Archive for the ‘Buckeyes’ Category

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Instead of continuing to compete for one of three open offensive line positions for the 2016 season, redshirt freshman Grant Schmidt has decided to transfer from The Ohio State University. The 6’6’’ 300 pound Schmidt was a First Team All-South Dakota choice as a high school senior. He was the 50th best offensive lineman in the nation in the 2015 recruiting class according to Phil Steele.

Schmidt graduated early and enrolled at Ohio State last January to get a head start in his college career. After redshirting last season, I thought he would have a great opportunity to get playing time this year, likely at one of the tackle spots.

Junior Jamarco Jones and sophomore Isaiah Prince are the leading candidates to start the season at left and right tackle, respectively, following the graduation of Taylor Decker and Chase Farris. Schmidt was competing with sophomore Kyle Trout along with fellow redshirt freshman Branden Bown and Kevin Feder for backup spots this spring.

When practice picks up again in late summer, I expect Juco transfer Malcolm Pridgeon to join the competition at tackle.

 

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This is just the sixth all-time meeting between these two blue bloods (Ohio State leads 3-2 SU) with the last meeting in the 2005 Fiesta bowl, a 34-20 Buckeye (-4.5) win. Notre Dame has been in the post season every year under head coach Brian Kelly, going 3-2 SU/2-3 ATS, including beating LSU, 31-28 (+8) in last years Music City Bowl. Kelly was 1-2 SU/0-3 ATS in bowls as the head coach at Cincinnati. Ohio State is 2-1 SU/ATS in bowls under head coach Urban Meyer, winning both last year to become the National Champions. Prior to Ohio State, Meyer was 7-1 SU/ATS in bowls while the head coach at Florida and Utah and he was also the wide receivers coach at Notre Dame from 1996-2000.

Ohio State was expected to repeat as National Champions after returning 14 starters, including three All-American’s! The quarterback play was inconsistent as Cardale Jones and JT Barrett alternated the first seven games and the offense unexpectedly struggled (lost offensive coordinator Tom Herman to Houston). Barrett was named the starter against Rutgers, then was suspended versus Minnesota. He returned to start the last three, but struggled in a downpour in the home loss to Michigan State and workhorse running back Ezekial Elliot was underutilized. Elliot was then given a season high 30 carries in a rout over arch-rival Michigan. The Buckeye’s averaged 429 yards per game, and are No. 7 on defense in the FBS, holding their opponents to 97 yards per game less then they average.

Notre Dame returned 17 starters. Malik Zaire won the starting quarterback job, but suffered a broken ankle and was lost for the year after two games. Redshirt freshman DeShone Kizer has done a solid job in relief. Injuries were the norm for the Fighting Irish and Kelly said that nine starters were lost for the year. Notre Dame lost by two at Clemson despite a 141 yard edge as a defensive holding/pass interference was not called on their two point conversion attempt that would’ve tied the game. They then won six straight and in their regular season finale met Stanford. They lost in Palo Alto by two, allowing the game-winning 45 yard field goal with no time left after taking the lead 30 seconds earlier. They are No. 12 in the FBS, averaging 115 yards per game more then their opponents allow on average.

Notre Dame is just a couple of plays from being undefeated and are 5-1 ATS against bowl teams, outgaining them by 78 yards per game, while Ohio State is 3-5 ATS, but outgained their bowl opponents by 98 yards per game. Urban Meyer is arguably the best big game coach in the nation as he is 9-2 in bowls with three National Titles. The Buckeyes could be in a letdown spot as they expected to be in the playoffs, while Notre Dame is 3-0 as a ‘dog this year. Ohio State is the more talented team and this should be a high scoring game.

1. The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the NBA Finals for the second time in team history and I’ve got one piece of advice for everyone out there. Enjoy it! No matter the outcome. Enjoy it! Sure I want to see them bring a championship to my city, but in the process of doing so, I’m going to soak in the entire atmosphere that being in the Finals bring. Most of you aren’t going to pay the steep price for playoff tickets (myself included) so do what I’m going to do. Buy a $5 ticket and go watch one of the road games at the Q with 20,000 other fans. While you won’t actually ‘be’ at the game, it’ll create a memory that you won’t forget. And it’s much more affordable!

2. Speaking of the Cavaliers, you know it’s a good thing when President Lincoln is also #AllinCle

3. I shared a video about Cavalier’s center Timofey Mozgov in an earlier blog and now here is a video about JR Smith. Grab a cigar and some cognac.

 

4. The MLB All-Star game is six weeks away and there are two Cleveland Indian position players that are worthy of All-Star consideration.

Second Baseman Jason Kipnis is coming off one of the greatest months in not just team history, but also MLB history and his .340 batting average is second best in the entire American League. He is in the top 10 in the AL in the following categories: Hits (2nd), runs (4th), doubles (3rd), triples (2nd), total bases (4th), on base % (4th), slugging % (9th) and OPS (6th). When it comes to the All-Star voting, however, Kipnis ranks a distant 4th, over 1.5 million votes behind the leader, Jose Altuve, of the Houston Astros.

Left fielder Michael Brantley, who finished third in last years MVP voting, is hitting .302, fifth best among AL outfielders. He is in the top 10 among outfielders in the following categories: Hits (5th), doubles (1st), RBI (4th), walks (4th), on base % (4th), slugging % (7th), and OPS (5th). Brantley is currently 7th in the All-Star voting  among outfielders, over 1 million votes behind 3rd place Alex Gordon of the Royals.

Do what I did and vote for these two as they both deserve to be on the team.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2015/ballot.jsp?tcid=ASG15_mlb_leftrailpromo

5. Speaking of the Tribe, remember when I said that reigning Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber would be just fine? Over his last four starts, Kluber is 3-0 with 50 strikeouts and  miniscule 1.41 ERA. He’s looking every bit like the Cy Young winner that we saw last season.

6. I recently heard there is a remake of one of my all time favorite movies, ‘Point Break.’  No, I’m not joking. Patrick Swayze has to be turning in his grave over this one. Why redo a movie that was already a classic and featured an ex Ohio State quarterback turned FBI agent chasing a group of bank robbing surfers? Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers Anthony Kiedis says in this scene, “That would be a waste of time.”

 

7. The latest addition to my guilty pleasure.

breds

8. I’m still a beginning smoker but I’m really enjoying it. The latest thing I smoked was St. Louis style ribs. The difference between these and baby backs are the St Louis style has more fat, which provides more flavor. I used apple wood to smoke and they turned out pretty good. I went 5 hours at 250 degrees, which was just a little too long, so I’m going to shorten them up next time.

ribs

9. Okay, back to sports. The College football season is less than 100 days away and the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this season according to the Vegas odds is Ohio State Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliot. He’s even got his own hype video. Check it out.

 

10. Speaking of college football, we recently wrapped up the 2015 Phil Steele College Football Preview magazine, AKA the college football bible. That also means we’ve released our pre-season All-American teams. Notre Dame led the way with three 1st team All-Americans. To see the entire four team list click the link below.

http://philsteele.com/All_Conference/2015/2015%20Preseason/All-American.html

11. Floyd Mayweather is expected to return to the ring in September and many are wondering who his next opponent or vitctim will be. There has been plenty of talk about England’s Amir Khan getting the next shot at the pound for pound king but after his lackluster performance last week against Chris Algieri, he’ll likely be removed from the discussion. Why not give Miguel Cotto, who fights this weekend on HBO, a rematch? He gave Mayweather a good fight when the two shared the ring in 2012. Here’s his greatest hits for those that aren’t aware of what he brings to the table.

 

12. I haven’t written since the NFL draft took place and heading into the draft I was worried about the incompetence that the Cleveland Browns were likely going to show. Well I was relieved during the first round as I turned to my cousin and brother-in-law, who were with me at the Cleveland Convention Center for the draft party, and told them that this draft proves the team is trying to win games and not sell jersey’s like last season. I think the Browns hit a home run with this draft and will start seeing immediate dividends on the field.

13. Speaking of the Browns, the odds in Vegas have the Browns over/under at 6 1/2 wins. The Browns will win more than six games this season. Those that know me know first hand that I am not a homer in any way, shape, or form so for me to come out and write this is a change in the way that I’ve thought about my hometown team for some time. They won seven games last season, have improved every position group on the roster, and competed with every team in their division last year. Yes, I know the schedule is tougher, but splitting with our division isn’t out of the question and the Browns should be able to beat teams qb’d by the Geno Smith (Jets) and Marcus Mariota/Zach Mettenberger (Titans) while also getting past the 49ers at home in December. That’s seven wins right there.

Despite the scrutiny, Jim Tressel could be the president Youngstown State needs.

Aaron Craft hit 5 three pointers and had a career high 20 points as The Ohio State Buckeyes basketball team won their season opener 82-60 over the Albany Great Danes this afternoon from the Value City Arena in Columbus.

Lenzelle Smith Jr slams home 2 of his 18 points against Albany. Photo courtesy of The Ohio State University.

The Buckeyes limited the Great Danes to just 35.6% shooting, including going just 6-22 from behind the arc.

Not only did Craft lead Ohio State in scoring, he also did an excellent job of setting up scoring opportunities for his teammates, handing out a game high 7 assists. Pre-season All American selection Deshaun Thomas scored 19 points, and Lenzelle Smith Jr added 18.

LaQuinton Ross came off the bench to chip in with 10.

Mike Black led Albany with 20 points.

The game was a part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, and the Buckeyes will continue tournament play in Uncasville, Conn., for their next game, set for Saturday against  Rhode Island, of the Atlantic 10 Conference.

For highlights of the game click the link below.

http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/allaccess/?media=351549

The Ohio State Buckeyes basketball program will undoubtedly start their season today from the Value City Arena in Columbus after their original season opener, scheduled for Saturday, was cancelled.

Condensation on the court of the USS Yorktown forced the cancellation, but there will be no issues of that kind for today’s tipoff, scheduled for 2:00 against the Albany Great Danes.

The Great Danes, members of the America East Conference, enter today’s game with a 1-0 record as they defeated Duquesne 69-66 on Friday night. They are led by senior point guard Mike Black, who was selected as a pre-season All-Conference member.

Albany is expected to compete for their conference title this year after winning 19 games a season ago.

The Buckeyes are 4-1 all time vs teams from the America East Conference and today’s contest will be the first meeting between the two squads.

Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas show O-H-I-O pride aboard the USS Yorktown under brighter skies. Photo Courtesy of Ohio State

I’m not sure if it’s ironic that a basketball game scheduled to be played aboard a ship was cancelled due to condensation, but that’s exactly what happened to the Buckeyes tonight. Scheduled to take on Marquette as part of the Carrier Classic on the USS Yorktown, officials could not keep water off the playing surface, exposing a dangerous option to the players, so officials of both teams agreed to cancel the contest.

Now the Buckeyes opening contest of the season will take place on Sunday in Columbus against Albany. Tip-off is set for 2:00 and the game will be televised by the B10 Network.

The Final Four will be in Atlanta this college basketball season and both the Ohio State Buckeyes and Cleveland State Vikings quests begin tonight.

Despite the Buckeyes losing two starters, including first round draft choice Jared Sullinger, they return two pre-season All-Amercians in forward Deshaun Thomas (1st team) and point guard Aaron Craft (3rd Team).

Tonights game will be played outdoors on the USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC against Marquette. NBC sports channel will televise.

Uniforms Ohio State will wear tonight

Uniforms Ohio State will wear tonight. Photo courtesy of Ohio State

The Vikings lost four starters from last seasons NIT tournament squad and this season may be a struggle at times. The constant for the Vikings is the fact that they still have the best coach in the Horizon League in Gary Waters. Tim Kamczyc is the lone returning starter, while sophomore forward Anton Grady is easily the most talented player on the team and is expected to improve on his 8.5 ppg and 6.4 rpg averages this season.

The Vikings tip off with Grambling State tonight in the annual John McLendon game.

1. One of the games I charted two weeks ago was the Tulsa vs Tulane matchup. While the game went entirely Tulsa’s way, Devon Walker, a DB from from Tulane suffered a broken neck on the last play of the first half. It was reported that he actually stopped breathing before being revived. I ask that you all pray for Devon, a former walk-on, who worked his tail off to become a scholarship athlete. Tulane has also set up a Devon Walker fund at: http://www.tulane.edu/devonwalker

2. That leads me to a game that I charted last week between Nebraska and Arkansas State. After having his pulse checked during the first half, Bo Pelini was taken to the hospital during halftime as a precaution. While he checked out fine, it served as a reminder of the grind these coaches go through. I know most of them make a TON of money, but still, it shouldn’t be at the benefit of your health. Money can buy a lot of things, but it can’t buy health.

3. The Texas Longhorns may be ranked #12 in the latest AP poll, but in no way are they the 12th best team in the country. Yes, they defeated an overmatched Ole Miss squad by the score of 66-31, but their defense gave up way too many big plays, coupled with a 100 yd kickoff return on special teams.

4. The most underrated coach in College Football is WKU’s Willie Taggert. And it’s not even close. He’s turned the Hilltoppers completely around and he doesn’t need to use the gimmicky uptempo, spread offenses that so many college coaches use these days. He is doing it with a smashmouth, westcoast, run orientated brand of football taught to him first by Jack Harbaugh, and then by Jim Harbaugh. After his playing days were over at WKU, Taggert was an assistant under Jack at his alma mater, then an assistant under Jim at Stanford. And i’m not saying it because of his win over Kentucky. I was more impressed with his ability to hang with LSU last year and Bama this year. The 35-0 loss to Bama was completely misleading. WKU was only outgained by 100 total yards. The score was so lopsided due to Bama forcing 4 turnovers. Oh yeah, and then there’s this. WKU had 6 sacks on the so called “greatest OL in college football!” I can see Taggert taking over for Derek Dooley at Tennessee in the very near future.

5. The Cleveland Browns are heading in the right direction. I know they are 0-2, but they have had a legitimate chance to win each game. This is a team that was considered by many as one of the 5 worst in the league this year. While many were upset after the opening loss to the Eagles, I wasn’t. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the fact that they lost, but come on and be realistic. Did you even think they were going to make it a game leading into the season? The fact that they hung with one of the upper echelon teams in the NFL shows that they aren’t the pushovers they have been. They then answered that with a game on the road against the Bengals where they were an onside recovery from a final drive to tie the ball game.

6. The Cleveland Indians must have new ownership if they are ever going to compete for a World Series Championship. I really don’t need to expand on that point at all.

7. My beloved Ohio State Buckeyes will finish with the best record in the Legends division of the B10 this year. I know they didn’t look so hot versus Cal last week, but Urb will right the ship and their real only competition, Wisconsin, is not the Wisconsin team that you are used to seeing. If you think the Buckeyes have struggled, look at the Badgers barely escaping with wins at home against Northern Iowa & Utah State, and losing at a not so talented Oregon State squad.

1.  I told you last week, to take a Cleveland Browns win, no matter how ugly it is or was.  Memo to Browns offensive coordinator Brian Dabol, when you are facing the worst rush defense in the entire NFL, like you were last week, Peyton Hillis has to have more than 21 carries.  I know, Hillis had three fumbles, but I’d much rather take my chances feeding Hillis the rock, then relying on Jake Dellhome and his three yard passes.  There were two different drives in the second half, in which the Browns went three and out, that drove me freaking nuts.  Can you guess what the play calls were for those drives?  I’ll fill you in.  First down – Pass.  Second down – Pass.  Third down – Pass.  I’ll just fill you in on what happened on fourth down.  Punt. 

2.  Has anyone regresses more rapidly than JJ Hickson of the Cleveland Cavaliers?  I mean, at the beginning of the season he was one of the few bright spots on the team.  He seemed like a guy that was “untouchable” when talking about players to trade.  Now, the guy seems lost on the court and isn’t even making plays on the offensive end.  I don’t think the Cavs should give up on him just yet, however.  He’s still a young player that is learning a new system.  I think he can still be a solid offensive NBA player.

3.  Bernard Hopkins will become the oldest boxer to ever win a true championship when he defeats Jean Pascal this weekend for the Lineal Light Heavyweight Championship of the World.  The odds are stacked against Hopkins; He’s nearly 46 years old, will be fighting on Pascal’s home Canadian turf, and is coming off a lackluster performance over Roy Jones Jr in April.  It doesn’t matter.  Hopkins is at his best when people start counting him out.  I think this will be his last great performance in the ring.  Showtime is televising it.   

4.  It’s funny that Terrelle Pryor said that if he were playing in the spread offense, he would “dominate.”  Here’s an idea Terrelle, stop shot putting the ball, make better decisions, and dominate in a pro-style offense so you can improve your draft status.  And while you’re at it, give another Rose Bowl type performance against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.  Do that, and many of the “Haters” will start supporting you again.

5.  We will get to see just how good Cleveland State is when they go on the road to take on West Virginia on Saturday.  This will be the best team that Cleveland State will have played this season and it is on the road.  Head coach Gary Waters will have his team ready and in years past, where Cleveland State has sometimes gone into games like this with “Big Eyes,” I don’t think that will be the case.  The most significant matchup will be in the paint between Aaron Pogue and Kevin Jones.  If Pogue can control that matchup, CSU will remain unbeaten.

6.  When Cleveland Indians and Major League Baseball great Bob Feller was taken into hospice care last week, I knew the time was coming, but didn’t want to think about it.  After learning of Fellers passing last night I was in shock.  This is a man that I’ve personally spoken to before and is a living legend.  Please go and read all of the articles on this great man.  Go to every major sports website and read about him.  He’s an all time great who lost nearly four years of his prime while serving America during World War II.  A great pitcher, but an even greater American.  And he had to pass away while Larry Dolan owned the Indians.  Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

There isn't a better player that will ever put on a Cleveland Indians uniform

7.  I still think it’s crazy that freshman are for the most part the best players in college basketball.  Ohio State’s Fabulous Frosh Jared Sullinger earned his second Big Ten Player of the week award in the first four weeks of the season.  He leads the second ranked team in the nation in scoring and doesn’t seem to mind the adjustment from high school to college ball.  He will win the Big Ten Player of the Year award.

8.  Arrive to Christmas concerts and recitals early.  If you are just a tad late, you are stuck in the back and won’t see anything.  My son had his Christmas concert last night at St. Anthony’s and I got there about 5 minutes before it started.  I was stuck in a pew in the back of the cathedral and missed out.  Couldn’t even see him. 

9.  Colt McCoy should be the starter for the rest of the season and I’m happy to see that Eric Mangini has listed his as such.  Despite improvement in the team, it appears that Mangini is going to be on the outside looking in when the coaching reviews happen after the season. Mangini should be coaching the Cleveland Browns after this season.  The team is headed in the right direction and this organization needs some stability in the worst way.

10.  There are some Cleveland Boxers in action.  Raynell Williams and Terrell Gausha are fighting tonight in World Series of Boxing matches.  Both won their first bouts two weeks ago.  Heavyweight Ray Austin is going up against former Olympic Gold medalist Odlanier Solis from Cuba on Saturday in Miami.  The winner gets a shot at titlist Vitali Klitschko.  Michael Moore improved to 6-0, 4 KO’s after a first round knockout Tuesday night in Texas.   

11.  Go see “The Fighter” which hits theatres this week.  It’s the true story about “Irish” Mickey Ward and the struggles he had to endure while also being a damn good professional prizefighter.  You will be amazed if you don’t know the story behind this man.  The only bad thing about it is it doesn’t go into the epic trilogy that Ward had with the late Arturo Gatti.  SMDH.  Why are you still reading this?  Go see it!! 

12.  Amir Kahn and Marcos Maidana put on what essentially will be voted as the fight of the year this past Saturday on HBO.  What an epic back and forth battle featuring everything you look for in a prizefight; knockdowns, drama, blood, and of course excitement!  If you missed it and have HBO, go check it out on the HBO On Demand channel.  Hopefully it will turn you into a boxing fan, if you aren’t one already.

13.  Congrats to The University of Akron Zips soccer team as they won the College Cup and were crowned National Champs!!  Ohio featured the High School National and College National Champions in Soccer this year!!  If you have kids, you understand my excitement for soccer.