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Wrong pants led Ohio State coach Jim Tressel to bar Terrelle Pryor and other Buckeyes from prime rib meal December 28, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "It you don't have the right pants, Jim Tressel will leave you home. Even if you're a senior captain or the starting quarterback. Sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor, senior captain and defensive lineman Doug Worthington and junior defensive end Thaddeus Gibson missed Ohio State's dinner Sunday night at Lawry's, a prime rib restaurant in Beverly Hills that hosts a traditional meal Rose Bowl week. This morning, Pryor confirmed the reason. Pryor and his teammates didn't have dress pants, so Tressel wouldn't let them on the bus. Pryor showed up ready to board wearing jeans..."
Is the Big Ten a big deal? December 28, 2009 Source: Orange County Register - "...The Big Ten heads into another bowl season headlined by No. 8 Ohio State meeting No. 7 Oregon in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day with a TV network that will generate $2.8 billion over the next 25 years, designs on expanding the conference from Missouri to upstate New York, and a major image problem...A 2009 regular season that saw the Big Ten go 3-7 against BCS opponents has done nothing to erase those doubts. Big Ten teams are favored in just two of the conference's seven bowl games this week. Oregon is a 31/2-point favorite over the Buckeyes...."
Will Urban Meyer Leaving Florida Steer Gator Recruits to Ohio State? December 26, 2009 Source: Bleacher Report - "Urban Meyer has resigned from Florida...one of the schools that could benefit the most is not from the SEC, but the top school from Meyer's home state of Ohio...S Matt Elam, one of the top 10 players in the country, had considered visiting Ohio State because of the proximity to his older brother, Cleveland Browns SS Abram Elam. Among other important battles are the ones for OT Seantrel Henderson from Minnesota, DT Sharrif Floyd from Philadelphia, and Ohio-product LB Jordan Hicks. All of these players are the top of their rank at their respective positions..."
Urban Meyer Steps Down as Florida Head Coach December 26, 2009 Source: GatorZone.com - "Urban Meyer is stepping down as head coach of the University of Florida football team, Athletics Director Jeremy Foley announced Saturday afternoon.
"I have given my heart and soul to coaching college football and mentoring young men for the last 24-plus years and I have dedicated most of my waking moments the last five years to the Gator football program," said Meyer. "I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to re-evaluate my priorities of faith and family."
"After consulting with my family, Dr. Machen, Jeremy Foley and my doctors, I believe it is in my best interest to step aside and focus on my health and family..."
Top Recruiting Isn't a Prerequisite for a BCS Berth Source: Wall Street Journal - "...If bowl season teaches fans anything, it's that getting top recruits doesn't guarantee success...Here's how many top-100 recruits the BCS bowl game participants have starting on offense and defense .
# of Top-100 Recruits
College Football's 20 Most Valuable Teams December 22, 2009 Source: Forbes - "Texas tops our list of gridiron gangs for the first time...8. Ohio State Buckeyes: Team Value: $85 million - Ohio State is the only athletic department in the nation that can lay claim to having a team in the top 10 in both Forbes' college football rankings and college basketball rankings, where they are the 10th most valuable team...Penn State ranked #3 is Big Ten's most valuable team..."
Looking at the Big Ten Bowls Source: Big Ten Network - Video: Analysis by the Big Ten Network crew of every Big Ten's team bowl games (Source: Big Ten Network) Bowl Gifts Part of Tradition for Players: "The NCAA permits bowls to provide each player with up to $500 worth of gifts to be awarded at the bowl site...Here's a complete list of the bowl games that do reveal their gifts..." (Source: Rivals.com)
Bob Hunter commentary:Rumblings December 25, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "'Tis the season for college football transfer rumors, and they have been flying all month about the possible offseason departures of Ohio State receivers Lamaar Thomas and Taurian Washington. But this time the buzz comes with an intriguing twist: With Duron Carter and Ray Small not making the trip to the Rose Bowl, Thomas and Washington figure to receive more playing time. If there's any truth to the rumors -- and coach Jim Tressel claimed not to have heard them when he was asked about them earlier this month -- then it makes for a weird dynamic. Presumably, one or both could prove that they deserve a better look next season. Then again, maybe Tressel would be tempted to give some of that playing time to those he is certain will be returning. Simple logic says that Thomas would be the more likely of the two to move on because he's a sophomore and his playing time has decreased from a year ago; coming into the season, it appeared likely that he would see more action than he has. Washington is a junior, and unless he transfers to a lower-division school, he would have to sit out a season and would have only one year of eligibility remaining. At this point, barring injuries, there don't appear to be many opportunities for them at OSU next season. Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey seem to have a lock on the top two receiver spots, and Carter is likely to fill the third spot."
Three more might be ineligible December 21, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Pending any possible reprieve, it appears Ohio State seniors Ray Small and Rob Rose likely won't be with the Buckeyes when they take on Oregon in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. Sources close to the program yesterday said the two, as well as sophomore running back Bo DeLande, would be ineligible because of a violation of team rules. Neither the school nor coach Jim Tressel has issued an official statement on the matter, which indicates it might not be final. "I'm not sure yet," Small's father Ken Small said last night when whether it was true. Ray Small and Rob Rose could not be reached for comment. DeLande's father confirmed to WBNS-10TV that his son would not make the trip...Freshman receiver Duron Carter was declared ineligible for the Rose Bowl last week..."
Small Bowl Games Rob Peter To Pay Peter December 21, 2009 Source: Sporting News - "...A lot of smaller bowls are basically money sinks at this point...Last year, Virginia Tech earned a berth in the Orange Bowl and was required to buy 17,500 tickets at $125 each. It only sold 3,342 of them, leading to a loss of $1.77 million for the university and the Atlantic Coast Conference, records show..." (Source: OregonLive.com)
Where the bowls rank in ticket hysteria: "FanSnap is a search engine for tickets, compiling ticket information from 50-plus sites, and they also rank the Rose Bowl second to only the national championship game in fan interest. According to FanSnap, Oregon fans are searching for tickets three times more often than fans from Ohio. Here are FanSnap's Top 25 bowls (Average ticket price & get-in price): ..." (Source: OregonLive.com)
Bellotti says OSU job could have been his December 21, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...An intriguing game of what-if can be played with Bellotti (Mike Bellotti former Oregon Head Coach and current Oregon AD). What if he, instead of Tressel, had been named Ohio State's football coach in January 2001? It almost happened...Was the job offered? No, Bellotti said at the time. But two weeks ago he hinted the job would have been his had he wanted it...This is where it gets more intriguing, especially for those who think Tressel has bridled the Buckeyes with an overly conservative offense. Facing an evolving game, Bellotti switched to the spread offense in 2005. "The whole idea of coaching is to fit what you do to the talents of the players to make them successful," he said...Bellotti hedged on whether he would have brought the spread option to Ohio State, explaining that generally it best serves schools with less talent and tradition. "If I went to Notre Dame tomorrow I might not put in (the spread). I might stick with a more pro-style attack," he said..."
Early Bird 2010 College Football Preview December, 2009 Source: Nationalchamps.net - Nationalchamps.net has a preseason top 25 for the 2010 and Ohio State is ranked #5 behind Alabama, Boise State, Oregon and Florida. QUICK ANALYSIS: "Year-in, year-out, nobody knows how to succeed in the Big Ten better than Ohio State. The Buckeye’s combination of a powerful ground game and a consistent, top rated defense perennially lands them atop this venerable conference. Whereas the Buckeyes have lived on this formula while reeling in five consecutive Big Ten titles, they have also died the same way(s) when it comes to winning the bigger games, especially those for all the national marbles. This will be the year dual-threat phenom Terrelle Pryor is truly graded...The offensive line should be point of emphasis, and will improve for 2010 with four starters coming back. More importantly, one of the nation's top defenses in 2009 will continue its dominance. Seniors Thaddeus Gibson and Cameron Heyward, should they both decide to stick around, could be the best DE duo anywhere. The back seven, like the entire Buckeye stopping group, is a senior-laden group across the board, and the D is good enough to put the Buckeyes right in the thick of any national championship discussion." The next five: 6. TCU, 7. Texas, 8. Georgia Tech, 9. Iowa and 10. Miami FL
Sharrif Floyd has Buckeyes in his final 3 December 24, 2009 Source: Philadelphia Daily News - "Sharrif Floyd, a 6-3, 310-pound senior at George Washington, is considered by many (most?) observers to be the nation's No. 1 defensive line prospect and he's our Public League Player of the Year in connection with the Daily News All-City Football Team. Floyd this season made 60 tackles. An amazing 36, including eight sacks, were made behind the line...His Final Three features Ohio State, Florida and North Carolina, and the former is believed to hold the lead..."
Art Schlichter, Earle Bruce differ on 1980 Rose Bowl what-ifs December 24, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "..."I look back and realize now that was the one game that would have changed everybody's life forever," Schlichter wrote. "It would have elevated us to hero status, a lasting legacy as an Ohio State national championship team. The impact of a national championship in Earle's first year, I'm sure, would have changed his career as well."..."
"I don't like the BCS. In fact, I hate them. I hate everything about them. I hate their system, their supporters. I hate everything. I think the whole system and their supporters and the organization is classless. It felt really good to send those guys a message. They hosed TCU this year, and hosed Utah last year. That's like throwing beer on my family. Cause the Mountain West conference is a family. I don't respect the BCS and they deserved to lose. I've beaten Arizona. I've beaten UCLA (twice). I've beaten Washington. I've beaten Oklahoma. Now I've beaten Oregon State. These BCS teams are clearly overrated. I hate the BCS."
- BYU quarterback Max Hall took some time to rant against college football's BCS system after BYU's 44-20 victory over Pac-10 runner up Oregon State in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl.
Columbus QB Reed Commits Columbus (OH) Marion Franklin QB Verlon Reed became the 15th member of the 2010 recruiting class when he committed to the Buckeyes Wednesday (12/16/09). Reed, who got the offer from OSU a couple of weeks ago and had an official visit to OSU last weekend, said: "This is a dream come true for me. I've wanted to do this my whole life," Reed said. "I'm a quarterback who can run very well. I've been mistaken as an athlete playing quarterback." The 6'2" dual-threat quarterback, who runs a 4.5 forty, passed for 1,548 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for 1,395 yards and 18 touchdowns during the 2009 season. He also started at safety and punted. Verlon had offers and interest from Syracuse, Kent State, Bowling Green, Toledo and others. Welcome aboard, Verlon!
Assured of shot at QB, Reed picks Buckeyes December 17, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Verlon Reed always dreamed of playing for Ohio State, but he also was determined he would play quarterback in college. He would have none of this recruited as an athlete stuff. So once he got coach Jim Tressel's word that he would get a fair shot to play quarterback with the Buckeyes, Reed's future was determined. The Marion-Franklin standout committed to the 2010 recruiting class yesterday..."For him to play quarterback at Ohio State, he has to be a leader, he has to be a winner, and he has to be able to make all the throws," (Marion Franklin) Red Devils coach Brian Haffele said. "He can make any throw on the field. People who question that haven't seen him throw a football."..."
ESPN.com experts on Big Ten expansion December 22, 2009 Source: ESPN - "ESPN.com national writers Pat Forde and Ivan Maisel weighed in on two questions: 1. Should the Big Ten expand? Why or why not? 2. If so, which institution should be the 12th member? Here are their responses..."
College Football Live on the possible expansion of the Big Ten Conference
Should the Big Ten Expand
Big 14: The Big Ten is exploring expansion, and the impression is that the conference will add only one school. The Chicago Tribune is reporting otherwise. Multiple Big Ten sources told the Tribune Wednesday that 14 teams, even 16, could be in play as it relates to the Big Ten's potential expansion. "Anything is possible," one source said, beyond the conventional wisdom of simply adding a 12th school. (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Expansion roundup: Quotes and links December 16, 2009 Source: ESPN - "As you can image, the Big Ten's announcement about potential expansion created a ton of buzz from State College to Iowa City. Everyone's talking about possible 12th teams, the benefits and drawbacks for the league and what it all means. Here's a sampling of what they're saying:...Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee: "We can't look in the rear-view mirror and say we love what we are. We need to say, 'What can we be?"...and links to other sources on the subject."
Big Ten serious about expansion, but risks could outweigh benefits December 15, 2009 Source: SI.com - "Key Big Ten figures have expressed their desire to add a 12th team and title game. They claim expanding would keep the league visible, fix its perception problem. But the move could actually decreases BCS bids and costs each school revenue...Contrary to what many assume, a Big Ten championship game would not necessarily be a cash cow. The SEC's event -- by far the most successful of its kind -- generated $14.3 million in shared revenue last season ($1.2 million per team). The ACC's, which has been a disappointing disaster, hovers closer to $5 million. Even if we assume the Big Ten's loot comes in closer to the SEC's, that's still a drop in the bucket compared to the league's two biggest revenue generators: regular-season television deals and BCS/bowl payouts...Then there are the potential on-field ramifications. Would the exposure from a conference championship game help a potential BCS contender from the Big Ten? Possibly. But the game could also produce the opposite effect.
Ten Buckeyes considering early entry to NFL draft December 15, 2009 Source: SI.com - "Chimdi Chekwa has a big decision coming up, and it's not what to get with that gift card to an electronics store. The cornerback is among 10 Ohio State juniors who have filed paperwork with the NFL Collegiate Advisory Committee to find out their status for next spring's draft. The information is designed to help underclassmen determine if they should stick around for their senior season in college or if there is a market for their skills in the pros. "I can't say I'm already assured I'm coming back," Chekwa said earlier this week as the Buckeyes prepare for their game against Oregon in the Rose Bowl. "I think I'm leaning toward coming back right now, but that's still a decision I have to make with my parents and people around me and my coaches."..."
Big Ten evaluating expansion to 12 teams December 15, 2009 Source: Associated Press - "The league said Tuesday it will explore options over the next 12 to 18 months for expansion. Big Ten presidents and chancellors decided this month that the timing is right to study adding a 12th school..."About every five years the Big Ten Conference explores the possibility of expansion," Illinois athletic Ron Guenther said in an e-mail to the AP. "Any expansion of the conference would obviously have to be a good fit academically, geographically and financially. If the Big Ten does make a change, I hope it will be as successful as the addition of Penn State." Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez last week told the university's board that he thinks the conference is serious about adding a 12th team, though Delany as recently as March called expansion a "back-burner" issue..."With the changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics, now is a good time for the Big Ten to review its current structure and evaluate the potential for expansion," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said. He called the addition of the Nittany Lions a "home run." Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said he's supportive of the expansion study. The Buckeyes have won five straight Big Ten football titles. "If you look at the college landscape across the country, look at television contracts that are coming up over the next 5-8 years, this is probably the right time for us to see if there is there any value in trying to add a team or teams," Smith said, without specifying schools that could be candidates..."
Tressel's tidbits December 14, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Said Terrelle Pryor is 100 percent, physically. Was definitely hampered by a bad ankle in the Penn State and Iowa games, but was fine by Michigan...10 juniors have requested opinions from an NFL as to their possible draft status. Tressel is trying to expedite the feedback so the guys can talk it over with their families when they go home next week for Christmas. He did not name names, but said they are all starters and we could probably figure them out...Said he had one assistant coach be interviewed for a head coaching job, and that position has since been filled. I'm guessing it was Luke Fickell for the Akron job. I would not be surprised if there weren't any changes on the OSU staff this offseason...bold prediction, given recent history, eh?
Kelly Wants Fickell at Notre Dame December 13, 2009 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Coaches comings and goings… Wonder what the assistant coaches are doing these days (of course, besides working on Bowl Game strategies)? That would be talking to other assistant coaches about who is going where. Sure, Tressel has a singular focus, but those outside his tax bracket - i.e. every assistant you’ve ever heard of - are angling for that next bump. And the bumping could possibly include those who currently headquartered at the WHAC. So factor this in: We are told from inside the staff room that it’s not an issue that someone wants Heacock out so much as it is an issue that Heacock simply wants out. Apparently, he has for three years running but Tress talked his best friend into staying by his side and not retiring. Which brings us back to wanderlust. Brian Kelly is South Bend bound, and he has said that he wants Luke Fickell to call the defensive shots. If that pursuit really is on, then it looks like JT may have to seriously consider letting Heacock walk this time if he wants to keep Luke around."
Alvarez: Big Ten To Seek 12th Member December 12, 2009 Source: WSAU.com - "The Big Ten conference plans to aggressively seek a 12th member. That according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez talked about the move to the UW athletic board Friday. "I have a sense he is going to take this year to really be more aggressive about it," Alvarez said, "but there is no timetable." Alvarez indicates the reasons to add a 12th school includes visibility, relevance and a Big Ten Championship Game. A 12th team would allow for two divisions in football and other sports and a football championship game. Travel costs also would be cut down for all sports. Penn State was the last school added to the conference back in 1993."
Yet another coordinator leaving his brother: "First, it was Mark Stoops accepting the defensive coordinator job at Florida State after holding the same title on his brother Mike's Arizona coaching staff. Now, apparently, Paul Petrino is doing the same thing to his brother Bobby. According to the Champaign News-Gazette, Illinois is expected to hire the Arkansas offensive coordinator to fill the void left by the dismissal of former coordinator Mike Schultz on Friday. Paul Petrino has been on his brother's Razorbacks staff since Bobby Petrino came to Fayetteville in 2008, and has been linked to at least a couple of head coaching jobs in the last month. The younger Petrino pulled his name out of the running for the Western Kentucky vacancy in November, and was rumored to be a candidate for the Marshall opening as well." CollegeFootballTalk.com
Brian Kelly leaves Cincinnati to become coach of Notre Dame December 10, 2009 Source: Cincinnati Enquirer - "Brian Kelly, the coach who pushed the University of Cincinnati football team into the national spotlight in just three seasons, will take over the head coaching job at the University of Notre Dame. He will be introduced Friday afternoon at a press conference. He has signed a five-year deal. UC athletic director Mike Thomas said “every effort was made” to keep Kelly at UC...Receiver Mardy Gilyard, who walked out of that meeting (with Kelly after the banquet-One minute into the meeting...Gilyard walked out angry and alone, save his MVP trophy ), said some players were upset about the situation. “He went for that money, that wasn’t no time for me to be in there,” Gilyard said. “I don’t want to hear it. I’m thoroughly disgusted with this situation, that it lasted this long. I heard everything I needed to hear, and that was, ‘I accepted the Notre Dame job.’” Gilyard said he said he got the news about Kelly from a friend who texted him before the banquet. “I feel like there was a little lying in this thing, I feel like he’s known the whole time. I kind of had a gut feeling that he was going to stay because he told me he was going to be here. But it is what it is. He made a business decision,” Gilyard said.
Bearcat players among last to know Brian Kelly's decision December 10, 2009 Source: Cincinnati Enquirer - "...Bearcat's Brian Kelly name Notre Dame Head Coach "He told us from the get-go that we’d be the first people to know whatever he decides,” senior quarterback Tony Pike said Thursday evening before the team banquet. “We’re going to keep him at his word. We’ve trusted him this far and we’re going to believe what he says." As it turns out, Kelly’s players were among the last to know. And by the end of the evening, plenty of them were voicing their displeasure. "We don't really care what he has to say anymore," tight end Ben Guidugli said after a post-banquet team meeting. "He can go talk to his Notre Dame team. We're ready to move forward with whoever wants to move forward with us. He's not on the boat anymore, so we've got to continue on."..."
Big Ten Bowl Thoughts from BTN Analysts
2010 Scout.com NFL Draft Rankings (Webmaster note: No Buckeyes in the Top 100; senior safeties Anderson Russell and Kurt Coleman are ranked #113 and #116, respectively.) "Scout.com’s Chris Steuber updates his Big Board and Scout.com's 2010 NFL Draft Rankings. The Big Board consists of Steuber's top-21 senior prospects (Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska is #1 overall), which then flows into Scout.com's list of over 400 prospects. As underclassmen declare for the draft they will be added to the rankings. Find out where some of the underclassmen who've declared so far rank inside..."
Rose Bowl Ticket Sale Set for Dec. 11 at 10 a.m.: "Buckeye fans interested in purchasing tickets to the Friday, Jan. 1, 2010 Rose Bowl game between Ohio State and Oregon can buy them online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com Friday, Dec. 11 beginning at 10:00 a.m., the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office announced today. Game tickets are priced at $155 each and there is a maximum order of four (4) tickets. Game day parking passes will be available for sale at $25 each, discounted from typical game-day prices. A limited number of tickets to the Rose Bowl Kickoff Luncheon on December 31 will also be available for $85 each. All orders will incur a $25 per order fee, and will be shipped via UPS overnight delivery. To order tickets at OhioStateBuckeyes.com, click on the Athletics heading at the top of the home page and use the drop down menu to access the ticket office page. Once there, click on the "Rose Bowl Tickets" icon to begin the order." (Source: OSU Official Site )
Ohio State Buckeyes season recap December 9, 2009 Source: ESPN - "Ohio State won the Big Ten this year, which is nothing new. The Buckeyes have won or shared six league championships since 2002, cementing themselves as the team of the decade in the Big Ten. But in some ways, this year's title run might be the most satisfying for Jim Tressel and his players...Offensive, Defensive MVP...Turning point: Ohio State changed the Big Ten landscape by crushing Penn State 24-7 on Nov. 7 at Beaver Stadium. The Buckeyes already had some decent wins under their belt, but their dominating performance against Daryll Clark and the Nittany Lions put them in position for another Big Ten title push..."
Wrapping up the Big Ten regular season December 8, 2009 Source: ESPN - "In a college football season that largely went according to plan, the Big Ten campaign followed a familiar script. Ohio State once again emerged as the conference champion, a title it has owned six times this decade...The truth is, not a lot changed in the Big Ten this year...The league once again took its lumps in nonconference play, going 5-9 against BCS conference teams and Notre Dame. But the Big Ten boasts three top 15 teams and will send two squads to BCS bowls for the fifth consecutive season...All of this brings the Big Ten to a familiar place, needing to prove itself in the bowls to regain national respect. The league flopped last year, going 1-6 in postseason play, and extended its losing streak in BCS bowls to six...
Game of the Year -- Ohio State 27, Iowa 24 (OT), Nov. 14: A lackluster end to regulation shouldn't spoil a memorable game, and both Iowa and Ohio State provided plenty of drama at The Shoe. Hawkeyes backup quarterback James Vandenberg nearly became a state hero as he tried to rally Iowa to a Rose Bowl berth in his first career start. Iowa mounted one of its patented rallies, but the Buckeyes prevailed in the end as backup kicker Devin Barclay, a 26-year-old former Major League Soccer player, nailed the game-winning field goal in overtime. Honorable mentions go to Iowa-Michigan State (Oct. 24) and Michigan-Notre Dame (Sept. 12)..."
For Ohio State and the Big Ten, it's another bowl season seeking redemption December 9, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...On a three-game losing streak after BCS National Championship losses to Florida and LSU and a Fiesta Bowl loss to Texas, the No. 8 Buckeyes would tie the school record for consecutive bowl losses if they fall to No. 7 Oregon in the Rose Bowl...The Buckeyes haven't been getting any breaks in bowl games, losing to the No. 2, No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the country. Playing in their seventh BCS bowl game under Jim Tressel, and eighth overall, the Buckeyes are 4-3 against top 10 teams, but the three recent losses are listed in bold on their national resume...
Ohio State is the first candidate everyone looks at when assessing the Big Ten. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney said..."... I hope we'll start winning (bowl) games this year."...Before the Buckeyes can worry about conference pride, they have to worry about themselves. The current seniors have won four Big Ten titles, have beaten Michigan four times and have a 43-8 record. One more win and they'll break the record for the most wins in a four-year period..."We talk about being the winningest class of seniors in the history of Ohio State and it all rides on this bowl," senior linebacker Austin Spitler said. So far, they've won 90 percent of their games during the regular season and zero percent of their bowl games..."
Tressel has another big recruiting weekend ahead December 8, 2009 Source: ESPN - "A number of Jim Tressel's 13 verbal commitments will make their official visits to Ohio State this weekend. But more important will be the prospects making official visits who have yet to select a college. Three of the top-10 undecided prospects in the Buckeye State will be in Columbus this weekend, including offensive lineman Matt James (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) and defensive back teammates Latwan Anderson and Christian Bryant (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville). Plus, quarterback Verlon Reed (Columbus, Ohio/Marion Franklin) and defensive lineman Johnathon Hankins (Detroit/Southeastern) is set to visit Ohio State this weekend.
At this point, the Buckeyes would have to be considered the favorite to land Bryant and Reed, and though West Virginia currently leads for Anderson, it would be anything but shocking to see him end up at Ohio State. Though Hankins has previously made official visits to Florida and Michigan with the Gators currently holding the lead, he has had Ohio State as his top choice for much of the past couple months, so he is also a definite candidate to end up a Buckeye."
Ohio State announces award winners at team banquet December 6, 2009 Source: OSU Official Site - "Ohio State safety Kurt Coleman was voted 2009 team Most Valuable Player as announced at the Football Appreciation Banquet this afternoon. Coleman also received the Bill Willis Award as the outstanding defensive player and the W.W. Hayes Award as outstanding player in the Michigan game. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor received the Archie Griffin Award as the outstanding offensive player.
Other award winners: Andrew Moses (John Galbreath, academics); Zach Boren (first-year offensive player); John Simon (first-year defensive player); Ray Small (Ike Kelley, special teams standout); Ross Homan (Randy Gradishar, linebacker); Dane Sanzenbacher (Paul Warfield, receiver); Brandon Saine and Dan Herron (Rex Kern, outstanding offensive back); Anderson Russell (Arnie Chonko, defensive back); Dan Potokar (Bo Rein, most inspirational); Jake Ballard and Jim Cordle (Jim Parker, offensive lineman); Thaddeus Gibson (SAE, Homecoming game standout); Cameron Heyward (Agonis Rick Meyer award); Thaddeus Gibson (Jim Marshall Warrior); Cameron Heyward (Jack Stephenson, defensive lineman)..."
Top 25 Overview WEEK 14 2009 Source: ESPN - All Top 25 Teams for the 14th week of the season, including Recap, Box Score, Play-by-Play, Drive Chart, Photos
Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel said his final ballot in the USA Today coaches poll had these teams in his Top 11: 1. Alabama, 2. Texas, 3. Florida, 4. TCU, 5. Cincinnati, 6. Boise State, 7. Oregon, 8. Ohio State, 9. Iowa, 10. Penn State, 11. Georgia Tech. On Alabama and Texas in the BCS national championshp game Tressel said: "If you can win either of those leagues and be undefeated you deserve the chance to see if you're the best team in the country. It will be a great game." (Sources: Columbus Dispatch & The Ozone)
Johnson, Haynes finalists: Taver Johnson and Paul Haynes, who coach Ohio State's defensive backs, were named finalists for the Secondary Coaches of the Year award sponsored by FootballScoop.com. With a secondary led by All-Big Ten safety Kurt Coleman, the defensive backs had 11 of Ohio State's 23 interceptions -- second nationally to Texas, which had 24 in 13 games. The Buckeyes were fifth in total defense and seventh in pass-efficiency defense. Johnson and Haynes are in competition with two other tandems, Charlton Warren and Tim DeRuyter of Air Force, and Everett Withers and Troy Douglas of North Carolina. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Clark, Graham share Chicago Tribune Silver Football: For the first time in the storied history of the prestigious Chicago Tribune Silver Football, there was a tie. The award, which honors the Big Ten's top player, went to Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark and Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham. The Big Ten Network announced Tuesday night in a special 30-minute show. (Video at link) (Source: Big Ten Network)
Alabama's McClain wins Butkus Award: No. 1 Alabama's Rolando McClain won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker. He was presented the award in a surprise visit by Dick Butkus, the award's namesake, in coach Nick Saban's office. The junior is the leader of the nation's top scoring defense and helped guide the Crimson Tide to a Southeastern Conference championship and a spot in the national title game. McClain wasn't the Crimson Tide's only award winner yesterday. Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart won the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Spielman being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame: "Chris Spielman will be both thrilled and saddened today. On one hand, the only individual honor he said he ever wanted will come to pass when the former Ohio State linebacker is inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame at an awards banquet in New York. On the other hand, there's a big hole. Spielman makes the trip without his wife, Stefanie, who died of cancer on Nov. 19. "I'm looking forward to it, but there's going to be something missing," Spielman said. "Stefanie was such a big part of my success. That's not going to ruin the trip, but I'm not going to lie and say there's not going to be something missing..." (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Brian Kelly on brink of becoming Notre Dame's next coach: "Brian Kelly didn't interview today in New York to become Notre Dame's next football coach. But then, Kelly already may know enough about the job to take it. Kelly held a meeting last week about the opening with representatives of Notre Dame within days of Cincinnati's Big East championship game against Pittsburgh, the Tribune has learned. Talks progressed well enough that the official announcement Kelly will be Charlie Weis' replacement could come as early as Friday -- anytime after Cincinnati's football banquet Thursday night..." (Source: ChicagoBreakingSports.com )
Ohio State vs. Oregon ranked third best of 34 bowl games by Mark Schlabach: "...The Buckeyes avoided playing an SEC team in a BCS bowl game, but the Ducks might be nearly as fast as the Florida and LSU teams that beat them in the past. Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor gets an up-close look at the Oregon offense he might have flourished in if he'd signed with the Ducks. It also might be one heck of a fashion show: Oregon's ever-changing wardrobe against Ohio State's classic uniforms..." (Source: ESPN )
Intriguing BCS matchups add sizzle to uninspiring college bowl season December 8, 2009 Source: SI.com - Stewart Mandel ranks the bowls: "...4) Rose (Jan. 1): Ohio State (10-2) vs. Oregon (10-2). Dangerous dual-threat star Jeremiah Masoli is what Terrelle Pryor was supposed to be. But the Buckeyes present the toughest defense the Ducks have faced since Boise. (Source: SI.com )
McCoy says he didn't know rule: "Texas quarterback Colt McCoy didn't realize the football must hit something before the clock stops when he tossed away a pass at the end of Longhorns' 13-12 victory against Nebraska -- a gaffe that nearly left his team with no time to kick the game-winning field goal. McCoy says he thought the clock stopped on a pass out of bounds as soon as it crossed the first-down marker. Had he known the rule, he says, he wouldn't have floated a long and high pass over the bench area that didn't touch down until it appeared to hit a railing near the stands." (Source: Associated Press )
Masoli has Tressel’s attention: "The Oregon players could not choose the team's MVP, but reporter Rob Moseley of The Eugene Register-Guard writes Ohio State coach Jim Tressel made his choice. Tressel, writes Moseley, is impressed with Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. "He’s scary," said Tressel, the ninth-year Ohio State coach who will make his first Rose Bowl appearance..."We’re going to have to have everything covered, from the dive to the quarterback to the play-action pass to the deep pass," Tressel said. "The quickness of his release I can tell from TV is extraordinary. It’s going to be a great challenge." (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer & Eugene (OR) Register-Guard )
Stiff Arm Trophy 2009: "For the eighth year in a row, we're going to attempt to project the winner of the greatest individual award in sports. We've been right seven out of seven years, with our winning vote projection off by an average of only 1.8%. Damn good. With ballots out and just a few games left, we're just getting started. Most voters will vote after December 5th...Our Projection: Mark Ingram. The tally is on the left is a vote count from actual voters. The projection takes the regional breakdown and extrapolates a final total...Last updated: 12/8/2009..." (Source: StiffArmTrophy.com)
Bowden's finale boosts ticket sales: "Bobby Bowden's final game will take place in a packed house. The Konica Minolta Gator Bowl said Monday that it sold every ticket for the New Year's Day game in record time, less than two hours. The bowl said all 77,474 tickets have been sold, with an allotment going to each school..." (Source: ESPN)
Vegas, gamblers digging the Tide early: "Yes, we are still, what, 30-some days away from the BcS title game, but the early line out of Las Vegas and online sports books has Alabama as prohibitive favorites. The early lines started with the Tide giving in the neighborhood of four points, but now the line has been up as far as 5.5 points according to SportsBook.com...The sports book director for the MGM Mirage tells the Associated Press that his early line gave the Longhorns 4.5 points, but that number has been pushed to 5.5 on heavy betting coming in on the Tide...." (Source: College Football Talk)
Marine dies in fight over Texas-Nebraska game : "Police in North Carolina are saying a Marine was accidentally shot to death when he got into an argument with a friend over the Texas-Nebraska football game. Police say 21-year-old Johnathan Clinton Rodriguez was shot early Sunday after banter escalated with a fellow Marine at a home in Havelock, a town near the coast. Authorities say Rodriguez got into a scuffle with 23-year-old Lionel Loya, who had a gun that went off during the struggle..." (Source: ESPN)
Gap grows between blacks, whites grad rates: "The disparity between graduation rates for white and black players at schools headed to bowl games grew slightly this year, according to a study released yesterday. The annual report by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport also showed overall academic progress. But there were 21 schools that graduated fewer than 50 percent of their black football players, the study found. That's up from 19 last year. The study showed 57 schools had graduation success rates of 66 percent or higher for white players, which was more than 2.8 times the number schools with equivalent graduation success rates for black players. That's up from 56 schools last year." (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Kelly Back to Work December 4, 2009 Source: eDucks.com - "Just when we thought Chip Kelly would open up and share his thought on his first year as a head coach, he reminded everyone he has some more work this season -- the Rose Bowl. All year long Kelly has steadfastly refused to talk about anything that falls outside the realm of the next game. Now, fresh off a 37-33 win over Oregon State, Kelly is back at work, preparing for the Ohio State Buckeyes..."
How Ohio State Can Contain the Powerful Oregon "O" December 4, 2009 Source: Bleacher Report - "...the Ducks' offense is a force to be reckoned with, with weapons at every position, including the potent Jeremiah Masoli at the trigger, and two talented backs in LaMichael James and LeGarrette Blount...Ohio State brings probably the most talented defense the Ducks have seen in 2009. Though conversely, Ohio State has not seen an offense as diverse and talented as Oregon's this season. No doubt this matchup of the two strengths will be the emphasis of the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes do have the capability to slow down or contain the mighty Ducks offense, mostly from a schematic sense. Ohio State runs a bend-but-don't-break defense more times than not, and forces offenses to go on long drives, and Oregon is known to be a big-play offense.
And there is little doubt that the best matchup will be in the trenches. While the Ducks have a very talented offensive line, Ohio State brings one of the best defensive lines in the country, loaded with bookends in Thaddeus Gibson and Cameron Heyward, and a two-deep that sees little dropoff in production..."
First Impressions of the Rose Bowl Matchup December 4, 2009 Source: The Ozone - Brandon Castel's early impressions of Oregon: "Jeremiah Masoli will cause problems for the OSU defense...Buckeyes should have 3-4 turnovers easy on defense...There could be more than 500 combined yards on the ground...The Buckeyes should be able to put up points on the Ducks...Ohio State offensive tackles cannot be as bad as Oregon State’s...Brian Rolle and Jermale Hines should have big games...Jon Thoma will need a big-game performance..."
Some (very early) Rose Bowl thoughts December 4, 2009 Source: ESPN - Adam Rittenberg writes: "Series: Ohio State leads 7-0. The teams last met in 1987, when Ohio State claimed a 24-14 win in Columbus. Ohio State and Oregon met in the 1958 Rose Bowl, with the Buckeyes winning 10-7.
Quick thoughts and story lines • The contrast between these two programs is fascinating. Both wear Nike apparel, but the similarities pretty much end there. When Ohio State wore throwback unis against Michigan on Nov. 21, it was a major controversy. Oregon changes its threads every week. Ducks coach Chip Kelly is known for his spread offense and aggressive playcalling. Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel wins games through defense, special teams and limiting major mistakes at all costs. Ohio State is known as a tradition-rich, buttoned-down Midwest program. Oregon is as Gen Y as they come.
• Get ready for a ton of Terrelle Pryor what-might-have-been stories. Pryor had Oregon in his final group of teams during recruiting, but he passed up a chance to play in the spread offense for Ohio State, where he's had mixed results under Tressel.
• Ohio State tackled extremely well in the Fiesta Bowl last year, making Texas' high-powered offense look tame at times. Oregon boasts a ton of offensive weapons, but the Ducks don't face defenses as fundamentally sound as Ohio State's every week. Oregon State missed numerous tackles in Thursday's loss to the Ducks. I don't think Ohio State can match Oregon score for score, so the Buckeyes' D needs to be at its absolute best on Jan. 1.
• Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli is one of college football's most exciting players, in both good and bad ways. Masoli can turn any play into a touchdown, but he also plays out of control at times and will make mistakes. Ohio State ranks second nationally in takeaways (33) and needs to force turnovers from Masoli.
• Oregon scored 42 or more points in seven games this fall, including each of its final five contests. Ohio State eclipsed 40 points just once, against New Mexico State. The Buckeyes posted three shutouts and held eight teams to 14 points or fewer. Oregon held only three teams to fewer than 19 points..."
No. 7 Oregon earns shot at OSU in Rose Bowl December 3, 2009 Source: Associated Press - "Redshirt freshman LaMichael James ran for 166 yards and three touchdowns Thursday night to send No. 7 Oregon to the Rose Bowl with a 37-33 victory over No. 13 Oregon State in the Civil War. Oregon (10-2, 8-1) also claimed the Pac-10 championship with the victory, ending USC's seven-season hold on the title. The Ducks, who have not been to the Rose Bowl since 1995, will face Ohio State in Pasadena on New Year's Day. LeGarrette Blount, who hadn't played since throwing a punch after Oregon's season-opening loss to Boise State, returned to the field and scored on a 12-yard run in the third quarter..."
Fast Facts: • Ohio State is 7-0 versus Oregon
• This will be the Buckeyes 14th Rose Bowl game and their first since 1997, a win over Arizona State.
• Oregon clinched its first Rose Bowl berth since the 1994 season (1995 Rose Bowl).
• The Ducks are 10-2 with losses at No. 14 Boise State, 19-8 and at Stanford, 51-42. Oregon beat USC, 47-20.
• The Ducks rushed for 288 yards. Freshman LaMichael James accounted for 166 yards.
• Running back LeGarrette Blount, who hadn't played since throwing a punch after Oregon's season-opening loss to Boise State, ran for 51 yards and reached the end zone for the first time since last season's Holiday Bowl win over Oklahoma State.
• Gameball goes to... LaMichael James. The freshman ran for 166 yards and three TDs, including the go-ahead score in the 3rd quarter.
OSU would be daffy not to pull for Ducks December 3, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "The waiting game doubles as a weighing game for Ohio State, which will watch tonight as its Rose Bowl opponent is determined...On the scale of how it best helps Ohio State, the weight of winning needs to tip Oregon's way...
"Ohio State is the best team out of a conference that does not have a great reputation right now," said Chris Dufresne, national college football writer for the Los Angeles Times. "I'd say they're a fringe top-10."...Dufresne and two other national voices -- Gregg Doyle of CBSSports.com and Ivan Maisel of ESPN.com -- each spoke to the issue of whether beating Oregon or Oregon State would better serve the Buckeyes' purposes of collecting a signature win. "Oregon is a much sexier opponent, and therefore more important (to Ohio State)," said Doyle...
"You need to beat the team (Oregon) that beat the team (USC) that beat you," Dufresne said. Maisel framed it another way: "In terms of what Ohio State needs to do, it's easy to say. Win some games when everyone is watching." Even that may not be enough. "An Ohio State loss to Oregon may hurt more than a win over Oregon may help," Maisel said. But the Buckeyes need to start somewhere. And that place is Jan. 1 against the Ducks, who are flashy good. The Beavers, meanwhile, are sneaky good. Ohio State wants no part of that..."
Jim Tressel visiting No. 1 recruit Seantrel Henderson tonight December 2, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Jim Tressel is in Minnesota tonight visiting with Seantrel Henderson, the No. 1-ranked recruit in the country according to some recruiting outlets. The 6-foot-8, 330-pound offensive tackle made an official visit to Ohio State for the Buckeyes' game with USC in September. He's planning a visit to USC this weekend. Other schools still in the mix include Minnesota, Notre Dame, Florida, Oklahoma and Iowa...
Ohio State should have a good shot at Henderson. The Buckeyes lost out to Notre Dame for receiver Michael Floyd out of this same high school a few years ago, but the coaching change there shouldn't help Notre Dame's chances. If Henderson doesn't stay in-state with Minnesota, proximity should help the Buckeyes...The visit tonight will also include OSU assistant Dick Tressel, who has strong roots in Minnesota. What might it look like? Maybe like this. Vince Muzik, a freelance journalist in Minnesota, has been capturing some of Henderson's recruiting process on camera. For this footage (video at link) with Jim Tressel shot during Henderson's official visit in September, Muzik asked Henderson's father to operate the camera..."
Hayes' punch gave OSU easy out December 2, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Woody Hayes once was asked by Ohio State assistant coach Tiger Ellison if he ever intended to retire. "Hell, no," Hayes said. "I'll die on the 50-yard-line at Ohio Stadium in front of 87,000."...He meant it, too. That's why the uncomfortable situation involving 80-year-old Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, finally resolved when he "retired" yesterday with a shove from his bosses, sent me back to that bizarre scene at the 1978 Gator Bowl. There is no way to know exactly what would have happened with Hayes if he hadn't slugged Clemson's Charlie Bauman on the OSU sideline after the nose guard's crucial interception near the end of the game. But by morning..."