Bucknotes 9/20

Dave Biddle checks in with his latest Bucknotes, and today he discusses captains, Heismans, and discovers that Jason Bond might have a thing for Britney Spears.

Bucknotes 9/20

By Dave Biddle


At first, I wasn't crazy about the rotating offensive captain plan. A captain is supposed to be someone the players can turn to week in and week out for leadership. Having a new "leader" each game kind of defeats the purpose of having a captain in the first place. Despite that, the idea has definitely grown on me.


Take a guy like junior left tackle Ivan Douglas, who has the honor for this week's Cincinnati game. Douglas ' confidence must have already been at an all-time high considering he was in the starting lineup and playing well. But to be named captain on top of that? Douglas is definitely feeling pretty good about himself these days.


And Douglas deserves the recognition. He missed all of last year with blood clots on his lungs, but has established himself this year as one of the best tackles in the Big Ten. Did he come out of nowhere? Well, not exactly. Douglas started the first two games of 2000 (including a win at Arizona ) and was the line's "sixth-man" after that. Last year's illness cost him a year of eligibility because he used his redshirt year in 1999.


Anyway, I think it's great that guys like Douglas, Mike Stafford and Ben Hartsock are getting some time in the limelight. Craig Krenzel is clearly the leader of the offense and I still think he will be named the "full-time" captain by the end of the season, but I now see the benefits of rotating captains for the time being. It's a great way of building confidence.



Jim Tressel said earlier this week that one of the things he likes about his backup tailbacks is that they all bring something different to the table. Tress said that Lydell Ross "makes cuts that are unbelievable," Maurice Hall "has that extra gear that the others don't have," and Ja Ja Riley "runs with square shoulders and has a forward body lean that earns him extra yards."


As for Maurice Clarett, he has the total package, but we won't be seeing him against UC due to his knee injury. Clarett will have to pick up the Heisman campaign against Indiana next Saturday. Yes, it's a little ridiculous to be talking about a freshman winning the Heisman, but I think national commentators are actually talking about it more than Buckeye fans. Every college football update I heard last week mentioned Clarett as a Heisman candidate. Richard McNutt's name never came up though.



Cincinnati head coach Rick Minter has had 48 different assistant coaches in nine years at UC. That's tops in the nation. Some might say that is a sign that Minter is difficult to work with, but he says his assistants just always seem to have excellent opportunities at the end of the year (coaches like Joe Daniels, who left UC after the 2000 season to come to OSU).



The Other Paper reported this week that Derek Morris took classes at Columbus Academy High School this summer. The likely scenario is that Morris either didn't complete enough core courses in high school (you need 13 to be eligible), or needed to raise his GPA to counteract his low ACT and SAT scores.


Anyway you look at it, this has definitely turned into a strange situation. You would think we'd know for sure by now whether Morris was ineligible, but there is apparently still hope that the NCAA clearinghouse will clear him this year (very slim)... What I like about all of this is that Morris wants to be a Buckeye and is willing to sit out a year if that's what it takes. Going somewhere else was never an option for him. And there is no way he'd beat out Douglas or Shane Olivea right now anyway, so we can be patient with Morris. He'll be a good guy to have around next year.



Leading 7-3 in the first quarter, Washington State decided to go for it on fourth-and-six from the OSU 38. Kenny Peterson got excellent pressure on Jason Gesser and forced an incompletion. This was the turning point in the game in my opinion. Sure, the Bucks didn't take the lead until the second half, but if the Cougars score there, the game might have taken a completely different path... So, was it a good call for WSU to go for it there? Absolutely. Nothing gets under my skin more than when one of my teams punts from inside the 40. It seems like 90 percent of the time when a team does punt from inside the 40, the ball goes into the endzone and you are left with a net of under 20 yards. What is the point? It's not that much of a gamble to go for it and if you make it, you might deflate the defense. We just don't see enough teams go for it on fourth down (Tress doesn't seem to have a problem with it though. I think we all remember J. Wells busting out a 50-yard TD on a fourth-and-one play against Michigan last year. A play that completely deflated the UM defense).



With studs like Troy Smith and Justin Zwick waiting in the wings, this really isn't a big deal, but you can add Gino Guidugli to the list of QB's that got away (Dave Ragone, Ben Roethlisberger). Guidugli originally signed with Kentucky , but when UK was placed on probation, he decided to look elsewhere. One of the schools he was interested in was Ohio State , but the Bucks did not step up with a scholarship offer. Guidugli is on record saying he "probably" would have signed with OSU if a 'ship was on the table.



Historically, the top three programs in the Big Ten are Ohio State , Penn State and Michigan . This year, for a change, they are also the top three teams in the league. I would say Michigan State and Wisconsin are fighting it out for the fourth slot, but the traditional powers have clearly separated themselves from the pack... And is there any doubt that Zack Mills is the best QB in the league? Easy Jeff Smoker, you need to worry about beating bottom-feeders like Cal before you can claim to be the best.



We grilled punter Andy Groom and linebacker Jason Bond this time around.


1. Favorite Buckeye tradition?

Groom: Skull Session

Bond: Singing Carmen Ohio


2. Largest figure in OSU football history?

Groom: Archie Griffin /Woody Hayes

Bond: Woody Hayes


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

Groom: A girl's chest (these guys are living the rough life)

Bond: Their arm


4. Favorite NFL team?

Groom: Bucs

Bond: Browns


5. Favorite pro sports team, not including football?

Groom: Bulls

Bond: Bulls


6. Favorite type of music/favorite musician or band?

Groom: Alternative rock/Eminem

Bond: All kinds/Dave Matthews Band


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

Groom: Katherine Zeta-Jones

Bond: Britney Spears


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

Groom: Bahamas

Bond: Europe


9. Favorite hobby?

Groom: Hunting

Bond: Basketball


10. Favorite food?

Groom: Spaghetti

Bond: Pizza


11. Favorite movie/TV show?

Groom: Saving Private Ryan/The Osbournes

Bond: Braveheart/Seinfeld

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