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Around the Big Ten (week 7)

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1. #2 Ohio State 30, #8 Wisconsin 23 (OT): In a rare battle of top-10 teams within the conference, the Buckeyes survived a horrible first half (6 points scored, 16 points allowed, 313 yards allowed, 8.0 yards per play allowed) and did just enough in the second half to force overtime. In the extra frame, the Buckeye offense scored a touchdown and the defense forced a turnover on downs. J.T. Barrett led Ohio State with 318 total yards (92 rushing, 226 passing) and 3 total TDs (2 rushing, 1 passing), while the Wisconsin offense had a number of season-best performances: running back Corey Clement (25 rushes, 164 yards); wide receiver Jazz Peavy (146 all-purpose yards, TD); and tight end Troy Fumagalli (7 receptions, 84 yards, including season long receptions of 28 and 30 yards).

2. Minnesota 31, Maryland 10: After beginning the season with four straight wins and...

Post-Game Recap (Wisconsin 2016)

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1. It started off a lot like 2010, it ended up a lot like 2012, and there was an unhealthy dose of 2013 thrown into the mix. Anyone who thought that this was going to be a redux of 2014 was disabused of that notion about two minutes into the game. Here, let me explain:

2. In the 2010 contest between Ohio State and Wisconsin, the Badgers opened up a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter and never looked back en route to a 31-18 upset victory over the #1 Buckeyes. This year the early script was much the same, with the Badgers scoring a touchdown with 6:17 left in the first quarter to take a 10-0 lead over the #2 ranked Buckeyes. At that point, the Badgers had run 12 plays for 147 yards (12.25 average) and 10 points, while the listless Buckeyes had run 10 plays for 22 yards (2.2 average) and zero points.

3. The Buckeyes were on the verge of a 2010-style blowout, but the offense rebounded with a much-needed scoring drive (11 plays, 67 yards for a field goal), and the defense...

Know Your Enemy: The Wisconsin Badgers

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1. The University of Wisconsin is located in Madison, the capital of Wisconsin, about an hour-and-a-half due west of Milwaukee. UW is the state's public flagship, and is a land-grant and sea-grant The school's motto is Numen Lumen, which is a popular line from the sit-com Seinfeld.

2. Wisconsin's colors are cardinal and white. The badger was adopted as Wisconsin's mascot in 1889. According to Wikipedia (always 100% accurate), "Wisconsin was dubbed the Badger State because of the lead miners who first settled there in the 1820s and 1830s. Without shelter in the winter, they had to live like badgers in tunnels burrowed into hillsides." That story is so hokey that it might actually be true.

3. The name of the school's mascot is Buckingham U. Badger, more commonly known as simply Bucky Badger. Wisconsin's official fight song...

Pre-Game News and Notes (Wisconsin 2016)

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1. Ohio State scored 38 points and gained 383 yards against Indiana, which were far below the Buckeyes' averages in points per game (57.0) and yards per game (576.3). Indiana scored 17 points and 281 total yards, which caused the Buckeyes' defensive numbers to take a slight hit as well:

CategoryOSU Statistic-NCAA Rank-
Scoring Offense53.2 ppg3rd
Scoring Defense10.8 ppg2nd
Point Differential42.4 ppg1st
Total Offense537.6 ypg5th
Total Defense246.4 ypg4th
Yardage Differential291.2 ypg1st
Rushing Offense323.6 ypg3rd
Rushing Defense97.8 ypg9th
Passing Offense214.0...

Around the Big Ten (week 6)

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1. #2 Ohio State 38, Indiana 17: This game was closer than the score indicated. Indiana had a chance to make it a one score game in the fourth quarter, but turned the ball over on downs deep in the red zone. Ohio State came into the game averaging 57 points and 576 total yards, but were held to just 38 points and 383 total yards (only 93 passing yards) by a surprisingly stingy Indiana defense. The Buckeye defense was spotty until midway through the third quarter when they finally clamped down, allowing the Hoosiers just 22 yards on their final 19 plays.

2. #4 Michigan 78, Rutgers 0: Rutgers had 35 total yards; completed just 2 of 18 passes; was 0 for 17 on third downs, and punted the ball 16 times. Needless to say, Michigan took advantage of all...

Post-Game Recap (Indiana 2016)

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1. A win is a win is a win ... but, man, that game was painful to watch. The final score was 38-17 in favor of Ohio State, but it sure didn't seem like a three-touchdown win. And for much of the game, it didn't seem like the final margin would be anywhere near 21 points. Ohio State took a 17-3 lead (on a Curtis Samuel 5-yard touchdown run) with 3:32 left in the first half. Then Tyler Durbin booted the ensuing kick-off out of bounds, giving Indiana the ball at their own 35-yard line. The Buckeye defense forced a 3rd-and-6 at midfield, but on the next two plays the Hoosiers connected on a 32-yard pass into the red zone and an 18-yard pass for a touchdown, cutting the Ohio State lead to 17-10 with just 1:03 left in the half. Thanks to a 91-yard kick-off return by Parris Campbell, the Buckeyes were able to regain their two-touchdown lead right before halftime.

Indiana went on...

Know Your Enemy: The Indiana Hoosiers

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1. Indiana University is located in Bloomington, about an hour southwest of Indianapolis. IU is the state's flagship public university. The school's motto is Lux et Veritas, which translates to: "Light and Truth".

2. Indiana's colors are crimson and cream and the mascot is the Hoosier. No one knows exactly what a Hoosier is, other than a term for a resident of Indiana. Some say that Hoosier comes from an old Indian word, hoosa, which apparently meant "maize". Whatever the origin of the obscure word, Hoosier now apparently means: "friendliness, neighborliness, an idyllic contentment with Indiana landscape and life." At least that's according to the Indiana Historical Society, which is probably not the most objective source for such information...

Pre-Game News and Notes (Indiana 2016)

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1. If you look at the numbers, then Ohio State enters this game as the best team in the country. The most obvious numbers are the 4-0 record and the #2 ranking in both major polls. But here are some more numbers to consider:

CategoryOSU Statistic-NCAA Rank-
Scoring Offense57.0 ppg3rd
Scoring Defense9.3 ppg1st
Point Differential47.7 ppg1st
Total Offense576.3 ypg4th
Total Defense237.8 ypg3rd
Yardage Differential338.5 ypg1st
Rushing Offense332.0 ypg3rd
Rushing Defense97.5 ypg12th
Passing Offense244.3 ypg58th
Passing Defense140.3...

Around the Big Ten (week 5)

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1. #2 Ohio State vs Rutgers. In a battles of scarlets, the Buckeyes annihilated the Knights, 58-0. And the internal numbers were worse than the score. Ohio State had 669 yards of total offense to just 116 for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights actually had a fairly good first quarter, gaining 74 total yards and holding the Buckeyes to just 6 points. However, the Knights' offense gained just 42 yards the rest of the game (including exactly 0 passing yards) and the defense fell apart. Leading the way for Ohio State were quarterback J.T. Barrett (284 total yards, 4 total TD) and running backs Mike Weber (147 all-purpose yards, 1 TD) and Curtis Samuel (144 all-purpose yards, 1 TD).

2. #4 Michigan vs #8 Wisconsin. These two teams played just the kind of football game that the Big Ten is noted for: tough, hard-nosed, defense-oriented, and boring...

Rutgers Recap

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1. Ohio State defeated Rutgers 58-0 yesterday, but the actual beat down was much worse than the score would indicate. Coming off a bye week, the Buckeyes were predictably sluggish in the early going and held just a 6-0 lead after the first quarter. The team slowly woke up and the offense scored three touchdowns in the final six minutes of the second quarter to take a 30-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. At that point, the only thing that remained to be seen was whether Rutgers had enough fight in them to make the final score respectable. They didn't.

2. The Buckeyes posted 669 yards of total offense, including 410 yards on the ground. Red shirt freshman Mike Weber led the way with 14 carries for 144 yards (10.3 average) and a 46-yard touchdown, while true freshman Demario McCall added 85 yards on 10 carries (8.5 average) and a 20-yard touchdown. True freshman Antonio Williams saw his...

Know Your Enemy: The Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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1. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, was founded in 1766 as Queens College. Rutgers is the 8th-oldest college in the United States, and one of the nine "Colonial Colleges" that were chartered prior to the American Revolution. Rutgers is located in New Brunswick New Jersey, although the school's football stadium is located in nearby Piscataway. The school is named for Colonel Henry Rutgers, a Revolutionary War hero who in 1825 donated $5,000 (equivalent to $105,000 today) and a bronze bell (still in use) to the college. Rutgers's athletic teams are known as the Scarlet Knights and their mascot is known simply as The Scarlet Knight.

2. Rutgers is famous for playing in the first ever football game, on November 6, 1869, versus Princeton. The Scarlet Knights won that game, which has been described as a cross between soccer and rugby, by the unlikely score of 6-4. The...

Oklahoma Postgame Notes

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1. In just the third meeting ever between the two football powerhouses, Ohio State invaded Norman, Oklahoma, and pounded the Sooners by the score of 45-24. The Buckeyes now lead the series two games to one, with victories last night and in 1983 (24-14) and a loss in 1977 (29-28).

2. The Buckeyes dominated on offense, racking up 443 total yards on 68 plays (6.5 yards per play) and scoring 38 points. The ground attack was especially strong, as freshman Mike Weber rushed for 123 yards on 18 carries (6.8 ypc) and Curtis Samuel provided some big play spark with 11 rushes for 98 yards (8.9 ypc) and a 36-yard touchdown. Quarterback JT Barrett didn't post spectacular numbers (74 yards rushing, 152 yards passing) but he generally made good decisions, protected the football, and hooked up with wide receiver Noah Brown for four touchdown passes (4, 8, 21, and 37 yards). The offensive line got the job...

Know Your Enemy: The Oklahoma Sooners

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1. The Oklahoma Sooners began playing football in 1895. The program made its first move toward the big time in 1905 with the hiring of Hall of Fame head coach Bennie Owen. In 22 seasons at Oklahoma, Owen had a record of 122-54-16 (.677) and he brought the Sooners three conference titles (1915; 1918; 1920) and two undefeated seasons (8-0-0 in 1911; 10-0-0 in 1915).

2. Oklahoma's next step on the road to football powerhouse came in 1920 when the school became part of the Big Six Conference (then known as the Missouri Valley Conference), joining other core members Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State. The Big Six would eventually add Colorado (1947) and Oklahoma State (1958) and become the Big Eight. The Big Eight was one of the major football conferences, with the conference champion earning an automatic bid to the Orange Bowl beginning in 1968, and the eight-team lineup would remain stable for nearly forty years (more on that later).

3. Although the Sooners won...

Why The Browns Should Draft Carson Wentz #2 Overall

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It is often said that quarterback is the most important position in football, and possibly all of team sports. If that is the case, then there should be a correlation between good quarterback play and winning, and bad quarterback play and losing. In the table below I show each NFL team's passing stats since the Cleveland Browns re-entered the league in 1999:

NFL TeamCompleteAttemptsComp PctYards Passing---TDs------INTs--Passing EffW/L Record-Win Pct-
New England Patriots6,0479,643.62767,14749520591.61181 - 91 - 0.665
Indianapolis Colts6,2559,873.63470,29550925391.05181 - 91 - 0.665
Green Bay...

BPRT's Recap of the Class of 2016

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This is the BPRT's recap of the recruiting class of 2016. MD Buckeye's comments are in BLUE; RB07OSU's in BROWN; Smudger's in GREEN; wadc45's in RED; and LordJeffBuck's in PURPLE.

General Thoughts

- Another year, another top five recruiting class for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Offensively, you'd be hard pressed to find a better class in the country, IMO. The OSU staff landed the majority of their top targets on the offensive side of the ball, while also adding great depth to the OL & TE position groups. They also did a great job on the defensive side, adding top talent, but also taking chances on a couple projects. All in all, there's nothing to complain about with this class.

- All in all, this may be the best recruiting class I have seen...

Ohio State vs Notre Dame - The Rivalry That Never Was

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Notre Dame and the Big Ten Conference


The Big Ten Conference was formed in 1896, and by 1917 it counted as members every major football power in the upper midwest. All except one - Notre Dame.

Notre Dame began football in 1887 as an independent and it has stayed that way ever since despite various attempts to lure them into a conference. But in the early days, before Notre Dame became a brand name in college football, the small private Catholic school in South Bend, Indiana, actually tried to join the Big Ten. Although Notre Dame fit the Big Ten profile geographically, that factor was about the only match with the other conference members, most of whom (Northwestern and Chicago being the exceptions) were large state-operated "land grant" universities. The Big Ten could ignore the "small" and "private" aspects of Notre Dame, as the conference had previously done with Northwestern and the University of Chicago, but many of the powers that...

Ezekiel Elliott vs Derek Henry

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Derrick Henry is the presumptive Heisman Trophy winner for 2015. Henry leads FBS in rushing yards (1,986) and rushing touchdowns (23) despite having a rather pedestrian 5.86 yards per carry average (34th in FBS). Henry's numbers certainly put him in the discussion for the 2015 Heisman, but how do his numbers compare with Ezekiel Elliott's over the past calendar year?

The 2014 Heisman voting closed on December 8, 2014, the day after the CFB Playoff teams were announced. Here's what Ezekiel Elliott and Derek Henry have accomplished since the close of last year's Heisman voting:

Heisman CandidateGamesTotal RushesRush YardsYds/CarryYds/GameTouchdowns100-yard+200-yard+
Ezekiel Elliott143182,1486.75153.425134

Michigan Recap

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1. Before I get into The Game itself, I'd like to spend a few minutes talking about The Rivalry. Ohio State has now played Michigan 112 times since 1897. It is a long rivalry. It is a storied rivalry. It has often been a painful rivalry. Along the way, legends have been made, glory has been earned, perfect seasons have been dashed, championship hopes have been crushed. We have seen massive upsets, miraculous comebacks, record-setting performances, ten year wars, snow bowls, shanked field goals, banners torn down, double birds flipped, and so many other memorable moments. But that's all in the past now. It's time to move on.

I have heard so many Buckeye fans say that they want Michigan to be good again, "for the sake of The Rivalry." They say it with longing in their voices. Reverence even. Maybe a touch of pain, as if it really does hurt them that Michigan just isn't quite good enough to beat Ohio State. Quite frankly, I say that it's the...

A Brief History of The Game (2001 to 2015)

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1. The 21st Century has not been kind to Michigan, especially in The Game. When Ohio State fired John Cooper after the 2000 season, his replacement, Jim Tressel, immediately "guaranteed" a Buckeye victory in the 2001 Game. Although Tressel's guarantee was a bit squirrelly (his actual quote was "I can assure you that you will be proud of your young people in the classroom, in the community, and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan"), it was proven true, as unranked Ohio State did in fact beat #11 Michigan, 26-20.

2. In 2002, #2 Ohio State once again entered The Game with a perfect record, this time a program best 12-0-0. #12 Michigan held a 9-7 lead at halftime, and Buckeye fans were saying, "Here we go again...." But Ohio State scored the only points of the second half on a Maurice Hall touchdown run, and safety Will Allen preserved the 14-9 victory with an interception at the goal line as time expired. The Buckeyes would go on to win the BCS National Championship...

A Brief History of The Game (1951 to 2000)

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1. In 1951, Woody Hayes became the head coach of Ohio State and quickly returned the program to prominence. Hayes won three national championships in his first eleven seasons (1954, 1957, and 1961) and also produced a Heisman Trophy winner (Hopalong Cassady in 1955), an Outland Trophy winner (Jim Parker in 1956), and a Maxwell Award winner (Bob Ferguson in 1961). Perhaps more importantly, Hayes was 7-4 in The Game, including a 50-20 blowout in 1961. After Michigan scored a late touchdown to cut the Ohio State lead to 42-20, Hayes ordered his team to play on. The Buckeyes scored a touchdown of their own with 5 seconds left in the game, and Hayes elected to go for a two-point conversion. The conversion was successful, and the 50 points scored by Ohio State remains a team record in The Game.

2. Neither team was very good from 1962 to 1967, with Ohio State posting an overall record of 35-18-1 and no Big Ten championships, and with Michigan posting an overall record of 28-28-2 and a...

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