Well week 2 of the college football season and the opening week of the NFL season are done now and hopefully everyone’s fantasy football teams did as well as mine did this weekend. While college football interest is pretty much non-existent here in Australia there is a bit more interest in the NFL, at least from some of the expats living here. Last Thursday the American and Canadian expat groups (the Canadians had to tag along with us because they know American football is better than their Canadian stuff) reserved the second floor of a bar in downtown Sydney to watch the tape delayed broadcast of the Giants-Cowboys season opener. While I did not really care about either team, the chance to watch football with other fans was too good to pass up. The night turned out to be a blast, about 100 Americans (and people from America’s hat) hanging out in a bar in Sydney, watching football and drinking beer, felt like being back home. The time differences still make watching football a bit difficult but at the same time it does mean that I can spend the days on the weekends enjoying the beautiful weather here.
After two weeks of playing teams from lesser conferences, I am so excited to see Ohio State take on California. While UCF isn’t a bad team and will likely win Conference USA this season, it is harder to get as excited about facing a team from a non-BCS conference than it is to face a BCS team; this may have helped contribute to the lower than normal attendance last week. While I understand the financial reasons to schedule lesser known teams, scheduling BCS teams is more exciting for the fans. Sure Cal isn’t the best team in the PAC 12 but it is still nice to face a team with a name and some history, plus as the season progresses they will provide a yard stick for OSU to compare against.
Helping to add to the excitement this weekend will be the honoring of some great Buckeyes from years past. During the game four members of the 1942 national championship team (Paul Matus, Carmen Naples, Paul Priday, and Don Steinberg) will be honored, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the first OSU national title. Halftime will see the honoring of another group of legendary Buckeyes as the 2012 OSU Athletics Hall of Fame class will be introduced to the public. The class includes Louise Bond-Williams (fencing), Pete Cusick (football), Jessica Davenport (basketball), George Downes (wrestling), Joseph Gailus (football), Ray Griffin (football), Rex Holman (wrestling), Bob Knight (lifetime achievement), Keturah Lofton (track and field), Dick Schafrath (football), Jim Stone (women’s volleyball coach) and Mike Vrabel (football). These are some great Buckeyes who all are very deserving of this honor. Several of the names in this class make feel old as I remember being in the band cheering for Jessica Davenport on the basketball court and Jim Stone’s volleyball teams, and against Bobby Knight’s Indiana team.
Women’s Volleyball Takes Another Tournament
The Ohio State women’s volleyball team traveled to Bowling Green, KY to take part in the Western Kentucky University Tournament. On Friday, the Buckeyes opened the tournament by taking on 10th ranked Dayton. Dayton looked every bit like their ranking as the opened the first set by jumping out to a quick 7 to 2 lead but OSU came roaring back to take an 11 to 10 lead that they would never relinquish on the way to winning the set 25-22. Set two did not go as well for the Buckeyes as the Flyers led for most of the set before winning 25-21. Ohio State opened set three strong, building an 18 to 11 lead. Dayton would eventually trim that lead to four but OSU held on for a 25-20 win. The back and forth match continued as Dayton won set four 25-21. Set five saw a couple lead changes but in the end Ohio State came away with a 15-12 set win to pull off the upset of previously undefeated Dayton 3 sets to 2. Senior Mari Hole recorded her second double-double of the season with 21 kills and 10 digs while senior Mariah Booth had 19.5 points and a career-high 17 kills.
The rest of the weekend was less nerve wracking for Buckeye fans as Ohio State defeated IUPUI 3-1 (25-9, 22-25, 26-24, 25-16) later on Friday. Four Buckeyes got into double digits in terms of kills: senior Mari Hole with 18, junior Kaitlyn Leary with a career best 17, senior Mariah Booth with 13, and senior Emily Danks with 12. Sophomore Taylor Sherwin wasn’t content with letting the old people do all the work as she notched 34 assists and 8 digs.
On Saturday OSU faced host Western Kentucky and won the WKU Tournament title with a 3-1 win (25-17, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23). For the third straight game Mari Hole led the team in kills, nothing 13 while earning herself the tournament MVP award; junior Kaitlyn Leary also was named to the All-Tournament team. Freshman middle blocker Andrea Kacsits continued her impressive rookie season as she contributed to half of the teams blocks, recording 1 solo block and 7 block assists.
Pulling off the upset of a top 10 Dayton team was a big win for Ohio State and shows that they can compete with the best teams in the country. Senior Emily Danks earned most of the preseason press for the Buckeyes and while she has had a great start to the season, fellow senior Mari Hole has been even more impressive. The impressive weekend by the Buckeyes saw them return to the national rankings as they are now 21st in the country. This weekend OSU travels to Houston, TX to face Pepperdine, Florida State, and Houston in the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup (that is its actual name, I’m just not going to comment).
Women’s Soccer Has Big Week and Is Rewarded For It
The Ohio State women’s soccer team earned a pair of wins this past week to give them a 5 game winning streak, all of those wins being upsets. On Thursday the Buckeyes hosted 13th ranked Missouri and pulled off a 1-0 upset in overtime thanks to a goal by Tiffany Cameron; the win improved OSU’s record to 2-0 against ranked teams this season. On Sunday Ohio State hosted Duquesne and once again Tiffany Cameron was the star as she recorded two goals as the Buckeyes beat the Dukes 3-0.
In a decision that shocked nobody, Tiffany Cameron was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, single-handily scoring 3 goals in two games will do that. Not content to take just one weekly award, the Buckeyes captured a second as goalkeeper Rachel Middleman was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week thanks to her role in the two shutouts.