NCAAF News

Around the Oval on Wednesday, September 18

09/19/2013 | Eleven Warriors 0

Around the Oval is Eleven Warriors' weekly love letter to Ohio State sports that don't get the coverage they should.

  
Sophomore Jordan Redd

The football Buckeyes won again this week this week to move to 3-0 on the season, but they weren’t the only Ohio State team that remained undefeated this week.  The men’s cross country team ran away with the Big Ten Preview this past Friday behind five top 10 finishers.

Led by sophomore Jordan Redd, the Buckeyes won their second meet in as many events this season.  Redd, the top Ohio State runner for the second straight meet, finished the 8k event in a personal best time of 24:50.9, good enough for second place in the meet.  Also finishing in the top 10 for the Bucks were Brian Hannaford (3rd, 24:53.8), Nick Pupino (4th, 24:55.2), Curtis Hanle (7th, 25:10.6) and Blake Taneff (10th, 25:15.4).

Associate head coach Brice Allen was very pleased with the effort, saying "the guys ran well as a pack and executed the race perfectly."

With the top 5 Buckeyes finishing withing 25 seconds of each other, the Bucks certainly ran well as a pack.

Ohio State men's cross country is off until October 4th, when they travel to South Bend for the Notre Dame Invitational.

The women's cross country team also had a great weekend, finishing second at the Big Ten Preview.  They were led by top-10 finishers Michelle Thomas and Katie Borchers.  They are also off until the October 4th Notre Dame Invitational.

Join us after the jump to learn about another undefeated Ohio State team, and a few others that are off to scorching starts as well.

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Field Hockey

The Lady Buckeyes field hockey team suffered a pair of hard-fought road losses to top-10 opponents this past week to fall to 2-4 on the season.  The two losses put Ohio State in a three game losing streak, with all losses being by one goal.

Lemieux was nearly flawless in defeat

On Saturday, the Lady Bucks lost 1-0 to 7th-ranked Massachusetts despite stellar goalkeeping from junior Sarah Lemieux.  After a scoreless first half, UMass took the lead with a goal in the 44th minute.  The Buckeyes had a chance to tie around the 60th minute, when they attempted and missed three shots in three minutes.

On Sunday, the Buckeyes lost another close match to a top-10 opponent as they fell 1-0 to 6th-ranked Syracuse.  After another scoreless first half, Syracuse scored the eventual winning goal in the 66th minute of regulation.  Sarah Lemieux was once again fantastic in goal, but the Lady Buckeye offense could not provide any help.

The Bucks showed plenty of promise in defeat that they hope to build on.  They travel to Miami (Ohio) tonight before heading to Kent (Ohio) to take on Kent State next Tuesday.

Men's Soccer

The Ohio State men's soccer team tied both of their games this week, moving to an even 2-2-2 on the season.

On Friday the Buckeyes battled Bowling Green to a scoreless draw, despite being out-shot by the Falcons 35-12.  Similarly to the field hockey team, the Bucks had excellent goalkeeping from junior Alex Ivanov, but couldn't muster much of anything on offense, with only two shots on goal.  Despite the loss, the Buckeyes displayed great poise against a senior-heavy team in front of a road crowd of 3,000.

Yesterday, the Buckeyes once again played to a draw, this time against Wright State.  While head coach John Bluem was not happy with the outcome, he was pleased that his team "came to battle and [kept] fighting against some tough circumstances."

The "tough circumstances" were the Buckeyes being one man down for the first 41 minutes of the game.  Once again, Alex Ivanov was solid in goal until receiving a red card in the 69th minute.  Ivanov's replacement, junior Andrian McAdams was superb as well, with a diving save in the 106th minute to save the game for the Buckeyes.

With the loss, Ohio State has been shut out three games in a row, something that must change for the Buckeyes to start winning some games.  Ohio State hosts Dayton on Friday, before traveling to Akron on Tuesday.

Women's Soccer

The women's soccer team went 2-0 this week, with wins over Central Michigan (2-0) and St. John's (1-0).  Against Central Michigan, Ellyn Gruber led the way with a goal and an assist, with Danica Wu scoring the other goal.  The Lady Buckeyes outshot the Chippewas 25-8 in an overall dominant effort.

Nichelle Prince scored the lone goal in the 1-0 win over St. John's.  The goal was her fifth and leads the team.  Goalkeepers Rachel Middleman and Jillian McVicker were both excellent again, combining for the Lady Bucks' fourth shutout of the season. 

With the wins, Ohio State moves to 6-1-1 on the season.  The Buckeyes open up Big Ten play this Friday when they host Illinois in their only match of the week.

GOlf

While the men's golf team was off this week, the Lady Buckeyes got their season started off to a great start with a 2nd place finish at the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing (MI), finishing just four strokes behind Michigan State.  Four Buckeyes finished in the top 20, as freshman Ileen Domela led the way by shooting a 220, good enough for second place in the tournament.

Also finishing in the top 20 were Jessica Porvasnik (7th place, 223), Allison Harper (12th place, 225) and Katja Pogacar (17th place, 228).

The Lady Bucks are off this weekend, returning to action September 30th, when they travel to Chicago for the Windy City Collegiate tournament.

The men's golf team travels to Lake Forest, Illinois for the Windon Memorial this weekend.

Women's volleyball

The Lady Buckeyes volleyball team went 3-0 on the week to improve to 9-0 on the season with only three games remaining before Big Ten play.  With the victories, Ohio State captured the Sports Imports DC Koehl Classic tournament title.

On Friday, Ohio State defeated IUPUI 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-22).  Junior Taylor Sherwin recorded 44 assists, while Senior Kaitlyn Leary led the way with 18 kills.  Freshman Valeria Leon matched her career high with 13 digs and fellow freshman Taylor Sandbothe led the team with four blocks.

On Saturday, the Lady Buckeyes defeated Southeast Missouri 3-1 (25-12, 20-25, 25-19, 25-13) and Xavier 3-1 (25-10, 21-25, 25-23, 25-13).  Taylor Sherwin led the way with 94 assists on the day, and was named the tournaments most outstanding player.  Sherwin's performance also earned her Big Ten setter of the week accolades.  Kaitlyn Leary added 43 total kills to lead the team.

In the latest poll, the Buckeyes remained 13th.  Ohio State heads to Buffalo (N.Y.) this weekend for the Blue and White Classic, where they will face Maryland Eastern Shore, Valparaiso and Buffalo in their final tests before Big Ten play opens.

UPCOMING EVENTS

This Friday, the women's soccer team hosts Illinois in their Big Ten opener at 5:00, with the men's soccer team hosting Dayton shortly after, at 7:30.  If your free this Friday, come out and support the soccer teams.  Students can attend for free, and everyone else can get in the gates for $5 or less. 




© 2013 Eleven Warriors.

Nicholson loves the new look FSU defense

09/19/2013 | Florida State Football: Warchant.com Headlines 0

Rivals250 safety Montae Nicholson has kept a close eye on Florida State's new defense and is looking forward to his official visit to FSU in a few weeks. Find out what he'll be looking for on that visit.

Gators center Jon Harrison excited about Jon Halapio's return | Video

09/18/2013 | Florida Gators - Swamp Things - OrlandoSentinel.com 0

The Gators best offensive lineman missed the first two games with an injury

 The return of Gators right guard Jon Halapio this week against Tennessee is a big boost for an offensive line plagued by injuries since last spring. Halapio was a second-team preseason All-SEC selection and the team's most-established player in the trenches. But he missed preseason camp and the season's first two games with a torn pectoral muscle, ending a string of 27 consecutive starts. Center Jon Harrison has lined up next to Halapio the past two seasons and is excited to have him back. The Gators running game surely will benefit from Halapio's return. In a loss to Miami, Matt Jones and Mack Brown had 20 runs of three yards or fewer on 28 carries.

Guard Jon Halapio's return expected to boost Gators offense

09/18/2013 | Florida Gators - Swamp Things - OrlandoSentinel.com 0

Halapio missed the first two games with torn pectoral muscle, will wear a brace against Tennessee

The Gators are excited for veteran right guard Jon Halapio’s return to the lineup in time for Saturday’s visit from Tennessee.

Mike Casazza: Questions linger about Maryland offense, WVU defense

09/18/2013 | Charleston Daily Mail - WVU Sports 0

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - A season ago, Maryland had the worst offense in the entire Football Bowl Subdivision. There were 120 teams ranked and not one was to be found below the Terrapins.Today, only nine are better.And in 2012, West Virginia had the worst defen...

WVU football: Maryland thin in secondary

09/18/2013 | Charleston Daily Mail - WVU Sports 0

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginias offensive coaches are begging for receivers to make plays. The Mountaineers are wondering if things have lined up to make it happen Saturday.In back-to-back weeks, Maryland lost both its starting cornerbacks and will be s...

Wednesday Skull Session

09/18/2013 | Eleven Warriors 0

Wednesday's Skull Session will provide you some items of the day to begin your work week. It's Wednesday, which I guess is "hump day". Woop, woop?

Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike...

 NEW DEPTH CHART RELEASED. In case you missed it, Ohio State released an updated depth chart for this week's upcoming game against Florida A&M. At least, it's updated in the sense that it's current for the Florida A&M game. As far as I know, there are no discernible changes.

The immediate thing for which everyone looked was Carlos Hyde, who Urban Meyer said, on Monday, would be reinstated to the team for this week's game against the Rattlers. His presence is not needed, but the reinstatement was deemed appropriate by Meyer, given Hyde's service to the team during the designated three-game (minimum) suspension. However, I thought he would make an appearance in an otherwise crowded backfield. The tailback depth chart is still Hall, Smith, and Ball or Dunn. Hyde will no doubt play. He is just not on the depth chart.

Kenny Guiton, backup quarterback and folk hero, is still the second-string quarterback. His position on the depth chart has not changed from last week, and the performance against California. He was the second-string quarterback last week before Miller was scratched by Saturday's game against California.

The same holds for Adolphus Washington, who is still listed as starting strongside defensive end over Joey Bosa. Washington was another gametime scratch and Bosa, a true freshman, played admirably in his place, again.

The only subtle comment I could discern from the depth chart -- though not a change on the depth chart -- concerns the second-string weakside defensive end spot. Noah Spence is still clearly the guy, but Jamal Marcus and Steve Miller are listed as "OR" on the depth chart. I think the coaching staff must see Marcus and Miller as almost indistinguishable in relief duties for Spence. Both have played well in various stretches.

To answer your question before you ask it: Kenny Guiton is still the starting holder on special teams.

 YOU WANT TO GO TO GOLD PANTS SOCIAL. I should not need to resort to a Jedi Mind Trick to convince you to snatch up one of the few remaining spots for the shindig Friday night before the Eat Too Brutus tailgate next Saturday. I'm not against it, though.

The Gold Pants Social will be on Friday, September 27, at the Woody Hayes Athletic Complex, starting at 7 p.m. The night before the Eat Too Brutus tailgate, and the subsequent demolition of Wisconsin, you can pregame with Ohio State luminaries like John Cooper, Earle Bruce, Mike Tomczak, Michael Wiley, Dan Wilkinson, Bobby Carpenter, Craig Krenzel, Raymont Harris, and many more. Just the stories that Cooper and Bruce alone have should be enough to induce you to want to be part of that.

After talking with Craig Krenzel about molecular genetics (I am assuming that is what you will want to discuss with him), feel free to take in the great food and drinks we will have for those in attendance. We will have plenty of food on hand for you to eat during the course of the event. Suds will be provided by the Land Grant Brewing Company.

All proceeds from the event go to the Gold Pants Club. You may need to hurry, since space is limited and tickets for the event are running out.

Jerry Kill is a good dude in a difficult position.

 IN SUPPORT OF JERRY KILL. I think every Ohio State fan has a second Big Ten team for which it roots, or at least wishes well, whether this is admitted or not. This is either because the school in question looks cool, or several friends went to that school, or a family member may have attended the institution in question. That may not mean we don't want to beat the other Big Ten program by a hundred when the two teams meet, just that, all else equal, we wish them well and would like to see them win all their games, even if our bandwagoning may not be wholehearted.

For me, I find myself enthralled with Minnesota. In a league full of great fight songs, the Minnesota Rouser is woefully underrated. The school colors are unique in the broad scheme of things, as is the mascot. Further, Minnesota is well-removed from Ohio State's radar to make the Gophers non-threatening.

Plus, I love Jerry Kill. In a league full of coaches who range from pleasant (e.g. Gary Andersen, Darrell Hazell) to, well, "unpleasant" (e.g. Bo Pelini), Jerry Kill comes off as the most chill dude of the bunch. I have been aware of his rise through the coaching ranks since he was at Southern Illinois and was optimistic he could do well in the Twin Cities.

While I am not 100% invested in his success at Minnesota, I am nevertheless 100% saddened by his recurring medical incidents. For those unaware, Jerry Kill is a kidney cancer survivor for whom the onset of epileptic seizures coincided with the discovery of the cancer. In true Kill fashion, he made sure to have surgery to remove the cancer during a bye week. The night of the surgery, he was on his phone recruiting.

The head coach of Southern Illinois at the time, Kill used his bout with cancer to start a foundation in his name to assist low-income residents in Southern Illinois with affording costly cancer treatments. It was appropriately named the Coach Kill Cancer Fund, to kill cancer. Kill's surname may be fortuitous for his foundation, but it appropriately captures the sentiment.

Kill unfortunately had another epileptic seizure on the sideline near halftime of the game against Western Illinois, for which the Gophers needed a second half rally to beat the Leathernecks.

Unsurprisingly, this led to some calls from the Twitter masses to give Kill the heave-ho. The logic: if Kill has a disability like this, then he can't effectively make Minnesota a dynasty on par with Alabama because that is the expectation from playing EA Sports NCAA Football 14 in Dynasty Mode. Examples follow:

The list goes on.

Then, there is everyone's favorite CBS Sports columnist, Gregg Doyel. His column, summarized: "Minnesota should force Kill to resign so he doesn't 'die', by which I mean, 'Minnesota could find a better coach and avoid this uncomfortable situation altogether'."

And that seems to be a legitimate risk, given that Jerry Kill has suffered four seizures in 22 games. The math is pretty easy: Since being hired by Minnesota before the 2011 season, Kill has suffered a seizure every five or six games -- and the frequency is increasing. He has suffered three seizures in the last 11 games, and was unable to finish two of them.

 

This is a problem, and a heartbreaking problem at that. You think this is me, coldly and unsympathetically wondering if Jerry Kill should resign? Don't think that. This is me feeling terrible for a man who has devoted much of his life to football, and who reached the pinnacle of his profession in 2011 when he made it into the Big Ten as a head coach -- and who is doing a great job. At Minnesota his teams have gone 3-9, then 6-7, and now 3-0 early in 2013.

Anyone who remembers high school government class would know that Minnesota, as a public institution, would be slammed so hard by an army of lawyers for being in breach of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 if it decided to follow Doyel's advice.

Fortunately, Minnesota's athletic director knows better. Norwood Teague supports Kill "100%" as he works with his disability. Further, support is coming from all over national and out-of-state media. ESPN's Ivan Maisel puts it best.

But athletic director Norwood Teague has no issues with Kill coaching. Kill’s doctors have no issue with him coaching. And Kill has decided that being public about his condition may help others who suffer from epilepsy. He has no issue with coaching, either. In other words, there’s nothing to see here.

As for Jerry Kill, I think he best understands his own situation:

"I've done talked about all those other things enough," Kill said. "This game's not about a head football coach. This game is about the players and that's how we'll approach it today."

Translated: "stop asking me about a disability I can't control and let me do my damn job." Keep doing your thing, Jerry Kill.

OHIO STATE FANS TURN CAL PLAYER AGAINST CAL FANS. Finally, since this is an Ohio State blog, I want to take some time to commend the Ohio State fans that invaded and occupied Berkeley last Saturday. Not only did you make your presence felt, you got Cal's players pissed off at their own fan base for allowing you to do that. Here is Cal wide receiver, Bryce Treggs, politely reading the California fan base the riot act.

When you have one of the other team's starting players calling out the fan base with a delicately worded version of "ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME!?", you've done your damn job. Take a bow.

MISCELLANY. The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota has pledged its support of Jerry Kill... Taylor Martinez is dealing with turf toe and may be scratched from the game against South Dakota State... The NFL says the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can't wear its creamsicle orange "retro" jerseys because of concerns for player safety... How Deadspin got that audio of Bo Pelini going hard on Nebraska's fans... The Astros are getting beat in the Houston TV ratings by out-of-market WNBA games... RB Leipzig debuts the "8-verts" set play to start a soccer match, and scores.




© 2013 Eleven Warriors.

Big Payout, Lousy Matchup

09/18/2013 | Eleven Warriors 0

Saturday will be a homecoming of sorts for two members of the Florida A&M traveling party: its head coach and athletic director. Head coach Earl Holmes played one season for the Cleveland Browns, while AD Michael Hill is a Cleveland Glenville graduate.

When kids return home after a long absence, family is excited, they’re greeted warmly and sometimes dad slips them a 20-dollar bill as they walk out the front door. In FAMU’s case, Ohio State fans are eager to notch the program’s 16th consecutive win, the fangless Rattlers won’t be treated with the normal venom reserved for more potent foes and Gene Smith will hand over a $900,000 check as FAMU departs for the airport.

So-called guarantee games have become commonplace in college football and basketball. But the amount of money thrown around for football games can almost support an entire year’s budget. The $900,000 FAMU is receiving for playing the Buckeyes is more than 30 percent of the football program’s $2.8 million budget. In comparison, Ohio State’s nears $35 million.

For the Buffalos, San Diego States and Florida A&Ms of the world, guaranteed payouts are a means to survive. Without BCS schools and their fat wallets, the Mid-American Conference, Sun Belt and FCS schools would have an even tougher challenge staying afloat in college athletics’ deep end.

The Buckeyes paid the three aforementioned schools a combined $3.1 million to travel to Columbus and take a whoopin’. Dating to 2000, San Diego State has played in 26 guarantee games and won a grand total of zero. But, hey, the bottom line grew by more than $8 million.

If you’re really impatient, you can notch almost $2 million a year by playing multiple guarantee games. San Jose State did so in 2010 with trip to Tuscaloosa and Madison on consecutive Saturdays. The result: $1.825 million. And an average score of 38-9 – in favor of the home team, of course.

“I think $1 million is going to be the market price in the coming years,” said Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, after the Buckeyes forked over $1.45 million to Navy in 2009.

The 12th game has been the biggest culprit in the price of lesser opponents rising. So, too, has the business of being in college sports. Big stadiums equal big paydays for the home team. Ohio State, which functions on a seven-home game model, makes upwards of $6 million each game in Ohio Stadium. But with the 12th game and large guarantees has come the occasional – or frequent – blowout matching traditional powers against overmatched middling programs.

In 1997, almost 80 percent of teams played a full slate of games against FBS teams. That number is only 15 percent for the current season.

“It's an issue of supply and demand,” Smith said. “You have about 120 FBS schools, with six major conferences and about 10 or 11 teams in each league. Everybody is trying to play about four non-conference games a year and wants to play them in September before the league schedule starts.

“You’ve got to find teams that have open dates when you’re looking to fill a date. The math often doesn't work out. There are not enough opponents out there, without scheduling the guarantee games.”

The Rattlers enter Saturday’s game as an overwhelming 57-point underdog. It’s the largest Ohio State has ever been favored. It’s a dream day for Florida A&M; it’ll play in front of the biggest crowd in the proud program’s history – FAMU has won one 1-AA national championship and 12 Black College Football national titles, the most recent in 2010 – and do so on national television.

“Most definitely,” answered Florida A&M head coach Earl Holmes when asked by Eleven Warriors if the exposure would benefit recruiting. “Any time you can help yourself and help your brand in recruiting it’s always a plus.”

So much so that the university’s president, athletic director, vice president of development, vice president of student affairs and other university personnel arrived in Ohio on Wednesday to travel around the state and sell the university at-large to high school students.

“We’ve taken the opportunity to play Ohio State and use it as a recruitment and branding opportunity for the entire university,” athletic director Michael Hill told Eleven Warriors. “We’re not chasing the color of money. You can have too many of these games. We aren’t building our program on the backs of young men and young ladies in an undesirable way. It’s important we have a balance.”

The Buckeyes’ excitement is waning. They just got done playing in primetime on the West Coast. Now, the No. 4 team in the country must try and get up for a game against a lower-division team with a 1-2 record.

Even head coach Urban Meyer admitted the intensity level drops in the locker room for such an unappealing game.

“I could give you some coach-speak up here, but it does make a difference,” he said. “So we are going to have to really coach the players hard this week.”

Senior safety Christian Bryant didn’t mince words. He said he’d rather play top-10 teams.

“I like to showcase our talent,” he said.

That’s exactly what FAMU hopes to do, too.

“Most importantly, you want your guys to come out and compete,” Holmes said. “They understand what it takes because they have aspirations to play at the next level. Second of all, to gain experience, from the crowd all the way down. It’s all about the game-day experience.

“I don’t think [Ohio State] is going to underestimate us. I know our guys are going to be up for them. It’s all about that exposure. We know Coach Meyer will have his team ready to play and we’re going to go out and try and be competitive.”

Whether Florida A&M is competitive or not is irrelevant. The Rattlers receive their money regardless. This is the third installment of Ohio State versus an FCS school. The previous two came during the Jim Tressel era in games against Youngstown State.

The Buckeyes have no future games scheduled with FCS programs and only a handful with MAC teams. Instead, Smith has taken a hard stance against weak schedules. With the College Football Playoff on the horizon in 2014, teams are doing their best to beef up non-conference schedules to enhance the possibility of being one of the top-four teams selected.

“The only way it’ll change is if FBS teams decide they don’t want to necessarily pay a guarantee to a team to come in and they start playing each other at the higher level, every home and away is against top six conference," Tony Weaver, an assistant professor for sport and event management at Elon University and a former college administrator, told the Star-Ledger. “But the reality is that’s hard to do is because everybody wants to play at home.”

For smaller programs, however, a new scheduling philosophy could have negative effects. Last year, everyone learned who Savannah State was. The Georgia HBCU lost 84-0 to Oklahoma State and was then a record 70.5-point underdog at Florida State. SSU was spared, though, when lightning struck – literally. They only lost 55-0 to the Seminoles.

The results were ugly, but Savannah State pocketed enough money to equal nearly 25 percent of the school’s endowment. A game at Miami on Saturday will net SSU another $375,000. It’s a sink or swim world, and without guarantee games, the Savannah States and Florida A&M’s could sink.

“I think FCS schools have to start repositioning themselves and preparing themselves for the real possibility that FBS schools could stop playing them,” Hill said. “We have to think the same way. We have to think about how do we get those key games, those matchups that are attractive and create a level of revenue opportunity and great competition that people want to see.”

Big Ten schools have played Missouri Valley Conference schools in recent years, which has created publicity for the MVC and generated revenue. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said members won’t be punished for playing FCS schools, but it’s clearly frowned upon. Rutgers, who doesn’t join the league for another year, has already dropped a future game with Howard University, while Minnesota erased South Dakota State from the schedule in favor of TCU.

“We’re the conference that would take the brunt of this unfortunate decision by the Big Ten,” Missouri Valley commissioner Patty Viverito told the Argus-Leader. “As a league, we play guarantee games and we’re going to continue to do that. It’s always preferable to play them in geographic proximity not only because of the cost but also because of the interest in the game.

“Nobody will ever convince me that Northern Iowa not being able to play Iowa is a good thing.”

South Dakota head coach Joe Glenn, previously the coach at Wyoming, joked that his school is willing to play the Bears or Packers so long as they receive compensation.

FCS teams have had the occasional success against big-time programs, none more famous than Appalachian State’s win over Michigan in 2007.

“From a competitive standpoint, it’s not an ideal situation,” said then-Delaware State head coach Al Lavan, in 2009, prior to his team playing at Michigan. “You always have hope.”

In Week 1 of the 2013 season, North Dakota State won at Kansas State and Eastern Washington won on the road against a ranked Oregon State team. Five other FCS teams won in FBS schools’ home stadiums. The seven were paid a combined $2.375 million, according to ESPN. North Dakota State has won at such a high rate against FBS opponents – the Bison are 7-3 – that it may be locked out. But overall, FCS programs have only won 10 percent of the games against their bigger brothers. There are other negatives that come with guarantee games, not just losing.

Kent State rested some of its star players in 2007 when the Golden Flashes took on Ohio State. They were more concerned about winning a MAC title. In its 2013 opener, Central Michigan’s quarterback and running back suffered a broken collarbone and broken ankle, respectively. That $850,000 paycheck came with a price.

Perhaps the ultimate loss, though, was Delaware State’s. To play Michigan and reap the $550,000 reward, DSU was forced to forfeit a conference game because they broke a contract with North Carolina A&T.

The final score: Michigan 63, Delaware State 6.

“It felt good,” said Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham.

Fans of college football thought, and still think, otherwise.




© 2013 Eleven Warriors.

The Evolution: A College Football Media Progress Report

09/18/2013 | Eleven Warriors 0

This is what mandatory remorse looks like. It hasn't happened in college football for awhile.

That's DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, Boom Herron and Terrelle Pryor when they were marched out in December of 2010 to apologize for trading their possessions for discounted tattoos and petty cash, which of course was a tacit capitalization on their likenesses and an overt violation of amateurism.

Once their caper was discovered, they were universally lampooned for breaking NCAA rules. Ohio State, the Sugar Bowl and the NCAA also took their lumps for agreeing to communicate the five-game sentences of the guilty to the following season. Jim Tressel's prior knowledge of their actions was not yet publicly known.

An apology for their actions was demanded, and Ohio State delivered.

Last week Yahoo! Sports published a paper trail linking Alabama tackle DJ Fluker to almost $34,000 in expenditures to agents and financial advisers while he was still in college. Total value of improper benefits for the players involved in Tatgate was less than half of what Fluker alone received.

Surely he was the only one at Alabama. Agents and financial advisors were otherwise shunned by the rest of the Crimson Tide.

Yahoo published the report along with an accompanying story that ridiculed not Fluker for brazenly violating amateurism, but amateurism itself. The headline in USA Today the following day was "DJ Fluker should have been paid by Alabama."

The Tatgate guys? Back in 2010 most sportswriters didn't challenge the NCAA rules they had broken. They were way to busy arguing if the forced apology was genuine enough while calling them knuckleheads for selling...their stuff.

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USA Today argued Alabama should have paid Fluker from the outset, since Alabama football makes a lot of money and Fluker was a key part of the success. Alabama athletics generated almost $125MM for the university last year. It's a valid argument.

But Ohio State athletics earned that much back in 2010 when Tatgate occurred (and $142MM more last year). College football generates billions. This is not new information. Why the sudden change in "scandal" coverage?

You might call it a double standard, flip-flopping or bias. We're going to call it an evolution, since fake outrage over fake outrage would be, eh, ironic.

What we found when looking at the Greggugugugug Doyels of the world was that there have been two evolutions, in parallel: One in how we view NCAA violations and another in how closely we scrutinize scandal coverage and information.

We seem to have finally found religion regarding the former: In December 2010 when Pryor and his buddies were nabbed, every coffee house and frozen yogurt shop in Columbus sold (his) Ohio State #2 jersey, but people were too busy expressing shock that he willingly gave up trophies and rings which were clearly only chotchkies to him.

Recently Sports Illustrated ran a story on the NCAA's hypocrisy in profiting off of Johnny Manziel's #2 jersey. Just swap out the names and that story could have been written years ago. But it wasn't.

Here's a look at who else has evolved since Tatgate went down. Not included: Sports Illustrated master investigator Thayer Evans, who wrote how then-college junior Pryor was only motivated by "sex, money and power." Geez, imagine if all men were like that!

SPORTS BY BROOKS: TROLL ZERO

We took a look back at the media nightmare that began with Tatgate's revelation in December that eventually accelerated with Ohio State investigators discovering Tressel knew about it. We found that one person fed the beast more than any other single entity.

From start to finish, Brooks Melchior whipped the public into a frenzy with hearsay and rumors he was hearing. Melchior's site (deliberately not linked here) has been inactive for quite some time, as he has apparently decided to get out of the fake news-breaking business. 

The sample tweet above in emblematic of his contribution to Ohio State scandal coverage. That's the nutshell, if nutshells contained only poop.

EVOLUTION: For all we know, Melchior is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean with bin Laden. Brooks hasn't been heard of for quite some time, but you're about to see just how effective he was in shaping the narrative for Tatgate.

DAN WETZEL: NOT YOUR FINEST MOMENT

Wetzel wrote Yahoo's accompanying piece to its Fluker (SEC, really) investigation saying that nothing punitive would come from it. He is about as credible of a scribe in covering college sports as there is today.

Best-selling author Dan Wetzel.

He has not deviated from his position that the NCAA is a corrupt organization and that the myth of amateurism is exactly that. But in the wake of Tatgate, Wetzel was one of many who were swept up by Melchior's reporting.

Melchior ran a story detailing how Pryor was paid tens of thousands in cash from a credentialed - yet broke (?) - photographer named Dennis Talbott. That was reliable enough information for Wetzel, who put his stamp of credibility on it by concluding that Ohio State's scandal was worse than Southern California's:

The website SportsByBrooks reported that the NCAA enforcement staff has discovered “dozens of payments Pryor received in past years from a Columbus sports memorabilia dealer. … the NCAA violations were discovered when the name of the local memorabilia dealer, Dennis Talbott, was seen on checks Pryor was depositing in his personal bank account.”

NCAA enforcement staff had found no such thing. But pretend Wetzel doesn't know yet that Melchior's story is a fabrication - and remember that Tressel covering up violations he already believes (and published a book about) are arcane is being shaped into one of the most hideous scandals in the history of amateur athletics.

Wetzel tried to talk himself out of writing the column, in his column:

If there are deposited checks from a memorabilia dealer in Pryor’s account, then the school should have found them in December. There is simply no excuse for not uncovering them.

Correct. There is no excuse for not uncovering them, because schools have visibility to their players' bank account activity. Wetzel is an expert in this area, so clearly he was swept up by the energy behind Tatgate coverage because the checks could not have gone unnoticed.

NCAA investigators made no mention of those checks or Talbott in their final judgment. All of the stories about them, like Wetzel's, sourced Melchior - and then came to conclusions based on his information.

As for Wetzel, he was changed by the importance of obtaining actual evidence before passing judgment based on rumors. On Fluker and Alabama:

EVOLUTION:

The NCAA won't be able to get enough people to talk. They won't be able to access the paper trail. It's possible they won't even muster much of an effort.

Wetzel owned up while Melchior disappeared. You might say they both evolved.

Regardless, Wetzel has been on point about the NCAA, amateurism and the bowl system since jump street. Nobody is perfect.

ESPN: THE WORLDWIDE LEADER IN NARRATIVE SHAPING

We're OSU homers, but we've always understood that the violations Ohio State's players committed were absolutely petty while the real crime was Tressel's subsequent cover-up. That's not difficult to understand.

Once the story accelerated, ESPN gave the Tressel angle the full coverage it deserved. Then suddenly, Tressel was gone.

But the show had to go on, so seizing upon Melchior's information ESPN sent its Outside the Lines crew to Columbus to tail Talbott around town - to Kroger, to his office, even to his daughter's soccer practice.

Talbott, walking. (Photo credit: ESPN OTL crew tailing him)

ESPN ran a story all about him. Then they ran a story about the story. Then they ran a story about the story about the story.

ESPN media echo chamber: Engaged. Talbott's name appeared on television along ESPN's crawl for days and was batted around all of the radio affiliates. His friends and family called him about it (even I called him about it). 

Once his name failed to appear in the NCAA's final judgment, ESPN called him to apologize, albeit privately. Talbott is still forced to explain what happened whenever it comes up, and all of the stories about him are still on the Internet.

Well, almost all of the stories - ESPN did take one of them down: It's the one where they followed Talbott around town with a camera while he ran errands. That regrettable content is now unavailable. A screenshot from that tape is above.

EVOLUTION: ESPN is aggressively chasing discrepancies in Sports Illustrated's widely-panned shame piece on Oklahoma State. Evidence is important, and while amateurism is an outdated concept in modern college football, being amateurish is still regarded as an awkward rite of passage for teenagers. (We also get that ESPN may be more interested in page views and/or shaming a competitor, but the intent is unimportant).

The media giant has also broached the amateurism question head-on. Good for you, Bristol. For once. #EMBRACEDEBATE

KEVIN SCARBINSKY: JUST GUMPIN'

We checked in with the Alabama media and we weren't disappointed at all.

Kevin Scarbinsky on Tatgate in December 2010 (pre-Tressel knowledge):

If any compliance office in America should've been educating its football players about the evils of extra benefits, it was Ohio State's...If true, this case goes beyond an eligibility issue and becomes a question of institutional culpability.

Delany should worry about that message, but he may have other things on his mind. His flagship football program is headed for that Sugar Bowl meeting next Tuesday with Arkansas. Given Ohio State's 0-9 bowl record against the SEC, it's likely that the Buckeyes are about to get tattooed for free.

Harsh. Scarbinsky on Fluker last week:

It’s a long way from a well-documented piece of investigative journalism to an NCAA investigation, hearing and ruling, let alone a BCS decision to strip a school of a crystal football.

Reminder: Alabama football was nailed for major NCAA violations in 1995, 2002 and 2009 and currently has its repeat-offender window wide open.

"If any compliance office in America should've been educating its football players about the evils of extra benefits, it was Ohio State's" coming from an Alabama writer is on par with Gordon Gee's "I just hope (Tressel) doesn't fire me" for comedic value. Somehow this flew under the radar.

We just wish America could appreciate it as much as we did. Roll Tide.

PAT FORDE: STOP BEING SO TIRED

YARP YARP YARP YARP YARP YARP

In lieu of telling you how plastic, conflated and consistently lame Forde is, let's just take a look at "before" and "evolution."

On Ohio State players selling their belongings for cash:

But a full scholarship and all the perks that come with being a football star at Ohio State are no small advantages on a college campus. I'm fairly certain there are others in Columbus making do with far less.

The bottom line is this: These players slapped Ohio State tradition in the face, for a profit.

For a profit. How dare they sell stuff that belongs to them. Forde wholly subscribed to the flat-earth sanctity of NCAA rules for amateurism in college football, in 2010.

Now 2013, here's Forde on the evidence that Fluker was tied to tens of thousands in improper benefits :

The increasing amount of public fatigue with college athletic scandals indicates that most fans don't care nearly as much what happens off the field as what happens on Saturdays. Their level of concern with what goes on behind the scenes only spikes when there is the specter of significant penalties.

EVOLUTION: Forde has shifted his outrage from the player(s) to you people who just don't care enough anymore. One of the chief shit-stirrers of college football scandals is citing "scandal fatigue" as the culprit.

This is where you should begin to hear Inception sounds.

DENNIS DODD: ALL OUT OF OUTRAGE

Speaking of shit-stirrers and purveyors of fake outrage, let's look back fondly upon Dennis Dodd's measured response to the damning Tressel component of Tatgate.

Here he was at Luke Fickell's introductory press conference showing concern for the young interim head coach's safety and well-being:

Remember, Tressel is basically Jerry Sandusky - but instead of serially raping little boys, he was lying to the NCAA about what his players had done with their jerseys and stuff.

Enforcement, Engagement, whatever. Same thing.

Tressel's final regular Ohio State paycheck was 1.5% of his voided 2011 base salary and .003% of what he had been guaranteed to make through his contract. It was the worst golden parachute ever.

Throughout his tireless reporting Dodd never questioned or challenged the NCAA rules that Tressel failed to report. He was singularly-focused on culling as much fake outrage as possible.

Until last week:

I've got scandal fatigue.

Not you, Dennis. NAWT YOU.

"Hey, look, Bama got pulled over." We know the "what." Players sometimes get paid under the table, cheat on tests and have sex with coeds.

Not even sure what this means. Probably has something to do with golden parachutes.

EVOLUTION: Tatgate obviously aged Dodd considerably. He can't even fake the fake outrage anymore, and that's a positive indicator for anyone tired of this stupid genre.

KIRK HERBSTREIT: ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION

Before the Fake Buckeye was "run out of town" he said the following about Ohio State on a live ESPN broadcast:

"I think Mark May said it best when he talked about the culture of corruption at Ohio State."

[the sound of roaring laughter coming from the southeast]

He also said Pryor's dismissal from Ohio State football was "addition by subtraction" - knowing that Joe Bauserman would step in for him without any sort of drop-off in quarterback play - and that the Buckeyes needed to stop recruiting players like Pryor.

Pryor bad. Manziel good. OSU bad. Bama fast.

Before he was a selfish cancer and a scapegoat, Pryor was Ohio State's best player and the MVP of a Rose Bowl win over Oregon and a Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas. Herbstreit predicted the Buckeyes to lose the latter game, then moved them down three spots for winning in his final AP ballot.

So it would appear that Pryor was pretty good - perhaps worth recruiting, even - especially if we're no longer outraged by immensely popular college football players getting a minuscule sliver of the action.

Herbie has also said and done a bunch of other dumb things that aren't relevant to his evolution but we don't want to skip the opportunity to remind you that his mouth has more sides than a dodecagon. Look it up.

EVOLUTION: Watching Herbstreit gush over Manziel on ESPN Gameday this season makes you wonder if maybe difference-makers like the Pryors of the world - in the current climate - are now worth the trouble.

We don't expect to see any more forced apologies from players caught modestly capitalizing on their collegiate celebrity. We also aren't waiting for any sportswriters to admit to having gone completely overboard with fake outrage over what Ohio State's players did in 2010.

What we do hope to see is a continued evolution toward embracing the reality that college football in the era of multi-billion dollar contracts can't be governed by the principles of amateurism from 1950, and that when players are nabbed breaking those arcane rules, they're less violations of amateurism than they are the inevitable leaks of a corrupt and wholly inequitable enterprise.

The alternative is to take the side occupied by self-celebrating curmudgeons like Forde. It's your call.


Jason Priestas contributed to this report.

 




© 2013 Eleven Warriors.

Hot Off the Press: Florida A&M; Game Poster

09/18/2013 | Eleven Warriors 0

[Download H-Res Poster]




© 2013 Eleven Warriors.

Five Great Ohio State Non-Conference Home Games from Seasons Past

09/18/2013 | Eleven Warriors 0

This week Ohio State welcomes some new visitors to the old Horseshoe. I say new not because the Rattlers of Florida A&M have just started playing football (they produced Ken Riley, after all), but new in the sense that they have never played the Buckeyes before and will be new to the experience of entering one of college footballs most revered arenas. 

Because I have no Florida A&M flashback to offer you this week, I thought I might offer a few thoughts on OSU's best non-conference home games. Or at least the ones I can remember. In recent years the pre-conference schedule has been, shall we say, a bit light. With all due respect to the UABs and Buffalos of the world, I prefer a visit from a big conference team that might be a contender for a conference championship.

Not that we don't still have one of those here every now and then; one that happened only three years ago is profiled below. But starting in the Tressel era, you were more liable to see Youngstown State or Akron on the pre-conference schedule. And sometimes the teams that the schedule-makers thought would be contenders at the time they were scheduled (several years in advance) were somewhat less imposing when they finally made it to town (think Washington 2003 and Cal 2012). 

This list is not definitive; in fact, I'm quite sure that there have been some better games, but I don't like to think about some of them. For example, Oklahoma 1977 or Texas 2005. No, I'm not going to write about losses. The games that are memorable to me are wins over well-known adversaries. These are my favorites. I'd love to hear about some of yours in the comments.

MIAMI 2010

From the moment that Ken Dorsey threw incomplete to end the longest and most exciting BCS Championship game ever, the Miami Hurricanes had nursed an enduring hatred for all things Ohio State. Finally, they would get their chance to repay the debt and humiliate the hated Buckeyes in their own stadium on national television. The players were ready, the fans were poised to claim revenge, the reporters eagerly awaited a good revenge story.

However, the story they actually wrote was quite a different one. It was a story of how the supposedly slow team from the midwest went deep early and often and overwhelmed the visitors with both talent and poise. Terrelle Pryor passed for 233 yards and ran for another 113 to lead the Buckeyes to a 36-24 victory that was not as close as the score indicated. Of course, according to the NCAA, this game never took place. But since we had our first-ever Eat Too Brutus tailgate on that day, I think it will stick in my memory for a while. 

TEXAS TECH 2002

This game is memorable for several reasons. For one, it was the first game I had been able to attend in person since watching the Buckeyes demolish Toledo in 1998. Second, it was the debut for Maurice Clarett at Ohio State, and what a debut it was. Clarett carried 21 times for 175 yards and three touchdowns as OSU crushed the Red Raiders 45-21 in another game that was not as close as the final score indicated. 

Ohio State led the game 38-7 in the fourth quarter before emptying the bench and letting the reserves take over. Meanwhile, current Texas Tech coach and then-quarterback Kliff Kingsbury threw a pair of touchdown passes to Wes Welker to make the game look respectable. As I sat in the newly-remodeled Ohio Stadium on that day, I had no idea that this team, whose offensive line was patchwork and whose secondary seemed suspect, was on its way to an undefeated season and a national championship. Still felt good to win, though.

NOTRE DAME 1995

It had been 60 years since Notre Dame had visited Columbus to play Ohio State in football. The hype for the game was unbelievable, and it seemed nearly impossible for the game to live up to it. Nevertheless, the game was tight and filled with drama in the first half. Both teams moved the ball well, but the Irish got the better of it early, going up 10-0, and ultimately went to the locker room leading 17-14. 

George rushed for over 200 yards against the Irish.

The second half was a different story. After spotting ND another field goal, the Buckeyes jumped on them for three touchdowns in the third quarter, one of them an electrifying 82-yard pass from Bob Hoying to Terry Glenn, to go up 35-20 entering the fourth. Eddie George and the OSU rushing offense controlled the clock from there and the Buckeyes cruised to a 45-26 triumph. 

WASHINGTON 1993

When the Washington Huskies came to town in 1993, on the return trip of a home-and-home series that began in 1986, it seemed like an opportunity for Ohio State to validate that they had returned to prominence after a period of being mostly irrelevant to the national football conversation. The Buckeyes were on an early-season roll, especially on offense, but this would be the first true test. It was a nationally televised night game, and the atmosphere was electric.

Scripting their first 15 plays (an innovation at that time), the OSU offense moved right down the field on their first possession and scored to go up 7-0. Then, in the second quarter, coach John Cooper went for it on fourth-and-two from the UW 35. Hoying spotted Joey Galloway open on the right side, and Galloway took the ball and scooted all the way to the end zone to put the Buckeyes up 14-3. They cruised from there to secure a 21-12 victory.

LSU 1988

One of Ohio State's greatest comebacks, albeit as part of their worst season in my lifetime, occurred when LSU came to town in 1988. Jeff has already written at length about this game, so I won't spend a lot of time on it. All I will say is that I was still a student at the time, and that I was late to work (at a pizza shop) so that I could stay for the whole game. It was worth getting into a little trouble with the boss to witness OSU's last official victory over an SEC team. 

That's my top five; how's it compare to yours? Tell me what you remember about these games and remind me of others I might have forgotten.




© 2013 Eleven Warriors.

The $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay: Hunger

09/18/2013 | Eleven Warriors 0

The 29th (and greatest) U.S. President, Warren Gamaliel Harding, was a renowned gambler, golfer and lover of life. As such, his sage wagering advice and stories of criminal bravado are brought here through the medieval art of necromancy. Seeing as President Harding ushered us into economic success unheard of in human history (before being tragically assassinated by his jealous wife  thus tanking the economy), his words might as well be chiseled into stone tablets. (All views and opinions presented should only be considered those of President Warren G. Harding.) 

WARNING: The content of the $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay is intended for mature audiences. Viewer discretion is highly advised. Seriously.

LAST WEEK: (1-2 overall) Louisville (-13.5) Alabama (-7.5),​ South Carolina (-13.5)
SEASON ECORD: (3-6)
THE HONEYPOT: $-30,000

"You sure you want me to make this call, Mr. President?" the serpent-like man hissed.

Gaston B. Means was an oily son-of-a-bitch who would stricken his own kin with polio if it meant he could make an extra buck. That is, he's the perfect wild card to keep in a Rolodex in case shit ever got too hectic, and it was about that time.

Last week, Gucci Man allowed me to pawn his Bart Simpson chain to the Gypsy King for credit on a $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay that got put away by Johnny Football like it was the last few chugs of a 12-ounce can of Busch Light before embarking on a 10-hour ménage à trois. (I don't even remember South Carolina failing to cover against a spiraling Vanderbilt program, tbh.)

The next day I woke up shirtless in a field outside the Marion Coliseum with a symphony of jackhammers tap dancing on the inside of my skull. I was caked in dried vomit and missing a sock — why is it always the sock? — but things really went to shit when I read about Gucci Mane getting arrested and jailed for guns, drugs and "threatening a cop" (which I thought were why we fought the British). True rock bottom came when I realized I didn't even have enough money to post his bail. I had squandered it all parlaying with the Gods.

"Make the damn call," I said before hanging up my T-Mobile Sidekick.

The Warren G. Harding File

  • Term: 3/4/1921 - 8/2/1923
  • Position: 29th U.S. President
  • Trade: Dope/Newspaper Peddler
  • Hometown: Marion, Ohio
  • School: Ohio Central College
  • Rivals Ranking: 5-Star
  • Quote: "Damn, I hate being sober."

I admit, the dark rumours you have heard regarding my political career are true: I started as a small-time dope peddler fronting as a local newspaper proprietor, and I turned myself into the head of a global cartel that fronted as the American government.

Money ginned in the trafficking — and I'm not talking about the small-town hillbillies role-playing criminals whilst ferrying spit-liquor brewed in some backwoods bathtub. (Liquor brewed in the  same place Ol' Dude's wife produced three or four dark spawns, and these people want to shame my trade? Bitch, please.) — was used the coal that propelled my train to the White House.

Being poor is hell; I'm not about that life. Some men in this world are meant to toil in anonymity before dying. Some men are okay with this if they can own their little homes, drive their little cars, eat their cabbage and have hot water. (Do poor people still eat cabbage? Probably the dumb ones. The smart ones are eating drugs.) I am not that man.

Gaston Bullock Means was a private detective, salesman,
bootlegger, forger, swindler, murder suspect, blackmailer
and con artist.

Ordering 200 kilos from a ruthless Mexican cartel, without even the slightest hint of a distribution network, probably wasn't the smartest move, but it was damned bold. Just the type of power move for which I've been in search.

Those next two hours felt like days for me. Even in the pleasures of a bordel, there's little beyond sadomasochism that makes me well-and-truly randy. But, after a few hours, came a knock on my door. The rotund, suited man carrying a massive ornate suitcase waltzed in and the half-naked ethnic women scurried out. (Such are the lows and highs of life.)

When the door was shut and locked, Gaston threw the golden-encrusted suitcase onto the foot of my bed.

"There's 200 kilograms in there," Gaston said while lighting up a cigar. "Minus the nominal fee we discussed. The Mexicans have given you two weeks from today as a deadline for this consignment."

I flipped open the suitcase. An army of bright red snowman, the mark of the infamous Helado Cartel, stared back at me. Everything appeared to be in order, other than the peanuts Gaston B. Means undoubtedly stole from me on top of his fee. Such is life, and such is the price of the game. Every penny, whether in cocaine or blood, would be accounted for when this rocket ship landed.

I closed the case, and Gaston, knowing the deal was done, headed for the door. Before he took his last step out, however, he turned. "President Harding," he said. "If I may offer a mere mote of advice."

When I didn't object, Gaston continued, "Men like you and me didn't begin as overdogs in life. We started with scraps in the street, and that hunger is what we ground our axes on. It's what enabled us to become the titans we are today. Lying, cheating? Maybe. Maybe we did all that, but if not us then whom? It's the price of this game we play. Hungry dogs have no time for piss-in-the-wind philosophy constructs like morality.

As it pertains to the $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay, the Dog, Darkman-X was last week's musical guest, and you laid down three favorites. Your parlay two weeks ago brought more chalk than a primary school teacher on the first day of her career. Favorites, Mr. President? Psh. Marionaires have never been favorites." 

The next sound I heard was the door close. 



"If you're at rock bottom — keep digging," was a favorite phrase of my old comrade Thomas Edison. The giant of a man in a tiny frame was fond of that phrase in many fireside chats in the thick of the Maryland woods. He is the literal Thor of our people; however, it's a phrase I haven't truly appreciated until these last few weeks of destitution.

10K PRESIDENTIAL POWER PARLAY

  • STAKES: 10k to win 125k
  • UTAH STATE (+7) vs. USC
  • SPARTY (+7) vs. The Pope
  • KANSAS ST (+6) vs. Tejas
  • DEM UTES (+7) vs. BYU

One of my best friends is incarcerated in Georgia. I'm $20,000 plus an invaluable Gucci Mane's Illuminati necklace in in the hole to Gilderoy Scamp the Gypsy King. I'm determined to earn everything back. Eventually a hungry dog is going to eat.

Back in the gypsy den, I threw bricks of cocaine at the foot of Scamp's plush throne. "These bricks can be sold for $33,500 dollars a piece on the streets of Columbus."

The disgustingly obese, naked man simply grinned. He motioned to one of his lurking squires to dispose of the goods. When they were gone, Scamp's smile grew wider, "Why do you say it so sternly, President Harding? There aren't any enemies here," he wheezed. "You've made the Gypsy King rich, oh yes."

His egg roll-sized fingers fondled the golden Bart Simpson chain around his fat neck. "The Gypsy King was heartbroken to learn about your comrade, Gucci Mane," he said in mock sadness; the black coals shoved into his face where his eyes should be betrayed him. He was taunting me.

You will rue this day, Gypsi King, I promised myself before corralling my wild Irish blood. There was a time and place for everything, and this was neither. I collected myself:

"The $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay kicks off with THOSE AGGIES OF UTAH STATE (+7) vs. University of Southern California. If the Aggies pull off this upset, it could be Lane Kiffin's last game at USC before he takes over the Browns next year because this world is fraudulent. If we're lucky, USC players will play dead in a blatant effort to get their coach fired. Lane Kiffin is the worst, and I don't want to hear any garbage about scholarship limitations. He has more talent than 90% of the teams he faces and does fuck-all with it.

"Besides, would you leave Lane Kiffin in your living room with your mom? I sure as Hell wouldn't. Once he's fired, we can start the countdown until Bert Beliema brings him aboard his ship of slovenly baby-men and and his trophy wife. (Coincidentally, Bert's only trophy of note.) It will be the apotheosis of unreservedly smugness in college football.

FROM L TO R: Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, President Harding
and Harvey Firestone.

"The second game is #MSUDAWGS (+7) vs. Notre Dame. Speaking of undeserved smugness, Good God do I love betting against the Fighting Irish. We'll see who's the bigger bully: that #DAWGDEFENSE or Brian Kelly. They both bully teenagers, but one of them isn't a purple, portly, middle-aged man-child with a staggering Little Man complex.

"Teens have made me scream a time or two, but the exploited labor I was screaming at from my multi-million dollar throne didn't speak English and my screaming was due to euphoria — not deep-seated rage over a child's game.

"Sparty's defense is filled with a bunch of block-knockers. Notre Dame's already been caught on the bluff. They're not holding shit this year. Everybody knows it. 

"The third bet is KANSAS STATE WILDCATS (+6) over the Urn of Mack Brown's Ashes. (May he RIP.) Mack Brown had a fun run on the back of Vince Young all the way to a national title victory and there's no shame in that; he won more than he lost and will always be remembered, but THE GAME GOES ON. Nobody gives a shit about the past anymore."

The Gypsy King yawned, "So be it. Your rants grow tiresome."

"Lastly," I said, "Give me THEM FIGHTIN' UTES (+7) vs ol' Joseph Smith, for obvious reasons that are obvious, but namely I don't trust a grown man whose name is 'Marc Bronco Clay.'"

"Two kilos for $10,000 credit... a four-teamer to win $125,000... So, it is done." He dismissively waived his fat hand in the air. "You know your way to the exit."

"Gucci," I muttered as I spun around to exit the catacomb headquarters of the gypsy syndicate, "hang tight, my old friend. I'm coming."

#Regime #FreeGucci #illuminatiSultan, 

RT @truebluela: "The Wild Horse is on his way to second base, and he's driven in the tiebreaker." - Vin Scully


Read more of President Harding's legendary exploits in The Most Hated On, also available on Kindle.




© 2013 Eleven Warriors.

Eleven Dubcast: In Search of Monster Rattlers

09/18/2013 | Eleven Warriors 0

Why are we playing the Florida A&M Rattlers this week, anyway? This is the pressing question of our times, Eleven Dubskateers, and Johnny and I aren't afraid to ask the tough questions. And we ask those tough questions of tough men — men like our very own Ramzy Nasrallah.

Pretty much what we expect in Week 4 vs. FAMU.

That's right, you've been asking for him and we delivered. Ramzy was gracious enough to donate some of his precious time to the dubcast this week and as usual, he doesn't disappoint. He's got strong opinions and he's not afraid to share them. He's like our very own, non-psychotic version of Bo Pelini.

Ramzy talks about non-conference scheduling, what he sees in this year's team and the expectations he didn't have, and we even get into our incredible new event this year, the Gold Pants Social.

And of course Johnny and I wrap up the road trip to California, and discuss what we know about upcoming opponent Florida A&M (spoiler: not that much), people who want Kenny Guiton to start over a healthy Braxton Miller, and much, much more. We also answer your questions in our ever-popular "Ask Us Anything" segment, where you can literally ask us anything each week at [email protected]!

0:23- Johnny and I talk about Ohio State's game at Cal on Saturday and whether or not the defensive effort bothered us, and we give more love to Kenny Guiton (but are realistic about Braxton Miller's return).

14:53- Ramzy jumps on board and talks about scheduling FAMU, what he thinks of this year's Ohio State team, the B1G race and the national title picture, and the Gold Pants Social, Presented by Eleven Warriors. He even brings his own questions from Twitter! The guy does everything, seriously.

40:55- Ask Us Anything wants to know stuff. Odd stuff sometimes, but stuff nonetheless.

47:40- Which Ohio State Buckeye is most like a fox?

Music on the Dubcast this week was Ain't Talkin' Bout Love by Van Halen, I Got You Eating Out of My Hand by It Bites, and Dark Angel by The Reasoning. Another Dubcast for your consumption! See you next week.




© 2013 Eleven Warriors.

Wednesday Practice Update: Florida A&M; Week

09/18/2013 | Eleven Warriors 0

Columbus has been on Braxton Watch for more than a week now. It appears all the mystery and intrigue is coming to an end. Head coach Urban Meyer said on Wednesday that Miller should play in a limited role against Florida A&M, even though he’s still not operating at full speed.

The quarterback practiced Wednesday, and according to offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, Miller took more mental reps than physical reps. That’s in line with last week, when Kenny Guiton practiced with the first-string offense for nearly the entire week.

Regardless, Mewhort believes there is little reason to worry.

“We have two good quarterbacks,” he said.

Notes:

  • What Meyer is worried about is next week and beyond – the Big Ten schedule. Ohio State is undefeated and ranked in the top 5, but the Buckeyes haven’t been as dominant on either side of the ball as some expected, coaches included.
  • Adolphus Washington will not play Saturday and is probable for Wisconsin, Meyer said.
  • Meyer said the linebacker position remains the most concerning part of the team. He said there were misses in recruiting in recent years and said it’s caused a lack of depth at a key position.
  • In front of the linebackers, though, Meyer remains impressed in the defensive line. He lauded the coaching of Mike Vrabel and said the injuries to Washington and Tommy Schutt could have been devastating. Instead, the next guy up performed well and the unit hasn’t missed a beat.
  • Meyer said Schutt may not have been listed as a starter, but he was going to play half the snaps on defense. Schutt broke his foot the first week of the season and is due back in October.
  • Running back Carlos Hyde, who served a three-game suspension and had to earn his way back on the team, has done more than the coaches have asked of him, Meyer said.
  • Though Hyde remains low on the depth chart, he will play Saturday. Meyer raved about Jordan Hall’s production. Hard to take carries away from him.
  • Hall said you have to be unselfish if you want to win. That’s why he’s welcoming Hyde back with open arms. He knows he can improve the Buckeyes’ offense.
  • This week presents an opportunity for Ohio State to work on some of its weaknesses, Hall said. Fundamentals are the main thing he’ll try to improve.
  • The opponent hasn’t brought the team down. Hall said the Buckeyes have had two good days of practice. No sign of complacency.
  • Hall said Meyer is very eager and anxious in practice. Wants to get back on the playing field.
  • Pittsburgh Brown said Vonn Bell, Eli Apple and Cam Burrows continue to do well in practice. Thinks all three have a bright future.
  • C.J. Barnett said the defense has only been OK through three games. He thinks they’ve had too many missed tackles and lapses in coverage.
  • Instead of thinking of particular games as possibilities to make a statement, Barnett said it’s about the entire season and the whole body of work.
  • On the dime and penny (seven defensive backs) defenses, Barnett said he’s in favor. He’s all for having as many DBs on the field as possible. The depth they’ve shaped in the secondary allows them to get creative in coverages, Barnett said.
  • “Oh, man. Seems like they’re always doing something.” –Clevelander and Browns fan Marcus Hall, on the team trading Trent Richardson.



© 2013 Eleven Warriors.

Huskers Host Unbeaten Spartans in B1G Opener

09/18/2013 | Nebraska Headline News 0

Lincoln - The Nebraska soccer team returns home with momentum after a three-week road trip to open Big Ten Conference play on national television against unbeaten Michigan State on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 2 p.m.

Statement from Perlman, Eichorst, and Osborne

09/18/2013 | Nebraska Headline News 0

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst issued the following joint statement today.

Opponent Preview: South Dakota State

09/18/2013 | Nebraska Headline News 0

The Nebraska football team hosts South Dakota State on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. inside Memorial Stadium and Huskers.com gives fans a glimpse at Saturday's opponent.

Burroughs Wins Second FILA World Title

09/18/2013 | Nebraska Headline News 0

Former Husker Jordan Burroughs added to his international wrestling legacy on Wednesday by winning the 74-kg freestyle gold medal at the 2013 FILA World Championships.

Bradley Honored to SEC 2013 Football Legends Class

09/18/2013 | Missouri Football news 0

The Southeastern Conference 2013 Football Legends Class includes Mizzou Football and Baseball great Phil Bradley

Brooks: Spruce Benefits From Attention Given ‘P-Rich’

09/18/2013 | Colorado Headline News 0

If CU quarterback Connor Wood has been elated by the return of receiver Paul Richardson, Nelson Spruce isn't too far behind on the happiness index.
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