Good morning Buckeyes fans and welcome to the Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016 version of The Wake-Up Call.
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 and we look forward to sharing it all with you.
Let’s get started.
Urban Meyer is a boss in close games
In the four years Urban Meyer has been coaching the Buckeyes, Ohio State is 50-4 and has won a national championship and a Fiesta Bowl, but you knew that. That’s pretty good, but you knew that, too.
Did you know how good Meyer is in close games, though?
CBSSports.com’s Jon Solomon crunched the numbers to find out which college coaches have the most success in games decided by seven points or less. Meyer has the best career mark of any Big Ten coach, and the second-best mark of any current coach that has had at least 25 such contests under his belt.
Best: Urban Meyer, Ohio State — Of all the impressive stats associated with Meyer’s career, how his teams fare in tight games often gets overlooked. Meyer is 34-13 in one-score games. Great talent certainly helps. Still, Meyer easily has the best record for any active Power Five coach with at least 25 career one-score games. The only coaches to beat Meyer in a one-score game since 2008 are Dantonio, Miles, Mullen, Dabo Swinney and Houston Nutt.
Two of Meyer’s losses at Ohio State — 40-35 to Clemson in the 2014 Orange Bowl and 17-14 to Michigan State last November — fall into this “one score” category and it should be noted that even some of the greatest coaches in history aren’t great when you break down these close games. Look at Nick Saban, for example.
Nick Saban is a coaching giant, yet he’s only 17-14 in one-score games at Alabama. Mississippi State‘s Dan Mullen (.640 winning percentage in one-score games) has done better in this stat than Saban at Alabama (.548). This could be due to how talented Alabama’s teams are and the only way to beat them is close. Saban has a .599 percentage in one-score games for his entire college career.
It’s not anything Buckeyes fans aren’t aware of, but it bears repeating that it’s a good time to be a Buckeye and as long as Urban Meyer is at the helm, it’s likely to stay that way.
Buckeyes’ matchup for B1G/ACC Challenge is set
The Buckeyes basketball team has its game set for this fall’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge, one of the biggest cross-conference matchups of the college basketball nonconference season.
Ohio State will once again play Virginia – whom they hosted last November at the Schottenstein Center – but this time they’ll head to Charlottesville to take on the Cavaliers.
If you’re planning a trip to beautiful Virginia, here are the particulars for the Buckeyes big game at John Paul Jones Arena.
- What: The 2016 Big Ten/ACC Challenge
- When: Wednesday, November 30 at 9:00 p.m. ET
- Where: Charlottesville, Va.
Alex Boone is kind of a jerk
You can’t please everyone in this world, and apparently former Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor did not please a former teammate and current Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Alex Boone. On Friday, Boone – speaking to a Minnesota radio station from Vikings training camp – talked about a number of topics and the conversation eventually turned to his playing days at Ohio State.
If you didn’t watch the video – and most of it is ridiculous sports radio by two guys who clearly didn’t know much about what they were trying to talk about – Boone talked about blocking for Troy Smith and Todd Boeckman before ripping into Pryor.
“We had Todd Boeckman, I had Troy Smith – I was his left tackle when he won the Heisman, you’re welcome, you’re welcome – and then, unfortunately, I had Terrelle Pryor, too, who I could not stand any minute with him.”
When pressed on what the issue with Pryor was, Boone – who was arrested twice prior to his NFL career for alcohol-related incidents and had a reputation as a prodigious imbiber of the Devil’s Elixir – lamented that Pryor was immature.
“The kid was so arrogant at the time,” Boone said. “I mean, I hated everything about him.”
The unnecessary shots at his former teammate didn’t stop there. He was shocked when told Pryor was still in the NFL, now playing wide receiver for Boone’s hometown team, the Cleveland Browns?
“He’s still playing?!” Boone reacted. “He’s still playing?! Oh my God.”
For a person that clearly struggled with his own maturity issues, it’s a bit shocking to hear Boone going after Pryor that aggressively. The Buckeyes’ locker room in 2008 was pretty clearly divided.
For his part, Pryor initially took the high road when asked by Hayden Grove to respond to Boone’s comments.
— Hayden Grove (@H_Grove) August 8, 2016
However, that gesture lost a bit of its weight when the Browns’ receiver took to Twitter late on Monday night.
I'm a firm believer if you got a problem you say it to a man face not behind back! Guess everyone isn't brought up the same !
— Terrelle Pryor SR (@TerrellePryor) August 8, 2016
I’d imagine Boone will have something to say in response at some point.
Buckeyes’ quarterback room is only going to get better
There are few programs in the country that have the depth – and talent – at quarterback the Buckeyes do.
J.T. Barrett, Joe Burrow, Stephen Collier, and Dwayne Haskins, Jr. are one of the best groups in the country according to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports:
A program that had three QBs who had experienced high-level success is now down to one guy with Braxton Miller and Cardale Jones having moved on to the NFL. The one — J.T. Barrett — did finish fifth for the Heisman in 2014. Barrett (45 TDs, 14 INTs and 22 rushing TDs in 2014) is a good fit for Urban Meyer’s system, and he should be more comfortable knowing the job is all his. Joe Burrows and Dwayne Haskins both have more prototypical QB size at 6-3 and are working to get a better grasp of the scheme. The staff is high on both. Meyer gushed about Haskins last winter, calling him “the best QB recruit I’ve ever seen.”
As good as this year’s group may be, the future at quarterback for the Buckeyes may be even better. In 2017, what should be Barrett’s senior season at Ohio State, Urban Meyer and Tim Beck will add two very talented high school seniors to the roster with 4-star commitment Tate Martell and 6-foot-4, 240-pound Danny Clark, who has been committed to the Buckeyes since December of 2013.
In 2018, the Ohio State add Emory Jones, a 5-star Franklin (Ga.) product who may be the best prospect at the position Urban Meyer has ever signed.
— Jeremy Birmingham (@Birm) August 8, 2016
Say it again, one more time: It’s a good time to be a Buckeye.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach thinks Michigan makes the CFB Playoff and will play for national title | Jabrill Peppers to play 100 plays a game | Tyler O’Connor is close to becoming MSU’s starting QB | Michigan adds commitment from Ohio defensive lineman | Purdue picks up a pledge | Nebraska gets its Guy in Florida | Malik McDowell says Top 3 is only way he’s leaving for the NFL