Tag Archives: ohio state

Mid-Week Ramblings…

Ohio State just had five of their best players suspended, including QB Terrelle Pryor. Definitely not a Buckeyes fan, nor do I feel that this was all that solid of a punishment. They took a measly $1K to $2.5K, and are all paying for that with a five game suspensions. The main part I don’t understand in this whole suspension is why these players get to play their bowl game this year. If all the evidence is there, shouldn’t the NCAA suspend all of them for the bowl game, and the first four games of next year for the five games?!? Personally I think they should, and that feels like a much stiffer penalty than the one handed down. Missing a bowl game and most likely losing it because you are missing five of your best players seems more fair in my book. Maybe the NCAA is trying to protect itself so if they run across something on Cam Newton, he will still be eligible for the Championship game, and then they could suspend him for next year when he’ll be in the NFL anyways keeping everyone’s pockets fat.

The Bobcats are blowing up the team to start 2011 with fresh outlook, after a season of underachievement. Adrian Wojnarowski wrote a good one on Yahoo about how the Larry Brown-Michael Jordan relationship all broke down starting back in 2008 when Jordan wanted to draft Brook Lopez, but ended up listening to Brown and drafted DJ Augustin. Change was obviously needed. I’m not sure what to make of Paul Silas coming back to coaching after being out of it for awhile. I thought he was a great coach for the Hornets the first time around with BD, Mashburn, Magloire, and Steve Smith, but this Bobcats team is nowhere near them talent wise. Either way, I’m sure he’ll be better than Art Shell was coming out of his hiatus back to coaching. I loved that Jordan brought Charles Oakley in as an assistant coach. Last week Oakley blasted Charles Barkley for being lazy and just getting by with his athletic skills. I won’t argue with Oak, because he’s probably taking mental notes and I don’t want to be on that list. Lebron’s list is fine, but Oak’s isn’t. I was more wondering if he knew what was about to happen and wanted to say “Chuck, stay behind a desk and keep being lazy cracking jokes on TNT instead of trying to coach or be a GM, you just don’t have the work ethic.”

Phil Jackson sounded off about not wanting to play on Christmas saying “I don’t think anybody should play on Christmas Day. Soccer teams don’t play this time of year, they take a break. I don’t understand it… It’s like Christian holidays don’t mean anything to them anymore. We just go out and play and entertain the TV. It’s really weird.”

Ummm, we know Phil is full of head games, but seriously Phil? I know you guys work hard and all, and maybe most don’t want to work on this glorious Christian holiday, but sports is a form of the entertainment industry, and when are the most people watching? When they don’t have work! You and your squad are paid ridiculous millions to play, so give us some damn entertainment. If you want your team to suck and not be one of the marquee match ups on Christmas I’m all for it. I’d love to see the Lakers not be on TV during Christmas because they aren’t relevant, that would almost be as good as any present I could get. I can make a list of the cons of my job a mile long, and I’m sure everyone playing on Christmas would much rather have that be their biggest “problem over a the average citizens problems like even having a job. I’m positive Jeanie will be able to handle giving out the solid gold PS4’s you got the kids this year. Plus, if there were no basketball games on Christmas, how could I parlay my Christmas money on some games to have an even better Christmas?!?

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Doin BCS Bowl Projections

Without bashing the BCS, or fully knowing the rules these days (are the ACC and Big East still guaranteed a BCS berth? I hope not), here goes my predictions for this year’s BCS Bowl matchups. It’s tough because there’s so many teams from the West up high in the rankings, but we all know the BCS likes SEC schools, and even Big Ten and ACC teams. By factoring that in with projecting the rest of the season, here’s what I’ve come up with.

ROSE BOWL – STANFORD VS. OKLAHOMA

Stanford wins out and finishes 11-1, enough to let the Rose Bowl have a coveted Pac-10 team, and one who hasn’t been there very often, but has a huge following. Expect a sea of red on hand to cheer on the Cardinal against Oklahoma…. or maybe some other team. I’ve got Oklahoma finishing 10-3, but there’s going to be a logjam atop the Big-12, so this could easily be Missouri, Oklahoma State, or Baylor, or even a team from another conference altogether.
FIESTA BOWL – NEBRASKA VS. TCU

Nebraska will get the obligatory Big-12 berth in this game, thanks to a 11-2 finish with a conference championship over Oklahoma. TCU will be unhappy, but I see them losing to Utah. Having that one loss relieves some of the pressure on the BCS to include smaller schools that go undefeated.
ORANGE BOWL – ALABAMA VS. BOISE STATE

Also taking the heat off the BCS will be Boise State’s regular season loss to either Fresno State or Nevada on the horizon. Alabama will end up in Florida despite beating Auburn, because they’ll come up short in the conference.

SUGAR BOWL – AUBURN VS. UTAH

Utah will go undefeated, but once again get snubbed out of fear of a Utah-Oregon television ratings disaster. Like clockwork, they’ll opt for a one-loss goliath and Utah will be left to face another SEC team.

BCS CHAMPIONSHIP – OREGON VS. OHIO STATE

Ah, a BCS dream matchup. Despite being a West Coast team, the Ducks have a huge following, so ratings shouldn’t be a problem for the committee here. And Ohio State is always a slam dunk on a national stage. This should be one of the best National Championship games in a long time.


March Madness, Turner/Wall

Well its late March, and we’re closing in on the 2010 NCAA Final Four –

Can Turner lead OSU to the Final Four?

This season’s rendition of the tournament has had its pros & cons.  For one, aside from John Wall, and lately, Evan Turner, there’s not that many big names in college hoops.  John Wall is an amazing prospect, but Evan Turner is NBA ready, now.  This begs the question – does America want a Ohio State/Kentucky championship game?  I do.

We’ll get back to that question in a bit, but I must say this – why am I not shocked that there were so many “upsets” in the tournament this year?  We’re not even done yet.  This has to be one of the most even fielded tournaments ever.  If Northern Iowa played Kansas in a best-of-five series, I’m not sure Kansas moves on –

Originally I had hoped that all four #1 seeds would reach the Final Four.  What an amazing draw that would be, right?  Kansas vs. Syracuse (sounds familiar) and Kentucky vs. Duke (I’d say there’s history there).  So much tradition.  Maybe next year.  I think now that the dust has settled, slightly, the Kentucky/Duke game for all intent and purposes, will be the real championship game.  Duke has been underrated all-season long, and they would like nothing more than to stun mighty Kentucky.  Coach K has done a fine job with the Blue Devils this season, but, Kentucky will win that game – which sets this up:

Ohio State vs. Kentucky

Will John Wall deliver the goods for UK?

Evan Turner vs. John Wall.  To a lesser extent, Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson.  Now, obviously neither Turner or Wall is at the level of the two legends I mentioned, but – hear me out now, the “buzz” surrounding a Turner/Wall showdown is definitely circulating.  It’s growing.  That’s something you can’t deny, and with the way the media works nowadays, expect the hype to blow out of proportion the closer we get to a Buckeyes/Wildcats championship game.  I’m buying into this little rivalry, and they haven’t even faced off yet.  I hope this happens –

So there might not be a Carmelo Anthony, or a Derrick Rose in college basketball this season, but hey – it’s still March Madness, baby!  For most of these kids, this is it.  There’s no bright lights and million dollar bank rolls on the other side.  So they play with heart and passion, and nothing more, which makes for great basketball, stars or no stars.

Enjoy the rest of the tournament people!


Doin College Lines


My outlook heading into the sweet 16; Two brackets gone miserably wrong, and one with plenty of hope. I never expect to win in the pick’ems, so I usually just root more for entertaining action. In the midst of all these games I realized I hadn’t done a preview for the Vegas lines in awhile, and what better time than during the always entertaining March Madness. Anyways, here’s how I see the eight games playing out.

Cornell (+10) Over Kentucky

Kentucky has cruised through the tourney so far beating both teams they played to a pulp by 29 and 30 points. They have the most “NBA” talent of any team left, and have shown why they are a #1 seed. They destroyed a sixteen seed, and a slumping nine seed. Their reward is to play the Cinderella Cornell squad who has one less tourney win (6) than Kentucky has championships (7). I could see Cornell covering the spread if they keep raining threes like they have, but their main concern will be to not let Kentucky run wild. This is much easier said than done. If their zone somehow slows the cats down, then we could see this Cinderella make some noise. I can’t believe some of the “experts” are picking them to win. I wouldn’t go that far, but maybe a single digit win for Kentucky.

Said it before and I'll say it again, Evan Turner's game reminds me of Brandon Roy's.

Ohio State (-4.5) Over Tennessee

I’ve been repping the Buckeyes pretty hard since I have them winning it all in my one bracket of hope. I probably just jinxed them, but watching Evan Turner nearly put up a triple double in their last game has me thinking there’s a chance he could single handedly get them to the final four. The Buckeyes will need to avoid making the silly turnovers like they did against Georgia Tech which was the sole reason the game even close. The Vols don’t boast a high powered offense, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can create some easy hoops with Ohio States’ mistake prone lapses during games. If this game is close, it will be because Turner was held in check, and that should be priority number one for the Vols.

West Virginia (-3.5) Over Washington

Although I’ll be rooting for an upset in this game, it’s pretty tough banking on that to happen. West Virginia is a MUCH more physical team than the Huskies first two opponents. I think the physical play will give their shooters a rough time. If Washington has any chance they will need Isiah Thomas and Quincy Pondexter to play flawlessly. West Virginia is somewhat offensively challenged, but there’s good news for the Mountaineers, the Huskies are ranked 295th in free throws conceded. I see the Mountaineers being too much for the Huskies to handle.

Syracuse (-6) Over Butler

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USC at Ohio St: Part Two at the Shoe

All I kept reading about after Week One of the new season was how star freshman QB Matt Barkley played loose and stayed under control at all times while guiding the Trojans for 3 quarters.  How the 5-headed Trojan RB monster (yes, we shall include Marc Tyler, who would be starting at half the Pac-10 schools) ran all over the SJSU defense, pulling away in the second quarter with 4 touchdowns alone after slow start.  How the Heisman Watch should begin for Joe McKnight, who – if you haven’t heard already – is really, really good.   
Joe McKnight gained 105 yards vs OSU in '08, but did not score aTD.

Joe McKnight gained 105 yards vs OSU in '08, but did not score aTD.

Was any of this really a surprise?  Of course not.  But this week we will get to see what the Trojans are really made of after losing several first and second rounder’s to the NFL including, including 3 talented veteran players at the Linebacker position.  The real story will be how the USC Defense reacts to stiff competition against the best team year after year in Big10 this decade.

Perhaps their toughest challenge of the year,the Trojan Defense will face Terrelle Pryor, the 6 foot 6, 235 pounder with a canon arm and speed in the 4.3s.  Navy seemed to have a great formula to at least contain Pryor, and USC is hard at work studying that game film.  But let’s be real here, Navy’s defense doesn’t have the size, speed or talent level that USC has on its second team let alone the starters. 
Don't be surprised if you see this scenario a few times on Saturday.

Don't be surprised if you see this scenario a few times on Saturday.

 
The Secondary, led by All-American Taylor Mays and Josh Pinkard who moves back to CB from Safety, will make it tough on Pryor to find one of his young receivers.  The  speedy LB corp will be the main difference here as the new crop seems faster than last year and able to disrupt plays at will.  We know Pete will be bringing the pressure early and often, and the Trojan Offense will be in full hand-off mode to take the playmakers in the Buckeye Secondary out of the game.  
Has the #2 ever looked smaller?

Has the #2 ever looked smaller?

 
 
Final Score:   USC 42  –  OSU  13   
 

Three Types of College Football Openers

The college football season got off to a lackluster start last night – with the exception of LeGarrette Blount’s performance during the extra period.  What’s sad is Blount was in the shadow of Jeremiah Johnson last year, and this was to be his year in the spotlight.  Unfortunately, he wanted all of his spotlight on the first night, and because of that, he will be all but forgotten in our memories after the weekend is over.  That game, paired with the earlier game, South Carolina vs. NC State, left a lot of us wanting more.  Tulsa and Tulane didn’t exactly deliver Friday night either.  So, Saturday marks our best chance to see some real college football barn-burners.  Week 1 is typically reserved for the powerhouses beating up on some lowly D-1, and sometimes, D-2 schools, but there are a few games that stand out this weekend.  Here, we’ll list the three types of Season Opening games and how they might play out.

The Blowouts

These are the games that are so lopsided Vegas doesn’t even bother with spreads.  They’re the games that are built solely to ensure a team gets off to a 1-0 start and get them off on the right foot in they’re national or conference championship campaign.  You know the type, big school at home versus a small school with little to no national following.  Need some examples?

Akron @ #9 Penn State, Navy @ #6 Ohio State, Jacksonville St. @ #15 Georgia Tech, Montana St. @ Michigan St., The Citadel @ #21 North Carolina, Louisian-Monroe @ #2 Texas, Florida Atlantic @ #24 Nebraska, Charleston Southern @ #1 Florida, and as much as I hate to include them since they don’t typically schedule easy games, #4 USC hosting San Jose State.

The Blowouts Gone Wrong

These games have the same intention as those previously mentioned, however, they can backfire, much as Michigan’s upset loss to Appalachian State.  There aren’t many of them, but at least one is sure to end in heartbreak for a hopeful team.  Here’s our pool of potential upset games.

#22 Iowa vs. Northern Iowa, Auburn vs. Lousiana Tech, #25 Kansas vs. Northern Colorado, #12 California vs. Maryland, UCLA vs. San Diego State, and my pick for the most likely upset, #23 Notre Dame vs. Nevada.

The Legit Matchups

These games are the exception.  They don’t always end in a competitive game, but you have to give the schools credit for diving right into the fray and not scheduling a pushover to kick their season off.  Much like the Boise State – Oregon matchup Thursday night, they can make or break your season.

#13 Georgia @ #9 Oklahoma State, #20 BYU @ #3 Oklahoma, and Week 1’s main event, #5 Alabama vs. #7 Virgina Tech at the Georgia Dome.