SB Nation

Luke Zimmermann | April 20, 2014

Land-Grant Holy Land

Year 2

LGHL: Year 2A look back at 13 of our favorites from our sophomore season.
The ultimate challenge Matt Brown

Can you operate a successful professional sports league for a niche sport when some of your biggest fans aren't completely on board with the plan?

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The ultimate challenge Matt Brown

Consider the following hypothetical scenario: Suppose there was no NFL, and college football remained a somewhat niche sport. Some enterprising businessmen decide to launch a professional football league, but with slightly different rules, say, akin to the CFL. After their first season, a few owners grow frustrated, and set up a spin off professional league, operating mainly on the coasts, while the original league continues to operate mostly from the midwest. Finally, let's pretend that a chunk of college football players and fans oppose the idea of professional football on principal, and refuse to participate in or support the ventures.

Sounds like a tough gig, no?

That's pretty similar to the situation of the AUDL, or the American Ultimate Disc League, as it tries to bring ultimate frisbee into the mainstream.

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The moment is here Chris Webb

A Big Ten championship was on the line as the Buckeyes and Hoosiers did battle on the diamond in the final series of the regular season.

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The moment for Ohio State baseball is here Chris Webb

The moment is upon us.

When Ohio State announced on June 17, 2010 that Greg Beals was selected as the 11th coach in history of the baseball program, those within and supporters from the outside knew where the Buckeyes stood. As Bob Todd's retirement ended his 23-year career, Todd's tenure ended on a whimper. The Buckeyes failed to make the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 1996, an embarrassing tied-for-seventh place finish a season removed from capturing a Big Ten championship.

The floor had bottom out. It was the third fifth-or-worse finish in the four seasons, and with the graduation of eight seniors along with the departure of junior All-American Alex Wimmers and his battery mate Dan Burkhart, the 2009 Big Ten Player of the Year, the cupboard was bare.

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The specialist Chris Kopech

Jim Tressel always said the punt was the most important play of the game. He wasn't wrong. Now, Urban Meyer is turning to a former player of his to make his special teams that much more special.

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The specialist Chris Kopech

Mike McCabe isn't a name that gets thrown out a lot in terms of former collegiate star football players; there's no national award named after him, he's not a normal guest analyst on ESPN. He didn't even go to an FBS school. But to those that do know his name, McCabe is a critical cog in turning out a championship football team.

McCabe is not on any coaching staff, though – far from it. He works with staffs all over the country, and with football players from every division. But he doesn't work with quarterbacks, wideouts, running backs, linebackers or defensive backs. McCabe teaches the positions that he knows better than most, a position that one former Ohio State Buckeyes head coach thought was more important than almost any other.

Mike McCabe teaches kicking. And there are few out there that teach it better than he.

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Who's getting the most for their buck? Matt Brown

We take a look at recruiting costs.

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Which college football team gets the most bang for their recruiting buck? Matt Brown

So what causes a school to spend a lot on recruiting? Do schools need to hire more entry level personnel to send 400 hand-colored crayon drawings to potential recruits? Do they need the money to grill endangered species steaks for visiting potential linebackers? Maybe. There are other factors that indicate whether a school will need to spend a lot of money though, with geography perhaps the biggest.

High school football talent is not distributed equally throughout the US. Some states, like California, Texas and Florida, produce lots and lots of D1 caliber student athletes. Others, like South Dakota, Kansas, or Nevada, don't. Schools that have the good fortune of being located near talent rich areas won't have to spend as much money on transportation or other logistical recruiting expenses as schools that don't.

It isn't just your own geography though, it's also your proximity to peer institutions.

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A tale of two paths Zach Fleer

A pair of talented VCC Ohio Warriors forwards visited Ohio State. Get to know their story.

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A tale of two paths Zach Fleer

Since the third grade, sophomore forwards Matthew Moyer and Seth Towns have been inseparable. Playing alongside one another in the AAU season, in open gyms, and at the YMCA, the pair have a connection unlike many others at the high school level. While Towns has been the prized prospect in Central Ohio since he step foot at Columbus' historic Northland High School a year ago, Moyer has traveled a much different path, one that led each to Value City Arena on Sunday.

Describing Moyer's journey, one that has included quite a bit of adversity, can be summed up in one word.

"Perseverance," Annette Moyer, Matthew's mother, said of what has made the biggest difference in her son, one year removed from a turbulent freshman season at Columbus' Whetstone High School.

"Matthew has a strong personality which we are coming to realize is very needed in this industry."

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Everybody hates Ohio State AJ King (with Matt Brown)

National perception is what it is, but here's why it is (and what the future may hold.)

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3 reasons the BCS (and the rest of the country) doesn't like Ohio State AJ King (with Matt Brown)

Many Buckeye fans across the country are wondering what Ohio State needs to do to get out of the unfortunate spot of being the third wheel amongst college football's unbeatens. Back-to-back weeks of hardcore drubbings against Big Ten foes Penn State (63-14), and Purdue (56-0) have not done much to impress pollsters, and certainly have had no effect on the computer rankings that are so highly influenced by high profile wins. The truth is, there is not much that the Buckeyes can do but handle their own business – as well as hope for a lot of chaos to unfold as well.

But why is that the case? Somewhat, the result of fundamental flaws in our current (and soon to be departed) system, and in part due to preconceived notions this current group of Buckeyes had nothing to do with.

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Why we hate, 2013 LGHL Staff

Why The Game means what it does to us.

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Why we hate, 2013: Ohio State-Michigan LGHL Staff

I have a confession to make: I've rooted for Michigan against Ohio State once in my life. But we'll get to that.

One of the major caveats that comes with being born, growing up and, ultimately, calling Columbus home, is the fact that the entire town is truly and totally looking at the rest of the world through scarlet and gray colored glasses. This is not hyperbole, and anyone who has tried to drive on any Columbus surface street on a football Saturday knows this all too well. The Buckeyes own this town, and have since before you or I were born.

While most college football teams can lay claim to the city it inhabits, there's something special about Ohio State football inside the outerbelt border of Interstate 270. It is a bond that the team shares with the city, and an attitude the city adopts to match that of its football team. When the Buckeyes are winning, atop the polls and the country, the city reflects that: stores sell out of Buckeye merchandise at a moment's notice, local radio takes time out of every program to mention the team, and updates about practice move from the sports section to the front page, above the fold, with art.

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The blues are still blue Luke Zimmermann

Hated "Ohio" escaped with an unshakeable 42-41 win.

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The blues are still blue: Ohio-State Michigan is as good as ever; 2013 was no exception Luke Zimmermann

The drive across Michigan isn't exactly unlike the drive across any other Midwest or flyover state. You see more roads labeled with "# Mile" than probably anywhere else (I blame Eminem, personally), but the general motif comes from the same place.

Ann Arbor is a different beast, however, as the college town emanates from Michigan Stadium and the school's adjacent primary campus and almost feels like the university sprawled outward from The Big House to form the town around it. Never less has a college town felt more like a direct byproduct of the academic institution therein, as opposed to one plopped in the middle of an already budding metro area.

The university's fingerprints extend beyond surrounding neighborhood dynamics and permeate the culture of the fans themselves.

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Why the Browns should hire Jim Tressel Ted Glover

The Browns were in need of a head coach and an identity. The Vest would've been great there.

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Why the Cleveland Browns should hire Jim Tressel Ted Glover

When Jim Tressel was exiled to Ohio's Siberian Gulag (did you know that when you translate 'Akron' from old Gaelic it comes out to 'A-place-only-marginally-better-than-Michigan-football'? Look it up, that's a fact.*) for his role in the tattoo-for-memorabilia scandal, many people thought his coaching career was probably done. He was radioactive for college teams due to his five year 'show cause' penalty, and a lot of people thought he was a square peg into the round hole of the NFL. Yes, he got a gig as some kind of mysterious, nebulous 'assistant' gig with the Colts, and despite some insistences to the contrary, he was probably never considered seriously for their head coaching vacancy.

*Probably not a 'fact' in the true definition of the word, but roll with us on this.

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How Chris Ash attacks the zone read Christopher Jason

We take a deep dive into a coaches meeting to pick his brain on how he brings pressure.

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How Ohio State DC Chris Ash's defensive scheme attacks the zone read Christopher Jason

Chris Ash is one of the brighter young, defensive minds in college football. He has a very stern teaching method and preaches fundamentals and discipline on defense. For the majority of his career, he has been a secondary coach, but his role has expanded since 2011 when he took on defensive play calling responsibilities. I personally believe he will overtake Luke Fickell as the defensive play caller and Buckeye fans will be seeing a much more aggressive defense next season.

When watching Ash's video that talks about how he pressures versus the zone read, a couple of things stand out: He is an excellent teacher who answers questions immediately, without much over thinking; it comes naturally to him. Ash is very aggressive and loves to bring pressure, making the offense react to his defense, not the other way around. He preaches the details and even showed the other coaches in the room techniques, with the camera panning out on him showing the steps he teaches his defensive backs when blitzing.

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What Ohio State means to me Chuck McKeever

What being a member of the OSU alumni (and fan base) really means.

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What Ohio State means to me Chuck McKeever

My journey towards becoming a Buckeye began in the same fashion as many, many others. It just started in a different place.

My parents were both raised in upstate New York (quick tip for Ohio folks talking to NY residents: there's a whole big state up there; very few of us are from the City), and thanks to a fateful convergence of circumstance, met for the first time as students on OSU's North campus. What this meant for my brothers and me was a childhood decked out in scarlet and gray, living for those fall Saturdays that ABC deigned to show us a game being played 400-some miles away. My earliest sports memory, in fact, is that of Joe Germaine leading the Buckeyes to a slim victory over Jake Plummer's Sun Devils in the 1997 Rose Bowl game.

Years later, as a student at Ohio State, I found that my story had also been true for countless others: family ties to the university, a deep and heartfelt connection to the football team, and an indelible single memory that made us mentally fast-forward to the day when we could wholly commit ourselves to OSU. For me, like so many, no other school was ever in the picture.

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Meet The Dream '14 Luke Zimmermann

Get to know the names behind Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class.

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Meet The Dream '14: Ohio State's next great class Luke Zimmermann

Urban Meyer's second ever Ohio State recruiting class was arguably the best ever in school history. With 10 247Composite top 100 players, a five-star who did this in this past season's Orange Bowl, and a pretty low first-year attrition rate (only three-star OL Timothy Gardner has left the program, so far), Meyer and director of player personnel Mark Pantoni set the bar awfully high – and now they get to try and clear it.

Our demented love child of OBNUG and Casual Hoya's player profiles, "Bucks to the Future", returns for an encore, this time with our sights set on Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class. For each prospect, we'll try to give you a glimpse into their recruitment, let you know what you can expect both right away and long term from them as a Buckeye, as well as provide a comprehensive resource you can flip back to all next fall as a number of these guys start their college careers.

Year two kicks off with a holiday commitment, a player who started Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class in a somewhat ostentatious fashion by pledging for the Buckeyes on Christmas Day 2012. Meet three-star Cleveland Glenville product OG/C, Marcelys Jones.

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The best team no one's talking about Chuck McKeever

OSU women's rowing's most important pieces are back – and hungry for more.

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Ohio State women's rowing: The best team no one's talking about Chuck McKeever

6:30 a.m.: The Columbus sky has that bluish-gray aura that only comes in the very first stages of the sunrise, when the day's first light has just begun to filter over the horizon. It's a time that many students on campus never see, save those who are all-night cramming for final exams or waking up with dry mouths and aching heads on their next-door neighbors' lawns. Ohio State's most recent women's national championship team is already on the water. Layers of clothing stacked against the pre-dawn cold are eventually stripped off as muscles warm up and the sun begins to rise.

We talk often about a sports team coming together, a whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts, to achieve greatness. But when we say that, what we're really talking about are great teams that receive a lift from an individual performance or two that are particularly transcendent. The Buckeye football team's 2013 regular season was great by any measure, but we wouldn't have beaten Northwestern without Carlos Hyde strapping the offense to his back in the second half. Our basketball team was great in '12-'13, but we would have fallen to less-celebrated Iowa State without a pair of Aaron Craft miracles in the final minutes. The Mud Dogs certainly would not have won the Bourbon Bowl had Bobby Boucher not shown up at halftime. The list goes on.

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Designers Josh Laincz, Georgia CowleyDeveloper Josh LainczProducer Luke ZimmermannSpecial Thanks Chris Mottram

About the Author

Lz

SB Nation College League Manager
Land-Grant Holy Land Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Every Day Should Be Saturday Consulting Producer
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