The Wake-Up Call: Urban Meyer impersonations, BTN stops by, Nate Ebner scores in the Olympics
Good morning Buckeyes fans and welcome to the Wednesday, Aug. 10 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.
BTN stops by Ohio State’s fall camp
Ohio State is no stranger to media attention, and the dozens of reporters covering the team on Tuesday had some company in the form of the Big Ten Network, which is conducting its annual camp tour.
BTN reporter Tom Dienhart was on hand for Ohio State’s entire practice and shared five of his observations from practice day No. 3 for the Buckeyes. Among the topics of discussion was redshirt freshman Mike Weber, who caught Dienhart’s eye.
1. Mike Weber looks good. The redshirt freshman arrived in Columbus with a fat scrapbook. I was impressed with how he performed in pass-protection, which typically is one of the most difficult things to pick up. He figured to start at some time in 2016 after Ezekiel Elliott bolted for the NFL. With Bri’onte Dunn booted from the club, that time came sooner than most expected. Weber looks the part, showing impressive moves. The guy could be a special back, but he isn’t as thick or strong as Elliott.
Given that the starting job is his in the wake of Bri’onte Dunn’s dismissal, Weber’s solid performance has to be exciting news for Buckeyes fans. The former Detroit Cass Tech star could be one of three Michigan natives to start for Ohio State this season, with safety Damon Webb and offensive guard Michael Jordan also currently projected to start.
Debating the Big Ten playoff credentials
With four playoff spots and five power conferences, at least one major conference will be left out each season. There’s yet to be a conference to send two teams, so the Big 12 (2014) and the Pac-12 (2015) have the dubious honor of being the odd man out in each of the first two seasons of the College Football Playoff.
The Big Ten has been on both ends of the spectrum of playoff success, with Ohio State winning in 2014 and Michigan State losing a semifinal game 38-0 in 2015. But it is one of three conferences yet to get shut out of the playoff.
So what would it take to change that? According to this column from Landof10.com’s Jay Clemons, the Big Ten can breathe a sigh of relief as long as it keeps producing undefeated or one-loss champions.
Regarding the SEC and Big Ten … as mentioned above, these conferences continually raise the bar for college sports in terms of shaping policy, generating record-setting revenues, breaking annual attendance marks, brokering landmark deals for TV and league-owned cable networks, and, ultimately, attracting eyeballs to the premium events.
Call it an Eastern/Central Time Zone bias, but it’s hard to deny the far-reaching influence of the Big Ten and SEC.
Just look at the CFP’s current selection committee: Four members have extensive Big Ten ties (Barry Alvarez, Lloyd Carr, Jeff Long, Tyrone Willingham) and two members have strong affiliations with the SEC (Long, Bobby Johnson).
I think that’s a solid line of thinking. It’s going to be rare for any conference to have a one-loss team excluded, but the Big Ten has a lot of factors in its favor to make those odds of being left out even slimmer.
Damon Arnette can put on a show
If football doesn’t work out, redshirt freshman cornerback Damon Arnette can always fall back on his impersonation skills.
Dressed in a spot-on Urban Meyer outfit, Arnette helped his team — which also included Craig Fada, Joe Burger, Torrance Gibson and Joshua Norwood — win a skit competition at camp.
Letting our guys have some fun tonight. Josh and Damon put on a show!! pic.twitter.com/ZRI6x5T0bz
— Urban Meyer (@OSUCoachMeyer) August 9, 2016
The reward? Their hard-earned trophies were delivered during nap time on Wednesday afternoon.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) August 9, 2016
Nate Ebner is good at sports
It’s good to be Nate Ebner.
After walking on at Ohio State and parlaying that opportunity into a spot on the New England Patriots and a Super Bowl title, the longtime rugby player decided to have a go at the Olympics with the sport making its return.
His performance on his first day of competition went about as well as he could have hoped. Although the U.S. lost its opener to Argentina, later that day Ebner scored a try that put the United States up 12-0 in what became a 26-0 rout of host Brazil, and he also lowered the boom on an unsuspecting Brazilian.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 10, 2016
The United States is now 1-1 and will take on unbeaten Fiji on Wednesday as it tries to advance from group play into the knockout round.
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