Silver Bullet Points Fingers

Written September 12th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

As you’re reading this, I’m prepping for the drive from Los Angeles to the Bay Area with the Mrs. for Saturday’s game. Given that we got engaged on the Marin Headlands, this song by one of her favorite performers is the obvious choice for this week’s soundtrack. Gonna’ warn you, though… this week’s reflection is… uh… verbose.

Waiting

Buckeye 411

  • Injury Update- The question that everyone’s been asking hasn’t yet been answered, as Coach Meyer said that Braxton threw a bit on Wednesday before leaving practice to get more treatment on his knee. Coach commented that the issue isn’t pain, but seems to be “stability”, and that Braxton is adjusting to his knee brace. It would not be surprising to see Kenny G start and be relieved by Miller, nor would it be a shock to have them split time at the position. Both will travel, Coach Meyer indicated that they would know more after Thursday’s practice and that he remained optimistic.
  • Two Thoughts- 1) The last time Braxton was held out of play in a game he returned to action and performed pretty well. 2) That being said, if Ohio State feels that they can win the game with Smooth Jazz and give Braxton a week (or two) to recover, I wholeheartedly support that decision. Long term goals here, peeps.
  • Also- Adolphus Washington did not practice on Wednesday, but is expected to travel. His is a bit of a different situation, as the injury is something that can linger. Also, as amazing as Washington is on the field, the Young Bucks are doing good work under Coach Vrable’s direction.
  • Good News- Corey Linsley is scheduled to play the entire game this week at center, having gotten the clearance to do so from the medical staff after his foot injury has significantly healed
  • Red, Not Scarlet- A couple of older “back ups” that many are surprised have not gotten the playing time they were expected to were discussed on Wednesday, and Coach Meyer said that it’s a possibility that Bri’onte Dunn and Michael Thomas may end up redshirting if they aren’t going to be a part of the planning this season. He also discussed how he felt that they were “wasted” by the coaches last year, and didn’t want to make the same mistake moving forward.
  • Getting Defensive- Ryan Shazier talked about the Silver Bullets’ excitement to play Cal, and that they were working diligently to ensure that the Bears didn’t have the success necessary to string together drives and run 100 plays a game. He also spoke about the need to maintain leverage on Cal’s running back Brendan Bigelow, as his ability to get to the edge is a strength that created issues for Oho State last year. However, Shazier mentioned that Bigelow’s talents were helped by a number of small mistakes that the young defense made last season.
  • Getting Ready- Playing the role of Bigelow this week in practice? Carlos “I’ll be back next week” Hyde. Not too shabby.
  • Stripes Lost- I guess we’re still doing that now, as Cameron Johnston, Tyquan Lewis, and Trey Johnson all had their black stripes removed today. Woot!
  • Honors- This week’s Sammy Silverman graphics, for your enjoyment Read More

Happy New Year!! Grab some aspirin and begin your B1G Festivities for the day!

Purdue (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) vs. Oklahoma St (7-5, 5-4 Big 12)

Tuesday, January 1st, 12:00 EST, ESPNU Television

Wide receivers coach Pat Higgins will lead the Purdue Boilermakers into the Heart of Dallas Bowl to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys on January 1st. How in the world Purdue wound up in a New Years Day bowl game is beyond anyone’s comprehension, but I guess stranger things have happened.

Pete

We all know the Boilermaker story: Head Coach Danny Hope and his mustache were sent packing back on November 25th and former Buckeye assistant and Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell has assumed the post and will take control of the program on January 2nd. They come into the game with Robert Marve calling the signals of an offense that is inept at best yet somehow took the Buckeyes to overtime. Kawan Short is a legit star on the Purdue defensive line and is someone worth watching.

Re-Pete

Oklahoma State comes into the game at 7-5 and if not for Mike Gundy’s team dropping its final two games and three of its final five, they would likely be in a much more prestigious bowl. Not that the Heart of Dallas isn’t prestigious and rich in tradition with it’s “Ticket City dot com Bowl” background, but I digress… Ok State comes in with a prolific passing attack led by quarterback J. W. Walsh and receiver Josh Stewart. An interesting stat: The Cowboys scored fewer than 30 points in just one game while going over 50 points four times.

We all witnessed the Purdue debacle in Ohio Stadium that resulted in Kenny Guiton leading a game tying touchdown drive that resulted in an overtime win. For some reason I don’t think that would happen twice. Oklahoma State can put up points, but they do it in the Big 12 where seemingly nobody believes in defense. An Ok State vs Ohio State game might have looked like “MACtion” on the scoreboard until the Silver Bullets settle in and adjust- although the last time they met it was pretty one sided.

On paper this looks like a Cowboy win all the way. But for some reason, every single BBC writer has selected Purdue (editors note… everyone but Jason selected TBPU). I trust their reasoning was similar to mine: The team responds knowing that new head coach Darrell Hazell is watching with a close eye and, again, who in the Big 12 plays any type of defense?

Let’s hope the Big Ten can score a win and kickoff New Years day on a good note!

Silver Bullet Points Gets Festive

Written December 12th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

I find tinsel distracting

Tuesday’s news gave us two hall of fame suggestions for today’s sountrack(s).  And no, it’s not Christmas music- we’ll get to that later.

Buckeye 411

  • Major Awards- It’s the silly season for College Football, and sure enough America’s favorite collegiate popularity contest machine has decided to include some Buckeyes as a reward for the undefeated season. ESPN put Bradley Roby on it’s All American First Team. (FWIW, ESPN also tabbed TTUN’s Tyler Lewan to it’s All American list; you may remember Lewan from his impression of a turnstile against Ohio State’s freshmen defensive linemen.) The Associate Press had a little less love for Ohio State’s defense- Roby and Johnathan Hankins were on the second team, while John Simon was a third team award winner.
  • More Love For Simon- He told a Youngstown paper earlier this week that he was planning on playing in the Senior Bowl; certainly a sign that his rehab is going according to plan. Simon was also named a finalist for the Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s national award for the Bobby Bowden Award.  We say this a lot, but I will honestly miss watching #54 lead his teammates on the field more than any Buckeye I can remember of late.
  • Coaches, Too- Urban Meyer is a finalist for the 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach Of the Year, in spite of the fact that he couldn’t win the B1G CotY (an award that Ramzy nailed in his description of it as an award that’s  “granted only for temporarily overcoming institutional mediocrity.”).  Offensive Line Coach Ed Warriner has also picked up some hardware this week, being named the national offensive line coach of the year by his peers… pretty interesting what happens when you stop trying to run “Dave” every single play, ain’t it?
  • Directions- “Well, you just go down to 12-0 Row and take a left…
  • Boom. Well, Cincinnati and their fans had a lot of fun with their brief success and stint as “Ohio’s BCS Team”- but any visions of being the premier program in the state ended on Tuesday, when it was revealed that Urban Meyer was asked to stump on their behest as they seek ACC membership. For those keeping score at home- Ohio State coaches don’t leave for other programs, and Ohio State doesn’t ask Cincinnati coaches to help hook them up.
  • Pretty In Pink- There’s nothing more awkward looking than a middle aged guy standing in Victoria’s Secret during Christmas, picking up something for his special someone. Well, that “awkward” just got a little less so, ‘cause now you’re shopping for Buckeye gear.
  • Best For Last- It should be no surprise that we’re huge fans of Sammy Silverman, the graphic design guru for Ohio State this season. So, we’ve got a ton of love for his “season recap” poster- check it out after the jump: Read More

tBBC Conference Calvalcade: Big 12

Written August 21st, 2012 by Gary Russell II

We continue the journey across the nation to get you ready for kickoff in less than two weeks. Today, Gary weighs in on the newest incarnation of the Big 12 conference.

With all the Conference re-aligning going on it has been tough to keep track of what team is going where. Many conferences are taking on small changes while many are undergoing complete makeovers. Today, we take a look at the Big 12 conference, which has changed drastically over the last couple of years.

Baylor Bears
2011 Record 10-3
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Head coach Art Briles has his work cut out for him after losing all three of his stars from last year’s offense. QB Robert Griffin III, WR Kendall Wright, and RB Terrance Ganaway all lead the Bears at their respective positions and have all left for the NFL. The Baylor offense still returns three talented wide receivers in Terrance Williams, Lanear Sampson, and Tevin Reese. All three had 1000+ yards last year. The question is can incoming QB Nick Florence get them the ball. Only time will tell if he can and that is why they will start this season outside of the Top 25 until that question is answered.

Iowa State Cyclones
2011 Record 6-7
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Last year was a very difficult season for the Cyclones as they struggled in every aspect of their game. The lone bright spot was the unexpected upset of the Oklahoma State Cowboys (their lone loss on the season). Head coach Paul Rhodes has very few things going for him in 2012 with a QB battle between Senior Steele Jantz and Sophomore Jared Barnett brewing which we all know is never a good thing this close to the season. Rhodes also lost his offensive coordinator Tom Herman to Ohio State. One things that is going for is the return of linebackers Jake Knott and A.J. Klein to lead their defense. Look for the Cyclones to struggle against a very strong conference and be towards the bottom of the standings again in 2012. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Hunts Bearcats

Written March 21st, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

In the calm before the storm… it’s midweek mayhem.

Really? No... Really??

The rest of the week will be dedicated to hoops, particularly the matchup with folks from Cincy, but I thought I’d drop a little mascot knowledge on you. While that thing above may technically be a “bearcat”, I’m still convinced that the official team name should be “UChickFilAs.” According to some, it’s a version of a wolverine found in Asia, so strike two. And finally, the pajamas… with stripes… like the Bengals, but not like a bearcat. Ah well- if you want good UC coverage, you’ll need to go to the source.

The Scoops In Hoops

All of this pain, it multiples by 50 when you see a player like Robbie Hummel break down.

His career, his unbelievable and shining career at Purdue has come to an end. All of those clutch shots, all of those hustle plays, they’re all memories from now on.

But those memories have left a legacy on a program that needed something. Purdue Basketball NEEDED something to re-energize it.We were blessed to have #4 for FIVE years. We didn’t make it to any Final Fours, we didn’t win any National Championships…but we didn’t have to.

We won SO MUCH more than a trophy in the last five years at Purdue. We won excitement, memories, moments. Those stand the test of time, you can’t put that on a trophy.

2012 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl- Why Stanford Will Win

Written January 1st, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

The Tree, At Rest

The Basics: Tuesday, January 2, 2012, 8:30 PM EST on ESPN, from Glendale. Oklahoma State (11-1, 8-1 Big Integer) and Stanford (11-1, 8-1 PAC12).

Steve, our regular season picks champion, just happens to also be a Stanford season ticket holder, and gives us his rationale for the Cardinal’s sure victory. Be sure to check out the counterpoint!

At the beginning of the season I posted the following to poke a little fun at my Ohio State family:

To my Buckeye friends, Last year I wished I could afford tickets to see a BCS bowl champion, with a returning Heisman candidate QB, playing for a highly successful coach with experience in 2 levels of college football, playing in a recently renovated state of the art stadium. Sadly that coach is no longer with the team, but today my dream came true. I bought season tickets to watch Andrew Luck play for Stanford and they only cost me $240 … for 6 games … for all 4 members of my family. “All … Right … Now!”

It has truly been a magical year on The Farm and since all Stanford football conversations start with Andrew Luck let’s get that out of the way early. He’s good, seriously he makes playing QB look easy, his tears have the ability to grow hair on bald men and he makes a mean western omelet.

I would love to tell you that it’s not just him, that there are all kinds of offensive threats around him. The 3-headed TE corps of Fleener, Toilolo and Ertz, the 1,100 yard back Stepfan Taylor, the strong ground game of Gafney, Wilkerson and Stewart, and the speedy sure-handed receivers Griff Whelan, Chris Owusu and Ty Montgomery. But from where I sat this year, it was pretty easy to see how it is Luck that makes them all better.
When the Cardinal has the ball, look for Luck to exploit any TE mismatches. 19 of his 35 touchdowns have gone to one of the big 3. With Ertz out and Toilolo around 70% for Oregon much of the gameplan was gone and offensive output suffered. Watching one of the 3 go down field and take on a much shorter/smaller DB is excruciatingly fun. Sadly Owusu’s concussion against Oregon State probably sealed a once promising career but, Luck’s roommate Whelan and Freshman Ty Montgomery have filled in well. The hidden gem of the Cardinal attack is the running game. 2nd in the Pac 12 (passing was 6th btw) in yards per game, the running game owes much to the attention opposing defenses pay to Luck. All of this behind a front line with 2 2-time all Pac 12 OLs that gives up less than 1 sack per game and against the 83rd ranked rushing and 107th ranked total defense in the country. If I were Luck, I would have stayed in school for that too.

On defense the story is going to be simple, limit the big plays. OSU will be unable to move the ball on the ground. Period. I am sure they could care less. They will throw the ball and to tell you the truth it’s the part of this game that has me the most scared. The secondary has allowed over 250 yards in the air for 6 of the last 7 games with the sole exception being Oregon who didn’t need it. The DBs will need to come up with 1 or 2 stops because conceivably that is all it will take. I fear this mostly because of all the unnecessary big gainers given up to the likes of Washington State, Colorado, Washington, Berkely and Notre Dame not to mention Oregon and USC. A lack of effective running here may allow for extra help in the secondary.

This will be one of those high scoring affairs, but not one of the, “last one with the ball wins” types. This will be more, “he who makes the least number of mistakes wins.” Luck is human and has shown he can make the wrong decision on occasion. He threw 6 of his 9 interceptions in the last 5 games of the season, threw 2 against a much faster Duck D and almost cost the USC game with a late pick-6. Keep the Pokes offense off the field, cause +1 or more in turnover margin, and let Andrew be Andrew and everything will work out fine. As the say in Palo Alto, “Give ‘em the axe!”

2012 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl- Why Oklahoma State Will Win

Written January 1st, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

T. Boone- Actual Size

The Basics: Tuesday, January 2, 2012, 8:30 PM EST on ESPN, from Glendale. Oklahoma State (11-1, 8-1 Big Integer) and Stanford (11-1, 8-1 PAC12).

Well, our Midwestern correspondent checks in with one side of the debate… yeah, he’s biased. Be sure to check out the counterpoint a bit later this evening.

Since we have already watched the “Best Bowl game of the Season” once, let’s talk about the REAL best bowl game of the season:  Oklahoma State vs. Stanford.  As a Cowboy fan, it’s easy to get excited about this game.  The first BCS game in school history, following the first Big 12 championship in school history, which was won by clown-stomping our in-state rival (had to type that one more time).  Oklahoma State brings arguably their best team in school history to this game (at least in my lifetime).  Led by one of the best offensive tandems and an unfairly criticized defense, this team can beat anyone in the nation.  I was asked to give an Pickens-sided perspective so here goes…why one fan thinks OSU will win the Fiesta Bowl.

Everyone knows about the stars, Luck, Weeden, Blackmon, but where I think this game will be won or lost is where most games are won and lost, along the lines and on defense.  Oklahoma State has one of the best offensive line coaches in the nation in Joe Wickline.  Last year he took 5 new starters and turned them into the best performing line in the Big 12, which is saying a lot with the other linemen in the conference. This season, he added 2 other linemen to this mix and again has a dominating line.  This is why, in my opinion, OSU has one of the top offenses in the country.  It’s not surprising that the only hiccup this year was when the line had their worst game.  If the O-Line performs as it has for two seasons, I find it hard pressed that Stanford will be able to keep the Cowboys under 30.

This leads me to my next key of the game:  The Defense.  Much has been written about how bad (statistically) this side of the Cowboys team has been.  However, look at it this way:  They held 5 top 25 offenses below 30 points (3 of these games were on the road), and two potential top 10 draft picks (RG3 and Landry Jones) to 1 TD and 7 turnovers.  Now many will say neither of these players is Andrew Luck.  I’m sure they are not, but the Cowboys have fared just fine going up against top offenses all season.  Some will also say holding an offense to under 30 shouldn’t be highlighted.  Based on my first point, if Stanford doesn’t score 30, OSU wins, because I don’t believe Standford will hold the Cowboys under that number.  Nobody has done that all season, and I don’t see the Stanford Cardinal doing it either.

Finally, I look at Stanford’s loss, Oregon.  Not only did they lose, they lost BIG and at home.  I watched this game from start to finish and what stood out was how slow Stanford looked, again AT HOME.  Oklahoma State is very similar to Oregon…they spread you out, are crazy up-tempo, and then pass and run depending on how you line up.  Also, like the ducks, they are VERY fast at the skill positions.  I see more of the same happening to Stanford in this year’s version of the Party Bowl.

My prediction, Oklahoma State 41, Stanford 31.  Oh, for kicks and giggles, Alabama beats LSU 4-3 with a safety as time expires.  Now what do we have…3 one loss teams.  And I say the Oklahoma State Cowboys are the AP National Champion!  Hey, why not, because none of us buy into the BCS anyway.

Justice, Alabama, and the BCS: Part 2

Written December 6th, 2011 by Eric

This is the continuation of the article posted this morning looking at a solution to the current problems.

To the victors, the spoils.

Many people have spilled an incredible amount of ink over the years trying to determine a just system for selecting a national champion.  Our own Malibuckeye came up with his own system a while back and expounded upon it in length.  I honestly believe there is only one possible method of satisfactorily deciding a champion with all of the proper criteria. That answer is to allow the teams to decide it on the field in a playoff format. But, unlike with many other views, the playoff isn’t the critical factor. The biggest issue is to start to make the regular season important again.

The best way to determine who gets to play in the Division 1A Playoff, while simultaneously allowing fair access to all of the conferences, is to restrict access only to conference champions. Yes, you heard that right – conference champions only.

Read More