By Dave Biddle
At first, I wasn't crazy
about the rotating offensive captain plan. A captain is supposed to be
someone the players can turn to week in and week out for leadership. Having
a new "leader" each game kind of defeats the purpose of having a
captain in the first place. Despite that, the idea has definitely grown on
Take a guy like junior left
tackle Ivan Douglas, who has the honor for this week's
' confidence must have already been at an all-time high considering he was
in the starting lineup and playing well. But to be named captain on top of
is definitely feeling pretty good about himself these days.
deserves the recognition. He missed all of last year with blood clots on his
lungs, but has established himself this year as one of the best tackles in
the Big Ten. Did he come out of nowhere? Well, not exactly.
started the first two games of 2000 (including a win at
) and was the line's "sixth-man" after that. Last year's illness
cost him a year of eligibility because he used his redshirt year in 1999.
Anyway, I think it's great
that guys like Douglas, Mike Stafford and Ben Hartsock are getting some time
in the limelight. Craig Krenzel is clearly the leader of the offense and I
still think he will be named the "full-time" captain by the end of
the season, but I now see the benefits of rotating captains for the time
being. It's a great way of building confidence.
ON THE TAILBACKS
Jim Tressel said earlier
this week that one of the things he likes about his backup tailbacks is that
they all bring something different to the table. Tress said that Lydell Ross
"makes cuts that are unbelievable," Maurice Hall "has that
extra gear that the others don't have," and Ja Ja Riley "runs with
square shoulders and has a forward body lean that earns him extra
As for Maurice Clarett, he
has the total package, but we won't be seeing him against UC due to his knee
injury. Clarett will have to pick up the Heisman campaign against
next Saturday. Yes, it's a little ridiculous to be talking about a freshman
winning the Heisman, but I think national commentators are actually talking
about it more than Buckeye fans. Every college football update I heard last
week mentioned Clarett as a Heisman candidate. Richard McNutt's name never
came up though.
head coach Rick Minter has had 48 different assistant coaches in nine years
at UC. That's tops in the nation. Some might say that is a sign that Minter
is difficult to work with, but he says his assistants just always seem to
have excellent opportunities at the end of the year (coaches like Joe
Daniels, who left UC after the 2000 season to come to OSU).
Other Paper reported this week that Derek Morris took classes at
this summer. The likely scenario is that Morris either didn't complete
enough core courses in high school (you need 13 to be eligible), or needed
to raise his GPA to counteract his low ACT and SAT scores.
Anyway you look at it, this
has definitely turned into a strange situation. You would think we'd know
for sure by now whether Morris was ineligible, but there is apparently still
hope that the NCAA clearinghouse will clear him this year (very slim)...
What I like about all of this is that Morris wants to be a Buckeye and is
willing to sit out a year if that's what it takes. Going somewhere else was
never an option for him. And there is no way he'd beat out Douglas or Shane
Olivea right now anyway, so we can be patient with Morris. He'll be a good
guy to have around next year.
POINT OF WSU GAME
Leading 7-3 in the first
decided to go for it on fourth-and-six from the OSU 38. Kenny Peterson got
excellent pressure on Jason Gesser and forced an incompletion. This was the
turning point in the game in my opinion. Sure, the Bucks didn't take the
lead until the second half, but if the Cougars score there, the game might
have taken a completely different path... So, was it a good call for WSU to
go for it there? Absolutely. Nothing gets under my skin more than when one
of my teams punts from inside the 40. It seems like 90 percent of the time
when a team does punt from inside the 40, the ball goes into the endzone and
you are left with a net of under 20 yards. What is the point? It's not that
much of a gamble to go for it and if you make it, you might deflate the
defense. We just don't see enough teams go for it on fourth down (Tress
doesn't seem to have a problem with it though. I think we all remember J.
Wells busting out a 50-yard TD on a fourth-and-one play against
last year. A play that completely deflated the UM defense).
GUIDUGLI TO THE LIST
With studs like Troy Smith
and Justin Zwick waiting in the wings, this really isn't a big deal, but you
can add Gino Guidugli to the list of QB's that got away (Dave Ragone, Ben
Roethlisberger). Guidugli originally signed with
, but when
was placed on probation, he decided to look elsewhere. One of the schools he
was interested in was
, but the Bucks did not step up with a scholarship offer. Guidugli is on
record saying he "probably" would have signed with OSU if a 'ship
was on the table.
Historically, the top three
programs in the Big Ten are
. This year, for a change, they are also the top three teams in the league.
I would say
are fighting it out for the fourth slot, but the traditional powers have
clearly separated themselves from the pack... And is there any doubt that
Zack Mills is the best QB in the league? Easy Jeff Smoker, you need to worry
about beating bottom-feeders like
before you can claim to be the best.
We grilled punter Andy
Groom and linebacker Jason Bond this time around.
1. Favorite Buckeye
Groom: Skull Session
Bond: Singing Carmen Ohio
2. Largest figure in OSU
Bond: Woody Hayes
3. Strangest thing an OSU
fan asked you to autograph?
Groom: A girl's chest
(these guys are living the rough life)
Bond: Their arm
4. Favorite NFL team?
5. Favorite pro sports
team, not including football?
6. Favorite type of
music/favorite musician or band?
Groom: Alternative rock/Eminem
Bond: All kinds/Dave
7. If you could go on a
date with anyone, who would it be?
Groom: Katherine Zeta-Jones
Bond: Britney Spears
8. If you could go on a
free two-week vacation, where would you go?
9. Favorite hobby?
10. Favorite food?
11. Favorite movie/TV show?
Groom: Saving Private