Saturday, June 7, 2008

Who the Fuck is Tommy Tuberville?

I personally thought he had retired after complaining about not making it to the championship game way back in 2003.

I guess he didn't because now he has a new cause: Taking shots at Ohio State.

So now we don't only have to listen to fans assume they can beat Ohio State because they are part of the SEC, we have to listen to coaches? Tuberville proclaims:

"Ohio State would have finished fifth in our league and they're ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll," Tuberville said.

Funny, because I don't remember Ohio State playing in the SEC. It's a fun statement to make, considering the champion of the SEC has beat Ohio State in the past 2 championship games and not the second, third or fourth place team.

The best part is that Tommy doesn’t have to worry about accountability. It’s not like Ohio State will be seeing Auburn on the gridiron any time soon, unless the Tigers quit dropping random games along the way. My recommendation is the Auburn cedes from the SEC and joins the Big 10 to make up our 12th team. My guess is that Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois would have no trouble with the Tigers. Actually Ohio State would probably win too, considering as how you’d then be a member of the Big Ten and not the SEC.

You may remember Auburn for their Florida victories the past 2 years, because besides that there’s not a whole lot to hang your hat on. You would have to assume that Ohio State would drop games to South Florida and The Mississippi State University. Hell, they went toe to toe against Nebraska (yes, Callahan’s Nebraska). Auburn’s last shot at a Big Ten team didn’t go so well, losing to Wisconsin 24-10 in 2005, so I assume Wisconsin would finish close to second in the SEC. The John Stocco tossed for over 300 yards and the Badgers held Kenny Irons to 88 yards rushing.

It’s just sad really that these coaches can shoot off at the mouth without any kind of accountability. If you call out a specific team, you should have to play that team and not hide behind the big boys of your conference (Florida and LSU). He must forget that it’s only Ohio State that has an issue with beating SEC team, as the rest of the Big Ten seems to do just fine.

That being said, it looks like I have a new favorite team to play in a bowl game! But then again, Ohio State will probably be in the National Championship game and Auburn will probably drop a game to either Louisiana-Monroe or Tennessee Martin.

Don’t worry Tommy, I’ve already petitioned the Big Ten for Auburns admission.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Malcolm Jenkins is Slow...

or so says a bunch of 2009 NFL Draft predictions.

Comments say that Malcolm Jenkins, the senior cornerback for Ohio State, might not be able to produce in the forty yard dash.

Poe is curious to where this rumor started (my guess is a SEC/CBS/Florida message board) because to me, he's always seemed like one of the fastest guys on the field. Just ask Penn State and LSU. In addition, he seems to be the most electric Buckeye when he's got the ball in his hands. The dude is basically Mr. Pick Six.

I'm confused. Maybe being one of the fastest Buckeyes only makes you as fast as an LSU linebacker, but I've never watched a game and said "Holy shit, Malcolm Jenkins is slow". Donald Washington got chased down against Texas, so maybe people get Washington and Jenkins confused.

You tell me where this vicious rumor started...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Charmin Soft = 4 Big Ten Teams in CBS Top 25

That’s it. I’ve quit my day job. I’ve been hired by CBSSportsline to come up with articles that provide no insight and inspire a myriad of message board comments.

Dennis Dodd and I on the same team will be quite a force to reckon with. He can piss off the Big Ten and I’ll piss of the SEC. The rest of the conferences will get so sick of the Big Ten and SEC, like they aren’t already, and then CBS will be the first site to reach 1 billion posts.

I’ve been inspired by Dennis Dodd. He is mentor. Why? Because he ranks the Buckeyes #1 in this Top 25 poll, one spot above SEC favorite Georgia. Why the change of heart from Dodd, who rags on the Buckeyes as choke artists and hammers the Big Ten for being a horrible conference? Dodd says:

“Mix in the roll of baby-soft Charmin known as the Big Ten schedule and this is the team to beat.”

While the whole slate of the Big Ten may be a tad easier than the SEC, Dodd proceeds to include 3 other Big Ten teams in the Top 25 (Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan State). I could see Dodd’s issue, except for the fact that Ohio State plays all 3 teams ON THE ROAD. Dodd also just dropped out Penn State from the list Post Spring, meaning 5 total Big Ten teams would have been on the list. Ohio State would play all 4. How many SEC teams? 5 of them. In my life, 5=5.

What does this mean? Nothing, because these beat writers write each story with a clean slate, as if they never had a prior opinion or a prior thought (yet all of which can be found in their archive).

He also puts 5 Big 12 teams in the top 11. Using previous logic, none of those five play each other during the season? I’d say his top 6 is logical in some order. The sad part is that Dennis Dodd’s opinion counts. His baseless opinions actually lead into the real rankings once the season starts.

It’s cool to hate on Ohio State’s schedule, and it sucks we have to start out with Youngstown State but we do, but Troy was second in the Sun Belt (ask the SEC about the Sun Belt) and Ohio University at least contends in the MAC. Uh, uh, okay bad arguments…but we play USC in Southern California.

And that can’t get here soon enough.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Why Recruiting Is Creepy

ESPN has proven that it is not only the world leader in sports, but the world leader in being downright creepy about high school kids. Talking about Ohio running back Bud Golden:

"He is a tall, well-built kid with the body structure to hold an additional 15-20 pounds of lean bulk to complement his downhill, north-south running style. His frame really impresses you without pads on. While lean, you can see his naturally strong, well-defined upper-body with the broad shoulders to eventually carry more weight and the load as a college running back."

Well, if that ESPN gig doesn't work out, I heard Fabio is looking for a writer for his next romance novel.

I have to go shower now...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Head Shots from 5/20/08

Big Ten Coaches Want a Break: Coaches are proposing a 2 week quiet period in the summer where recruits would be off limits from the dirty old men stalking them, also known as coaches and recruiters. The story was posted on ESPN and within minutes, comments popped up with suck gems as "This is why the Big Ten sucks" and "Sure, give Carroll, Meyer and Stoops 2 weeks alone with the Midwest’s blue chip recruits".

Mark May busy at work again, I see. His cohorts in comments were ‘McSheezyThaDraftMan’ and ‘MelKiperMustDie’. No idea who THAT could be, Todd.

Perrilloux Finds a Home: Ryan Perrilloux has signed his scholarship papers in AL-A-BA-MA! No, not the Crimson Tide, but Jacksonville State. RP can now play next season without riding the pine as he would transferring to a D1A school, which was important since he had already burned his redshirt season (along with the bridges behind him). Was that the season he was in a FBI counterfeiting investigation or and incident with a fake ID and a riverboat casino?

Sports Illustrated has commentary on the situation, with nothing but praise towards Perrilloux, explaining how well he played against Middle Tennessee State and Tennessee. In that case, he’s already shown he can be successful against D1-AA caliber defenses.

JSU currently has no quarterback on the team, which was also a positive in Perrilloux’s eyes. Was Jacksonville State without a QB because of graduation or injury? No, and we can’t make this up, he was kicked off the team. Funny how the world works.

Julio Jones for President: You know your school loves football when a football player gets third place in the Student Council President race. You know your school REALLY loves football when that player is a write in candidate who has yet to step on campus. Really tall Bama recruit and one member of Nick Saban’s 110 man recruiting class, Julio Jones is already a fan favorite.
Look out, we might have Terrelle Pryor elected as Governor of Ohio if this keeps up.

"I’m Terrelle Pryor, and I approve this message."

Jim Tressel Invades Florida: Open spots on the 2009 Ohio State football team are disappearing faster than small children at an elementary school when Charlie Weis got wrong directions to the all-you-can-eat buffet. (Note: Poe is implying Charlie Weis eats small children and house pets. Everyone is dogging on Charlie. 3-9, 3-9). JT has been quite the jet-setter, keeping tabs on recruits in Florida, Maryland, Tennessee (third time I had to type that word) and California.

Ohio State is currently on the short list for so many Florida kids, you’d think we replaced Florida State in the Big Three (we have). Two running backs, several defensive backs, and several wide receivers are getting the JT love, to the point where they might not have enough spots for everyone.
Two of the kids are amongst the fastest in the Speed State (hey, it was Microsoft that had me capitalize it). It’s just a shame that they might move north and play in the Big Ten and steal all the speed from the ACC. Yes, the ACC. Not surprisingly, many of the kids are also on Urban Meyer’s radar. No, he really has a radar. Unless you have the speed of a twin engine Cessna, he will not recruit you. Thus the call into Michigan’s tight end (non-existent in any Ohio State-Michigan game), who blew past the entire Florida defense on a screen.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The No Win Argument: College Football Playoffs

Just so you know, Gordon Gee is looking out for you. He doesn’t want college football to become too professional; he doesn’t want to cross that line "down a slippery slope". Thanks buddy. Luckily for Ohio State, Gordon Gee is normally right. He states we don’t want to get into an "arms race".

Poe will be the first to tell you that Gee’s argument is pretty weak.

Ohio State is big time college football. Big time college football is professional football without the payroll. Ohio State football has Ohio Stadium (105,000 people), The Woody Hayes Athletic Center ($24 million), ABC primetime games, the Big Ten Network, merchandising deals, sponsorships, and BCS million dollar paydays. This isn’t some two-bit operation that relies on good luck. All that and a playoff pushes us off a slippery slope? Maybe Gee will do away with the athletic department next (ha, Vanderbilt! Seriously though, the real people that run Ohio State would never allow it). Next thing you know, we’ll be talking about paying student-athletes!*

*That’s a whole other topic, but lets just say Poe made $23/hr working during a co-op during college. The school sent applications to the employer, employer hired student, student did work, student was paid, and the employer made profit. Sounds like the academics of a university are professional, but we can’t take our sports there?

Gee has drawn the ire talk show hosts and sports writers alike. Mike Wilbon of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, graduate of Northwestern, crossed his own slippery slope and called Gee "a fraud". Meanwhile, Jim Tressel backs the Ohio State/Big Ten/Pac-10 position on playoffs, probably hoping not to stir the pot and go against the conference and its bowl tie-in (Rose Bowl). Never mind the fact that Tressel won 4 of his 5 national championships in the D-1AA playoff system. It’s a lot like when Wilbon (ESPN) and Dennis Dodd (CBS) take shots at Ohio State and the Big Ten, because it’s the culture created by the network. It’s easy to take shots since the collective memory of our society is 2.5 days, and these guys sit in meetings all day discussing how to make controversy. SportingNews says Jim Delaney is the sports most powerful comissioner, but they are the weakest BCS conference. But if there were a playoff, ESPN would likely have to go off air or play more Texas Hold ’em because they won’t get to "debate" as much.

The only reason ESPN/ABC/Disney is likely to be pushing for a playoff system is that ESPN/ABC/Disney is likely to make a bid the next time the TV deals expire.

The outside view is that the Big Ten doesn’t want a playoff system because then Ohio State wouldn’t get free rides into the championship game. Somehow they figure that Ohio State wouldn’t get an advantage by playing the fourth ranked team (since they have been #1 the past 2 years) and actually playing a game during the 40-day layoff. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sure doesn’t help Ohio State when they lose the national championship game. And what would become of the team if they win the Rose Bowl, but lose in the championship? Hey congrats, you won the Granddaddy of Them All, but you are still overrated!

I’m all for the Plus One, if the BCS guys can all sit down at a table and come up with something clever and logical. I’m just not sure they can (oh well, there’s always congress!). The more football the better, for me at least. Maybe the players can all take a vote, after all they are the ones playing. If they are happy, then who cares? Too many times these ruling committees look out for their own interests while forgetting about the players that make of the teams whether it be the NCAA, NFL, NBA, or MLB (sorry NHL).

Gordon Gee is smarter than we are. In fact, he might even be a bigger Buckeye than we are (any man that wears Buckeye pants is a hero, in my book). We know Gee is all for keeping athletic departments in check and raising academic standards. I’m all for it too. But Ohio State is not Vanderbilt in background, budget, or admissions. I haven’t personally seen a Plus One or playoff system that makes sense logically, but I wouldn’t dare claim college football (and basketball) are separate entities from their professional counterparts.

Besides, the decision-makers already made their decision.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

He Was Who We Thought He Was

Can I get a round of applause for whoever came up with the ‘one and done’ rule for college basketball. Bravo. Bra-fucking-vo.

No, it’s not the fact that the NCAA came up with a completely arbitrary number regarding the duration of term in college (football is 3 years, basketball is only 1 year. I would assume that the team owners and commissioners had something to say about that).

‘One and done’, especially at Ohio State, causes issues with a team’s APR rating (basically a formula that accounts for graduation rates of students). Greg Oden, Mike Conley, and Daequan Cook go pro in basketball, your APR score drops since they left in the middle of a semester. It doesn’t matter if you go pro, transfer schools, or just quit the team and drop out of school. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the purpose of college is to work towards gaining the skills you need to be successful in a specific professional. Let’s say I bailed on the engineering program early because NASA was offering me a $100k signing bonus to be a genius engineer. I doubt the engineering school would be slapped with penalties and have scholarships revoked.

Secondly, OJ Mayo was who we thought he was: any university’s nightmare. Reports show that Mayo had been taking cash and gifts since high school and through his ‘one and done’ season at USC. Uh oh USC. That means since he was directly affiliated with you for 4 months, you now face the wrath of the NCAA. And Mayo? He gets to go pro. Thankfully, the NCAA has no judicial powers outside "we’ll take back your trophy" and "you can’t play in the postseason", or this could turn into the Spanish Inquisition. The NCAA probably feels it should be above the law, so I wouldn’t be surprised when the NCAA minds rule "off with his head".

I can’t blame Mayo, especially since cash and gifts aren’t technically illegal. All he was trying to do was get paid the entire time. It would have happened on the priest’s watch if he decided he was going to St. Johns or Notre Dame. But the truth was, you could tell from the beginning. OJ Mayo has always had a little bit of flair and attitude, the polar opposite of Greg Oden. Maybe it had something to do with committing to USC in 6th grade.

I can’t blame Mayo. I can blame the NCAA. A two-year rule in college basketball affords at least some accountability from the player to the university. A three-year rule would make college basketball equal to college football. 3+3=3.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Terrelle Pryor is Selfish...

Selfishly in love with Jim Tressel, that is.

"Why I chose Ohio State is because of Jim Tressel. That's it," Pryor stated emphatically. "I could have went to a lot of great places, but I want to play for coach Tressel. There were a lot of other reasons, like the friends I have here, the distance from home and a few other things, but the main reason is coach Tressel. I want to come here and win a championship for him."

I won't steal BuckeyePlanet's mojo on this, so here's the link to the whole post. It's the final part of a 3 piece series by's Bill Greene on the recruitment and signing of Terrelle Pryor.

I'm not sure, but I think that kind of comment that makes you an honorary Ohioan. But I thought Pryor was a self-centered, egotistical super recruit that would demand playing time and be a bigger burden than he's worth. Oh well it seems like Pryor is a well rounded, exceptionally thoughtful human being. Is that possible?

Don't look now, but you just got Tresselized.

I'm glad Coach Tressel can lead and inspire. Hell, it's been said many a time that if he were to run for Governor of Ohio, he'd win in a land slide. But you know what happens when you become a politician. You become power hungry.

I can see it now, Tressel mobilizes the Ohio National Guard to initiate takeover attempts on the states of Florida and Louisiana followed by the beheadings of Urban Meyer and Les Miles, thus ending the evil rule of the SEC and proclaiming the areas as "The Ohio Territories" and southern speed would now be known as "Ohio Speed".

And you know what? I think most of us would be okay with that.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Call EA Sports, NCAA Football 2008 Has a Defect

Apparently EA Sports didn't get the memo. I just got done beating the Texas Longhorns for the National Championship for the third straight year. I beat down Texas all 3 years at an average score of 49-14. Guess what?

They finished the season ranked #2 after those poundings.

And a funny thing happened the next season.

Texas was again ranked #2 to start the season!

Interesting parallels to real life, considering the computer calculates these outcomes using stats and information. You know what a computer doesn't include? Opinion. Go figure.

Monday, May 5, 2008

LSU Gives In, Ryan Perrilloux Goes Out

Ryan Perrilloux rattled the cage in bayou one too many times. It’s the story that I’ve expected to read about every time I’ve read a story about Perrilloux over the past few years. Perrilloux = Counterfeiting Ring = FBI = Casino Gambling = Bar Fights = Missed Class and Meetings = Failed Drug Test = King of the World = No more D1 football.

Strangest part of the story to me is about how Les Miles and LSU are getting all the credit for kicking the kid off the team. It’s not everyday that you have to kick the starting QB off the team, but then again its not everyday the starting QB does something and deserves to be kicked off the team. What else could they do? Perrilloux has been suspended on and off for the past year, missing games and practice. At some point you have to realize he might be more trouble than he’s worth and 6 strikes and you’re out, and that’s what happened Friday. That, or one of the other QBs looked good enough in practice to chance the Perrilloux dismissal.

Ohio State has had its share of issues over the years. Now, LSU. Penn State has, Oklahoma has, WVU, Florida has, South Carolina has, and the list goes on (USC, USC, USC). I mean check out the Fulmer Cup on EDSBS. For the most part, they have been individual exercises and not a result of the nature of the programs. I mean, you’re putting one hundred 18-22,23,24 year old men on a team. I went to college, had fun, did what I had to do, and didn’t get in a whole lot of trouble (Poe hasn’t been arrested, yet). Alas, I wasn’t going to be a QB for a college football power. These guys have different backgrounds and ideas about their futures, and you’ll get a few bad apples that don’t want to follow the rules. For every bad apple, there are 40-50 good apples that you’ll never hear about.

Take it from an Ohio State fan: Get Perrilloux on some D-1AA team. Let him play for one or two years and try out for the NFL. You don’t want him calling ESPN, robbing people for cell phones behind bars, carrying guns and Grey Goose in an SUV near a witness’ house, and spending a few in the Toledo Correctional Facility.

In the World of Overly Optimistic Beat Writers…
Hide the children, Ron Zook is coming. With impeccably odd timing, a writer for an Illinois paper talks about how Ron Zook is poaching Ohio football players. It seems like he’s a year late on the Illinois recruiting class, which should be promising but not overwhelming. It just seems like a strange time to release an article just weeks after Melvin Fellows decommitted from Illinois to take the home state Buckeyes. Zooker got Cordale Scott last year from Glenville, but Ohio State got Devier Posey and Jake Stoneburner, both of whom could see action this year. And Ohio State got Garret Goebel last year out of Illinois, who was probably the state’s best prospect (I think he figured he could play day one after watching the DTs play). Anyway, the guy is a year late on his story. If anything, he should have jumped on the "Gentlemen’s Agreement" bandwagon.

Speaking of snake oil salesmen in wizards’ hats, Jim Tressel could have been dogging Walker: Texas Ranger’s favorite old man Joe Tiller with the comments. But Joe Tiller and Purdue aren’t national newsworthy, thus Rich Rodriguez hath been attacked. So now the state of West Virginia, West Virginia University, AND Jim Tressel are out to get him…wait, that IS right. Hopefully for Tiller’s sake, Purdue can go all MAC game on Michigan and put up 50 points. Wait, then Purdue will somehow give up 52.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

All Aboard!

Another Monday, another Ohio State recruit commitment. Corey Lindsey, big Ohio offensive lineman, decided to pull the trigger on OSU because that’s who he grew up rooting for and that’s where his mama wanted him to go (good lady). Lindsey was also considering Notre Dame and, gasp, Stanford. It means that Jim Tressel and his staff feel like you can never have enough offensive lineman, and Poe agrees.

So that makes 13 commitments.
Of course, if Ohio State was a member of the SEC or ACC, they would still have 18-20 more recruits to sign (here’s lookin’ at you Miami (Fl) and Alabama). But, alas, they are not and it looks like the 2009 class could top out with 8ish more kids. Me thinks a Glenville kid or two, a running back or two, and a WR or two (especially a 6’5" Randy Moss-Calvin Johnson-freak), and then the staff can call it a recruiting season.

UPDATE: Make it 14, as Zach Boren did what we all thought he would and picked the Buckeyes. These boys sure are ‘Ohio State Men’.

Which offer is the most prestigious?
It’s the age-old question. What school do players consider is the most prestigious offer? It’s the offer that puts a kid on the map and makes people stop and talk about it. No matter where you are in this country, you get the offer from this school and people just assume it’s where you are going…

#1) USC: Hate to say it, fellow Buckeyes, but it’s hard to beat the USC offer. Players from Ohio and Michigan get the USC offer and even the obsessed recruiting followers just assume it will be hard to beat. It’s more than just Pete Carroll and the school. Sure I bet Petey makes it fun and you can all laugh together, but I think the biggest draw is the fact it’s Southern California and the rest are just perks. Columbus, Norman, South Bend, and Gainesville just aren’t LA. There’s no other explanation for the stockpile of running backs than that.

#2) Ohio State: Who Ohio State offers, Ohio State gets (usually). While OSU has predominantly stuck with Ohio boys, more and more athletes from around the country are flocking to Columbus. Example A) Etienne Sabino was a FLA boys and had is USC offer. Sabino, the #1 rated inside linebacker, picks the Buckeyes. Tressel and his staff don’t waste your time or theirs, signing 20 of the 24 kids that officially visited for 2008 (that’s like 80% conversion rate). More and more Florida kids are visiting along with PA kids, Maryland kids, but call me when Tressel starts invading California.

#3) Florida: Urban Meyer must have some positives (though Poe sees none of them, as the Southern boys stay Southern boys and play for Florida. Who else would they play for? Florida State? Miami? Meyer is as lucky as he is good. A lot of kids want to play in Florida, but would rather not play in the ACC. Around 60% of kids in the Rivals100 have Florida listed as a school they are interested in, and I’m sure Urban calls everyone.

Which offer is the least prestigious?
Know what it takes to rebuild? Offers to everybody and their brothers and their brothers’ friends. The next 3 teams are not necessary bad teams, but face an uphill battle in terms of being all that relevant again.

#1) Alabama: Roll Tide. Roll Nick Saban. Roll 50 recruits a season. Saban needs them and he doesn’t want you to worry about the numbers. There’s something I’ve never liked about Saban.

#2) Miami (Fl): Going from having teams stacked with NFL players to QBs who complete 1 of 15 passes, The U might have to change its name to The O for offer after the size of the class they brought in. Bad News is that you now have to put the (Fl) so people know who you are talking about. Good news for Miami is that all those years in the beginning of the millennium help in recruiting.

#3) Illinois: I sent in video of myself sitting at my desk. A week later, I got an in home visit from his staff telling me about how I could get a lot of playing time for the Illini. Oh Zooker. He can sell Rose Bowl appearances, beating Ohio State at home, and playing time, but we still know that 200 kids have been offered for the 25 slots.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Head Case: NFL Draft

Drafted Buckeyes
Vernon Gholston
Big man goes #6 and made even the Jets fans happy. The least human and most humble of the draftees on Saturday, Gholston helps Ohio State land instate recruit, Melvin Fellows, by just being Vernon and being a first round draft pick. The Jets seem to love Ohio State players, along with the Colts and Bills.

Larry Grant
According to Eleven Warriors, the only man on the planet to lose 4 straight national championship games (2 at Ohio State, 2 during his JUCO years). CBSSportsline suggests "Larry Grant was some what of a good luck charm for whatever team he’s played on", but neglects to mention the teams lost all 4 Championships. Larry, we loved having you here. But if the 49ers make it to the Super Bowl this season and lose, I recommend taking some time off from football.

Kirk Barton
In a way, Kirk Barton was close to being the antithesis of Michigan’s Jake Long. Jake Long goes #1, you almost go # last. Wearing my scarlet colored glasses, I never saw a giant difference between Long and Barton to equate to that differential. Stock didn’t jump after the last two bowl games.

Undrafted Buckeyes
Dionte Johnson
His biggest problem is that he wasn’t even the best fullback on the team. His biggest strength is that he’s the son of Pepper Johnson, and within a few months and a couple phone calls, the kid will have a job. I hate to say it seemed like he took his starting position for granted, while Tank Whaley was the fan favorite and the more effective FB). UPDATE: Free Agency for Dionte and Tank.

Other News...........................................................................................

Awful bad week for the Illini:
First, Melvin Fellows decommits from Illinois to attend Ohio State. (Yay us)

Second, Rivals takes shots below the belt at your coach in a recruiting article. (Maybe they are right)

And finally, leading tackler J Leman goes undrafted. (Bucknuts feel for you, cause the dude is the definition of football player, even if he’s a little weird)

Mr Flacco Goes to Baltimore
The Baltimore Ravens must take recruiting analysis from Mel Kiper and ESPN. He said they needed a QB, and they went out and got Joe Flacco out of D1AA’s winged helmeted Delaware, new location of OSU’s own Robbie Schoenhoft.

The bad news for Troy Smith: Flacco is about a half a foot taller. Hell, that means starting NFL QB right there.

The good news for Troy Smith: Steve McNair retired and they didn’t just draft the next Steve McNair. Flacco put up good numbers against D1AA, Troy put up good numbers in D1.

What do you think Troy's future includes?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Introducing: Evil Jim Tressel

Superman has Bizarro Superman.
Spiderman has Venom.

and Jim Tressel? Jim Tressel has Evil Jim Tressel.

You never know when Evil Jim Tressel will appear. It could be for an entire game or maybe just a series.

Eye Witness Account [Sports Illustrated Vault - 12/5/1994]
"[Steve McNair] would have one more chance to take his case to the nation, to show that at the very least, he was capable of playing with the big boys of Division I-AA—defending champion Youngstown State...By halftime the game had deteriorated into something you would see at the corner sandlot, and Youngstown State went on to destroy Alcorn 63-20.

Would a healthier McNair have made a difference on Friday? Said Youngstown coach Jim Tressel after the game. "McNair might have been fortunate he had the hamstring. If he'd been running, he would have been tattooed."

Jim Tressel is a calculating, efficient college football coach who plays strategy and field position. Jim Tressel is field goals, punts, and pounding the rock. Jim Tressel will win games with scores of 9-7, 21-14, and respects the opponent. Jim Tressel will keep the playbook closed and keep the score close.

But piss off Jim Tressel, and along comes Evil Jim Tressel. Evil Jim Tressel makes grown men cry. You last saw him in Columbus against Northwestern. Evil Jim Tressel shows no mercy to the opponent. If you are an opponent and you are drowning, Evil Jim Tressel will put a hose in your mouth.

I expect to see Evil Jim Tressel a lot more in 2008 than 2007. There's a whole lot of seniors on offense and defense. After losses in the national championship games the past 2 seasons, Evil Jim Tressel needs to show everybody who is boss. Evil Jim Tressel needs to take on Pete Carroll, Rich Rodriguez, and whoever is on the other side in a bowl game.

Jim Tressel could do it, but it would be more interesting to watch Evil Jim Tressel do it.

I need the "If he'd been running, he would have been tattooed" quote after every game.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Best Week Ever: Buckeye Edition

Let’s run down the list.
  1. Ohio State Spring Game – Great for the fans and the recruits
  2. Darrell Givens Commits – Teammate of Lamaar Thomas and OSU’s first offer.
  3. Dorian Bell Commits – 5 Star Linebacker from Pennsylvania
  4. Jordan Hall Commits – 4 Star Running Back and Terrelle Pryor’s right hand man from PA.
  5. Justin Boren transfer from Michigan to Ohio State is confirmed by Coach Tressel.
  6. Melvin Fellows Commits – Possibly the top ranked Ohio player decommits from Illinois.
  7. Vernon Gholston Goes Six to the Jets - Big Vern makes it another Top 10 pick for Jim Tressel
That’s a whole lot of good news and good fortune.

The Buckeyes have sealed up 12 commits for the 2009 recruiting class. All it needs is 1 or 2 more running backs (Florida boys, that’s you), another receiver, and you’ve got a pretty good recruiting class. For in depth recruiting, I recommend BuckeyePlanet or DottingtheI. I can spit off names all day, but I’m a reporter, not an investigator.

Turns out that Jermale Hines, the OSU linebacker that went down during the spring game, doesn’t have a serious injury and should be back before fall camp. Jermale is one of those fast mo-fo’s OSU is stocking up at linebacker and was widely rumored to have been practicing as a running back prior to the championship game against LSU.

For as good of a week as its been, I still think I would trade it for a certain week in early January.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Boren To Be 2009

Block O is Complete…Sort of.
Mike Adams, Michael Brewster, JB Shugarts. According to the recruiting experts, that’s one haul of a class. But to many Buckeyes’ chagrin on National Signing Day, they didn’t end up with that fourth man to finish up the Brew Crew, and even more so, the fan-appointed Block O. Josh Jenkins turned too mellow yellow and didn’t want to lose national championships (preferred losing to Pitt more) and everyone else was an afterthought.
But thanks to Rich Rodriguez (send him a thank you card), that elusive fourth lineman has landed in their lap in the form of Justin Boren. You may remember Boren as the sophomore starter for the Michigan Wolverines this past year. You know, All Big Ten Justin Boren. Well he decided he’d like to stay All Big Ten, but do it in Columbus rather than Ann Arbor. Mighty smart man to me.

But Poe, Don’t you have a problem with an ex-Michigan player on the Ohio State sideline?
Normally, yes. But under the circumstances, no. He wasn’t recruited by Rodriguez. He didn’t want to play in the spread offense. If he wanted to, he would have gone to Florida or West Virginia. The kid obviously wants to make it to the NFL, and that’s his #1 priority. Hell, I would assume that 25% of the team is at any given major power because it will help them get to the NFL and get paid…IF he comes in, tries his heart out, and does the best he can.

Yea but Michigan has a longer line of successful NFL offensive lineman!
Old Michigan did. New Michigan doesn’t. Old Michigan also made some pretty good NFL QBs. New Michigan probably won’t. A good NFL GM is always going to have that “So you played in a spread offense” idea in the back of his mind, doesn’t matter if you’re a QB, RB, WR, or Lineman. Maybe we can start referring to it as BRR and ARR, Before Rich Rod and After Rich Rod. Wisconsin makes some pretty good lineman too, and guess what style of football they play.

Ohio State (aka Suckeyes, Luckeyes, The University of Ohio State, Only Second University) sucks!
Totally dude. People were picking a sophomore and junior loaded Ohio State team to beat a senior laden LSU squad. That’s some pretty high praise. Ohio State was the underdog, and rightfully so. Guess who has the senior equipped team this year? Um, the Buckeyes.

Ohio State and Notre Dame Flip Schedules…
The Navy Midshipmen vs. The Ohio State Buckeyes. 2009 opener and 2014 opener. Navy? Really, Navy? I would assume that since Army dropped Ohio State (or the other way around), OSU wanted to keep it in the academies. I was unaware we have the same people making our schedules as Notre Dame does. Ohio State now plays Navy, USC, Michigan State, Michigan, and Penn State.

Oddly, Ohio State chose to OPEN the SEASON at NAVY in 2014 (seating a whopping 35,000 will make Ohio State fans feel like they are sitting in on a one on one with the team) or a neutral stadium in the greater Annapolis area. You may ask why…why would Ohio State open the season at a mid-major?
Say it with me. Annapolis is in…Maryland. Annapolis is close to…DC.

You know what’s in Maryland and DC, don’t you? Poe will tell you. Recruits are in Maryland and DC; just ask Lamaar Thomas and Darrell Givens. You know who gets to go watch the home opener? Prospective recruits that don’t want to play in the ACC, well because, it’s the ACC. Boston College? Virginia? Virginia Tech? Enough said.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Motto for 2008

Or if that doesn't work...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Win or Die: A Ridiculously Digustingly Early Preview

This was going to be a Bash Brothers, Ross Homan and Austin Spitler, post. But Poe would like to do some fact checking...Stay Tuned.
Goliath vs. Goliath. The teams of the decade. Game of the week. Carroll vs. Tressel. Big 10 vs. Pac-10.

I’ve heard that Ohio State at Southern California is going to be a great game. I’ve heard it’s not life or death for the Buckeyes. I’ve heard if Ohio State loses, they can still make it back to the championship. I heard this game doesn’t make the season.

Right. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

The truth is, September 9th in the Coliseum is the Buckeyes’ season, in a way. To Buckeye fans, it’s about winning the Big Ten and beating Michigan. Bowl wins and National Championships are icing on the cake. Unfortunately, the rest of the Nation (and now somehow the rest of the Big Ten) doesn’t feel that way. If you don’t plow through your OOC schedule and win a bowl game (including the National Championship), you mean nothing and you were obviously overrated. It’s all about R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Something of which these Buckeyes have very little.

You know it’s bad when Michigan fans and Iowa fans and Wisconsin fans are calling out the Buckeyes for losing in back to back championship games. Next, we’ll start hearing from those Big Ten fans how the Buckeyes play an easy schedule. Not to mention ESPN (TV and radio), CBS (SEC Sports), SI, Pac-10 fans, Big East fans, and the mighty, mighty SEC.

So what exactly does the USC game mean to The Ohio State Buckeyes? That’s hard to quantify. Bucks win? Oh, well, USC is ‘rebuilding’ and Ohio State caught them early in the season. Bucks lose? USC is a powerhouse and the Buckeyes can’t beat anyone of significance. If only we could publish opinions and predictions before the game and compare them after the game.

Well, guess what, here at Jim Tressel’s Head, you can!

The Game Itself

A stacked Ohio State team against a reloading USC team. Plain and
simple. It won’t be the 2006 Texas game, as Pete Carroll is
admittedly a better coach and recruiter than Mack Brown. USC has more 4 and 5 star recruits than any team in the nation. Ohio State has more 3 and 4 star recruits that play like 4 and 5 start recruits. Ohio State has all the experience, USC has all the acclaim.


Mark Sanchez throws and moves like a USC QB. He’s not quite Matt Leinart, and hopefully not even John David Booty, who was able bomb away on Michigan AND Illinois. Rumor has it he can operate on the run, and he may have to. With a retooled offensive line that will play Virginia and then a week off before Ohio State, I expect a motivated OSU defense to pressure Sancheezy. The stable of running backs is still a stable of running backs (who obviously value women and beaches more than playing time). The gaggle will only spell trouble if Ohio State sells out to stop the run, and lets Sanchez have a field day against a zone defense (Florida Game, Florida Game, Illinois Game, Illinois Game). McKnight did the most damage to Illinois off a fumbled screen pass. The receivers can all catch the ball and go. They can catch the ball on the go. They have the most experience on this team, mainly since there are 37 running backs on the active roster splitting time.

The USC defense, on the other hand, should give Todd Boeckman fits. Gone are key members of the defensive line and linebacker positions. Bad news: They should still be better than Illinois, where Todd honestly looked stupid. Corners are what should be expected. USC sports a Sean-Taylor-Reincarnate (Can I say that? Yes, because it is a compliment) at safety who could remove Ray Small’s head (again). He will be the biggest guy in the secondary unless Jake Stoneburner is out there running routes.

Ohio State

Todd Boeckman is still Todd Boeckman, for better or worse. When he’s on, he’s on. When he’s off, he’s off. There is no middle ground. So why make Boeckman work for it? Leak, Juice, and Flynn haven’t worked for it, and they’ve torn up the Ohio State defense. Good news: Todd’s been working on the check down to tight ends and running backs (is that not on the schedule the first 5 years?). If the offensive line tries for the full 60 minutes, there isn’t a better running back than Beanie Wells. Left, right, and over you, Beanie Wells will pick up 5-10 yards if you give him an inch of space. Essential in the game will be the check downs and screens to Brandon Saine and Mo Wells.

The Ohio State defense replaces a DE and a LB with guys that have all seen significant playing time. But does it matter? For approximately 11 games each of the past 2 seasons, the defense has done its best Silver Bullets impression. Bad news: The other 2 games have been against good, not great, offenses and they’ve looked confused, befuddled, and downright bad. As mentioned above, Leak, Juice, and Flynn have looked like Peyton Manning against Ohio State. Good News: New season.

It’s always been smash mouth football for the Ohio State defense. 2002, 2003, and 2005. Those defenses told the opposing offense how they were going to play. They dictated the game. Ohio State has lost to Florida, Illinois, and LSU because they didn’t. We’ll blame it on inexperience. Guess what is the reoccurring theme in 2003, 2005, and 2008? Senior leadership, specifically at linebacker. Marcus Freeman, Curtis Terry, and James Laurinaitis are all seniors. You know what happened during AJ Hawk and Bobby Carpenter’s junior seasons? 8-4. 2005? 11-2 and Fiesta Bowl BCS winners.

For the 2008 Ohio State Buckeyes to beat USC in LA, it will take all their effort. It will take more than all their effort. Chris Gamble used to sleep for 14 hours after a game because he was all out on every play, almost every play of the game. Craig Krenzel used to get knocked around like a punching bag (or girlfriend) in Mike Tyson’s house. Now I’m not saying the 2008 Buckeyes have to be the 2002 Buckeyes, but I wouldn’t mind the term Luckeyes flying around again.

Trust me, it wasn’t just luck.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Damn you, SEC

I blame this on you.

I hate Michigan. Always have. I cringe when I see a baby wearing Maize and Blue.

But as I sit here in Toledo (who, thanks to Buckeye Cable, gives me the Big 10 Network), I get an uneasy happiness watching Michigan terrorize Urban Meyer's mind. What's so confusing is that its the SEC's fault (compounded by ESPN bowl victory count) that makes me want to cheer for my fellow Big 10 teams in out of conference games and bowl games.

Damn your smarmy attitude, Mr. Meyer. Damn you.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ohio State Player Goes First in the Draft

No, not Vernon Gholston. No, not that draft.

Ain’t Nuthin But a T Thang: Gibson Goes Numero Uno

As in Thad Gibson, the newly minted rush end for The Ohio State University. How’s he making the switch? Well the Buckeye Seniors (and they do have more than 2 or 3 this year) made him the official first pick of the draft…for the spring game…after all the seniors had already been appointed sides.

You may remember Thad most memorably from the 4th quarter of the Wisconsin game, we know their QB does. Basically playing the role of a rush end when the official title was linebacker, Thad took the outside with his speed, threw the first team lineman out of the way, and supermanned himself into Stocco and causing a fumble. Now if we could only get some intensity like that from our defensive tackles…
Gibson was followed by Lawrence Wilson, who is the fan appointed king-of-the-end-position-now-that-Gholston-is-gone. Malcolm Jenkins responded with, "Yea well we got Lawrence Wilson". Yes you do, and considering the extreme lack of offensive lineman available (even with JB Shugarts being available), I feel sorry for Antonio Henton and Joe Bauserman.

Terrelle Pryor
looks pretty smart right now. TP won’t be at Ohio State till mid summer, but had he chosen to take part in spring practice, he would have faced the meat of the Ohio State defense all by himself. Basically the offensive line is down out a few starters and 2 blue chip freshman. No biggie!

Special Teams Need Special Bus
In case you didn’t know, Ohio State ended last year ranked 117th in kickoff returns. That’s for D-1A. Out of a 119 teams. It goes 117, 118, 119, that’s it. A year removed from Teddy Ginn terrorizing kickoffs (actually 2 or 3, depending when you consider Ginn stopped hitting holes and started trying to juke defenders back and forth), the unit ranks 3rd to last in organized football.

With all fairness to Ray Small, return man on 22 of 34 kicks, the blocking could be better, as it could have been in 2006. But then again, Ray Small has tried to wind sprints during the returns, going sideline to sideline without the hint of turning up field.

Enter Brandon Saine and Boom Herron (and Maurice Wells). Obviously a change in philosophy occurred, shifting from small, fast returnees to big, powerful RBs. Many wondered why Saine wasn’t back there more last year, packing enough mass and velocity to do damage (physics lesson; momentum=mass x velocity, or p=mv).

Maurice Wells is curious, as he can only be defined as shifty, and the dude who hasn’t broken a long run since he got here. Mo Wells reminds me of PJ Hill. Not that PJ Hill, Ohio State basketball player PJ Hill. Are you sure they aren’t the same person? All the jumping around and hair flying, with not a lot to show for it.

Maurice, I hate to say it. You need it, I need it, we need it. It’s your senior year. Try something new.
Shave the head.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Maurice Jones-Drew Gives Troy Smith a Shout Out

Well sort of…

If you count “Well they got that kid from your school, don’t they?” then he got one.

Ok, a little out of context. The NFL Live guys were all discussing the AFC East and the teams’ strength and which team they think will win it. ESPN heads predict Pittsburgh and Cleveland, while Jones-Drew goes with the wild card and takes the Ravens, enough to raise the ire of the Trey Wingo and the crew (not to mention ESPN execs). Someone chimes in “How about that quarterback position, they got that figured out yet?” and Jones-Drew looks over to THE Cris Carter and says “Well they got that kid from your school, don’t they?” (promptly inciting a commercial break so quick you would have expected it to be CBS).

Cris Carter -> Ohio State -> Troy Smith -> Ravens -> That Guy from Your School

Sure, he doesn’t know Troy’s name, but it’s the thought that counts.

Then again, it could be retribution for Chris Fowler calling Cris Carter “a former Gator during ESPN’s televised broadcast of Florida’s spring game (that’s right, national televised on a major network, spring game). Really Fowler? Ohio State has a couple guys you might have heard of…Glenn, Galloway, (dare I say Boston), or Holmes? Quality reporting does not equal the ESPN.

Also, expect Lee Corso to be so over the top this year that he makes Joe Paterno look sane. Why not start off 2008 predicting the South Carolina Gamecocks (at 6-6 in 2007) would win the SEC East. Let’s put it this way, the far-from-the-real-USC is so bad, even Ohio State could beat them in a bowl game…someday.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Behind Enemy Lines

Ann Arbor, MI
Word out of the Michigan spring scrimmage is that Rich Rodriguez is "encouraged with the play of his defense". Sounds like the Associated Press way of saying "well there’s nothing positive on the offensive side of things". In what was a glorified practice at a local Ann Arbor high school (as a result of the Big House being morphed into the Second Biggest House), the defense forced, or were given (depending on who you talk to), 6 turnovers including a fumble recovery and FIVE interceptions.

"The defense came along about how I expected," [Rich Rodriguez] said. "The defense should dominate. If they don’t, were going to have some issues."

Interesting statement coach, please elaborate. To be fair to the, uh, evolution occurring in Michigan, everybody except a select majority of UM fans feels that it will be a few years to incorporate the system and have everything firing all cylinders.

It’s sort of like a startup business, you take losses in the beginning to win in the end. The problem with Michigan is that they are not a startup, far from it, having been in business for 100 years. West Virginia? Startup in the beginning. A lot of other small schools adapting a spread type offense? Startups. The only thing similar in business would be if Ford dropped its F-Series pickup trucks (the real breadwinners) to focus on convertible sports cars. Michigan produced dropback passers by the NFL load, and to win 1-2 games more per year, are changing the entire offense. Tom Brady might have fun going to watch Michigan games from now on, but he sure as hell wouldn’t play for them.

We all saw what Michigan was capable of in 2006 against Ohio State and in 2007 against the Florida defense. I would be more scared of those Michigan teams than probably many future Michigan teams. But I guess when a team goes 1-6 against a certain school and head coach, its time to change something, but should it really have been the whole image of the school? I’m sure I’ll get MGoBloggers freaking out and telling me how Buckeye Nation is scared and the tables have turned.

A completely able bodied and functional pro style offense is 10x scarier than a spread option offense.

And Speaking of that SEC SPEED@#$%^&*()_!…

Gainesville, FL
I’ll get this out of the way. I hate Urban Meyer. I hate Michigan, but I was downright giddy watching the Wolverines drive up and down the field on the Gators. If the Big 10 is slow, UM has to be classified as the slow of the slow. Yet I watched a Wolverine TE outrace the FLA defense on a screen.

Anyways, good ol boy Urban Meyer feels that his savior at running back, Emmanuel Moody "will not play football for the Gators if there’s a chance he’ll put the ball on the ground" or along those lines.

Ouch, and this after Moody was the leading rusher during the ESPN televised Gators’ spring game. But he’s not small and fast like the incumbent back and we all know that Urban will sacrifice actual football talent for SEC speed. And all this after Meyer spent the offseason telling Moody everyday how he "better be really good".

Nothing is below Urban Meyer, even if it means taking shots at the kid you lured from So Cal (I hear North Carolina and Oklahoma State are nice this time of year). I understand that they are comments probably meant to inspire and motivate Moody rather than degrade and belittle…

But still, you can’t help to think that Moody has to be asking himself if he made the right decision transferring to Florida.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Look What You Did (Revised)...

According to an unconfirmed report by, Eugene Clifford, Donald Washington, Jamario O'Neal, and a mysteriously removed from the post Maurice Wells, are all prime time for smoke time.

As in, herbal remedy, pot, reefer, cheeba, hash, boom, pow, yank, crash, tata, hehaw, meow, marijuana.

And as a result, the secondary will be playing a little light against Youngstown State and Ohio (oh no).

  • I am NOT wary of trusting a blog with less posts than myself (and I suck, seriously).
  • I'm even NOT warier of trusting a site that removes breaking news without so much as an edit.
  • I'm even NOT warierer of trusting a site that goes around freely posting pictures of Maurice Clarett.

Alas, rumors are rumors until they are proven not to be rumors and in fact the truth. But it warranted a post,
so take it with a grain of salt, it's not like you will be able to watch the Spring Game unless you are at the game anyways.

Edit (4/13/08):

Added the word NOT to the above post after the rumors turned out to be true. Stupid truth! I was hoping that they were not true, considering the fact that 2 of the 3 culprits were already mentioned in similar rumors before the National Championship Game against LSU.

In retribution, I recommend reading religiously. Any blog that has access to Ohio State information before anyone else deserves all the credit in the world.

Stupid truth...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Break It Down, Poe

Poe McKnoe takes a look at the major players on the 2008 Ohio State Buckeyes squad.

Todd Boeckman (QB, 6th year Senior):
Ok, Todd. You’re a 2nd year starter on a Top 3 team. Last year, you learned on the job, even though technically you had 4 years of training. An interception there, a fumble here, a floater now and then…it was fine. You definitely weren’t Craig Krenzel, but at least you definitely weren’t Justin Zwick. (Editor: Krenzel could basically will a team to victory…Purdue? Illinois? Piece of cake.) The good news is that Todd could end up with a similar W-L record as Krenzel, achieved in reverse. Todd, you’ve already got Craig’s 2 losses (not counting the 2001 South Carolina loss. Yes, Tressel has also lost to Lou Gamecocks), you know what that means Todd, undefeated including the Championship game.

What you’ve got
: You look like an Ohio State quarterback at 6’5" 230lbs. Your deep balls CAN be right on target, dropping into the receivers’ hands. You’re a 6th year Senior. You can read defenses and you can sell a play action. You’re sort of mobile in a lot of space. You can make a lot of throws (witness Penn State circa 2007). You’ve started a whole season. You get a whole off-season to hone those skills, and not fight for a job. You’ve graduated, you’ve got some extra time on your hands. You are a better QB (passing skill and accuracy) than Craig Krenzel.

What you need
: The knowledge to scan the field, the knowledge to check down, and the knowledge to throw the ball away. Unfortunately, LSU was able to posterize TB (even though his arm was going forward, referees) because of this. Don’t assume the play is going to be there. Getting on the up elevator after your last 3 games. You don’t really scare opposing defenses. If you’re going to run, RUN…you will not juke a linebacker…you are bigger than a lot of linebackers and especially corners…and you have backup QBs. Putting zip on your passes for short, medium, and long passes. The support of the majority of the fan base, those of whom are quick to dismiss a QB after a single loss or two. To be Craig Krenzel, and to use that thick head to take some hits and get back up and lead your team.

Beanie Wells (RB, Junior)
Ok, Beanie. You said you want to win the Heisman. Good mindset, bad execution. You want to stay at Ohio State for 4 years. Good mindset, bad execution. However, your sophomore season was excellent execution across the board. You got the warrior’s mentality, you manned up, and ran over everybody (especially teams from Michigan, MSU: 221+9 and UM: 222). We were a little scared in the Youngstown State game. We were a little scared in the Akron game, until you tossed a CB and your season was underway. You need to be the leader of the team, so we need attitude from you. Hell, act like you play in the SEC (we’ve seen how they act).

What you’ve got
: Size, speed, power, The Stiff Arm of Justice (copyright Men of the S&G), mindset, skills, ability to play through pain, and uh, basically everything you want in a running back. You can cut on a dime, you can spin, you can juke, you can move the pile, and you can knock a defender of his feet.

What you need
: More attitude. You heard me, and we saw some of it in the Wisconsin game running back to the bench, we saw it in the Michigan game, and we saw your stride into the end zone against LSU. You don’t quite run like Adrian Peterson just yet, but you are more durable. You need 2000 yards, a championship, and a ride into the NFL sunset. Sell out on every play, I saw you in the championship game. It was a Todd Boeckman deep ball and you knew it wasn’t coming so you walked out of the backfield. Maybe a smarter Todd would have checked down to a wide-open Beanie in the middle of the field.

Malcolm Jenkins (CB, Senior)
Ok MJ. You could be the best cover corner in college football, but we wouldn’t know since you don’t play it. You own Anthony Morelli, and I expect it to continue with the next Penn State QB. You came back for a senior season and now you have to show why. I like your attitude in leading the secondary. Three star recruits from New Jersey aren’t supposed to be that good, you are.

What you’ve got:
Size, speed, and skills. You play cornerback and safety. You hit and you tackle. Your NFL caliber skills are back for one more season. If I was an NFL GM, I would draft you in the first round and tell you to shut down whoever you cover. You’re so good in coverage, I was wondering if you could give some of it to the linebackers who can’t.

What you need:
You need more opportunities in man to man coverage and blitzing the QB from Heacock. I have memories of a young Jenkins playing man on a Texas WR and tearing the ball out of his hands down in Austin. You need to keep your head up, we saw it against Illinois, Wisconsin, and LSU. As a result of the head down, you got beat on plays you took off. Especially in the Wisconsin game, you got beat by a FB, a FULLBACK. You know who beat you on a similar route? Early Doucet. You need the mindset of getting a pick the play after something bad happens.

James Laurinaitis (LB, Senior)
Ok Jim. You too forgo the NFL for a senior season at Ohio State, and it was probably for the best. As the media appointed leader of the defense, you make a ton of tackles and intimidate everyone on the field. You’ve won the awards, played in 3 BCS games including 2 National Championships. You helped land Etienne Sabino, a recruit from Miami and #1 rated ILB in the nation, since Ohio State MLBs always rock worlds and get drafted in the Top 10.

What you’ve got:
You have a ton of tackles and awards to go along with those tackles. You sir, may be the team’s lone playmaker on defense. When we need a play, you make it. Texas? Washington? Good stuff. You played your first almost whole game against Michigan in 2005. You’ve been the leader of a young defense, and now that defense is no longer young. You’re big and most likely mean. You have no neck.

What you need:
You are not AJ Hawk. Though you could have been drafted where he was, you are not AJ Hawk. Hawk was a tank that blew through offensive lines, always took the angle on defenders, and made players pay. You make tackles. Cool. The problem is they aren’t at or behind the line of scrimmage and you still have problems getting off blocks, even from receivers. Hawk and Carpenter made people pay. Please hit hard, please. Go and watch film of AJ Hawk, Matt Wilhelm, and Andy Katzenmoyer. LSU and Florida have made your linebacking crew look silly, with no help from the secondary. It’s in your best interest to make Ray Malilugea look like a second stringer compared to you against USC.