Ten days and counting. After what has seems like an eternity, there are only ten days left until Ohio State takes the field again. Time to get out your game-day jersey and eye black, check to make sure your satellite bill has been paid, and pull out your lucky Buckeye necklace.
Naturally this week's News and Notes center on reports from practice more than anything else. Let's jump right in:
Good News: There is lots of really good news coming from the Ohio State staff and players concerning recent practices. Maybe the most optimistic notes have been in concern to the offense, which has made great strides since the spring. Braxton Miller is reportedly getting more accurate with each week, and is comfortable running Tom Herman's offense. The wide outs, who had been "receiving" the brunt of Meyer's criticism, have improved a great deal. Philly Brown seems to have risen to the top of the heap, but coaches also like Devin Smith, Michael Thomas and Jake Stoneburner a great deal. Both Brown and Thomas have been nursing minor injuries but should be good to go against Miami, September 1st. Carlos Hyde is receiving effusive praise from coaches and teammates, alike. He is clearly number one at tailback, and coaches have made it clear that when Jordan Hall returns, he and Hyde will be on the field together a lot. Herman had this to say about Hyde: "He's a guy that's really grown up. I think the thing about Carlos is that he's really stepped up his mental game the last couple of months." As for Hall, he still hopes to be ready for game three against California. Maybe most exciting is the fact that the offense seems to be giving the OSU D all they can handle in practice. Reports are that the defense has been pretty tired, trying to keep up with the up tempo offense of Tom Herman, and Johnathan Hankins even admitted that the offense is "pretty challenging." We all expect the Silver Bullets to be lights out on defense this year, so if the young offense is giving them a challenge, that has to be very good news.
The Eye of the Storm: What does Urban Meyer do now? For those who don't know, Storm Klein had his domestic violence and assault charges dropped on Wednesday, and instead pled guilty to the charge of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor. Urban Meyer now finds himself in a sticky situation. Did the young woman who filed the charge change her story to protect Klein? Or was she lying all along? It will be interesting to see how things play out in the court of law but also with the Ohio State coaching staff. Some think Klein will be reinstated to the team, but will fall to the back of the pack among linebackers on the roster. Others think Urban will not allow him to rejoin the Buckeyes at all. We have been told that there will be a formal reassessment of the situation, so Klein will be able to plead his case to the powers that be. If indeed, he confessed to striking the young lady, though, you can bet that Meyer will be reluctant to take Klein back. I guess we will have to wait to see what happens.
The Herbies: I know you have been losing sleep waiting for former Buckeye Kirk Herbstreit to release his 12th annual Herbie Awards. Besides picking Montee Ball as the B1G's best player, Captain Kirk chose Florida State to defeat USC for the National Championship (Yes, you read that right). As for Buckeye players chosen in the position rankings, Herbie mentioned the following: Braxton Miller as the nation's fifth best dual-threat quarterback; Jake Stoneburner as the 2nd best TE; John Simon as the 11th best DE (seems really low); and Johnathan Hankins as the 2nd best DT. I think he is going to wish he had selected Bradley Roby. Just sayin! And if Herbie winds up with some egg on his face, let's just say that TSB won't be shedding any tears!