of the NCAA investigation).

But if he is able to overcome his health and personal problems, there may be a headset back in Ohio, at Ohio State, with his name on it very soon.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Tressel to Announce Resignation From Ohio State Today at Noon

Two days ago, Jim Tressel said he has never once considered stepping down as the Ohio State Buckeyes football coach.

Today, he appears to have had (a forced) change of heart...

With all the turmoil and controversy regarding his actions over the past 12 months, this ultimately comes as no surprise.

His legacy at OSU and the football program are tarnished, both with black eyes and each are a national punchline and media punching bag.

So, the time has finally come to part ways. I wish Tress all the best.

Let the Urban Meyer watch officially begin in a little over 5 hours from now...

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