Archive for October, 2012

The Significance of Miami and Ohio

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

When the Ohio University Bobcats met the Miami University RedHawks at Yager Stadium in The Battle of the Bricks this past weekend, there were more important facts and statistics involved than Ohio’s ranking in the polls. Ohio….and I am talking about Ohio University, located in Athens, Ohio. The one from the Mid-American Conference. The one called the Bobcats. I know it’s difficult for some, uh, slower people to recognize that there’s a difference, but….Oh! So you’re saying he’s NOT stupid, but is in fact trying to get under our skin? Oh! Well, very well done, sir. Clever. You sure got us. Anyway…. Ohio University was ranked twice this year, at 25th in week 7 then at 23rd in week 8. Prior to this year, the Bobcats were last ranked for seven straight weeks in 1968. And that’s it. They were never ranked before that. No doubt they would have been ranked if the AP Poll existed in 1915, a year when the only blemish to their 8-1 record came at the hands of the Redskins of Miami (I still believe that when Miami changed their mascot it should have been to a redskin potato).

How about Miami? They have had far more success on the football field. Overall, Miami is 651-395-44, which compares favorably to Ohio’s 516-525-48. Miami is 7-3 in bowl games, compared to Ohio’s 1-5. Ohio’s lone bowl victory was against Utah State. Miami has defeated the likes of Texas Tech, Arizona State, and today’s fairly successful SEC teams South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Then, of course, Miami has seen some big names in the football world come through its program either as player or coach, including Clifton’s Woody Hayes, Barberton’s turncoat Bo Schembechler, Akron’s Ara Parseghian, Norwalk’s Paul Brown, Loudonville’s Ron Zook, Troy’s gone too soon Randy Walker, Toledo’s John Harbaugh, and Lima’s QB with a predilection (allegedly) for non-consensual sex Ben Roethlisberger. All Ohioans. They were champions four times in the Ohio Athletic Conference, three times in the Buckeye Conference, and fifteen times in the Mid-American Conference. They featured in the AP Poll in 1955, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, and 2003, being ranked as high as 10th in two different seasons.

So what is the greater significance of these two schools, one in which Ohio University leads the way? They are the first and second colleges founded in Ohio. Better than that, Ohio University was the first university established in the Northwest Territory and is the ninth oldest public university in the United States, being founded in 1804. It was conceived in the late 18th century, chartered as the American Western University in 1802, then founded one year after Ohio became the first state created out of the Northwest Territory, the 17th in all. Miami University, founded in 1809, is the tenth oldest public university in the United States. It was originally mentioned in an Act of Congress signed by President George Washington (therefore also in the 18th century), but was not passed by the Ohio General Assembly until 1809, and they didn’t get their first president until 1824, which was also when their first classes were held. The school closed in 1873, only to be re-opened in 1885 when it paid off its debts.

                    

So where do these two schools stand in the greater picture? Obviously there were colleges founded in the colonial era, including the Ivy League schools and others including The College of William and Mary and Rutgers. But, outside of the original colonies, where do they stand? I’m glad you asked. As far as I could tell, there were four colleges founded before Ohio University outside of the original colonies (if we’re counting the colonies as not including their western-stretching claims. West of the Appalachian Mountain Range, let’s say). Kentucky’s Transylvania University (1780) was the first college west of the Allegheny Mountains, and the 16th university in the United States. “Transylvania” means “across the woods”, and it was across the forest from Virginia in its Transylvania colony. Tennessee’s Tusculum College (1794) is the 23rd oldest operating college in the United States. The University of Tennessee (also 1794) was founded as Blount College two years before Tennessee became a state. In 1807 UT was rechartered as East Tennessee College. Finally, the University of Louisville (1798) was the first city-owned public university in the United States. It was founded as Jefferson Seminary, and didn’t actually open until 1813. Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

                    

Buckeye Ninja’s Official Top 25 Poll – Week 10

Monday, October 29th, 2012

When you’re as lazy and shiftless as we are, you end up watching a lot of college football on Saturdays. It’s pretty awesome. So Ye Olde Buckeye and The Buckeye Ninja have collaborated on a top 25 poll. The only thing we agreed on was Alabama at #1 and (strangely) Boise at #24. The points are just the average between our placements – for example YOB had Georgia #6 (20 points) and we had them at #9 (17 points) giving them their total of 37.

Trust us, We’ve got Excel spreadsheets and shit.

Any complaints about this or any of our other content can be brought up with Ye Olde Buckeye at his Twitter account. First-place votes are in parentheses.

 

2012 Buckeye Ninja Poll – Week 10 (Oct. 29)
Rank Team Total Points
1 Alabama (2) 50
2 Kansas St 47
2 (tie) Oregon 47
4 Ohio St 43
4 (tie) Notre Dame 43
6 Georgia 37
7 Florida 35
7 (tie) Oregon St 35
7 (tie) Florida St 35
10 LSU 33
11 Clemson 32
12 Stanford 25
13 Texas A&M 24
13 (tie) Mississippi St 24
15 South Carolina 22
16 Louisville 21
17 Oklahoma 17
17 (tie) Texas Tech 17
17 (tie) Nebraska 17
20 West Virginia 13
20 (tie) USC 13
22 UCLA 7
22 (tie) Louisiana Tech 7
24 Boise St 4
25 Northwestern 1
25 (tie) Arizona 1

Thoughts (Buckeye Ninja)we’re not convinced the SEC, outside of Alabama, is as dominant as it has been of late. Georgia, LSU, and South Carolina (even before Lattimore’s injury) seemed like good but flawed teams, but unfortunately all they’re doing right now is beating up on each other so it’s difficult to see where they stand compared to the rest of the country. Florida was – to us – by far the second best team in conference, but we couldn’t rank them ahead of Georgia after last weekend. We ranked Florida State and Clemson higher than YOB did, probably because we’re idiots. Brasky seems properly rated – around 15 or so, even though its defense can be a dumpster fire at times.

Also, looks like we need a third writer to break all these ties.

BBN Livechat – Penn State

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Get it on, right here.

Preview: Ohio State – Penn State

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Ohio State at Penn State
5:30 Eastern/3:30 Mountain (ESPN)

We have a bad feeling about this.

Before the season there were four or five games that looked to be more worrisome to the Fightin’ Buckeyes of the Olentangy than this one. PSU was seemingly in disarray, their football program disgraced and their star players being wooed by everyone from Lane Kiffin to Tim Brewster. It’s both a statement about the job Bill O’Brien has done and a statement about the level of football in the B1G that this game is as big as it is.

What we will be looking for on Saturday:

  1. Can the team avoid coming out slow as has been their habit this season?
  2. Will PSU be able to take a lead and grind out a win? Our feeling is that a shootout favors the Buckeyes.
  3. Is Braxton Miller healthy enough to play?
  4. Would it be too much to ask for one excellent defensive performance, beginning to end, and if so, can we get it the weekend after Thanksgiving? (Unlike certain other schools’ fan bases, we know who our rival is.)

Our guaranteed* score prediction: Buckeyes 24, Nittany Lions 21

*-all predictions true or your money back.

Thoughts On Penn State and Recruiting

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

So, those of us in the Buckeye Nation were informed recently that we have a rivalry with Penn State. Huh. Who knew? Penn State and wikipedia, apparently. I mean, I’ve had a general dislike of them since they entered into the Big Ten universe, but I never considered them to be anything other than a regular conference rival, like Indiana. Rivalry by proximity, I guess. Personally, and I know everyone has their own feelings on the subject, my ranking of Ohio State’s rivals goes as follows: 1) TTUN, 2) Wisconsin (I was there when Ron Dayne ran all over our field, and it hurt), 3) Illinois, 4) the rest of the Big Ten, led by Michigan State, Penn State, or whoever is good that year. I guess Purdue’s up there too since we’ve had some trouble with them lately. And their engineering program is just so damn good!

I used to think favorably of Penn State. I liked their history and tradition. I had a soft spot in my heart for Joe Paterno, and I wanted him to lead in all-time victories. He was little, old, and talked funny. What’s not to like? Then their fans (or, I should say, a small percentage of them) just became so obnoxious. Most of us have seen the video of the Ohio State fan being pelted with beer cans. I still didn’t hate their team much, just some of their fans. Then, after the whole Sandusky nightmare was brought to the world’s attention, I started to feel sorry for the majority of their fans, and of course for the victims. But do annoying fans, proximity, and only playing them 27 times in 100 years make for a big rivalry? I don’t think so. Maybe if we play them every year for the next 100 years.

There is one area where we have a rivalry: Recruiting. Both states are breeding grounds for high school football talent. Although we have each snatched players from the other’s state, neither school has a 2013 commitment from the other’s state yet. There are quite a few potential recruits who are undecided and currently considering both Ohio State and Penn State. Here’s some of their info (thanks to espn):

  • Robert Foster, PA – 88 (espn grade), 4 star, offers from both OSU & PSU
  • Dorian Johnson, PA – 88, 4 star, offers from both, guest at Nebraska-OSU game, decommitted from PSU
  • Laquon Treadwell, IL – 87, 4 star, offer from OSU
  • Derrick Green, VA – 86, 4 star, offers from both
  • David Williams, PA – 83, 4 star, offers from both
  • Alquadin Muhammad, NJ – 83, 4 star, offers from both
  • Corey Clement, NJ – 83, 4 star, offers from both
  • Donovan Munger, OH – 82, 4 star, offers from both, guest at Nebraska-OSU game
  • William Houston, OH – 75, 3 star, neither have offered, guest at Nebraska-OSU game
  • Corey Smith, OH – not ranked, offers from both

The Nebraska game was a really big day for recruiting for Ohio State, maybe second only to The Game. But this should be a pretty important one too. It would be really nice to put on a show for any of these potential recruits who make it to the game (or are watching on tv), like at the Nebraska game. Winning is, of course, the most important thing, but it would be nice if we could get away from the stressful, ugly play that almost hurt us in the last two games. 2014 recruit Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield, OH) went to the Purdue game and is still considering OSU and PSU. It would be really nice to put on a better offensive performance, but I would love to see a more commanding defensive performance like those we became accustomed to during the Tressel era. The recruits are watching, and it would be nice to win the game AND the recruiting rivalry.

Around the BuckeyeSphere

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Once a week or so (if we remember) we’ll take a brief tour of the articles some of our betters in the BuckeyeSphere have written, in the hopes that some of them will give us the Full Metal Jacket reach-around (FMJRA) in the future.

At The Buckeye Battle Cry Mali brings it (as always) with today’s Silver Bullet points. Read it.

Charles talks rugby at Our Honor Defend and comes to the same conclusion we did when we first watched rugby: Why don’t Americans like rugby more? In a just world rugby would replace hockey as our fourth most-important sport and Gary Bettman would then go suck it.

Dan at the Empire found ten things to hate about Penn State and he didn’t even have to go into their…recent unpleasantness. Being PSU it probably wasn’t too difficult.

MotSaG published their B1G power rankings and to be honest we have no beef with them.

Finally, 11w brings us a history lesson with the tale of the 1976 Ohio State-PSU matchup. It’s interesting reading about the way football was played in the days of the pharaohs.

Their 900 Wins

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Congratulations are in order. As much as I despise that stupid, stupid team from up north of Toledo somewhere, I think that it should be recognized that on Saturday, October 20, 2012, they became the first college football team to win 900 games. The nearly equally ugly folks at Michigan State could have and should have kept this milestone at bay for another week, but there it is. It’s in the books now. Whoopity doo.

One hundred and thirty-three years ago, this same team from that same school up north won its first game. It was a 1-0 victory over the now defunct Racine College Purple Stockings and was played at Chicago’s Grant Park on May 30, 1879. The “rugby-football” game was played in two 45-minute “innings”, and would be unidentifiable to today’s football fan. By one account, “…when one of them caught the ball he instantly passed it to a colleague nearer the enemy’s goal and they were only discomfited when they practiced Racine’s attempt to run with the ball dodging others.” Clearly Deenard Robinson was not playing, as they passed well and struggled to run with the ball. The second and final game of this season was played (in what sane persons would consider the following season) on November 1, 1879 against the University of Toronto. Played in Detroit, the game ended in a 0-0 tie. The Detroit Free Press announced approximately 500 attendees, while UM’s records shockingly list a figure three times as large. If my experience of sitting in the visitors’ section at the “big” house is any indication, then they probably stuffed those 500 fans into 450 seats. BURN! Considering the dominance exhibited by this 1-0-1 season, it is amazing that the pollsters did not reward TTUN with a national championship.

In 1880, TTUN recorded its first undefeated and untied season with a record of 1-0-0. They unleashed hell in a return match against the University of Toronto in their own backyard: The Toronto Lacrosse Club. This 13-6 drubbing was the worst slaughter on this site since the now famous 1872 Hamilton Thursday Gentleman’s Lacrosse Club victory over the East York School for Boys.

The wolverines would not look this silly again until they donned their corn and blue.

In 1881, TTUN recorded its first losing season. In fact, it was their worst season ever. Perhaps playing actual football for the first time, and certainly against quality opponents for the first time, they went 0-3-0 against the Ivy League’s best, and oldest schools.

The 1882 season was memorable for two terrible reasons. First, they did not lose a single game. Luckily, they also neither won nor tied any games, as they did not play anyone from another school that year. Second, this was the first year during which an Ohioan earned a varsity letter for treason. Yes sir, Mr Horace Prettyman from Stryker, Ohio played “rusher” for the wolverines. You heard me right: Prettyman. Seems rather appropriate to me. He is also remembered as winning the most varsity letters for football, having played for eight years in Ann Arbor.

I’m not sure how you earn a varsity letter in a year when you don’t play any other teams…

Other opponents in the early years include the Detroit Independents, Stevens Institute of Technology, Windsor (from Ontario), Peninsular Cricket Club, the Detroit Athletic Club, Ann Arbor High School, the Michigan Military Academy, Rush Lake Forest, Physicians and Surgeons-Chicago, and Grand Rapids High School.

A game that was not included in the official team statistics was an 1885 match against the Princess football team from Detroit. It was played on roller skates, on a roller rink. Seriously. TTUN won, as they excel at roller skating.

In 1890, they defeated the Purdue Boilermakers in the first match-up of future Big Ten schools. In 1892 they would play against five future Big Ten schools, going 2-3 against Wisconsin(w), Minnesota(l), Purdue(l), Northwestern(l), and Chicago(w). The foundations had been laid for the formation of the Western College Athletic League, later the Big Ten.

October 16, 1897 saw Ohio State lose to TTUN in the very first installment of The Game. Booooooooooo!

In 1901 they got a new head coach named Fielding Yost, won the first ever college football bowl game (a 49-0 Rose Bowl victory over Stanford), and won their first national championship (shared with Harvard and Yale).

Aaaaaaaaand at about this point I grow sick of this project. I quit. Congratulations stupid michigan. I hate you.

Sincerely,

Me

From the NDNS Archives: “We Are Penn State!” Speak For Yourselves

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

The following was originally posted at NDNS on October 17, 2006. Given this week’s opponent it seemed like a good time to bring it back. It’s kind of funny to see what a difference six years makes, and what a difference it sometimes doesn’t.

I’ve wanted to write something about this for awhile. Specifically, ever since I made a little trip to Pennsylvania about a year ago. I had one of my Ohio State shirts on – as is my habit, always feeling the need to represent The Ohio State University (est. 1870 in accordance with the Morrill Act of 1862) – and I was really surprised at the amount of vitriol that was slung my way that day.

Apparently Penn State fans think they have some sort of huge rivalry with The Ohio State University (est. 1870 in accordance with the Morrill Act of 1862.)

It’s sad to say, but the feeling is not mutual. Personally I hate Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Miami (a.k.a. either “The U” or “Thug University” depending on how many were involved in their latest on-field riot,) and even USC more than I hate Penn State. I think most Buckeye fans also feel this way.

As I watched That School Up North dominate Penn State on Saturday, I was reminded of this fact. There was never any question of who I wanted to win that game. That was also true when Notre Dame played the Nittany Lions. You can’t have a serious and heated rivalry with a team if you don’t have to do some serious soul searching when deciding whether or not to root for them.

I think the problem for Penn State is that their football program has been irrelevant for so long – I mean, before last season when was the last time they were really considered good let alone elite? I believe it was probably around 10-12 years ago when they featured the likes of Ki-Jana Carter and Kerry Collins. Discounting last season under the “even a stopped clock is right twice a day” theory, of course.

And it’s really sad news for a football program, if you ask me, that I sat in front of the television Saturday night and openly mocked Joe Paterno as his quarterback was being pummeled time and again, “That ain’t Kerry Collins you’ve got back there.”

I mean, really. Kerry Collins?

When that’s the best quarterback to come out of your football program in the last twenty years, you’ve got problems. And much more serious problems than ol’ JoePa’s inability to control his bodily functions.

Of course, the decline of Penn State probably was set in motion when they left the ranks of the independents and joined the Big Eleven Ten. Once again, outside of last season and the Kerry Collins Era, the sledding got much tougher for them when they started having to play six-to-eight games against quality opponents. No longer could they schedule three-quarters of their games against cupcakes (Indiana, Northwestern, and Illinois not included.) No, they had to play with the big boys, and all of a sudden ten win seasons turned into eight win seasons. And in college football that’s a huge difference.

One of the teams responsible for that extra loss or two per season? None other than the Fightin’ Buckeyes of the Olentangy, representing The Ohio State University (est. 1870 in accordance with the Morrill Act of 1862.) Not to mention That School Up North, with whom I’m sure Nittany Lion fans have also deluded themselves into believing they had a major rivalry.

Long story short, and you’ll have to forgive me for rambling as I haven’t written a substantive blog post in ages, Penn State is – at best -a second-tier rival to the Killer Nuts compared to the really heinous football programs out there.

Plus that little “kitty roar” sound they play in their stadium after big plays is stupid.

The Ninja Soapbox – Just When We Think Everything’s Fine…

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Someone writes a post like this, we go cross-eyed, and our blood pressure shoots through the roof.

One of the reasons our writing kind of tapered off the last year or two was a general frustration with the attitude displayed in the linked article – an attitude that seems to be prevalent among many who write about sports, even from a fan’s perspective. There seems to be a desire among many people to delineate which fans root for their teams properly and which need re-education in The Proper Way To Cheer Your Team.

Yes, some fans can be negative nancies. We would almost certainly fall into that category, to be honest. Maybe we have a reason to be. Maybe that’s just the way we choose to follow our team. Our negativity does not impact anyone else’s enjoyment of the game beyond the people who make a deliberate choice to read what we write or be in our physical presence as the game goes on. And those people probably associate with us because of our insightful takes and- no, sorry, we couldn’t finish that sentence because we were drowning in BS.

In the grand scheme of things, every team has mega-asshole fans who couldn’t find reason or perspective if it were their ass and they had both hands and a flashlight. But those fans are a tiny, tiny minority* – even in State College – and spending more than a couple paragraphs wringing our hands and wishing they weren’t mega-assholes is affording them more attention than they’ve really earned.

* – for example, early in the baseball season there was a minor flap when Mat Latos’ wife @DallasLatos received a couple Tweets from idiot fans telling her Mat sucked, etc. etc. Everyone was wringing their hands over this boorish fan behavior, so out of curiosity we checked her timeline and saw the following. Maybe two Tweets everyone was in an uproar over (no exaggeration) and thousands of Tweets from Reds fans saying some form of “we’re not all idiots like that”. So, much ado about nothing? 2 idiot fans, 10,000 rational ones. Who gets the attention? Yeah.

Did you like that Posnanski-esque aside? We thought you might.

The point is that we believe people would be happier if they’d ignore the way other people cheered for their team. Sure, report the Nittany Lion fans people who lob bags of urine at opposing team’s fans. Mock the idiots – like we did at the Nebraska game – who yell obscenities at visiting fans that are just minding their own business trying to cheer on their guys. But getting on your own fans for voicing their opinion or being too negative/positive? That’s going too far, in our editorial opinion.

THUS HAS IT ALWAYS BEEN, THUS SHALL IT EVER BE.

BBN LiveChat – Purdue

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

This is where we get together and gripe about the defense, the offense, the play calling, the officiating, the play-by-play, the sharpness settings on our tvs, and just about everything in between.

It’s fun.