Silver Bullet Points Ain’t Rattled

Written September 19th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

After an exciting week in Berkeley, the Bucks return home in a final warmup before B1G season. As the Rattlers come to town, there’s only one choice for the soundtrack this week.

Trophy Hunting

Buckeye 411

  • Injury Update- The plan is for Braxton to play some on Saturday; reports from practice had him wearing a brace but with no noticeable limp. That’s the good news.  The “not yet” news is that Adolphus Washington will miss the FAMU visit to Columbus, as the Buckeyes try to ensure that he’ll be healthy for B1G play. Coach Meyer said several times this week that he would be “probable” for Wisconsin.
  • Good Problem To Have- Meyer seemed most optimistic about the play of the defensive line, and praised Coach Vrable’s work with the “young pups”. Given the pressure that they’ve been able to apply minus Adolphus and Tommy Schutt, you’ve got to think that something is going right in the trenches for the Scarlet and Gray.
  • And Then- There’s the linebackers, who still have some question marks in place for Ohio State. Meyer emphasized again that the depth is not what it needs to be given some of the “misses” in recruiting in the last four years; fans will remember that several key stars either haven’t panned out as of yet or have left the program altogether. At this point, the ‘Backers haven’t been tested, but with conference play coming up that’s sure to change.
  • Seeking Hyde- Carlos is back after his three game suspension, but won’t immediately fall into the starting lineup on Saturday. Not only is the current lineup firing on all cylinders, it will take a bit to find a “fit” for Carlos’ game within the offense.  In addition, it wouldn’t be fair, according to the coaches, to sit Jordan Hall given the work results that have been produced over the past three weeks.
  • For The Sake Of Argument- Gene Smith helped schedule this week’s FAMU game in part to bring their amazing band to The Shoe. However, as an FCS school (and not a great one, at that), the game certainly won’t help Ohio State’s “strength of schedule” perception. On the off chance that three or more schools finish undefeated (Alabama, Clemson, Oregon, tOSU), this game might cost the Buckeyes a chance at the Crystal Trophy… Or, as a friend of mine put it, “Gene Smith will have cost the Buckeyes two consecutive chances to play for a national championship”.  Discuss.
  • Smooth- The same goes for Kenny Guiton, who will certainly have a large number of opportunities behind center moving forward. Again, he’s certainly earned the right to do so.
  • Remember When- Ohio State fans used to envy schools like Southern Cal for their full stable of tailbacks and five star QBs? Pretty nice living, ain’t it?
  • Young’uns- There’s a lot of anticipation that some of the newer faces for Ohio State will see action this week; Corey (Pittsburgh) Brown spoke at length regarding Eli Apple, Cam Burroughs, and Vonn Bell’s work in practice. Here’s hoping they get to showcase on Saturday.
  • Jazz Brings The Swoons- Or is it that folks Swoon for Jazz? Either way… this photo does both.
  • Bitter Bear Face- If you hadn’t already, you should read this article about how Cal’s football program has higher ideals in mind than Ohio State. Then, you should remember that Cal’s APR from 2012 would put them dead last in the Big Ten…  16 points behind the team at the bottom (hint: The Harvard Of The West).
  • New Threads- Sounds as if this year’s Nike uniforms for The Game will be a white version of the ones we saw in last year’s win.
  • Four Times The Awesome- Sammy Silverman had a well deserved extra design this week:

SilvWk3

Musical Interlude

As I mentioned on Monday, it was good to connect with Mekka Don in Berkeley; one of the things we talked about was his new album, which drops soon. He released the first video for it today, and you can check it out on his YouTube channel and pick up the single on iTunes or over at Amazon.

Also, he was featured earlier on NBC4 talking about the Buckeye Anthem for this year… pay attention to this spot for news about big happenin’s during Wisconsin Week.

Commentary- Coaching Expectations

I’m going to admit up front that I’m a bit different than many fans in this perspective.

Most fans want their coach to make sure that there favorite squadron wins every single game. Hell, as St. Woody said, “Without winners, there’s be no civilization”.

But what made Woody different than many was the fact that winning, while important, was defined for him both on the scoreboard and in the lives of his players off the field and beyond graduation. Most coaches will give that lip service, and many fans will support those ideals, but ultimately they want the scoreboard successes.

Captain

We loved Coach Tressel’s speech, but if he would have had a few less successes against TTUN I’m not sure he would have been long for Columbus. And that’s where I’m a bit different- I’ve always felt that graduation rates and playing by the rules (as stupid as they are, and as much as we should work to change them) are as important to the mission of a program and a University as trophies and titles. It’s why Tressel’s “downfall” hit me so hard.

The reason I bring this up today is due to the recent news regarding a Buckeye captain from the past, Nebraska’s Bo Pelini. After his team collapsed in the second half against an inspired UCLA many who had been criticizing his leadership continued to find ways to wonder if Big Red would be better led by another coach.

After all, Nebraskans are used to winning titles… or at least playing for them. But they also have a legacy of doing things “the Nebraska way”, which is about pride on and off the field.  Coach Devaney and Coach Osborne instilled the highest values in the program and sought to do the same in the players and those around Big Red. And many Huskers still feel this way… but their voices are being drowned out by a vocal minority and a media circus that loves controversy.

So this week’s controversy, which has now been responded to by the University, only highlights the challenge that fans face- is it scoreboard success that matters, or something else?

At a very pragmatic level, this would be a terrible time for Nebraska (or anyone) to start a search for a new head coach- with Southern Cal and Texas likely involved in replacement efforts, the market will certainly be skewed towards copious amounts of cash for people making moves. Heck, I’ve read semi-serious posts saying that Texas should throw $10 million a year to bring Nick Saban to Austin.

Plus, the last time Nebraska replaced a solid coach, they ended up with the Bill Callahan experience.

However, the larger issue that Husker Nation finds themselves discussing is the same one that we’ve been talking about for months and months and months now, and is something that all Universities and fan bases need to determine for themselves. What’s the ultimate purpose of their program?

Because, in a game where there are often obvious winners and losers, success can be incredibly difficult to define.

Only Response Possible

Only Response Possible

Where Credit Is Due

Last week in this space, I wrote about the frustration that Ohio State fans feel about members of the mainstream media’s response to the Johnny Manziel/Oklahoma State/Alabama/Tennessee/Mississippi State situations. Specifically, that the people who crucified Ohio State for similar (and lesser) issues now were defending the players, challenging the NCAA, or feigning indifference.

Well, as is often the case, another Ohio State writer did a much better overview of the situation than I was able to muster.

As such, you should go and read this article by Ramzy, one of the best in the business. And by that, I mean “sports writing”, not just “Ohio State-centric sports writing”.

Around The NCAA

And Finally-

We’re not going to be able to see the Marching 100 on Saturday due to some unfortunate incidents that FAMU is working to move beyond. But, this performance from 2011 will give you just a taste of what we’re missing… Gene’s decision almost makes sense:

4 Comments

  1. KenNo Gravatar
    September 19th, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Good stuff, Mali

    Reading a lot of articles/comments written by Cal supporters cast them as petulant over their ass-beating. I would have hoped that folks living/matriculating in a beautiful part of the country would be a bit more congenial about it.

    Other disappointing fans are Nebraskan. As astute as they are supposed to be, this doesn’t come across well. Or, maybe they’re not that astute as fans.

    The Southern Cal video is pretty Southern Cal, you’re right.

    Regarding the FAMU Marching 100; aside from the matter of their probation, maybe Gene should have scheduled a much better team for Saturday, but also invited the FAMU band.

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  2. CharlesNo Gravatar
    September 19th, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    I’m growing really tired of the Cal fans and media ripping on OSU’s academics. Based on some of the things you read you would think that OSU is a community college where all its students need to do to pass is to not drool on themselves in class. Yes, Berkley is an amazing academic institution and is better than OSU, it is the top ranked public university in the country, but OSU is a top 20 public university so the gap isn’t as wide as many Cal fans are making it out to be.

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    KenNo Gravatar
    September 20th, 2013 at 8:04 am

    And Cal is on a fault line, let’s not forget that.

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    ErictBBCNo Gravatar
    September 20th, 2013 at 10:03 am

    If it makes them feel better to think their education is so much better, then it just demonstrates how little they actually know (and how shallow they really are). I honestly couldn’t care less about the whole thing. What they think about me and my education is as worthless to me as the scum on the bottom of a pond. It is totally and completely irrelevant.

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