Monday, March 15, 2010

Blogs Blogs Blogs Blahh

Over the past ten weeks of updating our blogs, there are many things I learned and enjoyed about blogging. Before entering this class I VERY rarely posted blogs or even followed any because I never really understood them. Thanks to English 109.02 blogging has become a very useful way or writing and a great tool for searching for information.

Blogs tend to have a more personal feeling to them. While reading others blogs I find myself learning a lot about the author due to the information conveyed through their blog. A great way to connect with friend or strangers, who share similar interests, over the internet, is through blogging.

While writing essays for classes I find myself bored due to the strict guidelines you need to follow when writing essays. On the other hand, I actually enjoy writing blogs because the information comes straight from my head instead of a text book or a website. Blogging, to me, is like having a conversation with another person.

Blogs can be very useful when it comes to asking questions over the internet. If someone is looking for an answer they cannot find while surfing the web, they can easily post a question on a blog and within a matter of seconds, another blogger can read that post and respond. Unlike a website that just has paragraphs and paragraphs of information, blogging is a form of communication. And the best thing is, the topic can be about ANYTHING you want.

So who can benefit from blogs? Everyone can. Blogs can be useful to anyone because any topic you can think of, I can almost guarantee there are groups of people on the internet discussing that specific topic right now. Blogs are also very useful for information because they are updated on a regular basis. New information can be added at any second making blogs a prime tool when looking for information.

Another great feature that blogging offers is the comment aspect. If you find yourself reading a blog topic you enjoy but disagree, or even agree, with the author’s opinions you can simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and respond to the authors post. Your comment will be displayed on the blog post allowing others to see it, giving them a chance to respond to your comment.

If you’re a story teller blogging is a perfect way to tell others about your stories. If you enjoy movies, you can join a blog, or even start your very own, and discuss your feeling with other movie lovers. Like myspace or facebook blogging can also be customized. Pictures, videos, songs, animations etc. are just some of the gadgets that can personalize a blog.

Rushkoff, Douglas. “The Internet Is Not Killing Off Conversation but Actively Encouraging It”

MA: Perseus Pub 2002. 116-118.

Throughout the month of February, college football fans make their way back to the blogs to post their views on football recruiting. This is a key month for colleges, as this is when their future football teams are created. For the Ohio State Buckeyes, this year’s recruiting class, uncharacteristically, did not place in the top 25. And, predictably, Buckeye “fans” made it clear that they are not happy. Many bloggers have labeled this class as “soft” and question head coach Jim Tressel’s tenacity and aggressiveness as a recruiter.

As I read through the multitude of negative posts, the writers’ loyalty as Buckeye fans rarely comes into question, but their knowledge and understanding of the recruiting process is suspect. Matt Barker’s blog post, “Looking Back at Past Recruiting Classes and how the Buckeyes Fared Since 2002” is a well-constructed article that counters the Tressel naysayers and parallels my viewpoint on the subject of OSU recruiting. Barker methodically lays down the facts and lets the reader circle around them to hopefully come to the same conclusion that he and I did: Jim Tressel’s tenure as head coach at Ohio State has consistently produced top-ten rated football teams which are a product of carefully planned and executed recruiting practices.

In his post, Barker responds to the negativity heard from Ohio State fans with facts and stats, presented in a concise and professional manner. His comments are easy to follow, even for a football novice, and he lets the statistics speak for themselves. He highlights the careers of recent Buckeye football recruits and compares their “star rating” to other athletes from the same class.

Without being disparaging, Barker focuses on how college football fans spend too much time worrying about computer analysis and ratings, and ignore “real life” issues such as a college’s coaching strength and the challenge of fitting an athlete into a particular school’s training program. Barker’s arguments are backed up by specific examples of three-star player successes, which arguments quickly dispel the theory that five-star athletes are required to produce winning teams.

While generally lacking in the typical fan emotionalism, Barker gets his point across in an entertaining fashion which is enjoyable to read. Barker does an excellent job of making his points and backing them up with interesting and credible data that I agree with. His arguments also put it on my list of favorite college blogs.

The main complaint voiced by bloggers is the lack of five-star athletes (who, according to,, and are the best players in any given year) in this season’s recruiting field. The Bucks typically pull in two or three of these five-star athletes each year, but (so far) the OSU recruiting class of 2010 does not include any.

To respond to these complaints, Matt draws attention to Santonio Holmes, a player ranked as a three-star by in the year he was recruited. This is a brilliant example of a lower-ranked player who proved to be one of the best receivers in OSU history. After his training and career at Ohio State, Holmes was a first-round NFL draft pick and recently won a Super Bowl MVP award. Malcolm Jenkins and James Laurinatis are other great examples of outstanding football players who could only generate a three-star rating on but matured to become first-round draft picks after playing under Tressel and Ohio State.

Barker next compares this year’s OSU recruiting class to those of recent years. He respectfully concedes that a decrease in the total number of athletes and the number of “five-star” athletes is evident. But who is to say is the most reliable recruiting source? Do you think Tressel, a MAJOR college football head coach, does not know his recruiting better that a website?

Since Jim Tressel has held the position of head football coach at Ohio State, the Bucks have yet to have a disappointing year. In 2002, Tressel won his first National Championship at Ohio State. In 2006 and 2007, Ohio State had a combined record of 23-3 and two successive National Championship game appearances. Year after year, Ohio State is able to proudly retire their season with ample wins to put them in the top ten in the entire country. There are hundreds of college football coaches who would love to be able to say the same for their team.

So where does all this success originate? Like any football team, OSU’s success starts with its recruitment. When looking back at some of the Buckeyes’ best players, it’s true that many of these athletes came into the program labeled as five-star athletes on But it’s the two- and three-star athletes, trained and molded by a talented and dedicated coaching staff and fellow players that make Jim Tressel the successful coach he is today. Because the cases laid out in Barker’s blog are logical and accurate, it is hard to dismiss the success stories which originated in Tressel’s camp.

Players like Chris Wells and Tedd Ginn Jr. are five-stars who had outstanding years with Ohio State and now play on Sundays. At the same time, three-star athletes A.J. Hawk, Malcolm Jenkins, Brian Hartline, and Brian Robiskie are NFL stars playing on those same fields. Unlike the recruiting websites who hang random star ratings around a player’s neck, Coach Jim Tressel is able to see the potential that these young athletes have.

Barker doesn’t preach in his blog, something I admire. I believe a successful, championship team is not simply recruited, but created by your recruitment. For Buckeye fans who disagree with this year’s recruiting class, we suggest you carefully examine the Bucks recent recruiting classes and count just how many three-star athletes OSU Coach Jim Tressel has taken under his wing and converted to the skillful and successful players we enjoy watch on NFL Sunday!

Ohio State bloggers and writers would be well served to put a little less heart in their posts and a little more research into their heads before they rattle off naive and uninformed exposés on their blog sites. But for those fans who continue to express their bitter feelings toward this year’s recruiting class and to denigrate Coach Jim Tressel’s style and effectiveness to the public over the internet, thanks for giving fans like Matt Barker and me an opportunity to share our opposing opinions and justify the decisions made by Coach Jim Tressel and his coaching staff.

A Game To Remember

For every sports fan, there is that one game they’ll never forget. If you’re a Florida fan, I doubt you’ll ever forget Alabama spoiling your perfect season, sending senior Tim Tebow to the locker room crying without a Heisman trophy or a National Championship. New York Giants fans will always remember the incredible catch by David Tyree on the game-winning drive in Super Bowl XLII. For me, a Buckeye fan, I will never forget when first-ranked Ohio State met up with second-ranked Michigan in a grueling battle for a conference title and a trip to the National Championship game. While the Ohio State-Michigan game is always considered one of the biggest rivalries in college football, this game represented the first time in history that these two teams were pitted against each other while they held the number one and number two rankings in the country.

Game day had arrived, and there was no other Ohio State-Michigan matchup better than this one! With the entire season riding on this one match, I couldn’t imagine a single place I would rather be than in section 9A, row 13, seat 11 in the Shoe. I had waited all season to attend this rivalry but never imagined it would boil down to a number one, number two matchup like this. The anticipation for this game was agonizing and exhilarating at the same time.

Before Ohio State football games, it’s a ritual that my friends and I get to campus hours before the game to spend time walking around , pushing through the scarlet and gray crowds, snatching food from random tailgate parties, and participating in the Ohio State fan events scattered around the Shoe. The wind was bitter cold and the early drinkers spilling beer on my Ohio State jacket made me cringe, but all of that would be forgotten as the growing enthusiasm and energetic vibes coming from surrounding Buckeye fans throughout the campus overwhelmed me.

After what seemed like an eternity cruising around the Shoe, the eagerness to find my seat had finally gotten to me. It was time to enter the Shoe for that last game of the 2006 season. Little did I know this would this be the greatest college football game I would ever witness. As I sat anxiously in my seat waiting for the opening kickoff, my eyes wandered the stadium in amazement at how many fans were here to cheer on their favorite Buckeyes. It was a sea of enthusiastic OSU fans decked out in their team apparel ready to scream their hearts out. As the last few minutes of the countdown ticked off on the massive scoreboard, I couldn’t find a single empty seat in the entire stadium. I had never seen the Shoe this packed with this much energy before!

The countdown had reached zero and everyone was on their feet waiting for the teams to run onto the battlefield. Within seconds the entire stadium, myself included, exploded with “BOOO!!!!” as the Maize and Blue stormed on the field, dancing around and taunting the Buckeye fans. Then, led by quarterback Troy Smith, the Mighty Buckeyes came blazing through their tunnel and driving onto the field. The Shoe erupting like a volcano, the blare of the crowd and the band sent chills down my spine and goose bumps up my arms. I had never heard the Buckeye nation get this loud before. I bet fans miles away could hear the roar that poured out of the Shoe.

This was it. The kickoff that millions of fans around the world have waited for was finally here. My lungs were already exhausted from all the yelling before the opening kick, but the following four quarters would be nothing but earsplitting cries from every Ohio State fan. After every completion, turnover, and touchdown, the mood of the Buckeye nation shifted. Ohio State was able to hold Michigan scoreless for quite some time, but it wasn’t long before the Wolverine standout offense powered their way into the end zone, causing panic in surrounding Buckeye fans. Troy Smith was able hold his composure and stun the nation with his outstanding agility and athleticism, throwing incredible touchdown passes to Tedd Ginn Jr. and Brian Robiskie. Temporarily at least, the crowd breathed a sigh of relief as we entered halftime with the Buckeyes up 28-14.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the Wolverine offense to find their second wind, putting up two more touchdowns in the second half. After some aggressive running from Ohio State’s Antonio Pittman and Chris “Beanie” Wells, the Bucks found themselves late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line. I could barely watch. The Buckeyes controlled the entire game until the fourth quarter. The excitement and thrill in the Shoe escalated with every snap of the ball. As the clock slowly approached 0:00, everybody in the Shoe was on their feet, knowing that each play could make or break the game! Excitement and apprehension rushed through my body. This was it. Everything both teams had trained for all year long came down to this one last play. Ohio State’s defense was faced with the difficult task of shutting down the powerful Michigan offense for the last time. A perfect 13-0 season lay in wait for the Buckeyes.

Fourth down with just seconds to go, Michigan quarterback Chad Henne drops back to throw his last pass of the game. My hands clenched my hair as I watched Henne’s pass sail deep over Ohio State defenders towards the end zone. My heart was pounding! Would Manningham come down with it for a touchdown to spoil the Buckeyes’ perfect season? No! It’s an incompletion!! My hands shot up in the air as I gave out a triumphant shriek. The field bled scarlet and gray as fans poured out onto the field to soak up the glorious victory.

I couldn’t believe this remarkable game had come to an end so fast but I couldn’t have been any more satisfied with the battle or the outcome. I looked up at the scoreboard and took a mental image that I’ll never forget: Ohio State: 42 –Michigan: 39. It will forever be branded in my mind. My heart was pounding with excitement as I rushed the field with the rest of the celebrating Buckeyes. I reached down tearing my hands into the Ohio State end zone, ripping up a chunk of turf for a souvenir of this game I will never forget. The grass was planted in my front yard where I will see it every day and remember the mind-blowing victory of the great and mighty, the number one team in the nation: the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Big Ten Bosses

The recent win over Michigan St. and recent loss by Purdue gave the Buckeyes a conference title and the number one seed in the Big Ten tournament. As I said earlier the Bucks opened the tourney against the Michigan Wolverines, and wow was it a good one. The last second, 37 foot shot by Evan Turner gave Ohio State a second chance to move on to play Illinois.

The Fighting Illini surprisingly defeated the Wisconsin Badgers in the first round of the tourney, giving them a shot to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Bucks found themselves down by eleven at one point but Evan Turner and David Lighty quickly turned that around by going on a 20-0 run putting the Buckeyes back on top. As the game progressed the Ohio State lead slowly dwindled leaving the Bucks back in another tight game. At the end of regulation the Fighting Illini was given an easy game-winning layup opportunity but lucky choked sending the game into overtime. Entering overtime Turner had already racked up four fouls along with his thirty one points and eleven boards. After regulation I thought for sure the Buckeyes would easily be able to take care of Illinois in overtime, but I was wrong. The Illini was had the opportunity to take the last shot at the end of the first overtime with the game tied but the lockdown defense by Even Turner and David Lighty prevented Illinois for even attempting a shot.

At the end of the first overtime Turner had fouled out but fortunately Illinois had two starters foul out too. The Bucks came out shooting hot and created a lead early. Ohio State held onto the lead and outscored the Illini by seven in the final overtime.

The Buckeyes would next be pitted against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Big Ten Tournament Championship game. Entering this game I figured the Bucks wouldn’t have any trouble with the Gophers since they beat them both times this year. Going into the locker room at half time, Ohio State only led by three. I'm not sure what Thad said to his players but whatever it was, it worked. The Bucks score an unbelievable 54 points in the second half and ended up winning 90-61.

I very proud of the Buckeyes and happy for their seniors. Hopefully they can repeat their accomplishments next year as well.

Congratulations on winning the Big Ten Conference and the Big Ten Tournament!! Good Luck in the NCAA Tourney!!


It has been three months since the Ohio State football team last stepped on a football field. Their most recent win was over the Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl. Ohio State, led by quarterback Terrelle Pryor, will be back in the Shoe on April 24th for their annual Spring Game. Last year Ohio State set a record for the largest attendance for a spring game ever! 95,722 people showed up to cheer on their favorite Buckeyes for the 2009 spring game. 95,722!!!! That's more than most college stadiums can even hold!

So what’s the deal for this year? With the return of nine offensive starters and five defensive starters, I can see the Buckeye nation pumped for the start of the 2010 college football season. I would love to see Ohio State set the record again for attendance to a spring game, and by the look of last year’s outcome, the Bucks have a very good chance of doing that.

Finishing 11-2 last year and returning fourteen starters will place the Buckeyes in the top five preseason for the start of the 2010 season. With Pryor back along with his favorite target, Posey, the Buckeyes should have one hell of an offence this year. I’m excited to see how well the Bucks do this year, especially since the Big Ten will be a much stronger conference. One player I’m really looking forward to watching is Jordan Hall. The high school teammate of Terrelle Pryor didn’t receive much playing time last year but from what I saw of him, he was VERY impressive. He is not that big of a running back but he runs very fast with A LOT of power. Jaamal Berry is another running back I'm looking forward to watching next year. The Florida native is said to have a ton of speed and is very agile.

On the other side of the ball the Bucks will have trouble replacing Coleman and Gibson but the early use of their freshman will only make them better. With the return of hard-hitting Brian Rolle and Ross Homan at the linebacker positions, the Ohio State defense should be very solid this year. Hopefully they are as good as the offense should be.

Mr. Big Shot

With the recent wins over Michigan St. and Penn St., Evan Turner and the Buckeyes got to take home the Big Ten conference title and a number one seed in the Big Ten tourney. Winner of the Player of the Year award, Evan Turner and his Bucks met up with their long-hated rivals, Michigan, in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.

Hosted in Indianapolis, the Big Ten tourney can be a make or break deal for some teams hoping to make it to the NCAA tournament. The Bucks, because of their conference title win, are garneted a spot in March madness, but exactly what seed they will receive is unknown until Selection Sunday. Before playing the Wolverines, Ohio State held a number seven ranking in the country.

Entering the game number eight (Big Ten tourney ranking) Michigan, led by Manny Harris, was considered a bubble team, meaning a win over Ohio State was essential for their entrance to the NCAA tournament.

From tip off the Bucks seemed very lethargic and carless with the ball on offence. Their defense also struggled to stop Manny Harris from knocking down deep threes all night. Evan Turner also didn’t seem to be playing his best basketball. The constant double team and missed shots frustrated him and eventually got to his head. William Buford and David Lighty were Ohio State’s most productive players during the first half until Evan was able to find his groove in the second half.

During the second half the Bucks seemed to have put the game away but Harris was able to get open and bring the Wolverines back in the game. Before I knew it Michigan was back in the game and had an opportunity to take the lead. With 9.7 seconds left in a game tied a 66 Michigan would get the ball at midcourt. Inbounded to Harris, he would drive to the top of the key, pull up for a shot……..and knock it down with 2.2 seconds to go. 66-68.

Was this it for the Bucks? Out in the first round to a much hated rival? Matta called a timeout for one last play. David Lighty, the inbound man, standing under his own basket passes it quickly up to Evan Turner who turns around to gain as much ground as possible before having to heave up a last desperation shot. Near midcourt Turner jump stops and lets go a 37 foot shot. Time expires as the ball slowly makes its way towards the hoop. Turner standing with his arm still in the air in anticipation of the shot falling becomes overwhelmed with excitement with the shot actually falls for the win!!!

Ohio State wins 69-68 over the Michigan Wolverines and advances to the next game against Illinois.

Future Freshman

The Ohio State men’s Basketball team seems to be on a roll with 20-7 record and 10-4 in the Big Ten. They have two tough road games ahead of them (Michigan St. and Purdue) as they look to win the Big Ten conference and hopefully receive a number one seed in the Big Ten tournament. The hot hands of Evan Turner and sharp shooting from William Buford are key if the Bucks plan on winning their conference and or the tourney.

With March Madness just around the corner the Buckeyes have a very young team with little recent success in the NCAA tournament. Without a single starting senior, head Coach Thad Matta hopes to keep his team leader, Evan Turner, for another year. With the likely hood that sophomore William Buford will return next year, if the Bucks can keep Turner from entering the NBA draft, I would bet money RIGHT NOW that that Bucks will win a National Championship next year.

Why so sure? Not only will Evan Turner be the best college basketball player next year, without a doubt, with the help from Buford and Deibler PLUS the talent the Bucks are bringing in next year from recruiting, Ohio State would have the best college basketball team in the country.

When the name Sullinger comes up most Buckeye fans think of past Ohio State guard JJ Sullinger. Well next year when that name comes up hopefully Buckeye fans think of the dominating center Jared Sullinger. Already Ohio State has the number one basketball recruiting class in the country. With commits from five stars Jared Sullinger, and Deshaun Thomas the 2010 Buckeye basketball recruiting class is said to be just as good, if not better, than the 2006 class (Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Daequan Cook class).

Along with these two five stars, Jared brings two teammates J.D. Weatherspoon (three star) and Jordan Sibert (four star). With their experience together as teammates hopefully the class of 2010 can make an impact next year in the Shot.

If Matta manages to keep Turner for another year along with Buford the Bucks have a real shot at bringing home a conference title along with a National Title.