There's no denying that Brady Hoke finally has the Michigan Wolverines - Jim Tressel's decade-long whipping boys - back on the right track after an 11-2 showing in 2011-12 that included a BCS win over (cough!) the ACC's Virginia Tech Hokies. But the Buckeyes he beat in Ann Arbor back in November aren't the same ones he'll face when he and his skunkbears venture into Ohio Stadium this November. No, this version has arguably the best head coach in college football, a sophomore quarterback with a full year of experience under his belt and a chip positioned squarely on his shoulder - and a group of pissed off athletes who will see their season end once Michigan comes and goes.
Is the rivalry back where it belongs? Was Hoke really the answer that the struggling program up north needed - or did he just temporarily stop the hemorrhaging before Urban Meyer entered the picture to go on another Vest-like run against TSUN? We pulled a few of our BHC writers together to get their two cents on The Game - the season ahead - and whether we can expect to see Urban Meyer light up the 'Shoe's scoreboard like a Christmas tree this November 24th.
Most in Buckeye Nation have given less credibility to last year's 40-34 Michigan win in Ann Arbor due to Ohio State's circumstances, but there's no denying Hoke has Michigan heading in the right direction. How do you see the next five years in the rivalry shaping up?no comments
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. That's normally pretty sound advice, unless you're a fan who's been through the tumultuous sixteen-month stretch of turmoil and controversy that the fans of The Ohio State University have been through. The successful decade that was the Jim Tressel Era came to a crashing halt on Memorial Day 2011 and the Luke Fickell era was anything but easy on the eyes - or heart - of this enormous fan base. But with the November 28th, 2011 hire of new head coach Urban Meyer - all bets are officially off. Buckeyes fans want to win, and they now have the man that will see to it that Ohio State does just that.
Meyer's first public message to the fans, players and alumni came on Sunday, January 15th during halftime of the Ohio State basketball win over Indiana at the Jerome Schottenstein Center, and it was crystal clear:
"I just want you to know we're here for one purpose and one purpose only and that's to make the great state of Ohio very proud of your football team and your coaching staff and we will get that done."
But these fans expect greatness in the form of gold pants, B1G championships, bowl victories and national championship rings. Only with that set of criteria will they be 'proud of their football team and their coaching staff.' Fortunately Urban Meyer already knows that, and has met that expectation head on with passion, intensity and a relentless drive to recruit - and sign - the best talent in America during his five months in charge. After all, he's been through this before. The expectation laid upon this program by the fan base in recent months is the exact same expectation that Meyer has for this program. It's the same expectation that Luke Fickell and Tom Herman now have. Same goes for Withers, Vrabel, Coombs and right on down the line of the coaching staff.
Did you think Meyer came to Columbus to coast into an easy retirement? That approach isn't in his blood. He doesn't work that way. His oldest daughter Nicki summed it up pretty well when we spoke with her back in March:no comments
As a lifelong sports fan, I have a very strong attachment to the New York Yankees and THE Ohio State Buckeyes. I was born in the Bronx, New York and as anyone can imagine the Yankees were the first sports team that I can remember. Of course New York Cityalso had the Mets, but most people in my neighborhood were Yankee fans with an occasional Met fan sprinkled in. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the Yankees were terrible. It was not easy to be a Yankee fan (as it is today) and the Mets had just won the World-Series in '69 and made another World Series appearance in '73. That Span of about 10 crappy seasons demonstrated to me what being a “True” fan really means: supporting your team 100% despite the record.
There are far too many Yankee fans today than there should be. Many of these people will tell you they have been, “Yankee fans their whole lives;" yet they are from places like Chicago, Detroit or Dallas and couldn't possibly have grown up rooting for a team thousands of miles away. These “bandwagon jumpers” are trying to enjoy the good times and success of a franchise without having to endure the losing, taunting and feelings of disgust that any loyal fan goes through.
I became an Ohio State fan(atic) in 1979 when my family moved to Columbus, Ohio. My high school used the music of the Ohio State fight song as its own and everyone wore Scarlet and Gray on Fridays during football season. OSU came a Rose Bowl win short of the National Championship in January of 1980 and then lost no fewer than three games for the next thirteen seasons in a row. All the bandwagon fans were gone by 1993, and when OSU won sixty-two games over the following six seasons everyone claimed they had been behind the Buckeyes through it all.
It was exactly the same between 2002 and 2011 - everyone claiming to have been a fan and supported the Buckeyes even though they had not invested one single ounce of heartbreak or tears through the Cooper years. They were only invested in the winning and good times.
There are several criteria that fans should have to meet in order to really call themselves true “fans,” whereas one or more may apply -no comments
When 4-Star Pennsylvania linebacker Alex Anzalone de-commited from Ohio State on Friday the immediate thinking from the viewing public was that it may be due to the story of convicted sex-offender Charles Eric Waugh and the fact that the two were seen together in a photograph taken after this year's spring game in Columbus. The father of the prospective commit did nothing to squash that thought with his coments on the situation and, in the process, encited quite the stir from the Buckeyes' fan base and some national media outlets. The elder Anzalone's harsh comments towards to university from Friday evening, via Reading Eagle:
“There’s a disconnect between what Alex thought was there (at Ohio State) and what is actually there. Something’s just not right at Ohio State. It’s not for him.”
"You don't want your son to go to a place where there's a potential issue (like this). You expect the (football) staff to have some sort of control on how things are handled with recruits when they visit. This is ridiculous."
"I was concerned with what recruits do, and with them being allowed to visit these kind of places where it puts kids at risk. That's the issue. You entrust people (at the school) to do the right thing."
And the younger (Alex) Anzalone on the reason's behind his de-commitment:no comments
Buckeye House Call is currently looking to add a couple of capable, passionate writers to the BHC line-up. We currently have a couple of regulars and a few others who peek their nose in-and-out from time to time - but we're looking to solidify a staff with a few more writers who contribute to our Ohio State content on a regular schedule.
These are not paying positions and no previous experience is required, although preferred. You must have a passion for Ohio State sports (any or all), show a reliable dedication to the cause and deadlines, and be capable of putting your thoughts, opinions, commentary and/or coverage skills together into articles that are 700-1200 words in length. No need to be skilled or even understand the HTML side of things - we'll handle that part for you.
If you're interested in dipping your toe into the thankless but personally rewarding world of blogging you can contact us at the link below and we'll discuss some options and direction.
And on the seventh day, Buckeye Nation recovered from a Cinco de Mayo used to wash away the late-week drama otherwise known as The Recruiting Trail. No?
Over the last seven days we've had two linebackers from the class of 2013 de-commit from our beloved program and one Kentucky man go from sex-offender to fan to friend and back to sex-offender (WTF?) in just fourteen days. Next stop for our resident inspirational quoter Charles Eric Waugh: likely a jail cell.
We also have a couple former Buckeyes playing prominent roles in this year's NBA Playoffs and seven more headed into the NFL ranks - three of which weren't even drafted last weekend. Where to begin.....
Bill Belicek: Rugby Enthusiast
Last weekend's NFL draft didn't give us the 'usual' Ohio State performance with early-draft picks coming fast and often. Instead the first Buckeye taken was OT Mike Adams taken 56th overall (Pittsburgh) after seeing his draft stock fall following a positive drug test at the NFL combine. Next to be taken was WR DeVier Posey 68th overall by the Houston Texans, followed by Boom Herron 191st overall, in the in the next to last round, by the Cincinnati Bengals. But it was the final Buckeye drafted that raised the most eyebrows.no comments
Plenty to catch up on around The Ohio State University sporting landscape, so let's get this show on the road in case you missed anything from what turned out to be a fairly eventful week for the Buckeyes - as well as those who support stalk them. We bring you news, notes, voices, snippets and links from around Buckeye Nation - twenty of them to be exact.
BUCKEYE HOUSE CALL
- Second linebacker in a week de-commits from Ohio State, this time it was Alex Anzalone - the 4-Star from Wyomissing, PA.
- Urban Weaponry - Class of 2013 Update brought us video highlights of the first twelve to commit to Meyer and the Buckeyes.
- Jaamal Berry to plead guilty in a case that will now be settled outside of court dating back to his assault of a man back in October.
- Former Buckeye Dominic Clarke signs on with Illinois State to continue his college career after being released from scholarship in January.
- Ohio State loses Lewis Neal, 3-Star linebacker out of Wilson, NC, who de-committed on Tuesday.
- DeVier Posey - A Career Pictorial looks back at DeVier's Ohio State career in photos now that he's been drafted by the Houston Texans.
- Tim Tebow comments on Ohio State (video) from a conference held in Columbus.
- Boom Herron - A Career Pictorial looks back at Boom's Ohio State career in photos now that he's been drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals.