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Congratulations Buckeyes 2008 Big Ten Champions

Ohio State 2008 Season Highlight Video

Across The Field is a Documentary examining the lives of Ohio State University football fanatics. The film is a balancing act between the negative and the positive that people put themselves through in order to prove their allegiance to a team. The film was shot over the course of four days in Columbus Ohio leading up to one of the biggest football games of all time. (Click on the link for more, including a synopsis, photo gallery and more video from the movie.)

1460 The Fan, the flagship station of Buckeye Sports, is now on the FM Dial at 97.1 FM. Programming will still be simulcast on 1460 AM. An improved signal was needed!

Mr. Bucknuts' Bucket Of Bullets
January 25, 2009 Source: Bucknuts - "Can anything more be said about the 2008 Buckeye football team? Turns out – yes! And Mr. B is back to say it – along with opinions about the “upgrades” for 2009, the Michigan mess, USC’s quarterback situation, bowl movements, Noopy trouble and some missing links. All this and more in a new Bucket of Bullets..."

Prestige Rankings

3. Ohio State Buckeyes
Total points: 1,655
Positives: Dripping with football tradition, Ohio State has been a fixture in the Prestige Rankings for the past half-century. In 1968-69, the Buckeyes racked up 190 points alone. As a point of reference, that's more than the highly successful Boise State program has earned in the last decade combined. OSU is the No. 5 program in the 1970s, and it could have been much higher had it not been for its "Ten-Year War" with Michigan during that time. Even for all the flack that John Cooper received for his 2-10-1 record against Michigan, he is responsible for a boatload of NFL 1st-round draft picks. The recent knock on OSU has been its failure to win the big bowl games, but that hasn't stopped them from finishing in the top 5 in all but two of the last seven seasons. Plus, the five-time national champions should like their spot in the Prestige Rankings ahead of their longtime rival to the north.
Negatives: The Buckeyes would have been a threat for the top spot in our rankings if not for the lack of dominating seasons in the '80s after Woody Hayes was fired. And if they had been able to knock off Florida and LSU in the two recent BCS National Championship Games, the Buckeyes would have really been nipping at USC's heels for the BCS-era crown.
Through the decades: Through 1958: 5th | 1968: 6th | 1978: 6th | 1988: 6th | 1998: 6th
Did you know? Ohio State has just five losing seasons since 1936 (and just two since 1960). That's the fewest among any program that's been around that long.

Prestige Rankings"If you think the annual BCS standings can spark a debate, try ranking each FBS team's all-time position in college football history. But the ESPN Research Department devised a plan to settle the argument. Their Prestige Rankings system lets the numbers do the talking..." Source: ESPN

Prestige Rankings: Nos. 1-5 January 23, 2009
Prestige Rankings: Nos. 6-10 January 22, 2009
Prestige Rankings: Nos. 11-15 January 21, 2009
Prestige Rankings: Nos. 16-20 January 20, 2009
Prestige Rankings: Nos. 21-119 January 19, 2009

2. Ohio State (428): They may be in a bit of a slide recently in "big games", but as a program the Buckeyes are still as big as it gets since '98. Ohio State has more Top-5 finishes in that time than the rest of the Big Ten combined (6-3).

Explaining the Prestige Rankings
January 20, 2009 Source: ESPN - "ESPN's Prestige Rankings are a numerical method of ranking the best FBS college football programs since the 1936 season. Point values were assigned for certain successes (win a national title, earn 25 points) and failures (get your program banned from the postseason, lose two points). The research department ran all the numbers through the computer to come up with the No. 1 program (and Nos. 2 to 119) of the past 72 seasons..."

Off Topic
Coaches SalariesspacerTennessee compiles coaching staff with spending spree
January 25, 2009 Source: Associated Press - "Tennessee will pay more than $5.3 million for coaching salaries in 2009, including a $2 million salary for coach Lane Kiffin and a $1.2 million salary for defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin...The previous staff was set to make a combined $4.7 million in 2009...The total ranks Tennessee's football coaching salary pool fourth among the Southeastern Conference's football programs. (Webmaster Note: Only 4th in the SEC?) Recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron has the next largest salary with $650,000 this season. Offensive coordinator and line coach Jim Chaney will make $380,000, and linebackers coach Lance Thompson will make $350,000..."

Study salaries: Get the financial details of coaches' contracts.

While revenues were up 16 percent for FBS schools, those same programs incurred a 23 percent increase in spending during the same period. The two largest expense items for the average Division I program are salaries and grants-in-aid. At the FBS level, salaries (for coaches and other athletics department employees) account for 32 percent of total expenses (17 percent are salaries to coaches and 15 percent are salaries to administrative staff), and grants-in-aid represent 16 percent of total expenses. In terms of salaries for specific head coaches...for FBS head football coaches, the median in 2006 was $855,500. The median FBS institution spent an additional $1.46 million on salaries and benefits for assistant coaches in football...Other findings in the report include: The median FBS football program generated about $10.6 million in revenue in 2006 (up from $8.3 million in 2004). The median for football program expenses was about $8.5 million (versus $7.5 million in 2004). (Source: NCAA.org April, 2008)

Coaches SalariesPay per win puts coaches' salaries in perspective
Source: Huntington WV Herald Dispatch - "We all know NCAA FBS head coaches are paid exorbitant salaries. That's not exactly a news flash. But this is. Charleston's Scott Burgess, a Marshall alum and fan who works in the financial sector, has put these coaches' huge paychecks in perspective. Has he ever. Instead of focusing on their overall salaries, Burgess calculated how much a coach gets paid per victory. And the results?..."

Notre Dame looking at ex-NFL players as graduate assistant coaches
January 23, 2009 Source: USA Today - "...Former Baylor coach Grant Teaff, who heads the Texas-based American Football Coaches Association, welcomed Notre Dame's move as a way of working more promising coaching prospects into the college ranks. 'Everybody would love to have a former pro guy as a GA, but most of them don't want to do it,' Teaff said. 'We are anxious to get that flow of quality people into the profession...Said (Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick) Swarbrick, '...I do think others may see it as a pretty interesting model.'

Tajh Boyd was Co-MVP of the U.S. Army All American Bowl (Photo:Bucknuts)
Two-QB system enticing to recruit
January 20, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...'Just like in the Chris Leak-Tim Tebow deal when Florida won the national championship two years ago, Tebow went in and did what he could to help the team,' (Tajh) Boyd said. 'That's because it's all about winning, and that's what Ohio State was trying to do.' It served as another lure for the Buckeyes in trying to attract Boyd, of Hampton, Va., to their bulging yet quarterback-less 2009 recruiting class with national letter of intent signing day just 15 days away. He said he likely is down to three schools, OSU, Oregon and Clemson...and he could make up his mind by the end of the week...What at first appears to be a con for OSU -- Pryor took over the starting job four games into the season and is likely the man at least the next two seasons -- was softened when Tressel proved he was willing to play two QBs, sometimes even at the same time. Plus, the Buckeyes only have Pryor and Joe Bauserman returning as scholarship quarterbacks in 2009. That's not lost on Boyd, as he showed when he listed some of the strengths for OSU..." (Webmaster note: Boyd is the 4th rated QB in the country and recent Co-MVP of the U.S. Army All American Bowl-Boyd Shines As All-American Bowl MVP); previous MVPs included Terrelle Pryor, Chris 'Beanie' Wells and Ted Ginn, Jr.) (Update 1/27/09: Boyd Opts For Clemson)

ESPN Recruiting: Big Ten Trying To Regain National Prominence
January 16, 2009 Source: ESPN - "The Big Ten has been under fire as of late. After two poor performances by Ohio State in two straight national championship games many were questioning the strength of the conference. The 2008 bowl season saw a better effort by the Buckeyes, but overall the conference went 1-6. With reputation at stake, the Big Ten looks to infuse more talent to show doubters that the conference is as strong as any other. The conference currently has five teams ranked among ESPN.com's top 25 2009 recruiting classes, but only one program has a committed player in the top 25. Before signing day the conference will surely be trying to add some more top talent to the mix...Ohio State - A third straight national championship appearance was not in the cards for Ohio State this year, but a second straight top-six finish in the recruiting rankings could be..."

Recruiting needs: All Big Ten Teams
January 16, 2009 Source: ESPN - "...The youth movement is under way in Columbus, and Ohio State likely will need the services of several incoming freshmen for the 2009 season. The Buckeyes lose 28 seniors and three juniors...Most of the immediate needs are located on the defensive side, where Ohio State loses four starters and several other contributors...Ohio State also loses its top two wide receivers..." (Webmaster note: Icredibly the writer does not reference Chirs 'Beanie' Wells departure.)

Read it in the blog...the Op Ed BlogspacerHopefully, Tressel sees need for tweaking: "...Tressel’s OSU program is doing well; three national championship-game appearances and one title in eight years, five Big Ten titles in eight years and five straight wins over Michigan practically scream that. But his program also can use some tweaking...He clearly knows more about the strengths and limitations of his assistants and his players than the rest of us. Yet in light of the results, saying that everything is fine and standing pat doesn’t seem like a good option..." (Link Below)

Off Topic
LeBron James signs with the Cleveland Browns
LeBron James signs with the Cleveland Browns
January 16, 2009 - Could you imagine having a 6'9?, 270 lb tight end with 4.4 40-yard dash time? LeBron James once dreamed of playing in the NFL. He did for 30 seconds. In a television commercial debuting Sunday (January 18, 2009) for State Farm Insurance, James, a former star wide receiver in high school, suits up for the Cleveland Browns. James has been criticized by Cleveland fans for supporting the Cowboys and New York Yankees. He triggered a public outcry when he wore a Yankees cap to an Indians playoff game two years ago and again to a Browns home game against Dallas last season. So was it tough pulling on an orange Browns helmet and not one with a star on it? "No," James said with a wink. "I love the Browns.

Luke Fickell offered job at Notre DameFickell not going to Notre Dame
January 15, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Luke Fickell will not be taking a job offered to him on the defensive staff at Notre Dame, a source close to situation said tonight..."

Fickell offered job at Notre Dame
January 14, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ohio State linebackers coach Luke Fickell has been offered a job on the defensive staff at Notre Dame...Fickell recently went to South Bend to check out the situation...Fickell, a major part of Ohio State's recruiting success, is also the co-coordinator for Ohio State's defense, along with Jim Heacock...Seen as one of the top candidates to someday succeed Jim Tressel, there certainly is a feeling that Fickell may have to leave Ohio State if he wants to run the show here someday. However, it wouldn't be out of the question for him to go from a coordinator at Ohio State to the head coach of the Buckeyes. Regardless of the future, losing Fickell, who has been on the OSU staff for seven years, would be a loss right now."

High-ranking Dem to hold hearings on BCS
January 15, 2009 Source: Sporting News - "Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., the incoming chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said he will hold hearings and possibly subpoena NCAA officials, college presidents, players, coaches and athletics directors in an effort to force a playoff in Division 1-A football, USA Today reports. 'I think you really do not get a true No. 1 out of (the Bowl Championship Series),' Towns told the newspaper. 'Nobody questions the Super Bowl. The team that wins is the best team that year. I think we can do the same thing at the college level where once it's over there is no questions about who is No. 1 and who is No. 2.'..."

VideoObama Pushes for Playoff Source: NBC Sports

Washington headed to NFL
January 15, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Cornerback Donald Washington this morning became the third Ohio State underclassmen to declare himself eligible for the upcoming NFL draft. Washington, a two-year starter from Indianapolis, joined fellow juniors Chris "Beanie" Wells, a running back, and Brian Hartline, a receiver, at the college exit. Like Hartline, Washington was a fourth-year junior, having taken a redshirt season in 2005. 'I'm very excited to take the next step and pursue my dream of playing in the National Football League, but it has been a difficult and emotional decision,' Washington said in a statement released by OSU..."

Hartline chooses NFL, Coleman to stay
January 14, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Brian Hartline announced today he is leaving for the NFL, and teammate and safety Kurt Coleman said he will return for his senior season. Those two proclamations came courtesy of an OSU football spokesperson as the deadline for underclassmen declaring for the NFL draft looms Thursday. One other Buckeye reportedly still pondering his decision is junior cornerback Donald Washington..."

Coleman back for senior year
January 14, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Junior safety Kurt Coleman announced through Ohio State this morning that he will return for his senior season. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Thursday..."

A promising future for 2009 Buckeyes
January 11, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "The 2009 Ohio State football team will be significantly different -- and younger -- than the club that finished 10-3 this past season. Even though the Buckeyes lose some all-time greats, their youth will not necessarily be a bad thing, considering they will be led by sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor. There are 239 days until Navy comes to Columbus to open the season, which gives us plenty of time to reflect and project:..."

Who's gone, who's back(starters): Offense LOST (7) LT Alex Boone, G Steve Rehring, RG Ben Person, TE Rory Nicol, WR Brian Robiskie, FB Brandon Smith, TB Chris "Beanie" Wells; Defense LOST (4) DT Nader Abdallah, LB James Laurinaitis, LB Marcus Freeman, CB Malcolm Jenkins

OSU won't be the same with Wells bound for NFL
January 8, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells leaves Ohio State as the Buckeyes' fourth-leading rusher...He's a player, like receiver Ted Ginn Jr., who should be appreciated even more when he's gone...But his announcement...that he's giving up his final year of eligibility to declare for the NFL Draft, 'in the best interest of his family,' which includes 11 brothers and sisters, also clears the way for the next evolution of the Ohio State offense. Jim Tressel adapts his plan to his personnel, and as long as that personnel included the best combination of power and speed of any back in the country, the Buckeyes had to maintain enough of the I-formation to take advantage of it. Here's what tight end Rory Nicol, the most logical and honest observer of the offense among the players, said before the Fiesta Bowl loss to Texas. 'I don't think we're the zone stretch type of offense that at times we thought maybe we could be. With a guy like Chris, it's better to keep it up the middle, in between the tackles, which is what he likes to do.'..."

Way Too Early 2009 Rankings

Mark Schlabach gives you his early top 10 for 2009...6. Ohio State Buckeyes: Much of Ohio State's success in 2009 might be determined by quarterback Terrelle Pryor's development during the offseason. Pryor played remarkably well as a freshman, but he must become a more polished passer for the offense to be truly effective. Pryor's job would have been easier if tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells had returned to school, but he declared for the NFL draft. The Buckeyes lose a lot of star power on defense -- All-America linebacker James Laurinaitis, Thorpe Award winner Malcolm Jenkins and linebacker Marcus Freeman were seniors..." Source: ESPN

Early Rivals.com 2009 Preseason Top 25
January 9, 2009 Source: Buckeye Grove - "Here is an early – mighty early – preseason top 25 for the 2009 season. This poll is under the assumption that all underclassmen who have not already declared for the draft will remain in school. That, obviously, will not be the case, so we will have another preseason poll after the Jan. 15 deadline to declare...6. Ohio State The Buzz: You have to figure the coaches will unleash quarterback Terrelle Pryor, which will jazz up the offense. The defense will be fine even without CB Malcolm Jenkins and LB James Laurinaitis..."

Final Rankings for the 2008-09 Season

Top 25 Overview
Top 25 Weekend Review
Coaches Poll
 Source: USA Today

AP Poll
 Source: Associated Press

Associated Press Poll Voters Ballots Click Here to see how the AP voters voted.

Check out all of the polls on our Polls, Rankings & BCS page...link below

Chris Beanie Wells will enter the NFL draft this AprilBeanie headed for NFL
January 8, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Chris "Beanie" Wells announced today that he is giving up his senior season to head to the NFL...Wells called it 'a difficult decision,' but that's not what Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel said last month. Asked whether he thought Wells should turn pro, Tressel said, 'Shoot, yeah,' and said he thought Wells would be a top-five pick...Draft projections don't have Wells quite as high as Tressel -- most range between pick No. 6 and No. 25 -- that still could net the Akron native a signing bonus somewhere in the $10 million range...'There are a lot of things I know I will miss: just being in the locker room, spending time with my teammates, playing in the Michigan game, just all the aspects of being at Ohio State that make it such a special place,' Wells said. 'But in the best interest of my family, it's time to move on and take a chance at fulfilling my lifetime dream.'...In three seasons, Wells rushed for 3,382 yards, fourth in Ohio State history. (He was) Voted the Buckeyes' MVP in 2007 and 2008...He set the Ohio State-Michigan game rushing record with 222 yards in 2007, and for his career, he averaged a healthy 5.8 yards a carry..."

How did the Buckeyes grade out for the 2008 seasonspacerThe Bottom Line (2008 season edition)
January 7, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "With 18 starters back from 2007, OSU was expected to be a national-title player. USC ended that talk, and in the end the feeling persisted that this was a square-peg, round-hole kind of season. Leaves are awarded on a zero-to-five basis.

Offense (three leaves): Beanie Wells is the clear MVP, and the guess here is that he's a goner. That actually might benefit Terrelle Pryor, who can assume the role of offensive engine full time. Goals for '09: The Kid must get better in the passing game, and the offensive line needs a serious athletic upgrade.

Defense (three leaves): This was no patty-cake outfit, nor was the unit a fearsome bunch that left opponents quivering. Malcolm Jenkins was a monster all year, James Laurinaitis was far better in the second half than the first, and role players (Abdallah, Gibson, Hines, etc.) made mostly good impressions.

Special teams (three leaves): A typically solid effort. Punter A.J. Trapasso was consistent pinning opponents inside the 20 (though inside the 10 is a better barometer). Ryan Pretorius and Aaron Pettrey made 22 of 27 field goals -- too many, because of the offense. Ray Small: good returner, when he avoids trouble.

Coaching (two leaves): Another 10-win season, another Big Ten championship (shared), another win over Michigan, another BCS bid. What's not to like? There's this: OSU played three good teams, lost to all three. Mentally, in big games, the Buckeyes seem to be a house of cards in a windstorm.

Fun quotient (two leaves): Wells' injury against Youngstown State changed everything. All of a sudden, the starting quarterback was exposed at USC, and the angst meter was raised to 11. The booing of Boeckman for sure was the low-water mark. As for the high point, it might have been the failed Fiesta comeback.

Opponents (two leaves): Southern Cal and Texas were tremendous, and thank goodness the Buckeyes showed up for at least one of those games. The Little Ten, meanwhile, is in the throes of a 100-year nadir. Those bowl results were no fluke, partners, and they didn't include the likes of Purdue and Michigan.

Officiating (three leaves): If the Buckeyes could have one call overturned for the year, it would be Ben Person's iffy holding call that negated a touchdown at USC. But that wasn't definitively bad, like the no-calls for the head-hunting at Wisconsin. Officials must get that under control before someone gets seriously hurt."

Big Ten year-end offensive line rankings (team)
January 7, 2009 Source: ESPN - "...1. Penn State...2. Iowa...3. Wisconsin...4. Illinois...5. Ohio State -- The group underperformed for most of the season before coming on strong late. Injuries and a quarterback change didn't help matters, but Ohio State expected better things from a veteran-laden group left by left tackle Alex Boone. The Buckeyes ran the ball well at times but weren't consistent enough...6. Michigan State...7. Purdue...8. Northwestern...9. Michigan...10. Indiana...11. Minnesota..."

Fiesta proves improvement, not gimmick plays, will determine Pryor's OSU future
January 6, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...In the end, the two-quarterback scheme had one goal -- to use Boeckman to throw the ball to keep the Texas defense honest. Pryor remained as dangerous as ever on the run. But in six weeks of bowl practice, based on what happened Monday, Pryor made more progress catching the ball than throwing it. Two reoccurring truths were confirmed -- Pryor needs to work on his passing, and Boeckman's arm could have helped the Buckeyes this season if he had been used more..."

Buckeyes fall to Longhorns 24-21 in a hearbreaker24-21

Ohio State Buckeyes vs Texas Longhorns  Postgame


 Brutus Go Bucks! Bevo

2009 Fiesta Bowl Highlights Source:ESPN

VideoFiesta Bowl Highlights Source: Big Ten Network

2009 Fiesta Bowl Postgame Analysis Source:ESPN

VideoTerrelle Pryor Postgame Comments Source: Buckeye Grove

Pryor, Jenkins and Laurinaitis Postgame Comments Source: The Palestra

Buckeyes Hooked By Texas in Final Moments at Fiesta Bowl
January 6, 2009 Source: OSU Official Site/Associated Press - "An early lead, missed opportunities, a heartbreaking finish. Ohio State lost its third consecutive BCS bowl game Monday night. The previous two were numbing blowouts for the national championship. This 24-21 loss to No. 3 Texas in the Fiesta Bowl meant less but might have hurt more. The 10th-ranked Buckeyes scored 15 straight points to take a 21-17 lead with 2:20 to play. A stunning victory and vindication for a limping Big Ten was in sight. Then, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy put together the winning drive, capped by a 26-yard touchdown pass to Quan Cosby with 16 seconds to play. Ohio State's Anderson Russell lay face-down on the turf after missing the tackle that allowed Cosby to break free. In so many ways it was a tremendous effort by the Buckeyes, who held Texas to its lowest point total of the season. But that was hardly consolation for a defeat that left the Big Ten 1-6 in bowl games this season..."

Scoring Summary,Team & Individual Statistics, Drive Chart, Defensive Statistics, Game Participation, Play-by-Play
& Postgame Notes From 2009 Fiesta Bowl

Laurinaitis Recaps Fiesta Bowl Source: Bucknuts

Video2009 Fiesta Bowl Recap with Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson Source: Fox Sports

Coach Tressel meets with the media following the 2009 Fiesta Bowl (Photo: Jim Davidson, The OzoneListen to the audio
Coach Tressel meets with the media following the 2009 Fiesta Bowl
January 6, 2009 Source: OSU Official Site

VideoAnalysis: Breaking Down Texas' Fiesta Bowl Win January 6, 2009 Source: ESPN

Injuries limit Wells' carries in the second half
January 6, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...as much as he wanted to, the Ohio State junior tailback couldn't finish what he started last night...He was lucid enough to talk with reporters 30 minutes after the game, but his mind wasn't clear enough to convince team physicians to put him back in the Fiesta Bowl, which the Buckeyes lost 24-21 in dramatic fashion in the closing minutes. 'I tried, but I don't think I could have played,' Wells said. 'I couldn't see straight.' He had amassed 106 yards on 16 carries by then. Not being able to finish was a bummer, he said..."

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Colt McCoy drove Texas the length of the field and hit Quan Cosby on a 26-yard TD pass with 16 seconds left.

THE PLAY: Colt McCoy 26-yard touchdown pass to Quan Cosby for a with 16 seconds to play, which gave Texas its fifth straight bowl victory, tied for the second-longest active streak in the FBS.

GAMEBALL GOES TO: McCoy. He was 41-of-59 passing for 414 yards and two TDs with just one interception. Plus, he ran for another TD.

QUESTIONS FOR THE COACHES: Why was there no safety on the Cosby touchdown reception??? Why wasn't a timeout called before that last play???

QUESTION FOR THE REFS: Is holding still a penalty???

THE STAT: Cosby caught 14 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns. At key moments, the Buckeyes didn't have him covered.

THE STAT II: Texas gained 486 total yards, including 414 passing. But considering Texas ran 87 plays (to OSU's 64) and was held to its lowest point total of the season by far, it could have been much worse. How many missed tackles for the Buckeyes? Was it many more than the big one? (486 total yards are the most given up by an OSU defense since 2000 against Purdue.)

THE STAT III: Ohio State has now lost three straight BCS bowl games, and the loss is the Buckeyes' first in four Fiesta Bowls under Jim Tressel.

HOW BUCKEYE NATION WILL SEE IT: Something -- or someone -- needs to change.

BAD CALL OF THE GAME: The 2nd roughing-the-passer call on Ohio State's Thad Gibson; they missed calling the hit on Pryor when he was out of bounds.

NUMBERS FOR DUMMIES: 58 & 3: First-half points allowed by the Buckeyes in their previous two bowl games; against Texas 3.

NUMBERS FOR DUMMIES II: 42: Ohio State's 28 seniors were trying for their 43rd win, which would have been most in school history.

NUMBERS FOR DUMMIES III: 4: seniors -- James Laurinaitis, Marcus Freeman, Malcolm Jenkins and Alex Boone -- who chose to return to school rather than leave early for the draft after last season

ONE-LINER: Terrelle Pryor might be the next Vince Young, but this one time the Buckeyes needed him to be the next Ronnie Lott.

ONE-LINER II: As heard from a gloating Texas fan: "Hey, you're getting closer. Keep at it."

ONE-LINER III: Consider it a sin, my brother, when losing to Longhorns ranks as a moral victory

ONE-LINER IV: "I see 7-5 teams throwing Gatorade on their coach. At Texas if we were 7-5 they would be throwing something on me, but it wouldn't be Gatorade, I will tell you that." -- Mack Brown

TRANSLATING TRESS: What he said: "The guy closest to the ball spotted it one place and the guy from the other side said he had a better vantage point." -- explaining the officials' spot on fourth-and-3 during Texas' winning drive ..." What he meant: "Where I'm standing, we got robbed."

BUCKEYES GET EARLY LEAD AGAIN: The Buckeyes have been great at getting early leads in big games. They led LSU and Florida in back-to-back BCS title games. And they led Southern California, too, in a big game earlier this season. The problem for Ohio State has been holding leads.

JUST WONDERING: What hurts worse, losing by blowout or by a hair? Probably the former, right? A close loss can be devastating, but at least it leaves the pride intact. What happened out here against Florida and down in New Orleans against LSU leaves a bad taste for a long, long time.

BAD MARKET FOR SCALPERS: Fiesta Bowl tickets, which Ohio State sold for $155, were being offered for $20 and less by scalpers an hour and a half before Monday night's game. While the game was listed as a sellout, there were plenty of empty seats in the top section of University of Phoenix Stadium. It was reported that neither school sold its entire allotment of tickets.

TIME TO SPLIT?: Here's guessing that Horns didn't quite make their case for a split national title. Now, Utah might have a good argument, though.

POSTSEASON BUZZ: The nation is knuckling under to an anemic economy, but disgruntled OSU fans realize that their problems won't be solved by a new president, because while finances are fragile, "It's the play-calling, stupid." The perceived lack of creativity on offense was the No. 1 criticism, and it will be interesting to see whether Tress addresses the issue with a coaching change or two.

SHOW THEM THE MONEY: Ohio State and Texas will receive approximately $18 million each for playing in the Fiesta Bowl. Each of the other BCS games -- Rose, Sugar, Orange and the championship game -- offer similar payouts.

THE NATION WATCHED: The Fiesta Bowl drew an 11.6 overnight rating on FOX, up 38% from an 8.4 for last year's Fiesta Bowl between West Virginia and Oklahoma. The 11.6 overnight is the third-highest for a BCS game since FOX took over the rights in 2007, behind only the 2007 and 2008 National Championship games. No other BCS game on FOX has drawn higher than a 9.8 overnight.
(Sources: ESPN/Columbus Dispatch/Austin American Statesman/The Webmaster)


End result: Buckeyes got burned by blitz
January 7, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Blasted by critics for being too passive on defense in recent big games, Ohio State was aggressive from start to finish against Texas on Monday night in the Fiesta Bowl. In fact, that aggression bit the Buckeyes in the end. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy threw the ball left and right in the face of Ohio State blitzes on the Longhorns' final drive, then he went for the heart. Receiver Quan Cosby told him that if OSU blitzed, as it had done much of the game, he would run an inside slant behind it. Cosby did, from the slot on the left side. Safety Anderson Russell, who had man-to-man coverage responsibility on the play, didn't get to Cosby soon enough to break up the pinpoint pass or to tackle him. The result: a 26-yard, game-winning touchdown on Cosby's 14th catch of the night..."

Play of the gamePlay of the game

Texas' Quan Cosby breaks free  (Photo/Bucknuts) Texas' Cosby dives into the end zone  (Photo/Bucknuts) Texas offensive tackle Cedric Dockery, left, celebrates the Longhorns' winning touchdown, as Ohio State safety Anderson Russell lies on the ground following his final missed tackle in the Fiesta Bowl on Monday night as Anderson Russell lay face down on the turf  (AP Photo/ Michael Chow, The Arizona Republic)
With 24 seconds left in the game, and the Buckeyes blitzing and in man coverage, Colt McCoy found Quan Cosby on a crossing pattern that led to 26 yard touchdown and a come from behind win over the Buckeyes.

Russell takes blame
January 6, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "OSU safety Anderson Russell was the defensive back who missed the tackle on Texas receiver Quan Cosby on the 26-yard pass with 16 seconds left that won the game for Texas. 'I had him man to man, and I went for the ball,' Russell said. 'I should have gone for the tackle, really. We were in a position to win, and it feels like it was all my fault. That's what I'm going to have to deal with.'"

Russell left alone on final score
January 6, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...(Cosby's )His final score came when he broke a tackle attempt by OSU safety Anderson Russell at the 20-yard line and was gone - gone because the Buckeyes were blitzing and in man coverage, and there was no help behind Russell once he slipped off of Cosby..."

Video of the TD pass to Cosby


Instant Analysis: Fiesta Bowl
January 6, 2009 Source: College Football News - "He made several stunning mistakes that put his team in position to lose, but when Last Chance Gulch greeted him in Glendale, Ariz., six-shootin' superstar Colt McCoy gunned down the Ohio State Buckeyes. As a result, the Texas Longhorns--lacking style points and outplayed at times--achieved the end result they ultimately needed...Ohio State proved to be a winner of the soul, a team that got past its big-game demons and chased away the haunting memories of bowl blowouts from the past..."

Rapp Up: Still Need A Few Baby Steps To Get Over That Hump
January 6, 2009 Source: Bucknuts - "Bucknuts.com senior writer and columnist Jeff Rapp wonders if the Buckeyes realize they haven't quite cut down on mistakes well enough to knock off a national power...A false-start penalty in the red zone, an illegal substitution infraction, a bad snap and a worse hold, a dropped pass on first down making it second-and-long, not throwing the ball away when the situation warranted it, hitting the opposing quarterback in the head at his goal line on a screen pass, not getting set at the snap, letting a wideout slip through a tackle for a first down, and, of course, taking a bad angle on a receiver in the middle of the field and then whiffing a tackle..."

Buckeyes can play 'if' game in late loss
January 6, 2009 Source: The Arizona Republic - "The "if" game is a dangerous one to play. If Ohio State senior Todd Boeckman had stayed on the field at quarterback, and if true freshman Terrelle Pryor had stayed at receiver the entire game, then maybe the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl result, a 24-21 Texas win, would have been different...After the game, Boeckman didn't want to play the "if" game. 'I don't know about that,' he said. 'Terrelle is a good player. He did some good things out there today, and I can't say if I was out there I (would have done) any better.'..."


Team Statistics (Final)
#10 Ohio State vs #3 Texas (Jan 5, 2009 at Glendale, Ariz.)

 Team Totals  OSU  UT 
FIRST DOWNS  21  33 
   Rushing  11 
   Passing  23 
   Rushing Attempts  39  28 
   Average Per Rush  5.2  2.6 
   Rushing Touchdowns 
   Yards Gained Rushing  241  113 
   Yards Lost Rushing  38  41 
   Completions-Attempts-Int  10-25-0  41-59-1 
   Average Per Attempt  7.0  7.0 
   Average Per Completion  17.6  10.1 
   Passing Touchdowns 
   Total offense plays  64  87 
   Average Gain Per Play  5.9  5.6 
Fumbles: Number-Lost  1-0  2-0 
Penalties: Number-Yards  7-67  8-83 
PUNTS-YARDS  4-161  5-234 
   Average Yards Per Punt  40.2  46.8 
   Net Yards Per Punt  40.2  35.6 
   Inside 20 
   50+ Yards 
   Fair catch 
KICKOFFS-YARDS  6-404  5-316 
   Average Yards Per Kickoff  67.3  63.2 
   Net Yards Per Kickoff  48.5  42.8 
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD  1-16-0  0-0-0 
   Average Per Return  16.0  0.0 
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD  5-102-0  5-93-0 
   Average Per Return  20.4  18.6 
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD  1-0-0  0-0-0 
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD  0-0-0  0-0-0 
Miscellaneous Yards 
Possession Time  30:13  29:47 
   1st Quarter  9:41  5:19 
   2nd Quarter  7:38  7:22 
   3rd Quarter  3:51  11:09 
   4th Quarter  9:03  5:57 
Third-Down Conversions  4 of 12  6 of 17 
Fourth-Down Conversions  0 of 0  3 of 4 
Red-Zone Scores-Chances  3-3  3-4 
Sacks By: Number-Yards  3-27  3-26 
PAT Kicks  0-0  3-3 
Field Goals  3-4  1-1 


5 (plus a few) Thoughts - 2009 Fiesta Bowl
January 6, 2009 Source: College Football News - "It was one of the best games of the season with a finish for the ages. Now what happens to the national title picture? Where does this Ohio State senior class rank? How was Jim Tressel's coaching job? These views and a few thoughts from the readers in the 5 (plus a few more) Thoughts on the great Texas win over OSU in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl...3. What did James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins, and the 23 other Ohio State seniors do to earn this fate? Buckeye fans, at least you still have the 2002 national title in your memory bank to fall back on. The OSU seniors, the ones who actually played on the field, will have to live the rest of their lives with a ridiculously unfair check mark next to their careers, sort of like the Buffalo Bills that lost four straight Super Bowls. 'Oh sure, they had great careers, but..."

How did the Buckeyes grade out against TexasspacerThe Bottom Line
January 6, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Leaves are awarded on a zero-to-five basis, five being the best: Offense: Three leaves...Defense: Three leaves...Special teams: Three leaves...Coaching: Three leaves...Opponent: Five leaves...Officiating: Three leaves: Jim Tressel hated that spot so much on the fourth-and-3 on the winning drive that he challenged it, but the zebras were on the mark. They also got the illegal blows by Thaddeus Gibson on McCoy correct but missed one when Terrelle Pryor was chucked after he'd run out of bounds. (Webmaster note: They got only one right on Gibson; it was clear the second call against him was a very bad call.)..."

Boeckman's play pivotal
January 6, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Todd Boeckman's head might have been hanging after Ohio State lost 24-21 to Texas last night, but his spirits were high. In his final game as a college quarterback, the Ohio State senior was the official starter, courtesy of a two-quarterback scheme coach Jim Tressel used with freshman Terrelle Pryor moving to receiver. And he and Pryor, who replaced Boeckman the last nine games of the regular season, left people talking after they hooked up on the second-most memorable touchdown of the frenzied evening. Boeckman hit Pryor on a 5-yard "Alley Oop" pass to the right corner of the end zone, with the 6-foot-6 Pryor easily outjumping 6-1 safety Blake Gideon to pull in the ball midway through the fourth quarter. It cut Texas' lead to 17-15 and revived the Buckeyes..."

Last-second drive goes Horns' way
January 6, 2009 Source: ESPN - "Two months ago, Texas Tech broke Texas' heart. Monday at the Fiesta Bowl, the Longhorns turned the tables on Ohio State...'It wouldn't have been the way to go out,' said senior defensive end Brian Orakpo...Cosby caught a short pass from quarterback Colt McCoy and turned it into a 26-yard touchdown with only 16 seconds to go in the Longhorns' 24-21 victory. 'With the heart and character of this team, I don't think there's anybody in the country who can beat us,' said McCoy, who completed 41 of 59 passes for 414 yards with two touchdowns and one interception..."

Heartbreak: Buckeyes Drop Fiesta To Texas In Final Seconds
January 6, 2009 Source: Bucknuts - "Ohio State's 24-21 loss to Texas in Monday night's Fiesta Bowl was a bitter pill to swallow as the Buckeyes fell victim to a game-winning drive engineered by Texas quarterback Colt McCoy that gave the Longhorns. That wiped out a stellar OSU comeback after the Buckeyes trailed 17-6 in the third quarter...Updated with notes and quotes..."

Despite its drama, the Fiesta Bowl couldn't have ended any other way
January 6, 2009 Source: SI.com - "It's become a storyline as cliché as boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl in the end. Only for Ohio State, its romantic comedy has devolved into a horror film where the Buckeyes get the lead, lose the lead and continually fall short in the end. It's a script they've followed the past three years in BCS bowls, although this year's episode provided the most heart-wrenching finale..."

Five Things: Texas
January 8, 2009 Source: Eleven Warriors - "...The Defensive Game Plan: Do I think Heacock should have crowded the linebackers at the line of scrimmage and not left at least one safety over the top while man blitzing on the final play? No, I don’t. But I do like the fact the game plan was to get pressure and hit McCoy as often as possible. That plan is certainly better than the all too familiar strategy of sitting back in a soft zone...Pryor and the Offensive Game Plan...Speaking of Beanie...Thanks to the Seniors...National Perception: The good news is it appears Ohio State is getting a little more love nationally for hanging in to the bitter end. While I could care less what Joe Fan thinks about Ohio State, it is obviously important the media and voters view the Buckeye program in a slighty better light than they did coming in to the game..."

A fitting end for these Ohio State seniors
January 6, 2009 Source: Canton Repository - "As legacies go, Ohio State’s senior class summed up four years in four fitting quarters Monday night in the Fiesta Bowl. They were the Buckeyes that looked good enough to overcome a freshman quarterback’s shortcomings, beat No. 3 Texas, and finish a season of disappointment with dignity, if not a top-five flourish. And they were the Buckeyes that stubbed their toe time and again, as if it didn’t hurt enough the first two times. The only thing more maddening that watching Ohio State’s slow death was listening to it. Fox’s crew...As many mistakes as the announcers made, Ohio State made more. It’s become the Buckeyes’ bowl birthright..."

Cooper reminisces during stroll
January 6, 2009 Source: The Morning Journal - "...After watching Ohio State play every home game this season, he classified this Ohio State team as 'good, not great.' 'I think they're a good, solid team. I don't think they're a great team,' Cooper said. 'It takes a great team to beat them.' Cooper estimated that Florida, Oklahoma, Alabama, USC and Texas were the five elite teams this season that separated themselves from the rest. Of the five, Texas provided the best matchup for the Buckeyes in their quest to finally win a big game. 'If I'm Ohio State and I'm going to pick one of those top teams to play, I'm going to pick Texas,' he said. 'They can't run the ball. They're one dimensional.' That was proven in the first half, when the Longhorns were held to minus-9 rushing yards..."


Postgame view from the other side

Best in the land? Longhorns say it's them
January 6, 2009 Source: Sporting News - "Mack Brown says he'll vote Texas No. 1 after the 'Horns top Ohio State with a last-minute Quan Cosby touchdown...'I wasn't sure before right now, but Friday morning, I am going to vote Texas No. 1 (in the final coaches' poll), because I think this is the best team in the country,' Brown said in the postgame celebration...Brown said the coaches made adjustments at halftime to counter Ohio State's blitzing and give McCoy more time to throw. 'Ohio State's defense was really good,' Brown said. Brown also was impressed with Buckeyes freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who spearheaded OSU's second-half rally. 'Terrelle Pryor played an unbelievable game,' Brown said, even though Pryor was just 5-for-14 passing as he split time with Todd Boeckman. Pryor's running keyed OSU's success. 'He will be a guy that's in the Heisman race and it may be sooner than we think because he is a leader.'..."

January 6, 2009 Source: Austin American Statesman - "RUN OFFENSE: D, This was a weak spot in August, and it's still one in January...PASS OFFENSE: B, After a month-long layoff, Horns weren't as crisp as in the regular season. Colt McCoy's untimely interception before the half cost them three points. Still, he gutted it up at the end and ended up with 414 yards on a night when he threw a whopping 59 passes. He took a beating back there, too...RUN DEFENSE: C, Best defender for Texas was Beanie Wells' concussion. Horns sure struggled to stop the big guy. He gained 106 yards on 16 carries. Had he been fully healthy, who knows how this game would've turned out...PASS DEFENSE: B, Hey, Horns were just happy to not face a Big 12 offense. Buckeyes' two-headed quarterback unit didn't gouge the Longhorns until late in the game. Unfortunately, that's when it mattered most...KICKERS: A, Hunter Lawrence was perfect (once again) on his place-kicks, and Justin Tucker's rugby-inspired punts just roll and roll and roll...RETURNERS: B, Nothing special to report here. Jordan Shipley remained solid..."

Boone vs. Orakpo
January 6, 2009 Source: Austin American Statesman - "...Ohio State offensive tackle Alex Boone said this week that he wanted to match up against Texas' all-everything defensive end, Brian Orakpo. Boone got what he wanted early on Monday night. It didn't work out well. Boone was beaten by Orakpo on the Buckeyes' third play from scrimmage and held him, leading to a 10-yard penalty. Ohio State was forced to punt a couple of plays later. Orakpo almost forced an interception when he pressured Pryor later in the first quarter. After that, though, Orakpo was not able to get to the Ohio State quarterback..."


Photo GalleryPhoto Galleries2009 Fiesta Bowl  Source: OSU Official Site
2009 Fiesta Bowl Slideshow  Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
2009 Fiesta Bowl  Source: The Ozone
2009 Fiesta Bowl  Source: Bucknuts
2009 Fiesta Bowl Ohio State vs Texas Source: The Lantern
Fiesta Bowl Photo Gallery Source: InsideTexas.com


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