"I've coached about 15 years - it was the most different situation we've ever had because of the quarterback situation. So you've got one quarterback on tape (Braxton Miller) then you've got another quarterback on tape (J.T. Barrett), then you've got one game on the quarterback (Cardale Jones)."
- Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to Atlanta's 680 The Fan via Charlie Potter, 247Sports
Not even Ohio State fans knew what to expect from Cardale Jones heading into the College Football Playoff semifinal against Alabama. The task for Kirby Smart and his Alabama defense was even tougher due to the limited tape they had to watch on Jones. One big issue for some on Alabama's defense was hearing from the media that Jones was a third-stringer, which led to the defense not giving Jones the respect they should have heading into the contest. While the Crimson Tide knew Jones was good at both passing and running the football, they weren't quite ready for the size he brought to the table. Even with the size the Alabama defense had, Jones was able to break through their arm tackles.
While Alabama might have held a 21-6 lead in the first half, Smart didn't feel like his team was leading because of the way his defense had played early on. Smart was worried since his defense hadn't been able to slow the Buckeye offense down, and felt the two field goals they held Ohio State to inside the red zone could've easily been 14 points. The fears of Smart started to come to life before halftime when the Buckeyes tightened the score up to 21-20. Add in the running of Ezekiel Elliott and the Ohio State offense was just too much for Alabama to handle. The loss to the Buckeyes made Smart and Saban bring in former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman to pick his brain about the attack his team used against Alabama. Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin also spent some time with Herman to try and pick up some ideas that the Crimson Tide could possibly use in their own offensive attack.
"You can be part of the problem or you can be part of the solution. As a matter of fact, I'm at the point in my life to where when I hear people are part of the problem, guess what I get to do? 'You're out.'"
- Urban Meyer to attendees of his one-day football camp via Tim May, Columbus Dispatch
On Wednesday near his hometown in Ashtabula, Ohio, Urban Meyer held his annual one-day football camp for students entering grades 1-8 in the fall of 2015. Meyer and Eastern Kentucky head coach Dean Hood hosted the one-day camp for the fourth time and those attending got the treat of listening to and getting some teaching from the head coach of the defending national champions. Meyer was able to give campers a small glimpse into what his team went through in the 2014 season, which started off on a rocky start with the loss of Braxton Miller for the year, but ending with the glory of hoisting the national championship trophy. Meyer was also able to give campers some words of wisdom, and a little bit of an insight in what he is looking for in players, as he wants those that are "part of the solution".
While Meyer was the main attraction at the camp, a few comments from the co-host were interesting, since the Eastern Kentucky coach currently has a former Ohio State player on his roster now. When asked about Noah Spence, Dean Hood said he has "not coached a kid like that". Hood may have coached Aaron Curry during his time at Wake Forest, but Spence has definitely stood out during his time so far at Eastern Kentucky's practices. Despite his past issues at Ohio State, as well as public intoxication charge near in late May, Spence has impressed during practices. During spring practices, Hood said Spence was having little trouble on the field with one of Eastern Kentucky's all-conference offensive lineman. Hopefully Spence's issues are behind him and he can find success with Eastern Kentucky this year and bolster his draft stock.
"I'm really excited to be playing a game this year in St. John's Arena. It's an iconic building not only on the campus of The Ohio State University, but also in the great state of Ohio. There is a legacy of great players who have played at St. John's Arena and I'm looking forward to treating our fans to a game in one of the historic venues in college basketball."
- Ohio State women's basketball coach Kevin McGuff via Jim Massie, Columbus Dispatch
On Tuesday it was announced Ohio State's women's basketball team will host the November 22nd game against Wagner at historic St. John's Arena. The venue was the home for the Buckeyes from the 1974-75 season until Value City Arena opened prior to the 1998-99 season. Over 27 years in playing in the arena, the Buckeyes have compiled a 261-65 record, and has an all-time winning percentage of .801 in the building. The last time the Ohio State women's team played at St. John's Arena was in November of 2012, when they beat Winthrop 78-53. Seniors Ameryst Alston and Cait Craft were freshman on that 2012 team.
The use of St. John's Arena as a venue might have an even bigger impact later in the year, as since the Buckeyes are hosting a game there it can be used to host games during the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament should Ohio State be chosen as a host site. The 2013 NCAA Women's Tournament saw St. John's Arena used as a host site despite the Lady Buckeyes failing to make the tournament. The last time St. John's Arena hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA Women's Tournament with the Lady Buckeyes playing was in 2011 where Ohio State won the two games there as a four-seed to advance to the Sweet 16.
"Ohio State remains first in preseason FPI, but the Buckeyes lost two offensive starters. Instead of being about four points better than any other team on a neutral field, it is now two points better."
- Sharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
With about two months before the college football season begins, ESPN's Stats & Information Group has rerun their preseason FPI projections to account for changes to teams' returning starters during the spring. The last projection was run on March 31st, and since Ohio State's projection lead has dropped a couple points, closing the Buckeyes' lead on Alabama to two points. Even with the questions at quarterback, Ohio State is still ranked high in the projected offensive rankings, so it doesn't seem as if those rankings should change very much once the starting quarterback is officially named, especially when considering the caliber of the three candidates vying for the position.
The FPI is calculated by taking into account the past four seasons of performance using the ESPN efficiency ratings, which the most recent season counting most. Also used are information on offensive and defensive returning starters, with special consideration given to a returning starting quarterback, head coaching tenure, and a four-year average of recruiting rankings from a number of services. The FPI rankings will be ran again in August before the season begins to account for anymore changes in starter information, but unless some major changes happen expect to see the Buckeyes top those rankings again.
STICK TO SPORTS:
- Wednesday morning's tanker crash and fire has created a headache on the west side. Here's what you need to know if you're traveling on I-270 and I-70 over the holiday weekend.
- Red, White, & Boom! is tomorrow night. Here's the schedule of activities and music going on downtown.
- This young girl's protest was the best thing to happen at ComFest last weekend.
- Following their heartbreaking loss in the Women's World Cup semifinals, England's manager gives a great interview.
- Yet again Roger Federer shows why he is the GOAT.