Helwagen Chat: July 21 Archive

Here are excerpts from Steve Helwagen's Chat session from Friday. He conducts these Chat sessions each week for Bucknuts.com subscribers. Gary Housteau will Chat from Hershey, Pa., at 1 p.m. Friday.

BrunoBuck (Jul 21, 2005 11:10:20 AM)
What do you know about Smith's deal with McNair's camp? I assume that he was aware of the requirements.

buckgrad (Jul 21, 2005 11:10:41 AM)
Steve, help me out here. Tell me Troy's not going to be suspended for the Texas game!

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:10:55 AM)
Troy has not been made available to discuss this publicly. All we can do is make assumptions about what he did and what he knew and what could happen ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:12:34 AM)
Having said that, I think it's naive to think he knew about any NCAA rules other than he was able to go and they could pay his expenses. I guess until we hear from Coach Tressel or Troy we don't know who knew what and when they knew it.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:13:00 AM)
To me, the violation is about as minor as you can get -- provided he received no more illegal extra benefits.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:14:13 AM)
I think Troy is a good kid. I really do. He's been pretty good to deal with media-wise and he obviously has (or had) the support of much of the team. But from 5 miles up in the air you just come back to the term I've used with him time and again -- displayed unreliability. It is a military term. When the bullets are flying, can they count on you ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:14:19 AM)
I think that is in doubt today.

buckicrazy (Jul 21, 2005 11:14:27 AM)
I read the article about the MSL Classic and I'm very impressed with the points that Lewis is putting up. How do the new guys, Lewis and Mayes, look on the defensive side of the ball.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:16:54 AM)
Lewis is very athletic. He should be able to guard opposing 2s and 3s. He'll have to be able to or he won't play as much as he would like or should for Coach Matta. Mayes had a rough match-up yesterday with Lewis. Lewis was able to muscle him and use his height. Mayes is just 5-11 or 6-0. I think he's a good defensive player overall. Lewis' 37 points weren't entirely at his expense. Bell looked good on the boards, probly 7-8 at least last night.

playmea (Jul 21, 2005 11:17:07 AM)
Steve, are we expecting the same trouble from Rob S. at the Big 33 like we saw in the N-S game? I know there were a lot of dropped passes cause Rob has that zip. In your opinion, are the players a little more adjusted to his arm strength?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:18:30 AM)
Yeah, I want to see what he brings in this game. The Ohio line won't have people like Boone and Cordle to keep PA off of him (for sure). He was running for his life in the Ohio game. Let's see how he does here. He'll be throwing to Robiskie, Hartline and MM. If this doesn't do the trick, I'm not sure what will. Then again, it's just an all-star game in July. Take it with a grain of salt.

euphorbia (Jul 21, 2005 11:18:37 AM)
Seems to me that stuff like this really shows what a microscope these guys are under.

BrunoBuck (Jul 21, 2005 11:18:39 AM)
This could have been a positive for Troy but now he's getting negative pub again. I'm sure that he did the camp for all of the right reasons. If Steve McNair's people are contacting scholarship athletes to do their camp, they should be obligated to provide a list of applicable rules that need to be followed. Do you know if this was provided.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:20:43 AM)
Yeah, I agree. If McNair is going this far to help kids, he should not be jeopardizing kids like Smith and tempting them to skip class, etc. to participate. Bruno, again, until we talk to Troy and hit him with 20 questions on this, everything is an assumption. We don't know what, if anything, McNair and his people told him or sent him. We don't know if Troy consulted anybody at OSU before he went. I don't want to assume anything. It's possible he consulted them, they said he couldn't go and he went anyway. We just don't know ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:21:14 AM)
The 2 points I come back to on this is attending class is right up there with bathing and breathing for this coaching staff ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:21:45 AM)
When Tressel was hired his son missed the press conference. he said there was only 1 reason to ever miss class: "Death in the family -- your own." ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:23:28 AM)
The other point is Tressel has former assistant Ken Conatser and at least one other guy walking (and riding bikes) on campus to make sure kids attend class. If the coach is going to these degrees to stress class attendance, what would possess somebody to just skip a couple of days and leave the state? Somebody will need to explain that one to me.

buckgrad (Jul 21, 2005 11:23:40 AM)
I read the article about Nelson from Glenville, he mentioned that Henton is still not a commit. Whats your take on this? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:25:09 AM)
I think recruits are in the dark, by and large, on what's going on. You'd think with his ties to Ginn Sr. and his ties to Ohio State the kid would know. All I can go on is Henton's radio interview with us from last week. He's OSU all the way. And, unfortunately, because of NCAA rules, we can't "confirm his verbal" with somebody at Ohio State.

Southeast Fan (Jul 21, 2005 11:26:20 AM)
What is TOSU going to do about a fullback? Will they take an OOS player or will they look in state? I'm from southeast Ohio and the big name down here is Dustin Winters from Gallia Academy and I heard both Tressels spent some time with him at camp. Does he have a chance?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:28:16 AM)
Great question. Once Schnittker leaves, they'll be down to White and Johnson. That's not much depth. They need one in this 2006 class. I'll check on Winters. Ohio has produced some FB prospects like the Shumaker kid last year from DSJ and Scott Weber from Canal Fulton Northwest this year. I don't know what the hang-up is or who they're looking at. There was a kid named Haines, I believe, from Jacksonville, Fla. at their camp. Maybe he gets a look. But they definitely need one.

playmea (Jul 21, 2005 11:28:26 AM)
A little birdy told me that TG is now on the list for 2nd team CB. Is the word from the powers that be looking more like Teddy could move to a Chris Gamble situation?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:30:46 AM)
I don't know if anything has changed that much. They need somebody to step up. My guess is he will be a situational defensive player and maybe, like Gamble, his role grows as the season wears on. But you have to hope between Everett, O'Neal, Welch, Lane and the others they'll come up with a plan. I think Ted's too valuable on defense.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:30:52 AM)
offense rather, sorry

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:31:02 AM)
This news flash just in from OSU ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:31:09 AM)
The NCAA has moved the response date for the Ohio State investigation from July 26 to July 29. The change was made at the request of counsel representing former head coach Jim O'Brien and former assistant coach Paul Biancardi. Ohio State did not request the extension.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:31:20 AM)
Not sure what that means.

osufan26 (Jul 21, 2005 11:31:35 AM)
steve.. If you had to guess who do we take on the OL in this class?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:31:59 AM)
Connor Smith, Aaron Brown and one more ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:34:09 AM)
Maybe Bill Nagy, Bryant Browning. Out of state, maybe Kiante Tripp from FL if they can get him here for a visit. I think Smith is much more of a certainty than Brown. I think, ultimately, Brown will want to stay at home, though. It may take his visits and the travel involved, etc. to reinforce that.

buckstradition7 (Jul 21, 2005 11:34:19 AM)
How much time can we expect to see Ginn on the defensive side of the ball? Is it realistic for him to have a huge impact on the game if he does play both. I always felt that Gamble made less plays when he went both ways, but obviously never hurt the team.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:35:39 AM)
Gamble always seemed to be there when they needed something big ... other than Lee Evans on the out-and-up on a rainy night in Madison. My guess is our poster earlier got that from somebody who was told Ginn has put on the requisite weight and is now in the 190 range and can handle the pounding if need be.

redondo (Jul 21, 2005 11:35:49 AM)
Hi Steve - Could you characterize the NCAA compliance education sessions that the players attend for us please? How many sessions are there in a season? Are rules such as the one Troy Smith allegedly tripped over reviewed in detail, or is it more of an overview with an admontion at the end -- "When in doubt contact the compliance officer"?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:36:53 AM)
I have never attended such a session. My guess is they have them periodically throughout the year. It would be impossible to cover every scenario. I am certain they are trained to ask if they have questions. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:38:04 AM)
It boggles the mind that somebody who took an illegal extra benefit got in a situation that involved travel reimbursement without getting consent (from the coaches) or an opinion (from compliance). Unreal. He, honestly, should not be pooping sideways without royal dispensation at this point.

skeelo (Jul 21, 2005 11:38:19 AM)
hey steve did you get a chance to go to the 7on 7 workout? if so who stood out to you

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:38:47 AM)
Nope, OSU wants them closed. I suppose I could go and walk in and watch. Last year, some of the sites got in trouble for reporting activities.

buckicrazy (Jul 21, 2005 11:38:56 AM)
Does Todd Denlinger have the motor like Anderson at DT? I think with him and Wilson the defensive line is looking good for the next couple of years. I would like to see the Buckeyes bring in a few more good DT in this recruiting class.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:39:38 AM)
I can't say that. Anderson was special in that regard, as Pitcock is. I agree on Wilson. I want to see how he and Denlinger do on Sat.

buckicrazy (Jul 21, 2005 11:39:43 AM)
Will the Big 33 game be on TV in columbus?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:39:52 AM)
The Big 33 is live on ONN at 7:30 Sat.

osufan26 (Jul 21, 2005 11:40:07 AM)
Do we have a legit shot at landing some big time OOS recruits this year like Reuland, Ausberry, Wallace, N. Bowman, J. Hunter, W. Lyons, W. Dublin and Carlos Brown.. Who, besides Lyons do we have the best shot at?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:41:17 AM)
Legit? They need to get them to OSU on official visits to have a legit shot. Of the guys you mentioned, my feeling is they have the best shot at Wallace, Ausberry (50-50 with USC), Reuland (will he leave west coast) and Lyons (brother angle). Not so sure on Brown with Wells in the fold.

buckgrad (Jul 21, 2005 11:41:21 AM)
It seems that the Bucks have a legit shot at Reuland, do you think this effects Ballards decision, or is he a solid Buckeye.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:41:42 AM)
Ballard is solid. He could project as an OL down the line, a la the R.J. Coleman experiment.

BrunoBuck (Jul 21, 2005 11:41:50 AM)
Is Thoma the punter from St. Thomas working out with anyone to prepare for the season? An article in the CantonRep said that he would be given a chance to be the opening day starter. He seems like a great kid with all the potential in the world, but he has very little experience. He certainly fits the bill as a true athlete which JT has always preferred.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:42:57 AM)
I assume he is working out on his own at home and will report this fall. Since he took an official visit, if he ever appears he has to go on scholarship immediately. My guess is he redshirts this fall (unless something befalls Trapasso). Should be a good competition. Trapasso has been solid for about a year now since his last transgression.

scribeohio (Jul 21, 2005 11:43:15 AM)
Steve, maybe just me but this year's national prospects seems not to have much breadth and few blow out players (most of which seem not to list us). What's your take on OSU being able to fill 19/20 good/great kids for 2006?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:44:49 AM)
Scout loves Ohio, as evidenced by the 13 Ohio kids in the top 100. If OSU gets 7-8 of those guys (which is doable) they'll be in good shape. The depth is such on this team that they just need a handful of "high end guys" (and Wells, Connor Smith, Coleman, etc. would qualify) and then fulfill position needs (DT, FB, LB, etc.)

marksgforce (Jul 21, 2005 11:44:57 AM)
Do you think the football staff and team are aware of how many Zwick v. Smith threads there are on the message boards? Are they amused? Does it create any internal debates? Hurt feelings?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:46:43 AM)
They do have a staff member who monitors the web on a regular basis. There is too much information -- good and bad -- out there on the kids they are recruiting to ignore the Internet. I have been told they do see some message board activities. Again, message board activiity is fueled by people who, in many cases, don't have the full story. OSU does a good job of keeping the press at arm's length and keeping a lot of things in-house ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:48:16 AM)
Like this Troy situation ... everybody has an opinion on what did or didn't happen. But until we get full disclosure from he and Coach Tressel -- if we ever get it -- we don't really know what happened. The Canton Rep article simply said Tressel confirmed OSU was looking into it ... without direct quotes from the coach or any of the gory details (did Troy ask? did JT turn down the trip? did he know the rules? etc.)

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:48:48 AM)
And I'm not all that upset about it. There are some things, believe it or not, that aren't meant for public consumption.

euphorbia (Jul 21, 2005 11:48:58 AM)
Steve, I've heard about the 7 on 7 drills that the players participate in during the summer, but I've never heard of the pros doing it. Do the pros go through similiar workouts and if not, why?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:50:09 AM)
I think they do. That's what it's all about in April or June when they have minicamps, etc. The pros are different because guys live all over the country in the off-season. The ones who live near the facility, I'm sure, have access to fields and balls and do similar workouts, whether it's 3 on 3 or 7 on 7 or whatever.

marksgforce (Jul 21, 2005 11:50:15 AM)
Haven't heard anything on Thaddeus Gibson for awhile. Still a Buckeye lean?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:50:34 AM)
Gary did a story last week. Said he went to USC unofficially. OSU is still right there.

buckgrad (Jul 21, 2005 11:50:39 AM)
Any news on how D'andrea is coming along? Is he still pushing Schlegel for the starting spot?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:51:28 AM)
We'll see how Mike responds in preseason camp. If he stays injury free and looks good, he may push his way into a split role with Schlegel. Until that happens, I am assuming that Schlegel will get the lion's share of the work. He had a great year last year.

marksgforce (Jul 21, 2005 11:51:45 AM)
We have a ton of depth at wide receiver. I assume that Holmes is gone after this year and that TG is the main man next year. Can you handi-cap who #s 2-4 will be, and who gets "lost" in the numbers in 2006 and even 2007: Gonzales, Lyons, Dukes, Hall, Williams, Robiskie, Harline, Chichester, et.al.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:53:59 AM)
My feeling is Gonzalez, Dukes and either Lyons or Hall are the top names. The others will get their chances to break in starting next year, but may have to watch for a while. Great problem to have.

Cepps (Jul 21, 2005 11:54:18 AM)
Where does albert dukes fall in the receiving situation? It sounds like he is playing too good right now to not see the field this year. Roy Hall might be the odd man out with dukes and lyons emerging it seems.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:54:33 AM)
cepps asks about Dukes and Hall ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:55:26 AM)
My feeling is Hall will step up this year. Dukes can also be effective, almost as Holmes was as a redshirt in 2003. That would be great. The problem is he has Ginn, Holmes and Gonzalez in front of him. They truly go 6 deep this year if you add Lyons in there.

playmea (Jul 21, 2005 11:55:35 AM)
JT sometimes likes to unveil new plays, schemes, formations, etc. for big games. What do you forsee coming out for the Texas game?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:56:31 AM)
After watching his creative use of Ginn in the Alamo Bowl, I would imagine you'll see occasional direct snaps to him, reverses and option passes. Think about that. You see Ginn get it on a reverse or double reverse and you converge on him, then he throws it over your head. That could be dangerous.

MFTodd (Jul 21, 2005 11:56:37 AM)
Steve, does Amos end up playing corner at OSU after all? It seems like that is the buzz......also, do you see us getting a FB this year?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:57:07 AM)
Amos to CB seems like a possibility. I imagine he'll get looks each way early in camp and settle in where they need him. He looked great in the Ohio game.

buckgrad (Jul 21, 2005 11:57:12 AM)
Steve, do you have a surprise national team that may come on strong and surprise some people, kind of like the Bucks in 2001-2002, like LSU did a couple of years ago and so on...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 11:58:58 AM)
Hard to call Tennessee a surprise team. But my Rose Bowl pick now is USC-Tennessee. In the Big Ten, if Penn State doesn't go 7-4 or 8-3 with that defense they've built, they truly do need to run the coach out on a rail. They need to get their best 11 on the field on offense and, to me, that's Morelli throwing to Derrick Williams and Michael Robinson and Hunt running the ball.

buckicrazy (Jul 21, 2005 11:59:40 AM)
Steve, any possibility that D'andrea moves to DE some.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:00:30 PM)
Maybe they'll go 3-4, like they did a few times last year before he was hurt. But they are also tripping over potential impact ends with Richardson, Barrow, Gholston, Wilson and Worthington.

BigErn99 (Jul 21, 2005 12:00:36 PM)
How much action do you see Dukes getting this year? I know that we have an abundance of WR talent, but it appears that by all accounts Dukes is real playmaker. Sometimes you just can't keep guys like that off the field.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:02:06 PM)
He'll need to be patient and let the game come to him. He can be as good as he wants to be, it seems. But he's, at best, the No. 4 target right now. In the spring, he made the same mistakes (fumbles, etc.)we saw from the young Holmes. He would do well to follow Holmes' lead to the letter -- working out like a fiend and being a GREAT run blocking receiver. That's his ticket to be an every down player like his dog San-Antonio is.

Derek (Jul 21, 2005 12:02:50 PM)
I agree it is disturbing that Troy would not be more careful, but it is equally disturbing someone as it appears would go to such almost 24 hr. survaillence type activity to dig that deep to find something. We need to put this guy on Bin Laden's trail. Am i correct in saying the day in question was the last day of the quarter? Any thoughts on this?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:03:59 PM)
Derek, you lost me about someone as it appears would go to such almost 24 hr. surveillance. Who are you talking about? McNair had a camp in madison, Tenn. June 1-2. That would be the last week of spring classes, I believe.

MFTodd (Jul 21, 2005 12:04:22 PM)
Does OSU have posters on here? Maybe someone with the coaching staff - low level or current/past players?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:04:31 PM)
I have no way of knowing that.

playmea (Jul 21, 2005 12:04:35 PM)
Who are your breakout players for '05? Who are your breakout Freshman? Redshirt Freshman? season MVP?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:08:46 PM)
Pitcock, Barrow, Marcel Frost are 3 guys I could see busting out. Pitcock you already know about, but he could take it to a new level. Co-MVPs like Krenzel and Gamble, maybe? Ginn and Hawk.

yooperbuck (Jul 21, 2005 12:09:18 PM)
Steve.does Huston have all kicking duties (except punting) this fall or will he share kickoffs or pat"s? Who is pushing him and how much?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:11:10 PM)
With Skeete on ice right now, it is Ryan Pretorius and Aaron Pettrey who will be competing with him. Interested in seeing how Pettrey does on this stage. Setting up now that it could be his job in 2006-09.

WestonBuckeye (Jul 21, 2005 12:11:17 PM)
Is anyone going to offer Schlichter? Whats with the no offer yet deal? Is it grades?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:11:55 PM)
No, not grades. I think somebody in the MAC will eventually get a nice player. Good kid. He's a winner. He may not fit the mold, whatever that is.

BrunoBuck (Jul 21, 2005 12:12:02 PM)
Any news on the Ginn College Preparatory Academy? What are your thoughts on the long-term impact to high school sports? Has anything like this been done before?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:14:56 PM)
Nothing new on Ginn CPA. Nothing like this has been done in Ohio before. He wants to create his own style of Fork Union or Hargrave, I guess. Remains to be seen if they'll be OHSAA-affiliated and play to get into the playoffs or play a "national" prep school schedule. With all the problems public schools are having with funding, some think you could see schools pull back to strictly intramural athletics down the line. This is where an academy like this that matches up with like schools across the country would maybe come in as proving grounds for athletes looking for scholarships. Don't get me wrong, I think that's a few years down the line. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:15:18 PM)
Ted Sr. has a heart about the size of his son's talent. I wish him well in his endeavor.

buckgrad (Jul 21, 2005 12:15:28 PM)
Can you explain to me how a team can miss both Michigan and OSU in the same year? This could affect OSU indirectly late in the year if Purdue is undefeated in Nov. because they miss the best teams in the conference. Is this a random thing?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:17:08 PM)
Yep, it is potentially a mess for OSU and Michigan, really. Purdue has 11 starters back on defense and Kirsch at QB. He has at least played some before this year. They could back door their way to a Big Ten title without playing the Big 2. It is pretty much a random thing. The Big Ten rotates the schools. Every school has 2 schools it plays every year. OSU will always play Michigan and Penn State, for instance. The eight other schools then rotate on and off your schedule in 2-year intervals.

sswagg (Jul 21, 2005 12:17:31 PM)
I am late and am assuming you have laready discussed Smith, but if not, what is the word on potential penalties?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:17:46 PM)
We did hit on Smith early. I'll say this, though ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:18:38 PM)
If he has proper documentation on what was spent and how he was reimbursed, etc. for the trip I would think the NCAA will consider it an "educational experience" for him and the school and probly drop it. I'm not sure if there are precedents for this. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:19:59 PM)
From an NCAA standpoint, this is about as nickel and dime a violation as there could possibly be -- they're legislating that kids can't miss class to do, essentially, charity work at a football camp? That's pretty far reaching. But when I say that, I recognize that somebody somewhere probly stretched something so they put a rule in there. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:21:20 PM)
Again, the troubling part is that a kid who has been in trouble before found himself in another scrape. If this doesn't send the message to him, that he can't miss class and can't do anything involving money with somebody who is not his family member (i.e. the reimbursement) without getting it pre-approved by JT or compliance, I don't know if he ever will get it ... and that's a problem.

sswagg (Jul 21, 2005 12:21:37 PM)
Who will be the other starting corner this year?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:22:46 PM)
Tyler Everett with his experience will be at the front of the line. After him, you'll probably see Lane, Welch, O'Neal and Brandon Underwood. Should be a great competition. I like that Tim Beckman will be coaching corners exclusively. If he can't sort that out looking at 2 positions on the field, they're beyond hope (ha ha).

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:24:07 PM)
This has been a great Chat. I have about 5 minutes or so. Gary will be doing one, we all hope, from Hershey, Pa. tomorrow. Check the site for details. sswagg (Jul 21, 2005 12:24:12 PM)
What if Zwick plays really well against Miami...any chance we have a full blown quarterback controversy? It seems that Smith has been chosen based on UM game. Does the coaching staff feel the same way?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:26:07 PM)
Oh yes, most definitely. Barring injury or a 5-for-20 game, Zwick starts the first two games. It was Smith's job, no doubt, after having the best game any OSU QB has ever had against Michigan, a UM team that won the Big Ten, no less. But he has opened the door with his off-the-field problems. Zwick doesn't appear like he's going anywhere, so you can bet there will be some conjecture over what OSU should do if he gets off to a hot start.

buckgrad (Jul 21, 2005 12:26:13 PM)
who are the best 2006 recruits youve seen on tape this year?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:27:18 PM)
Connor Smith, Chris Wells, those 2 stand out. Jeff Cumberland in person at Akron was awe inspiring. Justin Boren looked good to me, too. Aaron Brown's tape is damn impressive (and his dad dubbed some good jams in there too like "Yeah Yeah Yeah.")

yooperbuck (Jul 21, 2005 12:27:26 PM)
I haven't seen usc's schedule for this year yet, but, iwas wondering what potential ambush games they might have?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:28:47 PM)
At Notre Dame, at Cal and vs. UCLA at the end. The Bruins nearly dinged them last year before losing 29-24. You know Weis is thinking that stopping USC's win streak would give ND immediate credibility. Cal has been so close, but can't get it done.

playmea (Jul 21, 2005 12:29:11 PM)
Steve, I see a lot of similarities between this season and the '02 season. All that is missing is character and the obvious (winning). But with Hawk on the team I'm confident. Do you see the same character brewing on this team as we had from '02?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:31:58 PM)
Character or characters, I'm not sure which (ha ha). Seriously, yes, there are some high character guys like Hawk, Salley, Sims, Mangold and so on. I like what I'm seeing. They saw some issues this summer and they addressed them.

sswagg (Jul 21, 2005 12:32:02 PM)
who worries you more...Texas or Iowa?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:34:29 PM)
Football-wise, Texas. Vince Young is really good. He could exploit them like Drew Tate did. Oh yeah, Tate plays for Iowa. The Iowa game means 10 times more in terms of the Big Ten title and an entree to a BCS bowl game. Iowa has the star power with Tate, Hodge and Greenway, but must rebuild otherwise.

redondo (Jul 21, 2005 12:34:36 PM)
Steve - USC also goes to Oregon early in the year. Fresno State could be tough, but it's late in the year (injuries may take a toll on FS by then) and at USC.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:35:07 PM)
And they're at Hawaii, too. If Hawaii uses the same refs that helped them beat Cincinnati, MSU and NW, look out.

sswagg (Jul 21, 2005 12:35:28 PM)
give us a cliff note's version of the '05 season...what happens?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:36:51 PM)
I'm saying 10-1, loss at PSU, win at UM (somebody said they have their number, not sure what that meant). The elusive outright Big Ten title comes back after 21 years. USC-Tennessee Rose, OSU-Va. Tech Orange, Oklahoma-Louisville Sugar, Texas-Michigan Fiesta.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:37:33 PM)
Guys and gals, it has been a slice. But the reason I had to move the Chat from 1 to 11 is fast approaching. I gotta run. Tip your servers and bartenders. See you next time!

sswagg (Jul 21, 2005 12:37:39 PM)

playmea (Jul 21, 2005 12:38:13 PM)
You pick the PSU game to lose? We beat TX, Iowa and MI but lose to PSU? Man that's heartbreaking

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:38:36 PM)
Yep, night game there, great defense (OSU scored one offensive TD in 60 minutes last year vs. The Lions at home).

sswagg (Jul 21, 2005 12:38:39 PM)

playmea (Jul 21, 2005 12:38:55 PM)

sswagg (Jul 21, 2005 12:38:57 PM)
tell us what we want to hear!

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:39:08 PM)
Maybe they'll prove me wrong. That would be good too (ha ha).

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:39:22 PM)
My problem is I usually am the one who overrates them.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 21, 2005 12:39:37 PM)
Makes me look good when they upset Miami in 02 and Michigan this past year (ha ha).

playmea (Jul 21, 2005 12:39:38 PM)
lol - thanks for the chat

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