Monday, July 31, 2006

Former OSU President Harold Enarson Dies

Harold Enarson, president of Ohio State from 1972 to 1981, has died at age 87.

I first heard about his death through this AP story on ESPN. Somewhat understandably for a sports site, it focuses on what Enarson was most famous for, firing Woody Hayes after the Gator Bowl incident. But, much like Woody Hayes shouldn't be known solely for punching a player, Enarson should be remembered for more than just firing Woody. The university's press release gives a more complete picture of his life and his career. I don't know much about him, but judging from the articles, he was definitely good for the university, and he will be missed.

Not much from me today, and possibly not tomorrow, as I'm currently feeling kinda sick. I'll pick up the posting once I start to feel less crappy.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

A New Addition

If you get a minute, check out the link on the sidebar to Pfef's Sports Blog. I suppose you could also use the link in the previous sentence, or this link. The important thing is that you check out the site. He writes on the Buckeyes and the Cleveland professional teams, and he does it very well. Plus, his blog has a fantastic layout.

Tyson Gentry Update

Tyson Gentry met with the media a few days back, leading to a variety of articles on his current situation. There's the AP article, the O-Zone article, and the Dispatch article, among others. Buckeye Commentary also has a nice post up about his status.

They all say pretty much the same thing: he's getting feeling back pretty much everywhere, he has some use of his arms, but he still can't walk. He and his family are pretty upbeat about the possibility of him walking again, though. In fact, every article made mention of how positive he's been through it all, which is very important, I think. I don't know much about recovering from these types of injuries, but I do know that he has a lot of work ahead of him before he'll be able to walk again, and a good attitude will make that much easier.

I hope I'll be at the Horshoe the day he walks onto the field. I'd pay more to be at that game than any Michigan game.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

All the News That's Fit to Print

Ohio Supreme Court blocks eminent domain project - Way to be, guys. If the government wanted to take my property to build a highway, I wouldn't like it, but I'd understand. But if they want my property so they can give it to some other guy, I'd have a problem with it. Thanks for not being idiots, Supreme Court.

Lance Bass of 'N Sync is gay - Not like you didn't know that already.

LeBron is 21 - Again, you knew that. C'mon, Windhorst, is this article the best you can do? I mean, I'll read any piece of LeBron-related material, and even I thought this was a waste of time.

Harold Reynolds fired, reportedly for sexual harrasment - I'm not a big fan of baseball in general, but lately ESPN's lost Peter Gammons (though it looks like that's temporary, thankfully), and now Reynolds, two guys I thought were pretty good. Why should I watch Baseball Tonight anymore?

And a piece of OSU recruiting news, maybe:

Taurian Washington might have committed (HT: AtO) - Scout says he did, Rivals apparently says "not so fast, my friend," so who knows? Regardless, Washington is a four-star wide receiver, so he'd be a welcome addition. He has offers from UM and Wisconsin, and was rumored to be a lock for Michigan, so if he is committed or does commit, that'd make it even sweeter. If it makes U of M fans unhappy, it makes me hapy.

Monday, July 24, 2006

They All Choppable: The 2006 Season Preview

With the start of the season rapidly approaching (though not as rapidly as we'd like), I figure it's time to begin my season preview. If you're reading this, you probably know as much about the team as I do, and if you don't, there's no shortage of places to go for information (I'll be pointing them out as I encounter them, just in case you want some more info in the upcoming weeks). As a result, my preview isn't going to focus so much on informing as it is providing my opinion and analysis.

I'll do this in Q&A format, just because I want to. Let's get started.

Is a national title a real possibility? And what's with the title of your preview?
Going into this season, the title race seems to be pretty wide open. Any of the top 15 or so teams have legitimate reasons to think this could be their year, and we're one of them. The team doesn't look great at this point, but neither does anyone else. Every title contender this year has legitimate weaknesses. So yes, at this point, a title is as possible for the Buckeyes as any other team. It's not unrealistic to hope for one.

To win a national championship, I think a team needs three things: talent, a favorable schedule, and luck. The Buckeyes are as talented as any team in the country, and the coaches are among the best, so the talent isn't an issue.

The schedule is a pretty reasonable one. Much has been made of this being a "two-game season," with the two games being road trips to Texas and Iowa. Those should be the two toughest games of the season, and are likely to be the only two games where Ohio State will be underdogs. However, it would be a mistake to overlook Penn State and Michigan, both of whom are always threats to ruin an otherwise lovely autumn afternoon. And of course, no game is a gimme, as was shown a couple years ago in Evanston against Northwestern. But the schedule doesn't seem too bad. Have a look:

9/2 - Northern Illinois
9/9 - @ Texas
9/16 - Cincinnati
9/23 - Penn State
9/30 - @ Iowa
10/7 - Bowling Green
10/14 - @ Michigan State
10/21 - Indiana
10/28 - Minnesota
11/4 - @ Illinois
11/11 - @ Northwestern
11/18 - Michigan

That's about six games that are as close to sure things as you can get, a couple that we should win, and four that I'll really worry about. But as the title of this post suggests, all the games can be won. There are several teams that could beat us, a few games that are 50/50, but there aren't any teams that should beat us this year. As the Genius said, "they all choppable."

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He also suggests working to minimize risk in your portfolio.

As for the luck, well, that can't be predicted. A receiver coming down with a jump ball, a bad hold on a field goal, a cornerback falling down in coverage - all these things can change the course of games and seasons. The nice thing about this team is that they won't need all the bounces to go their way to win a championship. If luck has no impact on any of the games, OSU might lose a couple, but they might not lose any. If you have a team that could win it all without getting lucky, then I'd say you have a legit title contender.

What's all that mean? Well, the worst case looks to be an 8-4 regular season. I wouldn't call that a disaster, but it's definitely not a success. The best case is an undefeated regular season and a national championship. I'd call that a success.

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Could we be in for more of this? Here's hoping.

How 'bout that offense? Is it gonna be explosive or what?
I know you mean that as a rhetorical question, Imaginary Interviewer, but I won't treat it as such. I don't think the offense will be as explosive as people seem to think. It will certainly be capable of scoring from anywhere at any time, but I don't think that will be Tressel's goal with the team. If Chris Wells comes anywhere close to meeting the very high expectations set for him, he will combine with Antonio Pittman to form possibly the best running back duo in the Big Ten. And with our inexperienced defense, I think Tressel will lean on the running game to maintain possession of the ball and keep his defense off the field as much as possible. That's not to say this will be a bad offense. They should be able to move the ball effectively on the ground and in the air, and they'll put some points on the board, but I think Tressel would prefer a 28-17 win with a big edge in time of possession over a 42-31 win with a more even time of possession.

So what's that mean for Troy Smith's Heisman campaign?
I expect he'll be out of contention for the Heisman by the Michigan State game. He'll be a good quarterback, and we'll be lucky to have him, but I don't think he'll put up the numbers to keep up with Brady Quinn, Adrian Peterson, and company. He will be Troy Smith, Game Manager, not Troy Smith, Ultimate Weapon. I expect him to put up solid, but not spectacular, numbers, around 260 yards of total offense per game, while not turning the ball over. He'll have his share of jaw-dropping plays and touchdowns, and he'll be near the top of the nation in passing efficiency, but I don't think it'll be enough to keep up with the Brady Quinns of the world.

I hope I'm wrong about the offense. I'd like to see a high octane offense that just toys with defenses, led by a QB that looks even better than Vince Young did last year. I just think that Tressel's the type to make full use of our running attack, and as a result, the offense won't look as good as it actually is. I expect we'll start hearing "Troy Smith was overrated!" talk about four weeks into the season, as the running game becomes the weapon of choice. You and I will know the truth, though: Troy wasn't overrated, Pittman was underrated.

Um, that was three paragraphs about the offense without mentioning Ted Ginn. What's the deal?
I believe the coaches when they say Teddy's more complete as a receiver. I hope he'll be an even more dynamic Santonio Holmes, but I'll be happy if he's a more consistent Ted Ginn. And I think he will be. He'll still do his usual "run by everyone" and his "juke everyone out," but we'll also see the "tough catch in traffic" and the "well-run route," and those will be just as important.

The passing game will be fun to watch, I think. I don't expect a ton of yards out of it, but it will be exciting to see Teddy turn a quick slant into a touchdown, or Troy keep a play alive while Anthony Gonzalez gets open downfield. It'll be interesting to see who the third receiver ends up being. Smart money is on Roy Hall, what with him being a senior and all, but Brian Hartline's looked pretty good, and I could see him taking over the job by the end of the season.

To sum up my predictions for the offense: very good running game, explosive passing game, but not as high-scoring as expected.

But won't it have to be high-scoring, to make up for the crappy defense?
Yeah, at first. Which is why the Texas and Iowa games scare people, and why the Penn State game should. The defense will be fine once they get some real experience and get used to the "several million people's happiness depends on your success or failure" thing. Eventually they will figure things out, and they will be fine then. See, people confuse "inexperienced" with "bad," and they aren't the same thing. Mike Nugent was once an inexperienced kicker, but he wasn't really a bad kicker. Hayden Epstein, by contrast, was once an inexperienced kicker as well, but he was also a bad kicker, and that endured even when he got some experience. Inexperience can be cured with time; being bad is more permanent.

Anyway, the question is when the defense will be good. It's unrealistic to ask for anything more than "decent" for the Texas game. But will this defense be good by Penn State? Iowa, at least? Or, worst case, not at all this season? I don't know for sure, but I expect we'll see a pretty average defense for Texas, an above average defense (like, a 6.83 out of ten) for PSU and Iowa, and a good, though not great, defense for the rest of the season. There's plenty of talent on defense, but not enough to offset the inexperience. Once they get some experience, they'll be fine.

Fortunately, we shouldn't need the defense to be better than decent. If they have to, the offense can score with anyone. Plus, as I said, if Tressel gets the chance, he'll control the game with Pittman and Chris Wells. That should be enough to keep the worst of the pressure off the defense.

What part of this team should people be talking about, good or bad?
The special teams isn't getting much attention, and I don't know why. The biggest question mark on the whole team is probably at kicker. Aaron Pettrey has a big leg, and Ryan Pretorius seems to be pretty well-rounded as a kicker (plus, he's a 27-year old redshirt sophmore from South Africa, and that has to count for something), so at first glance, we'd seem to be in decent shape. But neither has taken a kick in a meaningful college football game, so we don't know how good they really are. Mike Nugent and Josh Huston made the kicking game a major strength over the past few years. Will it continue that way, or will we experience a serious drop-off in kicker quality? Considering the number of outcomes in football impacted by the kicking game, this is the question of the summer for me.

The punting should also be getting attention, but for the opposite reason. I think that A.J. Trapasso is going to make a push for best punter in the Big Ten in this, his redshirt sophmore year. Right now, I'd say that Michigan State's Brandon Fields is the best, but I think Trapasso should be in the argument for the number two spot. I expect a very good year out of him, and the punting game should continue to be a strength for the Buckeyes.

And, of course, the return game has Ted Ginn. He's awesome. You knew that. Worth noting: the NCAA career record for most touchdowns on kick (punt and kickoff) returns is eight. Ted Ginn has six. I will say no more.

Which young players will have a breakout season?
On offense, Chris Wells is the easy answer, and also the correct one. I think he'll be real good before his career's over. This year, I wouldn't be surprised to see him getting 30 or 40% of the carries by the end of the season. I'd also suggest looking out for Brian Hartline, as I said above. Just a feeling I get.

On defense, Ross Homan's the big name freshman, and I think he'll play quite a bit, but I don't see him playing ahead of Marcus Freeman, John Kerr, Mike D'Andrea, and James Laurinaitis. He'll get some playing time, but not a whole lot. Lawerence Wilson will make some noise as a defensive end this year, I think. He's drawn some comparisons to Will Smith, and while I don't expect him to be that good, I think he'll impress us. I also think Kurt Coleman, an incoming freshman, will play quite a bit in the secondary. I don't think he'll start, necessarily, but he'll see playing time. He played very well this spring, and I think he's too good to keep off the field.

Will we win the national championship?
I refuse to speculate, of course. They're good enough, but a lot can happen. I hope we win it all, but one or even two losses should not be considered a failure. Anything less than a Big Ten Championship should be considered a disappointment, but it's silly to be expecting a national championship. So I won't predict one. I won't pick against one, either. I'll just hope.

You pansy.
I know.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Blogroll additions

I would like to direct your attention to the sidebar, where you will see a couple new links. There's Badger Sports, an excellent Wisconsin blog. Actually, it's the only Wisconsin blog I've read, so I probably shouldn't evaluate its place in Wisconsin blog rankings. Let's just call it an excellent blog in general.

Next up is Men of the Scarlet and Gray, a Buckeye blog. Before I started this site, I didn't think OSU had much in the way of a blogging community beyond Around the Oval and Buckeye Commentary. But now I've come to realize that there are a lot of good OSU blogs out there, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray is one of them. For example, they've got a preview of this year's linebacking corps that's as long as some previews of entire seasons. If they keep that up with the other positions, you will know everything worth knowing about the 2006 Buckeyes. Have a look.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Erik Haw to Jackson State

The story's here, but that's pretty much it. Jackson State's a 1-AA school, so he won't have to sit out a year. OSU seems pretty set at running back even without him, but three running backs can quickly become none, as we saw in 2003, when Clarett was Clarett, Mo Hall was injured, and Lydell Ross wasn't very good. With luck, we won't miss Haw, but you never know.

I wish nothing but the best for the guy. Hopefully he gets what he wants from Jackson State.

That's it for today, I gotta get back to NCAA '07. I'm trying to lead the Snakes On A Plane to a MAC Championship. Big nonconference game against Nebraska coming up.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

NCAA Football 2007 Review

So, at about 11:40, I entered my local GameStop to wait in line for the midnight release of NCAA Football 2007. There were already about twenty people in line, and an additional 60 or so would show up by midnight. I timed things well and got home reasonably quickly with my XBox version of the game.

From what I understand, the XBox 360 version is quite a bit different from the other versions, so if you're considering going that route, you might want to look elsewhere for info. I went old school with my purchase.

If you want a quick review of the game, here it is: it's a lot like last year's version, but better. If you're the type of person (like me) who's purchased the game yearly since 2002, there's nothing that'll make you hold off. If you only buy every other year or so, there isn't anything in this version that makes it a must-have, so don't feel too bad about holding off.

Those of you hoping for major changes will be disappointed. This is mostly an evolutionary step, not a revolutionary one. The graphics are (near as I can tell) identical to last year's graphics, as is about everything else. Dynasty Mode's changes are minor; the most notable is probably the added spring game, which I haven't gotten to yet, but doesn't seem to be too important. Race for the Heisman Mode has become Campus Legend Mode, a change which consists of adding weekly practices, multiple choice "exams" which can boost your attributes if you do well enough, and a calendar (from Madden's Superstar Mode) that allows you five days of practices to simulate through. I honestly was hoping for a bit more from the modes, and maybe I'll be more impressed as I play more, but I guess there wasn't much wrong with last year's modes, so why change it?

The playbooks were also overhauled, and that's a positive. They've added reverses on kick and punt returns, and they're fun, if not terribly effective. The fake punts and field goals are also fun, and more effective than in previous years. The playbooks are bigger, too, which allows for almost too much variety, as I've taken a couple delay of game penalties trying to find that awesome play a second time. So far, I've had the most fun using the Nevada Pistol formation, but I'm still snooping around.

Overall, it's a good game, slightly better than last year's version. They fixed some bugs and added a few new features, but I was hoping for more. If this was any other game, I'd feel ripped off. But I'd probably buy this game if the only change they made was updated rosters, so I won't complain as much as I probably should. If you're the same way, buy the game and enjoy it. If you aren't so into the game, you may want to wait and go for next year's 360 version, which I'm assuming will be a significant upgrade over this XBox version.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Good Times, Good Times

I sort of assumed you were aware of it already, but you need to check out Blue-Gray Sky and their breakdowns of Notre Dame's defensive. . . well, breakdowns in the Fiesta Bowl on the four big scoring plays for our Buckeyes. Part I is here, and Part II is here. Aesthetic value of the plays aside, it's a good job of breaking down the film. I think. It's not like I would know a good job from a bad job.

(Thanks to Paul for the reminder)

Sheesh. . .

. . . Writing previews is work. I'm trying not to half-ass it, so I'm doing my best to be insightful. However, "insightful" often becomes "rambling" for me, so there's a lot of rewriting. I'll have the opening to my season preview done before too long, I promise.

If you don't know (I really hope you do), NCAA Football 2007 goes on sale tonight at midnight. I will be at my local GameStop before midnight, waiting in line to pick up a copy. I will then play it entirely too long, and go in to work on probably 4 hours of sleep. Such are the depths of my addiction.

Some are even more addicted. Some will take tomorrow off of work. I envy these people.

Tomorrow, if I don't have the season preview done, I'll give you my first impressions on the game, not that they will influence your purchasing decision. But here's a piece of info that might do you some good before you head to the store: while the XBox 360 version has much better graphics, it's supposedly lacking a lot of features, most importantly (to me) the overhauled playbook. Needless to say, I'm going with the XBox version. I don't need the game to look awesome, I need it to be awesome.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More Commits?!

I was just telling a buddy of mine a few days ago that this seems to be a very slow recruiting period for the Buckeyes. At the time, it was. We had four commits, while Texas had 22(!), Michigan had 9, and Notre Dame had 8.

Well, things have picked up a little bit. In addition to the Herron commit, Dane Sanzenbacher committed earlier this week. I know hardly anything about the guy, but he's rated 3 stars by Scout and he had offers from Toledo and Iowa, so he can't be too terrible. I don't expect him to contend for the Heisman his freshman year, however.

Ohio State Online claims that Aaron Johnson of Louisiana will commit tomorrow, bringing our total to six. Johnson has offers from Florida State and Michigan, among others, so he seems to be a pretty big-time recruit. Hopefully the rumors are true, because OSO also says the coaches plan on taking five wide receivers this year, so they should probably get to work on that.

Is it just me, or is there a lack of star power in this recruiting class? Last year, there was Chris Wells. Before him, Alex Boone and Jamario O'Neal. And of course, there was Ted Ginn the year before them, and Donte Whitner the year before him. This year seems to lack that big time guy at the top of the class for the Buckeyes. Is Brandon Saine going to end up being that guy? Is there someone else who I don't know anything about? I don't know; that's why I'm asking.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Couple More Links

I told myself I wasn't going to start season previews before practices began in August, but since there's hardly anything to write about otherwise, I've begun work on mine. Hopefully I'll have the first part out in the next few days.

In the meantime, a couple links:
  • Boom Herron commits - He's the second running back for the class of 2007. The Buckeyes now look to be pretty stocked up at running back, but things can change very quickly, so the more, the merrier. I liked this quote from him:
    "I am going there to compete. I know they’ve got a couple of backs. But they told me the best players are going to play. I love the competition.”
    You definitely like to see that from a player. I can see a five-star guy wanting to be the focus of a program immediately, but if you aren't a superstar headed into college, it's good to be willing to compete and work for a starting spot, rather than take a scholarship to a lesser school where you can be a big fish in a small pond. Or so I think, but then, I'm a little biased. He seems to have his head on straight, unlike the last OSU running back from Warren Harding. I'm happy to have him aboard, and I look forward to seeing him run over a few people in the years to come.
  • Jurgen Klinsmann's stepping down as Germany's soccer coach - I've cooled down on him a little bit over the past week or two, and I don't blame Bruce Arena for the U.S. team's poor showing as much as I did, but still, it'd be great to see him coach the American side. The German team looked great for a lot of the World Cup, and he'd be a big name hire that'd be good for the U.S. team. I'm a little concerned that the German World Cup performance might have been a fluke, though, and the guy's not really all that and a box of crackers. But still, if the USSF decides to make a change, I don't think they'd do better than Klinsmann.

Monday, July 10, 2006


I have no idea what I'd write about if I tried for a post today, so I'll just throw down some links to people that actually found something to write about:

  • The O-Zone has pictures of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center renovations. There's still a lot of work to be done, but it's starting to come together, and everything's on or ahead of schedule, so that's cool. It's gonna be fantastic once it's done.
  • There's also this article about Ron Lewis's offseason from the Dispatch. I'd like to see him make a leap to first- or second-team All Big Ten this season. I think he's got the ability to do it, and if he could perform at that level, it would take a lot of pressure off the incoming freshmen.
  • And apparently we have no idea what LeBron's contract consists of. The intial report was supposedly wrong, and now Brian Windhorst says ESPN's report of a shorter contract is also wrong. I'm not too worried about it either way. Unless all reports (including LeBron's press release) are wrong, we're going to have LeBron in Cleveland for at least a few years, and that's good enough for me. And as we've seen time and time again, just because a guy has a contract with a team, doesn't mean he's actually going to play for that team. So why worry about this contract, when it's becoming clear we know very little about it?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Girls Gone Sort Of Wild. A Little Bit.

Did you know there was a "Girls of OSU" swimsuit calendar? I didn't. But I do now, thanks to this WKYC "news" story (HT: Ohio State Online). For the full story, you need to click a link to the video of the story, but in short: some people are putting together a calendar of OSU girls in bikinis, and OSU isn't wild about this. Near as I can tell, it was a slow newsday, and they needed to fill a couple minutes on the news, so they found this excuse to get girls in bikinis on the air. Not that there's anything wrong with that. On the contrary, I encourage it.

I'm wondering if there's anything OSU can do about this calendar, if they want to. I realize they could stop them if the calendar uses trademarks without permission, but can a public institution do much if someone's selling a product that uses their name? I'm not a lawyer (I don't even play one on TV), but I was under the impression that the government was generally along for the ride on things like this. Otherwise, couldn't they effectively censor literature they don't approve of?

I dunno. If someone who knows about this stuff cares to comment, I'd be interested to know. And whether you're interested in trademark law or not, the above link has a few pictures of women in bikinis, so you can check that out, if that's your thing. And you can buy the calendar when it comes out. If it comes out. Who knows, I may be in line with you.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Our Long Regional Nightmare Is Over

LeBron has accepted his 5-year, $80 million contract extension.

I don't know about everyone else, but I wasn't getting too worked up about this. LeBron had said all along that he wanted to sign the extension, and it had only been a week since the offer was made. I realize Cleveland franchises have been screwed over by athlete promises before, so a little nervousness was to be expected, but I wouldn't have doubted that he was going to sign the deal unless he remained silent on it for a couple more weeks.

All the articles (such as this one from the Sports Guy) that talk about how LeBron needs to go to New York, L.A., or Chicago to maximize his popularity just seem silly to me. This might have been true 25 years ago, but is there anyone in America who doesn't know as much about LeBron as they want to know? These aren't the days where all your information comes from three network TV channels and your local newspaper. Cable TV and the internet have made it possible to follow a player from anywhere in the country, if not the world. If someone anywhere in the country wants to know about LeBron, they can watch SportsCenter, read, and see the occasional game on ABC or ESPN. If they want more, they can read the Plain Dealer online, subscribe to the NBA's cable package, and read blogs. Nowadays, it's easy to see enough of LeBron to recognize him when he's selling shoes, gum, sports drinks, or anything else. And it's not much more difficult to become an obsessed fan anywhere in America.

Would LeBron's exposure be higher if he was in L.A., New York, or Chicago? Sure. It's easier to be in the media spotlight when you live where the major media live. But now, LeBron gets to be the favorite player on the favorite team of an entire state of roughly 12 million people and still get all the media attention he needs. And that's not so bad.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

This Is Not About Me, Or How Many Times I Voted

Almost forgot, ESPN has a poll on college traditions going on right now. I suggest you go vote for everything Ohio State. Use your own judgement on questions where the Buckeyes are not an option, but I'd vote for the Ragin' Cajuns whenever possible if I were you.

Blog Poll Kiddie Table

There's not a lot happening to talk about right now, so I figured I'd participate in the latest Blog Poll Roundtable, devised by EDSBS. Sure, I'm not exactly part of the Blog Poll, but why would I let a little thing like that stop me?

1. Education. List the region of the country you were born in, what universities you attended and at least one other you would have attended if your alma mater didn’t exist.

I was born and raised in Ohio, and am currently attending OSU. I never really seriously considered a school other than Ohio State, but of the others I looked at, I'd have probably gone to Purdue or Toledo if the OSU campus fell into some sort of black hole. Unless I jumped into the black hole after it, which is a real possibility.

2. Sports Affiliations. List your top 10 favorite teams in all of sports in decending order. For instance, your alma mater’s football team may be number 1, but perhaps there is a professional team that squeezes in before you get to your alma mater’s lacrosse team.

1. The Ohio State Football team
2. The Ohio State Men's Basketball team
3. The Cleveland Cavaliers (or whoever LeBron's playing for)
4. All Other OSU Sports Teams
5. Whoever's Playing Michigan

That's about it. I don't pay a lot of attention to professional sports, aside from those employing former OSU players and LeBron. LeBron's awesome.

3. Movies. List the movie you’ve watched the most, your favorite sports related movie, the movie you secretly love but don’t like to admit it (possibly a chick flick or b film), and the movie you were (or still are) most looking forward to from this summer’s season.

Most watched - I'm guessing it's a tie between The Big Lebowski, The Matrix, and Tombstone. I haven't seen the Matrix in a while, but I watched it all the time in my younger days.

Favorite sports movie - Rocky III. Sure, Rocky was the best in terms of actual movie quality, but I prefer III and IV, because they're more fun. He ends the Cold War in Rocky IV, and I appreciate him doing that, but III has some fantastic lines, including one of my favorite exchanges in all of moviedom:

Mickey: I seen wrestlers as big as dinosaurs. You ever fought a dinosaur, kid?
Rocky: Not lately.
Mickey: They can inflict a variety of damage!

Guilty pleasure flick -Commando. Pretty crappy and very formulaic, but dammit, it's fun, and it features the governor of California.

Movie I'm most looking forward to:
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4. Music. List your favorite band from middle school, high school, college and today. Also, as with the movies, include the song you secretly love but don’t like to admit. If Nickleback is involved in any of these responses, please give a detailed explanation as to why, god, why.

Middle School - Aerosmith, but I also enjoyed the Wallflowers and Matchbox 20

High School - Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix

College/Today - Flogging Molly, Foo Fighters, and Jack Johnson

Guilty Pleasure Song - "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado. It's catchy, and I've always had a thing for female singer-songwriters.

5. Books. Favorite book you’ve finished, worst book you’ve finished and the book you really should read but haven’t gotten around to it.

Favorite - Either The Godfather by Mario Puzo or Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck. Though depending on my mood, there's probably 8 or 10 books that could go here.

Worst - Gotta agree with EDSBS on Their Eyes Were Watching God. Had to read it sometime in high school, and while I was able to enjoy most high school reading assignments, or at least appreciate them for their artistic merit, this one just sucked.

Should Read - The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. Globalization's kind of a big deal, and I dropped $30 on the book, so I should really get around to reading it one of these days.

6. Travel. Favorite city you’ve every been to and the one place you still must visit before you shuffle off this mortal coil.

Favorite - Chicago. Lots to do there.

Must Visit - Las Vegas. Also New Orleans.

7. What do you love most about college football in 20 words or less?

The roar of the crowd - at any point before, during, or after the game - and everything it represents.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Follow Me to Freedom!

Wow, big day here at the 614. A new record for visitors in a day, eclipsing the previous record set when I got a casual mention from mgoblog. To celebrate the occasion, I'm eventually going to add the previous post to the "Greatest Hits" section of the sidebar, mostly because something else needs to go there. I'm no one-hit wonder. I'm no Right Said Fred. I am not too sexy for my car. Not by far.

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Sean: Also did not sing "Macarena."

In actual news, Fox has announced plans to create their own SportsCenter. It's called "Final Score," and it'll air nightly on FSN. Supposedly the focus will be on the highlights, and the press release takes a few shots at ESPN for making their shows about the hosts instead.

I'm cautiously optimistic about this. I don't really have a problem with the Sportscenter anchors being minor celebrities; the good ones make the show a lot better. I just think that a little competition will help to keep ESPN focused. Currently, if I want anything sports-related, odds are I'm watching ESPN to get it. If FSN's show leads them to become more direct competitors with ESPN, it will provide a viable alternative, which will mean ESPN will be able to see clearly what works and what doesn't. Everyone switches over to FSN when ESPN's college football studio team gets on the screen? Lou Holtz and Mark May finally get replaced. A significant portion of the viewing audience watches women's semi-professional darts on FSN over a Bill Walton clip? Maybe that ex-hippie gets the boot.

Odds are, this is gonna be a pretty half-assed attempt to compete with ESPN, just like a lot of FSN, and everyone will ignore it. But if it takes off, it could be fantastic, something that pulls ESPN away from mobile phones and their own movies and TV dramas and focuses them more on actual sports reporting and analysis. It's a long shot, but it's better than nothing.

You're So Money and You Don't Even Know It

Late last night, following Columbus's Red, White, and Boom fireworks show and aided by Bud Light and boredom, my roommate and I got on the topic of how to get girls. Being Ohio State fans, this boiled down to one question: What Would Jim Tressel Do? We decided that Tressel would not hurry things, wouldn't risk it all by trying to close the deal too quickly. Tressel would wait until he had a situation that played to his advantages, and wouldn't be afraid to punt if things started going haywire. That's how Tressel gets the women. And if fake blogs are a reliable source of information (and I think they are), Tressel certainly does get the women. Also the hovercrafts.

This got my roommate and I thinking: if a bunch of high-profile college football coaches walk into a bar to pick up women, how does it all play out? We came up with a few theories, which I have elaborated on below, assisted by College Football News's list of top coaches:

Jim Tressel - Tressel does not work quickly. He picks out a girl, introduces himself, talks to her, and sees how things are going, but he's patient. If he isn't making much progress, he settles for getting a phone number and trying again later, setting up a date where he could impress the girl more easily. Tressel doesn't dance that well, so he doesn't dance with the girl. He takes her bowling instead, because Tressel's a damn good bowler, and he can show off his athletic skills and incredible sense of humor at the bowling alley. Plus, when's the last time people didn't have fun bowling? Exactly, it doesn't happen. Everyone likes bowling. Anyway, you might wonder if Tressel's ever gonna get anywhere with the girl, you might make jokes about how he has no game, but when it's all said and done, he usually gets the girl.

Lloyd Carr - Lloyd doesn't even go to the bar anymore. He used to go out and do well for himself, but he doesn't seem to have it anymore. When everyone's planning a night out, they expect him to go out and do all right for himself, but he always ends up disappointing everyone. This may be because Lloyd finds himself competing with Tressel at the bar, and generally losing.

Pete Carroll - Carroll pulls in all sorts of hot tail without much trouble. Sure, it would be impressive, but considering he's hitting up bars with tons of hot chicks and has a great house with a great location, he should be doing that well. Petey's trips to the bar are like shooting fish in a barrel.

Bob Stoops - Bob's the sort of guy who does well for himself with women, but you can't help thinking that he's not gonna reach that level of that one night again. You know, that crazy night with the Patron, and those Swedish chicks, and that hilarious cab driver. You know what night Bob's talking about right? Sure you do, and it was a good time, but the past couple trips haven't been near that much fun, and you're starting to think that maybe you'd be better off going to the bar with, say, Pete instead.

Kirk Ferentz - The girls Ferentz gets never seem that impressive. You certainly didn't try to get them. Nevertheless, Kirk almost always has more fun with his girlfriends than you do with yours. The whole "diamond in the rough" thing is kind of wearing thin, though, and sooner or later he's gonna have to start setting his sights higher.

Charlie Weis - The first night you went to the bar with Charlie, he got a number from a pretty hot girl. Everyone was really impressed and started forming high expectations for the guy. You pointed out that the guy Charlie replaced in your group also started out well, and he ended up just falling on the grenade for the other guys. You are quickly assured that things are different now that you're rolling with Charlie, but you aren't quite sure how.

Urban Meyer - He walks in, stares at the girl of choice, and points. Success ensues.

Mack Brown - For a long time, Mack couldn't close the deal. He'd talk to the hot girls, he'd even get a number, but he'd always end up messing things up. Last time you all hit up the bar, though, he scored with an absolutely gorgeous chick (you might have gotten with her instead, but Justin Zwick, Ryan Hamby, and Troy Smith's greed conspired to screw you over). You're happy for your buddy, but the question remains: was that a once in a lifetime event for him, or a sign of things to come?

Steve Spurrier - Steve's got a system. He bought one of those mail-order books you see advertised in Playboy and the like (or so I've heard), and he always sticks to that strategy. For a lot of years it worked incredibly well, and it really pissed off a lot of people, especially your buddy Phil Fulmer. Then Steve stopped going to the bar with the guys for a while and started hanging out with some other dudes. That didn't work out too well for him, so now he's hanging out with you guys again. It remains to be seen if he'll reel in the women he used to get, but Phil's just glad he's not going to the same bar as Steve anymore.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

And We're Back

That was the longest I've gone without posting here since I started the site. I don't intend to do that again. A tempermental cable modem and the holiday conspired to keep me offline over most of the long weekend. As a result, you were spared my inane banter.

If, for some reason, you consider that a bad thing, take heart in the fact that at least you weren't one of the 20,000 people awakened by a midnight call from an automated alert system run by their town. This call was meant to alert a neighborhood that a 94-year old man with Alzheimer's had wandered off, but the person who put out the warning didn't exactly know what he was doing, and didn't limit the warning to a neighborhood.

The problem with receiving this alert is not that it would have awakened you late at night, but rather that receiving it would mean that you live in Ann Arbor. I cannot imagine a fate worse than that.

Ok, that was pretty weak, I admit.

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"Oh well, at least it's over now."
"What are you talking about? It's only just beginning!"
"Oh why are we doomed to suffer? And why are those people watching voluntarily?!"