Welcome to Buckeye Bits, our daily news roundup of all things Ohio State. It’s Tuesday, which means it has been officially one week since the Big Ten decided to cancel the 2020 fall season, and still we are left with way more questions than answers.
Personally, I am in the camp that the conference’s decision will ultimately end up being the right one, but the way it has been handled from start to finish has been wholly incorrect. Even if you fully believe you could not safely play football at this time, there is absolutely no reason the season could not have been postponed until the end of September, giving you additional time to figure things out and hope the country’s handling of the pandemic improves in that time — even as unlikely as that appears.
It has also become a PR nightmare for the Big Ten. Outside of a brief interview B1G commish Kevin Warren gave on the day of the announcement — solely on the conference’s own network, I might add — there has been zero transparency as to what led to the cancellation. Despite immense backlash from players, parents, and of course fans, it has been crickets from the Big Ten. Justin Fields’ petition and letters from parents of players at the conference’s major institutions, including Ohio State, have — to this point — been totally ignored.
So, as I said before, even if this decision winds up being the correct one, the Big Ten could not have screwed things up anymore than they already have. With every day that passes without additional information or transparency, the hole the conference has dug itself continues to get deeper. With that spiel out of the way, let’s get to today’s headlines.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Could Ohio State get a BOOM today?
(Dan Hessler, LGHL)
While the main question of Dan’s recruiting piece this morning has already been answered, which we will get to in a second, he also provided additional information regarding Ohio State’s recruitment of four-star power forward Mason Miller — the son of former two-time NBA champion Mike Miller. Plus, a bunch of Ohio State targets and commits saw their ratings increase in the latest Rivals 2022 class rankings.
BOOOOM! 2022 athlete Dasan McCullough commits to Ohio State
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)
As I previously alluded to, the Buckeyes picked up a huge commitment today with 2022 athlete Dasan McCullough announcing he will be playing his college ball in Columbus. The announcement was certainly not a surprise, as he and fellow Ohio State commit C.J. Hicks have developed a strong relationship, which likely influenced his decision. McCullough is the fifth commit for Ryan Day in the 2022 cycle, and while being listed as an athlete, he projects as a linebacker at the next level, making him already the third LB to join the group. More on him later.
Coach Earle Bruce’s magic touch against Michigan
(Jim Baird, LGHL)
Over the past few months, Jim has taken us through the timeline of all the head coaches to lead Ohio State through the years. This week, he is up to the 20th head coach of the 24 in the school’s history: Earle Bruce. Coaching the Buckeyes for nine seasons, Bruce compiled an overall record of 81-26-1, but was best known for racking up five wins over Michigan in that span — which, at the time, was the most wins over the Wolverines by any OSU coach not named Woody Hayes.
From around the gridiron...
What Dasan McCullough’s commitment means for OSU’s 2022 recruiting class
(Zack Carpenter, Eleven Warriors)
Just because everyone expected McCullough to choose Ohio State today doesn’t make it any less of a big deal. This kid can ball. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound athlete has compiled over 43 scholarship offers — and he’s only still a junior in high school. What makes McCullough so special is his wide-ranging skillset. He has the size and speed to play anywhere from safety to linebacker, which his why he’s drawn comparisons to former Clemson star Isaiah Simmons. The Buckeyes plan to use him as a Sam linebacker, where he will get to do everything from stopping the run and blitzing to dropping back into coverage.
Still not convinced? Check out McCullough’s highlight tape from his sophomore (SOPHOMORE) season at Blue Valley North in Kansas.
While we’re throwing out praise for McCullough, we must also recognize the work that is being done by linebackers coach Al Washington. After Ryan Day pillaged the young assistant from Michigan’s staff, he was able to turn around a unit that was dreadful in 2018 and make them a strength in 2019. Now, he is dominating on the recruiting trail, helping to land McCullough alongside the top two players in Ohio in the 2022 cycle in LBs Gabe Powers and C.J. Hicks. As a result, he's currently the No. 1 recruiter in 247Sports’ rankings for the 2022 class.
Ohio State LBs coach Al Washington (@CoachWash56) is ranked as the No. 1 recruiter in the 2022 class by 247Sports.— Zack Carpenter (@Zack_Carp) August 18, 2020
He has helped secure the commitments of three linebackers (C.J. Hicks, Gabe Powers, Dasan McCullough) and offensive tackle Tegra Tshabola:https://t.co/B1sjvg5Xej
Hey, remember that guy Chase Young? You know, the one who was without question the best player in all of college football last season as he racked up 16.5 sacks, got invited to the Heisman Trophy ceremony as a purely defensive player and then went on to be the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft? Yea, I think he’s gonna be just fine at the next level...
Chase Young rag-dolling offensive linemen is an Ohio State tradition he's brought to Washington. pic.twitter.com/OsK9twif5N— RJ Young (@RJ_Young) August 18, 2020
In case you wanted any more fuel added to the fire that is the Big Ten’s cancellation of their fall season, today Ohio governor Mike DeWine ruled that all high school sports, including football, could move forward as scheduled this season. Which means, as things currently stand, Ohio high schools, Cincinnati, the Bengals and the Browns will all be on the field this fall, but Ohio State will not be. Pain.
Gov. Mike DeWine is officially allowing sports to go this fall: "Our order will provide that all sports may go forward this fall with contact and non-contact sports."— Matt Goul (@mgoul) August 18, 2020
Current football status in PA & OH— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) August 18, 2020
✅ Ohio HS Football
❌ Ohio State
✅ Ohio State campus, 60k students
✅ PA HS Football (currently)
❌ Penn State
✅ Penn State campus, 54k students
From around the hardwood...
As our eyes begin to shift from college football to college basketball in the realm of pandemic land, it is still unclear what the plan will be for the return to hoops action. The NCAA expects to come to some sort of a decision as to when the season will begin sometime in mid-September, where, as Andy Katz lays out, the association can either choose to start on time, delay until the weekend before Thanksgiving, or move it back all the way until the beginning of December.
I say it time and time again: Ohio State basketball’s throwback jerseys just hit different.
From everywhere else...
If you went to bed at a reasonable hour and weren’t up watching a baseball game that you had no real rooting interest in between the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers, then you may have missed the boomers getting mad about one of the game’s young superstars being good at baseball. Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a grand slam on a 3-0 count with his team already leading 10-3 in the 8th inning, and Rangers manager Chris Woodward was mad the he violated some “unwritten rule” by not taking the pitch.
I love the game of baseball, but the old folks who get mad at the younger generation for showing out and having some fun just completely ruin the sport for everyone else. If you don't want to get blown out, maybe you should have pitched better.
Fernando Tatis Jr. smacked a grand slam on a 3-0 count with a big lead, leading to criticism from both managers.— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) August 18, 2020
What do you think about this unwritten rule in baseball?
Unwritten rules are unwritten because when you write them down it exposes how truly stupid they are. https://t.co/9cDVXTeSj3— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 18, 2020
With everything going on in 2020, this suggestion is becoming increasingly difficult.
Men should consume no more than one alcoholic drink a day, according to a federal committee’s recommendations for new U.S. dietary guidelines https://t.co/azBw06DDdV— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) August 18, 2020
This is what life could look like right now if we had taken COVID seriously from the jump. Wuhan is having massive pool parties, while we can’t even have college football.
.@CNNTravel: It was ground zero in the coronavirus pandemic. Now, Wuhan appears to have moved on from the virus, as thousands gathered in an open air water park for a music festival – without any masks or social distancing in sight. @Nectar_Gan has more. https://t.co/77AqanVWyI— CNN Asia Pacific (@cnnasiapr) August 18, 2020