Good morning everyone, welcome to Friday. It’s now one day until the Buckeyes kick off and it’s looking like it will be a beautiful weekend in Columbus.
We hope you’ll start your day with us here at the Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know – Monday through Friday – around the world of Ohio State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you and we look forward to sharing it all with you.
So, here is your Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 Ohio State Wake-Up Call.
Is Luke Fickell looking for another shot at head coach?
It appears that he is, at least according to Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel, who broke down a list of assistant coaches that could be in line for a head coaching position after this season. Fickell was not the only Ohio State assistant on the list, either. He was joined by both Ed Warinner and Greg Schiano.
Here’s his take on Fickell:
Fickell made a conscious decision this off-season to pursue college head coaching jobs after years of not making a concerted effort to pursue any. (He switched agents in the off-season to aid the effort.) The defensive coordinator served as Ohio State’s interim coach in 2011 and has interviewed over the years at Pittsburgh (twice), Northern Illinois and Akron.
And his thoughts on Warinner, who, like Fickell, is in his fifth year as an Urban Meyer assistant:
Warinner has interviewed at Kansas, Army, Bowling Green and Akron over the years. The feeling in the industry is that his time is coming, as he shined as a play-caller last season once he went to the booth for Ohio State’s final two games. He should thrive calling plays for J.T. Barrett this season.
And finally, former Rutgers – and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach – Greg Schiano, in his first year at Ohio State:
Look for the Buckeyes’ new hire to stay at least two seasons, which would allow his twin boys to finish high school. But Schiano could be lured away by a high-end Power 5 job. With a slew of new faces on Ohio State’s defense, Schiano’s name could get hot if these Buckeyes grow up quickly.
Fickell is perhaps the most interesting of the group. He’s had the look of a Buckeyes lifer for a while now, but – as his coaching star rises – he may need a few years away from Columbus as a head coach to season himself enough so that when Meyer departs he could be considered a viable option. Has there ever been a coach in waiting that wasn’t waiting in your program?
Whatever happens with Fickell and Warinner after this season, they’ve more than earned their chance to run a program of their own.
Betting on the Buckeyes?
If you know me at all, which you probably don’t if we’re being honest, you’d know that I am not really the gambling type. I don’t see the value in risking money you’ve earned through your hard work just for kicks. Regardless of that, I know many of you out there don’t mind putting a little on the line to make your football watching a bit more interactive, so this segment is for you.
If you’re a betting man – or woman – and thinking about putting some coin down on the Buckeyes this fall, Chris Andrew, with 30-plus years of bookmaking experience, has some nuggets for you.
From ESPN.com’s David Purdum:
Two Big Ten teams are among the favorites to win the national title at the Westgate SuperBook, by money bet on them anyway:
4. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
Similarly, Ohio State and Michigan top the list of national championship bets placed.
2. Ohio State
5. Florida State
Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, at one sports book – William Hill US – is a top-five selection for the Heisman:
1. Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey
2. LSU RB Leonard Fournette
3. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson
4. Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield
5. Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett
What about the Buckeyes as underdogs and against the spread?
For his career, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is 37-9 ATS with more than one week to prepare, including 8-3 ATS in season openers.
• Ohio State is currently a 5-point underdog in its Week 3 game at Oklahoma. Urban Meyer is 19-5 ATS as an underdog in his career.
• Approximately 95 percent of the money wagered on the Ohio State-Oklahoma game at South Point’s sportsbook is on the Buckeyes.
• In the last five seasons, teams are 19-33 ATS in their next game after playing Ohio State.
There you go, Buckeyes fans, go make that money.
Ash, Herman continue to mimic Meyer
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and former Urban Meyer proteges Chris Ash and Tom Herman continue to take as much as they possibly can from their days in Columbus and apply it to their new football programs. This week, Ash – now the head coach at Rutgers – let his linemen know that they’ll be flying first class on team flights.
From Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com:
“First-class?” offensive guard Chris Muller told NJ Advance Media. “I’m like a little kid in a candy store.”
Though the idea can be traced to Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, Houston’s Tom Herman — Ash’s close friend and fellow Meyer protege — made a splash by copying it last year at the expense of kicking the program’s boosters out of first class.
Herman has taken it one step further. The Cougars have spent a lot of money renovating their athletic facilities and that includes signage throughout.
— Tom Luginbill (@TomLuginbill) September 1, 2016
If those signs look familiar, they should.
The last thing the players see when they leave the football facility at Ohio State. pic.twitter.com/V17tFX8aOq
— Taylor Zarzour (@TaylorZarzour) August 26, 2016
Building your program the way Urban Meyer has seems smart to me.
Want some BBQ on Saturday?
You know, when the beatdown at Ohio Stadium is finished on Saturday, there’s a good chance you and your friends are going to be in the mood for some good old-fashioned BBQ, right? When that hankering hits you, you should probably make a stop at the newest Columbus barbecue joint, The Pit BBQ Bar and Grille.
The Pit is owned by a couple of former Buckeyes – Chimdi Chekwa and Bryant Browning – and it opens its doors for business officially on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, so right in time for a quick stop on your way home from campus.
The Pit is located at 3545 Cleveland Ave. in the Linden neighborhood of Columbus, just northeast of Ohio State. Chekwa told Gary Seman, Jr. of the Columbus Dispatch what you can expect when you make your first visit.
“My take on it is it’s really that home-style grilled food,” he said. “We have a process that’s going to be more unique than throwing the meat on the grill. It’s going to have that nice grilled taste.”
See you there.
Buckeyes honor P.O.Ws with honorary seat at Ohio Stadium | Nebraska assistant coach Keith Williams returns to practice | Hoosiers suspend six players just minutes before season opener | Penn State still doesn’t get it and they never will | Iowa will have a creepy statue of Hayden Fry | Let’s all remember that glorious day nine years ago when Appalachian State knocked off Michigan