"Honestly, I don't really care ... My goal is to win another national championship, so I mean if the Heisman comes, it comes. But the national championship is more important."
- Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott via Austin Ward, ESPN
Fresh off of his 20th birthday yesterday, Ezekiel Elliott has his sights set on helping Ohio State hoist another national championship trophy in January. After helping the Buckeyes win the title behind three straight games of at least 200 rushing yards, the last few months have been a whirlwind for the running back from Missouri. Elliott has thrown out the first pitch at a Cincinnati Reds game, and also attended The ESPYS last week in Los Angeles. Heading into this season Elliott is thought of as one of the favorites for the Heisman Trophy, but the junior insists he has another trophy on his mind.
The good news for Elliott and Buckeye fans is he'll come into this season a lot healthier than he was last year. During the offseason Elliott had a second surgery on his wrist after having the initial surgery in preseason camp prior to last season. Last year Elliott wasn't able to carry the football in his left hand or use it to try and fend off defenders. Even with the injury, Elliott was still able to pile up nearly 700 yards on the ground in the three most important games for the Buckeyes last year. Now with the time off in the offseason to allow his wrist to heal, it's scary to think of what Elliott might be able to do this year with full use of both of his hands.
"The SEC is starting to get people reacting to their great play for the last seven, eight, nine years. Ohio State retooled its team and played SEC-style football. They controlled the line of scrimmage on offense and defense. Yeah, they spread it out -- everybody does that -- but I think the SEC got a taste of its own medicine."
- Gary Danielson via John Talty, AL.com
Early on in the Sugar Bowl it looked as if Ohio State was on their way to another big loss to a SEC team when they were trailing Alabama 21-6. It wasn't like the Buckeyes didn't have their chances, as they had moved into the red zone twice but only came away with two field goals. From that point on Ohio State was able to take over the game, pulling to within a point by halftime and taking the lead early in the third quarter. With SEC media days being held last week and the ESPN "car wash" of SEC coaches this week at ESPN, many are trying to figure out what happened in the game between the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide in New Orleans that night.
Gary Danielson, who calls SEC games for CBS, thinks the answer is simple. Ohio State played SEC-style football. It doesn't hurt the Buckeyes have a head coach who coached in the SEC, and won a couple national titles with Florida. With Meyer's knowledge of the SEC and Nick Saban, he was able to put together a team that would be able to compete with teams from the best conference in college football. It has been no secret that Meyer has modeled the Buckeyes after Alabama, and it paid off when the teams squared off. It also didn't hurt the Buckeyes got a monster effort on the ground from Ezekiel Elliott, and had Cardale Jones ready to face one of the most physical defense in the country in just his second career start. Now after years of SEC teams being pegged as favorites heading into the year, the roles have reversed and Ohio State is now the hunted, as many have them tabbed as favorites to win back-to-back national championships.
"Hopefully the game will be able to continue with athletes receiving a portion of the royalties going forward. It's a great game and would be a shame to not bring it back."
- Former Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter via Giustino Bovenzi, The Lantern
Usually around this time of year the release of NCAA Football on your gaming console of choice helped to try and fill the gap until football season started, but the last few years that hasn't been the case. While in previous editions of the game, players' names weren't used but there was plenty of similarities in their likeness and image. Now those who joined the class-action lawsuit against the NCAA and Electronic Arts are about to be compensated for being included in past editions of NCAA sports games that were released by Electronic Arts. Those included in NCAA football and basketball games between 2003 and 2013 were able to join the class-action lawsuit if they wished to.
One of those who joined the lawsuit is former Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter, along with three of his brothers. Those who appeared in four versions of the video games could receive a payout of up to $6,486, with the deadline to sign up to join the lawsuit extended to July 31st. There is a possibility some current Buckeyes could be compensated, as the last edition of the NCAA Football series was released two years ago, which means those in at least their third year of NCAA eligibility could have had their likeness and image used. If any current Buckeyes have joined the lawsuit, athletic director Gene Smith isn't aware of it, as he stated he hasn't spoken with any current football players about the matter.
"Five matches at St. John Arena - including duals against nationally-ranked Virginia, Michigan, Nebraska, and Wisconsin - highlight the 2015-16 schedule of defending national champion Ohio State, head coach Tom Ryan announced today."
- Ohio State athletic department
After earning their first national championship in the program's 94-year history, Ohio State gets back to the mats on October 29th with the annual Wrestle-Offs to help them tune-up for the season. The event will be in conjunction with the team's annual coaches clinic. From there the Buckeyes will compete a few days later in the NWCA All-Star Classic on November 1st, where Ohio State has been represented in the event 19 previous times. The actual first competition in their title defense will come on November 7th in the Eastern Michigan Open.
For fans wanting to see the Buckeyes compete in Columbus, the first home meet for Ohio State will take place on November 13th when Virginia comes to town. The Buckeyes have posted a 5-0 record all-time against the Cavaliers, with the 2014 meeting resulting in a 30-7 Ohio State victory in Charlottesville. One of the biggest home matches on the schedule is tentatively schedule for January 10th, when the Buckeyes welcome rival Michigan to St. John Arena. The Wolverines hold a 63-19-3 edge in the series, but Ohio State won 25-15 last season. Last year Ohio State dethroned Penn State, who won four straight titles from 2011-2014, and the teams have a match tentatively schedule for February 7th in State College. Ohio State will close out the season with the Big Ten Championships in Iowa City on March 5th and 6th, followed by the NCAA Championships at Madison Square Garden in New York City March 17th through the 19th.
STICK TO SPORTS:
- Another robbery has been reported near campus, which makes seven in two days.
- We can sleep easy at night, as the Electronic Sports League is implementing a anti-doping policy, which includes drug testing.
- Good news for 'Jurassic World' fans: A sequel is slated for release in June 2018.
- A third Central Ohio Whole Foods will open at Easton's Gateway shopping center in September.
- Not only did a New Jersey burglar hide under a bed for three days, but he also had four cell phones on him.