No fun for No. 1 November 5, 2006 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Fewer than two minutes remained and thousands of orange-clad Illinois fans were jumping and yelling in Memorial Stadium. A loud chorus of "I-L-L" and "I-N-I" echoed across the field in the chilly evening air. The band played, a bell tolled. The Illini trailed by just seven points and were lining up for an onside kick..."
Top-Ranked Buckeyes Dodge Bullet At Illinois November 4, 2006 Source: Bucknuts - "On a day when No. 2 Michigan struggled to pull out a 34-26 home win over Ball State, No. 1 Ohio State also had its hands full at Illinois. The Buckeyes put together one long scoring drive and rode their defense to a 17-10 win over the upstart Illini to improve to 10-0 on the year..."
The-Ozone Note and Quotebook November 5, 2006 Source: The Ozone - "It's going to be a 'What happened?' kind of week around the Buckeye nation after OSU's close call at Illinois. Check out what the OSU players and coaches were saying in the-Ozone Note and Quotebook..."
Quotes & More November 4, 2006 Source: OrangeandBlueNews.com - "Quoting Illinois' Ron Zook, Illini Players and Jim Tressel..."
Buckeyes Escape With Victory November 4, 2006 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "For the first time this season, the Buckeyes were taken to their limits by an opponent. On the road against an overwhelmed but pumped up Illinois team, Ohio State staked a 17-0 lead and hung on for the victory. Read on for more..."
Buckeyes Hang on to Escape Illinois with Narrow 17-10 Win November 5, 2006 Source: The Ozone - "For a just over half the game the No. 1 Buckeyes (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten) played like a number one team, but when the fourth quarter rolled around, it was the fighting Illini of Illinois (2-8, 1-5 Big Ten) that looked like a dominant team..." Boxscore
Troy Smith is stopped by LB Jeremy Leman
Maturity of a quarterback? When OSU quarterback Troy Smith was flagged for intentional grounding late in the first half, Tressel was yapping to the official along the sideline. Smith gently grabbed Tressel by the elbow and eased him away from the, um, discussion to call the next play.
Valiant effort from Illini falls short of upset vs. Buckeyes November 4, 2006 Source: ESPN.com - "Top-ranked Ohio State got its first scare of the season. The Buckeyes built a 17-0 halftime lead against Illinois and overcame a ho-hum performance by its offense to hold off the stubborn Illini 17-10 Saturday..." (Play-By-Play, Drive Chart, Box Score, Photos, Video)
Flat in Champaign November 4, 2006 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Top-ranked Ohio State picked a good day to struggle, because No. 2 Michigan did, too. But struggle OSU did, at least offensively, against a game Illinois on the way to a 17-10 win in wind-swept Memorial Stadium this afternoon. It extended the Buckeyes' winning streak to 17 games, the nation's longest, with a trip to Northwestern in seven days between them and a showdown with the Wolverines on Nov. 18 in Ohio Stadium..."
Buckeyes hold on in lackluster 17-10 win November 4, 2006 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Top-ranked Ohio State got its first scare of the season. The Buckeyes built a 17-0 halftime lead against Illinois and overcame a ho-hum performance by its offense to hold off the stubborn Illini 17-10 Saturday. The Buckeyes (10-0, 6-0, Big Ten) had won each of their first nine games by at least 17 points, but let this one get close, just as rival Michigan did earlier in the day against Ball State..." (Left: Anthony Gonzalez hangs onto a pass against Illinois' Antonio Steele.)
No. 1 Ohio State just happy to get out of Illinois with victory November 4, 2006 Source: USA Today - "Ohio State started comfortably and appeared in control. By the end, the top-ranked Buckeyes were getting their first real scare of the season. 'I don't know what (being the) overwhelming favorite does for us. It doesn't spot us any points, or get us any first downs,' Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel said Saturday after his team built a 17-point halftime lead and hung on to beat stubborn Illinois 17-10..."
Marcus Freeman keeps the pressure on Illinois' QB Juice Williams (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Coach Tressel reacts after the Bucks scored a TD during the first half.
Illinois gives Ohio State fits November 4, 2006 Source: CentralOhio.com - "Four years ago, when Ohio State’s run to a national championship nearly veered off course in this same wind chamber of near-horrors, coach Jim Tressel looked at his football team at the start of overtime and said, 'Isn’t this fun?' On Saturday, with a perfect season and 17-game winning streak riding on an improbable onside kick in the final two minutes, Tressel wasn’t saying much of anything. He couldn’t because his heart was in his throat. 'I almost jumped out there,' Tressel said, reliving how the ball squirted through the hands of Brandon Mitchell before landing in Brian Robiskie’s clutches to preserve a 17-10 victory over 2-8 Illinois..." Ohio State-Illinois report card
Tough game could benefit Buckeyes November 4, 2006 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Tackling adversity might create a stronger team later in season...Maybe today it will happen. Maybe Illinois will take Ohio State down to the wire, or at least still be close heading to the fourth quarter..." (This was written before the game)
Wells can't drop his history class November 4, 2006 Source: Akron Beacon Journal - "While history lessons are part of top-ranked Ohio State's preparation every week, freshman Chris Wells might be ready to change his major. The backup tailback from Garfield High School could have had a rough few days. He lost his third fumble of the season in the shutout victory over Minnesota last Saturday. And Illinois (2-7, 1-4) provides the perfect opportunity for coach Jim Tressel to drive home just how disastrous those bobbles can be..." (This was written before the game)
Stewart Mandel's Power Rankings October 31, 2006 Source: SI.com - "By this point in the season, it's safe to say I've seen more than enough Ohio State and Michigan games to know those teams inside and out. I've seen Florida and Tennessee play enough tough contests to find out what they're made of. Ditto Texas, Cal, USC, Auburn, Notre Dame ... pretty much every highly ranked team. Except for West Virginia and Louisville..."
Game Data: Ohio State at Illinois October 31, 2006 Source: Bucknuts - "We provide our weekly look at the pertinent information and depth charts as well as a prediction for Saturday's Big Ten game between No. 1-ranked Ohio State and Illinois in Champaign (3:30 p.m., ESPN2)..."
Schafer in line to start at third spot November 3, 2006 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "With left tackle Alex Boone (knee) still questionable for a Big Ten game Saturday at Illinois, Schafer likely will start at left tackle. He already has started games at left guard and at right tackle this season..."
Buckeyes find Illini worth watching...Film study part of Ohio State success November 2, 2006 Source: Toledo Blade - "Pardon the Ohio State football players if they squint a bit or cover their eyes when they step out in the sun. Although they have spent the entire season in the spotlight as the top-ranked team in the country, the Buckeyes also are putting in a lot of time in dark rooms. They have developed a collective passion for endless film study..."
No. 1 Ohio State and Illinois to Meet in Champaign October 31, 2006 Source: OSU Official Site - "Top-ranked and unbeaten Ohio State travels to Illinois this week for the first leg of a two-game road trip that concludes the following week at Northwestern. Saturday's game against the Illini will kickoff at 3:36 p.m., EST in Memorial Stadium (capacity: 69,249) and will be televised by ESPN2 and broadcast by WBNS Radio, the flagship station for the statewide Ohio State radio network..."
Game Data: Ohio State at Illinois October 31, 2006 Source: Bucknuts - "We provide our weekly look at the pertinent information and depth charts as well as a prediction for Saturday's Big Ten game between No. 1-ranked Ohio State and Illinois in Champaign (3:30 p.m., ESPN2)..."
DL Quinn Pitcock (concussion) and OL Alex Boone (undisclosed injury, said to be his shoulder) are both questionable
RB Maurice Wells (shoulder stinger) and WR Anthony Gonzalez (concussion) will play.
WR Ray Small (concussion) will not make the trip.
Tressel said Boone had a "procedure" on Sunday and his injury was not serious. Pitcock still could get clearance to play.
Last Time: OSU-Illinois October 31, 2006 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "The last time Ohio State played Illinois, the Buckeyes took a while to get going, but by the time of the final gun, they had reached 40 points for a third straight game for the first time since Eddie George was wearing scarlet and gray..."
Illini Set to Face OSU October 31, 2006 Source: illiniboard.com - "The Illini face their third ranked team this season when they square off against No. 1 Ohio State this weekend. The team lost 24-7 to No. 14 Iowa and 30-24 at No. 17 Wisconsin to post a 0-2 mark against ranked foes this year..."
Inconsistency costs Illinois October 30, 2006 Source: Daily Herald.com - "Zook says second-half collapses this season due to young lineup..." (How bad is the seocnd half...well, Illinois over the last four weeks led Indiana, Ohio, Penn State and Wisconsin in the second half and led three of the four (with the exception of Penn State) in the fourth quarter, and lost all four.)
Juice belonged with the orange November 1, 2006 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "OSU could not get QB to leave Illinois...All Isiah "Juice" Williams did was follow the Troy Smith gospel. Why go elsewhere when you've got a chance to play for your home-state team?..." (Think the Bucks thought highly of "Juice?" Well, they offered him a scholarship his junior year.)
Breakthrough looming? November 01, 2006 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Illinois slowly showing new signs of life under Zook...The Illini are nowhere near where they want to be, but there are encouraging signs of improvement. A talented group of underclassmen, led by freshman quarterback Juice Williams, has caused seven starters from last season to lose their spots..."
OL problems 'across the board' October 24, 2006 Source: Chicago Sun Times - "The focus has been on freshman quarterback Juice Williams. But the big reason Illinois is more competitive this year is the defense. It is allowing 170 fewer yards, including 106 fewer rushing yards, than last season. That has translated into 14 fewer points per game. Offensively, Illinois' total yardage (11-yard increase), and scoring (two-point increase) hardly have changed..."
Staying close won't be easy against No. 1 Ohio State October 30, 2006 Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch - "Illinois has made a habit in the past month of playing games that are decided in the final minutes, battling everyone from Ohio University to nationally ranked Wisconsin down to the wire..."
Failing to finish killing Illini October 29, 2006 Source: Quad City Times - "Justin Harrison says the debate about whether Illinois is good enough to hang with talented football teams should be finished by now. Over, done, old news. 'We're not even listening to that stuff anymore...'"
Illini Nearly Upset Badgers October 30, 2006 Source: illiniboard.com - "The Fighting Illini almost pulled out a major upset last Saturday against the nationally ranked Wisconsin Badgers in Madison 30-24. It was another frustrating loss that might easily have been a victory, but Illinisports claims it was further proof the Illini are developing into a formidable team..."
KEEP AN EYE ON: MLB J Leman -- If this junior isn't careful, he's going to lead the Big Ten in tackles and make the all-league team. Leman, one of the nation's top 10 tacklers, racked up a game-high 13 tackles. That included 2 1/2 for losses as he made several big hits down the stretch to give Illinois' offense one last chance to pull out the game. Leman, left, leads the Big Ten in tackles per game with 10.9.
OSU gears up for November, Champions made in final month November 2, 2006 Source: Toledo Blade - "Just before his noon press conference yesterday, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel sat down at a table filled with television crew members and held an informal conversation for about 10 minutes while working on a plate of lasagna..."
No close games are very un-Tressel like November 2, 2006 Source: The Morning Journal - "Nine games into this season, it's clear this is no ordinary Jim Tressel team...Even Tressel seems to be slightly more relaxed than in past years. He cracks more jokes during press conferences, allows himself to smile on occasion and is much more willing to talk about rankings and the BCS than he was four years ago..."
Second line gets firsthand lessons November 2, 2006 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "One series each week, Ohio State hands the responsibility of protecting the most valuable player in college football to a bunch of backups..."
Why Ohio State Might Not Be No. 1 October 31, 2006 Source: CollegeFootballNews.com - "...With that in mind, I’m now going to attempt to do the impossible, and without a net, and try to convince you that Ohio State might not be the number one team in the country. Note the word might. Before your head explodes, Buckeye fans, I voted Ohio State in the top spot and do believe this is the best team in America. With that said..." E-mail Pete with your thoughts: email@example.com
New Videos New videos added November 1, 2006: Nobody Does It Better (Troy Smith) & the Dominic Jones hit on Ray Small in the Minnesota game.
Rotation Yielding Return On Investment November 1, 2006 Source: Bucknuts - "Heavy player rotation paying dividends for OSU...It started during the Texas game, when the Buckeyes opened eyes by playing over 50 players in such a crucial early season matchup. But things haven't changed since then -- plenty of players are still seeing the field, and the results are paying off. Charles Babb discusses this strategy in his latest article..."
Tressel's Message Broadens November 1, 2006 Source: The Ozone - "Jim Tressel's 2006 "Theme of the Week" tour may have ended. Now he's set his team on the "Theme of the Month" tour. Throughout this season Tressel has come up with a weekly theme to keep his Buckeyes motivated and into the game with the upcoming opponent. With the change of the calendar month however, Tressel appears to have embarked on a new strategy..."
Defense tackles lofty legacy November 1, 2006 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "2006 group wants to be remembered among school's best...A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, Donte Whitner, cover your ears. You might not want to hear what T.J. Downing is saying about the Ohio State defense..."
Bucknuts Recruiting Quick Read November 1, 2006 Source: Bucknuts - "We have returned with the Bucknuts Recruiting Quick Read, a free one-stop feature that lists OSU's recruiting targets and summarizes their status with each. We will be updating this feature throughout the season up to signing day. Check out our first edition, with commentary from Steve Helwagen, Gary Housteau and Duane Long..."
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK October 31, 2006 OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel discussed the players of the week for the Minnesota game at his weekly press luncheon today. They were as follows:
Offensive Player of the Week - Antonio Pittman Defensive Player of the Week - Antonio Smith Special Teams Player of the Week - Drew Norman Attack Force Player of the Week - Marcus Freeman Offensive Lineman of the Week - T. J. Downing Scout Team Offensive Player of the Week - Ryan Franzinger Scout Team Defensive Player of the Week - Walter Dublin Scout Team Special Teams Player of the Week - Will Crall
O'Neal's play growing by leaps and bounds October 31, 2006 Source: CentralOhio.com - "Ohio State's sophomore safety boxed out 6-foot-4 Minnesota tight end Jack Simmons and made a leaping grab with Rodmanesque flair. Simmons tried to reach in and wrestle the ball away from the tumbling defensive back, but he would have had an easier time extracting a tooth from an angry crocodile...
Fumbles plague one half of the dynamic RB duo at Ohio State October 31, 2006 Source: Mansfield News Journal - "Heading into Saturday's game at Illinois, they've rushed for 1,285 yards and 14 touchdowns. Only Wisconsin's P.J. Hill and Lance Smith (1,513) and Michigan's Mike Hart and Kevin Grady (1,314) have chewed up more turf -- remarkable given the tricky footing and sorry state of the Ohio Stadium field -- and only the Badgers backs have scored more touchdowns (17)...The problem has been keeping Wells from punching his own team in the gut..."
Buckeyes report: Inside slant October 30, 2006 Source: The Sports Xchange - "When Ohio State was a preseason No. 1 and had just as many questions as answers, coach Jim Tressel created the team slogan 'Let there be no doubt'..."
Captain's Corner: Buckeyes Continue To Amaze October 29, 2006 Source: Bucknuts - "They shouldn't be doing this, says Jerry Rudzinski. Nine starters lost on defense, five NFL first-round draft picks... and yet the Buckeyes continue to dominate. Jerry Rudzinski reviews the Minnesota game and talks about why the Buckeyes are so impressive..."
Anonymity is a Good Thing October 28, 2006 Source: OSU Official Site - "All eyes become fixed upon the majestic quarterback as he gracefully drops back to pass. People hold their breath as he releases the ball and watch it sail through the crisp autumn air toward a speedy receiver in full stride downfield. The ball is caught for a touchdown sending 105,000 fans into ecstasy as people shout about how they love the quarterback and receiver, noting each player by name..."
OSU notebook: New Ohio Stadium turf not making the cut October 27, 2006 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "A few weeks ago, it was out with the old, beaten turf in Ohio Stadium and in with the new. But after a couple of games on the new grass, it’s the same ol’ same ol’. Several Ohio State players complained about the field conditions for the Indiana game Saturday. 'It was slippery, wet, soft,' receiver Ted Ginn Jr. said. 'I didn't really like it. It didn’t look like real grass.'..."
Pitting The Best Against The Best October 27, 2006 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "Ohio State coaches and players let the public in on an interesting practice strategy that few other teams subscribe to. Find out what it is, where the idea came from and how it's panned out for the Buckeyes..."
Practice helps OSU stay perfect October 27, 2006 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Some of the greatest Ohio State plays of the season, and some of the toughest matchups the Buckeyes have faced, no one has seen..."
BCS Analysis: Week 3: OSU #1 October 29, 2006 Source: CollegeFootballNews.com - "In week three of the BCS rankings, USC drops to eight, but in the key move of the week, Florida moves to fourth to get in range of the coveted number two spot. West Virginia is third and Louisville fourth making the battle on Thursday as big as it gets for a Big East battle. Boise State is 15th, still three spots out of an automatic spot, and Notre Dame is ninth, one spot out of an automatic invite..."
Mr. Bucknuts' Bucket Of Bullets October 29, 2006 Source: Bucknuts - "Mr. Bucknuts returns with a long-winded Bucket that rounds up the usual suspects: Glen Mason, Notre Dame and Michigan in general. Then, specifically, he predicts if the Buckeyes will be better or worse next year. And why. Plus, there’s stats-for-geeks, some jaded philosophy and - best of all - letters and cartoons he received. All in this week’s inimitable Bucket of Bullets..."
Ohio State Stays Perfect in 44-point Shutout of Minnesota October 28, 2006 Source: OSU Official Site - "No. 1 Ohio State won for the 16th straight game as it claimed a 44-0 victory over Minnesota in front of 105,455 fans Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Antonio Pittman ran 21 times for 116 yards and two scores and added two catches for 47 yards while the Buckeye defense had three interceptions and recorded a shutout for the first time since the 2003 season..."
Ohio State scores 44, defense floors Minnesota Source: CoachTressel.com - "October 28, 2006 Source: CBSSportsline.com - "Ohio State's defense is proving that experience is overrated. While quarterback Troy Smith buffed up his Heisman Trophy numbers by running for one touchdown and throwing for another, top-ranked Ohio State's defense dominated in a 44-0 victory over Minnesota on Saturday..."
OSU or UM? These Golden Gophers aren't talking October 29, 2006 Source: CentralOhio.com - "Dominic Jones is in a unique position. The Columbus Brookhaven native has played against Ohio State and Michigan this season. The Gophers were stymied Saturday by Ohio State, and they also lost to the Wolverines on Sept. 30 in Minneapolis, 28-14..."
Comparisons: TSUN played at Minnesota September 30. Here are the stats if you're interested.
Buckeyes take pride in first shutout of season "Their work appeared to be finished, the hay safely in the barn with Ohio State leading 37-0 early in the fourth quarter. OSU's defensive starters went to the sideline and the backups came in to play out the string. But then the Buckeyes fumbled a punt back to Minnesota, giving the Gophers the ball at the Ohio State 36-yard line. The Buckeyes had come close to posting a shutout several times this season, and they wanted one badly. The starters prevailed upon defensive coordinator Jim Heacock to go back in. He complied. 'Did we (put the starters back in). Yeah, we probably did.' Heacock said, a bit sheepishly. '(The shutout) was a goal of these kids, and I mean, give them an opportunity. It's what you shoot for.'..." And, Minnesota can't dent OSU defense October 28, 2006 Source: Columbus Dispatch
Buckeyes Dominate Gophers with Lopsided Shutout Win October 28, The Ozone - "The Gophers had absolutely no answer for OSU's offense. The Buckeyes never punted in the game and scored on eight of their 11 possessions. The three drives on which they did not score ended on lost fumbles, one by quarterback Troy Smith, one by running back Chris Wells and one by punt returner Malcolm Jenkins. The Buckeyes scored in every quarter. Their only offensive misfires were the fumbles and a missed extra point by kicker Aaron Pettry..."
Best from the OSU-Minnesota game October 29, Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Best decision: Quarterback Troy Smith started the game wearing gloves, but they came off after he fumbled early in the second quarter when he was hit from behind..."
Buckeyes badger Gophers October 29, Akron Beacon Journal - "OSU defense intercepts three passes and yields just 182 yards to Minnesota...
Troy Toys With Gophers, Defense Pitches Shutout October 28, 2006 Source: NBC4i.com - "Troy Smith threw for a touchdown and ran for another, and Ohio State's defense scored their first shutout in three years, as the No. 1 Buckeyes routed Minnesota 44-0 on Saturday..." (Video)
Balanced Attack Leads To Big Buckeye Victory October 28, 2006 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "Another day, another big win that puts the Buckeyes closer to their season-ending machup with the Wolverines. Find out how the Buckeyes dispatched visiting Minnesota in their final home game before Michigan comes to town..."
Overlooked Buckeyes defense shines October 28, 2006 Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune - "The ugly stepbrother of the Ohio State offense continued to do its part for the top-ranked Buckeyes in their 44-0 victory over the Gophers on Saturday..."
The fan forum is up and running. Get to it by using the link in the Buckeye Fans Only Site Navigation, which is below.
We know the desert can be on the horizon October 10, 2006 Source: The Morning Journal - "HALFWAY through another season that is expected to end in the desert, we know this team is good. Really good. National championship good? That's for the next six weeks to decide. Until then, here is what we know and what we don't know about Ohio State at the halfway point of the season..."
OSU notebook: Datish commended for keeping his cool October 4, 2006 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "The officials kept their flags in their pockets for the most part Saturday night during Ohio State’s 38-17 win at Iowa. But OSU receiver Anthony Gonzalez said yesterday that it was far from a clean game. 'There were a few plays throughout the game, in particular (OSU center) Doug Datish getting his helmet ripped off and getting punched in the face four times right in front of a ref. That was interesting," Gonzalez said. "I probably shouldn’t have said that...'"
Cheap shot by Hawkeye player Here here the video evidence! Watch Datish getting punched by #47. The player is Mitch King, first team defensive tackle.
Buckeyes won’t allow weaker foes to dream October 22, 2006 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "It's one thing for a team to move to 8-0 and further solidify its No. 1 ranking by taking apart an opponent as Ohio State did in a 44-3 victory over Indiana on Saturday. It's another thing for those players to be relaxed and confident enough to enjoy every second of it..."
Relaxing walk October 22, 2006 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...what’s amazing is the Buckeyes’ consistency. What’s surprising is the way they’re able to win easily week after week, regardless of the opposition. The scores - 35-12, 24-7, 37-7, 28-6, 38-17, 35-7, 38-7, 44-3 - read like a pleasant stroll through the 1970s, when the traditional powers handed out scholarships like penny candy and everybody else got the cavities..."
Accountant knows his OSU ABCs October 22, 2006 Toldedo Blade - "Jack Park set out to become an efficient and effective certified public accountant. And he did that. But somewhere along the way, the native of New Lexington, Ohio, also became the definitive source on Ohio State football, and an expert on the history of the college game..."
Who are the nation's Top 10 QBs? October 20, 2006 Source: SI.com - "While some pre-season pundits picked Brady Quinn as the odds-on favorite, Smith has been phenomenal while leading the Buckeyes to a perfect 7-0 record and the No. 1 national ranking..."
Burning questions: A half-season roundtable October 19, 2006 Source: SportingNews.com - "Our too-cool-for-school roundtable of experts is about to pummel you with answers to the burning questions of the college football season. Are you ready? Will Ohio State lose this season? Trec Alberts: 'I don't think so. College football has underestimated Jim Tressel. You hear that Charlie Weis and Pete Carroll are geniuses. Then there's Tressel -- the Buckeyes lose quality NFL players every year, the coaching staff gets raided on an annual basis, yet they continue to play at a high level'..."
When 38-7 is better than 31-13 October 17, 2006 Source: Men of the Scarlet & Gray - "The folks over at the M-Zone have posted an interesting article on the inherent faults in using score to determine rankings...However, comparing OSU to UM by their performances against Penn St. is comparing apples to oranges...Instead, an "apples to apples" comparison of OSU/UM should use the Spartans as the common opponent..."
Ohio State, USC 1-2 in first BCS rankings October 16, 2006 Source: Official BCS Site - "Which team should have the best shot at the national title game? An undefeated team which has struggled? (Think Southern California.) A one-loss team from the best conference in the country? (Think Auburn.) An undefeated team from a conference looking for respect? (Think West Virginia.)..." (Note: Under 'Free Video' check out "FOX BCS breakdown"...you'll enjoy what Howie Long has to say...remember that his son Kyle is a high school junior and already one of the top linemen in the country.)
Human touch puts Bucks atop BCS October 16, 2006 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ohio State on top: So the Buckeyes are the third best team in the country, or so the comput ers say. But since nearly every voting human is pro-OSU, Ohio State holds a commanding lead in the first Bowl Championship Series rankings released Sunday..."
With Ohio State on top, BCS ratings debut with many 'what-ifs' October 16, 2006 Source: USA Today - "Which team should have the best shot at the national title game? An undefeated team which has struggled? (Think Southern California.) A one-loss team from the best conference in the country? (Think Auburn.) An undefeated team from a conference looking for respect? (Think West Virginia.)..."
Midseason Crystal Ball October 12, 2006 Source: SI.com - SI.com's college football writers Stewart Mandel, Luke Winn, Cory McCartney and Mark Beech provide their predictions for the second half of the season.
OSU's Downing anchors Buckeyes' resurgent O-line with high energy, plenty of talent and attitude to spare October 14, 2006 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Sue Downing used to find it disturbing, those things her son would say in the paper, the talk about "getting nasty" on the field. Then T.J. Downing would explain what he meant and Mom would shake her head and try to understand, something lost in the translation. This message was clear. When she sat down for lunch with her son on Aug. 19 and he pulled off his scarlet skullcap to reveal his new Mohawk, Mom didn't scream..."
OSU Making Teams Drive October 11, 2006 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "Teams have had to take the long way home to score on Ohio State this season. Six games into the year, the opposition has started only two drives in OSU territory, helping the Buckeyes earn the nation's top scoring defense. BuckeyeSports.com looks into it to find out how much it's helped OSU get to 6-0..."
Buckeyes reloaded - Bucks' Stoppers October 11, 2006 Source: SportingNews.com - "Instead of being the weak link in Ohio State's national title hopes, Jim Laurinaitis and the defense are flying high. SN's Tom Dienhart explains how to pronounce the linebacker's name and what it spells for the Buckeyes' opponents..."
Smith’s passing efficiency threatens Big Ten record October 10, 2006 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Troy Smith has become a downright picky passer of historical significance. Buoyed by his performance in the past two games, which included throwing seven touchdown passes with no interceptions, the Ohio State senior quarterback is at the top of the Big Ten career passing efficiency list..."
No. 1 Buckeyes chasing history October 10, 2006 Source: Mansfield News Journal - "What we are witnessing could turn out to be the greatest season ever by a college football team. If the Buckeyes finish 13-0 and win the national championship, they will have done so by winning two No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchups along the way -- and possibly three..."
Big Ten Stat Leaders Mirror Big Ten Standings October 22, 2006 Source: The Ozone - "The Big Ten season is now half over. The Big Ten statistics confirm exactly what the Big Ten standings say, that there are three teams dominating in Big Ten football this year..."
Special teams tone was set on Hartline October 22, 2006 Source: The Morning Journal - "One of Indiana's biggest weapons entering yesterday's game was kick returner Marcus Thigpen, who has returned three kickoffs for touchdowns this year and ranked second in the country with a 37-yard average. Brian Hartline negated all that with one hit..."
The Big, Bad Brian Hartline October 23, 2006 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "Three weeks removed from campaigning for the Jack Tatum Hit of the Week award, Ohio State wideout Brian Hartline should have an easier time selling himself this week..."
No. 1 Buckeyes Conclude Home Stand with Gophers October 23, 2006 Source: OSU Official Site - "Ohio State concludes its two-game home stand this week by hosting Minnesota. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:36 p.m. EDT, Saturday, in sold out Ohio Stadium (102,329). This week is Homecoming at Ohio State and the Buckeyes' 1956 and 1961 football teams will hold reunions and be introduced at the game. The annual Captains' Breakfast will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Blackwell Hotel..."
Game Data: Minnesota at Ohio State October 24, 2006 Source: Bucknuts - "We have the pertinent info, depth charts and a prediction on the Homecoming game (ABC, 3:30 p.m.)..."
Last Time Out: Minnesota October 24, 2006 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "The last time Ohio State and Minnesota got together on the football field, the two teams’ offenses did their best to give the Metrodome scoreboard operator a workout..."
Tressel Press Conference Wrap-up October 24, 2006 Source: Bucknuts - "OSU head coach Jim Tressel spoke with the media this afternoon on a variety of subjects, ranging from this weekend's opponent to his rumored interest in the Cleveland Browns coaching position. We have a wrap-up of his conferences, along with some thoughts from Minnesota head coach Glen Mason on this weekend's game..."
2006 Minnesota Golden Gophers Game Preview October 26, 2006 Source: Buckeye Planet - "The Minnesota Gophers did not envision this type of season, where they sit 0-4 in conference play, as they entered 2006. Coming off a 7-4 campaign, the offense was productive for much of 2005, including putting 31 points up against the Buckeyes in the Metrodome..."
Golden Gophers to Take on Top-Ranked Buckeyes October 23, 2006 Source: Minnesota Official Site - "The University of Minnesota football team travels to Columbus, Ohio this Saturday to take on the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. The game is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. (CST) and will be nationally televised on ABC..."
Defense receives Gophers warning October 26, 2006 Source: Cleveland.com - "The Ohio State defense was lit up by Minnesota last year. Just in case the defenders forgot about it, support personnel hung a sheet in each of their lockers this week to remind them as they prepare to play host to Minnesota for homecoming Saturday. The sheet pointed out that last year the Gophers passed for 396 yards and had 578 yards. 'That’s the second-most passing yards in 116 years of Ohio State football and second most total yards,' linebacker James Laurinaitis said the sheet declared..." ("...it was merely the ninth most passing yards...")
OSU will be facing lots of Buckeyes October 25, 2006 Source: Toldedo Blade - "Minnesota stocked with Ohio players...When Minnesota comes here Saturday to play top-ranked Ohio State, the Golden Gophers won't need passports, a map or even directions. There are so many native Buckeyes on that team and coaching staff, they know just where they are going..."
The 17 Ohioians on Minnesota's roster: Dominic Alford (Cleveland, Shaker Heights High School), Trumaine Banks (Columbus, Eastmoor), William Brody (Garfield Heights, Benedictine), D.J. Burris (Kenton), Mike Chambers (Cuyahoga Falls, Walsh-Jesuit), Bryan Cupito (Cincinnati, McNicholas), Alex Daniels (Columbus, Brookhaven), Jason Giannini (Canton, Glen Oak), Blake Haudan (Toledo, St. John’s). Dominic Jones (Columbus, Brookhaven), Marvin Jones (Columbus, Brookhaven), Justin Kucek (Canfield), Mike Maciejowski (Upper Arlington), Keith Massey (Columbus, Brookhaven), Terrence Sherrer (Cincinnati Colerain), Justin Valentine (Columbus, Eastmoor) and Ernie Wheelwright (Columbus, Walnut Ridge). By contrast, James Laurinaitis is the only Minnesotan to suit up for the current Buckeyes.
Coach Mason Previews the Match-Up Against Top-Ranked Ohio State October 24, 2006 Source: Official Minnesota Site - "They’re dangerous offensively and it starts with their quarterback, Troy Smith. A lot of times I watch as the hype unfolds for Heisman Trophy candidates each and every year. Some of the announcers on TV want to crown somebody right away because they did something. Then the next week they bury a guy because he fumbled the ball, and the next week he’s up there again. It is not hype with this guy, I can tell you that. The last time I looked at a guy and thought about the best player in the country in the same regard was when Barry Sanders was at Oklahoma State. The guy is really something..."
U lost a star to OSU October 26, 2006 Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press - "When one gets away, there's always a tendency to downplay the significance. In the case of James Laurinaitis, the line was something like, 'Oh, he wasn't that good.' Still is in some circles, and that's hard to believe..."
Mason fields bricks from Minnesota fans October 25, 2006 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Like those crazy frat boys from Animal House, Glen Mason is on the 10-year plan at Minnesota. And from the looks of things, he’s not graduating any time soon..."
Random BuckNotes October 26, 2006 Source: Men of the Scarlet and Gray - "If OSU beats Minnesota by by 17 points this weekend, it will be the first time since 1973 that a Buckeye team has won its first nine games by 17 points or more..."