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Why is this news? The Opening 2014 results, Gene Smith talks pay-for-play

All the big Ohio State news in one convenient package

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

"Winning the conference championship is an important criteria, but there's going to be lots of other nuances. Sometimes conferences have a boatload of very competent teams, like the Big Ten last year with Ohio State and Michigan State."

-USC AD Pat Haden to Stewart Mandel

We may know we're getting a playoff in college football next year, but the nitty gritty details of how the selection committee will actually work are still up in the air, to a large extent. How will strength of schedule be measured? How important is a conference championship? What kinds of advanced stats will be used? What the hell is the "eye-test" anyway?

The remarks here by Haden, if shared by other committee members, could give some measure of comfort to Ohio State fans. One, they represent a break from the popular meme of the Big Ten being a terrible football conference, and two, it could open the door for a very good Ohio State squad to still grab a playoff bid if they slip off in Big Ten play and fail to win the conference. We won't really know how everybody is thinking until Oct. 28, when the first rankings come out.

"I am not a proponent of creating an employer-employee relationship."

-Ohio State AD Gene Smith, in a video interview for The Lantern

Gene Smith's opinion on athlete compensation haven't been a secret, nor have they changed as the debate over the amateurism model rages on in the face of lawsuits. Smith has, however, been a strong proponent of paying for the cost of attendance, and lays out convincing, real world examples of what that means for student athletes in the video. He insinuates that non revenue sports would be in major jeopardy in an employer-employee relationship was created, while also mentioning that players could be fired for non-performance.

During the interview, Smith also raised the possibly that former Buckeye Greg Oden could come back to Ohio State to finish his degree.

"Yet as James considers his next career move this week, and whether he should leave a successful, warm-weather, high-profile gig in Florida for a return to his homestate of Ohio, I couldn't help but think of Meyer.

Because he did make that choice."

-Doug Lesmerises,

Is Doug Lesmerises saying that LeBron is going to come back to Ohio? No, but he does draw on the interesting parallels between James and another famous Florida resident that left behind a successful gig to go back home, Urban Meyer. Lesmerises writes about the increasing importance of hometowns, community connections and place, especially as one progresses through a career and has children, needing to give a place of connection to your children.

Is this a lock? No, and obviously many more factors were in play for Urban and LeBron's career choices, but this line of thinking may not necessarily be totally discounted. For what it's worth, my wife and I are expecting our first child in August, and we've probably had this very same conversation multiple times already.

"The second overall prospect in the nation, defensive end recruit Josh Sweat ran a 4.46-second forty yard dash - all 6'4, 230 pounds of him. That's an incredible time for a player his size, and it was enough to put him in the top five at the camp.

-SB Nation Recruiting

Remember the NFL draft combine? That closest thing we have to it for college football is The Opening, probably the single biggest recruiting event of the entire offseason. Elite prospects from all over the country have come to Oregon, including multiple Ohio State targets, like the aforementioned Sweat. For more coverage for The Opening, make sure you're checking out