Wednesday. Hump day. That third cup of coffee went through you like it was water. You're glancing up at the clock at the bottom right (or top right, you artsy son of a gun, you) and counting the minutes until it's time for you to go home, knock out that final fantasy football draft, and have one more sleep before college football is back. It's been a long 8 months, but the wait is almost over. In the interim, kill your afternoon with these articles highlighting some points of interest in and around the Ohio State athletics universe on this, August 29th, 2012.
A year older doesn't always translate necessarily into a year better, but in Braxton Miller's case, all the early barometers seem to indicate as much. In an offense better tailored to his unique collection of abilities, it might be time for the Big Ten's quarterback of the year to be a sophomore.
Cleveland Plain Dealer Doug Lesmerises Confident Braxton Miller leading a new-look offense for the Ohio State Buckeyes
A year ago, Meyer was one of ESPN's announcers for Ohio State's season opener, saying Miller would be his guy while Joe Bauserman started for the Buckeyes, and questioning why Miller wasn't on a headset and more involved with the game while he was on the sideline.
Now, Meyer has handed Miller the keys, and with complete trust demanded that he drive this team.
Meyer has seen a transformation like this before with Florida quarterback Chris Leak, whom Meyer began coaching after his sophomore season. As a senior, Leak led his team to a national title.
ON TIME AND CHANGE
The Big Ten's taken its fair share of lumps in recent year and mostly deservedly so. So what will it take for the Big Ten to restore its reputation nationally and put themselves on the same short lists as the SEC and to a much lesser extent, the Big XII? Todd Jones thinks big TV money and the excitement associated with events like last year's Big Ten Championship are a good start.
Columbus Dispatch Todd Jones Big Ten Preview: In due time, conference shed conservative image
The Big Ten long held out against expansion, conference divisions and a league championship game. And Jim Delany, in his 23rd year as the conference commissioner, was considered the biggest obstructionist to the idea of a playoff despite the public demand for one.
None of those labels applies anymore.
The Big Ten is beginning its second season with Nebraska as a member, with teams split into the Legends and Leaders divisions, and with a championship game that will be hard-pressed to live up to the thrilling inaugural matchup: Wisconsin's 42-39 win over Michigan State in December.
ON SHOCKING THE WORLD
Though the schools have only met a limited number of times over the years, Miami's run with Ohio State a number of times during these match ups. What changes to the football program (particularly under second year head man Don Treadwell) have geared the RedHawks up to make another run at the MAC East title and does this side have anywhere near the fire power necessary to hang with the mighty Ohio State Buckeyes?
Cleveland Plain Dealer Jamie Turner Ohio State football online preview: Miami RedHawks
In 2011, the Red Hawks went from defending MAC champion to a sub-.500 backdrop for their moon-walking assistant equipment manager. This fall, Dysert's chase of Roethlisberger's career records -- and a defense presumably a few steps above the typical MAC sieve -- should keep the team relevant into November.
Is that good enough to push Oberlin into the trivia circular file?
ON WHAT WAS AND WHAT COULD'VE BEEN
As mentioned above, Miami (Ohio)'s put the fear of god into the Buckeyes on a few separate occasion. In order to prevent history from repeating itself, Ohio State historical scribe Joe Beale deep dives on how the RedHawks were able to hang with Derek Coombs and the Ohio State Buckeyes back during the 2000 football season.
Eleven Warriors Joe Beale Flashback: Ohio State vs. Miami (OH), 2000
The Redhawks had finished 7-4 the previous season under first-year coach Terry Hoeppner. Hoeppner would never have a losing season at Miami, and his success there would eventually lead to a job coaching Indiana. But in 2000 his Redhawks appeared to be poised for a breakout. They opened the season with a 33-30 upset victory at Vanderbilt, and followed it up with a convincing 34-17 win on the road at Eastern Michigan. Still, this was a MAC school and Ohio State was a national powerhouse, and so they were still a heavy favorite.
The Buckeyes jumped out to an early lead when Dan Stultz converted a 49-yard field goal in the first quarter. But Miami came back in the second quarter with a field goal of their own, and followed that up with a 26-yard TD pass from Bath to Sly Johnson. Trailing 10-3 with just over 2 minutes remaining, the OSU offense drove right back down the field and tied the score on a 35-yard pass from Bellisari to Cacchio. Going into halftime tied at 10 was not what John Cooper had in mind, and he made sure his team knew about it in the locker room.
Have any great reads you've come across you'd like to see included in tomorrow's edition? Send them along to @lukezim or e-mail me below.