The Week That Were: 10.27.12

Written October 29th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

In spite of the huge win in Happy Valley on Saturday, I’m feeling a bit of the blues are in order for this week’s recap. So, enjoy some Collins, Cray, and Copeland.

It’d be easy to say that this week was “spook-tacular”, and “scary” for a lot of top teams, but that would be way to easy. So, let’s just admit that Saturday once again proved that we’re fans of the greatest sport in the world; because anything can happen once the ball is kicked.

Whoops

As a promise to a “friend” that’s a Notre Dame fan who I’ve been justifiably ripping for the last ten years, we’re leading off this week with the Irish’s huge win in Norman over the Sooners.  Like most of America who pays attention to the sport, I imagined that Oklahoma would stomp a mud hole into Brian Kelley’s team- Stoop’s defense, high powered offense… not exactly playing Air Force here. So, because the Irish emerged victorious, undefeated, and “relevant” enough to bump up to the third ranking spot in the BCS, I tip my journalistic cap to them- particularly their defense, which is playing lights out this season.  Although they gave up their first* (non-official assisted) rushing touchdown to Oklahoma, they were able to keep Sooner QB Landry Jones guessing all night long. That’s not to say that we’re not without some controversy, as the “luck of the Irish” continued when Heisman Candidate Manti Te’o intercepted the Sooners late in the game to seal away the victory. Your perspective of the play will depend on your hopes prior to the game- Irish fans were elated, others thought that the initial play was a case of pass interference resulting in a ball that clearly touched the ground. At any rate, complaining about the officiating is better left to other fan bases; the Irish are undefeated, and have overcome all but one of the games that had people pointing to theirs as the toughest schedule in college football. Congrats indeed.

Although… How much of this gets pinned on Bob Stoops? “Big Game Bob”, as we’ve discussed before, has built a reputation on an early BCS championship and his ability to beat his rival. However, given the state of his rival over the past few years, is it really fair to continue to give him a pass for his team’s coming up short in these types of games? The loss to Notre Dame is the second at home this year… although, to be fair, both teams are undefeated currently. So, Sooner fans- enjoy that BCS win over Connecticut a few years back, and hope that things can get turned around in the B12 for your squadron in the near future.

Since we alluded to them, let’s talk Texas, shall we? It took some late game heroics by a McCoy (no, not that one) to keep from being beaten by Kansas.  You read that correctly… the Jayhawks and their “Coach by weight” strategy were within seconds of beating the Longhorns and turning the heat even higher up on coach Mack Brown. I’m not one to jump on a dead bandwagon- check out the great “post a picture of our defense” thread on Shaggy Bevo- but I still can’t figure out how the flagship school in one of the most talent rich states in the nation continues to struggle on the field. Granted, it may be the competition in the conference and adjacent conferences, but you’ve got to think they’d be able to be successful whether or not there’s a prodigy at quarterback.

Also in the B12, Kansas State, the new #3 in the BCS continues to roll, playing even with Texas Tech for a half and then making the adjustment necessary to blow out the Raiders in Lubbock. Read More

The Week That Were: 09.22.12

Written September 24th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

And now, it gets real. Conference season. No more cupcakes… although, that hasn’t worked out all that well for a lot of teams.  Today’s soundtrack is from this week’s release, and was chosen just to make our friend Bacon happy.

Quack

Let’s start out west this week, which gives me a chance to do two of my favorite things in the world.  The first is to enjoy this moment: Oh, Rich Rod face, how I’ve missed your sublime poignancy. The second is to post a great FanShot, sent to us from pretty choice seats in Eugene… lots of people making their “O” face in that game, for sure. As a reminder, if you go to a game this year, send us a photo and we’ll run it on Monday mornings.

So, let’s talk about the Ducks.  The wife and I watched the game… at least until Arizona threw a 4th and goal interception in the third quarter. After that, the fate of the Wildcats was sealed and we headed onto other things (Food Network, Ahoy!). ‘Cause here’s the fact- Oregon may take some time to warm up, but once they find weakness they will attack and attack and attack… and the next thing you know, you lose 49-0. Well, until they play a team with a defensive front, that is.

While the Ducks are still doing what they do, I’ve got to tip my hat a bit to Arizona- it was fun to watch the Rodriguez offense again and only have a little bit of hatred for the passes to the slot receivers and so forth. He’ll do well in Tuscon, particularly given that the transition won’t be as drastic as it was heading from Morgantown to Ann Arbor… and he probably doesn’t have alumni and former coaches trying to sabotage him as well.

In fact, I’d love to see RRod’s former team play the one he just faced- What WVa is doing offensively is probably the only thing that can match with the speed and scoring ability that we’re seeing in Eugene. Granted, they only managed 31 against a pretty bad Maryland team, but the potential is there.  A bowl game between Chip Kelly and Dana Holgorsen would certainly surpass the UW/Baylor game from last year, and would feature some of the most unique costumes uniforms in college sports.

I don’t know which is worse- that the play was allowed to continue, or that the official seems to be enjoying the spectacle.  A little help here: Was the player that removed the helmet ejected, as per the rules? Read More

The Week That Were: 9.8.12

Written September 10th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

This week’s soundtrack is colorful, but has a bit of a different taste to it: trust me, it makes total sense in the grand scheme of things.  Enjoy… language warning.

There’s no denying it… one group of conference-mates had an incredibly difficult Saturday.

Positioned for excellence, and featured in a number of nationally significant matchups, the on the field results just did not help dissuade the critics who argue that they have lost their prestige, and are rightfully scorned by college fans across the country. Once seen as powerful contenders for titles, it seems as if the results on Saturday have shown that the game may have passed them by.

Yup, it was a terrible day for the Big 12 expats.  Who did you think I was talking about?

Texas A&M, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska all dropped matches on Saturday, with two of these being significant “upsets” in terms of rankings and so forth.  The Aggies, after a week full of bravado regarding their new allegiance to the “we can spell three letter words” conference, saw the early lead against Florida disappear in the waning moments of the game, and couldn’t count on Kyle Field to help carry the day. You’ve got to wonder if the different understanding of the word “cheerleader” might have had something to do with it. Ah well, you know they’ll just say that they won later… it’s the SEC way.

Mustard? Really?

Missouri also opened SEC play by welcoming Georgia to play between the… uh… rocks in Columbia. The Bulldawgs emerged victorious, but you’re right in realizing that Mizzou is excited to be in a new home. There were too many Longhorns in the last one, and the B1G never returned their phone calls, so you can’t blame them for being OK with a loss in their prestigious opener.  So excited about the new opportunities were they, that they broke out their new school clothes… or someone else’s old school clothes from when they were in the Arena League. As goofy as they looked, though, they didn’t win our “awkward haberdashery of the week award”… more later.

Ah, CoLOLorado… See, here’s how it works.  You schedule a FCS opponent in the pre-season, you get them at home, you beat them and build up your alumni/student confidence in your program = profit.  But, the Buffs are constricted by no man’s social norms, and instead chose to allow the mighty Hornets of Sacramento State to kick a field goal with time expiring and upset the Buffs in Boulder.  I’m sure the fans will have to find some way to console their grief.

Which brings us to Nebraska. Read More

The Week That Were: Opening Weekend 2012

Written September 3rd, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Sure, there’s games on Monday, but the weekend has been so amazing that we just couldn’t wait to get back in the saddle for our reflections on the games of note.  Plus, are we really all that excited about a game that’s all technical and stuff?  I thought not.  Obvious choice for this week’s soundtrack… happy Labor Day.

Whew… I’ve got to admit, I should have been working out with Coach Mick during the offseason. Saturday found me trying to knock the rust off of my college football regimen, although I can definitely say that I was well hydrated.  I’m guessing that’s what happened during the livechat- I hadn’t prepared enough, and brought the jinxation.  You can breathe a sigh of relief, though- when I caught the replay on Sunday, my presence made no difference in the outcome…  Baby steps, right?

That Isht's Cray, Bray

From the looks of things, a number of teams were still in “preseason” form, and didn’t have their moves down pat just yet.  For instance, while I’m sure that Dabo Swinney’s mom is sure proud of him for leading his fellers to victory over North Carolina State, she certainly couldn’t have been too excited that his first steps leading the team onto the turf ended up in a faceplant.  That, combined with this excellent display of exuberance are enough to remind Volunteer fans that their team still has some work to do.  Which is good… no one likes to peak during the first weekend of games- well, no one outside of the B1G, that is (more later).

Some of the butterflies were even  evident in the Southern Idaho State University trip to East Lansing.  Sure, the B1G represented well, as Michigan State showed many why they are a favorite for the conference title… but the game turned out to be “off-script” for both teams.  For instance, no matter how hard they tried, Rob Harley’s new squadron couldn’t “Sparty” the game away.  Shocker.  Oh, and SISU broke their streak of beating out of conference teams when they have a ridiculously long time to prepare… effectively ending their bid at a BCS bowl until they join a legitimate BCS conference in the Big Eas…. I’m sorry.  I just couldn’t bring myself to type that. The game also gave us a pretty amazing interception- as always, Tim Burke has ALL the great screencaps and stuff from the weekend’s events.

Saturday’s festivities kicked off with Notre Dame pounding the living stuffing out of Navy in their game in the Emerald Isle… Brian Kelly, why you no like America? And then, your boys let this happen?

Man, back in my day, we fought revolutions for less  <adjusts tricorner cap>. Read More

Across The Web: THE GAME

Written November 25th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

For our last blogger chat of the season, we approached several writers for TTUN to see if they could manage to actually string a few one syllable words together… but unfortunately, most of them were in jail. Then we remembered that the great MZone had re-opened their shop, and were happily cranking out photoshop coping mechanisms. We emailed Yost about joining us, and once he’d sobered up he sent us what you see below.  Be sure to follow their stuff on twitter, and also on an upcoming edition of “COPS”.

Do you ever feel dirty rooting for the Maize and Blue?  Do you ever get one of those shudders like pure evil has settled into your soul?

Wonder What He's Been Eating?

Never dirty, just horribly dazed watching what passed for our beloved Wolverines the last three years.   And if you’ve been following the Maize and Blue this season, as you know, the only evil emanating out of A2 is of the Pop Evil variety.  While, as the world knows, the evil that spews forth from Columbus is more of a Mordor strain.

What’s your favorite memory of The Game? On the other end of the spectrum, what play or game gives you nightmares?

Near the top of the “good” list are ’95 and ’96 when Michigan wasn’t given a chance and Ohio State was undefeated and, I believe, #2 in the country both times.  Of the two, I think I enjoyed ’96 a tad more just because it was in Columbus.  That was the 13-9 Michigan win that swung U-M’s way when Shawn Springs slipped and fell allowing Tai Streets to score on a 69 yard slant.  OSU had been up 9-0 at halftime and you could almost hear the dread as it settled over the stadium.  My god, I’m getting weepy just thinking about it again.  But I digress.

Actually, at the top of my fave list has to be ’97 when #1 Michigan faced off against #4 OSU with everything on the line.  The Game initially looked to be a Wolverine rout with Charles Woodson returning a punt for a TD (you seen that replay once or twice, right?).  But when OSU cut U-M’s 20-0 lead to 20-14, you could hear a car key jingle pin drop in The Big House.  Thankfully, Michigan held on and then won the Rose Bowl to claim a National Championship.

It was the stakes of ’97 and what a victory meant that made it so meaningful and memorable.  Conversely, that’s precisely why 2006 still gives me nightmares.  For the first time in history, Michigan and Ohio State were #1 and #2 at the time of The Game.  OSU had the big lead at halftime but Michigan fought back.  With 6:49 left, Michigan had cut the lead to 35-31.  OSU had the ball on the Michigan 38 yard line, 3rd and 15.  Troy Smith rolled out and threw an incomplete pass.  Michigan was gonna get the ball back with a chance to drive down for the winning score.  But… Read More

Silver Bullet Points Has One Shot Left

Written November 22nd, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

If You're Gonna' Go, Go Big.

Buckeye 411

  • Captain, My Ca… Ah, Screw It- At this point, no captains have been named for this week’s matchup with TTUN.  I’m sure it’s Brewster, Simon, and some other folks.
  • Injury Report- Sweat is a “doctor’s decision”, due to it being a head injury.  Philly Brown is going to be OK, but safety Christian Bryant is “questionable” for the game. No additional information on Bryant, but he’s currently listed as the starter on this week’s depth chart.
  • Fickell Speaks- On “The Game”;

It’s still the Ohio State/M*chigan game, still the greatest rivalry in all sports. We wouldn’t attack it any other way. That’s what is remembered. We understand that. We know that. Our guys have understood that regardless of what the situation has been in the last 10 years that I’ve been here or even the five years I was here as a player.

When you come here, you know what it’s about. That’s why I’d say 70 percent of our guys are from that 250 mile radius, been grown up, born into it, and know more about what this rivalry is all about than most.

  • More From Fickell- This exchange was a great one between Coach Fickell and a member of the press,

Your Michigan counterpart refers to your employer just as “Ohio.” Have you noticed that, first of all?

…Coach Bruce or Coach Hayes used to not refer to the team up north or whatever that is, hopefully that it’s no disrespect to Ohio University, they are Ohio, but it is what it is.

We might refer to M*chigan in different ways, too. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Preps For A Night Hunt

Written October 25th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Tuesday’s update from the Ohio State press conference and the rest of college football news…

Don't Need No Stinking Badgers

Buckeye 411

  • Getting Deep- Interesting notes from the depth chart this week: Boom is #1 with Hall/Hyde behind him. Miller is QB1, with Guiton OR Bauserman, although Fickell said that Kenny G has been getting more of the snaps in practice. Curtis Grant is now in the 2 deep at LB; there’s speculation that Ohio State will be running more of the traditional 4-3 look due to Wisconsin’s running attack
  • Fickell Speaks-Historically, Ohio State has struggled the week after a bye. Coach addressed this,

Yeah, I think we did. We got a lot of work done. Our guys did a heck of a job on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. You look back in the years past, ask around how people handled their bye week, you still have to look at your team and figure out what you guys need as opposed to how everybody else does it. I think we did a very good job with the attitudes and getting the work done we needed to get done.

  • Captain, My Captain- Brewster, Sweat, and Simon.  I think we’ve found our permanent captains, folks.
  • On Wisconsin- Coach Fickell spoke about the big upset in East Lansing, and confessed that he’d gone to bed before the game went final. He spoke at length about the impact that Russell Wilson has had on the Badgers, and how he’s fit into the system from early on. Of course, Wisconsin’s success starts up front, and their line play dictates every aspect of their offensive game plan.
  • The Future- As usual, Luke Fickell said that he focuses on the things he can control, and hasn’t given much thought to the pending NCAA sanctions or what benchmarks he might need to meet to be given another year at the helm of the Buckeyes. Interesting that he was asked these questions with Gene Smith in the room; others in attendance said that Smith didn’t flinch during this line of questioning at all.
  • Fickell Funnies- When he wasn’t talking about slinging the ball around with his kids, he joked regarding his “to do” list to keep his job for the 2012 season, saying, Read More

Silver Bullet Points Shows You What You Missed

Written March 11th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Note: As I was typing this, news broke of the Japanese earthquake. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people in the entire Pacific rim… give a bit of perspective about what might be important in life.

Waaaay off the mark

Can’t blame Buckeye fans for being a little out of the loop regarding other news in the world of college sports… here’s a quick recap:

Elsewhere in the NCAA- Hey! Guess What! There were other stories about NCAA institutions that might be outside of the realm of “okee-dokee-ness”.

Tressel, Another Perspective- With the media barrage that’s out there, it might be good to hear at least a couple of voices that support The Vest.

Read More