We are less than two weeks away from the rematch that all of college football has been waiting for — but especially Ohio State fans — with the Buckeyes set to take on Clemson in the College Football Playoff on New Years Day. It seemed like the entire season has been leading up to this moment, and now it is officially on the horizon. It certainly isn’t the first time OSU has been underdogs heading into the Sugar Bowl — and it went pretty well the last time!
We will have lots of coverage leading up to that massive showdown, including podcasts, interviews with people on the Tigers’ beat, and much more, so be sure to stick with Land-Grant Holy Land as we look forward to what should be a fun start to 2021. For the time being, let’s get to all of today’s headlines in Ohio State land.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
From around the gridiron...
For the second time in as many seasons, Justin Fields has been selected as the AP Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. While his second stint in Columbus hasn’t been quite as impressive as his first, the junior quarterback has still thrown for over 1,500 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions as he helped lead Ohio State to its fourth-straight Big Ten title.
In addition to the award, Fields was named first-team All-Big Ten by the AP alongside teammates Thayer Munford, Wyatt Davis and Shaun Wade. Drue Chrisman, Haskell Garrett, Josh Myers, Chris Olave, Master Teague, Tommy Togiai, Pete Werner and Garrett Wilson were all second-team All-Big Ten selections.
For the second time in as many years, the Associated Press recognized Ohio State’s Justin Fields as the best offensive player in the Big Ten. https://t.co/TMhx88D8zU— Nathan Baird (@nwbaird) December 22, 2020
In addition to his honors from the AP, center Josh Myers was named a finalist for the Rimington Trophy — an award given to the nation’s top center. Myers has been one of the most consistent members of a strong offensive line that has helped Ohio State rank top five in the country in running the football.
Your weekly reminder that Chase Young is very good at football — regardless of level.
Only one first-round rookie defender has a PFF grade above 65: Chase Young (80.6) pic.twitter.com/U7Xm1JGMjs— PFF (@PFF) December 22, 2020
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the firing of Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown. Affectionately known as Dr. Blitz, Brown’s defenses let up a combined 118 points to Ohio State in the last two meetings. He went 0-4 overall against the Buckeyes during his tenure with the Wolverines, and Buckeye Nation thanks him for his brilliant service.
SOURCE: #Michigan has dismissed defensive coordinator Don Brown.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 22, 2020
Despite previously taking pay cuts to help curb spending amid a pandemic, Ohio State’s football coaches are still in line for some hefty bonus paydays in the near future. Ryan Day makes out especially well, earning an additional $400,000 — $250,000 for making the CFP, $100,000 for winning the Big Ten, and $50,000 for winning the B1G East.
Ohio State football coaches remain eligible for performance bonuses this season despite taking temporary pay cuts earlier in the pandemic.— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) December 22, 2020
Here’s how much they stand to make after the Buckeyes clinched a playoff spot and Big Ten title over the weekend: https://t.co/o6NEDxEFXR
A savage tweet by the Cincinnati Bengals, and a savage hit by former OSU safety Vonn Bell.
From around the hardwood...
Ohio State mens basketball coach Chris Holtmann spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon ahead of the Buckeyes’ Big Ten tilt with Rutgers on Wednesday night. He spoke a little about Seth Towns, who made his OSU debut on Saturday against UCLA with his first two minutes of action in over two years. From the sound of it, we should expect Towns to really be eased into things as the season progresses.
Chris Holtmann said forward Seth Towns isn’t physically ready to play a significant number of minutes after he made his debut for Ohio State against UCLA on Saturday. He said it will be a game-by-game situation with Towns.— Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy) December 22, 2020
Holtmann also did not rule out the possibility of adding another non-conference game to the schedule, although he admits there is likely not too much room on the calendar to make it happen.
Chris Holtmann doesn't rule out Ohio State adding a non-conference game to its schedule: "I wouldn't completely close the door on it." He notes there's not many windows remaining to make it happen, though.— Colin Hass-Hill (@chasshill) December 22, 2020
When it comes to the game against the Scarlet Knights, Ohio State may catch a bit of a break, as Rutgers’ starting center Cliff Omoruyi will miss the contest with a knee injury.
Ohio State had trouble with Notre Dame's two dueling centers, and then allowed Purdue's Trevion Williams to go off for nearly a triple double. Rutgers' starting center is OUT for tomorrow's game. https://t.co/xdYlU9DIbG— Connor Lemons (@lemons_connor) December 22, 2020
The bad news from the hoops teams came on the women’s side, where the lady Bucks — alongside the women’s golf and fencing teams — are now facing a self-imposed postseason ban due to NCAA infractions. The announcement follows an NCAA investigation into former Ohio State women's basketball assistant coach Patrick Klein’s violation of sexual harassment policies. Klein resigned from his position in August of 2019.
Ohio State has self-imposed postseason bans for its women's basketball, women's golf and fencing programs for the 2020-21 season due to NCAA infractions: https://t.co/b9xUpWSaCl— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) December 22, 2020
From everywhere else...
The man who wanted to pack out a stadium during a pandemic, talked crap about Ohio State’s resumé and then lost to a terrible LSU team is now facing NCAA sanctions? Well, you just hate to see that.
NCAA places Florida football on probation, coach Dan Mullen given show-cause over recruiting violationshttps://t.co/y9O1vm1omS— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) December 22, 2020
Finally some good news in 2020, as Keyontae Johnson appears to be doing well!
I’ve long been a member of the #DwayneTrain and never felt like he got a fair shot in Washington, but this type of stuff is just indefensible. What are you doing, man?
Am told The Washington Football Team is aware of the social media posts with Dwayne Haskins at a strip club, allegedly after Sunday's game. They've been in contact with the league; Washington is handling internally. Do believe Rivera is trying to keep the focus on Carolina— John Keim (@john_keim) December 22, 2020
On a much lighter note... Christmas is in just three days!