“Well we know where we’re goin’ but we don’t know where we’ve been;
And we know what we’re knowin’ but we can’t say what we’ve seen;
And we’re not little children and we know what we want;
And the future is certain, give us time to work it out.
We’re on a road to nowhere.”
- “Road to Nowhere” - Talking Heads
Here’s what we know about Saturday night: the Buckeyes lost in eviscerating, and sometimes humiliating, fashion. The Buckeyes shot 26.4% percent from the field, making only 14 of 53 field goals. That’s over 20 percentage points lower than their season average. Jared Sullinger turned the ball over 10 times. Aaron Craft finished with more points (15) than William Buford and Deshaun Thomas combined. The crowd at the Schott was openly disgusted with the team’s performance.
Here’s what we know about the 2011-12 season: the Buckeyes are 21-4 and ranked sixth in the country. They’re tied atop the Big Ten standings with the Spartans. They’ve played some mind-bendingly awesome games this year. They’ve also played a few mind-numbingly disappointing duds.
That’s it. Anything beyond the facts listed above was rendered irrelevant by the Buckeyes’ performance Saturday.
There’s little to be gained from dwelling on the specifics of Ohio State’s meltdown, though it brings into focus a number of issues that have been bubbling below the surface all season:no comments
Just three short months ago Urban Meyer signed on to run the football program at The Ohio State University after eleven months away from the game, but his decision to come aboard wasn't made without deep thought and reservation. The health issues that ultimately saw him resign his position at the University of Florida two years ago were first and foremost on his mind, and the mind of his family.
Coach Meyer's oldest daughter Nicki, a volleyball player at Georgia Tech, drew up a "contract" of sorts on a pink piece of paper, the same paper that he pulled out of his suit jacket during his introductory press conference at OSU, that the family then presented to Urban before they would give him their blessing to jump back into coaching with the Buckeyes. After a family meeting and a few promises made, Urban Meyer became Ohio State's 24th head football coach, a job that he has dreamed of for decades.
For those of us who bleed Scarlet and Gray, Urban Meyer is a rock star of sorts, but to others he's just "dad." This week we had the pleasure to talk to the very person who wrote up that contract for Coach Meyer - his daughter Nicki Meyer.no comments
Linebacker U. A moniker that has been at the forefront of a debate for years. Two sides staking claim to the title, but only one can truly claim it. I still cringe whenever I hear anybody refer to Penn State as “Linebacker U”, but now we shall see why they were given the title by many, and see who has truly earned the right to be Linebacker U - Ohio State or Penn State.no comments
In an effort to keep the Enemy honest we've scoured the interwebs for sporting news and links from around the B1G. Some you'll like, some you won't. Some will give you a chuckle, and some will simply piss you off. It all comes with the territory when you chose to keep your friends close, but your enemies closer:
Illinois Fighting Illini
The Illinois football coaching staff isn't exactly getting the Urban Meyer "blank check" treatment, totalling $2.3M in annual salaries, including $400k each for their three coordinators. Compare that to Urban Meyer's staff that totals $3.2M annually.
With a 13-point loss to Indiana the Fighting Illini find themselves right back on the NCAA bubble.
Want to follow new head coach Tim Beckman on Twitter? He's @CoachBeckman.
One of only two B1G recruits to land on the McDonald's All-American rosters is committed to the Hoosiers. Yogi? Yogi.
The Crimson Quarry breaks down the B1G in a very interesting post that reviews each player's Player Efficiency Rating. A must read.
The Hoosier Scoop does a pretty good Stock Up - Stock Down and this week has MSU's Keith Appling on the down side heading into today's visit to Columbus.no comments
The Ohio State offense was a disaster in 2011. A trainwreck. Impossible to watch. An insult to the legacies of Woody and Earle.
It was also the best thing that could have happened to Ohio State football.
By the end of the season, the hideous truth about the Buckeyes’ offense was revealed. Tresselball worked for the man who created it. But his buddies couldn’t hide its flaws. Buckeye Nation became keenly aware of what the rest of the country already suspected: the Buckeyes weren’t coached to compete with the best of the best.
Ohio State recruits in arguably the most fertile football ground in America. Ohio generates elite talent at a furious pace. The state’s talent base is so substantial and so deep that the entire Big Ten relies on it to fill out the conference’s rosters – with the kids the Buckeyes didn’t want.
Great coaches shape great players. Ohio has those too. A Wikipedia search of any of football’s most successful football coaches reveals that a disproportionate number of them have lived, played, or coached in Ohio at some point during their careers.
So Ohio has elite talent. Ohio has elite coaches. It follows that the flagship program of Ohio would enjoy college football dominance on par with Alabama’s.
But it hasn’t, especially last year, when the Ohio State offense was painful to watch. The unit lacked identity. The offensive line’s struggles defy description. Ohio State’s receivers couldn’t get open. Braxton was inconsistent when they did. When Braxton finally connected, Philly Brown dropped the damn thing. Jake Stoneburner, a tight end filled with potential, played a season-long game of hide-and-seek. Nobody found him.no comments
The newly-formed Buckeye Bloggers Network put their heads together again! This time we will be looking at the impact that each starter and the bench had on the game against Purdue on Tuesday night.
Tuesday night, Jared Sullinger’s season was condensed into one game.
Sullinger finished with 18 points and 6 rebounds in 32 minutes of action. Those are excellent, though not dominant, numbers. But his impact on the game felt less substantial. William Buford went unconscious for a career-high 29 points. Sullinger was in foul trouble early. In the second half, the coaching staff had to take him off the court on two separate occasions for two distinct injuries.
Excellent, albeit not always dominant, play. Foul trouble. Injuries. All were issues for Sullinger Tuesday. All have been recurring themes for Sullinger this season.
That’s especially true when Sully’s year is compared to his freshman campaign. Last year, everything was fresh. Seniors were the emotional and tactical backbone of the team and Sullinger was the future lottery pick that nobody could stop one-on-one in the paint. On the basis of last season, Sullinger was projected to take his dominance to a different level this season. National Player of the Year-level dominance.
But Sullinger’s star has faded slightly. Instead of the consensus top player in the country, he’s comfortably in the top five. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Ohio State is lucky to have him on the court this year. But it’s hard to deny that there’s something off.no comments
Basketball Buckeyes (finally) prove it on the road
After Saturday’s gut-check 58-52 road win over Wisconsin, you can buy what the Buckeyes are selling.
Going in to Saturday’s game, the Badgers had won six straight. Last time the Buckeyes had traveled to Wisconsin, they lost in devastating fashion, blowing a 15-point lead late in the second half. Both before and after that game, Jared Sullinger was spit on. Thad Matta had never won in Madison. The Buckeyes had folded when tested on the road this season against Illinois and Indiana.
That didn’t matter on Saturday. The Buckeyes did everything they failed to do in Indiana and Illinois. Jared Sullinger came up big with 24 points and 10 boards. Ohio State took advantage of his dominance in the post. A Buckeye finally came up big from distance in a key moment when William Buford put the game out of reach late in the second half with a trey. The team’s defense held up for 40 minutes.
Most importantly, the Buckeyes finished off a quality opponent on the road for the first time in a season filled with 30-point blowouts at the Schott.
A win like this requires mental toughness and elite focus. Teams don’t win national championships without those traits. The Buckeyes are a supremely talented team, but before their trip to Wisconsin, they hadn’t proven their mettle.
They did Saturday. Perhaps the Buckeyes have finally grown up. Perhaps they’re ready to tap into their massive potential. If so, look out.no comments