Happy Wednesday! Only six more days until this goshforsaken month is over with and we enter a month filled with sports, sports and more sports! (Assuming all goes to plan.)
July can't come soon enough:— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 24, 2020
➖ NBA season resumes July 30
➖ MLB season starts July 24
➖ NFL training camps open late July
➖ NHL projected to resume late July
➖ MLS season resumes July 8
➖ WNBA season starts July 24
(via @NBA) pic.twitter.com/fSEctl93KF
And don’t forget TBT 2020 begins on July 4 as well.
And don’t forget to continue social distancing and wearing masks if you actually want any of said sports to happen.
Now, here’s what I’ve got for you from around the Ohio State beat and beyond.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Gene Ross, LGHL
Sure, returning a Heisman-worthy quarterback is great, but he’s nothing without the big guys up front. And luckily for Justin Fields, he may have one of the best offensive lines in program history protecting him this season.
While there’s an overwhelming confidence in the Buckeyes’ offensive line this season, the same can’t be said about the secondary. After losing three out of four starters, the DB room is now relatively inexperienced, raising a lot of questions as to how and if the new guys can seize their moment. It’ll be up to Shaun Wade and Josh Proctor to lead the way, and for the others to step into bigger roles whether they’re ready for it or not.
Gene Ross, LGHL
On Tuesday, the No. 7 WDE in the 2022 class, the no. 8 player in Florida and the No. 79 recruit in the nation overall released his Top 12 schools, which included Buckeyes.
From around the gridiron...
Now we’re at 40,000-50,000 fans.
Gene Smith on fans at Ohio Stadium: “We’re adhering to the guidelines of our state and the CDC. Now I’m hopeful, as we get closer to potentially playing this fall, that that six-foot distancing would be reduced to another number that might get us up to maybe 40,000-50,000 fans.”— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) June 24, 2020
About a month or so ago, OSU athletic director Gene Smith said that he expects there to be anywhere from 20,000 to 22,000 fans in the stands this fall, with 50,000 being the max. On Tuesday, he announced that the max of 50,000 may, in fact, be a possibility.
Here’s my guess: I don’t think any fans will be in the stands this fall.
Dan Hope, Eleven Warriors
Ohio State is scheduled to play home-and-home series against some of the top schools in the country over the next seven seasons, and they’ve made it clear that we can expect the Buckeyes to continue playing the best of the best for the rest of the foreseeable future.
So, Hope put together a list of eight potential non-conference opponents that should be at the top of Ohio State’s list when scheduling for future regular seasons, including Clemson, LSU, Florida and others.
Patrick Murphy, Bucknuts
Find me a CFB analyst who does not believe Ohio State is one of college football’s four big dogs.
Brad Crawford, Bucknuts
Yep, Michigan is listed as one of the 10 teams who will not make the playoff but will decide whether or not its big brothers— Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State— do.
Nathan Baird, cleveland.com
Ohio State is ranked No. 1 in a multitude of publications’ preseason rankings, which is good news on paper. However, according to Baird, it’s more of a curse. Few preseason No. 1s actually end up winning the national championship in the end. But, with Ohio State’s veteran leadership and coaching staff this season, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t break that streak this time around.
Benjamin Raven, mlive.com
Despite not having worked out with the team in person yet, former Ohio State offensive lineman Jonah Jackson is officially a Detroit Lion.
From around the hardwood...
Another Buckeye named to Big Ten All-Decade Team.
.@thekidet’s impressive career in Scarlet & Gray earned him the National Player of the Year award in 2010 and his No. 21 jersey retired by @OhioStateHoops. #BTNAllDecade | 1st Team pic.twitter.com/SnCfrjEVBY— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) June 24, 2020
Former Ohio State forward Evan Turner was named to the Big Ten’s All-Decade First Team on Wednesday. Turner is joined on the first team by Michigan guard Trey Burke and Michigan State forward Draymond Green.
As a junior in the 2009-10 season, Turner averaged 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and six assists per game, and was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, the national player of the year, first-team All-Big Ten and first-team All-American.
Other Buckeyes to join the All-Decade team include former Ohio State point guards Aaron Craft and D’Angelo Russell, who were named to the All-Decade third team, and big man Jared Sullinger, who was on the All-Decade second team.
The conference will announce the player and coach of the decade later this week.
Keaton Maisano, The Lantern
Now that the Wesson bros—who accounted for over half of Ohio State’s scoring production from a year ago— are off doing bigger and better things, Maisano breaks down each returning player and how they can make up for the loss of the duo.
From everywhere else...
The noose was there since last fall?
Breaking: The FBI has determined that Bubba Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime and that a pull rope fashioned like a noose had been on a garage door at Talladega since as early as last fall, NASCAR said Tuesday. https://t.co/D5mLTZHgVC— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 23, 2020
Nonetheless, it was a noose.
“It was a noose that, whether tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose,” Wallace told CNN. “It wasn’t directed at me, but somebody tied a noose, that’s what I’m saying. It is a noose.”
NASCAR president Steve Phelps said NASCAR would continue its investigation as to why the rope was fashioned into a noose, regardless of when it was done.
Breaking News: The New York City Marathon, the world’s largest, has been canceled this year amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus https://t.co/ZBCMVxKxJz— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 24, 2020
My heart goes out to those who have been training for this marathon for months or even years. I will never, ever know how that feels...and I never plan to learn.