In that vein, we are proud to welcome a new contributor today to Bucknuts.com in NevadaBuck.
In a word, NevadaBuck is "connected" to what's happening at Ohio State. We are pleased to say he will be providing his exclusive information, insights and opinions for our subscribers here at Bucknuts.com.
NevadaBuck will contribute regular front page columns, sharing some of his inside information and opinions. He will also be a regular fixture on the Ask The Insiders message board – the best message board for OSU fans on the Internet – where premium subscribers will be able to ask him questions.
And he will occasionally conduct Chat sessions as well to answer live questions from Bucknuts.com subscribers.
With the focus turning toward OSU's bowl game and the recruiting season, we feel that NevadaBuck's contacts and inside information should help us stay on top of all of the major developments in the weeks and months ahead.
We asked NevadaBuck to write a little bit about his background. Here is what he had to say:
I can't tell everyone how excited I am to be part of the Bucknuts team. There are a lot of great people here at the site, and I look forward to contributing in anyway that I can.
My articles and input will be a little different than most of the things that you get here currently, or may read on other sites. That is probably because my "contacts" are a little different than most -- let me explain. A lot of the information that I glean is from what I call the "sports information society" that is the backbone of America's gaming industry.
The oddsmakers in Las Vegas aren't just guessing when they are setting lines or when they pull games off the board -- they are trading in information -- much like the stock market. That information is gathered in a number of ways -- but most notably by "stringers" that they have around the country that feed them info, realties and most importantly, people's perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of particular teams.
This is the essence of the sports betting business in America today. Lines are set to garner an equal amount of "action" on each side. In order to do that, you need to know how the general public "perceives" the teams to be. Sounds pretty simple, huh? Well it's actually a science that the "smart guys"(you notice I didn't say "wise guys") have down to, well, a science.
By having the good fortune of living in Vegas for a number or years, I have been able to establish my own set of contacts with the "stringers" across the country that feed info into the system. Some of the info is good; some of the info is bad. But it's all pretty interesting and relevant to what we care about -- namely The Ohio State University.
No, I'm not a gambler. I will place the occasional bet for entertainment purposes only. But I've learned that in the long run, it's better to stay away from this practice. Also, if I was gambling on the games, I couldn't enjoy the variety of contacts that I have with the agent community and the coaches of the various college and pro staffs across the country that I now enjoy.
My business is primarily an information exchange of data on sports -- all aspects of sports -- from recruiting, coaching changes, tactics, marketing, television, radio, etc.
And my passion is The Ohio State University. I have replica stadiums dotting my office, pictures on the walls and hardly a day goes by that I'm not wearing a piece of Ohio State clothing or memorabilia. I am a certified OSU freak. Game days at my household (when I'm not back for my three or four trips to games in Columbus) follow the same routine.
I am up early, kids (I have four) dressed in OSU garb, and then settling in for three to four hours of pleasure. I will generally be working the phones or e-mails all day as people call to trade tidbits of info -- and this goes on into the night. My wife is a saint who has come to understand my passion for OSU and she has come to be a die hard Bucknut as well (even though Missouri Tiger flows through her veins).
In closing, I will be lurking around the boards on a more consistent basis now. So feel free to fire questions at me. I will do my best to respond promptly. Or, EZInbox me if there is something you want to talk about offline.
So, I know some of you might be thinking, "That is a cute little OSU story, but what does it mean for me as a member of the Bucknuts community?"
Well, let's start with this:
If asked what bowl game I think the Buckeyes are headed to I would pick up the phone and contact individuals at ABC and get their input. The ABC guys are 100 percent convinced (barring a Texas meltdown in the Big 12 championship game) that it will be Notre Dame-Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, and these guys usually know what they are talking about.
Another little interesting nugget that I picked up along the way concerned how the Buckeyes are perceived relative to other teams. Interestingly, on a neutral field, OSU would be favored against everyone in the country, with the exception of USC who would be a four-point favorite. OSU would be laying seven points to Penn State, who they lost to 17-10 at State College and shared the Big Ten championship with.
OSU would be favored by two over Texas, despite losing to UT 25-22 earlier in the season -- in Columbus, no less. This is a pretty good indication of how far the Buckeyes have come this season, and how no one in the country would like to be facing tOSU in a playoff scenario.
Lastly, you might ask me who I felt would be the next Buckeye to make a commitment, and I would make some calls and declare that I believe Indiana defensive lineman Dexter Larimore will be next to pull the trigger. Look for that to happen shortly (and I mean very shortly) after his visit this coming weekend.
And look for OSU recruiting to finish very strongly---wins and losses don't sway individual recruits too much, but they do affect staffs. And the OSU staff is sky high right now, with none of the hand-wringing and questions that come when you lose to your hated rival (for the fourth time in five years I might add).
OSU will finish top five in the country in February. Hey, I won't be right 100 percent of the time, but I will share my thoughts.