"On the 12th night of the year, [Urban Meyer] and his team dragged the whole, big, loud, college football apparatus northward to the American Midwest."
- Chuck Culpepper, Washington Post
Culpepper starts off his piece, encapsulating what Ohio State and Urban Meyer had done in the first College Football Playoff perfectly. In which they take the landscape of college football, and taking it from the southeast, particularly the SEC, and finish it by winning a national title. Had Ohio State not won that game, Culpepper points out that odds are Alabama is playing for a second consecutive title, and a fifth in seven years.
Another stat Culpepper notes, is that of the 12 slots for the six national championship games since 2009, the Big Ten didn't even receive one, with the SEC having seven, along with its streak reaching seven straight titles. Meyer's move to Ohio State changed the college football landscape, and in one season changed the way that the world of college football is viewed in certain circles in the early part of 2015.
"Everybody believes [Jim Tressel] walks on water."
- Dr. Chet Cooper, microbiology professor at Youngstown State, via Jeremy Markovich, CBS Sports
Jim Tressel's tenure as the Youngstown State University president seems to be going pretty well for professors to be saying that the man walks on water. Cooper starts by describing how fundraising for the school went off the charts when Jim Tressel joined the university. A potential donor for years turned in a $2 million donation after a meeting with Tressel. That's a pretty good start for anybody.
Ohio Governer John Kasich attended Tressel's inauguration while he was running for reelection, something that Markovich. Students love him, and the details of how Tressel carries himself and how he carries out his job are nothing but spectacular. It definitely sounds like if your university can have Tressel as its president, you're pretty lucky. And while many expect his focus to be on football, Tressel is worried about more pressing issues, like retaining and graduating more students, growing the Honors College, and raising more money. It most certainly sounds like he's doing a good job.
"Michael Thomas didn't get the ball enough."
- Doug Lesmerises, Northeast Ohio Media Group
Hey, it's not just you. Michael Thomas didn't see the ball a whole lot this season. Of course a lot of that had to do with the surprising troubles at quarterback that Ohio State had this year. Thomas had 49 catches on the year, good for 124th in the nation in receptions per game. Lesmerises shows that Michael Thomas didn't even lead his name in receptions, as Michael Thomas from Southern Mississippi caught 71 passes this season.
Thomas noticed it, and even said that he thinks about it sometimes. But he also realizes that teams planned to specifically defend him. He will still be a highly touted prospect at receiver. After all, his Twitter handle isn't "@cantgaurdmike" for no reason. Thomas really seems like a team player though, because you never heard anything about it all year, and it even appears as he was asked about it, he moved on. He didn't bring attention to himself, or fuss, he just played. I think you can say the same for a lot of Buckeyes this season.
"Notre Dame will be without two defensive starters when the Irish take on Ohio State on New Year's Day in the Fiesta Bowl."
- Chip Patterson, CBS Sports
It should come as no surprise that Notre Dame is coming into the Fiesta Bowl with injuries. It seemed in every game that the Irish played in this season, somebody was getting hurt. Cornerback Devin Butler will be out because of a broken foot that he suffered on Monday. On top of that, Brian Kelly announced Tuesday that safety Max Redfield would miss the game, as he is suspended for violating team rules. Redfield was sent home as a result.
Redfield was the third leading tackler on the Irish. He wrote a post on Instagram apologizing to his teammates and fans. The losses are going to be major for the Notre Dame defense, who will try to contain J.T. Barrett and the Ohio State offense that appeared to find its groove in their season finale against Michigan. The Fiesta Bowl is easily the most hyped bowl game outside of the playoff, and should make for an interesting contest.
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