Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10
Former Ohio State H-back Curtis Samuel is showing the Carolina Panthers what he can do on the field.

Why Ohio State isn’t playing Penn State at night, a former Buckeyes golfer gets a shot at The Memorial and more

Ryan Ginn

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Today is Thursday, June 1, and it’s time to Wake Up Sloopy.


Exit night, enter light

As far as tragedies go, people have survived far worse than having to watch Ohio State vs. Penn State with the sun still in sight.

Still, that doesn’t excuse what is almost certainly an avoidable inconvenience. In case you missed Wednesday’s news, the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions will kick off at 3:30 p.m. when they meet Oct. 28 because FOX has the rights to both that game and the World Series. Game 4 is scheduled for same day, and one channel obviously can’t show both in prime time so here we are.

Did it have to be this way, though? It’s obviously a disappointment for Ohio State. Night games allow more out-of-state prospects to attend the game, and they also provide an amazing atmosphere that can make life difficult for the opposing team. Just look at what happened the last two times Ohio State went to Happy Valley at night vs. what happened when the Buckeyes hosted the Nittany Lions at night. Ohio State won 63-14 in 2013 and 38-10 in 2015. On the road, the Buckeyes needed double overtime to win 31-24 in 2014 and lost 24-21 in 2016.

It’s also a bit of a blow to the Big Ten. This figures to be a marquee matchup between two talented teams, and a great follow-up to what happened last season. Will the Nittany Lions be able to exact their revenge for winning the conference in 2016 but not making the College Football Playoff? Will Ohio State regain the upper hand? There’s a lot to like in this matchup, and now it’s happening at a less-desirable time.

What’s impossible to say, though for everyone except those privy to negotiations is whether it had to be this way. FOX agreed in 2016 to fork over roughly $240 million a year in exchange for half the media rights. (ESPN got the other half.) FOX has aired the World Series longer than some of these players have been alive, so that potential obstacle wasn’t exactly a secret when the rights were up for sale. It just seems something could have been worked out to give ESPN that game and compensate FOX for it in some other fashion.

It’s a moot point now, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing.

Ex-Ohio State golfer in The Memorial

There’s a decided Ohio State feel to The Memorial Tournament each year.

It’s held in the Columbus, Ohio, suburb of Dublin, and the event is hosted by Ohio State legend Jack Nicklaus on a course he designed. Anywhere you look at Muirfield Village Golf Club during tournament week, you’re bound to see some scarlet and gray.

When it comes to inside the ropes, though, the Ohio State presence hasn’t been nearly as noticeable. The Buckeyes haven’t produced many PGA Tour players recently, but one former Ohio State golfer will be teeing off Thursday when the tournament begins. Ryan Armour earned his PGA Tour card for 2017 and received a sponsor exemption for The Memorial this year. He’s coming off a T-27 finish at the AT&T Byron Nelson on May 21, his best result of the season.

On Monday, Matt Edwards of NBC4 caught up with Armour and spoke to him about playing in The Memorial for the first time at age 41.

Armour tees off at 8:59 a.m. Thursday and 1:49 p.m. Friday.

Curtis Samuel returns to the field

Curtis Samuel missed the start of OTAs because of the death of his grandmother, but he’s making up for lost time.

The second-round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers spent his first day getting advice from Cam Newton, who isn’t participating but was there.

“The main thing Cam was emphasizing to me was that I don’t need to try to do too much, do things too fast,” Samuel told Panthers.com. “Just slow down and let your talents take over.

“It’s great, having a guy like that who has done so well in the league there to give you insight on little things. He’s watching out for me, sharing little things that will help me.”

Samuel emphasized the need to be able to slow things down so he can make the right decision. That’ll come with time as he grows accustomed to the speed of the game in the NFL.

“I’m trying to prove myself to guys, show them why I deserve to be here,” Samuel said. “But I’ve just got to relax. It’s like that with me sometimes.

“I’ll be good, though. I’ve just got to slow everything down and I’ll be all right.”

B1G happenings

Five Nebraska players who could become factors in the fall.

• When should Iowa play its rivalry games?

• Get to know Michigan signee Oliver Martin.

• Melo Trimble wants to play for the Wizards.

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