I opened last Friday’s Buckeye Bits with the sentence, “What a crazy week it has been,” and while for drastically different reasons this time around, things are still pretty nuts — no pun intended... ok maybe a little — around the Ohio State beat.
Football is being played in January. Football is being played in October. Football is never being played again — honestly at this point who really knows? These past few days have just been a whirlwind of misinformation on social media. Everyone has “sources,” and somehow nobody’s source can actually agree on absolutely anything. This is an accurate depiction of what it has been like to enter the Ohio State blogosphere this week:
Wish me luck, I'm going back in. pic.twitter.com/6YhDVfwx1h— Bacon House (@Bacon_House) September 4, 2020
One of the more interesting developments this week has been the somewhat surprising (not in all cases) overt bias of which many writers have been presenting the news. Somewhere, somehow, long-time trusted journalists — you know, the ones who get PAID to write about college football — reporting the facts of what is going on has become “anti-football” and instead we are supposed to all err on the side of those with anonymous sources who are just saying the things we want to hear.
Listen, we all want Ohio State football this fall. Literally everyone on the planet — outside of maybe Alabama/Clemson fans — wants the Buckeyes to take the field. But we have to stop with all the “I know a guy who knows a guy who knows something,” crap. We here at LGHL are praying for a Big Ten season this fall just like the rest of you, but we will not get caught up in reporting on baseless claims to get everyone’s hopes up. Hope is incredibly important in times like these, but false hope does way more damage than good, and until we have concrete evidence that Ohio State football is back, we cannot in good faith tell you that it is just because somebody’s uncle’s cousin who talked to a B1G AD at Wendy’s says so.
Hopefully that time will come sooner rather than later, but until then let’s get to today’s headlines.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Where can Ohio State look for their 2022 quarterback target?
(Caleb Houser, LGHL)
The only constant throughout all of this nonsense has been Ohio State’s recruiting. Even amid a global pandemic and a cancelled football season, Ryan Day and his staff have been working their butts off on the trail, and the results are speaking for themselves.
Ohio State 2020 Virtual Season Preview: Week 1 vs. Buffalo Bulls
(George Eisner, LGHL)
There may or may not be a real football season for the Buckeyes this fall, but we are going to bring you one either way. George has done all the heavy lifting in putting together a virtual season via NCAA 14 and updated rosters, and the first game is streaming this Saturday at noon ET. Follow us on Twitch to check out the livestream, and let’s have some fun watching virtual Justin Fields and the gang as they take on Buffalo.
Surprisingly enough, the LGHL staff has other interests outside of just Ohio State sports — shocking, I know. Today, Tia put together the first ever LGHL Group Chat, our new series where we discuss what we’re up to in the absence of OSU football. While it could also feature some of our outside thoughts about things going on surrounding the Buckeyes, it can also include Netflix recommendations, what our favorite MLB/NHL/NFL teams are up to, and much more.
From around the gridiron...
Of the many big rumors floating around the Twitterverse on Thursday, one of the main ones centered around a supposed re-vote by the Big Ten presidents about reinstating the conference’s college football season, with a targeted return date of Oct. 10. Well, as of today that does not seem to be the case.
CBS’ Dennis Dodd reported yesterday that there is no immediate plan for any sort of meetings regarding a fall football season, and today we got even more news to the contrary. On Friday morning, Nebraska president Ted Carter confirmed that no meetings would be taking place that day.
Speaking at a panel discussion this morning, @UofNE_President Ted Carter disputes the reports of a Big Ten football vote today by pointing to @RonnieDGreen sitting in the same room. #Huskers— Kaleb Henry (@iKalebHenry) September 4, 2020
"Just know that there's no Council of Presidents and Chancellors meetings today." pic.twitter.com/fHSnuj5Ing
However, that does not mean that steps aren’t being taken towards a return to football. Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez said on Friday that medical officials within the conference are working to gather facts and put together a proposal to present to the Big Ten presidents and chancellors. While that information could certainly lead to the “re-vote” that was allegedly going to happen this weekend, it is unclear when that proposal will be finished.
#B1G's medical subcommittee still working on outlining benchmarks for return to competition. Once they do, can approach presidents. After the first vote, presidents want all information presented to be fully vetted and up to date. https://t.co/SX5pJ8F9G7— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) September 4, 2020
As I said previously, there has been far too much emotion put into peoples’ reporting in regards to this whole Big Ten fiasco, which has helped lead to a clouding of facts. However... this just seems like a really bad quote to me. While it is clear that a January season may be the most feasible outcome of all this, you cannot say that its, “the best you are going to do,” when the actual best case scenario is obviously playing this fall — you know, the thing that three of the Power 5 conferences are still doing.
-@ByPatForde: "I still think January is the way to go for the Big Ten and Pac-12. Play your schedule during a vacuum in the television schedule with rapid testing. Then you can have a Pac-12/Big Ten champion playing in the Rose Bowl in March. That’s the best you’re going to do.”— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) September 4, 2020
Meanwhile, today the Big 12 announced their COVID-19 thresholds needed to postpone football games. According to the conference, teams will need to have at least 53 healthy guys on the roster, including all scholarship players and walk-ons, in order to play. In addition, certain position groups have their own thresholds. Those are offensive linemen (7), interior defensive linemen (4), and quarterback (1).
The Big 12 has announced its postponement thresholds: pic.twitter.com/zilQmrV04R— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) September 4, 2020
Former Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones is making a name for himself at Denver Broncos practice as he heads into year two of his NFL career. Playing in 14 games as a rookie and starting in one of them, Jones compiled 14 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and an interception. His teammate Jurrell Casey — a five-time Pro Bowl DE — says he sees a little of himself in Jones, some high praise from a player of his caliber.
From around the hardwood...
Apparently its 2K Day, and while I haven’t personally been a huge fan of the basketball video game franchise over the past few years, this squad of Ohio State alumni is kinda fire. You get a talented backcourt with great handles and the ability to play at either guard spot from both Mike Conley and D’Angelo Russell, and a pair of high-scoring forwards in Keita Bates-Diop and Evan Turner. They just need to recruit themselves a center and they're ready to ball.
Ryan Day isn’t the only high-profile Ohio State coach rooting for a fall football season.
Trust me, I’m for good news like the rest of Buckeye Nation. https://t.co/b2e2pYwdBL— Chris Holtmann (@ChrisHoltmann) September 4, 2020
In regards to his own team, Holtmann may be getting some additional practice time in the near future.
Sources: The NCAA is considering allowing college basketball teams to work out on the court for up to eight hours a week instead of four, beginning in late September.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 4, 2020
An official decision could come soon.
From everywhere else...
In case you may have missed it, former Ohio State tennis player J.J. Wolf has gone on a Cinderella run at the U.S. Open. Upsetting Roberto Carballes Baena on Thursday, he has advanced into the third round in his first Grand Slam event. Wolf and his excellent flow will next take the court on Saturday, where he will face-off against No. 5 Daniil Medvedev.
If we can’t have the Chris Collinsworth slide, then what's even the point of all this!?
And finally, its time for our daily edition of “which large college program is suffering from a COVID outbreak today,” featuring special guest Texas Christian University.
TCU-SMU football game scheduled for Sept. 11 postponed by positive COVID-19 tests among TCU football players and staff.— Doug Lesmerises (@DougLesmerises) September 4, 2020
Have a great (and safe) Labor Day Weekend, everybody!