"Since Ohio State beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and Oregon in the national championship game, the good news has flowed like water gushing from an unmanned firehose."
There’s been no shortage of good news for Buckeye fans in the past six months since the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Oregon in the first College Football Playoff, relegating the once-dominant SEC to an afterthought and lending credibility to a resurgent Big Ten Conference. The Buckeyes have few doubters that they will repeat the feat next season. Even Mark May has been backed into a corner.
Those problems that the Buckeyes do have are enviable. Urban Meyer has been faced with choosing between three outstanding and high-profile quarterback candidates who have all proven themselves worthy of the starting job at some point in the last two seasons. With Braxton Miller moved to H-back, even that relative drama has somewhat subsided as the quarterback race is down to two.
To cap off the perfect summer, four and five star recruits, who under other circumstances and other seasons and with other teams would have been highly sought after are battling for their shot to even be seen by the Buckeyes. Ohio State already has the projected No. 1 recruiting classes for 2016 and 2017.
Nonetheless, there had to be bad news somewhere, and the news of defensive end Joey Bosa, H-Backs Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson and receiver Corey Smith being suspended for Ohio State’s opener at Virginia Tech have definitely put a damper on an otherwise nirvana of a summer. The suspension, a result of a "violating Department of Athletics policy," was likely not a serious offense given the one game suspension, though Ohio State has not released the details of the violations.
While many point to the rest of the outstanding national championship squad, from a shored-up offensive line to Heisman hopeful Ezekiel Elliott to breakout receiver Michael Thomas, as evidence that Ohio State will still clobber Virginia Tech, the loss of Bosa and the others looms large. Losing the Big Ten Defensive Player of the year for a primetime season opener on the road cannot be taken lightly. The season opener is often a time to work the kinks out from the offseason which, this year, was less than spectacular according to Meyer. The Buckeyes can’t expect the dream to simply flow into the regular season, and will need to work to avoid complacency in 2015.
Ohio State has at least a 73 percent chance to win each of its games in 2015, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index. In all, the Buckeyes have a 25 percent chance of entering bowl season undefeated. They also have a 63 percent chance of winning the Big Ten—the most lopsided preseason conference race in the country. Michigan State comes in second with a 16 percent shot, but that is all pending on the outcome of the Nov. 21 showdown at Ohio Stadium between Ohio State and Michigan State. Wisconsin has the third highest odds at nine percent, with Nebraska at the four spot with a six percent chance to win the conference. Wisconsin has the added advantage of being the projected winner of the Big Ten West, with a 44 percent chance of carrying the division.
On the national championship front, Michigan is a surprise in Las Vegas, coming in at No. 5 with 100:1 odds to win the College Football Playoff next season, according to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Harbaugh’s squad is also in fifth among overall bets placed. Ohio State is No. 1 with 5:2 odds of winning it all next year. The Buckeyes are also the most prevalent bet in Vegas for the title, with nearly four times as much money placed on Ohio State as the second place team, Alabama. Auburn and Notre Dame sit at No. 3 and 4, respectively.
Ohio State currently sits as a 14-point favorite over Michigan for their Nov. 28 matchup at the Big House The Buckeye’s line against Virginia Tech in their season opener, however, has dropped from 12.5 points to a -11 or, in some cases, a -10, following news of Ohio State’s suspension of four players for that matchup. The Buckeye’s season line is sitting at 11.5, with most people betting the over.
"I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to add Stephanie to our program. She is an outstanding young woman who will significantly impact our program both on and off the court. Her talent as a basketball player will also allow us to continue our march to national prominence."
Stephanie Mavunga, a 6’3" center from the University of North Carolina, is transferring to Ohio State this year. She will sit out the 2015-16 season with a redshirt, but has two remaining years of eligibility starting in the 2016-17 season. Mavunga was a top recruit coming out of high school in Brownsburg, Ind., and was part of North Carolina’s top-ranked 2013 recruiting class. She was also named Miss Basketball in Indiana, and was a McDonald’s All-American at Brownsburg High School.
Mavunga averaged 14.5 points per game with the Tar Heels last season, and led her team in blocks (90) and rebounds (336). During her two years at North Carolina, she played in 72 games with 69 starts, and was named First Team All-ACC last year, and was also on the Naismith Trophy Watch List. Mavunga hit her career high in points with 27 in a win over Ohio State in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Over the summer, Mavunga also played for Team USA in the Pan American Games in Canada, assisting the U.S. to a Silver Medal finish.
Ohio State added another transfer earlier in the spring in Sierra Calhoun, a 6’0" guard from Duke. Calhoun averaged 10.1 points during her freshman season with the Blue Devils, where she started all 13 non-conference games.
"Win some titles, and asking for cash gets a little easier"
Winning, especially in high profile sports like football, makes a lot of things easier, and now you can add fundraising to that pile. Per NEOMG, Ohio State as three major facility upgrades in the pipeline now, and Ohio State's recent run of titles has helped open some wallets to help move those along.
Perhaps the biggest project Covelli Arena, which will host events gymnastics, wrestling and volleyball, but further renovations to the Woody Hayes athletic center are also planned. With a school has big as Ohio State, something is pretty much always about to be built, but it's nice to see that a rising athletic tide could help lift all sports in the program.
"Our wrestling program has enjoyed unprecedented success under Coach Ryan’s leadership and he has established himself as one of the nation’s best coaches…We are delighted that Coach Ryan will continue to build character, integrity and accountability with our student-athletes for years to come."
Following the first-ever national championship in wrestling for Ohio State, head wrestling coach Tom Ryan has signed a five-year contract extension. Ryan, who has been the head coach for the Buckeyes since 2006, is a three-time national coach of the year. Prior to this championship season, Ryan led the Buckeyes to NCAA runner-up titles in 2008 and 2009, with eight NCAA top ten finishes during his tenure. He has coached four Buckeyes to winning a total of eight individual NCAA titles, including four-time champion Logan Stieber. Overall, Ryan has a 113-42 dual-match record as head coach, with a 47-26 Big Ten record, and won Ohio State’s first Big Ten wrestling championship in 64 years this past season, tying with Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament.
Ryan, who wrestled at Iowa, was himself a two-time All-American while in school, and was part of the 1991 and 1992 national championship teams there. He came to Ohio State after spending 11 years as head coach at Hofstra.
Ryan has carried his athletic success into the classroom as well for his student athletes, with eight being recognized by the National Wrestling Coaches Association with All-Academic honors, including two two-time honorees, along with athletes 48 earning Academic All-Big Ten honors and 96 being named Ohio State Scholar Athletes.
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