Try not to laugh. I know it’s hard. It’s even more difficult to hold your tongue (or keyboardin’ fingers). But try. Yes, the Miami Hurricanes are in a world of pain right now in what is possibly the worst case of wanton disregard for the NCAA rulebook since #FireCraigJames suited up for SMU. (if the Yahoo! Sports story is true). However, it’s a little premature to finger point or get your lulz, even though some of us have already slipped down that path just a teeny little bit. You see, our own program still isn’t out of the woods. We have passed the August 12 meeting with the COI, but there is still the matter of sanctions yet to come, along with the rumblings of a continuting investigation, which might have something to do with our former three-year starting quarterback (more below). Remember what havoc karma wreaked upon Earl Hickey. But let’s lighten things up a little. Our football team is on the field and preparing for world domination, and that’s worthy of a few words.
The latest on the Ohio State quarterback battle is that a pecking order is starting to emerge in fall camp. On Tuesday, the order was: Joe Bauserman, Braxton Miller, Kenny Guiton and Taylor Graham. Joe B was reportedly balling hard, but it sounded like the defensive backs were trolling harder and picking off not just Old Man Bauserman (to be fair, his receiver slipped), but all the Buckeye QBs. There are a lot of people out there pulling for Braxton Miller to win the job, and with his playmaking ability that’s not surprising. My vote is for whichever signal caller can move the offense, check out of bad plays into good ones (if given permission to do that), and keep from getting fooled by the defense. Miller’s talents seem well suited for the OSU offense we’ve come to know, but that’s not to say the job is his to lose. If this coaching staff is Tressel-tested, then they too will be looking for mistake-free football, and whoever can provide that will start. Many people don’t like 2-headed quarterbacks, but it has worked in the college game before and if Bauserman gets the job, it would be nice to at least see a package of plays designed for Braxton, or a Brax Pack, if you will.
There’s a lot of hate for Bauserman out there amongst Buckeye Nation. I hear you even now. You’re out there sharpening the pitchforks and preparing the torches. For many of you, this is largely based on Bauserman’s appearances in mop-up time and one brief stint of meaningful minutes vs. Illinois. It’s important to note that Tressel and his coaching staff did not game plan for the Illini with Joe B in mind. It’s also worth mentioning that Bauserman has never received first-team reps during a game week. And, lastly, it’s worthwhile remembering that in garbage time you don’t really see a player’s true ability shining through. If Joe had been given first-team reps and was part of the game plan for Illinois he still might have sucked, but we don’t know that for sure. It’s also hard to fault a guy for looking a little shaky when he’s tossed into the fire unexpectedly in front of a hostile crowd. He wasn’t really asked to do much that day (and he didn’t). But that doesn’t mean he’s a total flop. He might be, but it’s too soon to tell. If he gets the nod, I hope I never have to hear the “I told you so” chorus. I prefer to listen to Genesis or Rush.
In other camp news, Jordan Hall continues to be all over the field (in a good way), and Bradley Roby is emerging as the favorite to start opposite Travis Howard. Howard has a tweaked ankle, while Nate Williams and Tyler Moeller also had dings this week, but Luke Fickell said it was nothing to worry about.
Because there’s no such thing as a week without this crap, here’s more… Terrelle Pryor’s attorney has announced that the former OSU quarterback told the NCAA that he took money from mentor Ted Sarniak. Ohio State, meanwhile, says they knew nothing about these new allegations. Pryor allegedly told the NCAA this in May, so it is curious that Ohio State did not know about it. That might mean that the investigation is ongoing about Pryor and Sarniak and that there are not yet any additional allegations. If any allegations had already been leveled at Ohio State, they should have been on the NCAA’s original NOA. If Ohio State had no knowledge of it, then there should not be additional fallout since the player has left the team and the only other person who could have known (Tressel) resigned retired was forced out by the Board of Trustees. As always, stay tuned.
Meaningless, but… Pre-season rankings mean less than anything that comes out of Les Miles’ mouth, but Phil Steele’s initial power rankings for 2011 have Ohio State at the top of the B1G. The Steele-meister has the Buckeyes at 14th overall.
From the “O RLY?” department… Buckeye fans know that Columbus is one of the most wonderful locations on the entire globe any time of year, but especially in the fall. National Geographic agrees. However, we’re not sure how Nat Geo can list so many great things about Columbus and somehow overlook the obvious. Other top 2011 autumn destinations include Stuttgart, Germany; Zanzibar, Tanzania; and Emerald Coast, Florida. But don’t go to those places this fall unless they’ve got the Big Ten Network and ESPN GamePlan, or you might miss some doubter-silencing, world-shocking football.
Briefly…The Northwestern Kitties will have a new shooty hoops court that will purple you until you vomit…Admit it, you did not know that Evan Blankenship has a prodigious number of digits…One look and you will know this shirt is awesome and you must have one. Buy it immediately.
Late Addition (9:25 a.m.)…Per Adam Schefter, Terrelle Pryor was just declared eligible for the NFL Supplemental Draft on August 22. Word is that he still has to serve a 5-game suspension during which he cannot practice or play. I seem to recall a certain Pittsburgh quarterback who only got four games for breaking an actual law while ALREADY an NFL player. I also seem to recall no postseason ban carryover for Pete Carroll. Seems a tad hypocritical, NFL.