Bucknotes 12/13

Was Jim Tressel snubbed?

 

Iowa's Kirk Ferentz was named coach of the year by the AP and Big Ten, leaving Buckeye fans wondering how Tressel didn't at least share the awards with him.

On the surface it definitely looks like a snub, but it's actually a sign of respect for the Ohio State football program.

 

Basically what the voters are saying is, "The Buckeyes going 13-0 is no big deal, we almost expect that out of them. But Iowa going 11-1 is something special. No one dreamed that would ever happen."

 

I know, that probably doesn't make you feel any better. Tress definitely deserved those awards as much as Ferentz. But it goes to show the respect people have for OSU's program.

 

In an unrelated note, it's kind of funny to look back on the quarterback decisions made by Tressel and Ferentz last year. What was a bigger mistake: Tress starting Steve Bellisari over Craig Krenzel, or Ferentz starting Kyle McCann over Brad Banks?

 

O-LINE

This has been a question mark all season, but I think it's safe to say that OSU's offensive line has had a pretty good year up to this point. They left us holding our collective breaths during most passing downs, but they were always able to get the job done in the end.

As for next year, I think we could be looking at one of the top lines in the country. All five junior starters (Ivan Douglas, Adrien Clarke, Alex Stepanovich, Bryce Bishop, Shane Olivea) will be back and we learned this year that freshmen Rob Sims and Nick Mangold are on their way to outstanding careers. The logical assumption is that Mangold will start at center next year and Stepanovich will be moved to guard (which happened several times this year), but who goes to the bench? Clarke? Probably. Bishop? Maybe.

What about Sims? Could he knock Douglas or Olivea from the lineup? Probably not. I think Douglas and Olivea (along with Stepanovich) are among the best linemen in the Big Ten. But another option is moving Olivea to guard and starting Sims and Douglas at tackle.

 

Any way you look at it, it will be nice to have a talented/veteran line with depth next year. Hopefully they take their first big step towards proving they are among the nation's best against Miami.

 

FEELING RIGHT AT HOME

There is a town called Buckeye, Arizona about 30 miles west of Tempe. Heard there's not too much to see there, but if you're heading out to the Fiesta Bowl you might have to check it out. Maybe get your picture taken next to the city limit sign after the big OSU victory.

 

TOP RIVALRIES IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL

There's been a lot of debate about this recently. Here's my take...

1. Ohio State-Michigan

2. Alabama-Auburn

3. Army-Navy

4. Florida State-Miami

5. USC-Notre Dame

A few years ago, Oklahoma-Nebraska would have been on the list, but they don't even play each other anymore (can't figure that one out)... Texas also would have made the list in some fashion, except I couldn't decide which of its 30 "rivalry" games was the biggest. Early in the year, we heard about what a big rivalry the Red River Shootout was (Texas-Oklahoma)... A few weeks later, we hear that Texas-Texas A&M was the big game. Since Texas fans can't make up their minds which of those games is the biggest, the Longhorns are off the list.

 

Oklahoma-Oklahoma State is fast on its way to becoming one of the country's top rivalries. The Cowboys ruined the Sooners undefeated season last year and completely embarrassed them this year.

 

LOW POWER

It's amazing that I live in Columbus and still have to use the Internet the majority of the time to hear 1460 The Fan clearly. The station does a wonderful job, but it has the frequency power of a low-budget college radio station.

Not sure why you would pump all that money into hiring guys like Chris Spielman (who's daily show is the best thing out there, next to the Bucknuts Radio Hour of course) and not have enough power for half of Columbus to hear it.

 

CLARETT

Last winter, when Ohio State safety Will Allen was about to meet Maurice Clarett for the first time, he wasn't sure what to expect. What is this guy all about? Is he going to be too cocky for his own good? Well, Allen quickly found out he wasn't dealing with some selfish prima-donna.

 

"When I met him last winter, the first thing he said to me was, 'We're going to be champions here.' I knew right then that Reece was something different. Something special. He came in with all those accolades, but all he was thinking about was helping us win ball games," Allen said.

 

FRAN

I know you've heard just about enough of the Dennis Franchione situation, but I am going to bore you with my take.

 

First off, I don't buy this crying from Alabama fans that he "only stayed for two years." They didn't have a problem with the fact that he was only at TCU for two years before leaving for Alabama, did they?

 

But, like everyone else, I have a major problem with the gutless way Franchione left without saying a word. How can you take a new job and not address your players in person? Fran made one of his assistants break the news to them, probably because he was feeling guilty about begging them to stay committed to the program, despite being on probation.

This is just another reminder to Buckeye fans of how lucky we are to have Jim Tressel. Not only is he a great coach, but he is not going to be out there job hunting each year (like 80 percent of his colleagues). Tress already has his dream job and isn't going anywhere.

 

MIAMI'S SEAN TAYLOR...

Is the most impressive defensive player I've seen all year. He's a 6-foot-3, 220-pound sophomore strong safety and runs the 40 in 4.3 seconds. Taylor is a hard-hitter who also returns kicks. Miami's offense gets all the pub, but with guys like Taylor, linebacker Jonathan Vilma and the Canes' veteran D-Line, the defense is pretty special as well.

 

McGAHEE ALMOST A BUCKEYE...

Miami tailback Willis McGahee said earlier this week that Ohio State was his leader entering his senior year in high school. When he learned more about Ohio's winter climate, his decision quickly changed, but it is interesting that he was favoring the Bucks so late in the recruiting game.

 

BEER GOGGLES

This is an excerpt from an ESPN.com chat with Kirk Herbstreit.

Jim (Dublin, Oh.): Kirk, what is your reaction to the Fiesta Bowl's decision to serve beer for the first time this year?

 

Herbie: I don't think the officials from the Fiesta Bowl have seen Ohio State fans party. They better double-up on the quantity.

 

Ain't that the truth.

 

LeBRON...

Of all the things that are impressive about LeBron James, near the top of the list is the fact that he was a first-team All-Ohio selection as a sophomore... in football. James played wide receiver for Akron St.Vincent-St. Mary and was a bigger version of Randy Moss. At first, he decided not to play football as a junior, but four games into the season his competitive drive took over and he decided to join the team.

 

James did not play football this year, but you really can't blame him with all that money sitting on the table. But I must admit I am a little worried that he is going to end up signing with Michigan. The Wolverines can probably pay him more than the NBA and Nike (or Adidas).

 

HEISMAN WATCH

We are probably headed for the closest vote ever in the Heisman race (Bo Jackson-Chuck Long in 1985 is the closest thus far). Larry Johnson must be feeling pretty good about his chances after sweeping all the major awards on Thursday, but I don't think he's going to get it for some reason. It's hard not to give it to a guy that rushed for over 2,000 yards, but I think one of the quarterbacks will get the nod. Hopefully it's Ken Dorsey so the Buckeye defense has one more reason to be fired up against the Canes. 

 

ANY DOUBT...

Which area Tressel targets the most in recruiting? Definitely NE Ohio. Of the seven verbal commitments thus far, six of them are from that area. This is a trend we can expect will continue for years to come. It's where Tressel is from and no one has more respect than him from the high school coaches in NE Ohio. Or anywhere in Ohio for that matter.  

 

 

Contact Dave at redsnbuckeyes@hotmail.com


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