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Tag:Ohio State
Posted on: February 14, 2012 5:14 pm
 

Roundtable: College football valentines

Posted by Eye on College Football



Occasionally the Eye on CFB team convenes Voltron-style to answer a pressing question in the world of college football. Today's query:

It's Valentine's Day, so pick someone or something from college football--person, team, conference, whatever. Who should they be sending a valentine to today, and what does that valentine say?

Bryan FischerI think the athletic directors at Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State should be sending a Valentine to Larry Scott this year. The Pac-12 commissioner unveiled his Pac-12 Network studios just yesterday, and that's appropriate considering the media deals he negotiated were the biggest reason those schools were able to off the sweetheart deals that landed their new coaches. Do you think the Bruins or Huskies could have afforded the assistant salaries before that money started flowing? Or that Wazzu was able to land a coach like Mike Leach? I don't think they do.

I'm guessing their valentine says something to the affect of, "Thank$ Larry for everything, hope you'll be our Valentine for several more years."

Tom Fornelli:  I'm going to say TCU and West Virginia owe Missouri and Texas A&M a valentine this year, one with some expensively-licensed cartoon character saying "Thanks for the sloppy seconds!" If not for those two leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, then both TCU and WVU are stuck in the Big East for 2012 at least--a Big East that's without a clear future at the moment, and seems en route to becoming Conference USA version 2.0.

Instead the Frogs and Mountaineers have joined the Big 12, which is in much better shape than the Big East and will provide far more money for both schools in the long run.

Jerry Hinnen: If I'm Mike Slive, I'm sending out a valentine to Dana Holgorsen -- or maybe Gus Malzahn, or Mike Leach, or Todd Monken -- saying "WILL YOU BE MINE?" festooned with as many hearts (and dollar signs) as it takes to convince them to try their hand (again, in Malzahn's case) in the SEC. There's no doubting the SEC's dominance on the defensive side of the ball or its overall array of talent, but the 2011 season also showed a league in dire need of an infusion of offensive ingenuity, preferably (for variety's sake) out of the spread school. Alabama's yawn-inducing strangulation of LSU in the BCS title game is Exhibit A for the conference's current cloud-of-dust tendencies, but the overall statistical picture is even more damning: six different SEC teams finished in the bottom 25 in the FBS in total offense, with zero finishing in the FBS top 25. (Arkansas ranked highest at 29th.) 

Some of that is good defense; an awful lot of it is terrible offense, too. And it may get worse before it gets better--look at the likes of former offensive juggernauts Florida and Auburn, currently undergoing dramatic offensive regime changes after regressing badly in 2011.

Defense may win championships, but offense often wins TV ratings, as the BCS championship Nielsens will tell you. The SEC's current regular season ratings are fine, of course, but Slive is about to go back to the negotiating table to try and keep his TV contract up with the Joneses of the Big Ten and Pac-12, a table to which he'll want to bring every single positive for his league he can gets his hands on. The SEC will be a-OK with or without the Big 12's reputation for high-flying offensive theatrics, but that doesn't mean Slive -- and a league full of fans likely tiring of watching Tennessee and South Carolina combine for 17 points and barely more than 500 yards in nationally televised prime-time -- wouldn't welcome someone who could shake up the conference's burgeoning reputation for Slugfest-with-a-capital-S football. Kevin Sumlin gets first crack, but we're guessing Slive would prefer he had some high-profile help sooner rather than later.

Chip Patterson: If I'm Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, I'm sending roses, candy, banners, and thankful notes to new head coach Urban Meyer.  Even with an ill-timed bowl ban from the NCAA Committee on Infractions, Meyer has cooled much of the heat on Smith after the fallout surrounding Jim Tressel's departure.  Winning cures all, but hiring a two-time national champion to supposedly guide your program out of the darkness will certainly hold the Buckeye fans over until the bowl ban is lifted.  Meyer hit the recruiting trail hard after his hire, pulling in a top-5 recruiting class despite the sanctions from the NCAA.  

If Smith had whiffed on his hire to replace Tressel, he would find himself under further scrutiny with the additional sanctions.  Meyer is exactly the home run hire Ohio State -- and Gene Smith -- needed.  In fact, a valentine might not be enough.  Maybe Smith should get a tattoo. 

What? Too soon? 

Posted on: February 13, 2012 7:04 pm
 

PODCAST: The Doddcast, Feb. 13

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's too late in the month to talk recruiting, too early to talk spring practice (unless you're at Army). But that's not going to stop Dennis Dodd, who joined CBSSports.com's Adam Aizer to discuss all the latest college football news: the Mountain West-Conference USA merger, Nevin Shapiro's threats in Miami's direction, Ohio State and athletic director Gene Smith, and even Dodd's favorite lyrics from the Denard Robinson Valentine's Day song that's taken the Internet by storm. And more.

To listen, click below, pop the podcast player out in a new window, or download the mp3. And remember that all of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcasts can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Store. Enjoy: 

 
Posted on: February 9, 2012 11:33 pm
 

Ohio St. RB Jaamal Berry no longer on roster

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

After a rocky 2011 season, Ohio State running back Jaamal Berry is no longer part of the Buckeye roster.

Berry's attorney told the Columbus Dispatch this week that he did not expect Berry to return to the team, not with the sophomore preparing to face misdemeanor assault charges stemming from an October incident. But a spokesperson for the school said he remains on scholarship, and he continued to appear on the Buckeyes' official roster--until Thursday, this is, when the roster was labeled "as of Feb. 9" and no longer included a listing for Berry.

“From the conversation he had with the coaches, it didn’t appear that they were excited about him being (there),” Larry Coffey, Berry's coach at Palmetto (Fla.) High School, told the Dispatch. Coffey said he had spoken with Berry on Tuesday. 

“He took the lead from that, and his thought process was that it was maybe time for him to go in another direction," Coffey said.

One of the nation's top recruits in the class of 2009, Berry redshirted after a marijuana possession arrest preceding his freshman year. He bounced back to see action in all 13 games in 2010, rushing 32 times for 8.3 yards a carry and returning 21 kickoffs for the Buckeyes.

Injuries hampered the start of his 2011 season, however, before two serious off-field incidents: a September fight on campus in which police were called to the scene but no charges were filed (and Berry went to the hospital), and then the misdemeanor assault incident in October in which Berry allegedly struck a 21-year-old man in a parking garage.

Berry attorney R. William Meeks said that Berry would finish the current quarter at the minimum and could finish the school year at Ohio State.

HT: @marcushartman 

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Posted on: February 7, 2012 1:53 pm
 

Ohio St.'s Gee to Bielema: 'Get a life'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

From calling mid-majors the "Little Sisters of the Poor" to asking Jim Tressel not to fire himOhio State president Gordon Gee has not exactly been one to keep his mouth out of the headlines over the past 12 months. And he may not be for the next 12 months, either, judging by this interview with OSU student newspaper The Lanternin which he tells Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema to "get a life."

Bielema infamously accused new Buckeye head coach Urban Meyer of using "illegal" recruiting "tactics" and asked Badger athletic director Barry Alvarez to voice his complaints to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany on his behalf. Gee emphatically stood up for Meyer in the Lantern interview, calling him the "finest in the country" and "the greatest affirmation of the quality of this institution."

When asked directly about Bielema's comments, Gee was every bit as emphatic.

"We hired the best coach and we went out and got the best kids so get a life," Gee said.

Ah, Signing Day: that magical time of the college football calendar that can lead the president of the third-largest university in the country to publicly call out a coach within his own conference using an insult from a 36-year-old Saturday Night Live sketch.

Gee also referred to the NCAA investigation into Tressel and the Buckeye football program that resulted in its 2012 bowl ban as a "yearlong colonoscopy."

We now fervently await Gee's next pledge to cease discussing matters related to football.

HT: MGoBlog. 

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 6:55 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 6:55 pm
 

New Wolverine already trash-talking the Buckeyes

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins has been a Wolverine for roughly two days, having sent in his letter of intent to Michigan on Wednesday. Still, just because he's new, that doesn't mean Pipkins doesn't know the company line when it comes to the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Pipkins is not a fan, and he's not shy about sharing his feelings.

"Who are you talking about?" Pipkins asked in a radio interview in Ann Arbor on Friday.  "Are you talking about those people down south? I don't want to give them the time of day.

"We're going to see them Nov. 24 at that 'Shoe.' In the next couple years, we'll see them at the Big House, but it's just going to be like it was last year."

For those who need reminding, Michigan beat Ohio State 40-34 in Ann Arbor this past November, ending a seven-game losing streak against the Buckeyes in their annual, season-ending rivalry game.

Pipkins didn't stop there, either, going on to talk about some of his fellow incoming freshman. Pipkins said that when Michigan signee Kyle Kalis faced Ohio State recruit Tommy Schutt in the Army All-American Game, Schutt "ate turf. He at turf the entire time."

Pipkins also talked about his matchup with Ohio State's newest offensive lineman Kyle Dodson in the same game.

"I gave a little bit to what's his name, Dodson," Pipkins said. "He ran away from me. That's what they do. They run their mouth, and then when they meet up with the belly of the beast -- I call myself that because I am -- then they run away. When it comes to reality, they want to run away."

Pipkins hasn't even spent a minute in an Ann Arbor classroom, yet it seems he's already aced "Ohio State Hating 101."

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:04 pm
 

Barry Alvarez: Recruiting is 'open season'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It doesn't sound like Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez is as concerned about Urban Meyer's recruiting tactics the way his own head coach and others in the Big Ten seem to be.

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema, along with Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, made it clear that they were not fans of the way Urban Meyer had conducted himself during his first recruiting season with Ohio State. Specifically the way Meyer recruited players that had previously given commitments to other Big Ten schools, including Wisconsin and Michigan State.

Bielema also said on Thursday Barry Alvarez would be talking to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany about Meyer when the two met. While that conversation may still happen, if you listen to what Alvarez told ESPN's Joe Schad on Friday, it doesn't sound like he's going to be asking Delany to make Meyer change his habits.

"Urban was very aggressive but there is no pact within the conference not to continue to recruit," Alvarez told Schad in regards to the supposed "gentleman's agreement" amongst Big Ten coaches. "Open season." 

Which makes it sound like if Bielema doesn't want Meyer coming around his recruits, he's just going to have to work even harder to make sure those recruits come to play at Wisconsin, not Ohio State.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 10:33 am
Edited on: February 3, 2012 3:28 pm
 

Urban Meyer responds to fellow coaches' criticism

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It seems Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer heard the complaints from fellow Big Ten coaches Bret Bielema and Mark Dantonio about his recruiting tactics on Thursday, and not surprisingly, he doesn't care.

According to Buckeye fansite the OZone, Meyer fired back while at the Ohio High School coaches clinic on Friday morning.

"You're pissed because we went after a committed guy? Guess what, we got 9 guys who better go do it again," said Meyer. "Do it a little harder next time."

Meyer also released a statement on Friday afternoon.

“I was pleased to take part in a productive, regularly scheduled meeting of the Big Ten Conference coaches today in Chicago," said Meyers in the release. "We had an opportunity to discuss a number of issues with each other and conference staff, including those that have arisen this week. It should be noted that my coaching staff is in full compliance with our recruiting efforts, and no one on this staff did anything illegal or unethical. We will continue to comply with NCAA rules and recruit with relentless effort, especially the great state of Ohio.
 
“I want to thank Commissioner Delany for his insight and leadership, and at this point we all look forward to moving past this week and getting ready for the start of spring football.”

This all started when Wisconsin's Bret Bielema and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio publicly criticized Meyer's recruiting tactics. Of the ten players that committed to Ohio State after Meyer became head coach, eight had previously committed to other schools. That includes offensive tackle Kyle Dodson (Wisconsin) and defensive end Se'Von Pittman (Michigan State).

Bielema also said on Thursday night that Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez was going to be talking to Jim Delany about Meyer's recruiting tactics. All because of a supposed "gentleman's agreement" -- an agreement that even Alvarez himself denied exists on Friday -- within the Big Ten that says coaches aren't supposed to go after another coach's commits while recruiting.

Which wasn't the way Meyer, or any coach, did things in the SEC, and it doesn't look like Urban is willing to adapt.

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 6:08 pm
 

Barry Alvarez to talk to Delany about Meyer

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier on Thursday we went over the first stage of lost recruit grief when writing about how Wisconsin's Bret Bielema and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio were upset with Urban Meyer and his recruiting tactics.

Well, we've now reached the second stage: run to the principal's office.

Apparently airing his grievances wasn't enough for Bielema, as the Sporting News' Matt Hayes wrote on Thursday night that Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez would be talking to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany about Meyer on Friday in Chicago.

“We at the Big Ten don’t want to be like the SEC -- in any way, shape or form," Bielema told Hayes.

The jokes are just too easy with that remark, even if Bielema was only referring to recruiting.

Honestly, though, what else can you do but laugh at all of this? These are supposed to be grown men, yet they're acting more immaturely than the high school kids they're fighting over to begin with.

You don't want Urban Meyer or any other coach coming in to "steal" your recruits, then recruit the kid harder. Sell him on your program so hard that when Meyer does come around that kid will tell him "no thanks." Don't go running to your conference commissioner and hope he'll force Meyer to stop so it makes your job easier.

Either that or just take your ball and go home. None of the other kids are going to want to play with you anyway.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com