"So what does the Big Ten really have going for it so far? Losses."
-Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland Plain Dealer
We all know how rough the first three weeks of this season have been for the Big Ten, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Doug Lesmerises took the time to point out has been for the conference. He writes:
The Big Ten has lost 14 games already. Through three weeks, the league is 24-14 overall.
It's 13-13 against FBS teams in nonconference play. (And 10-0 against FCS schools and 1-1 against itself.)
It's 1-10 against the other power conference teams - the SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Notre Dame.
That lone win that Lesmerises mentioned, it was Rutgers win over the dreadful Washington State Cougars. In honor of the start of the season, Lesmerises counts down the conference’s top 10 losses of the first three weeks. Ohio State’s 35-21 loss to Virginia Tech checked in at number three. Check out the article for the full list.
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy and Mark Schlabach have released their week three bowl projections and each have the Buckeyes playing a different team in a different location. McMurphy has a relatively conservative prediction, picking the Buckeyes to square off with the University of Florida in the Outback Bowl. Schlabach has the Buckeyes penciled into a familiar locale, the (no longer Tostitos) Fiesta Bowl.
Both matchups would provide good storylines. The first, and meatiest, would be Urban Meyer heading south to match up against the team that he led to two national championships (Before, as Mike Bianchi wrote, remorselessly taking apart the program piece by piece leaving it in shambles). The Fiesta Bowl matchup would present a contrast in styles, with Ohio State’s offense going up against Stanford’s pro-style attack. Would the Buckeyes be able to make it two Big Ten bowl victories in a row over the Cardinal? Maybe we’ll get the answer, but more than likely we won’t as these predictions are guaranteed to change as the year progresses.
"Not sure what we learned from the Buckeyes’ 66-0 win vs. Kent State. Let’s go ahead and call it a 'confidence builder.' A visit from Cincinnati in two weeks may be interesting."
-Tom Dienhart, BTN
The Big Ten Network’s weekly power rankings are in and for the third consecutive week, the Ohio State Buckeyes have landed at the #2 spot, just behind the Spartans of Michigan State. Nebraska, Penn State, and Wisconsin round out the top five. The top two spots make sense, but Wisconsin could probably be slotted ahead of a Nebraska team that barely beat McNeeses State and a Penn State squad that could very easily be 1-2.
I may be alone in that assertion, though, because ESPN’s power rankings feature the exact same top five as BTN.
Big Ten blogger Brian Bennett said of Ohio State: "The Buckeyes finally had their breakout offensive performance in a 66-0 whitewashing of overmatched Kent State. J.T. Barrett had to gain confidence after his six-touchdown day. They'll take Week 4 off and then face Cincinnati on Sept. 27."
These days, being second in the Big Ten isn’t exactly something to brag about. It’s kind of like having a really nice flip phone. Still, it does serve as a reminder that despite an early season loss, the Buckeyes are still very much alive in the Big Ten championship picture. We always thought it was going to come down to the Michigan State game, and that still appears to be the case.
From the lips of Jeff Boals to God’s ears, this is a fantastic article from Slam Magazine on Mike Conley who, as the article explains, is slowly and quietly turning into one of the best point guards in the league.
The author, Abe Schwadron, writes:
Conley may not be the overly braggadocious type, but over the past year, the Indianapolis native has victimized everyone from Shelvin Mack to Kevin Durant with his killer crossover, while still maintaining the lowest turnover rate out of any player with at least a 25 percent assist rate. Conley only turns the ball over on 11.5 percent of all possessions, but assists more than 30 percent of his teammates’ buckets when he’s on the court.
Matter of fact, Conley was one of only three players in the NBA last season to finish with at least a 30 percent assist rate, a 24 percent usage rate, a two-percent steal rate and 1.1 points per possession for the entire year. The others: LeBron James and Stephen Curry.
Check out the full article for more. It’s a must-read for any Buckeye basketball fan.
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