Fans want to see that smile in Scarlet & Gray // Photo via maxpreps.com
Drew Thurman (2:06 pm)

Now that the Buckeyes have another Michigan win in their pocket and a Rose Bowl berth to look forward to, the focus now will turn towards recruiting for Buckeye Nation. Things on the recruiting front have been pretty quiet over the last several months, with the last commitment coming in early September. Most of the biggest names are still out there though, and the staff will look to close this class out in style.

While that means some excitement awaits in December and January, you better believe there are some anxious Buckeye fans out there. Ever since the recruiting meltdown at the end of the 2007 class, fans have been increasingly focused on closing each class out. The staff has responded to that debacle with two stellar classes in '08 and '09, and they will look to continue that momentum to finish this class out. So, let's take an in depth look at some of the names still out there, and who the experts are saying the Buckeyes have the best chances at. In this edition, lets start with the offense...

On the offensive side of things, the Buckeyes have realistically brought in most of the position players they will in 2010. With Taylor Graham at quarterback, Roderick Smith at running back, and the big trio at wideout (Brown, Louis, and Williams), the staff has stock piled talent to already deep positions. They didn't bring in a big name quarterback or any tight ends, both of which will be high priorities in 2011.
Dave Thurman (9:02 am)

The Big Ten All Conference teams were announced this week and I'm angry...make that livid.  I know most of the national media isn't particularly fond of JT or the Buckeyes, but I am shocked to see this kind of a snub from the midwest sportswriters and Big Ten coaches.

Consider the following:

-The coaches named 7 Iowa players to the First Team, and only 1 Buckeye! All total, 15 Hawkeyes made the All Conference Team (1st and 2nd Team and Honorable Mention), compared to 8 from Ohio State.

-The conference media wasn't much better, although the First Team disparity was only 4-2.  However, they named 18 Hawkeyes to the All Conference Team, compared to 9 Buckeyes.  Then to show their total prejudice they named Kirk Ferentz as Coach of the Year (for the third time).  Wait a minute.  If he has better players than Tressel, then how does he merit coach of the year?  Since Ohio State won the Big Ten with inferior talent, shouldn't their coach at least get some accolades?  Interesting how a team with better talent and superior coaching finishes in second place.  And amazing how Tressel has won 6 Big Ten titles but never been awarded the conference Coach of the Year. 

-In case you're interested Penn State got 15 players on the media squad, and the coaches named 6 Nittany Lions to the First Team. Wisconsin got 5 on the media First Team (remember OSU had 2). Purdue trumped the Bucks 11-9 in total players named All Conference!

When you consider that Ohio State was the Big Ten outright champion, then you have to scratch your head.  I have perused the list of players and found the following to be especially mind boggling:
From the first drive on, turnovers plagued Forcier // Photo via espn.com
Drew Thurman (3:22 pm)

Sorry it has taken me a few days to get out the recap, it was one crazy weekend for us here at TSB. Anyways, here are the things that really stuck out from the Buckeyes sixth straight win over Michigan...

Tresselball pulls out another victory. Let's be honest, the game was pretty ugly. The offense really only had two solid drives, and besides that were conservative and boring. You will not find me complaining though. After the Purdue loss if you would have told me the Buckeyes would sweep Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan I would have said you were dreaming. So now that the Buckeyes have actually completed that feat, I am not going to gripe about how it was done. The fact is, it was! Yes, the game plan took the ball out of Pryor's hands. Yes, Tressel counted on the defense to come through with big plays. Yes, Tressel made us all wonder if we had a stomach ulcer. Regardless, he and the team got the job done. It wasn't my favorite style, but sometimes it is hard to argue with the results. 

Turnovers were the name of the game. While watching the game I really thought the defense looked pretty average at times, especially in the secondary. It was frustrating to watch Michigan neutralize the Buckeye rush with the hurry up offense, and push so many drives into redzone. Though the "D" could have helped themselves out with some three and outs, in their defense, Michigan won the field position battle all afternoon long. Michigan had six drives that started on their own 35 yard line or better. So the defense had their backs against the wall all afternoon. While they let the Wolverine offense get into a groove between the 20's, they did come up with an interception almost every time they needed to. Those turnovers would define the game, and honestly have been something that have defined the entire season. Ever since Rolle's pick on Navy's 2-point conversion in the first game, the defense has forced turnovers when things mattered most.   
It wasn't the prettiest performance, but the Buckeyes got it done 21-10 against Michigan. The offense put drives together when the team needed it most, and everytime their backs were against the wall the defense forced a turnover (5 in all). Make it SIX IN A ROW BABY! Bring on the Rose Bowl!
Here's hoping for lots of stiff arms, touchdowns, and another Michigan beatdown. Nothing would end the season better than ending Michigan's bowl bid, and winning a third straight game over Big Ten royalty. GO BUCKS!
Dave and Drew Thurman (11:45 am)

Mascot: Wolverine (AKA "Skunk Bear")
Stadium: Michigan Stadium (106,201)
Coach: Rich Rodriguez (2nd year at Michigan, 8-15; overall D-1, 68-41)
2008 Record: 3-9
2009 Record: 5-6
Base Offense: Spread
Base Defense: 3-4
Letterman: Returning - 50; Lost - 20
Returning Starters: Offense - 10, Defense - 5, Specialists - 1
Returning Stars: RB Brandon Minor, DE Brandon Graham (pictured)

Notable Alumni:

- Mike Wallace: Host of 60 Minutes
- Barry Larkin: former Cincinnati Red shortstop, 1995 NL MVP
- Branch Rickey: former owner of Dodgers who signed Jackie Robinson
- Larry Paige: co-founder of Google
- Tom Brady: former QB and two-time Superbowl MVP
- Edward Wright: Astronaut; first American to walk in space
- Michael Phelps: Olympic swimmer with 14 career gold medals
- Gerald Ford: 38th President of the United States
- Theodore Kaczynski: The Unabomber

Cheerleading Scouting Report:

For the sake of all parties involved we will skip this section this week, because the sight is too gruesome! 

Michigan Overview:

After a 4-0 start, including an upset of Notre Dame, everyone in Ann Arbor was drinking the Rich Rodriguez Kool-Aid. Things haven't been pretty since the early surge though, as the Wolverines have only one win against Delaware State (and no Big Ten victories since a win against IU 36-33 in week four). Their troubles haven't been because of a lack of offensive output though. They average 31.3 points per game to go along with 391 yards a game. When was the last you heard of a 5-6 team with those sorts of numbers? 
The Buckeyes have already clinched the Big Ten title and a trip to the Rose Bowl. So what is there left to play for against Michigan? How about pride, tradition, glory, and for Ohio! Let the beatdowns continue...
Drew Thurman (9:16 am)

It feels like everyday some new dysfunctional situation manifests itself up in Ann Arbor. If there was a sports version of the National Enquirer, the Michigan football program would be on the cover ever week. In fact I am surprised no one has attempted to produce one, because Rodriguez and company are more entertaining than Michael Jackson, Lindsay Lohan, or Brad and Angelina. They have unhappy players transferring, coaches unable to keep practice logs, Rich Rodriguez crying in the media, and oh, they are 8-15 the last two years. Even this week, college football fans have gotten a slight glimpse into the inept leadership happening up north as players have been as outspoken as ever and Rich Rodriguez has been throwing his players under the bus. Not even Friday Night Lights could come up with this kind of stuff.

It will be interesting to see is how all of this impacts the most storied rivalry in all of college football, maybe even college sports. I am not a big fan of off the field issues, and I really believe they leave a huge weight on college athletes. So, I really wonder what kind of Michigan team we see take the field come Saturday. Most of the media has already written the Wolverines off this weekend, but anyone who the knows the history of "The Game," knows the unpredictability of this contest. Though the odds favor Michigan performing as they have all season long, know one truly knows how the Maize and Blue will react. I really believe there are three possible looks the Wolverines could give us come Saturday...      
Dave Thurman (9:27 am)

It's Michigan week!  Call them what you will - scUM, Meatchicken, the ugly helmets, or, that school up north - the fact is we need them to get good again.  Say what?  You heard me right! We need our chief rivals to recapture their mojo and start playing like a big time program.

Before you dismiss me as crazy allow me to explain.  We need Michigan to regain their swagger for the following reasons:

1) To reinstate the rivalry to its rightful position as the best in college sports - Many sportswriters have gone on record saying that Ohio
State-Michigan is the greatest rivalry in sports (ESPN recently ranked it #1 among all rivalries - college and pro!)  But if the Bucks keep winning every year, and if there are more 42-7 games, then the contest will lose a great deal of its relevance and might go the way of Army-Navy or the Packers-Bears. 

2) To help the Big Ten restore its luster and silence the critics - Has any conference been under fire as much the past few years as the Big Ten?  We (and I use that word as a lifelong Big Ten fan) have a black eye right now and even a healthy dose of Tammy Faye Baker's makeup can't cover it up.  What is needed are some victories over highly ranked opponents.  But as long as Michigan is down and Penn State mediocre, then there's little hope of the conference impressing the nation or winning a majority of its bowl games.  The last time people spoke Of the Big Ten with awe and respect was 2006, when #1 Ohio State met #2 Michigan.  We need more of those "gold old days."
"I'm not Justin Boren." He's got a lot of words for Boren. "Just somebody who shouldn't have been here in the first place... We'll see him Saturday." Our front four can get the job done. Boren's got to prove he's still got it. He was good here, but isn't as good there because it's O-State. Family values thing was just an excuse for Boren because he wanted to leave. Never gave the new coaches a chance. "Some people just leave because they feel like they're better than what they is. Not trying to put that much work into it.... a lot of people get lazy and feel like it's supposed to come to them."

Judging by Graham's words and those from the other ridiculous outspoken Michigan players, you would actually think they were the ones who had just clinched the Big Ten title. Michigan can keep talking though, just as Mike Hart did every year, and the Buckeyes can keep winning titles. I hope Graham and the boys enjoy being at the bottom of the conference. Oh, talk is so cheap!

Source: http://mgoblog.com/content/monday-presser-notes-11-16-09