Posts Tagged ‘Ohio State’

2011 New Year’s Resolutions Around the Gridiron

We have been gone for a few days, squeezing out the last of the holiday festivities before getting back to reality.  As we head into 2011, we have made our list of resolutions, hoping to accomplish at least a few of the things we long to do this coming year! 

In that spirit, we offer the following New Year’s resolutions for some of our favorite (and not so favorite) football-related individuals and others from 2010.

Mike Shanahan

I resolve to faithfully read the “Miss Manners” advice column so I can learn the meaning of respect and apply it to those around me, particularly legendary quarterbacks who have earned it. 

I resolve to go to my local Barnes & Noble to purchase “Coaching Football for Dummies” in hopes that I can learn SOMETHING useful to salvage my professional career.

The New York Jets

We resolve to hire Strength and Conditioning coaches who work on OUR players and not the other team’s players.

We resolve to recognize that women are more than just Barbie Dolls and can actually contribute to sports.

Brett Favre

I resolve to get rid of my cell phone.

I resolve to take the hint from the injuries Gods and finally retire for REAL.

Randy Moss

I resolve to keep all thoughts about the superb abilities of former coaches and teammates tucked away securely in my head, especially during post-game press conferences.

I resolve to keep all comments regarding catered foods and canines to myself.

Roger Goodell

I resolve to keep Vince Lombardi from turning in his grave by never postponing games due to snow and wind.

I resolve to keep the word “Wussie” from ever being associated with the NFL again.

I resolve to keep the NFL from turning into the National Flag League by concentrating on REAL player safety issues instead of legitimate hard hits.

Cam Newton

I resolve to never listen to my father’s advice.

I resolve to take lots of pics with my Heisman, since I will undoubtedly be returning it within the next few years.

Ohio State

We resolve to stop being an NFL player factory and at least APPEAR to provide an education.

We resolve to duct tape our President’s mouth whenever he attempts to discuss football.

Eli Manning

I resolve to stop giving the camera that Gomer Pyle  “Gaaw-aawl-ly” look when I throw an interception.

I resolve to call my big brother and get advice on how to transform my naïve country boy persona into one fitting a New York quarterback.

NCAA

We resolve to fairly enforce our rules and not allow players from big football programs (read Auburn and Ohio State) to get off the hook.

Tucker Carlson

I resolve to actually practice the Christianity I profess and learn that forgiveness is one of its tenets.

I resolve to never speak about football, or any other sport, again.

I resolve to loosen my bow tie, in hopes that it sends oxygen to my brain so that I think before I speak.

Michael Vick

I resolve to finish my story book-like comeback with a fairy tale ending and take my team to the Super Bowl.

I resolve to continue to be THE most exciting player in the NFL while showing the world that redemption is truly possible.

Boise State Falls to Nevada in OT… Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz Oh What a Relief it is!

College football’s most divisive team, Boise State, lost 34-31 in overtime to Nevada last night.  The Broncos were ranked 4th and were undefeated this season.  In fact, they had not lost a game since 2008, when they fell to TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl.  Poinsettia Bowl?  Honestly, I did not even know that bowl existed.  This loss makes it quite likely Boise will end up in a similarly named bowl of obscurity.

If you detect a bit of mockery in my tone, you are right.  Politically correct or not, I am willing to admit that I am celebrating Boise State’s defeat.  I have felt all along that they were undeserving of their 4th place ranking.  Given the current structure of the BCS, I have little faith that the actual top teams will be playing for a national title.  The idea of Boise State playing in a BCS bowl game seemed so unjust and bizarre to me.  Thankfully last night’s loss will ensure that the Broncos will not be national championship contenders.  Whew!  What a relief. 

A few days ago Ohio State University President Gordon Gee offered his opinion about Boise State and 3rd ranked Texas Christian University being possible BCS contenders.  Since that statement, he has been widely criticized.  While Gee’s words were perhaps not as eloquent as one would expect from a university president, the basic concept he was trying to convey resonated among many fans.  During an AP interview, Gee said

I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it’s like murderer’s row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day. So I think until a university runs through that gauntlet that there’s some reason to believe that they not be the best teams to (be) in the big ballgame.

It was an insensitive way to basically argue that schools like Boise State and TCU do not play with the “big boys”.  However, the OSU President should have looked at strength of schedule stats before making such a controversial, public statement.  It turns out that OSU’s strength of schedule (59) is only slightly better than TCU’s (68) and Boise’s (73).  These strength of schedule (SOS) stats have now been used against Gee by basically every sports commentator and writer around.

But to dismiss Gee’s arguments by simply quoting SOS data misses the bigger picture.  There is validity in what he was trying to say.  Frankly, the WAC and Mountain West conferences, which Boise and TCU play in, are NOT as competitive as the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-10 or the ACC.  While teams like these do play weaker opponents, the majority of their games are against teams in more powerful conferences.  For example, #2 ranked Auburn has faced Arkansas (#12 at the time), LSU (#6 at the time), South Carolina (#12 at the time) and Alabama (#11 at the time).  Conversely, Boise State’s ranked opponents have been Virginia Tech (#10 at the time) and # 19 Nevada, whom they lost to last night.

Consider the argument from yet another perspective.  If you are a high school football player, being recruited to play at the collegiate level, would you choose a school from the Mountain West over ANY school in the PAC-10, Big Ten, ACC, Big 12 or SEC?  Of course there are exceptions, but the majority of elite high school prospects choose colleges from the powerhouse conferences.  This means that week after week teams like Auburn, Alabama and OSU face athletes who are simply stronger, faster, bigger and yes, better.  So until Boise State and TCU can compete against better caliber opponents on a consistent basis, football fans like me will continue to doubt them.

All the controversy about strength of schedules, BCS computer rankings and so forth could be eliminated if a college football playoff system was implemented.  It would put an end to the endless arguing about who deserves to play in the major BCS bowls.  Gordon Gee is not a proponent of a playoff system and prefers the status quo.  If he truly believes OSU is far superior to teams like Boise and TCU, he should welcome NCAA playoffs. 

In the meantime, people like me have to sit back and hope that the football media darlings, like Boise State, fall from grace and get eliminated from the national championship discussion.  If you listen closely, you can hear the sigh of relief from football fans throughout the land.

Great College Gridiron Traditions…

There’s lots of great college gridiron today!  Nothing beats the college stadium atmosphere and the fierce loyalty that students, alumni and fans hold for their teams.  That passion is unparalleled in all of sports.  The tailgates, cheers and mascots help make up the “threads” of the multi-colored college football tapestry.  So as we get ready to drown ourselves in our Saturday addiction, we thought it would be fun to look at some of the best college football traditions in a few of today’s match ups.

Auburn vs. Georgia

Auburn has one of the coolest traditions in all of college football.  Though their mascot is the Tiger, a live eagle soars above the 90,000 cheering fans as the stadium blares out its official fight song “War Eagle”.  Click below to see this great Auburn tradition!

The Georgia Bulldogs do not have an eagle circling their stadium, but they do have a real, live bulldog named Uga (pronounced UH-ga).  Donning a spiked collar and red jersey, Uga paces the sideline expressing the deep loyalty that only a dog can possess.  Just last month, the latest Uga (#8) was introduced to the crowd after the previous canine passed away last year.  The university reveres their bulldogs so much that deceased Ugas are actually interred in an on campus mausoleum, near the stadium. 

Penn State vs. Ohio State

Penn State’s program is rich with tradition.  Before each home game, as the band marches down the field, the drum major gallantly leads the procession and does a flip in mid-air. Another tradition occurs at each home game as students yell out the “We Want the Lion, We Want the Lion” chant.  The mascot runs to the loudest student section and is then passed up above the heads of frenzied students – all the way from the bottom row of seats to the top!  “Paternoville” is a more recent tradition. Students set up tents outside the stadium and live there for days before the games to try and get the best seats in the student section!  Joe Paterno and some of his players often stop by to visit these dedicated fans, especially for big games, where students often camp out the entire week in anticipation.  Below is a video clip of one of the Blue Band’s drum majors performing his pre-game traditional flip…

The Ohio State Buckeyes marching band forms the word “Ohio” in script letters at their home games.  The letter “i” is then “dotted” by a famous alum, a dignitary, or most often, a sousaphone player.   Another Buckeye tradition occurs on the Thursday night prior to their matchup with arch-rival Michigan.  Thousands of students gather on campus at Mirror Lake and jump in the frigid waters to show their enthusiasm and zeal about the upcoming game.

Clemson vs. Florida State

Since the 1960s, Clemson players have rubbed their hands over a rock, named Howard’s Rock, before each game.  The rock is named after legendary coach Frank Howard.   Part of the tradition is also running down “The Hill”.  The players gather around the rock and then run down “The Hill” into the stadium, where more than 80,000 screaming fans await them!

Florida State’s famous flaming spear is another crowd-pleaser!  At home games a student, dressed as the famous Seminole Chief Osceola, charges down field on a horse named Renegade and thrusts a flaming spear in the middle of the field.  Click below to see this spectacular Seminole tradition.

UNC vs. Virginia Tech

UNC is known more for its basketball, rather than football, prowess.  The program has been making strides, however, and it won’t be long until the Tar Heels develop some sort of pre-game ritual that eventually becomes tradition.  But, UNC’s contribution to football is significant, as they are credited with creating the forward pass!  In an 1895 game against the UGA Bulldogs, the Tar Heels punt was about to be blocked, when the punter suddenly lobbed the ball to his teammate who went on to score and win the game!  It would be a much different game without passing, so in our opinion, that’s a pretty good tradition to have started!

We have saved the BEST for last!  Yes, the best ENTRANCE in college football belongs to Virginia Tech!  The tradition begins as players assemble in a tunnel and jump up to touch the Hokie Stone as they enter Lane Stadium.  As Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blasts throughout the stadium, over 70,000 screaming Hokies jump up and down, creating a wild, frenzied venue.  Unless you have experienced the thrill and goose bumps firsthand, words alone do not do this amazing tradition justice.  To see what it’s all about, click below.

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