"We communicate with the schools when they pick their dates and encourage them to set start times that allow games to be shown live on the linear network,"
— BTN communications manager Pat Kenny on which football spring games are shown live on television, as reported by Mark Snyder, The Detroit Free Press
With the spring games of both Ohio State and Michigan taking place at roughly the same time tomorrow, that means one very important thing: one team is going to get their spring game played live on the Big Ten Network, while the other gets shown on a delay.
Spoiler: The powers that be granted the Buckeyes the live broadcast, while the Wolverines’ spring practice will go on after the Bucks. But, how does BTN determine who gets to go on TV at what time?
BTN Communications manager Pat Kenny said that there was communication as to how the planning and start times of the games would go, and from there, the network would try to get the teams on as soon as possible. In the case of when OSU and UM laid out their respective plans for the spring scrimmage, the Buckeyes announced that they were having the specifics of their spring game on Jan. 17, while the Wolverines announced their spring game date and time a week later on Jan. 23.
From a scheduling perspective, if the Buckeyes submitted their dates and times first, it would make sense if BTN booked the Bucks first in the programming lineup. Especially considering that OSU has a huge following, eyeballs will be on the screen. Likewise, the Wolverines have an alumni and fan base that stretches the globe, too.
This doesn’t seem, let alone look, like a slight to the team up north. In the past couple years, the Michigan spring game took place in the first days of April, according to the Detroit Free Press article. So, it would’ve made sense if BTN was planning on holding that spot for Harbaugh’s program.
However, with UM scheduling their game on the same day as OSU, and making that arrangement after OSU finalized their dates and times, it will be the Scarlet and Gray being shown live.
“This is about football for me,” Belichick said. “There’s a lot of great other sports at Ohio State, I respect all of those, my daughter coached lacrosse here. Nothing is taking anything away from that. Ohio State is about football. And that’s what it should be.”
— New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick at the Ohio State coaching clinic, as reported by Doug Kyed, Yahoo/NESN
Keeping up with the theme of football, specifically, championship football, reigning Super Bowl champion coach Bill Belichick was in Columbus, Ohio yesterday at the Ohio State coaching clinic.
The New England Patriots head coach talked about the fantastic job Meyer has done with the program. Additionally, Belichick name dropped Kevin Wilson and Greg Schiano—showing that their football IQ has been recognized by the five-time Super Bowl winning coach.
There may have been another reason why Belichick was in town: the Pats have used draft picks in the past on Buckeyes. USA rugby olympian and special teams player Nate Ebner is a Buckeye, and was a sixth round pick back in 2012.
With defensive back Gareon Conley projected as a first to second round selection, he could be someone the Patriots may be after. Additionally, speedster Curtis Samuel and linebacker Raekwon McMillan are in the second round range—and could easily catch the eye of the Super Bowl champions.
Considering that Urban Meyer and Bill Belichick are two of the most successful coaches in their respective leagues, it isn’t a surprise that there was a meeting of the minds in Columbus—and an opportunity for other coaches to get a glimpse into the mind of football success.
“We won’t know until this fall how Prince’s progress will manifest itself on the field. And while it’s important to note that spring practice is often prone to optimism, it’s hard to take the effusive praise of Prince as anything but a promising sign.”
Lastly, with the spring game happening in under 24 hours, we’ll get see new faces in new roles, as well as older players grow into bigger roles.
In the case for Isaiah Prince, his progress moving forward could be one of the biggest reasons why Ohio State is in the hunt for a championship come November. Last season, Prince struggled in the role of right tackle, ranking last in the category of pass-blocking efficiency, according to Pro Football Focus. There were 45 occasions last season where Prince was responsible for allowing quarterback pressure.
This time around, and with the bitter taste of a 31-0 loss in the Fiesta Bowl to eventual national champions Clemson still lingering, Prince can set the tone for an explosive season on the offensive line. A reason for Prince struggling may have just been he was put into a starting spot too early, and lived with trial-by-fire against some of the best defensive teams in the country.
According to Ben Axelrod’s article, Jalyn Holmes said that Prince has worked on his technique and has made strides to become better this year. We’ll get the first glimpse of the improvements of Prince tomorrow at the spring game.
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