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.