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Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor each came into the 2010 Rose Bowl with something to prove to a doubting nation. By the time the Buckeyes wrapped up their 26-17 victory over the Oregon Ducks Friday in Pasadena, Pryor had played the best game of his Ohio State career, and helped Tressel notch the "big game" postseason victory that had eluded him since the 2005 season. That screeching sound you hear out of the west is the monkey flying off the backs of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Rose Bowl Champions ... got a nice ring to it. Dan Wismar recaps the victory.
After winning six conference titles in nine seasons under Jim Tressel, the Ohio State Buckeyes finally arrive Friday at the destination that is supposed to be automatic for the Big Ten champions: The Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Chip Kelly's 7th-ranked Oregon Ducks will represent the Pac-10 in the 96th edition of the Granddaddy of all bowl games, but the identity of the opponent is incidental to the task at hand for the Buckeyes. For Oregon, their Pac-10 title affords a rare opportunity to play on the big stage. For No. 8 Ohio State, nothing short of winning on that big stage will be enough to begin restoring some national respect for the Scarlet and Gray and for the Big Ten Conference. That's what this game is about for the Buckeyes. Dan Wismar breaks it down for us.
Sad but true- Ohio State hasn't experienced a great deal of success in bowl games over the last twenty-five years. The Buckeyes are just 9-13 in the postseason since 1984, and a number of the losses have been downright embarrassing for the program and its fans. All twenty-two of those games, from the glorious to the disgraceful, are here in the final installment of Jesse Lamovsky's unofficial "Quarter-century of Buckeye fandom" series, ranked from the worst to the best.
Part two of "Let's Go Bowling" takes us to the games of New Year's Day and beyond, including the BCS Championship Game and Ohio State's Rose Bowl battle with Oregon. Jesse Lamovsky usually doesn't get into the prediction game with the Buckeyes - he leaves that to his esteemed colleague Dan Wismar - but for one time only, he's taking off his dress, manning up and picking a winner. Just two more weeks from tomorrow Buckeyes fans!
Hard to believe it's been a month since Michigan ... and since the entire last edition of the Leaves was devoted to football recruiting, there's a lot of other OSU activity to cover in this one...so let's get right to it. A look back at the Big Ten football season is on the agenda, but first ... about that month since Michigan. Dan Wismar checks in to talk about potential expansion in the Big Ten, the All-Big Ten teams, the Rose Bowl and other items in this week's Buckeye Leaves column.
Once again its bowl season, the time of year in which college football entertains us with a variety of games, some eagerly anticipated... others not so much. 34 bowl games are on the slate this December and January, starting December 19th in Albuquerque and climaxing in Pasadena on January 7th with the BCS Championship Game. Here for your perusal are Jesse's capsules and predictions for every bowl game to be played before the ball drops on midnight of December 31st.
Along with Dan Wismar, he's been Johnny on the Spot for us on the Buckeye football and college football beat this season. And with the regular season over and the bowl schedule set, it's time for a quick run-through of Jesse Lamovsky's post-season reflections, awards, pans, and other random thoughts. He'll be back in the coming days with his complete predictions of the bowls, but for now let us glance back at the season that was and the postseason that will be.
With a 10-2 regular season and the Big Ten title in the bag, and the Rose Bowl still a few weeks out, it's an opportune time to catch up with Coach Tressel and his staff on the recruiting trail for the 2010 class of new Buckeyes. Tressel's 2010 class is taking shape as another good one for the Buckeyes, despite the restriction of a relatively small number of available scholarships. With 13 verbal commitments already in the fold, Tressel will bring in a total of 20 or so before it's all over in February, and there are a number of blue-chippers still considering OSU among their final options. Dan gets us caught up on the Buckeyes recruiting exploits.
Ohio State's 21-10 victory over Michigan in Ann Arbor was routine in a way long-time Buckeye fans could have never dreamed of in the bad old days of the Ď90s. The Bucks didn't do anything spectacular in winning their sixth straight over the Wolverines. They pounded the football with Brandon Saine, Dan Herron and Terrelle Pryor and let Michigan make the mistakes- which they did in abundance. It wasn't scintillating, but it was certainly effective. And it gave Ohio State the outright Big Ten Championship- Jim Tressel's third as head coach. Jesse takes a look back at the win in The Week That Was.
The state of Ohio and that state up north went to war this weekend. Leg one, the much more important leg, went to the good guys ... when the Buckeyes went into Ann Arbor and ran all over the Wolverines, winning their sixth straight game in the rivalry and keeping Michigan home for the holidays. On Sunday, the Browns also traveled north, losing 38-37 to the Lions on the final play of the game after a pass interference call in the end zone with no time left on the clock. In The Weekend Wrap, Peeks hits on both football games, as well as the Cavs winning ugly without Shaq and Delonte.
Jim Tressel's dominance of Michigan continued Saturday in Ann Arbor as the Buckeye defense forced five turnovers by Wolverine quarterback Tate Forcier on the way to a methodical 21-10 victory, and Ohio State ran their streak over the Wolverines to six in a row. Tressel won his fifth consecutive Big Ten championship outright, and improved his career record in The Game to 8-1. The Buckeyes ran for over 200 yards, running over an overmatched Michigan team that will be home for the holidays for the second straight season. Dan recaps the glorious victory.
Ohio State vs. Michigan baby. Where the expected and the logical are traditionally suspended for three hours in mid-November while a bunch of kids play an intense, physical game of football, and an altogether unique chapter is written into the history of the greatest rivalry in sports. This year, the Buckeyes have a Rose Bowl berth wrapped up. But an outright Big Ten title, and a chance to keep Michigan from becoming bowl eligible will be on the line when they kickoff tomorrow at noon in The Big House. Can Michigan win this football game? Dan Wismar gives us his thoughts in this excellent preview of The Game.
Successful poker players may lose many small pots and still be totally happy, for their goal is to win the occasional big ones. The same thinking comes naturally in football. When the "Browns are in a fourth down, "moving all in", in the meaning of going for it, is worthwhile only if the odds for success are good enough. In most other cases, itís probably wiser to just "fold" the hand, as in punting the ball away. In the same way, winning or losing a single yard means nothing as long as they manage to get a first down.
Ohio State football is rich in tradition, and since his hiring, Coach Tressel has made the upholding of these traditions a cornerstone of his program in Columbus.† From the Buckeye Grove, to script Ohio, to Carmen Ohio, to Michigan Week, to tailgating, Woody, and The Shoe ... these traditions are part of what makes it so great to be a Buckeye fan.† In a rerun of a column we run every year during Michigan Week, Furls ranks the top five Buckeye football traditions.
Thanks to some atypical performances by the defensive line and special teams, as well as some ... uninspired late play-calling to the Vest, Ohio State found itself in a battle for survival with a scrappy Iowa team that had no idea it wasn't supposed to win this game. It took some corresponding conservatism on the part of Kirk Ferentz, as well as a put-up-or-shut-up stand by the Ohio State defense in overtime, to pull the first Rose Bowl bid since 1996 out of the fire for the Buckeyes. In his "The Week That Was" column, Jesse looks back at the win, takes a closer look at the Rose Bowl drought for the Bucks, and touches on the rest of this weekend's college football action.
Ohio State and Iowa needed overtime to decide the Big Ten title in Columbus Saturday, but the Buckeyes overcame an inspired performance by the Hawkeyes and their backup quarterback to pull out a dramatic 27-24 victory and send Jim Tressel to the Rose Bowl for the first time as OSU coach. The Hawkeyes followed their season's script with another improbable late comeback, erasing a 24-10 OSU lead in the 4th quarter. But the Buckeye defense rose to the challenge in the extra session, registering their only sack of the game when it counted, holding Iowa scoreless in their overtime possession. Dan Wismar recaps the win.
Just another week of college football in Columbus this Saturday ... except for that Rose Bowl berth and the Big Ten championship that are at stake. The Iowa Hawkeyes come calling at the Horseshoe for a winner-take-all game against an Ohio State team that is 25-4 in November under Jim Tressel, and looks to be hitting their stride at just the right time. And our own Dan Wismar stops by with his usual excellent Friday night look at the Buckeyes weekend opponent.
Ohio State picked a pretty good time to play its best game of the season. It was a must-win showdown, played on the road in front of 110,033 spectators, nearly all of them partial to the home boys from Penn State- and the Buckeyes, quite simply, kicked ass. They whipped the Nittany Lions on both sides of the football, got a smart, mistake-free performance from Terrelle Pryor, and took a massive step toward their first Rose Bowl appearance since 1997 with a 24-7 victory that was every bit as authoritative as the final score would suggest. Jesse looks back at the win, as well as the rest of Saturday's college football action in The Week That Was.
Terrelle Pryor celebrated his return to Pennsylvania with three scores, and Ohio State took over the drivers' seat in the Big Ten race by dominating Penn State in Happy Valley 24-7. The Buckeye defense held the Nittany Lions scoreless after the break, and Pryor put the game out of reach with two touchdown passes in the second half. The win puts the Buckeyes back in the catbird seat in the Big Ten, and a home win next week against Iowa will secure another Big Ten title for the scarlet and gray. Dan Wismar recaps Saturday's glorious win over the Nittany Lions.
Two of the best defenses in the country will be on display Saturday in Happy Valley when the Buckeyes meet the 11th-ranked Nittany Lions of Penn State with a possible trip to Pasadena on the line. Even the two celebrity coaches on the sidelines might have to take a back seat to that show. It's a game featuring the two preseason conference favorites, and despite the presence of Iowa in the race, this match-up continues to hold all the import it was expected to have when the season began. Welcome to November football in the Big Ten. Dan Wismar previews Saturday's big game.
Let's be honest: there wasn't an actual game played at the Horseshoe on Saturday afternoon. More like a live-action scrimmage in which the stats and scores count. The New Mexico State Aggies weren't supposed to provide quality competition for Ohio State and, sure enough, they didn't. The Buckeyes held the nation's worst offense to 62 total yards, piled up 558 themselves and had their way in a 45-0 whitewash that wasn't even that close. Jesse looks back at the shutout win as well as all the rest of this past weekend's college football action in The Week That Was.
Ohio State posted their third shutout of the season Saturday, routing the hapless Aggies of New Mexico State 45-0. The Buckeyes staggered out of the gate to a scoreless first quarter, but four second quarter TD's were more than enough to subdue the Aggies, who managed just two first downs and 62 total yards all day, and never took a snap in OSU territory. Dan Wismar recaps the win.
Ohio State hosts the Aggies of New Mexico State on Saturday in Columbus in the first ever meeting between the two schools, and it's a game that should be just slightly tougher than a bye week for the Buckeyes (6-2, 4-1) as they look toward the coming Big Ten stretch run in November. OSU will be hoping just to stay (get?) healthy and build some momentum for the trip to Penn State a week from now, and Aggie head coach DeWayne Walker has to be wondering what he did to deserve this little scheduling quirk in his first season at the helm. Dan Wismar previews the contest.
The easy part, if there was such a thing for this Ohio State team, is just about over. The hard part is about to begin.
Saturday's 38-7 rout of Minnesota at the Horseshoe represents the end of the soft section of the Big Ten schedule. From here on out the Buckeyes face quality conference opponents, starting November 7th when they play at Penn State. For all the frustration that has accompanied the first eight games on the slate, the big prize- the conference title and the trip to Pasadena- is still very much attainable. Jesse breaks it all down, as well as the last week of college football action in The Week That Was.
Ohio State scored 31 unanswered points in the second half to blow open a seven-point game and rout the turnover-prone Minnesota Golden Gophers 38-7 on a Homecoming Saturday in Columbus. Terrelle Pryor passed for 239 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 104 yards and another score, as the Buckeyes capitalized on a boatload of Gopher mistakes and cruised to a confidence-building victory. Dan Wismar recaps the win for our readers.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers come to Columbus Saturday cast in the role of another of those soft touches on the OSU schedule, while the wounds from the stunning loss to Purdue last week continue to fester on the body of Buckeye Nation. A week ago, the talk was of the 7th-ranked Buckeyes' path to another conference championship and a potential BCS berth. After Purdue, the OSU football program is in self-examination mode, while the fans and media weigh in with blistering criticism of the coach, the quarterback and the entire system. Dan Wismar previews this weekend's game.
I don't want to sound pessimistic. But as we pick through the ruins of Ohio State's 26-18 loss to Purdue on Saturday, you might want to start getting familiar with words like Alamo, Outback and Capital One. The salvaging process is going to take a while after this one. Gone, at least for the moment, is Ohio State's advantage in the race for the Big Ten title. Gone, probably for good, is any possibility of even a BCS at-large berth, let alone a slot in the Championship Game. Ohio State's sixteen-game conference road winning streak is kaput. And that isn't all. The Buckeyes left a measure of self-respect in West Lafayette with their fumbling, bumbling, turnover-plagued performance on Saturday.
The Purdue Boilermakers knew they had a good game in them somewhere, and they found it for Ohio State, outplaying a stumbling, bumbling Buckeye team Saturday afternoon in West Lafayette, 26-18. OSU committed five turnovers, including two fumbles and two interceptions by Terrelle Pryor, and the Jim Tressel offensive scheme that sputtered a week ago in victory, bottomed out in a humbling defeat. Dan Wismar relives what may be the worst loss of The Tressel Era.
This Saturday the Buckeyes go on the road to the state of Indiana for the second time in three weeks, looking for their fifth straight win, this time against a struggling Purdue team under first-year head coach Danny Hope. On paper it looks like a mismatch, with Ohio State (5-1, 3-0) the heavy favorite to dispose of Purdue (1-5, 0-2) without too much trouble. But as Wisconsin learned last week in Columbus, sometimes you can do almost everything right and still end up on the short end of the score when it's all over. Dan Wismar previews the contest.
It was complete and utter domination Saturday afternoon at the Horseshoe. The Wisconsin Badgers ran 99 plays to Ohio State's 40, held the ball for 42 minutes and 47 seconds, enjoyed a 22-8 edge in first downs and out-gained the Buckeyes 368-184. It was one-sided, it was decisive. And oh, by the way, it was a 31-13 Ohio State victory. Jesse Lamovsky looks back at Saturday's win by the Buckeyes and all the rest of Saturday's college football action in The Week That Was.
No offense? No problem. On a day when Wisconsin's offense doubled Ohio State's output, the Buckeyes' defense and special teams proved that there's more than one way to win a football game. Both starting OSU safeties had interception returns for touchdowns, and Ray Small took a kickoff 96 yards for a score, propelling Ohio State to a 31-13 win over the Badgers that wasn't nearly as easy as the final score suggests. Dan Wismar recaps the contest for us in his latest.