Wednesday Night Rumble: 2013 “Best Of”

Written January 15th, 2014 by Jason

We’re two weeks into 2014 and we’re still wrapping up 2013. We’ll look at who is staying and who is going, also who is on campus already to get ready for the spring. Plus we’ll have a fun look back for my “best of” 2013 edition that involves music and movies. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble! (Don’t forget to click anything red for a surprise!)

Who’s in and who’s out? 

Mike Vrabel, headed to the NFL's Houston Texans

Mike Vrabel, headed to the NFL’s Houston Texans

Since the end of the Orangle Bowl we’ve tried to determine between Ryan Shazier and Braxton Miller who would stay and who was NFL bound. We’ve all weighed in with our own varying opinions and we found out the answers to the question for both last week. In the immediate weekend following the Orange Bowl loss we heard from Ryan Shazier that he would be entering the draft. Later in the week we heard from Braxton Miller that he was staying.

What we didn’t know was that another person who spends his time at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center was also listening to The Clash on his iPod. In a move that seemed like a pretty big surprise, defensive line coach Mike Vrabel announced he will be joining former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien in Houston with the NFL’s Texan’s where O’Brien is now running the show.

I don’t think it is a stretch to say that Vrabel will be missed on the staff. He’ll certainly be missed for his recruiting abilities. Being able to slap three Super Bowl rings onto the kitchen table have a way of impressing high school kids and their families that are making a decision on where to go to school.

It’s just a hunch, but I think ultimately Mike Vrabel wants to be either a head coach in college or a defensive coordinator, maybe even a head coach in the NFL. The path starts with two seasons as a defensive line coach at Ohio State followed by two seasons as a linebackers or defensive line coach with the Houston Texans. You can almost see it playing out. The next natural progression is a defensive coordinator spot somewhere and naturally that is followed by a head coach spot.

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Weekend Wonderings

Written January 12th, 2014 by Ken

th_chimpWelcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. The Buckeye football season ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. The basketball teams are beginning to engage in conference play to keep our attention.

Hopefully none of you suffered too much from the recent polar vortex induced weather. And if you did, you’re thawed out by now.  Grab whatever beverage you’d like and let’s proceed.

The James/Wexner, Cleveland Clinic

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society  just announced the award of  $12.5 million in grants to 21 studies in 6 areas. Please click the link to get the details. Among the awardees:

  • Robert Baiocchi, M.D., Ph.D., The Ohio State University Research Foundation. Targeting PRMT5 expression in DLBCL and MCL

In response to requests for proposals (RFPs) from researchers in these six critical areas, LLS has awarded these grants under its Translational Research Program (TRP), an initiative designed to help accelerate the movement of promising discoveries from the lab to the clinic. Each grant is for a three-year duration with a total value of $600,000.

Good luck Dr. Baiocchi.

Here’s a two-fer for you. Sign up for a fitness boot camp conducted by John Simon/Anthony Schlegel and make a contribution to the Urban and Shelly Meyer Fund. It’s never too soon to start on your New Year’s resolutions while contributing to a significant cause.

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Good Luck, Mike

Written January 9th, 2014 by Ken
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Mike Vrabel

Well, it was good while it lasted. It was announced today that Ohio State Defensive Line Coach Mike Vrabel will be leaving the Buckeyes to take a position with Bill O’Brien with the Houston Texans as their linebacker coach. Vrabel has just concluded his third year on the OSU coaching staff; in 2011 he was linebacker coach for his friend,  interim coach Luke Fickell, and was retained by Urban Meyer the past two years as defensive line coach.

Vrabel’s strengths were his ability to teach, his recognized recruiting skills and his passion for Ohio State. He spent 14 years in the NFL with the New England Patriots, most notably as a linebacker and goal-line tight end.

He is the 2nd coach to move on from Ohio State this year, with Everett Withers previously taking the position of coach at James Madison University. To be honest, because of Mike Vrabel being a Buckeye alum and his passion for the university and the team, this will be a significant loss.

During his three year at Ohio State, the Silver Bullets averaged 22 points per game. His immediate legacy are the stellar players that he recruited to Ohio State and their development. He took a position group with talented players but unknown performances and molded them into one  of the team strengths. His long term legacy is that is will always be a Buckeye.

Good luck, Mike. And thank you for everything.

Wednesday Night Rumble: Orange Juice Ecstasy

Written January 8th, 2014 by Jason

Things didn’t go as expected in Miami. Players are deciding to stay or go. New recruits are on board. We’ll start putting a bow on the 2013 season. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!

Orange Juice

Braxton Miller at the Discover Orange Bowl

Braxton Miller at the Discover Orange Bowl

By now you’re probably tired of hearing about what went wrong and what should or could have happened at the Orange Bowl on Friday night. I won’t deny it, I’m with you. Unfortunately there are a few things I think need discussed, or at least have my opinion weighed in on. Some are a bit out of the box.

I’ve read and heard a lot of people talk about how Clemson is a talented team, and that can’t be denied. I’ve read and heard people say that the better team won, and maybe there’s some truth to that.

The fact is that you can throw out whatever cliched line you want, the Buckeyes were winning at halftime 22-20. A lead that came about despite one of the worst halves of football we’ve seen since Urban Meyer took the controls. Ohio State came out of the locker room looking uninpsired and as though they really didn’t want to be in Miami at all. Of course Clemson errors played a big part in the Buckeye advantage, but no matter how you slice it up, they were leading at halftime.

The third quarter absolutely belonged to Carlos Hyde. I’m not sure what was discussed at the break, but the decision to come out and ride Carlos was simple and magnificent. The offensive live began getting huge movement as Hyde bullied behind them and brought the Buckeyes to a 29-20 lead with 5:50 to play in the 3rd. Camera shots on the Clemson sideline showed a team that was done. I had mentioned several times during the week that Clemson was prone to quit when a team leaned on them and took a lead, especially if they had been ahead early. It was happening. Read More

The Buckeyes and Clemson met for only the second time in history, and for the second time the Clemson Tigers pulled out the victory on an interception at the end of the game. In a tough, hard fought battle, both teams slugged their way into leads, and control of the momentum, but it was Clemson holding the 40-35 lead at the end. Braxton Miller, hurt for much of the game, grit his teeth and put together a 16/24 for 234 yards, 2 touchdowns and two interceptions. He also added two touchdowns and 35 yards on 18 carries, though he lost a lot of yardage on sacks. Tajh Boyd, Miller’s counterpart, came out with a stunning display by throwing 30/39 for 370 yards, 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, as well as running 20 times for 127 yards and a touchdown.

Carlos Hyde, the stellar Ohio State back, finished his career in a tough running day, managing to gain 113 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Corey “Philly” Brown led the Buckeye receivers with 116 yards on 8 receptions for the day. For Clemson, Roderick McDowell picked up only 69 yards on 12 carries, while Sammy Watkins set an Orange Bowl record with 227 yards on 16 receptions, and capping it off with 2 touchdowns.

The Ohio State Defense, much maligned most of the season and especially going into this game, were the first unit tasked with handling a potent offense this evening. Things were going well for the first couple plays. Clemson was finding some success moving the football, but the Buckeyes were tackling and attacking. Until Tajh Boyd hit the center of the offensive line and blitzed away to a 49 yard touchdown. That was Boyd’s longest touchdown run of the season.

Going the other direction, things did not look a whole lot better for OSU. The Offensive Line, a huge strength of this team all season, suddenly looked unable to block up the middle. A few attempts at the edge, including a 10 yard pass to Corey “Philly” Brown in the flat, had some success, but it wasn’t enough. Clemson’s defensive line picked up an excellent 17 yard sack helped by their coverage unit. 20 yards of penalties, including an unsportsmanlike conduct, gave the Buckeyes new life on the drive.

The Buckeyes continued to struggle on their first drive. Eventually, they were forced to punt. But, instead of giving the ball back, Meyer called Heuerman’s number on a fake with only 2 yards to go inside Clemson territory. The fake worked, and began to breathe life into the Scarlet and Grey. The drive was capped off by a beautiful 33 yard run with a little Braxton-patented stutter-step for a touchdown.
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tBBC Preview: Orange Bowl – Ohio State vs Clemson

Written January 2nd, 2014 by Ken
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Bowling for Oranges

  Ohio State (12-1, 8-1, B1G) vs Clemson (10-2, 8-1, ACC)

 January 3rd, 2014: 8:30 PM EST ESPN

Well, well, the Buckeyes get to head south for their bowl game rather than west.  Oh well, it wasn’t our first preference, but let’s go Orange Bowling. The bowl game that we know as the Orange Bowl was inaugurated in 1933 as the Palm Festival. The bowl game was renamed the Orange Bowl and under the new name, the first game was played on January 1st, 1935 between Bucknell and Miami, won by Bucknell 26-0. From 1935 through 1988, this contest was known as the Orange Bowl. From 1989 – 2010, buttressed by corporate sponsorship, it was renamed the FedEx Orange Bowl. Moving from logistics to financial services, the game was renamed again in 2010 as the Discover (Financial) Orange Bowl.

The protagonists this January are the Ohio State University Buckeyes, Big Ten Conference (12-1, 8-1) and the Clemson Tigers, Atlantic Coast Conference (10-2, 7-1). Both teams have a brief history in playing in the Orange Bowl, and have played one another. The Buckeyes enter this game averaging 46 points on offense, while giving up 21 points. The Tigers average 40 points on offense and 21 on defense. The early line is Ohio State -2.5 with an over/under of 67, so Vegas is anticipating both teams scoring in the mid-30′s. They are probably right. Look for a high scoring game. Without much further ado, let’s get into the preview.

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tBBC Preview: The Gator Bowl – Nebraska vs. Georgia

Written December 29th, 2013 by WVaBuckeye

The seemingly annual battle of teams who’ve disappointed their fanbases.

GatorBowl2012

Nebraska (8-4, 5-3 B1G) vs. Georgia (8-4, 5-3 SEC)

Wednesday, January 1 Noon ESPN2

Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Florida

These two teams have seen each other a grand total of . . . wait for it . . . two times. The last time came last bowl season in the Capital One bowl which was a high powered shoot-out between the two. Neither electing to play much defense the Bulldogs beat the Huskers 45-31 in Orlando. Their last meeting prior to that was the Sun Bowl in 1969 which the then top of the food chain Huskers under Bob Devaney destroyed Georgia 45-6. They would win the AP National title in 1970.

Neither team finished the season the way they had hoped or they way they had started it. Georgia began the year in the top ten and loaded with talent that should have taken them to the title game. Injuries to several of their best players on offense and defense, the Bulldogs did the best they could to become bowl eligible. Nebraska suffered an early non-conference loss to UCLA at home and had time to recover but a loss to Minnesota in week seven soured their chances at a B1G title.

I found a great website that shows a ton of statistics that can have an impact on your choice to win this game, which includes a Transitive Wins which is like the man that beat the man that beat the man. StatMilk Nebraska v. Georgia.

nebraskaNebraska

Nebraska has one of the best players in the B1G over the last two seasons in Taylor Martinez but his injury would hand that off to junior Ameer Abdullah, who finished this season with over 15oo yards rushing and 8 touchdowns to go along with 26 receptions for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns. He rushed for over a hundred yards in eight straight games this season and did so in ten of the twelve games. Illinois was a sieve against most teams and Abdullah almost went for as much as Carlos Hyde against them pulling down a cool 225 averaging 11.3 a carry and scoring 2 touchdowns. Abdullah edged out Hyde for the over-allpurpose yardage per game lead with 154 a clip. If he returns for his senior season next year, he will be a handful and threaten to go over 2,000. Read More

tBBC Preview: Texas Bowl – Minnesota vs. Syracuse

Written December 26th, 2013 by Eric

Welcome to the B1G Bowl season! In previous years, we’ve previewed all of the season’s bowl games. This year however, we’re going to be looking at the Big Ten games and BCS bowl games. In other words, the only games you remotely care about. Your spinal column and eyeballs should thank us.

Texas Bowl

Minnesota (8-4, 4-4 B1G) vs. Syracuse (6-6, 4-4 ACC)
December 27th, 2013 6:00 PM ET ESPN

History: The Texas Bowl has a relatively short history, first coming into existence in 2006 as the Meineke Car Care Bowl. It replaced the now non-existent Houston Bowl that ran from 2000-2005. The game was originally tied to the Big 12, but rotated its other tie-in between the Conference USA, Big East, and Mountain West Conference. They also invited MAC member Western Michigan to play a game in 2008. Lately, the Big Ten has been its second conference of choice.

The Big Ten has visited the Texas Bowl the last three seasons and holds a 1-2 record. First Big Ten win came in their first appearance, when Illinois beat Baylor 38-14. Two years ago, Texas A&M won their last game as a member of the Big 12 conference by beating Northwestern 33-22. That was followed last season by Texas Tech picking up another win for the Big 12 by a score of 34-31. That win was over Minnesota, who now makes their second appearance in the game.
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