Category Archives: College Football
Trying something a little bit new here, Behind the Box Score is trying a new weekly ritual with including the podcast.
Topics for today:
- Lebron vs Linsanity tomorrow night, discussing who we think will win and why
- High school basketball tournament heating up, who will win the Columbus regional
- A brief overview of Buckeye basketball
- Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck: Who to stick with?
- Major League Baseball, predictions for the Reds and Indians
- And much more!
If the embedded clip does not work, here is the extra link: http://soundcloud.com/behindtheboxscore/the-behind-the-box-score-show
Sitting on the couch while watching the full dose of NBA games, I pulled out my now-ancient iPod Touch (2G) and started to roam the Twitter scape. What I came across was something that could rock my world.
Jimmy Ros, the 6’1″ 285 lb defensive tackle from Franklin Heights decided on Wednesday to return to Columbus West, the school he had a stellar junior season with after the failure of the South-Western City School operating levy. After racking up 73 tackles, 30 for a loss and four sacks in 2009, it had been rumored to return to Franklin Heights all summer long, the school where he played his first two seasons with. Garnering Honorable Mention All-District in ’09 with West, the decision was made to return to the Cowboys when it became known that Franklin Heights coach Rodney Hopkins wouldn’t let him back on the team. Hopkins decision made Ros’ even easier to make.
The Big Ten Network has just released the new conference divisions that will take place in solely football for the 2011 season and on. Included in this change is the separation of arch rivals Ohio State and Michigan. In the new alignment, the first conference includes Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin. In the other division is Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern.
Fresh off a Rose Bowl victory and arguably his best performance thus far in his career at Ohio State, Terrelle Pryor has fans around the Buckeye State confident in his performance. Initially coming out of Jeanette High School in Pennsylvania, Pryor looked as if he was the best QB commit the Buckeyes had received in recent memory. With the signing of Braxton Miller, who according to ESPN is the no.2 signal caller in the nation, it’s clear to see that Jim Tressel found his replacement to TP, or did he upgrade? For Pryor, his running ability is what set him apart from the rest of the quarterbacks in his class. But for Miller, his legs are only an add on to an already superb passing game. And what makes Miller a more intriguing prospect is the fact that he has been clocked various times in the 40 running 4.4′s. Scary. It has been expected since he came onto campus that Pryor would be gone after his junior season, and if this does happen, it will clearly open the window for Miller to come in and take the job, with Kenny Guiton being the only reasonable competition for the spot. The thing Miller has over Pryor in this situation, is that Miller is well advanced for his age when it comes to the passing game. This is what ESPN Scouts had to say about Miller.
“ He has a big arm and can make every single throw. This offense provides him opportunities to stretch the field both outside of the numbers and between the hashes. Shows good velocity on his deeper throws. Can fit the ball into a lot of tight spots. He does a very nice job surveying the field and goes through his progressions.”
“Shows ability to change velocities and throw catchable balls underneath. He also shows good accuracy and touch in the short-to-intermediate passing game. Release mechanics are compact, but can be about 3/4. He is in the shotgun most of the time and needs more reps from under center to develop as a drop-back passer reading on the move. Possesses good lateral movement and shows the ability to slip pressure and create second-chance opportunities. He has very good speed for the position. He is elusive and quick for his size and displays some start and stop ability.”
For all of Buckeye nation, this scouting report is very promising. Not since the days of Troy Smith have the Buckeye had a consistent passing game. But with Miller, it seems that the Ohio State offense will be able to expand the spread offense, as this is what he has ran in all three years at Huber Heights Wayne. Dangerous once he is in open field, it’s very clear that the Buckeyes won’t lose anything in the ground game from their quarterbacks once Pryor is gone.
What will hurt Miller once he is on campus is the expectations that will be waiting for him. In two very solid seasons under center, Pryor has been criticized heavily, despite winning 18 of 21 games as a starter, including wins over Oregon in the Rose Bowl, at Penn State and home against Iowa, the defending Orange Bowl champions. Compiling 3405 yards and 30 TD’s through the air, the job Pryor has done thus far in his career is quite astounding. Considering the pressure that was thrust upon him upon arrival, there isn’t much to knock on Pryor. Going into the last three games of ’09, the inability to win “the big one” is what hurt Pryor the most. But after defeating the aforementioned Penn State and Iowa, and winning on the road against Michigan, the Rose Bowl victory only put those notions to rest. When Miller comes into the starting role, I expect his expectations to be much higher, as only two days after he committed to Ohio State, most analysts and fans are concluding that he will be better than Pryor. For now, I see him as a mere replacement to Pryor, but not yet an upgrade. For that to happen, Miller must improve the passing offense his freshman year, along with equaling the things Pryor has done on the ground. Either way, the quarterback position for the Buckeyes has been solidified for the next five years.
In a sport where many parents across the country put the lives of their young men into the hands of a coach, who is supposed to serve as that young man’s second father figure while on campus and guide him through the rigors of college life, this statement is becoming a thing of the past. Now, we have a major problem on our hands. When college football fans say incoming freshman on the recruiting circuit change their mind too often, they need to look at the coaches recruiting them. These student athletes are expected to look up to their coaches, but when their coaches leave them hanging to dry when another job presents itself, whats not to say that the recruits are just following in line. The latest of the pandemic came this month.
As the Florida Gators head to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game to face #2 Alabama, this will be Tim Tebow’s final game in the almighty conference which everyone fears. With a victory, Tebow could truly go down as one of the greatest college football players of all time. A second straight win against Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide would give Tebow his third conference title, a spot in his third national championship game and presumably his second Heisman Trophy.
After an 11-year battle with cancer, Stefanie Spielman passed away today at the age of 42. Wife of ex-Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman, Stefanie had been fighting cancer since she was first diagnosed on July 11th, 1998. Her cancer had come and gone three times before the final time she learned the cancer had come back in March 2007. She was the face of breast cancer awareness for millions of women from all walks of life.
LIVESTRONG founder Lance Armstrong had this to say about her passing today.
“Today we have lost a leader in the fight against cancer. Stefanie was a living example of courage and strength to everyone around her. Her perseverance was unmatchable. While the cancer community marks her passing, my family and I will keep the Spielmans in our thoughts as they say goodbye to their beloved wife and mother. For her sake, we will continue the battle she fought against a disease that claims too many women all over the world.”
Her husband, Chris, played at Ohio State from 1984-’87, and played high school football in Ohio at Massilon Washington High School.
On a day where the Ohio State offense had Terrelle Pryor complete 82% of his passes, Brandon Saine and Boom Herron both rush for a combined 200 yards and a backup quarterback making his first career start in a stadium ten times the size of his hometown, many would think the Buckeyes would roll. This was the opposite today as it took an overtime goal, I mean field goal from the former MLS pro Devin Barclay in a game where Ohio State defeated #10 Iowa 27-24 in front of 105,455 frantic fans.
Out for the last month with an injury to his non throwing arm, Cincinnati QB Tony Pike came in for two short appearances in a game where the undefeated Bearcats at 10-0, committed uncharacteristic mistakes in part of a 24-21 win. In front of the largest crowd in Nippert Stadium history, Brian Kelly’s team looked as if their Cinderella season may be nearing midnight.