Happy Monday and welcome back to Buckeye Bits. In today’s edition, I have for you some rather mood-killing info about the upcoming season (in terms of will there be an upcoming season?) along with some other analyses and articles that proceed as though there will be, without a doubt, a football season this fall. A perfect mixture of fantasy land and the harsh, probable reality! Enjoy.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Gene Ross, LGHL
Trap games are no stranger to Ohio State. Virginia Tech, Purdue, Iowa, to name a few recent ones. And while Ryan Day and his 2019 Buckeyes seemed unstoppable (because they were), this season may be a bit different. Scratch that— it will be a bit different. With minimum fans in the stands and an overall different game atmosphere, teams who would otherwise not have a chance in Hell to beat the playoff-bound Buckeyes suddenly have an edge. Combine that with the possibility of the Bucks looking ahead to a more challenging game, and you have yourself the perfect recipe for an upset. Gene takes a stab at which team he believes might catch the Buckeyes on an off-day.
Meredith Hein, LGHL
As you should know by now (I hope), Christopher Columbus was not the heroic, brave, revolutionary-America-founder that our second grade teachers said he was. As Meredith explains, “Columbus the explorer led the rape, pillage and plunder of native peoples in his quest for gold to send back to Spain. Plus, he brought measles, smallpox and other plagues that wiped out millions of native peoples who had no immunity. Columbus is also implicated in being an impetus for the transatlantic slave trade.”
Yeah, he’s not the kinda guy you should name a city after. So, a lot of other names have been suggested to replace the capital of Ohio’s name. “Flavortown” is a popular one (thousands have signed a petition for it) due to the fact that “it honors Central Ohio’s proud heritage as a culinary crossroads and one of the nation’s largest test markets for the food industry,” and secondly, Guy Fieri was born in Columbus, Tyler Woodbridge, the creator of the petition, said.
Meredith, however, has a much better and dignified suggestion— Owens, Ohio— named after Jesse Owens who is an Olympian, a hero, a Black man, the grandson of a slave, and just an absolute legend. We should be damn proud to have him associated with our city and it just makes flipping sense to honor him by getting rid of the racist murderer’s name and renaming our city after Owens.
Jim Baird, LGHL
Next up in our podcast series “I Want to Go Back,” Jim takes you back to 1920— Ohio State’s first Rose Bowl which came after a brutal conference schedule.
Matt Tamanini, LGHL
Um guys... over 20 Clemson players and coaches have tested positive for COVID-19, Texas had 13, and other schools are bound to report similar numbers over the next few weeks. A fall without football is increasingly likely, and as Matt writes, you should probably accept that fact now. It’ll hurt less once its officially announced.
From around the gridiron...
Dave Biddle, Bucknuts
Matt is not the only one concerned about the 2020 season. The people who literally make up college football are concerned as well. On ESPN’s Get Up on Monday, analyst Laura Rutledge explained what players across the country have been saying.
She said, from what she’s been hearing, that there are many more cases in CFB that the public does not know about and she is getting much more of a sense of concern from the players and the players’ parents that wasn’t there a couple of weeks ago.”
Griffin Strom, BuckeyeGrove
But hey, we will continue on as if there is going to be a season because, well, there’s nothing else to write about. So, if there is a season this fall, Griffin writes about which seniors on offense need to have their “Damon Arnette” senior year (if you will) if they want a shot in the league.
Frank Teriaca, Scarlet And Game
In case you missed it, Ohio State added Alabama to its schedule for the 2027 and 2028 seasons, along with several other big non conference games to look forward to. Let’s just say no one can argue against Ohio State’s strength of schedule for the next decade.
Nathan Baird, Cleveland.com
In Cleveland.com’s Buckeye Talk Podcast, Nathan Baird, Doug Lesmerises, and Stephen Means chat about who they predict will lead the Buckeye defense in interceptions.
Colin Hass-Hill, Eleven Warriors
The defensive end room arguably suffered the greatest loss when Chase Young left for the NFL Draft. Replacing someone as dominant as the now-Redskins DE is not an easy feat. Hass-Hill writes about the shoes that Jonathon Cooper, Tyreke Smith, Zach Harrison and the others in the room must fill and whether or not they have what it takes.
ESPN insider Brad Edwards agrees with Gene.
The Big Ten favorite is easy to identify, but Ohio State's road might be a good bit tougher than it was last season. https://t.co/jsmolL6mHW— Brad Edwards (@JBradEdwards) June 22, 2020
As Gene wrote and I recapped above, Ohio State’s schedule has quite a few match ups with upset potential this season. Edwards has Ohio State as the conference champion, but if the Buckeyes aren’t careful, other teams have the potential to catch up and even overtake them.
From around the hardwood...
Thomas joins Carmen’s Crew.
Ohio State’s alumni TBT team, Carmen’s Crew, announced on Saturday their newest addition for this year’s tournament— former OSU forward Deshaun Thomas. He is the team’s eighth Buckeye to join.
“Thomas’ addition to the team makes sense from an on-court perspective, as he gives the Buckeyes some much-needed versatility on the wing, but he’s also a good fit personally, as he’s played with every other former Ohio State player on the roster,” Kevin Harrish of Eleven Warriors writes.
I miss Aaron Craft.
One of the best defensive players ever, and, he was more than just good D. Our expert panel elected Buckeye stud Aaron Craft as a 3rd Team All Decade member. Videos include his career in recap style, and an interview with him https://t.co/JsLzzX28iS— Mike Hall (@BTNMikeHall) June 22, 2020
The Big Ten Network announced its All-Decade Teams for men’s basketball and football, and Ohio State star Aaron Craft made the All-Decade third team. Click the link in BTN’s tweet to watch their interview with Craft and why they chose the former Buckeye.
From everywhere else...
"This is the tipping point. There's no going back. There's no inching forward. The time is now."— ESPN (@espn) June 22, 2020
Stars from the sports and entertainment worlds say it's time to step up and do their part to make this country better. pic.twitter.com/Fttyl8to0v
ESPN tweeted out an incredibly powerful video on Sunday which features Black athletes speaking out and expressing their thoughts and experiences regarding George Floyd, the protests and the racism in the world today. Former Ohio State safety Malcolm Jenkins, who has been using his platform to fight racial injustice for years, leads the video off with a story about why he began his efforts to fight for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Columbus will not be the NHL hub city.
I bet if we were named Owens, Ohio they would have picked us.
Again, don’t put all your money on a 2020-21 football season.
Iowa set to pause ticket sales by June 30.— David Eickholt (@DavidEickholt) June 22, 2020
"Only individuals who have renewed season tickets and completed per-seat contributions by June 30 will be included in potential Kinnick Stadium seating plans."
And if there is a season somehow, I really...really doubt fans will be present.