Ohio State Buckeyes Football News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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4/17/14: College football fans are a rabid bunch, often with a hunger for news about their team that cannot be sated. With all apologies to the professional ranks, the college football ranks have the best rivalries - possibly because it engages fans from outside the major cities and represents entire states. That was evident last Saturday at the Buckeyes' spring game. Over 61,000 fans showed up for the glorified scrimmage. Amazingly, that was not even the most in the Big 10, as Penn State drew over 72,000 for their spring game. Actually, the 61,000 may have disappointed coach Urban Meyer, as he had hoped for over 85,000.
4/10/14: Coaches of all levels hate to see injuries during practice time, so forgive Buckeyes' head coach Urban Meyer if he is not in a great mood these days. Ohio State incurred its third injury in spring practices last week as senior tight end Jeff Heuerman hurt his foot and will require surgery. That ends his spring training. The good news is that is not a lisfranc injury and he should be back for the regular season. Heuerman finished last season with 26 catches for 466 yards and four touchdowns. OSU also saw injuries to projected starting safety Vonn Bell and backup wide receiver Jalin Marshall.
4/3/14: A lot of college football coaches would get a nice raise if they went 24-1 in their first two season. Not so for Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. When asked, OSU's athletic director said there was nothing of the sort coming for Meyer. At least not now. Meyer has been on the job for two seasons at OSU. He was undefeated in his first season, and got to the Big 10 Championship Game in his second. He was also one of the top five paid coaches in the NCAA. He probably has slipped down the rankings since then, but is still a top 10 paid coach. If he can win the Big 10 Championship or go to the new playoffs, then he may get a raise.
3/27/14: There have been a lot of interesting topics floating around college football this offseason, and many of those surround rules changes to the game. One major potential change is about the fans, particularly the debate about selling alcohol at games. Currently, only a few schools permit alcohol inside the stadium, and that is often limited to luxury suites or something similar. There is certainly money to be made by selling beer during games, and Ohio State apparently considered the idea. It will not happen at Buckeyes' home games soon though, as the prevailing thought is that the alcohol consumption during tailgating is more than enough.
3/20/14: Ohio State looks to establish a new offensive line this spring. The team lost four, count'em four, starters in the offseason. That means they only return one player to protect Braxton Miller and who ever is carrying the ball. They had an impressive front five and Jack Mewhort, Marcus Hall, Corey Linsley and Andrew Norton all seemingly headed to the NFL. Junior Taylor Decker will return and move from right tackle to left tackle. The good news for Buckeyes fans is that they recruited four, count'em four, four-star offensive line recruits. Maybe it takes some time for these new guys to get, but they look stacked for the next few years.
3/13/14: One is getting better and one is now on the shelf. Head coach Urban Meyer recently had some health issues, but is apparently just fine and will not be affected. The same cannot be said for safety Vonn Bell. Bell had knee surgery recently to repair a sprained MCL. He suffered the injury in the very first spring practice this year and now will be out for the remainder of the Buckeyes' spring practices. Bell is a sophomore and got his first start in the Orange Bowl in January. He was expected to contend for a starting job this season. The good news is that he will have plenty of time to get healthy and back practicing before the real season starts.
3/6/14: Ohio State may be getting a visit (or at least a letter) from the NCAA soon. It seems that head coach Urban Meyer and his former player (at Florida) Tim Tebow were having lunch when four-star recruit Clifton Garrett called. Meyer gave the phone to Tebow, who said 'hi' in an eight second conversation. That is against the rules, though there is no evidence Tebow tried to sway the prospect. Garrett ended up signing on with LSU. It is a minor violation that will be probably swept under the rug, though Ohio State did report it themselves.
2/27/14: There is little argument that Buckeyes' QB Braxton Miller is the best and most important member of the offense. The team held together well when he went down with an injury in the middle of the 2013 season (some thanks goes to a weakened Big 10, however). He underwent a minor surgery last week on his right (throwing) shoulder. The procedure may impact his availability to participate in spring practices and the spring game. However, and fortuneately, it should not impact his status for the regular season. Besides, he has two years in head coach Ufortunatelyrban Meyers' system, so he does not need to learn a new playbook, so all indications are that he will be just fine.
2/20/14: Ohio State had the best recruiting class in the Big 10 (and by a wide margin), and it may be about to get even better. The Buckeyes are still in the running for five-star defensive end Malik McDowell. McDowell signed and sent his letter of intent to Michigan State. However, it is not valid because his custodial guardian (mother) did not sign it as well. Neither of Malik's parents want him to stay in-state. Presumably, that leaves Ohio State and national champion Florida State as the potential destination. Expect McDowell to visit Ohio State and FSU in the near future.
2/13/14: Ohio State should be pretty happy with the recruiting class that Urban Meyer just hauled in. He won at Utah and, more recently, at Florida by brining in the best recruiting class in the conference year after year. It looks like he did it again for Ohio State. The class has one five star recruit and 14 four star guys in its midst, and could make an immediate impact on the Buckeyes program. OSU redshirted about half of their 2013 class, and this class can push that group. What it means for the fans is that OSU may be taking control of the Big 10 for several years, and get the team in line for a national championship game.
2/6/14: Nothing like a good recruiting season to shake off some tough losses. Of course, it is well-known that the Buckeyes won 24 straight games to start head coach Urban Meyer's career at the school. And it is equally known that they lost two important games (the last two) - the Big 10 Championship Game to Michigan State and the Orange Bowl to Clemson. But the Buckeyes have the number two ranked recruiting class in the nation - just behind Alabama. Recruiting is the life blood of college football, and Meyer has proven himself to be among the best in the nation both here at Ohio State and at Florida.
1/30/14: Ohio State finally announced the hiring of Chris Ash as co-defensive coordinator (with Luke Fickle) and safties coach. This hiring was first announced a few weeks ago, but made official last week. Ash is coming over from Arkansas, where he was the defensive coordinator. Interestingly enough, he took a $30,000 pay cut to be the co-coordinator rather than being the only DC at Arkansas. He still will make $520,000 annually, so its not like he is going hungry. Ash stated his desire to be at Ohio State, indicating that OSU is a much better program than a middle of the road SEC school.
1/23/14: The Buckeyes had to refill some assistant coaches after co-defensive coordinator Everett Whithers and defensive line coach Mike Vrabel were hired away. Head coach Urban Meyer replaced them this past week. Former Wisconsin Badgers defensive coordinator Chris Ash is taking Whithers old post. Meanwhile, long-time Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson is moving to Columbus to replace Vrabel. Johnson had been at Penn State for 18 years but was not retained by incoming coach James Franklin. It could bode well for the Buckeyes to get a couple of guys with significant Big 10 experience. Ohio State should be the favorite for next year, and an improved defense will help them out on a national scale.
1/16/14: After winning 24 straight games, the Buckeyes find themselves in a two game losing streak that they cannot reverse until next fall. They will have at least one big weapon when they start their 2014 campaign - star quarterback Braxton Miller announced that he would return for his senior season, despite all the speculation that he would go to the professional ranks. It is good for Ohio State, and it is good for Miller. He is a talented and athletic young man, but does not have the skill set yet for the NFL. Another year of seasoning and work on the mechanics may change that and better prepare him for Sunday games.
1/9/13: The Buckeyes lost out at a shot at the national championship, or at least, a Rose Bowl appearance, when they fell in the Big 10 Championship Game to Michigan State. That landed the Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl against Clemson. Ohio State put up a good fight, but ultimately had no answer for Tahj Boyd and Sammy Watkins. It was the second consecutive loss after 24 straight wins. Ohio State is still rebuilding and has steadily improved over the last two years. Considering the relative young age of the team as a whole, the Buckeyes should be a contender next season.
1/2/14: Make no mistake about it. The Buckeyes need to beat the Clemson Tigers in the Orange Bowl to justify themselves. Ohio State won 24 straight games to start Urban Meyers' head coaching tenure at the school. The only loss, of course, was in the Big 10 Championship Game a month ago to the Michigan State Spartans. The knock on the Buckeyes is that they have not played any legitimate competition except the Spartans. Clemson is a legitimate team, and a win would go a long way to giving OSU credibility amongst the experts. The Orange Bowl will be played in Miami on January 3rd.
12/26/13: An actual problem with having a winning program is losing quality coaches to promotion. Since the Big 10 Championship game a few weeks ago, the Buckeyes lost one assistant and now comes word that co-offensive coordinator Ed Warinner is being considered by Army for their vacant position. Warinner served as an assistant coach with Army from 1987-99 so he has familiarity with the service academy. The head coach for Georgia Southern is also being considered for the job. OSU still has to keep focus though. The Buckeys still must contend with Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
12/19/13: While the debate rages on at the University of Texas, some pundits have speculated that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer may be considered for the Longhorns job. Meyer has only been with the Buckeyes for two years. In those two years, the team has only lost one game - the Big 10 Championship Game to Michigan State two weeks ago. The good news for OSU is that the common consensus is that Meyer is happy OSU and that is his dream job - so there is probably little chance of him skipping town to Austin any time soon.
12/12/13: The Great Debate will never have a chance to be settled since OSU fell to Michigan State Spartans 34-24 in the Big 10 Championship Game. Had the Buckeyes won, the argument would be if a one-loss SEC team should jump an undefeated Big 10 team due to the relative strength of the SEC schedule. The loss made the point moot as one-loss Auburn easily jumped over one-loss Ohio State. OSU will still get a BCS game, though. They are headed to sunny South Florida to play in the Orange Bowl against Clemson on January 3rd. Michigan State will represent the Big 10 in the Rose Bowl.
12/5/13: OSU survived a scare from host Michigan to remain unbeaten. Ohio State should have dominated this game, and did overwhelm the Wolverines offensively. However, OSU had trouble stopping Michigan and were just a completed two-point conversion from losing the game. The final score was 42-41 in favor of OSU. The Buckeyes moved into the number two spot in the BCS standings with the loss by Alabama. OSU will face Michigan State in the Big 10 title game. A win would open the floodgates for arguments for the Buckeyes or a one-loss SEC team in the national championship game.
11/28/13: The Buckeyes are trying to make their case that they should be among the top two teams in the nation and have the right to play for the national championship. Ohio State went into the weekend ranked #3, though many people would make the argument that Baylor should have that ranking. The Buckeyes easily handled Indiana 42-14 to remain undefeated. That being said, Indiana only has four wins on the season and is hardly a quality team. The overall weakness of the Big 10 Conference is hurting the Ohio State Buckeyes and will likely keep them out of the National Championship Game.
11/21/13: The Buckeyes have now won 22 games in a row, the longest active streak in Division 1 football. Urban Meyer took over the program in 2012 and has never lost as the head coach of Ohio State. The Buckeyes have benefited from a down cycle in the Big 10 Conference, but still, 22 games is very impressive. OSU overwhelmed Illinois last Saturday 60-35. Despite the big win, it is not enough to move the Buckeyes into the top two, especially after both Florida State and Baylor are coming off more impressive wins. However, should Alabama, FSU, and/or Baylor lose, then OSU should be able to get into the National Championship Game.