Bucknotes (7/25)

The Media picks for the Big Ten top three came out today, and today in Bucknotes, Dave Biddle has some thoughts on that as well as other things. Also, he gives the "Bucknuts 10" to Mike Doss, Harlen Jacobs, and Maurice Clarett... did someone really ask Mike Doss to sign a popsicle stick?

There were not many surprises at the Big Ten kickoff luncheon on Thursday. The media picked Michigan to win the conference, followed by Ohio State and Michigan State. Buckeye strong safety Mike Doss was selected as the preseason defensive player of the year and Spartan wide receiver Charles Rogers got the nod on offense.


It's interesting that the league only reveals the top three teams. Maybe the media has been burned too many times when teams like Northwestern are picked to finish 11th and end up taking first or second.


I wonder where Illinois would have been on the list. The Illini are not getting much respect, due to the loss of Kurt Kittner, but if one of their QB's step up, they will once again be a good team. Ron Turner is one of the better coaches in the league and you know he is always going to put a good defense on the field. Also, the tandem of Iowa transfer Jon Beutjer and Dustin Ward might be better than people think behind center. Both are juniors with a little more overall experience than Ohio State's Craig Krenzel and Scott McMullen. Beutjer once threw for over 300 yards in a game against Indiana as a freshman and Ward got his feet wet on occasion the last two years at Kittner's backup (like when Mike Doss ended Kittner's junior season a tad early).


Purdue is my other darkhorse team. Sophomore quarterback Kyle Orton is suited very well for Joe Tiller's pass-happy offense and the Boilers have a league-best 17 returning starters.


My stab at the league standings? Here we go...

1. Ohio State

2.   Purdue

3. Michigan

4. Illinois

5. Michigan State (tons of talent, just think Bobby Williams will screw it up somehow)

6. Penn State

7. Wisconsin

8. Iowa

9. Minnesota

10. Northwestern

11. Indiana



Ohio State's starting offensive line (LT Shane Olivea, LG Adrien Clarke, C Alex Stepanovich, RG Bryce Bishop, RT Ivan Douglas) has an average combined height/weight of 6-foot-5, 313 pounds. Olivea is listed as 6-5, 310, Clarke is 6-5, 325, the beefed up Stepanovich is 6-4, 310, Bishop is 6-3, 315 and the svelte Douglas is 6-8, 305.


Remember, these are media guide listings, so they are always subject to exaggerations, both ways. Olivea is about two inches short of 6-5 and Clarke is about 10 double cheeseburgers over 325.

There's also some good ones on the defensive side of the ball. Coach Jim Heacock told me that tackle Marcus Green is close to 330 pounds, but Green is still listed at his high school weight of 300.

Oh well, any way you want to look at it, the Bucks will field a pretty big offensive line this year. Now let's just hope they stay healthy.



Ohio State named its first female president earlier this week when Dr. Karen Holbrook was hired to replace Brit Kirwan. Holbrook, 59, was the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Georgia . It didn't take Holbrook long to try and warm up to the OSU football faithful. During her press conference, Holbrook made the following statement... "I never dreamed that I would be fortunate enough to return to the Midwest and cheer for the Buckeyes as they clean Michigan 's clock 121 days from today."


Wow! The new prez just one-upped Jim Tressel. All Tress said during that now infamous OSU/UM hoops game was, "I promise you will be proud of our young people, in the classroom, in the community... and most especially... in 310 days... in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the football field."



Don't forget about running back Ja Ja Riley. The redshirt frosh from San Diego might not get too many chances this year, but he looked good last spring and could be a very important player later in his career. If Maurice Clarett turns pro after his junior year (I know, it's silly to say something like that about a kid who hasn't even played a snap of college football, but word is Clarett wants to be a three and done guy), that will mean Clarett, Lydell Ross and Maurice will all be leaving the program at the same time. That would leave Riley as the only senior running back on the roster in 2005. You can bet running back will be priority No. 1 for Bill Conley and the rest of the staff for the '04 recruiting class.


Also, and I hate to say this, I will be somewhat surprised if Clarett, Ross and Hall are all still on the team next year. I hope I am wrong about this, I want all of these guys to stay in the program. With injuries, all of them will be needed, but I just think egos will get in the way if one of them doesn't get the carries they want this year.




Here's three more samplings of the "Bucknuts 10." This time we quizzed Doss, Clarett and cornerback Harlen Jacobs.


1. Favorite Buckeye tradition?

Doss: Senior Tackle

Clarett: ("I haven't been here long enough to say.")

Jacobs: Skull Session


2. Largest figure in OSU football history?

Doss: Woody Hayes

Clarett: Archie Griffin or Eddie George

Jacobs: Woody Hayes


3. Strangest thing an OSU fan asked you to autograph?

Doss: Popsicle stick

Clarett: Torn napkin at a restaurant

Jacobs: Their stomach (unfortunately, it was a guy)


4. Favorite NFL team?

Doss: Jacksonville Jaguars

Clarett: Cleveland Browns

Jacobs: Tampa Bay Bucs


5. Favorite pro sports team not including football?

Doss: Washington Wizards

Clarett: Anything Ohio . Reds, Indians, Cavs.

Jacobs: LA Lakers


6. If you could go on a date with anyone, who would it be?

Doss: Alicia Keys

Clarett: Halle Berry

Jacobs: Alicia Keys


7. If you could go on a free two-week vacation anywhere, where would you go?

Doss: Bahamas or Florida Keys

Clarett: Back home for some R&R.

Jacobs: Bahamas


8. Favorite type of music? Favorite musician?

Doss: Rap/Nelly, Jay-Z, Eminem

Clarett: Rap/DMX

Jacobs: R&B/112


9. Favorite food?

Doss: Pizza

Clarett: Tootsie Rolls

Jacobs: Chicken


10. Favorite Hobby?

Doss: Reading

Clarett: Video games

Jacobs: Watching TV


11. Favorite movie/television show

Doss: The Game/Martin

Clarett: Ocean's Eleven/Martin

Jacobs: Ali/Martin

Stay tuned for more from Dave Biddle next week!

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