Good morning, Buckeye nation. Thank you for taking time out of your doubtlessly packed Thursday morning to visit us here at The Empire. The good news is: it’s Thursday. The bad news is: it’s not Friday. But the best news? You’re one day closer to September 1st, the day Urban Meyer begins his on-field reign of terror over the rest of college football.
Because it would be unhealthy to become complacent this early in Urban’s tenure, let’s reflect for a moment on how far we’ve come in a year. One year ago, the Ohio State football program was in a state of unprecedented chaos. Jim Tressel had just been shown the door. The recruiting class was reacting accordingly. The football season in the fall was something to be feared, especially for a fan base used to BCS berths. One year later, the future has never been sunnier. The Buckeyes managed to upgrade from a legendary coach. The recruiting class is ranked in the top ten for the second consecutive season. And out of twelve games total, the fall’s schedule features, well, twelve winnable games. There are whispers around campus of an undefeated season. Though that’s unlikely to happen, it’s the attitude change that matters.
Also, please observe the brand spanking new Victory Bell art we’re showing off today. You can thank our very own Grant Edgell, graphic designer extraordinaire, for the eye candy.
With that, ring the bell.
Urban invades Brady’s territory, eats Brady’s ribs, and lives to tell the tale
Urban Meyer, being the opportunistic son-of-a-gun that he is, made a widely publicized appearance in That State Up North yesterday as the keynote speaker at a Michigan high school football camp, the Sound Mind Sound Body Academy. According to media reports, the Ohio State staff was invited to the camp after Brady Hoke was noncommittal about his answer. Whether it was his desire to compete with Urban, or his desire to eat ribs at ten in the morning, he apparently changed his mind.
Ohio State was still the belle of the ball. Meyer brought his whole staff in tow to coach the camp’s attendees for the day, reportedly waking up before dawn to do so. Even in an offseason filled with excellent decisions by Meyer, this stands out. Based on in-state talent alone, Ohio far surpasses Michigan as a football state. But if Urban can make inroads into Hoke’s territory, nabbing a couple of quality recruits every year, it would serve the dual purpose of frustrating the Wolverines’ staff and improving the Buckeyes. What’s not to love?
Ohio State names its Male Athlete of the Year
On Tuesday, Ohio State handed out its Female Athlete of the Year. On Wednesday, her male counterpart was revealed. This year’s Male Athlete of the Year is fencer Zain Shaito. The sophomore was chosen after a season in which he both won an individual NCAA championship and led the Buckeyes to a combined NCAA championship.
I’ll admit I don’t know much about fencing, but a young man who was the best in the country in his chosen sport seems like the right choice for an honor like this. Why not a football or basketball player? First, the football team posted its first losing record in many years, a major reason for which was the dearth of individual success stories. Second, the basketball team fell short of accomplishing what Shaito did. Many excellent players took the court for the Buckeyes this season, but none were truly exceptional enough for such an honor (sorry, Crafties).
Congrats, Zain, You did Buckeye nation proud this year.
It’s time to make a decision about the future of the BCS
It seems like every day that the future of the BCS makes headlines in the college football world. But it also seems like we haven’t learned anything new in weeks. Despite the hemming and hawing, we’re moving to a four-team playoff. Which feels suspiciously like a stepping stone to an eight-team playoff. Get on it with it, already, guys.
In case you wanted seconds…
Have a great Thursday, everyone.