The Week That Were: 10.13.12

Written October 15th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Here we are, mid-October, when everything starts getting pumpkin flavored for better or worse. So, you’ve got two choices for soundtracks this week, via the “full albums” on Youtube- Something October-ish, or something more Pumpkiny. Salud.

Foreshadowing

Ah, Texas… where dreams go to die.  Three of the most interesting storylines this week came Deep In The Heart Of, so let’s travel to Lubbock to get things started.  Really, there’s no other reason to head there.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m an idiot. Well, when I get the chance… which was this weekend when the team I’d most like to see play Oregon in a bowl game ended up falling victim to the same Achillies Heel that Oregon has in the past- defensive line pressure. The Red Raiders’ ability to disrupt the Mountaineer passing game by owning their backfield was something that the rest of the B12 will certainly pay attention to; Geno Smith is much better in the pocket with his timing not hampered by large persons seeking to do him bodily harm of some sort.  Not that this should disrupt his Heisman candidacy; I know a number of quarterbacks who would love to go 29-55 for 275 yards, although West Virginia’s inability to score has got to be troubling with games against more stout defenses looming.  What really led to the 49-14 win, though, was the Mountaineer Defense’s inability to stop anything that Tuberville’s Raiders were dialing up… we saw that the the defense was suspect against Baylor and Texas, it finally caught up to them in a way that the offense couldn’t counter. /reads last sentence, looks at tOSU-v-Indiana box score, calls therapist.

If Smith’s Heisman candidacy was bumped at all on Saturday, it might open up the door for Texas A&M’s “Johnny Football”, quarterback Manziel managed 395 yards and 3 TDs through the air, and another 181 and 3 scores on the ground against a very game Louisiana Tech team that went toe to toe with the Aggies. We talked about Tech before; their offensive gameplan is quite unique and very high powered/up-tempo- very similar to what we’re seeing across the country. Don’t be surprised if their coach isn’t in the SEC or B12 in a year or two, given some of the frustrations that the “traditional” programs are having with their current administrations.

Which brings us to the Red River Shootout, a celebration of football and fried food from the Texas State Fairgrounds in Dallas. Over the past several years, though, the “shootout” has been more like shooting fish in a barrel, as the Sooners have absolutely owned the Longhorns on the scoreboard. For many ‘Horns fans, though, the 36-2 halftime score meant that they could head out to the midway to enjoy the Fair rather than watching their team continue to fall apart.  The RRSO brings us our first candidate for “hit of the week”, although, given how Texas played, it’s not surprising that the shot in question resulted in a penalty, and wasn’t even in the field of play: Read More

Silver Bullet Points Braces For Impact

Written September 19th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Win/Win Scenario?

Yup, it’s that week again- we find ourselves looking to the skies and hoping for an astronomical event to head toward… let’s see… this year the game is in South Bend, so that will do just fine. Just think, if Notre Dame’s previous coach was still on the sidelines, there just might be enough gravitational pull between the two head men to facilitate this.

Buckeye 411

  • Injury Update- Not much new on this front this week: We know that Carlos Hyde won’t be participating this Saturday, and there’s been no update on John Simon’s shoulder. That’s not totally true: the best thing to come out of Coach Meyer’s Monday press conference was commentary that Simon’s shoulder was a long way from his heart… meaning that he could work though the pain. Meyer then went on to comment that Michael Bennett was still injured, and that “He’s got to play some time. So I don’t know how far that groin is away from the heart.” If you needed proof that Urban Meyer understands the Ohio State legacy- his paraphrase of Woody Hayes’ famous quote regarding what his ’74 class should use to think with should seal the deal.
  • Bombs Away- One thing that Coach Meyer is concerned with against the Blazers of UAB is the deep ball. Several times over the past week, he’s talked about the strength of quarterback Jonathan Perry’s arm. This has to be a point of emphasis for the Buckeye secondary, who have given up their share of big passing plays during the first two games of the season thus far.
  • Good Hands, People- When the season started, Ohio State was looking for “playmakers”, and it seems that they’ve found a few. Corey Brown has shown flashes as a dependable “pivot” player in the new offense, and receiver Devin Smith continues to shine as a reliable option for the big play.  Wonder how long it is until he earns Cris Carter’s moniker of “only catching touchdowns”.
  • Bloody Tuesday- From what we’re hearing, Tuesday’s emphasis for the defense was… you guessed it… “Tackling”. And not just on the field, but in the weight room and film room as well.  In talking with a couple of folks, and in looking at the game again, the “chicken and egg” argument of “was it poor scheme or poor execution?” on Saturday is answered by “Yes”, although there are a number of clearly missed assignments on the big touchdowns that made everyone’s nightmare list Saturday afternoon. So, in at least the big play categories, it seems to be execution that was at issue.
  • On To The Next One- If you’re not following Samuel Silverman on twitter, you’re missing out on great Ohio State graphics- like this one: 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

The Week That Were: 11.12.11

Written November 14th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

This has been a difficult week. “Gee, you think?” – People in Happy Valley

Even as someone who’s not affiliated directly with PSU football, the news and headlines coming out of this story has created a pall over all of the games this weekend. This story reminds us that there are things greater than the trivial games that we enjoy, and that these are (after all) just games. It makes us take a step back and wrestle with the support we give to programs and the expectations we have for people who are in charge of them. It is the icing on the cupcake of a season already filled with reminders that the purity of the sport is not what it should be (particularly if you buy your cupcakes at one of those overpriced “boutique” places).

Remembering What's Important

In addition to the national news, we hear that Urban Meyer lost his father this past week- thoughts and prayers to him and his family.  With all that’s been going on, this has been a difficult look back at this past week’s contests- but the games can also be reminders of the better things that can happen on the fields and in the lives of the young adults who represent the Universities we follow. So, with that, this week’s soundtrack is some older U2- here we go.

If Disney were in charge of college footbal (and they aren’t. Yet.), Nebraska would be filled with evil villains and Penn State’s valiant, moxified seniors would figure out a way to beat the evil Huskers to honor their “fallen” coach. Alas- we’ve seen that movie, and while miracles happen in real life, the truth of the matter is that two good football teams played and the one with the better strategy managed to emerge victorious.  Penn State’s defense is as advertised, as is their offense- it will be interesting to see if this week’s matchup against Ohio State will make the LSU/Alabama game look like a scoring juggernaut.

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The Week That Were: 10.29.11

Written October 31st, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

I’ll be honest… it’s been so great to relive the huge Buckeye win over Wisconsin, I’ve had to dig a bit to find motivation to even think about the other games from this week. However, my search for a soundtrack that would be appropriate for Halloween Weekend, I found this gem that helped me keep my focus…

Digging The Soundtrack

The story this week was big upsets, both with teams falling from the ranks of the undefeated and teams rising to the occasion against expectations.  So let’s start in that vein, and with a little “howdy do” to our newest BFFs from the Iowa State contingency, who turned the tables on a Texas Tech team coming off a huge upset on their own. And it wasn’t just a “win” against the #20 Red Raiders, but a 41-7 demolition of Tommy Tuberville’s squadron… must have been a bit presumptuous to start the “Mike Leach Who?” talk, huh? No wonder the folks in Lubbock were chippy.

But the Cyclone satisfaction didn’t stop there, as cross state rivals Iowa also fell in a surprising factor, to a Minnesota team that’s been disappointing both for their coach and for their conference. But, in a week where the new guy got a huge “Vote Of Confidence“, his Gophers responded with a one point victory in Iowa City to the perennial B1G Coach Of The Year. They get Floyd back in Minneapolis, which is always a good thing.  Yup, just another week of pride for the folks at ISU… enjoy your moment. Read More

Picks for the Weak: Week 9

Written October 29th, 2011 by Eric

"You guys are picking like a bunch of weaklings!"

The picks return to the BBC after the interminable bye-week!

The last time we saw our intrepid pickers, Eric had the lead over Mali by two games. During week 6, our players came out with the following records:
Joe D: 4-6, Mali: 7-3, Jim: 5-5, Joe L: 8-2, Eric: 5-5, Chris: 6-4, Robby: 8-2

With his 8-2 record to tie for the lead in the week, Joe L succeeded in surpassing both Eric and Mali for the overall lead heading into the final leg of the season. The totals stand thus:
Joe L: 38-21, Eric: 37-22, Mali: 37-22, Jim: 33-26, Joe D: 31-28, Chris: 17-13, Robby: 13-7

It should be an exciting final couple of weeks!

This week’s games feature a couple of exciting divisional battles, particularly in the Big Ten race, along with a number of other fascinating matchups. Read on to find our picks!
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Picks For The Weak: Week 6

Written October 8th, 2011 by Joe Dexter

Only weaklings get headaches making these picks.

I’m pretty sure that was the worst week of College Football picks for this crew in the five years of it’s existence. Maybe I’m over-exaggerating, but 75% of those who help me out with our Picks were at 0-5 as we headed into the evening on Saturday. Thanks to the Mustangs, I picked up some ground on everyone by a game! Beating those Horned Frogs like there’s no poison in their ummmm.. Bite.

It was Baylor this week that gave everyone a loss on their record. Thanks ESPN and RGIII for selling the hype on the clearance shelf.  It was me digging in and looking for legendary 5 buck team.

Truth is Baylor still isn’t elite.

A team that is though is those damn Badgers. A huge win over Nebraska propels them into national contenders. As sick as it makes me to even think about a BCS championship scenerio with that team. What’s more disturbing to the mind? The Badgers holding the glass football, or Bo Ryan dancing on the court.

No Contest. I hate you Bo Ryan.

Anyways, we’re here to break down the games and talk about week six of the college football season. Let’s take a look at Week 5′s results.

Computer 5-5-Expert 3-7-Mali 3-7-Joe D 6-4-Eric 6-4 - Joe L. 4-6 -Chris 4-6-Robby 5-5-Jim 4-6
Man, those records are gaudy and uglier than the Buckeyes Offense last Saturday (zing!) Here is a full look at the complete standings this season.
Experts  25-14-Computer 25-24-Eric 32-17-Mali 30-19-Joe 27-22-Jim 28-21-Joe L 30-19-Chris 11-9-Robby 5-5
We’ve got some thrillers coming up this week. Enough chatting and reminiscing. Let’s get right to the picks!

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The Week That Were- 9.17.11

Written September 18th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Well, after a loss there really is only one choice for this week’s soundtrack… Just be thankful I didn’t go all Broadway on you. I know that there were exciting things on the field to talk about, but the big story brings us to…

Not just for Wisconsin fans anymore...

This week in EXPAND-A-PALOOZA: Well, well, well- Saturday awoke to the ACC getting their big boy pants on, and Sunday it became official- Pitt and Syracuse would be joining the conference in all sports. This was a surprising move, since the ACC has been relatively quiet throughout this process, although last week the powers that be agreed to raise the conference buyout to $20 million (from $12-$14 mil).  While it looks proactive in many ways, it’s got to be influenced by rumors that the SEC was looking to poach several schools (FSU/Clemson) from the conference.  The addition of Pitt and Syracuse also effectively block the B1G; these programs were always in the minds of those who believed that B1G Commish Jim Delaney was looking to connect with the NY media market- that ship may have now sailed. As a reminder, the B1G is constrained, in a good way from my perspective, by the belief that the conference’s affiliations should transcend television dollars or “great matchups”, and include schools that are parts of the CIC or AAU to share research revenue opportunities.

Other rumors today are that TBPU, OU, UT, and TTU would head to the PAC-16 and be in a western division with Utah, Colorado, and the two Arizona schools.  To solve the problem of “not playing in California” for recruiting purposes, the conference would move to a “pod” system that would have teams playing three other schools every year, and then two schools from the other two pods on a rotating basis.  Yeah, it’s that complicated. Be aware, though, that UT folks were just in LA for the UCLA game (more later), and that UT and OU have board of regents meetings called for Monday, with Texas having “Conference Alignment” on the agenda.

Elsewheres, UConn has also been rumored to head to the ACC (holy cow, is that going to be a basketball powerhouse conference), while WVa is rumored to have submitted it’s petition to be the SEC’s #14.  Where does that leave the B1G? Notre Dame/Rutgers/Mizzou are supposedly the next targets… although the CIC/AAU thing is still a strong draw for some who are connected to Longhorn Nation.

Oh, and if the insiders at a certain Northwestern message board are to be believed, ESPN is at the heart of this.  Anyone else curious how media conglomerates became involved in the actions of institutions of higher education? And you thought the “coverage” of B1G sports by the four letter network had an agenda now… what do you think will happen when three of the four super-conferences have deals with Bristol’s network.  Now THAT’s something congress should look into, if you ask me- particularly given the fact that the organization that was created to monitor and guide these matters is pretty much powerless on top of other issues.

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