"I had a great feeling jogging onto the field at Jerry Jones' stadium that Ohio State was going to win the first College Football Playoff. It wasn't because of play calls. It was because the dream was achieved - to have nine units strong operating at maximum capacity. That was the story of Ohio State in 2014."
- Urban Meyer, via Bucknuts
Last Friday morning Urban Meyer was the keynote speaker at the annual Ohio High School Football Coaches Association clinic that was held at the Easton Hilton. Meyer spoke for 40 minutes to over 2,000 high school coaches and touched on a vast number of subjects during his speech. After Meyer was introduced he was greeted with a 30-second standing ovation from those in attendance. Not only did Meyer talk to the coaches about his team's journey to the first-ever College Football Playoff, but the coaches showed their appreciation by giving Meyer, his coaching staff, and support staff framed panoramic photos of the scene at AT&T Stadium as the Buckeyes were about to clinch their championship on January 12th.
Some other highlights from Meyer's address was the coach stating again that he is against expanding the College Football Playoff field, and even if there is a discussion about making it an eight-team playoff that the student-athletes should have representatives in the talks. The toll the extra games would take on student-athletes physically is a concern for Meyer, especially after the rash of injuries the Buckeyes had to deal with this season. Meyer saw this problem extensively at quarterback, but credits former assistant, and now Houston head coach, Tom Herman with having not only J.T. Barrett, but also Cardale Jones, ready to play when their number was called. Meyer hit on a number of other topics during his address, and certainly gave the coaches he spoke to some great advice going forward.
"I feel like I can do whatever it takes whether its passing, scoring or rebounding. Those stats just show up, which gives me a lot of attention."
- D'Angelo Russell, via Cleveland.com
It seems to be common knowledge that this will more than likely be freshman guard D'Angelo Russell's only year playing for Ohio State before declaring himself eligible for the NBA Draft in the spring. Nobody can blame Russell for wanting to turn pro after carrying Ohio State's basketball team for much of the year so far. Last night wasn't Russell's best effort, as he only hit four field goals, but he still was able to tally 17 points in the 20-point Ohio State win. Coming off a triple-double against Rutgers on Sunday, Russell again stuffed the stat sheet in other areas, dishing out seven assists and grabbing six rebounds.
After a rocky start to Big Ten play, Russell has helped Ohio State to rebound and restore some faith that Ohio State could make some noise in March. The Buckeyes haven't had a one-and-done player since B.J. Mullens left for the NBA in 2009, but the impact Russell is making is more along the lines of Mike Conley in 2007. Russell has already been racking up weekly BIg Ten and national weekly awards, and should his play continue like it is, more are certainly on the way. With it seeming like a foregone conclusion the next stop for Russell in the NBA, Buckeye fans still have at least a month of watching what the freshman can do on the court, and it should be a fun ride to see just how far the guard from Louisville can take Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament.
"It was nice to get that 200th win just because it's a milestone, but we're not satisfied with everything we've done. We want to accomplish a lot more, especially this weekend."
- Ohio State senior tennis player Kevin Metka, via the Columbus Dispatch
While Ohio State football gets most of the athletic department headlines, one of the programs flying under the radar is the Ohio State men's tennis program. With a 4-0 win over South Florida on Sunday, the Buckeyes registered their 200th consecutive home match win. The last time the men's tennis team lost at home was April 5th, 2003. Currently the men's tennis program is ranked eighth in the country, and is 8-1 on the season with their only loss coming when they dropped a 4-3 decision at Texas A&M. In 2013 Blaz Rola won the 2013 NCAA singles championship, and last year Peter Kobelt was one of the best players in the country. Now both Rola and Kobelt are playing professional tennis.
This weekend in Chicago, Ohio State will try to defend their ITA National Indoor Championship. On Friday the Buckeyes will open the tournament against Texas, and should they win they will probably have to take on the top-seeded USC team. The Buckeye team doesn't quite have a standout like Rola or Kobelt this year, but that doesn't mean they should be taken lightly. Head coach Ty Tucker's team does have a up-and-coming talent though in Mikael Torpegaard, a freshman from Denmark. Last year Torpegaard won the ITA Midwest Regional, and is currently playing No.2 singles for the Buckeyes. Even more impressive is Ohio State is continuing their success without Canadian Hugo Di Feo, who hasn't been ruled eligible by the NCAA yet.
"Buckeyes set or tie 74 records in championship season."
It may have been a month since Ohio State clinched the College Football Playoff championship in Arlington, Texas but the shine hasn't worn off of the season the Buckeyes had. The season Ohio State had saw the Buckeyes rewrite many of the school records, mainly with their prolific offensive performances. The 14 wins the Buckeyes secured not only tied a school record, but also tied a NCAA record and was just the tip of the iceberg. In the early season game against Cincinnati, the Buckeyes registered 45 first downs, which set a Big Ten record and helped Ohio State set another Big Ten record for first downs in a season with 386.
To go along with the school records, there were plenty of individual records set by Buckeyes during the season. Many of those records came from redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, who not only set Big Ten records for total touchdowns and freshman of the week awards, but set 17 Ohio State records. After Barrett went down in the Michigan game, Ezekiel Elliott and Cardale Jones took over with rewriting the Big Ten and Ohio State postseason records. The three times Elliott ran for over 200 yards set the Ohio State record for 200-yard rushing games in a season, and the stellar performances against Oregon and Alabama set another three school records. This year's team set the bar high for 2015, and gives future Buckeyes some lofty numbers to shoot for.
STICK TO SPORTS
- Today it was announced that Philadelphia was chosen over Columbus to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
- Ohio just keeps winning. Three Powerball winning tickets sold in Buckeye State.
- In unsurprising news, love wasn't behind a woman wanting to marry Charles Manson.
- It is shocking that such blatant disregard for bacon will be going unpunished for one Massachusetts woman.
- Last night reaffirmed Bill Walton is a national treasure.