Some links, plus my preview of "Seperation Saturday"
- I was saddened to hear of the death of Ohio State quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels' mother today. She passed away on Wednesday morning. This is being kept pretty low key, which I think will definitely help the team more than a media bombardment. However, that is a total afterthought in my book. My condolences go out to Joe, his family, and close friends. Daniels had a real tough offseason with some very serious health issues, but is physically fine. This is a real damaging emotional loss, however.
- Anthony Gonzalez sure is one humble fella. Not much more than your classic, "sucking up to the guy who just had the game of his life." article, but it's still a good read. Actually, it turns out that Gonzalez's father played for Michigan. You learn something new everyday I suppose.
- Co-Defensive Coordinator Luke Fickell discusses the team's sketchy run defense to date. Despite all the hooplah about the maturation of the defense, I still think there is quite a way's to go and we were just the benefeciaries of an inexperienced Colt McCoy. Ohio State missed 13 tackles against Texas, which Fickell calls an "improvement" from the first game against NIU. I don't think we missed 13 tackles all of last year. The article also mentions Larry Grant as having a great week and is improving dramatically.
- Keith has his Texas analysis up. Check it out. Good stuff, as always.
- Lots has been made of the return of Mark Dantonio this weekend. As all of you know, Dantonio was the DC of that absolutely incredible championship defense in 2002. BuckNuts has a nice little write-up about it all.
- BuckeyePlanet UC Preview. Nothing more needs to be said. Incredible would be an understatement.
If you've even glanced at Sportscenter or ESPN.com this past week, you probably saw something about what is now known as "Seperation Saturday." This week features 7 top-25 matchups, including Notre Dame-Michigan, Florida-Tennessee, and Auburn-LSU. Here are my quick picks for the weekend's big action.
(2)Notre Dame vs (11)Michigan
Michigan hasn't won in South Bend since 1994. They haven't won a road opener in ages. Notre Dame has Brady, Charlie, Shark, and the hype. Michigan is coming off a 7-5 season. All signs point to a Notre Dame blowout, but I'm not so sure. There's no doubt that Michigan will come out with a chip on their shoulder. Mike Hart is averaging 5.2 yards a carry this season, and has been able to run effectively between the tackles. Notre Dame's defense has been surprising so far this season, but I feel pretty strongly that Hart will expose them for what they really are. However, Chad Henne seems to be digressing somewhat in his game so far this season, and even though a good reason for that is the high number of receiver drops, a lot of his throws just haven't looked like they've been coming from a guy starting for his third straight season. On the other side of the ball, the key matchup will be CB Leon Hall vs WR Jeff Samardzija. The rest of the Michigan secondary is a total question mark at this point, and with the recent emergence of one time starter Rhema McKnight, the Notre Dame offense will have a big game.
Notre Dame-31 Michigan-21
(7)Florida vs (13) Tennessee
I'm not going to lie, I feel that these are two of the more overrated teams in the nation. I'm not about to buy into the fact that Chris Leak will thrive in his second season under Urban Meyer's spread offense, I just don't see it. He's not the scrambler that everyone thought, and although his passing game has been pretty remarkable so far, the secondaries of Central Florida and Southern Miss leave much to be desired. As for Tennessee, it is too early to tell if the Cal game was a sign of things to come, or Phil Fulmer giving a sense of false hope to the Rocky Top faithful. The 31-30 squeaker over Air Force of all teams was saved by a stopped two point conversion at the very end. Tennessee showed no ability to stop the option, and as we all know, Urban Meyer thrives on it, which will not leave good results for Tennessee. If Air Force can hang 30 on them, then Florida, albeit with an average offense, should look fantastic against these guys.
Part 2 coming later tonight or tomorrow