Happy Thursday-before-Christmas, Hive Nation! As Vico treks west to California for the holidays, I’m pretty sure I’m in charge of the store. Oh sure, other staff members have been at Our Honor Defend longer, but it’s all about column inches, baby. Don’t worry, I won’t let the power go to my head, although I will be having Josh bring me sandwiches and picking up my dry cleaning while Vico is gone. Can’t let the staff become soft or break routine. It takes too long to train them to let it all go to waste.
As you know, Kansas is coming to town on Saturday to face our basketball Buckeyes. That game can be seen at 4 p.m. on CBS. It should quite a test for this young Ohio State team, which was obviously looking so forward to the Jayhawks visiting that it almost forgot to play Winthrop on Tuesday. Even ugly, terrible wins count in the win column, so we can’t worry too much about a lackluster performance against the Eagles. I found it noteworthy that the trio of Aaron Craft, Shannon Scott and Lenzelle Smith accounted for 25 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists, 6 steals and only one turnover. The technical term for that kind of performance is “not too shabby.” The post play in that game, however, blech. Hive with me.
SHOW ME THE MON….Oh, there it is. Thanks.
Brian Bennett of ESPN, who I normally try to avoid like the plague, gave us this interesting look at assistant football coach salaries in the B1G (sans Nerdwestern and Penn Shtate, which aren’t subject to the same open-record s laws as the rest of the league). As we knew before, Luke Fickell is the conference’s highest paid assistant at $761K. Tom Herman is fifth at $456K. Sandwiched between Fickell are the two coordinators from TTUN (DC Greg Mattison at $758,900 and OC Al Borges at $658,300), as well as Sparty DC Pat Narduzzi ($501,700). Ohio State spent $3.29 million on its staff this season, just $360,000 more than TTUN. Assuming the Nerds and Nitts don’t spend more—and they don’t— that’s tops in the B1G. I found it interesting that Wisconsin was ninth among the 10 known schools, spending $1.77 million in 2012. Only Purdue spent less (unless Northwestern or Penn State did). This underlines one of the reasons that Bert split for the SEC.
Personally, I think Tom Herman should get a raise for all he accomplished in his first season at Ohio State. You’d ideally like to price him out of taking a MAC or other mid major head coaching job. Some coaches will take less to become THE guy, but most wouldn’t take significantly less. We know the plundering of Urban Meyer’s staff will happen at some point, but it would be nice to keep our Mensa member around for a few years. It will be quite interesting to watch how Meyer’s coaching tree grows while he’s in the 614.
Nick Sharick is a preferred walk-on at long snapper
Footbaw news! Nick Sharick has been green lighted by Meyer’s staff as a preferred walk-on long snapper for 2013. Sharick was a 2012 graduate of Westerville’s Thomas Worthington High School. Special teams maven Chris Rubio rated Sharick the No. 12 long snapper in the 2012 class. The Ohio product chose Tennessee but gray shirted. He reportedly picked the Vols over West Virginia, Purdue and South Carolina. Sharick also bypassed the Gamecocks this time around to become a Buckeye. One would suspect the scholarship offer to Bryce Haynes prevented Sharick from originally going to Ohio State. Now Sharick will provide depth for Haynes and George Makridis.
What’s the matter, Colonel Sanders? Chicken?
Apparently Texas A&M is going to sign ALL OF THE RECRUITS. The Aggies are already in the mid-30s in commitments and Tommy Sanders will be the sixth linebacker in the class. I’ve never been a highly regarded football recruit, but I can’t imagine that anything would be more important to me than the opportunity to play for a winning program. The Buckeyes certainly have a need at linebacker and will begin the season ranked in the top 10, with a fairly easy schedule. It’s conceivable that Sanders could have played significant minutes for a national title contender as a freshman. Perhaps he will still do that at Texas A&M, but the road certainly seems less bumpy in Columbus. Still, it’s hard to fathom sometimes what goes on in a teenager’s mind or what leads them to choose certain schools. Urban Meyer still has a good shot at landing linebackers Mike Mitchell and Trey Johnson.
Badgers replace Bert with Gary Andersen
Although he sounds like the most awesome hybrid of former NFL kickers Gary Anderson and Morten Andersen, Gary Andersen is the new head coach at Wisconsin, replacing WOO BERT SOOIE. Barry Alvarez got a good look at Andersen when the coach led Utah State into Madison in September and came within a college kicker of beating his new boss’s team. Despite not being a big, flashy name, Andersen seems to be a very solid hire. He led his Aggies to a WAC title and an 11-2 mark this season, finishing with a 41-15 beat down of Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday. Unlike Bert, who is gleefully pulling scholarship offers at Arkansas, Andersen seems like a good guy. In fact, he’s the anti-Bobby Petrino and anti-Todd Graham rolled into one. Petrino famously left his Atlanta Falcons players notes in their lockers to let them know he was leaving, and Graham told his players via text. Andersen manned up and personally called every player on the Utah State roster to let them know he was going—a task that kept him up until 2:30 a.m. Respect.
The new Badger boss is a defensive specialist with several jobs on the D side of the ball—including defensive coordinator at rival Utah—leading up to his stint at Utah State. However, he did get his start as an offensive coordinator at Southeastern Louisiana in 1988 and was also an offensive line coach at Ricks College for three seasons. Andersen is an interesting hire, as Alvarez has publicly said he doesn’t envision his team as a team that spreads out opponents or goes no huddle. Andersen’s team has done both this season. Only time will tell for sure if Andersen ends up being a good fit at Wisconsin or a fiery ball of doom that undoes everything that Barry Alvarez started back in 1990. I’d bet that he’ll be OK. If you believe Twitter rumors, Andersen has a five-year deal worth $1.8 million the first year and $100K raises each year. On a related note, NEVER believe Twitter rumors.
LOL to the victors…Urbz is powerful, and with great power comes great responsibility [pours one out for Uncle Ben]…Powerful or not, despite turning a 6-7 team into a 12-0 juggernaut, making a backup tight end into a starting tackle and fixing a broken defense by making a fullback play linebacker, Meyer got not one damn vote for AP Coach of the Year. Sanctions, y’all…Talkin’ ‘bout practice (or lack thereof)…Oregon will soon face the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions and good luck in the NFL, Chip Kelly…Christmas Prince!