The Wake-Up Call: Ohio State a work in progress, Michigan wants a schedule change and more
Welcome, friends, to The Wake-Up Call for Wednesday, Aug. 24..
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 – six days a week – 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.
Let’s get started.
Ohio State has work left to do
With its first game week just one week away, Ohio State is concentrating on making sure its players are prepared to play this season.
Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said there have been seasons in his career where his teams just haven’t gotten to that point in time. This year’s squad is one of his youngest ever, lending an urgency to the race to get the Buckeyes up to speed in time for the matchup against Bowling Green.
From The Lantern:
“It’s all about getting game-ready and that’s what this week is all about,” Meyer said. “Because next week you’re installing gameplans.”
At practice, each coach has his own chart of players with criteria to determine if each one is game ready. The chart documents the amount of reps each player takes and the number of practices in which the player has been involved.
Before each practice, Meyer sits down with his coaches to go over the players at the top and near the top of the depth chart. When a player is deemed game ready, that player receives a green check next to his name.
Those battles are still playing out, but the Buckeyes are beginning to run out of time.
Michigan looking for OSU/MSU schedule solution
This is going to come as a shock, but Michigan is not thrilled that it has to play Michigan State and Ohio State on the road in the same season, even if that also means getting those two foes at home in alternating seasons.
At this point, however, there’s no clear solution. The Big Ten slate is set for years to come, and adjusting it would then mean fixing either Ohio State or Michigan State’s schedule (or both), which would in turn cause a domino effect on the entire conference schedule.
Wolverines athletic director Warde Manuel acknowledged as much but will continue to beat that drum regardless.
From The Michigan Daily:
“Would I love to see Ohio State and Michigan State on different years? Yes,” Manuel said. “Do I think it’s hard to do given where we are now? Yes. Will I continue to still have the conversations that need to be had to try to see if there’s anything that can be done? Yes. Is it easy? No.”
As Manuel and others have noted before, it’s a difficult harmony to strike — the conference can’t modify the rotations of one team without creating a butterfly effect around the league. For instance, switching the site of a future Michigan-Michigan State or Michigan-Ohio State game could create a home-road imbalance in one of the other two teams’ schedules. Fixing that with a corresponding move in that team’s schedule could open up another flaw, and so on.
Ohio State’s incoming students are pretty smart
Ohio State’s class of 2020 just set a record for highest average ACT in the history of the school, and it can partially thank the football team.
The school received 20,000 more applications than it did in 2011, and the exposure generated by the football team probably didn’t hurt.
From Columbus Business First:
There were 49,388 applications submitted by prospective students, marking the first time interest has edged 50,000. (The number differs slightly from what the university projected last month.)
In 2011, 29,247 people applied to the Columbus campus. The shift can be explained in part by the university’s increased emphasis on academics, the public spotlight brought on by its football team and the ease with which common internet-based applications allow high school students to apply to multiple schools.
Vonn Bell has an appointment with the Honey Badger
Wide receiver Michael Thomas isn’t the only former Buckeye having an impressive training camp for the New Orleans Saints. Safety Vonn Bell has been getting in on the act and drawn his share of praise in recent days.
"[Vonn Bell] can run step for step with receivers, has good ball skills, and most important, rarely gets beat deep" https://t.co/cItzLBMFmC
— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) August 24, 2016
Others have taken notice, too. After a writer on the Saints beat tweeted a quote about Bell emulating Mathieu’s blitzing style and wanting to best him at it, the two-time All Pro safety tweeted out an offer to get some work in when the season ends.
That's the young homie. We working out after the season together https://t.co/9L2hZcQ0zH
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) August 23, 2016
A former Wisconsin football player is helping Baton Rouge recover | The Olympics are over, which means Nebraska gets its hashtag back | Minnesota released its depth chart for its season opener against Oregon State | A Rutgers offensive lineman has decided to leave | Iowa’s basketball arena gets a facelift | Kirk Ferentz is still mad about the way the NCAA handled the Drew Ott situation