The Flag Heard ’round the World

Written September 16th, 2011 by Eric

This article originally ran on September 8th, 2010 in the week leading up to last year’s battle between Ohio State and Miami. We post it again heading into tomorrow’s game with the Hurricanes.

This? This could be legal.

There have been few calls in the history of college football that have had earth shattering impacts on the entire collegiate fanbase.  The mysterious 5th down in the Missouri/Colorado game comes to mind as one of the absolute worst.  But in more recent times the first call that will pop off the tongue of anyone old enough is the “Pass Interference” call in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.

There has been an awful lot of time wasted in discussion of the topic.  Absolutely everyone has an opinion on it whether or not their favorite team was directly involved in the game.  It has gotten absolutely out of control despite some attempts to end the controversy and despite a few posts of a more vociferous variety. Of course, there have been more than a few attempts to exacerbate it and turn it into a larger than life disaster of epic proportions.

ESPN has begun talking up the pass interference call, along with other major media outlets, mostly because they know the topic sells.  This is, of course, one reason why I’m going to get my shot in on the argument – I’m tired of the fact that this is the one play from that game that everyone remembers.

My hope is to objectively analyze the play from the very basics of the rules.  The question in mind is “Does the defensive player clearly violate the rules as set forth in the College Football Rulebook?”  Of course, in this day and age we’re capable of doing that simply by downloading the appropriate rulebook (pdf)!

Yea yea, that’s not the 2002 rulebook.  I pull that one out later.  That’s the current rulebook which I desperately wanted an excuse to toss out there for you, our loyal readers, to see and enjoy this season.

Lets start off by first setting the stage.  During the first overtime of the 2002 National Championship, Maimi of Florida held the lead after scoring a touchdown on their attempt.  Ohio State was trying to drive the 25 yards but had met stiff resistance.  A spectacular 17 yard play on 4th and 14 to Michael Jenkins put the Buckeyes in good field position but it was squandered.  With the Buckeyes looking at 4th and a 3 from the 5, Craig Krenzel dropped back to throw..

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Top 25 Buckeyes of the Decade: #13 Craig Krenzel

Written July 19th, 2010 by Jim

The Buckeye Battle Cry will be counting down the Top 25 players of the past decade all spring/summer.  Every Monday and Thursday, Jim will be announcing a new player.  Our #1 player will be presented on Monday, August 30th.  Three days later, the 2010 season officially begins.  To view the previous entries in our Top 25, click here.

Craig Krenzel (2002-2003)

Craig Krenzel is the quarterback that finally led Ohio State to the promised land, captaining the team to a national title in 2002 for the first time since 1968.

His unbelievable performances in the clutch made for some heart-attack inducing victories, but a win is a win, and Krenzel’s 24-3 record as a starter speaks for itself.

Krenzel was known as a “game manager,” meaning that he usually wasn’t going to win a game for you by himself, but he was always able to put the team in a position to win by moving the ball down the field when it mattered and avoiding costly turnovers.

Plays like “Holy Buckeye” and the 4th and 14 conversion in the first over time of the 2003 Fiesta Bowl show the when it was crunch time, Krenzel got the job done.

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Top 25 Buckeyes of the Decade: #25 Matt Wilhelm

Written May 10th, 2010 by Jim

Matt Wilhelm (2000-2002)

Wilhelm had a knack for attacking, wracking up the second most tackles for loss for a linebacker in Ohio State history (behind Katzenmoyer).

Matt Wilhelm checks in at number 25 on our countdown of the top players of the decade.

He was an All-American and All-Big Ten performer in 2002 and was one of the leaders on the dominating defense that helped lead the Buckeyes to a National Championship.

Wilhelm led the team in tackles in 2002 with 121, but perhaps more impressively, he had 19.5 tackles for loss that year, good for the 6th best season in Ohio State history.

Being in the backfield characterized Wilhelm as a player. He was always attacking, always in the backfield, and even if he didn’t make the tackle, he was going to hit someone or something to disrupt the offense.

Wilhelm had a way of punishing quarterbacks, most memorably Ken Dorsey in the Fiesta Bowl, I couldn't find a picture of that but this gives you an idea of what it was like standing in the pocket during a Wilhelm blitz.

Wilhelm also has the 6th most career tackles for loss at Ohio State with 43.5, showing that his aggressive style of play was his signature throughout his three years starting at middle linebacker.

He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2003 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers, and is currently active with the San Francisco 49ers.

For his All-American and All-Big Ten season in 2002 and his key role on the national championship defense, as well as an ultra-aggressive style of play that made him one of my personal favorite Buckeyes of the decade, Matt Wilhelm earned his spot at number 25 on our countdown.

We are unveiling a new feature at the BBC today.

In order to help us get through the long summer months, we will be starting a countdown of the top 25 Buckeyes of the decade (2000-2009).

The staff submitted their ballots and the votes have been tallied. We will unveil a new Buckeye in the countdown once a week and as the season approaches the frequency may increase (I haven’t done the exact math to figure out how this is going to work out).

We will only be covering football players for this countdown, even though Ohio State has had some fine basketball players over the last decade as well, sorry Evan Turner.

One thing to note is that we didn’t really define what it means to be in the “Top 25 Buckeyes of the Decade.”

Do you measure on the field accomplishments? wins and losses? statistics? post season accolades? who you’d want most on this year’s team?

In the end, it is a mix of all of the above and then some, which means that different people will have different opinions about this list. We tried to eliminate some of the individual biases by polling all five writers here at the BBC, and I have to say I am happy with the results. However, by no means is this list definitive, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

And with that, here are the guys that didn’t quite make the cut for the top 25, but did receive votes, making them worthy of an honorable mention. Read More