Good morning Hivesters and welcome to the best Monday edition of the hive ever. Apologies for my absence last week. I had a family emergency take place last Sunday night that prevented me from getting to my computer to get you my mockery of Bret Bielema complete with every awesome Internet meme ever made in the coach’s honor. It was going to be epic, much like how Wisconsin’s season was supposed to pan out. We can see exactly what happened there.
Some of you might criticize my naming of this past weekend the best sports weekend I’ve ever had, but let me set you up with why: I am a Cleveland fan. My college football team is ineligible for bowl season. Despite the high preseason rankings, it doesn’t change the fact that my college basketball team lost one of the best players to ever step foot on that court to the NBA. My second alma mater is a MAC school. This weekend, not one of these adversities mattered. Ohio State and the Cleveland Browns beat their rivals, the Buckeyes blew away the competition on the hardwood and KENT FREAKING STATE! I’m even proud of the Cincinnati Bengals for winning yesterday so we can have complete football happiness all along I-71 in Ohio. This is rare, folks. The only thing that would have made it better would be if the Cavs hadn’t lost to the Heat by two and if the Dolans magically sold the Tribe. But enough about the negative.
HAIL TO THE….Haha…Nope.
Michael will have a full, more insightful and downright phenomenal recap for you later this week, but this game ruled hard. Sure, we had our moments and Denard does deserve credit for a touchdown that had me a little worried, but, as we’ve seen time and time again in Ohio State football history, field goals are important and two of those from Drew Basil were enough to come out on top. My seats were smack dab at the very top of Ohio Stadium right on the 50-yard line. This was great because I had a lovely windwall, could use my flask in peace and made friends with a 13-year-old girl who I think I was able to convince to that Ohio State is really the only place she should consider going for college. Her father was much appreciative of my efforts and didn’t even mind my swearing or drinking. I love being a role model.
Oh, and lets not forget the endearing homecoming for former coach Jim Tressel and the 2002 undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes (along with Maurice Clarett). Of course, there is still some controversy in the media surrounding this homecoming, but in my opinion, I think this is step one in the healing process. After all, Woody Hayes punched a man and eventually gave a commencement speech at OSU. Time cures all wounds.
Despite no bowl game, the Ohio State Buckeyes are 12-OH and sit at No. 4 in the AP rankings behind Notre Dame, Alabama and Georgia. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen numerous articles analyzing the drive, character and spirit of our players and how much they’ve been willing to stay here and stick it out with Urban Meyer before even knowing him. The seniors all had a choice to transfer somewhere bowl eligible, but they chose Ohio State. I know that feeling. Obviously I was never faced with a situation that required me to choose OSU over another school, but I can relate to the spirit and the sense of belonging one can have toward the school. It really is a beautiful thing.
Meanwhile, on the hardwood
Sure, we still have another month of football season, but for Ohio State, we just have this fine win to chew on until another September is upon us. We must now focus our support to our basketball teams who had some nice weekends of their own. Friday night, the No. 3 men’s team completely obliterated University of Missouri-Kansas City, another Summit League victim to Aaron Craft’s hypnotic swoon power. I don’t quite understand how I could not find this game on the radio as I drove to Columbus, but I suppose I didn’t miss anything too out of the ordinary.
Speaking of Aaron Craft, his sister, Cait, made her Ohio State debut with the Lady Buckeyes yesterday in a blowout win over Wright State. Charles is your resident lady shooty hoops expert and has a great recap for you, so you should go read that now.
The last thing I want to do is jinx anything, but if No. 17 Kent State can beat Northern Illinois in the MAC title game Friday, Coach Hazell and his Golden Flashes will be set up nicely to head to a BCS bowl game. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
The BCS rules state that a school not from a “guaranteed-bid” conference earns a spot in one of the BCS bowls if it finishes in the top 16, and is ahead of the top-ranked team from one of the “guaranteed-bid” conferences.
These chances would be further helped if Texas loses to Kansas State, Wisconsin beats Nebraska and Stanford beats UCLA. The same goes for NIU, who is currently ranked No. 21 and could potentially leapfrog into the top 16 with other key BCS losses. I don’t know one person not pulling for Hazell and the Flashes, especially former colleagues and players at OSU, many of whom say Hazell is the best coach they’ve ever had. If Kent State doesn’t pull a 2008 Ball State, and everything else pans out as it should, they would be the first MAC team to ever be in a BCS bowl.
Links and things
The firing squad hit the college football world big yesterday. Auburn’s Gene Chizik and Purdue’s Danny Hope are among those without jobs today, yet Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz is still at Iowa…If you haven’t seen this photo by now, prepare to fall in love…Women’s volleyball is headed to the NCAA tournament…Cyber Monday is today…Shop Eleven Warriors dry goods…Browns fans are lovers, not fighters…Holiday magic is back in CLE…Hand signals are scary sometimes, especially when you’re Michigan.