Tag Archives: jim tressel

Random Thoughts Vol. 3

OH GOD THERE'S MORE?!?!

Beginning of the month, been watching a lot of sports… yep, it’s time for another round of random thoughts.

Fernando Torres has scored one goal since being acquired by Chelsea in January… one. I always pick the best teams to follow don’t I?

The Yankees wouldn’t trade for Ubaldo Jimenez due to concerns about his velocity. In a possible trade the Rockies would’ve wanted Ivan Nova as part of the deal… Jimenez hasn’t made it past the 5th inning in 3 of his 7 starts with the Indians, Nova hasn’t lost since June… I think Cashman got that one right.

Losing to a FCS school should be like relegation in soccer shouldn’t it? Hi Oregon State.

Me at 8:30 pm last Saturday of the Boise State-Georgia game: “those Georgia uniforms are hideous.”

Me 48 hours  while watching the Maryland-Miami game: “those are the worst uniforms I have ever seen.”

Nyjer Morgan called Albert Pujols “Alberta,” does he realize Pujols is 4 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than him?

Oregon State should probably leave this out of the recruiting package.

Baylor is mad that Texas A&M is leaving the Big 12 and possibly breaking up the conference leaving them in football limbo. Somewhere Rice, TCU and SMU are uttering to themselves karma is a mother.

Wait a minute, Kevin Durant has tattoos?

At least David Garrard and Byron Leftwich have something in common to be mad about.

The way that analysts were criticizing his QB skills you would’ve swore Tim Tebow was black.

Appalachian wants to join the FBS… after getting drubbed 66-13 by Virginia Tech they should reconsider.

Tom Brady said he would welcome back Randy Moss with open arms. I’m not saying that’s in some way related to Chad Ochocinco… but I’m saying.

So if John Isner wins the U.S. Open is his career a bigger success than Andy Roddick’s?

Utah State almost beat Auburn, BYU beat Ole Miss, and Utah beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl years ago… maybe the SEC should stop playing teams from Utah.

Stephen Strasburg’s back, and he looks good.

(honestly it didn’t matter if the Nats lost that game or not, all that mattered was if Strasburg looked like he was the same pitcher he was before he left or not and he was. His movement and velocity were pretty darn good, he made everything look effortless and dominated a decent Dodgers lineup. If I’m the Nats and I look at a rotation with Strasburg, a rejuvenated Chien-Ming Wang, Jordan Zimmerman and John Lannon at bats like Ryan Zimmerman and Mike Morse then I’m feeling good about next year. that is if Jayson Werth can hit with that $18 million per year salary on his back.)

That Carlos Beltran deal isn’t working out so well for the Giants… shocker.

Who’s the next program to get stung by the NCAA? I’ll take South Carolina.

I’m still blinded by Maryland’s uniforms.

TIki Barber is shocked that no one threw him a bone this offseason. I mean who wouldn’t want a 36 year-old running back that hasn’t played in 5 years with tons of public baggage?

Ndamukong Suh is not dirty, he’s just playing football the way Deacon Jones would like.

It might be time for Tiger Woods to consider new career options.

This hasn't gone exactly as planned.

I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett.

Aaron Rodgers called out Mark Sanchez for his GQ pictures. What can Sanchez respond with? Rodgers just won a Super Bowl he can say what he wants.

I think we might actually have a season without Brett Favre.

I have a feeling Luke Fickell might be more conservative than Jim Tressel.

By the way, how does Tressel get a six game suspension from the NFL for his NCAA violations?

(Goodell needs to keep college problems in college. Their penalties don’t transfer to the NFL. Tressel quit/ got fired by the Ohio State University so his 5 game suspension is pretty much obliterated. The fact that Tressel and Terrelle Pryor for that matter have carry over suspensions from college shows that maybe Goodell has too much power when it come to these disciplinary actions and should some of that power stripped. And it will be… in ten years with a new CBA. Good job NFLPA.)

Doesn’t it seem like Lance Briggs and the Bears have been beefing since 2006?

Apparently the NBA is making strides to getting a CBA done real soon. How does Wilson Chandler feel about that?

If the Philadelphia Phillies don’t win the World Series it would be a Greek tragedy.

I have a few choice words for how the Baltimore Orioles handled the makeup games with the New York Yankees and the results of those games. I can’t say them on this blog but I’ll let your mind wander.

After all of the controversy surrounding Ohio State this year how do three more players get suspended for taking benefits? I should’ve went to Ohio University.

I expected more from the Winnipeg Jets jerseys.

Mike Fisher you lucky son of a gun.

At least they weren’t Maryland’s.

(you know what’s even scarier than what we witnessed on Monday night? There are more than 12 color combinations that Under Armour has in store for this year. Under Armour is based in Baltimore, Maryland and I guess they are doing to the Terps what Nike did to the Oregon Ducks… except Oregon’s outfits look extremely cool. Oregon’s designs have flair and eye popping designs, Maryland’s are a horror show. There was way too much of the Maryland flag for any human being to take. A message to UA: emulation is the sincerest form of flattery but leave the flashy stuff to Oregon. By the way Maryland’s football team is going to make some noise this year and you should pay more attention to Danny O’Brian than his jersey.)

What Ana Ivonivic could’ve been.

Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly broke up… hide your girlfriends New York.

NHL training camps start this week…

That mean we’re a month a away from Rachel McAdams shots at Vancouver games and Carrie Underwood at Predators games.

God I love hockey.


North Carolina Does The Right Thing

Dick Baddour did what Gene Smith couldn't do.

North Carolina did what Ohio State didn’t have the testicular fortitude to do; they fired their coach amid an NCAA investigation and other outstanding allegations while their AD stepped down in the process.

It didn’t matter that Butch Davis was the school’s most successful coach since Mack Brown in the 90’s, nor did it matter that he constantly said that he had no idea that his football team was running amuck. The school still held him responsible and told him to get to steppin.

I give now former AD Dick Baddour props for what he did yesterday. He swallowed his pride and admitted his mistake that Davis wasn’t worth the trouble that he was allowing to happen under his watch.

Baddour hired Davis to rebuild the North Carolina program in the way that he did with the University of Miami before Larry Coker took over. Davis recruited very well with future NFL-ers Marvin Austin, Greg Little and Hakeem Nicks standing out during his time there.

However, the school was caught in a huge scandal involving athletes receiving improper benefits from people outside of the program and more recently it came to pass that there were academic irregularities involving his players.

Davis continuously played dumb by stating that he had no idea of what was going on at the time and UNC went with it…

Until yesterday.

Davis cant play dumb any more.

Baddour fired Davis and then today stepped down as AD a year ahead of his retirement. He did so to ensure that the next coach wouldn’t have any conflict between his departure and the arrival of a new AD next year.

If only Gene Smith had the same level of care in his system.

This is what Ohio State should’ve done when it came time to discipline Jim Tressel. Sure Tressel was a highly successful coach and kept OSU in the top 10 nationally, but he was running a shoddy program.

Smith knew this and so did Gordon Gee. Instead of suspending him back when they knew of the violations they let all of 2010 play out, let him coach in the Sugar Bowl (not to mention let the players play), suspended him for two games, then only when the situation kept getting worse and worse did they finally allow him to step down or be forced out, whatever story you believe.

UNC didn’t let its recent success get in its way of making the right decision. It was clear that Davis was at fault for what was happening and it did the right thing by releasing him of his duties. Furthermore Baddour upped the ante by removing himself from his position due to the fact that all of this happened all of his watch.

The Tar Heels admitted their mistakes; the Buckeyes turn their dishonest leaders into martyrs.

North Carolina may not be on the same playing field as Ohio State when it comes to football, but rest assured the men in charge know what to do in a situation that calls for immediate action.

The Tar Heels will suffer in the short term on the field as they look for a new coach to get this team ready for football with only a month to prepare.

However, they should be the standard when it comes to disciplinary action. Their message to Butch Davis and any other coach that comes in is simple; hold others accountable for their actions as well as yourself. Success matters, but so does the integrity of the institution. If you can’t comply with both then you will not be a coach here.

I wish Ohio State would’ve taken that stance earlier this year.


The Curse Of Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor leaves OSU as a villian instead of a hero.

There is an air circulating over the city of Columbus, Ohio. It’s an eerie calm that rest over the city especially near the downtown region where The Ohio State University rests.

 

It’s finals week where some kids are studying hard to get through one last exam so they can hit the pools and the beaches and enjoy a summer in the sun, and others are preparing to finish out their scholastic careers and receive their diplomas at Ohio Stadium this Sunday.

 

One student is in between both scenarios. He will leave Ohio State with a myriad of memories that range from nostalgic to dreadful. He’s leaving school without a diploma and uncertainty as to where exactly he will land even though he boasts a pretty good resume.

 

One thing that stands out about him is not his talent in his field of study but all of the damage that he has done to himself and to the University that he called home for the last few years.

 

That man is the soon to be 22 year-old Terrelle Pryor. Former Quarterback of The Ohio State University.

 

Tuesday evening after his last final of the quarter, Pryor packed his bags and decided to leave Columbus after a 3 year career that featured more lows than high despite his statistics on the field.

 

Pryor was a winner on the field. He went 31-4 and won 2 BCS games including MVP honors at the 2010 Rose Bowl and the 2011 Sugar Bowl. However, let’s be honest, Pryor will be remembered for the comatose state that he will left OSU in upon his departure.

 

Let’s be clear about a few things; one, it’s not all his fault. Gene Smith deserves blame, E. Gordon Gee deserves blame, Jim Tressel, Mike Adams, Devier Posey and Dan Herron, the tattoo parlor, Aaron Kniffer, Ray Reitz and everyone involved in turning a blind eye to Pryor’s transgressions, and giving him everything he wanted and game him every excuse to be who he was.

Both of these deserve equal blame in the downfall of OSU.

 

Ever since high school Pryor was given everything and told how great he was and it continued all of the way to the end of his college days. Tomasina Pryor should’ve known that your kid doesn’t need cars in 3 years, Smith should’ve suspended him and his teammates for the Sugar Bowl, Tressel should’ve reported these violations when they happened. Why didn’t they? Because they all felt that they needed Pryor for whatever reasons there were. Pryor was their bread winner; their prized possession and they treated him like that. How would you act as a teenager when everyone allows you to do whatever you wanted and rewarded you?

 

Two, as much as I am not a fan of Pryor or his actions these rules are stupid. Bob Knight said it, Jay Bilas has said it over Twitter, the rules broken by these players are absolutely foolish. The fact that big time universities can cash in on their star “amateur” players yet the players cant is foolish.

 

The players themselves are merely pawns in a game to get their schools more TV money and revenue while most of the players never see the light of the NFL and even worse they never graduate. If Pryor or any of those players wanted to sell their memorabilia or signatures for money then they should have the right to do so.

 

With that said, rules are rules and Pryor broke them, continuously and without any care for them.

 

Pryor sold his name for thousands of dollars thanks to signatures for memorabilia. He sold his Big Ten Championship rings and Gold Pants given to the winner of the OSU-Michigan game for tattoos. He got deals on more than eight vehicles in three years… sure no one stopped him or got in his ear but he knew better.

 

The thing is that Pryor really didn’t care. He always talked like cared about OSU or how he was maturing and learned from his mistakes, but it all turned out to be just here say.

 

The fact is that Pryor didn’t learn much at Ohio State University, he didn’t learn to obey the rules, didn’t learn to respect the game, didn’t learn that when you do something harmful that it affects more than you or the team but also the institution, but most of all, and this is what will hurt him most, he didn’t really learn to perfect his craft.

 

Pryor leaves OSU without a clear vision of just where he will play or what position he’ll play. He’s neither accurate nor skilled enough to be an NFL QB right now and it doesn’t look like he’ll be a high pick in its supplemental draft, if there is one. He has an opportunity to play in the CFL or UFL but will it be as a QB or a wide receiver.

 

Right now Pryor is a man with no real direction as to where to go or what to do with himself.

 

Terrelle Pryor's last appearance in a OSU unifrom was at its annual spring game.

Then there is the mess he leaves behind him at OSU. 3 years ago he was hailed as the next big thing to come to OSU a legend in the making that will bring OSU another national championship and restore the pride that was taken away by the SEC in the previous two title games.

 

Now he is vilified, hated and most people wish that he had never come to Columbus. To the students and residents of Columbus he will be the man that brought down the institution that they grew to love. He cursed the school with so much tradition and pride and made it a mockery all over tattoos and cars. He brought shame to Ohio State University and left a stain that will remain on the campus long after he’s gone.

 

You think general managers and owners wont take a look at that whenever Pryor comes to tryout for a job?

 

Whatever the case maybe Pryor’s life in Columbus is over and he now joins the professional ranks of the United States of America. He will no longer be coddled, or worshipped. There will be no handouts or benefits for his services unless he performs to his talent level, which he hasn’t.

 

He will be picked at, overanalyzed and criticized for every little mistake that he makes from now until his playing days are over. All things considered he still has a bright future ahead and can still make something of himself.

 

However, what he left behind at Ohio State will never be forgotten. Terrelle Pryor came to Columbus to make an impact on the university and to have his name remembered for ever and ever.

 

He certainly did, but not in the way that he could’ve ever imagined.

 

Instead of blessing Buckeye Nation with his talent he cursed it with his immaturity and greed. He was supposed to be Ohio State’s quarterback Jesus; instead he became its Judas.


In The End Jim Tressel Had To Go

The Jim Tressel era came to an unfortunate end on Monday

It was only a matter of time. First the tattoo parlor scandal, then the fact that he withheld information from NCAA during its investigation, then the car scandal where everyone and their mother from the football team (literally) got a deal on a wide range of cars, which was against NCAA rules, then last week the final nail in the coffin former WR and doghouse lifer Ray Small confirming all of it by telling anyone that would listen to him…

So of course Jim Tressel resigned as Ohio State head coach, he has no choice but to at this point before it comes out that he knew where Osama Bin Laden was hiding all of these years.

Today’s resignation is another layer to an investigation that is slowly dragging Ohio State University into the third circle of hell in Dante’s football Inferno. With so much uncertainty and anxiety surrounding the program someone had to go to create some type of calm around the situation and why not start with the man under whose watch all of this happened.

Some will say Tressel is a coward for suspending his players then jumping ship when things got too hot. Listen, the guy’s not Pete Carroll, he was still standing there amid it all and taking every lump that OSU, the media and pop culture (those Tressel tattoo shirts are going to be a hot commodity come fall in Big Ten country) had to give him. His intensions were to stay at OSU and lead the program out onto the field once his five game vacation was over, however as the weeks progressed you started feeling that this mess was to deep for Tressel to just shrug off and walk back out onto the field and run “Tresselball” down our throats again.

The same players that Tressel tried to protect did him in.

There was too much was coming out about the insane amounts of illegal benefits that the Ohio State football players were receiving  and all of it was a flat out joke. Aaron Kniffer, a Columbus area car salesman gave out 50 heavily discounted cars to players and their family members, former linebacker Thaddeus Gibson got one for $0 (he says that he’s still paying it off, yeah, sure), Small came out last week and did his best Sammy the Bull and spread all of OSU’s wrongdoings across the school newspaper The Lantern (he later backtracked, of course he did), add that to the drama that’s occurred from December until today and you understand why Tressel had to walk away.

He had no choice. Gene Smith (who should share an equal share of this whole mess) wasn’t going anywhere, school President Gordon Gee wasn’t going to catch any flack for it, heck the players were even going to get a free pass.

(I’ve heard some comments today from some members of the media as to how can Tressel just walk away from his players like that? Um, his players put him in this position in the first place. On one hand Tressel should’ve had some idea of how much was going on behind his back as far as benefits and things of that nature were going on, but at the same time he’s not a babysitter. Whether he explained compliance and all that jazz to the absolute max isn’t the main issue here, guys still sold their personal belongings for other services illegally according to the NCAA rules, they received illegal benefits, cars and other things and they continued to do it. How does Tressel handle huge on the field expectations and even bigger off the field issues?

The downfall of Jim Tressel isn’t his ignorance to all of it happening; it is his players’ ignorance for starting of this drama in the first place. It’s weird but you could sort of feel all of this turn once Terrelle Pryor arrived on campus three years ago. Though he’s not the sole reason for this scandal he has been the main figure in it all and this is not the kind of attention Buckeye Nation was hoping for once he signed on the dotted line at national signing day 3 years ago.)

So for about the 89th time in the last six months after the 95th wrinkle in this on-going investigation we ask what now?

Do the suspended players look towards the NFL supplemental draft? How long will Luke Fickell stay at the helm as the new head man in Columbus? Will Gene Smith bring in a big name like Urban Meyer or Bob Stoops to take the reins? How bad will the NCAA come down on Ohio State? What will happen to Jim Tressel? And will other programs look at OSU and become more involved in stopping things like this from happening to their schools like it has at OSU, USC and maybe Auburn once we learn more about the Cam Newton scandal?

This isn’t a happy day in Columbus that’s for sure. Tressel was loved by the masses and praised by the students. Even with his shortcomings in two national championship games he dominated Michigan to the tune of 9-1 during his tenure and it seemed as though you couldn’t have a BCS game without Ohio State playing in it. The run that he had at OSU will not be matched for a long time, and even with this cloud of uncertainty hanging over the school the support for Tressel is still extremely high.

But he’s gone now. Whoever takes over as the next head coach at The Ohio State University has a lot of work to do to bring respectability and a good reputation back to the program and has to change its off the field image.

Today is just the beginning of will surely be the darkest period in the school’s historic existence. Wins and banners will be taken away as will scholarships and maybe future bowl appearances, and even though he is gone James Patrick Tressel will be associated with all of it.

He can’t stop any of it, just like he couldn’t stop any of the players who put him and the school in this predicament in the first place.


Shocked By Tressel’s Suspension? You Shouldn’t Be.

The Tressel suspension might only be the beginning of some bad things to come at Ohio State.

My reaction to the Jim Tressel suspension? A long yawn then I turned on some Notorious B.I.G. and thought about what to write about for Ash Wednesday.

Let’s be real, it’s the NCAA, everyone bends the rules in order to win games. More than graduation rates, more than “caring about the student athletes,” it’s about your job. If you don’t win games then you don’t get much longer to prove that you can.

For Jim Tressel he has long been criticized for being too conservative and not aggressive enough to be keep up with the rest of the NCAA including the SEC.

After his team’s impressive Rose Bowl victory he had some momentum and probably didn’t want this to leak out and ruin what could’ve been a national championship season. So he did what EACH AND EVERY COLLEGE COACH AND PROGRAM DOES, he covered up the truth for the sake of football gains for him and in the case of OSU, financial gains.

Wait a minute you ask, how can Ohio State University know about this when Tressel covered it up? If you don’t think that Gene Smith and Gordon Gee and all of the talking heads at the University knew about this at the same time that Tressel knew then I have a beach house in Iowa to sell you.

Of course they knew! Why do you think Smith flew back to Columbus so fast and put together a school made punishment for Tressel just as fast? They’re still trying to cover their tails.

As with all NCAA rule benders and breakers you will get caught and you will be punished. OSU thought this whole thing was sewed up back in December when Smith and the NCAA suspended the players while allowing them to play in the Sugar Bowl. Now that it turns out they were all lying to the NCAA? Well, it won’t be pretty.

Tressel will get, and deserves, more than the two games that he will be suspended, the school’s football program will be investigated in its entirety and if the NCAA finds that any member of the staff gave any player bus fare to get to the Ohio Union then they’re screwed.

But OSU knew that, they just didn’t care. They were like every single program in college, they did their share of dirt and like all programs they got caught and will suffer the consequences.

As it turns out, the events of December were just the beginning of what may turn out to be a much deeper problem with the Ohio State football program.

However, I’m not shocked. I’m just surprised this all didn’t happen sooner. It’s the NCAA what do you expect?


Another Sad Trip To Madison

#1 Ohio State goes down to Wisconsin... again.

Don’t feel bad Thad Matta, Jim Tressel feels you right now.

After yesterday’s 71-67 defeat against Wisconsin at Kohl Center the basketball buckeyes shared a similar result with the football buckeyes, being the number one team in the land and losing it to the Badgers.

However, unlike Tressel’s troops Matta’s men were in control from the start.

The Buckeyes broke Wisconsin’s slow down tempo and buried them with a barrage of threes and inside scoring. Willie Buford found his stroke with 21 points and Jared Sullinger was his usual immoveable self

After taking a two point lead into halftime the Buckeyes exploded coming out of the tunnel by finishing off a 24-6 that continued from the first half and built up a 47-32 lead with 13 minutes to go. They seemed destined to finish off the Badgers and roll into a Tuesday matchup with Michigan State unscathed.

Then Jordan Taylor found his stroke.

Taylor led a 15-0 run by scoring eight straight points as part of a monstrous second half that saw him drop 21 of his game high 27points. After Buckeyes point guard Aaron Craft knocked down two free throws to give the OSU the lead again Taylor led another 10-0 to put the Badgers up for good.

Taylor wasn’t alone in his efforts. Freshman Josh Gasser and Sophomore Mike Bruesewitz knocked down clutch threes in crunch time and the defense finally was able to slow down the Buckeyes. In all the Badgers shot 12-24 from three and the Buckeyes inability to stop them is what did them in.

Unfortunately for the Buckeyes if you look at the stat sheet that was the only statistic that favored Wisconsin. OSU had more rebounds, assists, less turnovers and shots 55% from the field. If you tell any coach in America those stats then almost 95% of them would expect a victory. Unfortunately for OSU that wasn’t the case.

Jordan Taylor helped bury the Buckeyes.

Their main issues yesterday were lack of bench production and Craft’s overall play. For the first time in his excellent freshman year Craft looked like a freshman as his skittish play caused more problems than they fixed. If Craft is hitting a wall then that’s going to be a big problem as OSU doesn’t have another point guard that can match his production or can have the same effect on the game as he can.

With six games left including a visit to West Lafayette next Sunday, the Buckeyes have to correct their mistakes from yesterday and get back on track. Kansas or Texas will unseat them at number 1 and both teams are red hot as is Pittsburgh and Duke. The Buckeyes looked like the best team in the country 48 hours ago, now they have their backs against the wall, teams breathing down their necks and flaws to fix. This is their make or break stretch that will prove if this team is a real title contender or just another year away.

The good thing for them is that they don’t face the same fate that the football Buckeyes did. That October loss at Camp Randall effectively ended a BCS title run and relegated them to a non-factor for the rest of the year. This setback only costs these Buckeyes a game and a little bit of doubt that they can overcome on a possible title run. That’s good for them, the bad thing is when it comes to being number 1 in the country Ohio State should avoid Madison, Wisconsin at all costs. Hopefully the hockey, women’s basketball and baseball teams don’t have to make this trip anytime soon because it won’t be pretty.

 


A Bittersweet Sugar Bowl Win

The Buckeyes won... but should everyone involved feel jubilated?

As the crowd filed out of the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana Liz and I walked together basking in the glory of Ohio State’s first victory against an SEC foe in their 31-26 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks.

The crowd screamed out O-H from blocks away and I couldn’t even yell I-O back because of my hoarse voice from screaming during the game. That was due to a combination of trying to be louder than the Arkansas continent, which was so huge that it seemed like all of Fayetteville followed the Hogs to Nawlins (side note: for anyone that thinks our O-H-I-O chant is annoying, sit through three hours of constant WOOOOOO PIG SOOIE chants. It got to the point where the echo of the Hogs annoying chant made me want to grab ear plugs or stab myself in the ear.), and Jim Tressel almost giving the game to the Hogs (side note 2: If Tressel lost this lead he should’ve been fired the next day. Tresselball is going to cost him his job one year I promise you.).

As we walked towards the French Quarter we replayed the game in our heads; the huge second quarter, Cameron Haywood and Dexter Larimore’s career making games, the block punt that almost cost us, and finally the interception by Soloman Thomas that saved us.

Then I said to Liz “isn’t it funny that the guys that should’ve been suspended were the ones that one the game for us?” She smirked and said yeah but I don’t think she or any Buckeye fans truly understand what just happened.

The Buckeyes won the game and did so by beating the SEC at their own game with speed and physicality. The offensive line led by left tackle Mike Adams barely let any Hog put his hands on quarterback Terrelle Pryor and He and running back Dan Herron found holes to run through all day.

Receiver Devier Posey was able to get separation from the Arkansas defensive backs including a second quarter touchdown that ultimately was the difference in the game. Now read those last two paragraphs again, Adams, Pryor, Herron and Posey.. those were the guys who shouldnt have played in the game due to suspensions from improper benefits received. Instead they, as well as Thomas, were the deciding factors in the Buckeyes victory (well that and the defense of Arkansas was absolutely horrendous, again.). If they don’t play in this game who knows if Joe Bauserman, Brandon Saine and Dane Sanzenbacher could’ve had the same type of performance.

Soloman Thomas seals the win, even though he should've been suspended.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take the W. Ohio State needed to shut up critics like Mark May who constantly bash them and slurp the mighty SEC (side note 3: wasn’t it great that he was booed loudly during the postgame interviews? We beat the SEC and let May have it in the same night, love it.), the win gives the University the respectability it rightfully deserves and saved the Big Ten from further embarrassment that it’s already suffered in 2010.

Yet I feel weird accepting this victory as sort of a triumph. We won in part because we got a pass from the NCAA. The NCAA thought about how the game might be impacted with the loss of our main guys and suspended them based on their infractions, and the timing of the game.

If this were before Toledo or Eastern Michigan in the early portion of the season they most certainly would’ve gotten the hammer for five games without question (hi A.J. Green), but they benefited from the fact that it was the Sugar Bowl and Allstate paid good money to have a good contest. For them Ryan Mallett couldn’t square off versus Bauserman, it would’ve been a disaster.

More than money, and the NCAA, is the fact that every big moment was punctuated by the players mentioned. Pryor’s feet kept us on front, Herron scored a touchdown and got key first downs as did Posey, and the final icing on the cake was the Thomas pick. These are technically heroes who we will tell stories to our kids about how they came through in the clutch and ended that damned SEC streak of dominance when last week we wanted to burn them at the stake for betraying us and disrespecting our institution for trading prized heirlooms for tattoos.

What that is, is the old adage that I tell everyone that lookedat me crazy when I watched Randy Johnson choke it up for the Yankees or watch Wade Redden was the Rangers money while we missed the playoffs last year. Everyone loves a winner and winning atones sins whether it’s right or wrong. One minute you can be a bum, the next your a god and the world is ok.

Ask Mike Vick, Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Tyson and Tiger Woods. If you screw up but come back and win everyone forgives and forgets, but if you press forward an don’t come through it will always hang over your heads.

That’s what makes this victory so great and so disturbing. I still hate their guts for putting personal luxuries over loyalty of their school and basically getting patted on the back for getting the school more money. At the same time you have to admire that these guys came out focused, and determined to put all of that behind them and put together classic performances with the world on their shoulders and watching. Pryor and company were dropped into the lions den with the crowd calling for blood and persevered coming out on top.

I sound like a Scrooge but it’s how I feel. One minute I’m mocking Arkansas’s chant (WOOOOOOOO KICK ROCKS!!!), the next I’m stewing about how this victory will be viewed in the long term.

Whatever I come to I have to face the facts, we won, whether the NCAA is right or wrong our guys went out there and did their jobs. We finally knocked out the SEC and we got the monkey off of our backs. We also will forgive the players who made it all happen but will pay for their indiscretion though it will be later then when it should’ve been.

Whether right or wrong that’s how it is. I guess I shouldn’t be too grumpy about it especially when me, Liz and 20,000 Buckeye fans went home happy chanting SEC all up and down the French Quarter in celebration. Winning makes you happy, no matter what you do or what happens to make it happen.


The Corruption That Is The NCAA

The handling of the OSU violations is both embarassing, and quite normal in the realm of reality in the NCAA

So here is Ohio State AD Gene Smith at the podium, taking question about the suspensions of six of his football players a day after the story breaks. Smith looks cool calm and collected answering questions from the press when he utters the statement of a lifetime; “We were not explicit with these young men that you could not resell items that we give you. We began to be more explicit in November 2009.”

 

One of my good friends, DJ, used to play baseball at OSU as a backup catcher. He has some great stories of things he went through from his playing days. Some G rated, some R rated, they never cease to draw interest from me at anytime.

 

Last week after the suspicious suspension of 5 prominent football players at OSU DJ told me about the rules of compliance at the school and how student athletes, like the football and baseball teams, have to sit through each meeting at the beginning an end of each quarter. According to him if you don’t sit through the meetings then you cant compete in any athletic competition. So it makes me wonder just how in the world the school’s AD Gene Smith says that the troubled stars were not properly instructed on the rules of the game.

 

The rundown goes as follows; last week six players at Ohio State were suspended for five games next year, but allowed to play in this year’s Sugar Bowl (more on that later), for selling their Big Ten title rings and gold pants jewels from the annual Michigan game for money used for tattoos, which under NCAA guidelines are listed as receiving improper benefits.

 

Its not just Joe Dirt off of the practice squad either, it was quarterback Terrelle Pryor, running back Dan Herron, Wide Receiver Devier Posey, Left Tackle Mike Adams and defensive Solomon Thomas who were the offenders. All except Thomas are offensive starters who lead the team in specific categories and make the Buckeyes go on offense. Losses like those would likely kill the Buckeyes chances in a game like the Sugar Bowl, where our tale of corruption takes a nice little turn.

 

Just how exactly can you suspend five guys for the first five games next season but have then play in the last game of this season? The sense made by the NCAA is little if there is any at all.

Gene Smith's reasoning for the players transgressions is proof that the institutions are more than liable for their players behavior.

 

NCAA is protecting the players for money reasons because their losses hurt the game on the field, which could hurt ratings and sponsorships. Pryor and company caught a lucky break for being the privileged student athletes that they are and for the game that they are in. if this was the Little Caesar’s Bowl trust me they wouldn’t be a part of it.

 

What does this say for all parties involved though? Think about how this affects the players, OSU, Jim Tressel, the NCAA and how they handle the situations at hand as well as the rules.

 

For the NCAA it makes you wonder if they really care about the rules at all. They suspended A.J. Green for selling is jersey at the beginning of the year and they make minor judgments here and there, but as far as doing the right thing the NCAA has done a poor job of that.

 

They Let Cam Newton play on even though he more than likely received $200,000 to play at Auburn, they were so lenient on Jeremiah Masoli’s arrest and easy transfer that it was laughable that he found a school with the right “graduate program” and could avoid sitting out a year and they have yet to address the issues of arrests and criminal mishaps at Georgia and Florida. Its like they’re picking their spots on who to go after and make the rule book stretch out further and further for certain programs like Ohio State.

 

Speaking of Ohio State what does this say about how they coddle their superstar athletes? Gene Smith’s ridiculous explanation for his students’ behavior is the main reason why these guys act out the way that they do. If the AD and coach and school can’t put the responsibility on the shoulders of their players why shouldn’t they do what they want? To say that his students didn’t know the rules is A. a lie and B. just plain silly. If the baseball players, lacrosse players and soccer players know what to and not to do than so should the football team, no exceptions.

 

Then there are the players at hand especially Pryor. For a guy that was as highly touted as Pryor he has done nothing to show that he is worth the hype. Pryor and his fellow mates now sit at a crossroads where they could leave for the NFL because all of them are eligible, but their draft stocks will be lower than what they could’ve been had they stayed for their senior season.

 

For Pryor especially he probably wont get a sniff at quarterback because he’s nowhere near ready to get under center in the NFL. It’s funny because when I watch Newton play I see the player that Pryor should’ve been. Newton is the complete package of strength, speed, accuracy and instincts that Pryor should’ve been. Watching #2 in Auburn makes me look at #2 in Columbus with great shame. Pryor could’ve been one of the best but never fully immersed himself in the game. It was all about the attention for Pryor and now in likely his final season that attention will have prevented from being so much more and make him a huge disappointment.

One final disappointment to end Pryor's disappointing career.

 

For me this is about a lack of respect in all areas from Smith, the NCAA but more importantly the players. I’m a proud Ohio State grad; I respect this school and what it embodies more than most things. To watch these guys sell their rings and golden pants charms, which the older players cherish like their children, means that they don’t have respect for the institution that pays their way through school or for the other kids that walk through The Oval or down High Street on a daily basis. To put money for tattoos over career and your institution is unforgiveable to me. It shows what kind of guys they really are and it makes me furious.

 

(I had a facebook status about this actually where I said (paraphrasing) that most NCAA institutions cheat, it happens, but you have to smart about it. For these guys to be this open and dumb about it makes me even more furious. You sat through those meetings, you knew the rules and you still didn’t care. Another reason why Smith’s statement ticked me off, THEY KNEW! He knows too, but in the end it all doesn’t matter because that’s college sports. Its not about academics or school pride or tradition anymore its all about money. That’s why Nebraska is in the Big Ten, why Josh Selby gets only 8 games for being paid to play amateur games and why Pryor and Newton get to play in the BCS money games. They NCAA knows what they did wrong, but they don’t care, it’s all about the money.)

 

However you look at it it’s one big mess. The NCAA gets its money game, Pryor gets one more chance to show off his limitless, but limited, talents, the players will get away unscathed, Gene Smith sweeps it under the rug with no responsibility and everyone is happy. That’s the way it works. It’s like the movie Casino; everyone is crooked in someway whether you’re building a casino with mob money and skimming it off of the top, or your athletes are doing illegal activities that you know about yet your reaping the benefits of their star and turning away. That’s how it is.


Full Exposure

The Overrated dont last long at number one coach.

Congratulations Ohio State, thanks to Wisconsin you have been exposed as a fraud. The soft schedule and lack of a true early season road test all came to head this weekend in Madison as the Buckeyes got beaten up by the Badgers 31-18 in their first and only week as the nation’s number one team in the country.

The game was over before it truly began. The Badgers jumped out to a 21-0 lead thanks to a kickoff return by David Gilreath and two John Clay scores. In fact the Badgers running attack is what really did Ohio State in. James White, John Clay and the Badgers offensive line completely controlled the line of scrimmage and pushed back the now overrated defensive line of the Buckeyes  for 184 yards on the ground and Clay become the first runner in 30 games to gain 100 yards on the Buckeyes.

So once again the Buckeyes fail in a game of great importance for their program, OSU should be used to it by now. However Buckeye faithful keep those chins up, because you have plenty of company in the house of frauds this week in both the NCAA and NFL. This weekend was the weekend of the exposed as many teams that we thought we really good were really overrated and their performance showed it.

OHIO STATE

Not to beat a dead horse but Jim Tressel your play calling is quite suspect. Look at the second quarter drive with the Buckeyes inside of the Badgers 10 yard line down 21-0.  Three runs, one up the middle, one QB option and a wildcat formation with Dan Herron at the QB position. Three plays, no points. I guess Tressel forgot about that 6’3 receiver named Devier Posey that he has on the outside and forgot that throwing the ball in that area is a neat option.

However, what really irks me about Ohio State is the lack of fixing the problems that they already knew existed. The special teams was horrible versus Miami and coach said that he would take a big look at it. Guess it wasn’t too good a look after the Gilreath touchdown that put the Buckeyes from behind from the beginning of the contest.

Personnel isn’t the problem it’s the way they play the game and that falls on the coaching staff. The fact that the Buckeyes don’t have a reliable short yardage runner or an intermediate passing game falls on Tressel. You can only live so long with Terrelle Pryor running options and chucking the ball downfield all game.

NEBRASKA

So much for that revenge against Texas.

Well, there goes the Taylor Martinez for Heisman talk and the talk of Nebraska looking to avenge that loss to Texas last year. Texas came in and punched the Huskers in the mouth and sent them off to the Big Ten with a not so lovely parting gift.

As talented as Martinez is the Huskers relied on him a little too much during their first few games and their lack of offensive depth showed as Texas slowed them to a standstill and built up an insurmountable 20-3 advantage.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Gee, thanks Steve Spurrier. After I give you all of those props for closing out the defending national champs at home. You go on the road and can’t hold a 28-17 fourth quarter lead against the SEC’s perennial underachiever in Kentucky.

How does a defense that kept Alabama in check let Kentucky rack up 401 total yards? How does Stephen Garcia go from looking like he turned the corner to throwing two costly picks and the offense struggling with 4 turnovers after running over the Crimson Tide? Take back what I said last week.

NEVADA

I mean I didn’t expect them to get to the Fiesta Bowl, but I did expect them to set up a good undefeated matchup with Boise State in Reno in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately Colin Kaepernick and company couldn’t get that dominant run game going and now we get to not talk about Nevada again for awhile.

THE GREEN BAY PACKERS

I mean it’s not their fault that the entire team seems as though its injured, but to lose a ten point lead in Washington after dominating most of the game and then to come home and lay an egg like they did?

This isn’t the work of a Super Bowl contender. The Packers should have done a better job looking for a backup to Ryan Grant so their running game wouldn’t be abysmal. Also Mike McCarthy’s game management right now is starting to rival Les Miles in Baton Rouge. Maybe they exchanged notes or something.

THE CHICAGO BEARS

I guess that Giants game wasn’t an aberration, that offensive line is poor. Matt Forte is back to being that unproductive running back that teased us with an awesome rookie season. I can’t blame Jay Cutler for being a burden to this team, its every area but the quarterback position this year. He’s probably wishing that he didn’t hurry back from that concussion.

THE ATLANTA FALCONS

Funny story; after watching the Philadelphia Eagles jump to a 21-0 lead with Kevin Kolb slinging the ball all over the Falcons I sent my buddy Scully a text that said that Atlanta was trash, he responded by saying that, you’re only saying that because we’re (the Eagles) are winning. After further review this is not so.

Who do I have to yell at to get us going?

The Falcons can’t defend the pass. Kolb and company turned the game into a track meet and ran all over the field against these guys. They don’t seem like they have the personnel to keep up with speedy playmakers.

Also, this is a horrible road team. Forget the Saints win for a minute, the Falcons in the Matt Ryan era are two games under .500 and routinely come out flat. If they want to win the NFC (which they won’t) then they have to get more focused on the road.

THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

Ugh. It doesn’t get any uglier than this team. Contract disputes, lack of a running game, an immature and volatile quarterback and a defense that underachieves like no other.  Watching the Chargers on Sunday made me realize how truly dysfunctional this team is. They seem to lack leadership and direction.  They were constantly out of position on defense and the offense couldn’t get a continuous flow going.

With all of that said they still may win the AFC West because the Chiefs may have finally come back down to earth and no one in that division really has any consistent game plan week in and out to make that next step. Still the Chargers are no threat to go anywhere this year, well except Norv Turner. He might be fired in three weeks.

See Buckeyes you weren’t the only contender that laid an egg this week. So cheer up as you and the rest of these teams watch your game film and wonder what went wrong. Also watch as you get passed by every other team in the standings and miss out on another title shot. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being a Buckeye in the last four years it’s that no one gives an underachiever a shot, especially when they get it wrong by overrating you to begin with.

 


The Haters College Football Preview

So here’s an interesting scenario for college football this year, there actually is only one team to beat this year, Alabama. They’re back, reloaded and just as good as last year. Mark Ingram returns for a possible second Heisman, John Parker Wilson comes back at the helm at QB, plus the defense is anchored by Marcel Daerus who is gaining lots of attention for the NFL draft.

Mark Ingram is back to add to his collection

They do play in the SEC, you know the best conference in college football (yawn) and looking at the SEC they should go undefeated due to Florida having to replace key pieces on offense and defense and teams such as Georgia, LSU and Auburn who all have little kinks to work out before they become contenders again.

So there you have it, it’s a shoe-in, Bama repeats as national champions with ease—if any of you know me, you know damn well I’m not this stupid.

Honestly I could see Alabama winning it all because when you look at the preseason top ten there isn’t one team I actually could see myself picking to win it all, however this includes Bama.

Yeah yeah yeah, they play in the SEC, Ingram’s back blah blah blah… they lost Rolando McClain, Javier Arenas and Terrance Cody on defense, that’s key ingredients in three areas that were all important on that defense. You don’t just replace three all-SEC players and expect to just run through a conference no matter how down of a year it might have—

Yup you read that correctly, DOWN YEAR and SEC in the same sentence. I know that as far as talent on the field goes no one is better than them and it’s showed, they’ve won the last four national titles and have done it convincingly. However, when you look around the league you really can’t see any of the guys factoring into the title chase.

Florida is replacing #15 behind center (you know I never use Jesus’ name in vain) Aaron Hernandez, Riley Cooper and Maurkice Pouncey on offence and Brandon Spikes and Joe Haden on defense. Auburn is throwing another quarterback under center in Cam Newton. LSU with Jordan Jefferson has underachieved mightily since its title win three years ago and Les Miles is starting to feel the heat (luckily for him Rich Rodriguez will be fired in three months so can slide right into his alma mater without a hitch). Then there’s the Betty Ford clinic in Ole Miss with Jeremiah Masoli, the school for convicts in Tennessee and Georgia (no jokes, no shaking of the head just Georgia. When will this school put Mark Richt on the burner for a. never winning an SEC title, b. always coming up short in big games, c. not factoring into national title picture at all and d. ALWAYS ALWAYS UNDERACHIEVING?!?!) You’re probably saying hey Arkansas is a dark horse—they are but I still hope Bobby Petrino gets run over by a Greyhound bus and Arthur Blank drives by to laugh at him with Matt Ryan in the passenger seat, so I am a little biased towards them.

So here is where you probably think I’m going to persuade you into thinking that the Ohio State Buckeyes, my alma mater as of June 2010 thank you, will overtake an over confident Alabama team and win the national title—eh not quite.

I like the Buckeyes I really do but (warning: beating a dead horse) I don’t really trust Terrelle Pryor. For all of the hype that Pryor has received, and is still receiving as he is the favorite for the Heisman, the only really good game that he has put together since coming to Columbus was that Rose Bowl win against Oregon.

I’ve watched Pryor, dissected him, criticized him, prayed that Jim Tressel put him at wide out and I still can’t trust that for a full season based on that Rose Bowl that he will put it together running and throwing the ball. Is that wrong? Maybe but that’s what I’m rolling with (plus Ohio State has to figure out their running game. Is it Brandon Saine? Jordan Hall? Jamaal Berry? Carlos Hyde? Maurice Clarett? Who’s running the ball consistently for them?).

I want to trust the both of you, but I know I can't.

So who do I like then for the national title? No one really. I’m a hater this year. I can’t find reasons to like these teams enough to pick them to win the national championship including Boise State who I’ve been touting since they embarrassed Bob Stoops at the Fiesta Bowl years ago.

The top 5 is really a top 3. Florida and Texas? I have no clue how teams that lose that much talent the year before, can start the year in the national championship race. Garrett Gilbert at QB for Texas can grow into something special in Austin especially after his gutsy debut at the Rose Bowl versus Bama last year. However, number 4 in the country? No, not yet.

As much as I don’t like any of these teams there has to be a way to find a viable national title pick among them so let’s try to find one. (Note: these are my personal rankings, like it matters anyway because rankings this early in this season are foolish)

ALABAMA (no.1, defending champions, SEC, key player: Mark Ingram)

What I don’t like: losing Arenas, Cody and McClain will hurt them at some point. The defense is still one of the toughest in the nation nut I feel it’s going to struggle. They play a soft non-conference schedule with Penn State coming to Tuscaloosa in September then they get a wake-up call from Arkansas and Ryan Mallet in Fayetteville on the 25th, it might not seem like such a big deal right now but I can see a loss to an upstart like the hogs and all those weapons they have on offense.

However, I do like: one, they’re the defending champs; they got the hunger to go back and continue the SEC dominance. Two, it’s a week SEC this year, sure they go to LSU but I don’t see LSU as a challenge for the Tide. It could make for an easy road back to the BCS championship game.

OHIO STATE (no. 2, Big Ten Champions, Winners of the Rose Bowl, Key player: Terrelle Pryor)

Hate: Pryor. He has to put together a full season to gain my trust and the trust of the Buckeye faithful out there. I’m anxious to see if his throwing motion has improved or if he can spread the ball around to receivers other than Dane Sanzenbacher and Devier Posey. Also, I hope Jim Tressel tells Tresselball to kick rocks. He has to open it up and air it out, Tresselball has been the reason for the Buckeyes deficiencies in recent years on offense and Tressel has done nothing about it. He has to either adapt or watch another title dream go down the drain.

Like: Miami comes to the Shoe in three weeks which provides a good early season challenge for the Buckeyes. Also the Big Ten is looking pretty good this year, Iowa and Wisconsin are dark horse national title candidates and will provide the Bucks with their first real Big Ten challenge in years.

BOISE STATE (no.3, WAC champions, Winners of the Fiesta Bowl, Key Player: Kellen Moore)

Hate: I don’t want to hate the Broncos, but they play in the WAC and traditional voters will do everything in their power to use that against them in their contention for the national championship. Also they start off the season in a neutral site game against Virginia Tech in Washington D.C.—Blacksburg is a good two and a half hour drive from the capital— neutral? Yeah, sure.

Like: They are faster, tougher and deeper than you want to believe. Austin Pettis, Jeremy Avery and others provide a punch on an offense that will score lots of points with Heisman Contender Kellen Moore at the helm and Ryan WInterswyk leads a tough defense that shut down Oregon and TCU last year. I’m really pulling for these guys but I don’t see it happening.

TCU (NO. 4, MWC champions, 12-1, Key Player: Andy Dalton)

Hate: They totally choked up in the Fiesta Bowl last year. The mental toughness should be a concern as the Mountain West gets more attention this year than ever with their recent success. Also losing Jerry Hughes in defense hurts more than they’ll know.

Like: They are the best team in Texas. On offense Andy Dalton will get a long look for the Heisman and he’ll have plenty of help in looking good from Jeremy Kerley and Joseph Turner. The defense is still stout without Hughes as Coach Gary Patterson will rely on defensive tackles Kelly Griffin and Cory Grant to lead one of the nation’s top ranked and toughest defensive lines.

VIRGINIA TECH (No.5, ACC, 10-3, Key Player: Ryan Williams)

So I could win the Heisman, we could go 12-0, again and still wont play for the National Title again?

Hate: They play in the ACC, the worst conference in all of football. They have to go to Miami and Chapel Hill against the best the conference has to offer. Also they shrink against the big competition. They lost to Georgia Tech, UNC, and Alabama last year while barely beating Nebraska in a game that they were not impressive in. suddenly that home field advantage versus Boise State doesn’t look like a big deal.

Like: The progression of Tyrod Taylor. He is the undisputed man at Va. Tech and has finally found a way to make them score regularly. Having Ryan Williams in the backfield doesn’t hurt. He should match his 1600 season last year with the cupcakes coming up on the schedule.

IOWA (no. 6, Orange Bowl Champions, 11-2, Key Players: Defensive Line)

Hate: Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. They plagued them in losses and in games that shouldn’t have been close last year. Ricky Stanzi has a flash for brilliance at QB but his iffy arm puts the Hawkeyes in trouble A LOT! Also that week three matchup against Arizona will be tougher than most think.

Love: That defense. Ask the Big Ten about it. Led by Adrian Clairborn and Karl Krug they can rush the QB at will with just the front four. The front line won six of their games last year and can do it again this year. Also Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State have to come to Kinnick Stadium this year. Talk about a lucky break.

FLORIDA (No. 7, Sugar Bowl Champions, 13-1, SEC, Key Player: John Brantley)

Hate: They’re young, with unproven receivers, no real threat in the backfield and a defense that lost four key starters. They face South Florida September 11th which could be a tough test for them. This might be the year that Florida State restores the balance of the rivalry in their favor.

Like: Mechanically and from the eye test John Brantley is a better quarterback than Tim Tebow (BLASPHEMY!!). With the spread offense in play they should still put up lots of points especially with Vandy, Appalachian State and Miami (Oh) on the schedule.

TEXAS (No. 8, National runner-up, 13-1, Big 12, Key Player: Malcolm Williams)

Hate: The fact that they are ranked third in the nation without their returning top QB, WR, tackler and defensive back. If Malcolm Williams cant step up and be Garrett Gilbert’s main target then that offense will have problems scoring, even in the pass happy Big 12.

Like: They only play Nebraska, and Oklahoma. There schedule screams 10-2 or 11-1 even without the clarity on offense.

OKLAHOMA (No. 9, 7-5, Big 12, Key Player: Landry Jones)

Hate: Normally I’d rage against a coach for scheduling Utah State as its first game of the year… until you see Oklahoma facing Florida State, Air Force and Cincinnati in their non-conference.  Nice job Coach Stoops scheduling your team coming off of a wretched year against a rejuvenated Seminole squad a tough Air Force team and the Big East champs on the road. Oh yeah followed by a matchup versus Texas.

Like: Landry Jones was a revelation last year. With Sam Bradford being injured Jones got his reps early and knows what to expect this year. He’s got weapons by the boatload and will put up lots of points. Oh and the top ten defense returns all of its starters too, that helps.

NEBRASKA (No. 10, 10-4, Big 12, Key Player: Jared Crick)

Hate: Replacing Ndamukong Suh is not going to be easy for Jared Crick. While he won’t be expected to put up the same numbers as Suh they will expect the same presence and motor that Suh brought every Saturday.

Like: Bo Pelini’s defensive schemes gave the big dogs nightmares last year, ask Texas; also no one is throwing on Prince Amakamura (great name). QB Zac Lee looks to rebound from an up and down year but won’t be asked to do much with this great defense in front of him.

Hey Tressel! Here's your preview of what's to come!

Ideally I would love a TCU vs. Boise State BCS title game however that will never happen in a million years. So I’ll instead settle for Nebraska vs. Ohio State in Glendale. Why? Why not.

Look, of all of these teams these are the two I feel safest in picking. The Buckeyes because they get Miami at home early and should handle two tough tests at Iowa and Wisconsin, The Huskers because they get Texas at home and in a conference that’s offensive minded they will have the upper hand with their suffocating defense. Also do you really see Oklahoma beating them in the Big 12 title game with the Prince all over Ryan Broyles, Landry Jones’s only real threat down field? Nope.

So that means the national champion will be… NEBRASKA!!! The Buckeye faithful hate me right now. I like Nebraska a lot. They have an NFL mentality, defense wins championships and Zac Lee will play Trent Dilfer easing the ship on its course. Plus we know how Jim Tressel fails versus the SEC over and over, so coaching against Pelini and his SEC ties to LSU will be a nightmare for him. Also wouldn’t that be interesting? Nebraska beating Ohio State then starting Big Ten conference play the next year as the clear favorites? Hmmm…

So as it turns out, I do like one team. Even without Ndamukong Suh the Huskers are still a force to reckon with and won’t fall a second short like they did last year versus Texas. Also its sort of a win for the SEC as one of their old coaches gets another ring. So everyone’s happy, well except the folks in Columbus. Another failed title game appearance and to lose to the new guy coming in next year? Ugh. There’s something to hate.

ACC Winner- Florida State (Dark Horse- Georgia Tech)

Big East- Pittsburgh (Cincinnati)

Big Ten- Ohio State (Wisconsin)

Big 12- Nebraska (Oklahoma)

Pac 10- Oregon (Arizona)

SEC- Alabama (LSU)

BCS Busters- Boise and TCU

Orange Bowl- Florida State vs. TCU

Sugar Bowl- Alabama vs. Pittsburgh

Fiesta Bowl- Oklahoma vs. Boise State

Rose Bowl- Oregon vs. Wisconsin

BCS Title Game- Nebraska vs. Ohio State

Heisman Winner- Kellen Moore, Boise State