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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.
By Matt McCoy
Big Ten defenses have had no antidote for Dr. Miller and Mr. Hyde, so it's no surprise that Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller and running back Carlos Hyde were named the league's quarterback and running back of the year.
Miller not only led the league in pass efficiency but he also finished eighth in rushing with 891 yards. Hyde finished first in the conference in rushing, avearging 143.3 yards per game. He finished with 1,290 yards despite being suspended for the first three games of the season.
Miller and Hyde highlight Ohio State's All Big Ten selections. Joining them as first team players on offense were center Corey Linsley, guard Andrew Norwell and tackle Jack Mewhort. Three more Buckeyes made first team on defense. Defensive end Noah Spence, linebacker Ryan Shazier and defensive back Bradley Roby were honored. Shazier, the league leader in both tackles and tackles for loss, was beaten out for linebacker of the year by Wisconsin's Chris Borland.
More hardware could be coming to some Buckeyes Tuesday night, when the league announces its offensive and defensive MVP's and its coach of the year.
Hall, OSU staff Reprimanded
The Big Ten issued a public reprimand Monday night to Ohio State offensive guard Marcus Hall and the Ohio State coaching staff for their actions after the second quarter brawl at Michigan.
Hall was booted from the game for throwing a punch. He was reprimanded by the league office for his obscene gesture to the Michigan crowd as he headed to the locker room following his ejection. The coaching staff was also reprimanded for not properly escorting an ejected player.
Urban Meyer held his weekly press luncheon Monday, as the Buckeyes prepare for the Big Ten title game versus Michigan State.
Click here to listen to Coach Meyer's comments:
WTVN's Dave Maetzold has been busy with his duties with Fox Sports Ohio for Columbus Blue Jackets hockey, but he was back Monday for Buckeye Rewind, joined as always by Sportsrappup.com and WTVN's Jeff Rapp. They recapped the 42-41 win over Michigan, talked about the BCS, and previewed the Buckeye/Spartan showdown. If you missed it, you can check out the Podcast here:
By Matt McCoy
After surviving 42-41 at Michigan Saturday and getting help than night with Auburn's stunning 34-28 win over Alabama, Ohio State (12-0) heads to the Big Ten Championship game against Michigan State ranked No. 2 in the new BCS rankings.
Florida State (12-0) is now No. 1 with a BCS average of .995, followed by the Buckeyes at .950. There was conversation that perhaps Auburn (11-1) would jump a 12-0 OSU team, but the Tigers are No. 3 with a .923 BCS average.
Auburn could make up ground if it wins the SEC title game Saturday against No. 5 Missouri but analysts believe Ohio State would likely hold off the SEC champion if the Buckeyes beat Michigan State, (11-1) who check in at No. 10. Alabama after losing is now No. 4.
In a teleconference Sunday, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said the Buckeyes focus is on the Spartans and not their national rank.
"It would be a disservice to our players if I worried about it," Meyer said. "We've got to move the ball on a great defense and that's my focus."
But it appears a victory would send Ohio State to the BCS championship game for the fourth time. The Buckeyes won the title over Miami in the 2002 season but lost to Meyer's Florida team in the 2006 title game and fell to LSU the following year.
To hear Coach Meyer's comments on the Big Ten Championship Game teleconference click here:
By Matt McCoy
It was the Friday of Michigan week one year ago, when Ohio State fans saw and heard Urban Meyer like never before.
Speaking at Earle Bruce's Beat Michigan Tailgate before nearly 1,500 Buckeye fans, Meyer began talking about his senior class that had helped lead Ohio State to an 11-0 record at that point, even though they knew, before the season started, there would be no bowl game.
"I just want to make sure that we always remember this senior class," Meyer said with his voice shaking with emotion. "There's reasons why you do what you do. These kids love this school...they love each other and we can't forget that. Let's beat the (expletive) out of Michigan. Have a good night."
With that the crowd roared and an all time Michigan week memory was born. It's a speech that revealed Urban Meyer's passion for the rivalry, and his genuine admiration and love for his players. Since it's that time of year again, I thought I'd post the speech again. If you haven't heard it or want to revisit it, it's posted here:
Michigan Week Bucksline
Thanks to the great Buckeye fans and WTVN listeners who came out on a snowy Tuesday night and joined us for our Michigan week Bucksline. What a great crowd!! It was a terrific show, featuring a fired up Earle Bruce, as usual. To check it out, I have it posted below.
Hour number one of Bucksline is here:
Hour number two of Bucksline is here: