"I've got plenty of challenges right where I am...I haven't thought one bit about going back into coaching."
-Jim Tressel, via ESPN.com's Dan Murphy
Despite receiving Ohio State's highest athletic honor, Jim Tressel has no plans to re-enter the world of sports. Earlier this week, it was announced that Tressel would be inducted into Ohio State's Hall of Fame, alongside other Buckeye greats like Joey Galloway. Tressel is currently the president of Youngstown State University, after leaving OSU under an NCAA investigation that found him guilty of withholding information regarding the now-infamous memorabilia-bartering scandal that shook the school in 2011. A show-cause penalty from the NCAA made it so that any school that hired Tressel as coach for 5 years following the ruling would inherit Ohio State's sanctions, which effectively ruled him out as a college football coach.
According to ESPN's Dan Murphy, the national championship-winning Tressel was slightly taken aback by the announcement that he was a Hall of Famer. "You know you're not perfect. You look at the lists of people who are in those halls of fame, and you don't put yourself in that class," he said. The man known as The Vest is probably selling himself short there. Tressel won 94 games in 10 seasons at Ohio State, including the aforementioned national championship, which saw the Buckeyes knock off a dynastic Miami Hurricanes team in just his second year as coach.
Tressel and the other Buckeye HOF inductees will be recognized during Ohio State's game against Northern Illinois, which will be played on September 19. Tressel was also announced as a College Football Hall of Fame inductee in January, and will officially enter that hall in December. That happens to be the very same month that his show cause penalty expires.
"D'Angelo Russell canceled this weekend's scheduled workout with the Sixers after getting 'real sick'."
-Keith Pompey, Philadelphia Inquirer
Despite LGHL newsroom speculation that Ohio State's phenom guard D'Angelo Russell cancelled his workout with the Philadelphia 76ers on account of the team "not being very good," it appears that Russell was actually ill. Per Keith Pompey, there has been a lot of juice surrounding the 76ers selecting Russell with the third overall pick in the NBA Draft on June 25. It remains to be seen how this will affect that possibility, as Sixers GM Sam Hinkie would not comment on the situation.
Russell could provide the final piece of an intriguing young Philadelphia lineup, one that boasts Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, two excellent prospects who have had their NBA careers delayed by early injuries. The Sixers have more young talent stockpiled than just about any team in the league, and when healthy, they could develop into a frighteningly precocious team. If the Sixers pass on Russell to fill out their young lineup, they could take Kristaps Porzingis, a Latvian power forward who would provide both versatility and depth for Philly in an already-talented frontcourt.
As the Buckeyes' best player in 2014-15, Russell averaged 19.3 points per game while racking up 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists. He also shot above 40% from beyond the arc. He's got great court vision, a good finishing touch, and the kind of fearless attacking attitude that should set him up for a bright future. Whether it's with the Sixers or not, Russell is sure to have an exciting rookie season.
"NFL.com recently ranked the game between the Spartans and the Buckeyes as the No. 2 game in the country this season, behind only the Nov. 27 Baylor-TCU matchup."
-Mike Griffith, MLive.com
It's certainly no secret that Ohio State will have its work cut out in November. The Buckeyes close the regular season by facing Michigan State and Michigan in back-to-back weeks, and their hopes for a repeat playoff berth almost certainly hinge on how they fare against the Spartans, considered the only other sure thing in the Big Ten. There's obviously a lot of football to be played before this even becomes a serious conversation -- consider just how far outside of the playoff picture Ohio State was 24 hours before the field was announced, before the demolition of Wisconsin -- but MLive's Mike Griffith envisions a possible scenario in which a Buckeye team whose only loss is to MSU still gets into the playoff.
Provided the Spartans string together as strong of a season as they did last year, a loss at their hands wouldn't necessarily be a death sentence. However, it's hard to see the Buckeyes making it into the playoff without a Big Ten title, so Sparty would probably need to drop at least 2 games for that scenario to be plausible.
Griffith is more bullish on the idea that a Big Ten team who isn't the conference champion could still appear in the playoff, going so far as to say that two B1G squads could make an appearance in the field. Whether that's likely is up for debate, but given the insane shakeups that happen in college football every single year, it's not entirely out of the question that Wisconsin beats Alabama in September or Minnesota fells TCU, strengthening the conference as a whole and upping the chances that they put two teams into the playoff.
"I don't know that I necessarily thought could (sign kids from Michigan)...I was lucky enough to find the right schools."
-Kerry Coombs, via BuckeyeSports.com's Ryan Ginn
The man on the Ohio State sideline with the most unbridled passion is also the school's recruiting X-factor. Kerry Coombs, who coaches with so much enthusiasm that you half-expect him to take the field and make a tackle, has proven invaluable in bringing young talent to Columbus, particularly from the last state that wants to cough up talent to Ohio State: Michigan.
Coombs has worked hard to develop relationships with schools and coaches in Michigan, particularly Detroit's Cass Tech. All of that has paid off for the Buckeyes -- they've reeled in at least one Technician in three consecutive recruiting cycles, including 2014's Damon Webb and 2015's Joshua Alabi and Mike Weber. Coombs cites his own past as a high school football coach as one of the reasons he's able to make lasting connections in such ostensibly hostile territory. "I've been in their shoes. I know their job and I think they have a comfort level talking with me. I can be honest with them, and I feel like they can be honest with me," Coombs told BuckeyeSports.
No matter how Coombs gets it done, head coach Urban Meyer is grateful to have him on board, both as a coach and a recruiter. "He doesn't do a good job -- he does a great job," Meyer said. "We will forever be recruiting Michigan." If that doesn't make you ready to run through a wall for these guys, you probably don't have a pulse.
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