Solich has built a winner at Ohio
Definitely not the highest profile team in the MAC [insert your own joke here]; but Frank Solich has Ohio playing consistently good football.
With last night's win over Temple, Ohio is now 6-3 on the year and leading the Eastern division of the MAC. Solich has led the Bobcats to bowl games in each of the last two seasons and will certainly do so again this season. In 2009 they had 9 wins and last season they had 8. This season they still have to go to Central Michigan and Bowling Green and then finish out with Miami (OH) at home.
On the season, Ohio has had some monstrous rushing performances and they don't seem to have any issues throwing the ball either.
Highlights below, and then Coach Solich's comments beneath that.
Jimbo going for four in a row
Florida State started the season 2-0; but then lost 3 straight to Oklahoma, at Clemson and at Wake Forest. Jimbo Fisher's team has rebounded and has won it's last 3 at Duke, vs. Maryland and vs. NC State.
Tonight at 8 (ESPN), the Seminoles take on Boston College.
On paper, this looks like an opportunity for Florida State's defense to exert it's will; however games aren't played on paper. BC's offense is ranked 104th in total offense and 107th in scoring offense; while Florida State's defense (even though they got beat up in those 3 losses) is ranked 8th in total defense and 12th in scoring defense (they are also #3 in sacks averaging nearly 4 per game).
However, BC is coming off of their biggest win of the year, a 28-17 victory over Maryland in which they rushed for 372 (yes, that says that BC rushed for 372 yards at Maryland).
Hope it's a good one tonight.
The Les you know (a great read)
Wright Thompson wrote a great article for ESPN about Les Miles.
It's not short and to summarize it here wouldn't do it proper justice.
Next time you have a few minutes, click this link and read about Les' life. A great read.
The Harsin effect
Yesterday we wrote an article about Texas' defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and Texas Tech's offensive coordinator Neal Brown being two very good coordinators who happen to be young as well. The inbox (Mail@FootballScoop.com) received more than a few notes saying that it was wrong to leave Texas' co-offensive coordinators Bryan Harsin and Major Applewhite out of that conversation (both of whom have yet to turn 35).
Hard to argue with the stats and productivity that Harsin (who is calling the plays) and Applewhite are getting from their squad which features a bunch of young guys (the following starters are all freshmen: WR, RB, QB, C, LT) and they have 3 other Sophomores starting as well.
This season, the Longhorns are running the football again, averaging nearly 220 yards per game on the ground (and their doing it primarily with two freshmen running the ball against defenses that know that the freshman QB isn't likely to hurt them too badly through the air. Texas is 17th in the nation in rushing offense but only 90th in passing. They are 40th in scoring whereas they ranked 82nd last year.
We noticed that Texas only had 57 runs of 10 or more yards all of least season (12 games). This year they already have 55 through 7 games...even though everybody is jamming the box. Impressive improvement under Harsin and Applewhite.
Saturday Texas takes on Texas Tech which has given up a large number of long rushing plays and it 114th in the nation in rushing defense. It will be interesting to see how Harsin and Applewhite try to attack Tech's defense and control the clock (and the game).
Winning creates huge value for the University
We saw a good article this morning by Bill Haisten of the Tulsa World which spoke about the tremendous impact that the winning football program at Oklahoma State is having on the University overall.
For anyone out there pleading with administrators over financial support for your team, you'll probably want to read Haisten's article.
Oklahoma State University's director of marketing (for the school, not the football program) said, "At this point, every measurable is spiking for Oklahoma State...Merchandise, apparel, publicity, admission applications - everything is up for OSU."
Season ticket sales of 48,425 have easily set a record. Four of the eight largest crowds in OSU history have been for home games this season. The 3,900 freshman this year represents the largest freshman class at OSU in 30 years. Of those, 22% come from the state of Texas.
Success on the field converting to success for the University.
And it never hurts to have a coach willing to dance.
Thursday TV (3 games tonight!)
3 games on TV tonight. I don't know what we did to deserve this; but thank you.
All times Eastern.
Akron at Miami (OH) - 7:30 - ESPNU
Florida State at Boston College - 8pm - ESPN
Tulsa at Central Florida - 8pm - CBSSN
Pretty sure you've never seen this before
Last night most folks turned on the NIU / Toledo game in the second half...and it was a great second half. The first half wasn't bad either, featuring back to back kickoff returns for 6 by the same guy.
But, for those that tuned in early, and yes we're talking pre-game, you might have seen something that we've never seen before.
As captured in the animated gif below, before the game, an NIU player deliberately ran into at least one (and it looks like two) member of the Toledo band. What?
Northern Illinois has suspended the player involved #6 (he's on the far right of the picture) for next week's game against Bowling Green. He was a starting linebacker who had over 50 tackles on the season.
Intentionally running into a band member???
Tonight at 8, Ohio takes on Temple on ESPN2, and the Bobcats plan to "blackout" the stadium.
The Owls have found some success on the ground so far this year, ranking 9th in the nation in rushing.
Likewise, the Bobcats will be bringing in an offense that can run the football having rushed for over 200 yards in five of their eight games this season.
The Temple defense may be the story of the game though, ranking in the top ten in pass efficiency (#8), total defense (#5), rushing defense (#10), and scoring defense (#2 behind only Alabama).
We expect points to be scored and a great game; but 63-60 seems like an unreasonable expectation for tonight's game.
Here's a video of the Ohio players seeing their new black uniforms for the first time. If you've never seen this video, take the time, it's a classic.