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  • Ohio State tops USA Today preseason Coaches Poll

    Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer leads the team in pre-game warmup drills prior to the NCAA football game against Penn State at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Oct. 26, 2013. (Adam Cairns / The Columbus Dispatch)

    Credit: The Columbus Dispatch

    As expected, defending national champion Ohio State opened the USA Today preseason Coaches Poll at No. 1 on Thursday. The only question is how much of the available No. 1 votes the Buckeyes would grab, and the defending champs gobbled up 62 of 64 available first-place votes (TCU and Alabama garnered one apiece). The two voters that did not rank Ohio State No. 1 had the Buckeyes at No. 2. So, officially now, the Buckeyes are the heavy favorites heading into 2015.

    And that is – historically, at least – very unfortunate for them.

    Ohio State is the second straight defending national champion to retain its No. 1 ranking on the first week of the following season and the fifth in the last dozen years. Of the previous four, only one (2003-04 USC) went on to claim back-to-back national titles. That 2004 team, though later vacated, is also the only Coaches preseason No. 1 in the last dozen years to win a national title. So while it provides a nice pep in the step for the Buckeyes and their fans today, a preseason No. 1 ranking usually does not lead to greater things in January.

    Here’s the full poll:

    1. Ohio State
    2. TCU
    3. Alabama
    4. Baylor
    5. Oregon
    6. Michigan State
    7. Auburn
    8. Florida State
    9. Georgia
    10. USC
    11. Notre Dame
    12. Clemson
    13. LSU
    14. UCLA
    15. Ole Miss
    16. Arizona State
    17. Georgia Tech
    18. Wisconsin
    19. Oklahoma
    20. Arkansas
    21. Stanford
    22. Arizona
    23. Missouri
    24. Boise State
    25. Tennessee

    A few notes:

    – Breaking it down by conference: SEC (8), Pac-12 (6) Big 12 (3), Big Ten (3), ACC (3), Independents (1), Mountain West (1). By percentage: SEC (57%), Pac-12 (50%), Big 12 (30%), ACC and Big Ten (21%).

    – The Group of Five gets its one customary late 20’s spot, and, of course, it goes to Boise State.

    – Steve Spurrier will surely be pleased that 7-6 Arkansas and 7-6 Tennessee jump into the poll and 7-6 South Carolina does not.

    – This is the first time since 1998, Mack Brown’s first year, that Texas enters the year unranked in the Coaches’ Poll. The silver lining? The Horns went 9-3 and ended the year ranked 16th by the coaches.

    – Just for laughs, here’s last year’s Coaches preseason Top 10 laid against the postseason Top 10.

    RankPreseasonPostseason
    1.Florida StateOhio State
    2.AlabamaOregon
    3.OklahomaTCU
    4.OregonAlabama
    5.AuburnMichigan State
    6.Ohio StateFlorida State
    7.UCLAGeorgia Tech
    8.Michigan StateBaylor
    9.South CarolinaGeorgia
    10.BaylorUCLA

     

  • Uniform Round-Up: New jerseys at App State and Arizona State, NFL throwbacks

    A lot of uniform news to get to, so let’s start in alphabetical order.

    First, Appalachian State has a new yellow alternate jerseys that shows the Pittsburgh Steelers how a black-and-yellow alt should look.

    Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 11.23.10 PM

    Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 11.23.21 PM

    Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 11.23.35 PM

    The full set will come out later today, but here’s a sneak preview of Arizona State’s new Adidas uniforms.Whether you loved or hated Arizona State’s look with Nike, it’s hard to pick too many nits with Adidas’s work here. The Sun Devils’ new kits lack the hallmarks of recent #teamadidas work, proving Adidas can color within the lines when they feel like it, they just don’t feel like it that often.

    Arizona State

    AZ State 1 AZ State2 AZ State3 AZ State4 AZ State5 AZ State6 AZ State7 AZ State8

    Next, a pair of throwbacks in the NFL.

    First, the Miami Dolphins. They’ll wear the 1966 throwbacks on Dec. 14 against the Giants, but we can all agree they’d be better off trashing their current look and wearing this full time, yes?

    Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 11.46.40 PM

     

    And, finally, there’s the Green Bay Packers. They’ll don an “Acme Packers” look harkening back to the 1940’s. Throwbacks exist to sell jerseys to people who already own jerseys, but I wonder who’s actually buying this.

    Packers

  • Video of the Day – Ball State’s Pete Lembo at MAC Media Day

    Video of the day

    Thursday July 30, 2015

    Ball State’s Pete Lembo at MAC Media Day

  • Thursday’s One Minute Warm Up

    – Racing and Ohio go together like peas and carrots, so this helmet from Buckeye fan and racer Graham Rahal makes sense.

    – In “this can only happen in baseball” news, word leaked that the Mets had traded Wilmer Flores (who signed with the team a day after his 16th birthday) during an actual game. He finds out from fans after being sent back into the game and understandably gets emotional. The trade ended up fizzling out, but c’mon guys!

    – Former MLB hotshot Jose Conseco is showing his support for Caitlyn Jenner…by living as a woman for a week.

    – Mike Leach appeared on EPSN today and dished about a 64 team playoff, the Kardashians, The Royal Family, and American Society. Coach Leach, please never change.

    – The NFL pre-draft process is perplexing to everyone, but this just makes no sense at all.

    More of what you missed yesterday:

    – Tom Herman promises to hold “the hardest training camp in the history of college football.”

    – One special Division III game day environment is going to include kids activities, a foam party for students and a BEER GARDEN!

    – Nick Saban shares a vital key to his success: “Don’t think much about the past, and don’t worry about the future.”

    What to look forward to today:

    – Big Ten coaches (Dantonio, Beckman, Chryst, Edsall, Wilson, Ferentz, Meyer) and Pac-12 coaches (MacIntyre, Graham, Andersen, Mora, Petersen, Shaw) take the podium at their respective Media Days today.

  • Tom Herman promises “the hardest training camp in the history of college football.”

    TomHermanBanner1

    Tom Herman was hired away from Ohio State to replace Tony Levine, who was fired after posting a 21-17 overall record and a 15-10 mark in 2013 and 2014. That isn’t normal for the coaching business.

    But as the largest university in the largest city of America’s largest talent-producing and football-mad state, Houston brought in Herman to take the next step as a football program, and to use the football program to take the next step as a university. There’s a new stadium that must be filled. There’s a new conference that must be won, a valuable bowl entry that must be claimed. Beyond the horizon, there’s another shifting of the landscape that many believe is coming, and Houston wants to position itself as the primary choice to leap into a new stratosphere.

    There’s a lot to be won and with, again, a roster that won 16 games over the past two years, the winning must start now. With that in mind, Herman promised Cougar fans at a Touchdown Club of Houston meeting in nearby Pearland on Wednesday something that will surpass what happened 61 years prior and 300 miles to the west in Junction, Texas.

    That’s not to say Herman is all bluster and gusto. Working with its fifth offensive line coach in as many seasons, Herman admitted something most of his peers would not at this time of year.

    The honesty of the second statement should make Cougars players brace for the reality of the first.