Sunday, January 11, 2015

BUCKEYES WILL OUTMATCH DUCKS IN INAUGURAL CFP CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

DALLAS — If you would have told me in mid-August — following news that senior quarterback Braxton Miller would miss the entire season — that Ohio State would make it to the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship game in Dallas some five months later, I would have been scurrying for my bag of magic beans to sell you.

Following the Buckeyes' two-touchdown loss to Virginia Tech in September, if you would have told me the Buckeyes were still going to the title game, I would have reserved a room for you, equipped with padded walls and 24-hour surveillance by top medical professionals.

But ... here we are. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

BUCKEYES, ALABAMA FACE OFF IN WHAT FEELS LIKE A CHAMPIONSHIP

NEW ORLEANS — Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has noted numerous times that the Buckeyes have just one rival, Michigan.

While that statement holds true, the team Meyer's been building over the past three years hasn't been engineered to take down the hated Wolverines.

The Meyer-led Buckeyes have been built to take down Alabama. 

Thursday night inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, the fourth-ranked Buckeyes (12-1) will do battle with the No. 1 Crimson Tide (12-1) in the College Football Playoff semifinal — with a berth in the National Championship game waiting for the victor.

Friday, December 26, 2014

BRAXTON MILLER SHOULD STILL BE BUCKEYES' STARTING QB IN 2015

Braxton Miller
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
There has been a lot of buzz going around Columbus that injured senior quarterback Braxton Miller will transfer for his fifth season next fall.

While his father squashed most of that during Miller's graduation in Columbus over the weekend, there are still those who believe Miller will leave the program after the success of redshirt freshman signal caller, J.T. Barrett. And even more who actually think he should leave.

I am certainly not one of those people.

Monday, December 22, 2014

NEW COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SYSTEM IS BETTER, BUT NOT BEST

Sometimes things in life can be better, but not good enough.

That's how I view the current College Football Playoff. 

Sure, Ohio State reaching the top four has generated a ton of excitement in the Buckeye State, and yes, the current system is much better than the old Bowl Championship Series. However, it is still lacking greatly and I am just wondering why it is such a monumental effort to give the best teams — all of them — a shot at the title.

Friday, December 5, 2014

WITH ALL OSU HAS OVERCOME, WHO COULD BET AGAINST THEM?

COLUMBUS — What a crazy ride it has been for the Ohio State football team this season. 

The Buckeyes began the 2014 campaign by losing their two-time Big Ten Player of the Year quarterback, Braxton Miller — to a shoulder injury — giving way to a freshman signal caller in J.T. Barrett, who had never taken a snap in a collegiate contest prior to this season. 

It certainly seemed their College Football Playoff dreams were dashed with the injury to Miller.

However, after a rough start, Barrett went on a rampage, logging more yards of offense than anyone in school-history, and more total touchdowns than anyone in the history of the Big Ten. Barrett was well on his way to making it a third-straight Big Ten P.O.Y. honor for the Buckeyes.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

'THE GAME' IS ALL THE MOTIVATION NEEDED FOR OHIO STATE, MICHIGAN

COLUMBUS — While Ohio State is certainly scratching and clawing to get themselves into the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings, all of that noise will be silenced this week as they prepare for what is simply known as, 'The Game!'

It's 'Michigan Week' in Columbus, and all attention will be on 'That Team Up North,' as they face off with one another at Ohio Stadium on Saturday (12 p.m, ABC)

"I hear people say that it's just another game," OSU head coach Urban Meyer said of the rivalry with Michigan. "We don't take that approach at all ...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

J.T. BARRETT NOW A HEISMAN CONTENDER, AS OSU FACES INDIANA

COLUMBUS — Not only has Ohio State thrust themselves onto the short list of College Football Playoff contenders, they have done so on the shoulders of a freshman ... wait for it ... Heisman Trophy contender!

Don't believe the Buckeyes' young quarterback, J.T. Barrett, is worthy of the most coveted individual trophy in collegiate sports? Well let me provide you with a little food for thought. 

Through 10 games this season, Barrett has combined for more total touchdowns (29 passing, 9 rushing) than nine Big Ten teams. In fact, he has gotten the rock across the chalk more than 60 teams have in the FBS. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

BUCKEYES' ROAD TO PLAYOFF RUNS THROUGH MINNESOTA

COLUMBUS — It is remarkable how much this Ohio State football team has evolved over the past two months. The upward progression can be compared to a rocket blasting into space.

After looking absolutely putrid in their week two loss against lowly Virginia Tech, the Buckeyes have not only bounced back, they have catapulted themselves into the College Football Playoff discussion by winning their last seven outings by a margin of 30 points per game.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer — who has won two national championships in his illustrious career thus far — said this year's Buckeyes have improved more in one season than any team he has ever coached.

Friday, November 7, 2014

BIG TEN PLAYOFF HOPES ON THE LINE IN EAST LANSING

COLUMBUS — With the College Football Playoff looming this season, every single game from here on out possesses huge implications.

For the Big Ten, this week's showdown between No. 13 Ohio State (7-1, (4-0 Big Ten) and No. 7 Michigan State (7-1, 4-0) in East Lansing, pairs two teams who give the conference its best chance of inclusion in the first-ever playoff this January.

It also pairs two programs who have become the class of the Big Ten.

Friday, October 31, 2014

BUCKEYES' NEAR LOSS MAY BE BLESSING IN DISGUISE

COLUMBUS — Some may say that Ohio State's double overtime win against unranked Penn State last Saturday wasn't something Buckeye Nation should be proud of, being that they were two-touchdown favorites going into the contest.

I am certainly not one of those pundits. In fact, I think it may have been the 13th-ranked Buckeyes (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) most impressive win of the season.

You see, the Penn State defense — tops in the FBS coming into the game — was hands down the most stingy unit the Buckeyes have faced this season. Add in an extremely hostile primetime crowd at Beaver Stadium, and you have all the ingredients of an upset loss.

Friday, October 24, 2014

BUCKEYES BELIEVING IN THEMSELVES AS THEY TRAVEL TO HAPPY VALLEY

COLUMBUS — Who would have imagined following the first two games of the 2014 season that Ohio State would be right back in the college football playoff hunt a little more than a month later?

After stumbling out of the gates with a narrow (unimpressive) victory over Navy, and a loss to less-than-stellar Virginia Tech, the No. 13 Buckeyes (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) have been on a massacre, pummeling their opponents in the four weeks since by nearly 40 points per game.

The youthful Buckeyes have scored more that 50 points in each of the past four games, and are only getting better and more efficient every time out.

Friday, October 17, 2014

BUCKEYES LOOKING TO KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING INTO RUTGERS

COLUMBUS — Ever since their loss to Virginia Tech, the 13th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) have been one terribly tough nut to crack.

While the defense has demonstrated a little more consistency over the past month, the offense has morphed into perhaps the finest head coach Urban Meyer has ever coached.

I know, that's a quite a huge statement, being that Meyer has two national championships on his resume. 

But ever since that loss to the Hokies, the Buckeyes have been going Vegas on the scoreboards, lighting up the opponents for 56 points and 624 yards per contest. Those numbers rank tops in the nation — minus the first two outings where Meyer admitted he was a "little conservative."

Thursday, October 2, 2014

BARRETT, 20TH-RANKED BUCKEYES FLYING HIGH INTO MARYLAND

It is quite apparent over the past two outings that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has taken the leash off of his youthful offense.

After posting just 55 combined points over the first two weeks of the season — against Navy and Virginia Tech — the 20th-ranked Buckeyes (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) have exploded for 58 points per contest since in routs over Kent State and Cincinnati.

"I was really excited to get our skill going, and we didn't do a good job early in the year," Meyer said Monday, during his weekly media luncheon in Columbus. "Navy, we were a little conservative because of a really new quarterback. Virginia Tech, I wish we had that one over again.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

BUCKEYES' DEFENSE MUST RISE TO CHALLENGE VS. KIEL, BEARCATS

COLUMBUS — With one quarter of the 2014 season in the rearview, the 22nd-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes have not played at the standard they have become accustomed to, especially under third-year head coach Urban Meyer.

Many will point out the Buckeyes (2-1) are starting a freshman quarterback, a revamped offensive line, and a defensive back seven with very little college football experience.

One person who will not point out those facts, however, is Meyer. 

"I hope you guys feel we are not a big excuse program," Meyer said Monday during his weekly media luncheon in Columbus. "We don't blame. I try to never go there. I warn our staff, I hear that when I say 'how are our players doing?' Well, we have a new quarterback. No you don't. He's a veteran player now. We try not to go there. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

BUCKEYES FACE LOTS OF MUSTS ON SATURDAY AGAINST KENT STATE

COLUMBUS — Coming off their first regular season loss since 2011, the 22nd-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes are hoping that the defeat to Virginia Tech is simply a pothole on the road toward a Big Ten title, and not a head dive into a dark abyss.

The Buckeyes (1-1) didn't appear to be prepared at all for the look Virginia Tech presented them on Saturday night, as the Hokies came out in full attack mode on Buckeyes freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said with no Braxton Miller, Carlos Hyde or a veteran offensive line, the Hokies pinned their ears back and sold out in their attempt to make Barrett's life in the pocket a living hell.

Friday, September 5, 2014

NO. 8 BUCKEYE MUST FIND THEIR TRUE IDENTITY VS. HOKIES

COLUMBUS — Going into the season opener last weekend against Navy, the biggest question coming out of Columbus was ... what would be Ohio State's true identity?

With nine starters lost on offense — including two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Braxton Miller — those concerns would be natural for any team.

However, following their 34-17 victory over the Midshipmen at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, the biggest question going into their second game against Virginia Tech unfortunately remains the same.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

GAME PREVIEW: NOT SURE WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MILLER-LESS OSU

How huge of an impact will the loss of senior quarterback Braxton Miller have on the fifth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes' 2014 campaign?

Well, just about a month prior to Miller being sidelined for the season after re-injuring his right shoulder in practice — originally sustained in last January's Orange Bowl loss to Clemson — the Buckeyes were tabbed as preseason favorites in the conference, taking a league-best 19 first place votes by the Big Ten football media.

After a re-vote on Monday, the Buckeyes claimed just one first-place vote, while the defending Big Ten champions, Michigan State, took 22 this time around. 

I don't know which tells more of the story of Miller's impact to the Buckeyes' chances ... the fact that they lost 18 votes, or that they conducted a re-do poll in the first place.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

BRAXTON MILLER HAS MOST CLUTCH WINS, BUT IS HE MOST CLUTCH?

Braxton Miller
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Although some folks feel he hasn't quite lived up to his full potential, Ohio State senior quarterback Braxton Miller can't exactly be labeled an underachiever, either ... right?

In nearly three full seasons as the Buckeyes' starting signal caller, Miller has put up an impressive 26-8 record, including a 22-2 campaign in two years under head coach Urban Meyer. 

He is also less than 2,300 yards from being the all-time leading passer in school history, and just 715 yards shy of becoming the greatest runner Columbus has ever seen — not named Archie Griffin.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

ORANGE BOWL PREVIEW: EXPECT FIREWORKS ON FRIDAY NIGHT

MIAMI — Going into their last outing (the Big Ten Championship), the Ohio State Buckeyes were figuring their following tilt would be taking place in southern California.

However, Michigan State decided to take the ticket and run to the west coast, leaving the No. 8 Buckeyes (12-1) traveling south for the winter to Miami to take on No. 12 Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl.

"Obviously, we're not going to where we thought we were going or where we wanted to be going, but we're playing in the Orange Bowl and that's a big-time bowl game," Ohio State senior offensive tackle Jack Mewhort said. "When you start going back to the coulda, woulda, shouldas, that's poisonous for a team. 

"It's our job as leaders to look ahead and make sure everybody is doing their business."

Sunday, December 8, 2013

SPARTANS PUT BUCKEYES' TITLE HOPES TO REST IN NAPTOWN

Michigan State wins the Big Ten championship and will play in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1988. (AP)
INDIANAPOLIS — Ohio State had national title aspirations going into Saturday night's Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis, needing just one win to punch their tickets to Pasadena.

No. 10 Michigan State had other plans.

Powered behind the nation's best defense, the Spartans held the second-ranked Buckeyes to season lows in points and yardage, while MSU quarterback Connor Cook dismantled the Ohio State secondary en route to a 34-24 upset victory, inside a packed Lucas Oil Stadium.