First off, congrats to Todd on the coming of child #2. This officially makes him a parent. Me? I have one kid. I’m a dad, yeah, but I’m only half a parent. I like the old Bill Cosby adage: When you have one child and something in the house breaks — you know who did it.
In gaming news, I just finished up my review of Stronghold 2 for GameSpy. Shit game. Take Two rushed this thing out the door and it’s a buggy mess. Best to pass or wait for a few patches. I’m moving on to Cossacks 2 and then Guild Wars, which should take me up to E3.
It’s been a long while since I talked OSU — so here goes.
Being a Buckeye, I usually only talk football when it comes to college sports. Ohio State is a 2nd tier basketball school. That means that every once in a while they’ll show up and make a “Great Eight” (1992) or maybe even a Final Four like they did in ’99. But OSU is a football school. Most football schools are not premiere basketball schools. Seriously, can you name any? When I think basketball I think Duke, UNC, Kansas, Arizona, UConn. I don’t think Michigan, Miami, USC, or Oklahoma (even though OU hoops isn’t bad). Why is that? Why are there so few dual program schools?
Anyway — Ohio State is close to signing one of the best classes in the history of the program. Ohio State already landed Daequan Cook from Dayton Dunbar, the #2 PG for the 2006 class. (He’ll be a Sr in high school next year.) Coach ThadMatta is also expecting a verbal from the #3 national SF David Lightly from Cleveland. On top of that, Cook’s AAU teammates, the #1 rated Jr. in the country, 7’0 center Greg Oden is close to pulling the Buckeye trigger and Wake Forest and Ohio State are neck and neck with the #1 2006 PG Mike Conley — another teammate of Cook’s.
If the Buckeyes land this class it could be a jump starter for bigger and better things for the basketball Buckeyes. OSU has never landed 4 top 20 players in one class before. If Matta pulls this off…this class would even make Duke a bit jealous. Pretty scary.
Everyone in Buckeye land is still waiting for some kind of apology from ESPN for the coal raking they put the program through last year. OSU Insiders are giving every indication that the NCAA investigation (the second one, which went over old stuff from the first one) uncovered….nothing.
Last year, if you recall, talking heads on ESPN ripped OSU and put Maurice Clarewtt on some kind of bizarre pedestal. The fallout would be:
- AD Andy Geiger would get fired (He retired 8 months ahead of schedule. His time at OSU was nearing an end before any of this happened)
- Jim Tressel would get fired (Uh…no)
- OSU could get the Death Penalty (That would be another enormous no)
- QB Troy Smith would miss the season for taking $500 from a booster (He’ll miss 2 games, which included the Alamo Bowl last year. Hey they’re only 11 games off)
So, where is Mark May? Where is the, “Hey, wow, maybe we jumped the gun a bit on this and made assumptions that were kinda…untrue. Uh, sorry about that, Columbus.” Last fall it was a daily ripping of Ohio State. A 5 day feature on how dirty the program was and how Tressel was some kind of dirty coach? The proof? Well, who needs that. We’re ESPN. We let accountants like John Clayton analyze football tape for us and charge people to read Mel Kiper’s draft analysis. We don’t need facts. We have shows where sports reporters yell at each other. We’re all about the shock factor. And ohh boy did the OSU stories generate buzz. Mission Accomplished.
Everything is not right with the program — Tressel gave Clarett too much rope and he almost hung the school with it. The problem at OSU is the same problem that every single school has — hangers on and old men with too much $$ and too much time on their hands who want to be “part of the program.” Make no mistake: they are everywhere. Yes, they are at your school, too, and they don’t really care about the program or the team. They want to feel important. They want to feel like they’re involved, and they are the poison of college sports.