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By Matt McCoy
For weeks Ohio State has been on the outside looking in with regards to the national championship picture but the Auburn upset of Alabama last week changed that. Now No. 2 in the BCS, the Buckeyes are a win over Michigan State away from playing for the national championship. At the Woody Hayes Facility this week, the signs of "The Chase" were enhanced to ready "The Chase Is Real."
On the eve of the Big Ten title game, Urban Meyer tweeted the following. It included the video below: "Best Fridays in Football-Week 13 Championship style. The Chase is on & its real! Best part about 12-0 is...."
Meyer Benches Hall
At Friday's media session in Indianapolis, Urban Meyer said that offensive guard Marcus Hall would start the title game against Michigan State on the bench. Hall was ejected during the brawl at Michigan last week and then made an obscene gesture as he headed to the locker room.
"I'm just very, very disappointed in his actions," Meyer said. "He paid the penalty for the fight...he missed three quarters in our rivalry game...but I'm just really disappointed in his actions after the fight."
Redshirt freshman Pat Elflein, who filled in for Hall in Ann Arbor will start. Meyer did not say how long Hall would be held out.
To listen to all of Coach Meyer's Friday press conference in Indianapolis click here:
By Matt McCoy
If the mood of the Buckeyes is anything like the fans out at Bucksline last night, Michigan State is in trouble. Our wonderful listeners packed the Buffalo Wild Wings on Bethel Road for our Big Ten Championship Game Bucksline. It was an energetic group of Buckeye fans anxious to see the Ohio State/Michigan State showdown. A big thank you to all of you who make us part of your Thursday night, either by attending or by listening. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. If you missed the show with Earle Bruce, Stan Jackson, Dave Maetzold and me, it's posted below.
To listen to hour one of Bucksline click here:
To listen to hour two of Bucksline click here:
By Matt McCoy
In Ohio State's 76-60 win over Maryland in the Big 10/ACC challenge, Ohio State junior Sam Thompson made six shots. One was a 3-pointer, another was a lay-up to beat the halftime buzzer but it's his other four baskets that had the more than 16-thousand in the Schottenstein Center buzzing.
Four times Thompson leaped for alley oop passes and the finished with ferocious dunks. Three of the passes were delivered by guard Shannon Scott and one came from Aaron Craft. Thompson's aerial display was so impressive that three of the four dunks were selected by ESPN as top plays of the night.
"If the ball is up in the air and Thompson is anywhere close to it, it's going to go through the bucket," ESPN analyst, former Buckeye and Hall of Fame Coach Bob Knight said during the telecast.
Here are the Thompson dunks that ended up as top plays number 10, 8 and 2.
By Matt McCoy
For the second year in a row, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has been named the Big Ten offensive player of the year. Miller becomes the first repeat winner of the award since Indiana running back Anthony Thompson in 1988 and 89.
Miller led the Buckeyes to a 12-0 regular season and was tops in the conference in touchdown passes, pass efficiency and finished sixth in rushing.
In addition to his consecutive offensive player of the year honors, Miller also has been picked as the league's top quarterback the last two years, won the Silver Football as Big Ten MVP last year, and was freshman of the year in 2011. The six major Big Ten awards are the most in conference history. He could make it seven when this year's Silver Football is awarded next month.
While Miller took home more hardware, Urban Meyer, who has not lost a game in two seasons as Buckeye coach, was beaten out for coach of the year again. Last year it was Penn State's Bill O'Brien and this time it was Michigan State's Mark Dantonio. It is a deserving honor for Dantonio, who has the Spartans in the Big Ten title game against the Buckeyes and it continues a remarkable coach of the year dry spell at Ohio State.
Earle Bruce was the league's Coach of the Year in 1979 but Buckeye coaches have failed to win the award since. John Cooper, Jim Tressel and now Meyer have been shut out.
In the 34 years since Earle won it, every other Big Ten school, with the exception of Nebraska (in only its 3rd year) has had a coach of the year. In fact, other than Minnesota, every other school has won it multiple times. Yet, during that time frame, Ohio State has won 12 Big Ten championships. That doesn't include last year's undefeated season when OSU was ineligble for the league title. I'm not saying Meyer should have won the award over Dantonio (last year is when Meyer definitely was jobbed) but I find the three and a half decade Coach of the Year drought hard to explain.
Another Buckeye who may feel snubbed is linebacker Ryan Shazier. The Big Ten leader in tackles, tackles for loss and forced fumbles was beaten out by Wisconsin's Chris Borland for linebacker of the year on Monday and defensive player of the year on Tuesday. Like Dantonio's coach of the year win, it's hard to say that Borland didn't deserve the honors. He's a tremendous player. At the same time, Shazier clearly has an argument. His father, Vernon Shazier thinks so, commenting via Twitter: My mother often said "Son if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything". So, I wont comment on the Big Ten Def. Awards.
But it was a good night for Miller. If you missed it, here's his Big Ten Network interview after winning the offensive player of the year award:
Foligno makes Top Plays
In the Blue Jackets 1-0 win over Tampa Bay Tuesday, Nick Foligno's second period goal was a thing of beauty. Foligno slid the puck between his legs and then back-handed one past Lightning goalie Ben Bishop. It was a goal that made top plays on both ESPN and Fox. If you missed it, check it out.