"How far behind (is Michigan)? It (depends) on how long that door stays closed. That's the key. [Urban Meyer] will do a great job, they know how to win, they've got a great staff. But you've still got to keep it closed."
Youngstown State president and former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel was asked about Jim Harbaugh in regards to how it could potentially light a new fire under arguably the greatest rivalry in sports. Despite Tressel thinking highly of Harbaugh and the Wolverines' hire, the former coach said the rivalry might be a ways off from another 'Ten Year War' occurring, due to the job Urban Meyer has done in recruiting.
Tressel also offered up the point that the key to Ohio State holding an edge over Michigan on the field is to lock down the top high school talent from within the Buckeye state. Harbaugh has already started getting in touch with athletes across the country, including many of the top recruits in Ohio. Perhaps the new war will be between Meyer and Harbaugh in recruiting battles.
"I'm either going to be playing or I'll be here. I'm not going to the Final Four to do a dunk contest. I want to play in the Final Four. I think we have an opportunity to be in the Final Four. If we don't make it, I'm not going."
Sam Thompson is the best dunker Thad Matta has ever coached, according to the coach himself. With a highlight dunk seemingly coming every game, it would make sense for Thompson to be a shoo-in for the college-level slam dunk contest, which takes place during the Final Four festivities. However, Thompson doesn't want any part of the event, saying his dunks are for games only, and he's focused on trying to get his team to play in the Final Four.
Known as a great dunker since his freshman year at Ohio State, Thompson has become a fan favorite for his high-flying acrobatic jams. Thompson acknowledges his ability, and said that he'd 'win anyway' if he participated. While he can still change his mind before the event, Buckeye fans are going to have to enjoy what they have for only a handful more of games, as the senior will graduate at the end of the season.
"Ohio State cornerbacks: Opposite Eli Apple, the Buckeyes must replace Doran Grant."
Continuing their spring previews over at ESPN, Mitch Sherman broke down key Big Ten position battles across the conference. Since everyone already knows what lies ahead with the starting quarterback battle at Ohio State between Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett, and Cardale Jones, Sherman highlighted another position of interest for the Buckeyes.
With senior cornerback Doran Grant graduating and moving on to the NFL, a hole remains opposite of Eli Apple, with limited experience in the depth chart. That being said, there's plenty of talent to select from, starting with Gareon Conley and Damon Webb. Conley has seen a considerable amount of playing time compared to Webb, but Webb may have the higher ceiling. Regardless, with spring football nearing, this should be a competition worth keeping an eye on.
"Honestly, I haven't thought about it. I think if it happens, then I may take a deep breath and say, ‘Hey, let me think about what it really means to me.'"
Wednesday's night game between Ohio State and Penn State marks a notable moment in Thad Matta's career in Columbus. Matta is one win away from tying the same number of victories (297) that former Ohio State basketball coach Fred Taylor accrued over the course of his 18-season career. Matta is in his 11th season with Ohio State, which highlights how impressive it is reaching this many victories is. Fred Taylor won a national championship with Ohio State in 1960, and while Matta has come close, he has yet to attain one.
Still, with a win tonight, and one game still remaining on Ohio State's schedule (the final regular season game against Wisconsin), Matta could potentially tie and then break the record set by Taylor by the end of the season. Even without a championship, Matta has been extremely successful with Ohio State. The Buckeyes have won five Big Ten championships and four conference tournament titles under Matta, and have made it into the NCAA tournament in eight of the past nine seasons, going as far as the championship game in 2007. In addition, Matta also led Ohio State to the Final Four in 2012, the Elite Eight in 2013 and the Sweet 16 in 2010 and '11.