Happy Friday to you, Buckeye Nation. Wrapping up the first week of our new morning Hive series is both an honor and a privilege. As most of you embark on the final day of your work week, with the promise of sports and properly chilled Yuenglings looming in the near future (except where it is not yet available), we at Our Honor Defend will be celebrating the final installment of our Urban Week features. This afternoon, we’ll look at Urban Meyer’s overall history and why a return to the Buckeye state is so important to him. This may provide some closure for angry Gator fans. Or not. Either way, it’s been fun bringing you a full week of Urbanization. Also, look for my shooty hoops preview of Ohio State’s trip to Lawrence, Kansas. That should be posted this evening. #AllMichaelEverything
As we await word on whether Sully is a go for the Kansas game (game time decision), it’s helpful to remind everyone that a loss at Lawrence wouldn’t be the end of the world. Allen Fieldhouse is one of the country’s most intimidating places to play. The Jayhawks have only dropped two games there since the start of the 2007-08 season. They’ve gone undefeated there twice in that span and haven’t lost at home this year (so far) either. A healthy Sullinger would give Ohio State a much better chance of stealing a win in Lawrence, but this will not be an easy game. Deshaun Thomas and Evan Ravenel will have to step up their game against the dual inside threat of pre-season All-American Thomas Robinson and 7-foot center Jeff Withey. It should be a great matchup. More on that later.
This week began with Vico telling you about the sad passing of former OSU assistant coach Joe Daniels. The bad news continued on Tuesday with word of the passing of former Ohio State hoops star Brent Darby, who died of blood clot-related issues at the tender age of 30. The reason it doesn’t seem that long ago since Darby was scoring points in bunches is because it wasn’t. Darby played for the Buckeyes as recently as the 2002-03 season, when he was named the team’s MVP. He ranks 25th on the all-time Ohio State scoring list, with 1,368 career points. Darby shared the team’s all-time 3-point mark with Scoonie Penn until Jamar Butler and then some guy named Jon Diebler came along. Perhaps the most lasting image we’ll have of Brent is when he carried his team to the 2003 B1G Tournament championship game. As an eighth seed. Yes, we’ll miss you, Brent. You were truly a winner. Here is one of our favorite memories of his OSU career.
The Best Buckeyes You’re Not Talking About
The Ohio State men’s hockey team is ranked fourth in the country—it’s highest ranking since 2005. Unbeaten in 11 straight games and winners of their last nine, the Buckeyes are having a great season, led by senior goaltender Cal Heeter, the reigning CCHA Goaltender of the Week. Heeter is 11-1-1 with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage. He’s won the CCHA weekly netminder award twice this season and five times overall. Sophomore forward Chris Crane leads the OSU attack, with 17 points (9 goals, 8 assists), while senior forward Danny Dries leads in goals (10) and is tied for second in points (15) with freshman Ryan Dzingel. Many of the games are not televised, which will hopefully change with the B1G becoming a hockey conference. Tonight, the Buckeyes go for their 10th straight win, hosting Miami of Ohio. Don’t forget that Ohio State will play an outdoor game against TTUN on Jan. 15 at The Jake in Cleveland (I will never be able to call that stadium by its corporate name) in the Frozen Diamond Faceoff. Ticket information is available here. Even if you don’t like the sport, you have to admit that the team’s white jerseys are awesome.
Quarterback Coaching? Yes, Please!
According to Adam Jacobi of CBSSports.com, the Buckeyes will be announcing the hiring of Tom Herman as the new OSU quarterbacks coach. This is a good thing for so many reasons. First, coaching of quarterbacks has been virtually nonexistent under Nick Siciliano, particularly since Jim Tressel was forced out. Second, Herman has been offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Iowa State, and one would think that a step down the coaching ladder means it is likely the Ohio State offensive coordinator position has been solidified, even if not publicly. And then there is the fact that Herman is a great choice. Iowa State’s media guide raves about him.
The statistics and accomplishments speak for themselves. Iowa State quarterback Austen Arnaud ended his career as the Cyclones No. 2 all-time leading passer with 6,777 yards and 42 touchdown passes. His 8,044 yards of total offense is the second-best total in school history. Running back Alexander Robinson finished his Iowa State career as the Cyclones’ fourth all-time leading rusher with 3,309 yards. Such are the fruits of the Iowa State spread offense employed by offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman in the first two years of the Paul Rhoads era.
Kyle Dodson to Visit Ohio State — Flipping?
Wisconsin 4-star offensive line commit Kyle Dodson has confirmed he will visit Ohio State ($) to compare the two schools. Dodson hasn’t said he’s flipping his commitment as Kyle Kalis did, but the Twitterverse was abuzz Wednesday night about the possibility of Urban Meyer persuading him to become a Buckeye. Offensive line is a position of need for Ohio State and someone of Dodson’s caliber could step right in and play very early in his career. Clearly the old regime waited too long and did not pursue Dodson strongly enough. With Meyer on a full-court recruiting press, there at least appears to be a chance that the Army All-American and Cleveland Heights High star could switch his allegiance to Columbus. Dodson is known for his power, strength, size (6-6, 310), ability to get to the second level, and his nasty streak. And of course he would fit the bill for our NEED MOAR TACKLES campaign. Alex over at 11W made up a nice list so you can see which prospects will be visiting Ohio State this weekend.
Charlie Weis to Kansas-LOLWUT?
The offense the Buckeyes will face in the Gator Bowl just got a shot in the arm with Charlie Weis leaving to take the head coaching position at Kansas. No doubt the string of successes Weis has left behind at Florida and Notre Dame weighed heavily (no pun intended, honest!) on his selection. Weis will be introduced today. As odd as this news was to me, I doubt it will create a distraction for the Jayhawks hoops team. What makes this hiring even more strange is that some reports said Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp was unaware Weis was in line for the job. This story seems to debunk that rumor, though. No word yet on whether any Florida assistants will follow Weis to Lawrence, but it appears he will not coach in the Gator Bowl.