What is this feeling, so sudden and new? What is my face doing? I feel like there are sunshine and rainbows emanating from inside my being. My face is doing this odd thing where the corners of my mouth are turning upwards. I feel like I’ve felt these things before, but it has been so long. What is going on?
Oh wait, is this that thing called happiness that I’ve heard used to exist in the before times? I like this feeling, I hope it sticks around.
For the second day in a row, Ohio State Buckeye fans have reason to be happy. First, the Big Ten announced that football was back, and then in the course of 24 hours, Wyatt Davis and Shaun Wade — likely both future first rounders — announced that they intend to rejoin their team after initially declaring themselves eligible for the draft.
There are still some hoops to jump through (which we will get into below), but it is really freaking cool to be happy and optimistic about something again. We will discuss all of this and more in this Thursday edition of Buckeye Bits!
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Ohio State makes five-star corner’s top-10, NCAA extends dead period
In addition to the regular recruiting stuff that we talk about in State Secrets, I also mentioned the two potential All-Americans that Ryan Day needed to make sure that he got on his roster for the fall if he wants to have his best chance at a national title.
While we still have to wait on some things to become official, especially in the case of Wyatt Davis, so far Day is two for two.
12-for-12: Ohio State’s Perfect Season: Game 4 vs. Maryland
Gene Ross, LGHL
I guess we are going to continue this even though the Buckeyes are playing for real now, but either way, Gene’s doing a great job putting together these look-back columns, so check it out.
How will Kaleb Wesson’s absence impact Kyle Young?
Connor Lemons, LGHL
Even if you haven’t started thinking about college basketball yet, you should click on this article just to see the Photoshop job done for the header image.
Ohio State football is back and that’s bad news for Dabo Swinney
Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL
I don’t think that there’s anyone in college football that I dislike as much as Dabo Swinney.
Also Gene Ross, LGHL
Speaking of Photoshop work, you should check out this masterpiece as well.
From around the gridiron...
Ohio State football team still awaiting word on Wyatt Davis, Shaun Wade: Ryan Day radio show update
Nathan Baird, cleveland.com
In his first call-in show after the Big Ten’s announcement that there would be football this fall, Ryan Day talked about what it will look like for his team to get ready to go 100 percent, what’s going on with all of the team’s position groups, and the importance of getting back difference-makers like Davis and Wade.
At the time, only Davis had confirmed his desire to return to the Buckeyes, but of course we now know that Wade will be joining him for one last go-around as well. It is difficult to over-emphasize how important the quick return of both players is for OSU. While there is always a plethora of talent in Columbus waiting for its opportunity to step up, both corner and offensive guard are positions where there is a noticeable lack of experience for the Buckeyes. Having these two studs back will be huge for the team’s drive for a national title.
Day also mentioned that his team will work up to their first padded-practice on Sept. 30, which will also be the day that the daily antigen testing begins. Despite a nearly two-week ramp up, the team is able to begin practicing 20-hours per week immediately. (I will also resume my column-a-day project on the last day of the month as well.)
The head coach also broke down the status of his running back room, since nearly everybody in Tony Alford’s unit is dealing with some sort of injury. Day praised Master Teague’s impressive effort coming back from an Achilles injury. He also said that Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon — who became the first new Buckeye to get his black stripe removed this fall — has “done everything we’ve asked him to do since he’s been here.”
Day also mentioned that Steele Chambers and Miyan Williams will be in the discussion for reps as well. The only negative about the RB room at this point is that Day said that Marcus Crowley is still working to be healthy enough to practice following an ACL tear.
The Playoff and players: Two more questions raised by Big Ten’s return to play
Bruce Feldman, The Athletic (paywall)
Out of respect, I always try not to spoil articles behind paywalls, but I do want to break down some of the broad strokes information in Feldman’s piece. In talking with folks on and around the College Football Payoff Committee, Feldman said that it is likely too early to make any declarations about how the late-October start will impact a Big Ten team’s likelihood to be selected for the football final four. However, the only real requirement for consideration is that they must be bowl eligible, and I feel pretty comfortable in assuming Ohio State can accomplish that this season.
Feldman also broke down the presumed processes for players to be able to return to their teams after declaring for the draft, and even signing with an agent. It seems that Wade would have the smoothest path, since he has stated that he has not yet signed with an agent. Davis, however, reportedly has.
But, considering that the Big Ten commissioner said publicly that the decision to cancel the fall season would not be revisited, many believe that should give Davis — and others in his situation — ample leverage to earn NCAA approval, should they do everything else to maintain their eligibility.
Ohio State boasts a confident, motivated Justin Fields in 2020
Patrick Murphy, 247Sports
While I know that they will never admit it, I feel pretty comfortable in saying that there are probably more than a handful of Big Ten coaches and coordinators who were secretly happy that they wouldn’t have to face Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields ever again.
However, now that B1G football is back, and Fields has reportedly become he type of leader befitting his absurd level of talent, I would not want to be anyone tasked with trying to stop him and the stacked OSU offense this fall.
Former Buckeye will miss at least the next three games on the IR.
The Vikings have placed starting RG Pat Elflein on injured reserve, per source.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 17, 2020
Mid-American Conference considering fall restart
Nicholas Piotrowicz and David Briggs, The Blade
When the Big Ten announced that they were canceling their fall football season on Aug. 11, we all know that they expected all of the other conferences to follow suit. However, as we saw, that did not happen. But, now that they are planning on coming back, they might be proving to be the leaders that they originally imagined themselves to be after all.
With word that the Pac-12 is working on a way to play this fall, it now looks like the B1G’s little brother — the MAC — might be on its way back to the field as well. While I would have loved to see some spring MACtion, if we get that crazy brand of football in the late fall, I certainly won’t be upset.
Well, you’ve gotta admire his honesty.
James Franklin, being blunt on Penn State's Class of 2021 recruiting so far: "I want to be clear on this, that this class is not done, but up to this point, we haven't gotten it done. We have not recruited up to the standard that we normally have."— Greg Pickel (@GregPickel) September 17, 2020
From around the hardwood...
The 2020 Battle 4 Atlantic has officially been cancelled.
I can confirm that the teams scheduled to participate in the 2020 Battle 4 Atlantis are still slated to play each other in an event under a different name that will be held in SDakota. The field: #Buckeyes, Duke, Memphis, West Virginia, Wichita State, Utah, Texas A&M & Creighton.— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) September 17, 2020
Despite the fact that Chris Holtmann’s squad aren’t going to get to spend a week in the Bahamas this fall, they will get the unbelievable honor of spending a few days in the home of Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, and the Black Hills. Who could want anything else in November and/or December?
From everywhere else...
Bah gawd, that’s college football’s music!
Is @OhioSt_Drumline rehearsing in B Deck today??? pic.twitter.com/sqJ7vIC3Ep— The Ohio State University Marching Band (@TBDBITL) September 17, 2020
Golf is dumb.
HOW?!— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) September 17, 2020
Incredible putt by @ZachJohnsonPGA at the 1st. #USOpen pic.twitter.com/nVV0VwZOXx
Happy Birthday, Ohio Agricultural & Mechanical College!!!
On this day in 1873, 24 students attended the first classes at Ohio Agricultural & Mechanical College (later @OhioState). The college had one (unfinished) academic building – University Hall. Truly incredible to consider how far we’ve come. Happy Founder’s Day, Buckeyes! #TBT pic.twitter.com/iMR4AqIQ2x— Kristina M. Johnson (@PresKMJohnson) September 17, 2020
And now for something completely different...
From playing dozens of characters on “Orphan Black” to playing Bruce Banner’s cousin on “She-Hulk”
EXCLUSIVE: @tatianamaslany lands title role in new Marvel series #SheHulk https://t.co/mbrxLyouWE— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) September 17, 2020
I love Tatiana Maslany. I was obsessed with “Orphan Black” and think that her one Emmy win for playing dozens of roles was nowhere near enough. I’ve seen her twice on stage; once on Broadway, and once off.
I have no doubt that she will be an incredible addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a role that is probably more comedic than what we have seen from most Marvel heroines thus far. I was already excited for Jennifer Walters to come to the screen, but this one has shot up towards the top of my anticipation list.