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"You know, I haven't checked his Twitter."
- Jim Tressel's deadpanned response when asked if quarterback Terrelle Pryor would play in Tuesday's Sugar Bowl with a chip on his shoulder after getting snubbed on the All-Big Ten team Source: Mansfield News Journal 1/2/11
Rob Oller commentary: There's no profit in standing up to NCAA December 30, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "If I were a penniless Ohio State football player - and aren't they all? - before leaving early for the NFL draft, I would have left early for the Sugar Bowl, and profited by doing so. With NCAA approval, no less. In the out-of-whack world of NCAA rules enforcement, an athlete cannot sell his championship ring without suffering severe consequences but can pocket travel money to a bowl game. The Buckeyes' 85 scholarship players each were allotted an NCAA-approved $1,225.30 for travel expenses to New Orleans. Secure a cheap plane ticket - and some players found fares for less than $300 - or drive down, and the unused money is yours to keep. That kind of head-scratching logic is why Ohio State would be brave to stand up to the NCAA after it announced Dec. 23 that five players will receive five-game suspensions and a sixth will miss one game at the beginning of next season..."
The Top 11 Buckeye Moments of 2010 December 31, 2010 Source: Eleven Warriors - "11. Boom Gets Hot & Cracks 1,000...10. The Comeback...9. Clarett's Life Takes a Positive Turn...8. Woo-Hoo College Cup...7. Heyward's Rumble...6. The Vest Gets Angry...5. Lance Palmer Slays the Beast...4. We're Going Streaking...3. Naismith'd...2. Ducks Hunted...1. The Shot..."
Ohio State football greatest era debate I & II December 26, 2010 Source: The News Herald - "The stats are comparable, and the players of 1968-77 kept their noses clean...With all due respect to the current decade of Buckeye supremacy, an impressive stint to say the least, this is not the Golden Era of Ohio State football... & Increased degree of difficulty gives current Buckeyes the nod...The decade of the 2000s had everything an OSU fan dreams about: a national championship in 2002, a 9-1 record vs. Michigan, six straight Big Ten titles, a 6-4 bowl record and six (perhaps seven with a Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas) top-five Associated Press poll finishes, a 36-15 record vs. ranked opponents and a Heisman winner in Troy Smith..."
The Two Minutes that Brought Down the Lines: Not sure Herbstreit earned himself any hometown love with this. Once the Dispatch and WTVN reports were out there, he obviously had to discuss it, but we're not sure he had to go and name names. End result: Within minutes of finishing, lines came down for the Sugar Bowl at nearly every major sportsbook.
TatGate: The Sequel: These are the most challenging days -- when we wake up and there's absolutely nothing Buckeye-related to talk about. What's that? Oh, we're still talking about tattoos? Great. After having his integrity impugned by at least one prominent colony of the Ohio State internets1, Dave Biddle's scoop of an investigation related to football players allegedly trading tattoos for autographs grew some legs when it was confirmed late Wednesday by the Dispatch (based on entirely independent sources). AD Gene Smith isn't returning calls, but expect Ohio State to release a statement at least acknowledging "an internal investigation" sometime today because other mainstream outlets jumped in once the Dispatch had vetted the situation. Within hours, local evening news were leading with the story, and then the AP, ESPN and later Kirk Herbstreit, weighed in, fanning the flames.
The bottom line is that there's more we don't know than what we know -- and it's not even really close right now. Some encouraging signs are starting to trickle out via Twitter, like Terrelle Pryor breaking three days of radio silence by flat-out stating that he paid for his own tattoos, center Michael Brewster vouching for the hometown parlors that handled his ink, and finally, linebacker Brian Rolle, clearly annoyed, telling people to stop asking him about the rumors because there's nothing to them (politely paraphrased). True, Christian Bryant said as much two days ago before the latest news hit, but he's a freshman and is likely in the dark on some of this. Pryor and Rolle's tweets were enlightening for two different reasons: Pryor, who claims to talk to JT every day, would probably not have the green light to make a statement like that if he were a target in the investigation or if the university was worried about his eligibility and Rolle, speaking as a senior captain, would surely be aware of something if chaos was coming.
So, what do we know and what can we expect? As mentioned above, there should be a statement released by the athletic department today, even if it's brief and sheds absolutely no light on the situation. Friday is the best time to break bad news and tomorrow is a special kind of a Friday, in that it's a Thursday ahead of a three day weekend for the biggest holiday in the United States. We also know that this is an OSU investigation and not an NCAA investigation, which is an important distinction. If this were an NCAA investigation, there's a good chance more bad news would follow, but a university investigation is something that's initiated instantly as a precaution in case something happened and does not, in itself, mean something is afoul..." Source: Eleven Warriors 12/23/10
#TatGate nothing more than a 4 hour digital meltdown: One day after Buckeye twitter armageddon, #TatGate is thankfully nothing more than a four hour digital meltdown. When Dave Biddle, a guy that rarely ever tweets, dropped the "Could be some bad news" bomb and then followed it up with details of players meeting with compliance for getting free tattoos in exchange for autographs, responses ranged from thinking the worst (Bauserbombs in the Sugar Bowl) to cruel wishful thinking (perhaps it was the guy that jumps offsides all of the time). Biddle later backtracked somewhat and at least one current player took to Twitter to deny the rumor, so the storm has passed. We think.
Biddle will likely be a little more careful about what he decides to drop on Twitter without additional sources going forward, but what's really interesting to me is the cred war that quickly escalated in the aftermath. Scout/Buckeye Sports Bulletin, the Hatfield to Bucknuts' McCoy, got their DPRK-on in their forums and shot down the rumor later on Twitter. Winning is defined by scoops or destroying the scoops of others it seems.
Since the news broke, I've heard something similar to what Biddle reported from two reliable sources, but at this point in time, it's safe to say nobody knows what the outcome will be. My guess is nothing will come out of it because the rumors will be just that, rumors, or because getting inked doesn't exactly leave a paper trail for the NCAA. If $180,000 for pops keeps you eligible, I'm not sweating this.
Even if this does have some legs, that means players under Tressel have filed a fake $1,000 police report (Clarett), accepted a couple hundred dollar handshake (Smith) and now, free tattoos. That laughing you hear is the SEC collectively scoffing at small time northern football. Source: Eleven Warriors 12/22/10
One player tweeted: @CB_2 Man #BuckeyeNation relax! I'm paying for my tattoo. I'm not an idiot. I watch tv just like you guys.
"I promise you, the Razorbacks, our hands will be full." and "Whenever you play an SEC team, I don't care if itís a bowl game or a regular game, you're playing one of the finest teams in the country." - Jim Tressel
Letís Talk About SEC Oversigning December 21, 2010 Source: Bucknuts.com - "...the Wall Street Journal brought to light the fact that an inordinate number of Crimson Tide players have been either dismissed from the team by Nick Saban or given a questionable ďmedical redshirtĒ to stay on scholarship...Last weekend, ESPN ran an Outside the Lines segment on oversigning in the SEC. Thatís how you know that talking about oversigning has arrived...Oversigning.com (see below) has gone into painstaking detail to demonstrate how Arkansasí serial oversigning has produced a significant depth advantage over Ohio State heading into the Sugar Bowl...."
Oversigning.com: Where 30+29+28+32=85: Ohio State vs. Arkansas: Based on Ohio State's average recruiting class size, 19.8, Arkansas has the advantage of having accepted nearly 2 full recruiting classes of signed letters of intent more than Ohio State. Most notably, the DT, OL, WR, and those recruited under ATH, appear to be where Arkansas has recruited more players..." Source: Oversigning.com
What happens to some College athletes when universities sign more football players than they can enroll?
Payoffs versus playoffs December 19, 2010 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Mr.Bucknuts weighs in on the discussion regarding FBS playoffs versus the current bowl set-up, which is characterized as Payoffs versus playoffs..."
Under Armour All-American LB Ryan Shazier Chooses the Buckeyes After a successful mid-week visit by Ryan Shazier and his father, Plantation (FL) linebacker Ryan Shazier became the 19th member of the Ohio State class of 2011 Friday when he chose the Buckeyes over LSU. He is the second from Plantation in this class joining his his teammate, and good friend, safety Jeremy Cash, who committed in April. Shazier, who is 6'2" 210 lbs with 4.5 speed in the 40, had been a Florida commit but Urban Meyer's departure led him to decommit earlier Friday (12/17/10). The good news then came a few hours later when Shazier announced for the Buckeyes at his high school graduation party.
Shazier said Friday evening: "I have committed to Ohio State, and that's where I will be playing college football," I've never been happier, or felt better, than I do right now. I loved the atmosphere and their facilities a lot. Their players were great guys, especially Etienne Sabino who was so great to me and my dad the whole time. My family and I have such a great feeling about Jim Tressel, and my dad and I talked it over last night and decided Ohio State was the best place for me. We also love Luke Fickell, and think he's a great mentor for me, on and off the field. I will be at Ohio State and start classes on January 5th."
ESPNU ranks Shazier as the nation's #4 linebacker overall and #72 on their Top 150. He is rated the #8 OLB by Scout.com and #12 by Rivals.com. Many feel that he has been underrated this season and will have a much larger impact at the college level as a pass rusher from his linebacker position. Ultra-athletic, he could also handle long snapping duties.
Scout.com Player Evaluation: Strengths Athleticism & Speed. Shazier is a very good athlete and he's shined at defensive end on the high school level, but he will drop back to linebacker in college...He is best when turned loose off the edge to rush the quarterback. Speed is his biggest weapon.
Shazier had offers from dozens of schools including Alabama, Wisconsin, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, UCLA, USC & Wisconsin to name a few.
LB Ryan Shazier decommits Florida, commits to Ohio State: ..."I felt that I found a better fit for me and my family and I felt it was best that we decommitted," Shazier said in a text message about 5:10 p.m. on Friday. Reached via text again Friday night after his Facebook post, Shazier texted one word as the reason for picking Ohio State, "Atmoshpere."..." Source: (FL) SunSentinnel.com 12/17/10
Urban Meyer's resignation delivers top Florida recruit to Ohio State Buckeyes: "Urban Meyer's resignation was Ohio State's gain Friday night. After Meyer stepped down as Florida's coach two weeks ago, four-star linebacker Ryan Shazier rescinded his oral commitment to Florida and at his graduation party Friday, the Plantation, Fla., native announced that he would play for the Buckeyes, Scout.com and Rivals.com reported...At 6-2 and 202 pounds, Shazier was a defensive end in high school and analysts believe his best skills are as a pass rusher. With this pledge, Ohio State continues its recruiting run in Florida, with Shazier joining Plantation High teammate Jeremy Cash, a defensive back, and tight end Jeff Heuerman of Naples, Fla., in the 2011 class. The current OSU roster has 10 players recruited out of Florida, including four starters in cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, center Mike Brewster, linebacker Brian Rolle and safety Orhian Johnson..." Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer 12/17/10
Tressel Canít Close December 16, 2010 Source: Duane Long Report - "...We have heard it for so long we can just use the abbreviation: "TCC". There were rumblings even before the championship game in 2007 season. After that most forgettable game the bottom fell out of recruiting. It looked like one of those years Buckeye fans would always remember. A national championship and the No. 1 recruiting class. Fans were talking about it like was just a matter of time. A player like Joseph Barksdale, rumored to be a Buckeye even before the season started, verballed to LSU. It seemed to steamroll from there...It seems to rear its ugly head every year at the end of recruiting..."
Coach Tressel Pre-Sugar Bowl Press Conference Source: OSU Official Site 12/14/10
Ohio State WR coach Darrell Hazell carries himself a bit like Jim Tressel, ready for Kent State job December 20, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "With the Plain Dealer and other outlets reporting Hazell is expected to be introduced by Kent State today (as their new head coach), he's the first OSU assistant to leave to become a head coach since Mark Snyder went to Marshall after the 2004 season...Of the nine assistants on the Ohio State staff, Hazell is the one who most carries himself like Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel, and it may not be close...Hazell also carried the title of assistant head coach at Ohio State, with a salary of $257,000 that also included a one-month bonus of about $21,000 for each Big Ten title and another one-month bonus for every bowl game. That meant Hazell made about $300,000 this season, plus other perks including use of a car. That salary was less than coordinators Jim Bollman and Jim Heacock and in like with Fickell, but higher than others on the staff. He was part of the offensive gameplanning, though Tressel always was in charge with the most gameday input from Bollman...As the Buckeyes look to replace Hazell, consider hires that Tressel has made like safeties coach Paul Haynes, Taver Johnson and Hazell himself. Though not directly connected to Tressel or to Ohio State - unlike Bollman, Siciliano, running backs coach Dick Tressel, Fickell or tight ends coach John Peterson - all three played college football in Ohio and had state roots..."
Ohio State's Hazell heading to Kent State: Kent State scheduled a news conference for 3 p.m. ET Monday to introduce its new head coach. Hazell certainly is ready to make the jump, and this looks like a solid hire for the Golden Flashes. Hazell served as Ohio State's assistant head coach, and has taken on a greater role with play-calling duties in recent years. When Ohio State coach Jim Tressel couldn't attend the Big Ten spring meetings in May because of his wife's heart procedure, Hazell went in his place. For a true national powerhouse, Ohio State has a very unassuming staff of assistants. But these guys can coach, and Hazell is a good get for a Kent State program that needs a boost. He's a classy guy, and it's good to see him get a shot. Source: ESPN 12/19/10
Jim Tressel Fires Up Ohio State Players With SEC E-Mail, And It's Totally Legit December 15, 2010 Source: SB Nation - "Now, they've really done it. The denizens of SEC-land have given Jim Tressel bulletin board material for the upcoming Sugar Bowl against Arkansas in the form of an e-mail. (Yes, they have e-mail in Arkansas. You just have to make sure that the hamster inside the computer runs really fast.) Now, you might think it mighty convenient for an SEC trash-talking e-mail to land in Jim Tressel's inbox just in time for bowl practice against an SEC team. Nonsense. We at SB Nation have obtained a copy of the e-mail, and it is easy to tell from reading it that it's completely legitimate and not at all written by Jim Tressel as a motivational ploy after his teams have gone 0-3 against SEC rivals.
Dearest Ohio State coaches and players:
The Buckeyes are not quite as good as you might believe. In fact, on some days that are merely average. It will be difficult for them to compete with an SEC team. I hope you're not offended by my saying so.
It's not just that Ohio State is not as good at football as Southerners, with their intimidating SEC quickness. Our coaches are far better dressed, and are better about ironing their slacks than yours. We saw how much lint was left on Tressel's sweater during the Wisconsin game. A DISGRACE!
And the players? Well, let's just say that if Jack Mewhort ever hopes to play against SEC competition, he should've listened to his offensive line coach last Wednesday, because otherwise he won't stand a chance against superior SEC discipline and conditioning. In fact, all of your players must start practicing hard -- immediately -- if they hope to put forward their best effort in New Orleans.
No, we in the South do not fear your Northern football players. We think that we are easily the superior team. We anticipate an easy game, sitting at home and drinking a pop as we watch our Razrobacks coast to victory.
Sincerely, Adrian Wizzlekowski Fayetteville..."
Reference was made to the e-mail here: Buckeyes tired of SEC bowl domination: Tressel produced a fanís e-mail the other day that said Ohio State couldn't compete with and didn't belong on the same field with an SEC team. (Webmaster note: Was it the e-mail above, we don't think so.) Thatís timely since the Buckeyes take on Arkansas of the SEC in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4.
Fresh impact: Redshirt running back Rod Smith impressing Ohio State veterans in bowl workouts December 14, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Watch out for running back Rod Smith. Ohio State always uses part of bowl practice to give the younger players a chance to shine as the veterans step to the sidelines. This year, the star of what the Buckeyes call showtime won't be on the field at the Sugar Bowl. But it sounds like Ohio State may have to find a spot for him next season...Smith, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound back from Indiana, was the second-highest ranked player in Ohio State's 2010 recruiting class according to Rivals.com. But he didn't join the team until several weeks into the season as he waited for his transcript to be approved by the NCAA, and with the backfield already crowded, the Buckeyes made an easy decision to redshirt him..."Today everyone was talking about Rod Smith," senior linebacker Ross Homan said. "He's going to be an unbelievable back, I'm telling you. He has all the physical assets, he's got size, speed, but Rod really just sits back and takes everything in. He's a humble guy, he's always in the weight room ... I always tell him, 'There's Beanie Wells' and he always smiles."..."He cuts very well for a bigger back, and I just watch him on and think, 'Man, that kid's going to be good.' I mean, obviously, he's not going to juke somebody out of his shoes - actually, he probably could do that if he wanted to. But he's able to be physical in the hole, which we always kind of liked." Even Jim Tressel first mentioned Smith was asked for the younger players who have stood out. Maybe some big runs Smith made in Tuesday morning's practice right before interviews put his name on everyone's lips..."
Eight simple suggestions to better the current BCS system December 9, 2010 Source: USA Today - "Anyone seen the BCS suggestion box? We have a few cards to stick through the slot...Please, no complaining. This is a playoff whining-free section. Anyone who says the BCS has done nothing good is suffering from postseason amnesia, forgetting all the seasons when the top two teams didn't even land in the same time zone, let alone the same bowl. But flaws need fixing, too. Here are eight ideas that might help a system do better at the one thing it has found so difficult to achieve ó gain wider credibility with a skeptical public..."
Michael Arace commentary: BCS system is no friend of Big Ten December 13, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "The BCS system worked this year. That is what the commissioners of the power conferences are trumpeting between sighs of relief...Dan Wetzel, a college football fan who lives in Big Ten country, can supply 200 pages of answers. Wetzel is a Yahoo! sports columnist and co-author of Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series. Published in October and already in its third printing, it is exhaustively researched, well-presented and compelling. The book does what its title suggests: In great detail, it debunks every myth set forth in defense of the bowl system, exposes a plethora of hypocrisies and offers a saner, more practicable and more profitable alternative - a playoff. But forget all of that for a moment. Focus the argument in the present. The Big Ten in general, and Ohio State in particular, has no shot this year. Did the system work?..."This year, the Big Ten would have three teams alive with just an eight-team playoff, Wetzel said"..."
Source: Columbus Dispatch 12/5/10
Big Ten Conference Reveals New Logo, Division Names
Ohio State will be part of the Leaders division when the Big Ten splits into football divisions next season.
The league unveiled its new logo and divisional names today in a special broadcast on the Big Ten Network. The other division will be known as the Legends division. Ohio State will be joined in the Leaders division by Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Purdue.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said the divisions were not named after legendary figures from the conference because it was too difficult to settle on a definitive two. The league has decided to honor those figures in other ways. The championship game trophy will be called the Stagg-Paterno Championship trophy after Amos Alonzo Stagg and Penn State coach Joe Paterno.
Archie Griffin's status as the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner will be reflected in that championship game's Most Valuable Player award. The MVP will be known as the Grange-Griffin winner, with Illinois' Red Grange the other legend honored.
The league's top coach each season will be named the Hayes-Schembechler coach of the year in honor of former OSU coach Woody Hayes and Michigan's Bo Schembechler. Source: Columbus Dispatch 12/13/10
See variations of the New Big Ten Conference Logos HERE New Big Ten Conference Football Trophy Names list HERE
Jim Tressel Reacts to the Buckeyes selection to play in the Sugar Bowl
Sweet! Ohio State vs. Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl December 5, 2010 Source: OSU Official Site - "Ohio State, 11-1 and champion of the Big Ten Conference for a record-tying sixth consecutive season, will play Arkansas, 10-2 and from the Southeastern Conference, in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 8:30 p.m. (EST). ESPN will televise the game from the Louisiana Superdome (cap. 72,000).
"The Buckeyes are excited to be going to the Sugar Bowl," coach Jim Tressel, who has taken Ohio State to a bowl game in each of his 10 seasons including eight BCS games, said. "The things I remember the most about the Sugar Bowl are the people [of New Orleans] and how excited they are to host the game, and the great pride they have in their city and in the history of the Sugar Bowl. When you think of the games that have been played in the Sugar Bowl, it's neat to be a part of this long history."
This marks the 11th consecutive season Ohio State will be playing in a bowl game - the longest streak in the Big Ten - and even more impressively, the game represents a national record ninth Bowl Championship Series (BCS) game and sixth consecutive for Ohio State. The Buckeyes are 5-3 in BCS games, which is tied with Florida for the second-most BCS wins behind USC's six.
Ohio State, No. 6 in the final BCS poll released Sunday, and No. 8 Arkansas have never met on the gridiron and this first matchup features two hot teams. The Buckeyes have won five consecutive games since an Oct. 16 loss at Wisconsin, including November wins over Penn State, at Iowa and Michigan that clinched the Big Ten championship. Arkansas, second in the SEC West to unbeaten Auburn, has won six in a row since last losing Oct. 16 at Auburn. The Razorbacks' streak includes wins at SEC East champion South Carolina, and a win over LSU in its last game of the regular season.
"I think the game will be exciting for everyone," Tressel said. "An Ohio State/Arkansas match will capture the interest of everyone. I don't know too much about them other than the fact they had two losses to Alabama and Auburn and they are two of the best teams in the country. Arkansas is a great football team. Ohio State vs. Arkansas...that's an exciting thought."..."
Sugar Bowl berth continues Ohio State's run on BCS invitations December 5, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Michigan State sent a video to the Sugar Bowl extolling the virtues of Spartan football, making a case for the school's first BCS bowl trip in the 13-year history of the current college football postseason system. Ohio State just had to be Ohio State. That was enough, and on Sunday night, the No. 6 Buckeyes (11-1) were picked to face No. 8 Arkansas (10-2) in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 4, Ohio State's ninth BCS game in those 13 years and the sixth straight BCS trip. It will be the first meeting between the two schools. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, at the suggestion of athletic director Gene Smith and OSU president Gordon Gee, did make a call to the Sugar Bowl bosses during the week...
So the Buckeyes are off to the fourth Sugar Bowl in school history. The current seniors were there as freshmen after the 2007 season to play in the BCS National Championship in New Orleans, but that wasn't actually the Sugar Bowl. Arkansas is playing in the first BCS game in school history, though the Razorbacks are led by a face familiar to Ohio State fans...
"When you hear about matching up with an SEC team, you know you're playing a great team," Tressel said. "It just so happens the record is what it is, but it doesn't have a bearing on this game...
The Buckeyes have final exams this week and will start practice again Thursday. The team will practice through Dec. 21, then the players will go home from Dec. 22-25, then practice again in Columbus starting Dec. 26 before flying to New Orleans on Dec. 29..."
Sugar Bowl breakdown
Record vs. current BCS top 25: Arkansas 4-2, Ohio State 0-1.
Best wins: Arkansas — 31-23 over LSU, 41-20 over South Carolina, 24-17 over Texas A&M, 38-31 (OT) over Mississippi State; Ohio State — 36-24 over Miami, 20-17 over Iowa, 38-14 over Penn State, 37-7 over Michigan
Losses: Arkansas — 24-20 to Alabama, 65-43 to Auburn; Ohio State — 31-18 to Wisconsin
Points per game: Arkansas 37.3; Ohio State 39.4
Yards per game: Arkansas 489.3; Ohio State 448.9
Points allowed: Arkansas 22.8; Ohio State 13.3
Yards allowed: Arkansas 339.8; Ohio State 250.6
Arkansas on offense: Quarterback Ryan Mallet tied for seventh in the nation with 30 touchdown passes, averaged 299 passing yards and was ranked third in the country in passer rating. Three receivers — Greg Childs, Joe Adams and Jarius Wright — were ranked in the top eight on Phil Steele’s postseason All-SEC team. They are among the five Razorbacks with at least 589 receiving yards and 31 catches. That’s some serious depth. And 220-pound sophomore running back Knile Davis ran for 1,183 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 148 rushing yards his last six games.
Arkansas on defense: No defenders made Steele’s All-SEC first team, but defensive end Jake Bequette (seven sacks), linebacker Jerry Franklin (93 tackles) and safety Tramain Thomas (four interceptions) made the second team. Against SEC competition, Arkansas allowed an average of 28 points and held a team under 20 points just once. The Razorbacks ranked fifth in the SEC in total defense.
Buckeyes at the Sugar Bowl
Jan. 2, 1978 / No. 3 Alabama 35, No. 9 Ohio State 6: Bear Bryant was third on the all-time coaching victories list, with 272, and Woody Hayes was fourth, with 231, for their only meeting. Alabama was only a two-point favorite but led, 21-0, before the Buckeyes finally scored in the fourth quarter.
Jan. 1, 1998 / No. 5 Florida State 31, No. 9 Ohio State 14: Employing a new plan of alternating quarterbacks Joe Germaine and Stanley Jackson every few plays, not just every other series, the Buckeyes were undone by the Seminoles’ pass rush. A touchdown pass on a fake field goal was wiped out by a penalty, and the Buckeyes went down to a team playing like the No. 1 ranking it held for parts of the season.
Jan. 1, 1999 / No. 3 Ohio State 24, No. 8 Texas A&M 14: The Buckeyes kept their slim national title hopes alive, finishing 11-1 as Joe Germaine threw for 222 yards, Joe Montgomery ran for 96 yards and Ohio State’s 21 first-quarter points included a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. When No. 1 Tennessee beat No. 2 Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl, Ohio State finished No. 2.
Jan. 7, 2008 / No. 2 LSU 38, No. 1 Ohio State 24: This game wasn’t actually the Sugar Bowl, which featured Georgia beating Hawaii, but it was the Buckeyes in New Orleans. In the BCS National Championship hosted by the Sugar Bowl people, the top-ranked Buckeyes gave up 21 second-quarter points to the Tigers and despite 146 rushing yards from Beanie Wells, fell in the national title game for the second straight year.
Saturday ESPN College Football Primetime announcers Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, who won the National Championship with Penn State in 1982, and Holly Rowe will work ESPN's coverage of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Jan. 4 at 8:30 p.m.
Assessing OSU's season December 5, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "As Ohio State awaits its bowl invitation later today, it seems a perfect time to review what we learned over the course of the 2010 regular season.
Roll out the red carpet and put on your best tuxedos and gowns, because Dispatch beat reporters Ken Gordon and Tim May are handing out awards:
Offensive MVP Gordon: RB Daniel Herron (1,068 yards and 15 TDs rushing, plus 18 receptions for 180 yards). His emergence halfway through the season energized the entire team and took the pressure off QB Terrelle Pryor. May: WR Dane Sanzenbacher (889 yards on 52 catches, 10 TDs). He was supposed to play second trumpet to the jazzier DeVier Posey but came up big repeatedly when the Buckeyes needed him most.
May: Safety Jermale Hines. He already was going to run the show from the back side. Then, when nickel back Tyler Moeller went down - followed by his backup, Christian Bryant - Hines stepped into that role and kept making plays. Gordon: LB Brian Rolle. After OSU lost to Wisconsin, and with fellow LB Ross Homan out for two weeks, Rolle really picked up his game. He led the team in tackles (70) and tackles for loss (10), and added 21/2 sacks and two interceptions.
Pleasant surprise Gordon: Mike Adams' emergence at left tackle. A big question mark and under intense pressure at the beginning of the season, he ended up as a first-team all-Big Ten pick. May: Andrew Sweat's rise as the strong-side linebacker. He beat out Etienne Sabino in preseason camp and never looked back, even filling in admirably on the weak side in a few games for the injured Homan.
Biggest disappointment May: The Ohio State offense's inability to respond in the first 20 minutes at Wisconsin. While the Badgers ran roughshod over the OSU defense, the offense, one of the more talented in years, took too long to counterpunch. Gordon: Kick coverage. While it improved late in the year, it's impossible to overlook giving up three TDs (two on kickoffs, one on a punt), including maybe the most significant play of the year, the 97-yarder to open the Wisconsin game.
Unsung hero Gordon: Jordan Hall. The sophomore running back did it all - finishing second in the Big Ten in punt returns (10.1 average), contributing an 85-yard kickoff-return TD, totaling 252 yards of offense and three TDs, and even making four tackles on kick coverage. May: Zach Boren. The sophomore fullback had a few bones thrown his way in terms of passes, and even had one carry against Michigan. Otherwise, he blocked his rear end off and was as much a factor in the running-game surge as the line.
Future star May: Johnathan Hankins. The huge freshman gained more playing time on the defensive line as the season progressed. In the Michigan game he was playing some at tackle, some at end, and was always pushing the pile. Gordon: C.J. Barnett. He provided such a small sample (about seven quarters) before he suffered a season-ending knee injury, but the sophomore safety sure looks like a big-time playmaker.
Play of the year Gordon: Pryor's 14-yard scramble on fourth-and-10 at Iowa. With Ohio State trailing 17-13 and about four minutes left, Pryor's zigzagging run probably made the difference between the Sugar Bowl and the Capital One. May: Can't argue with that. For runner-up, how about the 85-yard kickoff return for a TD by Hall against Michigan? The Wolverines had cut the lead to 10-7 when he lowered the boom and unleashed the scoring snowball.
Player we would like to see more. May: Freshman WR Corey Brown. He made a couple of big plays and at least one notable gaffe (a drop at Iowa), but he flashed speed and a major upside that could be exploited more in the bowl game. Gordon: RB Carlos Hyde. He was No.5 on the depth chart this year, but he showed the type of power-speed combination that will serve him well in the Big Ten.
Needs improvement before the bowl Gordon: Pryor's decision-making. From Wisconsin on, in the final six games of the year, he threw 10 TDs vs. eight interceptions. Many of those picks ended up costing OSU points. May: If the Buckeyes wind up playing Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, the pass defense will be assaulted as never before this season. Any improvement on pure pass rush and coverage skills will be a plus.
Best coach or coaching decision May: Safeties coach Paul Haynes took his lumps early, because he also oversaw the kickoff coverage. That unit improved dramatically by season's end. Meanwhile, at safety, he dealt with the loss of Barnett, Moeller and Bryant and still put a credible unit on the field. Gordon: Jim Heacock and Luke Fickell, the defensive coordinators, for their repeated and effective in-game adjustments. Down the stretch in particular (Penn State, Iowa and Michigan), opponents were stifled in the second half. Honorable mention: Jim Tressel's fiery halftime speech in the Penn State game..."
Sanzenbacher voted Ohio State Most Valuable Player December 5, 2010 Source: OSU Official Site - "Ohio State receiver Dane Sanzenbacher was voted 2010 team Most Valuable Player as announced at the 2010 Football Appreciation Banquet this afternoon at the Ohio Union.
Sanzenbacher, a senior from Toledo, also received the Paul Warfield Award as the outstanding wide receiver and the Bo Rein Award as the most inspirational senior (voted by the team). Sanzenbacher led the Buckeyes and ranked second in the Big Ten with 10 touchdown receptions. He finished the regular season with 52 catches for 889 yards for an average of 17.1 yards per catch -- the best in the Big Ten.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor received the Archie Griffin Award as the outstanding offensive player, and defensive lineman Cameron Heyward received the Bill Willis Award as the outstanding player on defense.
Other award winners: Jake McQuaide (John Galbreath, academics); Corey Brown (first-year offensive player); Johnathan Hankins (first-year defensive player); Devin Barclay (Ike Kelley, special teams standout); Ross Homan and Brian Rolle (Randy Gradishar, linebacker); Daniel Herron (Rex Kern, outstanding offensive back); Chimdi Chekwa and Jermale Hines (Arnie Chonko, defensive back);
Justin Boren and Bryant Browning (Jim Parker, offensive lineman); Andrew Sweat (SAE, Homecoming game standout); Daniel Herron (Agonis Rick Meyer award); Brandon Saine and Aaron Gant (Jim Marshall Warrior); Dexter Larimore (Jack Stephenson, defensive lineman); Jermale Hines (W.W. Hayes, outstanding player vs. Michigan)..."
Big Ten Week 14: Did you know?: "The Big Ten has featured multiple champions in five of the last 10 seasons, including Ohio State and Penn State sharing first place in both 2008 and 2005 with identical 7-1 marks....Ohio State is one of only three Big Ten programs to claim seven or more titles during a 10-year span and the first since Michigan and Ohio State both finished in first place seven times between 1973-82. Ohio State holds the conference record with nine Big Ten championships during a 10-year span, accomplishing the feat from 1968-77. The Buckeyes have also won eight titles in 10 years on three occasions (1972-81, 1970-79 and 1969-78), a streak of success matched only by Michigan (eight from 1971-80 and 1969-78). Minnesota is the only other Big Ten team to finish first seven or more times in a 10-year span with seven titles from 1933-41. (Source: ESPN 12/03/10)
Gee backs off football remarks: "More than a week after his "Little Sisters of the Poor" comments ignited a national uproar, Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee yesterday admitted, "I need to keep my mouth closed. I'm very blessed to have the best athletic director and best football coach in the country," Gee said. "They run the athletic program and I run the university, and I should have stayed out of there. What I should do is go over to the surgical suites and get my foot extricated from my mouth. "What do I know about college football? I look like Orville Redenbacher. I have no business talking about college football." Gee created the controversy when he was asked whether schools such as Texas Christian or Boise State should be allowed to play in the national championship game if they were undefeated..." (Source: Columbus Dispatch 12/02/10)
The Emergence of Travis Howard: If you have watched the Ohio State Buckeyes this season, you clearly know that an injury and talent depleted secondary has been the weakness of the 2010 Silver Bullets. Wisconsin aside, the formula to move the ball on the OSU defense this year has been by attacking them through the air, clearly evident as Jim Heacock's unit gives up double the amount of passing yards allowed as they do rushing yards allowed per game. It is with perfect timing that Travis Howard is stepping up and proving he can be counted on when it matters most for Jim Tressel's team. Chekwa and Torrence both graduate after this season, leaving Howard, Clarke, Evege, FSU transfer Dionte Allen, freshman Bradley Roby, and incoming freshman DerJuan Gambrell as the only corners set to be on the roster as of now. The secondary will once again be a concern and area that opposing teams try to attack early in the season, so if Howard and someone with a ton of playing experience like Allen can step in and sure up the passing game, the Bucks' lives will be that much easier as they try to make a run at MNC next fall..." (Source: Eleven Warriors 12/01/10)
Big Ten recruiting updates: Ohio State: Coach Jim Tressel and staff focused heavily on both sides of the line and depth in the secondary. One of the names Buckeyes fans expected to add into this class was defensive back Jabari Gorman (Miami/Monsignor Pace). For months it appeared Gorman was heading to Columbus, but in recent weeks Florida has made a major charge for the four-star prospect, and he will be visiting Gainesville in early December..." (Source: ESPN 12/01/10)
Boren Joins Class Of 2012 - "Ohio State picked up another commitment for class of 2012 as Jacoby Boren made a verbal pledge Friday (12/03/10) night to the Buckeyes. He is the youngest brother of current Buckeyes Justin Boren and Zach Boren. Those who have seen all the Borens in in high school say that Jacoby could be the best of the brothers, a belief shared by both Justin and Zach. Boren, who projects as a center in college, played center his freshman year and defensive end/outside linebacker and right guard his sophomore year and junior season.
"Ohio State is a great school with great tradition and great coaches and that's something I wanted to be a part of," Boren said. "My family was really supportive and I made my mind up about a week ago. I was always leaning toward Ohio State but something just clicked last week."
Welcome aboard, Jacoby!
"...Of course, his more well known brothers are fifth-year senior left guard Justin Boren, who made the switch from Michigan to Ohio State after his sophomore season, and sophomore fullback Zach Boren, a lynchpin in the Buckeyes' strong running game the last half of this season.
Jacoby Boren met with Tressel and offensive coordinator/line coach Jim Bollman earlier in the day at the Les Wexner Football Center. He had been offered a scholarship a couple of months ago. During the meeting he said they discussed several things, including the idea that he will do what his brother Zach did and enroll at OSU in the winter or spring of his high school senior year to get a head start
What makes the Boren brothers' story even more compelling is their father was a linebacker for Bo Schembechler at Michigan in the early 1980s while their mother Hope ran track for the Wolverines. "I root for the Buckeyes now," their father has said often the past couple of seasons. It appears he will be rooting for them for some time to come. Source: Columbus Dispatch
Third Boren joins Buckeyes: "Once converted to Ohio State, it seems the Borens just keep coming. Jacoby Boren yesterday committed to the Buckeyes as part of the 2012 recruiting class..." (Source: Columbus Dispatch 12/04/10)
Bucks Land #5 For 2012: "To nobody's surprise, Jacoby Boren will be playing his college football for Ohio State. Boren, whose two older brothers star for the Buckeyes, made his decision public today, after committing to Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel. Boren confirmed his decision via text message this evening. Ohio State picked up their fifth commitment for the 2012 recruiting class Friday, when Pickerington Central junior lineman Jacoby Boren pledged to the Buckeyes. Boren notified Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel of his intent Friday afternoon. Boren, 6-foot-3, 273-pounds, had an impressive junior season in 2010, helping lead his team into the state playoffs. Earlier, he had reported that Ohio State is recruiting him to play either center or guard. Boren has two older brothers, Justin and Zach, currently starring for the Buckeyes. Boren confirmed his decision to Scout.com, which will update the story later to include specific quotes from the player." Source: BuckeyeSports.com