DANTONIO FREE REIGN
Jim Tressel said something interesting this week when asked to describe what defensive adjustments the Bucks made against Cincinnati.
"I'm not in the defensive huddle and I'm not on the defensive phones, so I couldn't answer that completely accurately."
This reiterated what we already knew about Tress: He is an offensive coach at heart and allows his D-coordinator to call all the shots on defense.
UM USES BRAYLON EDWARDS...
Just like they used Marquise Walker last year. Edwards is getting several balls thrown his way and has emerged as the clear playmaker of Michigan's offense. However, as teams learned late in the year last season, if you can slow down the Wolverines' main guy, you will have a good shot at beating them.
WORST UNIFORMS IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL...
Still belong to Oregon.
ROSS CAN PACK A PUNCH
As for Lydell Ross always falling backwards when he gets hit, tell that to the DB from Cincinnati who separated his shoulder trying to tackle him. Ross is never going to run over people as often, or with the authority, that Maurice Clarett does, but No. 30 has got a little power behind those quick legs.
On who had more fans last Saturday at Paul Brown Stadium. Some say OSU and some say UC. As far as which group was louder, from what I hear it depends on where you were sitting. This was expected to be the "ninth home game" for the Bucks, but apparently it fell a little short of that... The best example of a pro-OSU crowd on the road is when the Bucks play at Indiana. If you are going to Bloomington next year, you can bank on over half of the stadium being Buckeye fans. Prepare to hear the phrase "Ohio Stadium West" quite often.
HOLDING THEM DOWN?
It's been said before in this space, but the cornerbacks are going to keep OSU's defense from being among the top 5 in the nation. Seeing Chris Gamble in there against UC probably made you feel good about his talents, but left you wondering how little confidence the coaching staff must have in the other corners. Dustin Fox seems to be the only guy they have any confidence in. E.J. Underwood is beginning to prove himself though.
SUPER FRONT SEVEN
Although the corners are going to struggle this year, the Buckeyes have assembled one of the best front sevens in the land. Everyone expected the D-Line to do well, but the linebackers have played at a very high level too. Matt Wilhelm is the MVP of the defense so far (Darrion Scott might not agree with that) and Cie Grant has finally found a home. Rob Reynolds hasn't played all that much, since the Bucks have faced mostly passing teams and have only used two linebackers, but he will come on when he gets the chance. And backing all of them up are the best group of freshman 'backers in the Big Ten.
TRESSEL ON IVAN DOUGLAS
"Ivan is playing very well. He has made as much improvement as anyone on our team from Aug. 1 to now. I think he's going to be one of the good ones of our conference if he continues to improve."
Not sure why everyone suddenly cares what ESPN's Trev Alberts thinks. The two things I know about Alberts are... 1. He is a former NFL draft bust in the same class as Brian Bosworth, Tony Mandarich and Ki-Jana Carter and... 2. He is bitter that Nebraska's program is on the way down.
Anyway, I don't understand why OSU fans are so fired up about his comments. He said something to the effect of, "Ohio State is going to get beat if they play in the national championship game." I realize that might seem like Trev is talking a little smack, but it's actually pretty good pub for OSU. What fans are hearing all across the nation is that the Bucks have a decent shot at playing in the title game. That's better than people wondering, "Is Ohio State ranked this year?"
TRESS ON THE SPREAD
Tressel was asked on his call-in show this week why the Bucks don't use the spread more on offense. His answer was simple: "You have to pass it like you run it." What he meant by that is that if you run the ball mostly out of the I formation, you need to also pass out of the I. His point was that if you always throw the ball when you bring in three or four receivers, you won't be taking anybody by surprise. Tressel said the Bucks just need to get better at throwing out of their basic formations because teams are going to be expecting the Bucks to run.
Ohio State's basketball team has guard Emonte Jernigan and assistant coaches LaMonta Stone and Monte Mathis. Jim O'Brien recently joked in a Buckeye Sports Bulletin article that the Bucks now have a "Full Monty."
DID IT EAT YOUR HOMEWORK TOO?
It's the latest in a long line of Brian Griese incidents... Griese sprained his ankle on Wednesday falling down stairs in his home and blamed the fall on his dog. My question is: Was that after his 10th beer, or his 12th? Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe also didn't believe Griese's story... "I know you are all joking," Sharpe told reporters when hearing of the excuse. "I'm not a very good storyteller, but I could have come up with something better than that."
I noticed some interesting things when looking at this year's bowl schedule (which includes about 300 games)... The Motor City Bowl on Dec. 26 pits the Big Ten No. 7 vs. the MAC No. 1. What do you want to bet the MAC rep wins that game?... The Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 pits the Big Ten No. 5 vs. the Pac 10 No. 3. Not a very even match-up on paper... The Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 is still the Big Ten No. 2 vs. the SEC No. 2, but the game is now called the Capital One Bowl. And it's not the "Capital One Citrus Bowl," it's just "Capital One Bowl." How pathetic... The Rose Bowl remains the only game that did not sell out its naming rights... And it's too bad that Louisville isn't hosting a bowl game this year. It could be called the "Pizza Bowl" considering the Cardinals play in Papa John's Stadium.