Welcome to Thursday! It’s the fourth best day of the week, behind Saturday, Sunday and Friday, and since there aren’t any weekend Hives, it has to be one of the top two Morning Hives of the week, right? We hope you got to see the awesome Braxton Miller feature last night on BTN’s “The Journey.” Braxton and the football Buckeyes are on their way to burn down Madison on Saturday. Meanwhile, their basketball brethren are preparing to face Rhode Island in Uncasville, CT in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off. It is sure to be one of the least watched televised games of the OSU season. (Because it foolishly starts during the football game and also because it’s only ‘televised’ on ESPN3.) We’ll have more on both games later, as well as Saturday’s hoops game against either Washington or Seton Hall. For now, let’s make with the Hiving.
There’s a lot of football left to be played, and this is obviously a rather moot point, but…could Ohio State win an AP national championship if it finished the season as the sole unbeaten team? This Toledo Blade article asked the question of whether voters would rank Ohio State No. 1 if all other teams suffer at least one defeat. While it’s kind of a fluffy topic, it’s also an interesting study in where voters’ heads are regarding the probationary Buckeyes. According to the article, 24 voters have Ohio State currently ranked fourth or higher on their ballots. The Blade polled 13 of them to ask if they would put the Buckeyes in the top spot if all other teams finish with a loss. Of the 13, one said he would put Ohio State at the top, six more said they’d consider it and the remaining six said no way. Again, this is all an exercise in wankery at this point anyway, but really? No way? Ohio State has yet to play its toughest two opponents of the season. If the Buckeyes were to easily handle both, while chaos was simultaneously destroying the other top teams, wouldn’t that make a compelling argument? No, says Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
“Practically speaking, someone is going to win the BCS bowls, someone is going to win the championship game, and those teams will have a better claim on the final ballot than someone who didn’t participate… Probation shouldn’t be a strategic advantage.”
While he has a point—Ohio State will not have had to play in a conference championship game or a bowl game against another top team—I have a hard time thinking of this year as anything other than a disadvantage. Some people (*cough*Mark May*cough*) said they wouldn’t even consider Braxton Miller as a Heisman candidate because Ohio State isn’t in the postseason picture. This is ludicrous, of course, since the Heisman is a regular season-based honor, but it illustrates the stigma of being bowl banned.
But consider last season. Voters asked for a rematch because they felt there was no viable legitimate No. 2 team other than Alabama. This year, should Bama somehow lose to Auburn, then beat Georgia in the SEC title game, you’d have to rule out the SEC, right? That leaves Oregon, which could somehow trip up in the Pac 12 title game and again in a bowl. Notre Dame still could lose to USC and its bowl game. Kansas State could also falter (theoretically). Maybe one of those three beats one of the others in the BCS title game, but it’s on an obvious bad call or it’s just a horrible game. If that happened—and if Ohio State ran the table—who would have a claim? A Florida team that barely escaped Louisiana-Lafayette? Florida State? (And keep in mind Florida and FSU have yet to play.) Clemson? I think the scenario above is highly unlikely, but if it did come to pass, you’d have to put aside prejudice and put the Buckeyes on top. And we’re all for Ohio State winning and BCS chaos in general, so can this please happen?
Shooty Lady Hoops Team Throttles Cincinnati, 87-49
Senior guard Tayler Hill poured in 21 points and dished out five dimes to lead the Lady Buckeyes to a huge 87-49 victory over the Bearcats in the OSU home opener last night. Charles gave you all the details, but the short version is that Amber Stokes and Raven Ferguson added 16 points each—Ferguson’s were a new career high and Stokes equaled her best scoring effort—and Ashley Adams had another good night with seven points, seven dimes, 10 rips and three blocked shots. Ohio State improved to 1-1 after the loss to Notre Dame at the Carrier Classic game that actually took place. The Buckeyes scorched the nets, shooting over 77% from the floor. They doubled up the Bearcats 42-21 by halftime and simply cruised from there. The Buckeyes will host Winthrop at St. John Arena at 2 p.m. Saturday.
It’s Official—Loving and Williams are Buckeyes
Thad Matta’s 2013 class became official on Wednesday. Marc Loving out of Toledo and Maryland guard Kameron Williams sent their signed letters of intent to Ohio State, giving Matta his new toys for 2013. Loving is a 6-8, 215-pound stud power forward out of St. John Jesuit and could contribute significant minutes immediately. He averaged 22.5 points as a junior last year. Williams is a 6-2 guard from Mount St. Joseph’s in Baltimore. He averaged 22.2 points and hit 48% outside the arc last season. The guard position seems well stocked for next season, but Williams is a top prospect that will provide excellent depth and vie for playing time behind Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Shannon Scott.
Buckeyes Add Preferred Walk-On Houston Jr., Son of Houston Sr.
As Vico reported last night, the Buckeyes added a fullback/H-back to the 2013 class yesterday with the addition of William Houston Jr., son of former Buckeye fullback William Houston. Out of Dublin Scioto High School, Houston eschewed a scholarship offer from Bowling Green to walk on at Ohio State. This is an interesting “signing” for the Buckeyes and we hope he has a successful career in scarlet and gray.
Hole Earns National POW Award in Vball
Ohio State senior Mari Hole was named Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week on Tuesday, after her outstanding performances against Northwestern and Illinois last week. She recorded double-doubles in both Buckeye victories, including a 21-kill performance against the Illini. In the two matches Hole posted a total of 40 kills and 25 digs. Hole has been doing some fine work all season for the No. 15 Buckeyes, leading the team to its fourth consecutive 20-win season. Ohio State (20-8, 11-5 in B1G play) will visit Purdue and Indiana this weekend.
In case you missed it, this Texas A&M fan had the greatest game day experience ever…Speaking of the Alabama-A&M game, here is a great video of Tide fans’ reactions (kudos to ‘Larry’ for not giving up—“There’s still tahm!”)…Turns out Ohio State’s opening opponent Albany isn’t too shabby. They followed their loss at OSU with a win at defending Pac 12 champ Washington (possibly Ohio State’s Sunday opponent)…Spaceship alphabet poster…Buckeyes baseball squad signs seven for 2014…The New York Times destroys Guy Fieri’s new Times Square restaurant in this review.