“Now, I still feel we have too many bowls. That’s been lost to some degree. From a narrow point of view at Ohio State, they benefit from the BCS. We had more appearances  than anybody. I went into the CFP with apprehension. After seeing it, how it worked and seeing how committee set up selection process, I’m a fan now. I think it works.”
As if Gene Smith’s plate wasn’t full enough with his position as Ohio State’s athletic director, this month Smith will begin a three-year term on the College Football Playoff selection committee. What makes Smith’s position on the committee so surprising is the skepticism he had for the playoff when it was first announced. With the third year of the College Football Playoff having been completed last month, Smith has changed his tune quite a bit. It certainly didn’t hurt that in the first year of the CFP, Ohio State was not only included in the playoff, but they went on to win the national title.
This won’t be Smith’s first time on a high-profile selection committee in college sports, as he has served on the NCAA Tournament selection committee in the past. While Smith does have past selection committee experience, he is hoping to talk with Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, who he is replacing on the CFP as the Big Ten representative, later this month at the Big Ten meetings. Just because he’ll be on the CFP committee over the next few years, Smith still plans to be at Ohio State games on Saturdays. Where his schedule will change a bit is on Sundays, when Smith plans to watch a lot of games he’ll have recorded. Even though he’ll be on the committee, Smith doesn’t plan to have to hear any lobbying from head coach Urban Meyer on whether or not Ohio State should be included. Hopefully the Buckeyes play will speak for itself the next three years.
“I just feel at peace that Coach Meyer and his staff, Coach Stud, are going to take care of their players... You used football to get your degree, now take your degree and make something.”
There was plenty of times where for Thayer Munford it must have felt like a pipe dream that he would be able to attend Ohio State. Munford’s journey to Ohio State has been a struggle, with plenty of twists and turns along the way, but hard work from the offensive lineman helped to earn him a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes late in the recruiting process. During his freshman year of high school, Munford’s head coach at Cincinnati LaSalle noticed the talent Munford had, but his grades quickly became an issue. Kevin Moore not only helped Munford to improve his grades, but to curb some of the weight issues that the teenager was dealing with.
After LaSalle won a state championship in Munford’s freshman year, Moore took the job as head coach at Massillon Washington. After Moore left, Munford began to fall back into some of his old habits in the classroom. Munford’s mother decided the best idea to help her son succeed would be to send Thayer to live with the Moores. The move did come at a bit of a price though, as OHSAA suspended Munford for seven games because they believed he was recruited to play at Massillon. Munford still did impress Ohio State coaches at Friday Night Lights, and he also was able to get his grades back in order. It has been quite a four-year journey for Munford, and it is exciting to see how he tackles the next four years in Columbus.
“Steph’s a great player and you don’t just put somebody else in there and replace her. But by committee with the other talented players that we have I think we can definitely do it.”
After losing Stephanie Mavunga for an undetermined amount of time due to a foot injury, Ohio State was able to improve their Big Ten record to 12-1 with a 88-81 win over Iowa on Sunday. The Buckeyes currently sit a game and a half behind Maryland in the Big Ten standings, with a game against the Terrapins, who are currently ranked second in the country, slated for Monday night in Columbus. Before Ohio State can head into their showdown with Maryland, they have to travel to Nebraska tonight to take on a Cornhusker team that has won just one conference game this year.
While the loss of Mavunga might not show itself too much tonight, it likely will definitely be evident when Ohio State and Maryland clash on Monday night. The redshirt junior transfer from North Carolina was not only Ohio State’s leading rebounder this year, but also was the Buckeyes’ second-leading scorer. Head coach Kevin McGuff knows that it is going to take a total team effort to try and replace what Mavunga brought to the court for the Buckeyes. Shayla Cooper and Sierra Calhoun stepped up against Iowa, and Ohio State is going to need more from them to go along with Kelsey Mitchell’s outstanding play if they want to put a scare into Maryland on Monday night.