G’day mates and welcome to another Wednesday Morning Hive. I spent most of this week at a three day astronomy conference for early career researchers and during this conference I was reminded just how much being a Buckeye gets into your blood. While the conference had a number of interesting talks, not all of them were in areas that I understood, or was as interested in, so during these talks I attempted to get some work done on my laptop. This resulted in me not paying great attention to what the speakers were talking about as I was only half listening. At one point, I heard one of the speakers say ‘OH’ and I barely stopped myself from reflexively responding with ‘IO’. It turns out that speaker was talking about OH masers and not the Buckeyes, not surprising considering the conference and venue. This just goes to show that you cannot escape from your OSU training, no matter how far you go.
Bands in the Era of the Hurry-Up
It is a staple of college football, a play has just finished and the band launches into a song to celebrate a good play or to try and fire up the fans and team to recover from a band play. Traditionally the band breaks into the fight song, other school songs, or other popular tunes. Everyone who has gone to an Ohio State football game has heard the OSUMB launch into such popular songs as “Hang on Sloopy”, “Le Regiment”, “Night on Bald Mountain”, the fight songs, or some other song. The band would often be unable to get all the way through a song in the time between plays and thus had shortened versions of many of these songs that covered key parts of the music.
With the arrival of Urban Meyer and his more up-tempo offense, the time between plays run by the Buckeyes has decreased. Some of the effects of this have been obvious to anyone who watched OSU games on ESPN as the network often missed the start of plays early in the season while showing graphics, stadium shots, or shots of the announcers in the booth. Another effect of this was probably a bit less noticed, and that was the impact that the hurry-up offense has on the band. With less time between plays, the band has less time to play. This poses a challenge as the band has to find music that can fit into those times and will still get a reaction from the crowd. This is not a problem that is unique to OSU, in fact every band whose football team has gone to a hurry-up offense has had to contend with this. Grantland write Caleb Hannan wrote an excellent piece talking about how bands at various schools, including Oregon and Oklahoma, have dealt with this. The solutions have varied from introducing theme songs for big plays by various players to using more drum cheers instead of full band songs. Directing staffs have also had to adapt, altering how the signal in songs to the band and even whether they have time to turn and watch the game.
Signalling in songs has been one area where TBDBITL has been ahead on this as the band director has used a variety of hand signals for years to let the band know what to play next. Since the band memorizes all music played in the stands, this means that the band is ready to play almost instantaneously. This gives a big advantage over bands who use paper signs to signal songs or who don’t memorize their music. I expect that OSU’s offense will only get faster in the future as Meyer gets his style of player into the program and this increased speed will put more pressure on the OSUMB to keep up with the pace of the game while still performing its traditional role of keeping the crowd fired up and helping to create a home field advantage. Fortunately as this season showed, TBDBITL is in good hands and I have no doubt that they will come up with a solution to the faster pace that will be better to what any other band has come up with.
Undefeated Celebration ‘Sold Out’
As I mentioned in my article on the band on Monday, the Ohio State athletic department will be holding an event in St. John Arena on Friday to celebrate the football team’s undefeated season. The celebration will feature the marching band, cheerleaders, and of course the football team in what should be a great even for all Buckeyes. Realizing how popular this event would be, the athletic department required those wishing to attend to get a free ticket from their website. OSU fans quickly flocked to the offer and by Tuesday evening all the tickets to the event had been snatched up and over 13,000 fans are expected to pack St. John to join in the celebration. Fortunately for those who couldn’t get tickets, and those of us who live too far away, the event will be streamed live at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. The OSUMB will start the celebration with music at 6:30 pm and the event program will start at 7:15 pm.
Women’s Volleyball Sees The Season End
The Ohio State women’s volleyball team started NCAA tournament play this past Friday by taking on Notre Dame in Lexington, Kentucky. The Buckeyes got the tournament off to a great start, dominating the Irish to win in straight sets 25-16, 25-21, and 25-17. Junior Kaitlyn Leary was the star for OSU as she recorded a career high 0.842 attack percentage, coming up with 16 kills on 19 attempts, while alos adding 7 digs. Senior Mari Hole came up with 14 kills while fellow seniors Mariah Booth and Emily Danks had 9 and 8 kills, respectively.
Saturday’s second round saw Ohio State taking on host and overal #16 seed Kentucky. The Buckeyes got off to a good start, comfortably winning the first set 25-18. The Wildcats opened up a a 15-9 lead midway through set two before OSU rallied to take a 21-20 lead in the set. Unfortunately the Buckeyes couldn’t hold on and Kentucky took the set 26-24. The late run to win by Kentucky gave them all the momentum and they used that to cruise to a 25-15 win in set three and then a 25-18 win in set four to take the match 3-1. Senior Mari Hole ended her career by recording her 18th double-double of the season with 18 kills and 12 digs.
Ohio State finished the season with a 23-11 record and ended up fourth in the Big Ten. The season was full of up and downs for the Buckeyes as they pulled off some impressive wins over ranked wins but also suffered some disappointing upsets, most notably the season-ending loss to Michigan. Next season should be interesting for the Buckeyes as they return some talented underclassmen but will lose two very talented senior leaders in Mari Hole and Emily Danks. Hole led the team this season in kill and points per set, she was fourth and fifth in the Big Ten in these categories and was a unanimous All-Big Ten pick. Danks was an honorable mention All-Big Ten performer for the second year-in-a-row and led the team in service aces and blocks, as well as being second in points per set. Hole and Danks finished their OSU careers by receiving AVCA All-Mideast Honors for their performance on the season.
Goaltender Wins Award
Ohio State men’s hockey player Brady Hjelle was named CCHA goaltender of the month for November. Hjelle, a senior player, led the conference with a 0.62 goals-against average and a 0.978 save percentage. This award shouldn’t be a surprise as Hjelle won the CCHA goaltender of the week twice over the past month. In his five appearances this month, Hjelle never allowed more than one goal and was named the first star in all four games taht he started. Hjelle’s goaltending was a key part of OSU’s road sweep of CCHA opponent Michigan State last weekend and will look to continue his strong performance as the Buckeyes take on Robert Morris in a non-conference home-and-home series ths weekend.