"Man, I hope they throw on the game tape from the game versus [Michigan]. I think that's a lot of what they need to see. We'll be satisfied if they see that and they see what we can do, because that's what we can do."
Much like last year with a few days left before the College Football Playoff field was announced, Ohio State is on the outside looking in. Things are a little different this year though, as the Buckeyes won't have one last shot to prove they belong among the last four teams left standing. Instead Ohio State has to hope their drubbing of Michigan in the regular season finale is enough to sway the committee. Even though they won't be able to claim a conference championship, the Buckeyes need a little help on the field, and then have to hope the committee sees them as one of the best four teams in the country.
Should Michigan State take down on Iowa on Saturday night in the Big Ten Championship, Ohio State's case might get a bit of a boost, since then the Buckeyes can say their only loss was a nail-biter to a team that is in the College Football Playoff. Another factor that might help Ohio State is Urban Meyer's track record of getting his team ready for big games. While that didn't show against the Spartans a couple weeks ago, last year Meyer did have his team ready, with a third-string quarterback, to claim the title. While after the Michigan State loss all hope looked gone for Ohio State making a playoff, but now there is a sliver of hope, and that's all the Buckeyes need.
"It'd be a great opportunity to be there. It'd be an honor to be in the conversation."
The players that will be invited to the Heisman Trophy ceremony next Saturday won't be announced until Monday at 6 p.m. on ESPN, but smart money seems to be on Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott being one of those invited. Currently at Bovada, Elliott has 12-1 odds to win the Heisman, which sits third behind Derrick Henry at 3-1 and Deshaun Watson at 5-1. Elliott will be worrying about something a little more important this weekend though, as he is hoping Ohio State can find their way into the College Football Playoff.
While Elliott should be invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony, he'll probably fall just a little short of winning the coveted award. The junior running back certainly has the stats that would be deserving of the Heisman, as he has rushed for 1,672 yards and 19 touchdowns this year. During his 214-yard rushing performance against Michigan on Saturday, Elliott passed Eddie George for second on Ohio State's all-time rushing list. Right now it is looking like the Heisman will be presented to Derrick Henry, who has rushed for 1,797 yards and 22 touchdowns for Alabama this year. Even though he probably won't win the Heisman, it doesn't take away from an amazing career Elliott has put together in Columbus.
"That's a Urban rule, not a department rule. There are two common sanctions for all athletes and it's our model for players on scholarship: playing time and money. Back in the day, they made us run stadium stairs for hours. That changed. So Urban has that philosophy and we need to implement behavior modification techniques so you have different methods to do it. He felt strongly about that one."
When Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett was arrested for OVI on Oct. 31, the punishment that followed was a bit surprising. The one-game suspension for Barrett wasn't what some questioned, but the loss of Barrett's scholarship for the summer 2016 term was part of the punishment that many didn't expect. Since Barrett is from Texas, tuition for the term could cost him as much of $6,000, but Barrett will have the opportunity to earn his scholarship back. Since many students don't take quite as many hours in the summer, it likely won't cost Barrett as much, it could be pricey to a student that pays out-of-state tuition if he doesn't end up earning his scholarship back.
"I think what JaQuan's got to learn is to take over a game. But he's got to do it within what we're trying to do."
To say Ohio State's basketball season so far has been a disappointment is an understatement. The Buckeyes have lost four-straight games and still has non-conference contests against UConn and Kentucky left before moving into Big Ten play. Freshman point guard JaQuan Lyle has shown glimpses of breaking out for the Buckeyes this year, but so far he hasn't been consistent late in games when Ohio State has desperately needed it.
It's hard to fault Lyle when there is so much youth on this year's Buckeye team, but Ohio State needs somebody to step up, and Lyle certainly has the talent to do so. It also doesn't help that Lyle has to step into the shoes of D'Angelo Russell, who starred in his only season in Columbus and went on to be the second overall pick in June's NBA Draft. What has been the downfall so far of this year's Ohio State team has been their turnover problems, and when that is the issue the point guard is often times going to take most of the blame. There is still time for the Buckeyes to turn things around, but they'll need Lyle to step up if they have designs on making a run at a NCAA Tournament bid.
STICK TO SPORTS
- Rockmill Brewery is hoping to open a tavern in German Village next year.
- Brewers in Columbus and Portland have a friendly wager on Sunday's MLS Cup Final.
- Tomorrow night is the Grand Illumination along the Scioto Mile.
- Looking to spread some holiday cheer? Be sure to donate on Saturday.
- Nick Offerman really is the best.