Ohio State Buckeyes: Colleges

Lunchtime links

February, 4, 2014
T-19 hours until fax machines have a purpose again.

Lunchtime links

January, 21, 2014
Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, it's bobsled time.

Big Ten lunchtime links

January, 7, 2014
Seriously though, give the guy back his cat.

Lunchtime links

December, 24, 2013
You don't know tough until your grandma makes you carry groceries up the driveway in minus-17 degree weather. Without gloves.

Lunchtime links

December, 17, 2013
If you're not rapping while wearing striped pajamas in your holiday card/video, you need to get on this family's level.

Big Ten lunchtime links

December, 10, 2013
Paper. Snow. A GHOST!

Big Ten lunchtime links

December, 5, 2013
Perhaps we could have a Big Ten-ACC Challenge in the title game? At least that one couldn't end in a tie.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- What a game.

The saying goes that records and statistics can go out the window when Michigan and Ohio State get together at the end of November. But coming into this matchup with No. 3 Ohio State on a roll and Michigan skidding faster and faster on a downward slope, it seemed the cliche wouldn’t hold true. However, The Game lived up to its history and the Buckeyes won 42-41 in the teams' 110th meeting.

It was over when: Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell picked off Devin Gardner at the goal line on the Wolverines’ two-point conversion with 32 seconds remaining. The completion could have given the Michigan the victory and stopped Ohio State's perfect season, but Powell’s play sealed it for the Buckeyes (12-0, 8-0 Big Ten).

Game ball goes to: The Ohio State ground game. The Buckeyes rushed for 395 yards, breaking a team record for rushing yards against Michigan of 312 yards, set in 1961. The Wolverines just didn’t have an answer for Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde. Miller rushed for three touchdowns and 153 yards on 16 carries (9.6 yards per carry) and Hyde rushed for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown and 226 yards on 27 carries (8.4 yards per carry).

Honorable mention goes to Gardner, who, despite being on the wrong side of the scoreboard, put together one heck of a game. He led the Wolverines from being down two touchdowns to start the fourth quarter and an impressive two-minute drill at the end of the game that could have brought Michigan (7-5, 3-5) a stunning upset.

Stat of the game: 1,129 total yards. Numbers don't always tell the whole story, but between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines, there was plenty of offense in a game that will be worth rewatching for years to come. It was exciting, emotional and full of big plays and momentum shifts.

Unsung heroes of the game: The Ohio State offensive line. With a run game that amasses 395 yards, clearly some big guys are doing the work to make those holes for Hyde and Miller. Even without starting offensive guard Marcus Hall, who was ejected after a first-half brawl, the Buckeyes didn’t miss a beat and handled Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison’s blitzes well all game, only allowing two sacks.

What it means: The Big Ten will look at the first-half scuffle, and because of it Ohio State could go into next weekend’s Big Ten title game against Michigan State without Hall or backup H-back and return specialist Dontre Wilson. The Buckeyes were still effective in the running game and Pat Elflein stepped in well for Hall. For Michigan, despite the loss, the game gives the Wolverines a bit of a boost of momentum and energy. They finished the regular season losing five of their final seven games, but they definitely peaked (and peaked much higher than anyone anticipated) in their biggest game of the regular season. It’s definitely something to build on as the Wolverines get ready for a bowl game.

Michigan-Ohio State roundtable

November, 29, 2013
Thanksgiving has come and gone which means one thing for many homes in the Midwest: Michigan-Ohio State is here.

Michigan reporter Chantel Jennings and Ohio State reporter Austin Ward got together to discuss a few key topics surrounding The Game this season.

1. Ohio State enters as a heavy favorite. What would need to happen in order for the Wolverines to pull off the upset?

[+] EnlargeMike Kwiatkowski, Ryan Shazier
Jamie Sabau/Getty ImagesOhio State linebacker Ryan Shazier figures to wreak havoc on a questionable Michigan offensive line.
Austin Ward: The turnover bug would have to bite the Buckeyes a lot of times, and typically they do a pretty good job swatting it away. Braxton Miller had some issues handling the football at Northwestern and was on the brink at one point of getting pulled in favor of Kenny Guiton with the game potentially slipping away from Ohio State, but since then, mistakes with the football have been few and far between. As long as the Buckeyes aren’t giving away free possessions, they’re probably going to be putting up a lot of points with the third-ranked scoring attack in the nation, and keeping pace will be a real chore for the Wolverines.

Chantel Jennings: The Wolverines have struggled to get 11 guys on the same page on every single play this season and they would not only have to have each guy on the same page but each guy would have to play up to his utmost potential on the same play. But even on top of that, the Buckeyes would have to have some guys underachieve or, like Austin said, have struggles with turnovers. Michigan hasn’t had each guy play up to his potential. And Ohio State hasn’t struggled with turnovers. So the chances of the stars aligning like that seem pretty unlikely.

2. What's the mismatch to keep an eye out for?

Jennings: The Ohio State defensive line matched up against Michigan’s offensive front. The Wolverines have struggled to figure out which five belong on the field and the starting group that’s going up against the depth and talent of OSU’s D-line will be in only its second start as a full line this season. Specifically, the interior linemen, Erik Magnuson, Graham Glasgow and Kyle Kalis, against Ohio State’s tackles, Michael Bennett and Joel Hale, will be one of the biggest mismatches of the weekend.

Ward: Ryan Shazier has surely been licking his chops since he popped in tape of Michigan for the first time. The Ohio State linebacker has been unchained as a blitzer lately, and he has made life a nightmare for opposing offensive lines for the last month, making 11.5 of his Big Ten-leading 19.5 tackles for loss in the last four games. With the Wolverines struggling mightily to block anybody and giving up more tackles in the backfield than any team in the nation, Shazier is the last person they would want to see line up across from them.

3. What matchup will be the tightest?

Ward: Only four teams in the country have been more effective rushing the football this season than the Buckeyes, but if there’s one thing Michigan has been able to count on, it’s been a stout defense against the run. The Wolverines might well stack the box and try to force Miller to throw to beat them, a formula that worked for some defenses a year ago. But with a veteran offensive line with four senior starters and a dynamic combination in the backfield with Carlos Hyde partnering with Miller to run the spread option, nobody has really had an answer for Ohio State on the ground. Ranked No. 14 in the country defending the rush, perhaps the Wolverines will have a shot at making the Buckeyes try something else offensively.

Jennings: I’m with Austin on this one. I think Jake Ryan is due for a big game and if the Wolverines bring a lot of pressure and he plays up to his potential (as well as the other linebackers, who Brady Hoke said would return this weekend), then the Wolverines could produce a relatively solid defense against the running attack. Now, we’re talking about Hyde, who’s the best in the Big Ten, but I think Greg Mattison will have his defense coming in guns blazing, so we’ll see how this plays out.

4. What does a win do for the team you cover?

Jennings: Make no mistake, even if Michigan beats Ohio State on Saturday, Hoke will still call this season a failure because the Wolverines didn’t win the Big Ten title. However, a win over the Buckeyes would be a huge momentum and morale boost for the Wolverines and their fan base. And when it comes to bowl selection, a win over Ohio State and the fact the Wolverines would be riding that emotion definitely would make them a more attractive team (as opposed to a team that could head into the bowl selection process losing five of its last seven).

Ward: The stakes are already high for the Buckeyes every week considering the BCS implications as they currently sit third in the standings, waiting or hoping for Alabama or Florida State to slip up. Ohio State also has a second consecutive perfect regular season on the line, which gives them plenty to play for even before the rivalry is factored into the equation. But winning gold pants and establishing bragging rights remains as important to the Buckeyes as it always has been, with Urban Meyer going so far as to cover up the rest of the schedule in the team room this week to highlight the fact it’s a one-game season for his team. The postseason awaits, and Ohio State will play twice more. But beating “That Team Up North” has superseded even talk about the BCS or Big Ten title for the Buckeyes this week.

Big Ten lunch links

November, 19, 2013
How quickly it changed from cider to cocoa season.

Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 12

November, 17, 2013
Recognizing the best and the brightest around the Big Ten in week 12 …

Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said that Hyde made the difference for the Buckeyes in a 60-35 win. The senior rushed for four touchdowns and 246 yards on 24 carries and tallied another receiving touchdown (he had two catches totaling 26 yards). It was Hyde’s first 200-yard game of the season and more than double his previous season average of 117 yards per game.

Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons and holder Drew Dileo. Down three points with under 10 seconds remaining in regulation, the Michigan offense was sprinting off the field, the kicking team sprinting on the field and Dileo was sliding in to this holding position for Gibbons (yes, literally, sliding). Gibbons nailed a 44-yard field goal to send the game in to overtime, which the Wolverines eventually won after triple OT.

Wisconsin running backs. The Badgers accounted for 554 rushing yards against Indiana. James White (205 yards, 1 touchdown), Melvin Gordon (146 yards, 1 touchdown) and Corey Clement (108 yards, 2 touchdowns) became Wisconsin's third 100-yard rushing trio this season. Wisconsin tallied seven runs of 30 yards or more and White recorded a 93-yard touchdown run which set a program record for the longest run. The Badgers' 554 rush yards are the most by an FBS team this season.

Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah. The Big Ten’s leading rusher had his seventh 100-yard game of the season (bringing his rushing total this season to 1,213) and he became the first running back to rush for more than 100 yards against the Spartans defense. He accounted for 123 yards on 22 carries and his one TD of the day was a 12-yard receiving touchdown (his only catch of the day). MSU came into the match up giving up just 43 rushing yards per game -- which Abdullah tripled.

Illinois DB V'Angelo Bentley. Coming into this weekend the Buckeyes had allowed just 1.5 yards per punt return and haven’t allowed any kind of a return on 92 percent of their punts. But with the Illini down 28-0 on Saturday Bentley managed to get past more than half of Ohio State’s punt coverage team and go 67 yards to the end zone. Not only did he become the first player to have success against this group, he also gave Illinois its first sign of life against the Buckeyes.

Honorable mention: Michigan State kicker Mike Sadler. With a six-point lead in the fourth quarter and the Spartans faced with a fourth-and-1 on the Cornhuskers 27 yard line, Mark Dantonio called for a fake field goal play. Sadler was supposed to go right, but the formation wasn’t quite what MSU expected, so instead of checking out of it and going for a field goal he rushed for three yards up the middle and a first down, setting up an MSU score.

Big Ten lunchtime links

November, 15, 2013
TGIF. I just wish the TV version still existed.

What to watch in the Big Ten: Week 12

November, 14, 2013
Storylines to watch in the Big Ten this weekend:

[+] EnlargePelini
Bruce Thorson/USA TODAY SportsNebraska is 7-0 against Michigan State, and Bo Pelini hopes to make that 8-0 and take a big step towards winning the Legends Division on Saturday.
1. The challenge at the top of the Legends Division: It’s going down in Lincoln, Neb. Michigan State travels south to try to close out the Legends race, while the Cornhuskers hope to crash that party. The Spartans are coming off a bye with an extra week to prep, but Nebraska has been the thorn in their side that they’ve just never been able to get out (Nebraska holds a 7-0 advantage over MSU). And expect the Huskers faithful to come out for this one, as a win could prove to be huge. If both teams win out, and it comes down to the head-to-head winner, the nod to face Ohio State would be given to Nebraska.

2. The challenge at the bottom of the Legends Division: And on the opposite end of that spectrum there’s the Northwestern-Michigan game. Two teams that were once thought of as top-25 teams are now fighting to find any kind of an identity while dwelling near the bottom/lower half of the Big Ten. The Wolverines have dropped three of their past four and the Wildcats have yet to win a conference game. This is a game for pride. This is a game featuring two teams desperate for a win. And the good news is -- one of these teams has to win. Northwestern had a week to heal its bodies (which it needed badly) and the Wolverines haven’t traveled well under Brady Hoke, which creates an interesting matchup.

3. Northwestern making a final push: Even with their Big Ten breakdown, the Wildcats are still just two wins away from being bowl eligible. They face Michigan and Michigan State at home and Illinois on the road. If there’s a time for Northwestern, it is now. Pulling wins out over Michigan and Illinois wouldn’t be too far-fetched in the Big Ten reality, and if Pat Fitzgerald can rally his troops, it could happen. Look for the possibility of a rejuvenated Wildcats team fighting for their postseason life -- that’s dangerous.

4. Teams running wild: Several games this weekend feature intriguing matchups in the run game. There are two games that have lopsided advantages for the run game. Penn State’s Bill Belton will have the chance to find holes in Purdue’s (very holey) defense. The Boilermakers have the second-worst rushing defense in the Big Ten, allowing 224 yards per game. Their rushing defense is only better than Illinois’. Which, speaking of that, the Illini’s conference-worst run defense will face the conference-best rushing attack in Ohio State, which averages 301 yards per game.

Also keep an eye on the running backs in Nebraska-Michigan State. The Spartans will attempt to keep Ameer Abdullah quiet, but the Big Ten’s leading rusher -- 135 yards per game -- will do his best to make sure that doesn’t happen. And on the opposite side, MSU running back Jeremy Langford will try to keep his breakout season on the upswing against a Cornhuskers defense that allowed minus-21 rushing yards to Michigan last weekend. And finally, Wisconsin and its exciting run game will face Indiana -- the No. 10 rushing defense in the conference.

5. Ohio State looks to make statements: The Buckeyes don’t have the best strength of schedule from here on out, so if they want to find themselves in the national title game, they need to make big statements in their remaining games. And the players have finally begun acknowledging that publicly. Ohio State has won its past three games by a combined score of 153-38. And with Illinois, Indiana and Michigan as its last three opponents, they could look to repeat those kind of performances.

6. Defenses maintaining momentum: Obviously, the Michigan State-Nebraska game will be one to watch (notice a trend here?). The Spartans’ top-ranked defense will look to contain the Cornhuskers, while Nebraska -- fresh off an impressive showing in which they delivered Hoke his first loss as head coach in Michigan Stadium -- will look to do the same. Ohio State will continue its rally cry that it’s not just an offensive team and the Badgers, the Big Ten’s No. 2 defense, will have the chance to face Indiana, which features an impressive offense of its own (at times).

7. Teams looking for crucial wins heading into dangerous territory: Road wins are key for every team. However, there are a few Big Ten teams hitting the road this weekend that need to find those road wins in volatile opposing stadiums. Indiana, which is two wins away from bowl eligibility with three games remaining, travels to Madison to play Wisconsin, which is never a friendly atmosphere. The Wolverines, who’ve struggled mightily on the road and haven’t looked like a complete team for more than a month, travel to Northwestern. Generally, NU features a heavy Michigan feel during that game but with the Wildcats’ recent push to be Chicago’s Big Ten team, this year could feature a different atmosphere. And the Spartans will attempt to seal up the Legends race in front of the “Sea of Red” in Memorial Stadium.

Big Ten lunchtime links

November, 5, 2013
There is a colonial woman on the wing. There is something they're not telling us.

Happy Halloween in the Big Ten

October, 31, 2013
McKayla Maroney, Brady HokeAP PhotoBrady Hoke, like McKayla Maroney, is not impressed.
The Big Ten doesn't have as many teams in the top 10 as the SEC. Or the Pac-12. Or the ACC. But shoot, the Big Ten can have just as much fun when it comes to Halloween.

Freddy Krueger (team not to sleep on): Minnesota. After the Gophers' unimpressive 0-2 start to the Big Ten season, it seemed Minnesota was frozen at the bottom of the conference (or maybe, just frozen in Minneapolis). But after solid wins over Northwestern and Nebraska, it now seems the Gophers have found their way back from the dead and could somehow manage to put together a pretty decent record by season's end. Goldy Gopher might look nice, but don't turn your back...

Boo (boo): Taylor Martinez’s toe injury. Whether it's turf toe or not, it's been serious and painful for Nebraska. The Cornhuskers were definitely a different team with Martinez, but even when he returned last week in a loss to Minnesota, it still seemed like a pretty terrifying ordeal.

Graveyard: Purdue. At least they have the Big Bass Drum. And Drew Brees. Because outside of that, there really doesn't seem to be a lot of noise or life coming out of West Lafayette, Ind. The Boilermakers have one victory this season (over Indiana State). That doesn't make them dead, but it does make them dead last.

[+] EnlargeKain Colter
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesKain Colter and Northwestern showed such promise early in the season.
The Halloween-themed Oreo: How many times have you bought the Oreo with the orange stuffing simply because you think to yourself that it will be different, new and exciting? Instead, it tastes the same. Well, hello Indiana. You’ve looked different, new and exciting this season. But still, the Hoosiers have only three wins, and looking at the rest of their season (and how they play defense), there’s a decent chance they end up only matching last year’s victory total of four. Different look, same result.

Trick: Northwestern. Remember when the Wildcats were a team that __________? A: Could contend for the Big Ten title? B: Was exciting to watch? C: Was changing the identity of the program and gaining national respect? Yeah. Not anymore. Trick's on us.

Treat: Wisconsin. With all that happened in the offseason and a brand new coach and system coming to the program, there would've been plenty of excuses if this team hadn't done well this year. But surprise: The Badgers have been one of the most consistent teams in the Big Ten, and that's a huge treat. Go ahead, be excited, jump around. Even Bo Ryan did it.

Big Ten Halloween costume ideas

One of the most popular costumes this year (and forever) will likely be McKayla Maroney and her “Not Impressed” meme.

And while there’s plenty to not be impressed about in Big Ten football this season, there are also some Big Ten coaches, and coaches who've faced Big Ten teams, who could seriously consider going as McKayla, such as: Michigan coach Brady Hoke, Penn State coach Bill O’Brien, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, Urban Meyer (circa 2010) and Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.

But there are also plenty of costumes outside of McKayla. Because in a league full of wild animal mascots (literally) and nuts (literally and figuratively), there should be plenty of creativity for costumes.
However, Ryan isn't the only Big Ten selection fighting for the role of Sunshine. Ryan has the added benefit of having Jackson to make it a group outfit, which is always worth bonus points. But Ryan cut his hair this summer, which is a detriment to the costume as a whole.


Easiest Path To The 2015 College Football Playoff
Heather Dinich takes a look at which schools have the easiest path to the 2015 College Football Playoffs.