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Ohio State Football Rushing the Football

April 13, 2010

With Ohio State/Michigan and Thanksgiving upon us, this is the perfect time to be looking at ‘meat and potatoes’ football. Ohio State coach Woody Hayes was fond of saying, “Three things can happen when you throw the football, and two of them are bad.” Hayes was old school, which meant he loved to run the football. To get your Woody Hayes Ohio State Memorabilia, come visit our Ohio State Store. There you will find a great selection of Ohio State Apparel and Ohio State Merchandise for the entire family.

Being able to successfully run the ball with a power running game adds so much to the dimensions of an offense. If you’re in a third-and-four situation, having a power back gives a coach the option of playing it safe and running the pigskin. Even if you pick up two yards, it’s still a viable option to run it again on fourth-and-short, if you have that reliable bruising back. Offensive balance is so important. A good running game makes the passing game that much better, because defenses may have to bring more guys up the line of scrimmage to key on the run. This makes play-action that much more effective. In addition, there is likely more single coverage downfield, making the air attack that much easier to click.

Here’s a look at the top rushers in the NFL right now: Shaun Alexander (1,114 yards), Edgerrin James (1,027), Warrick Dunn, Willis McGahee, Tiki Barber, LaDainian Tomlinson, Rudi Johnson, Clinton Portis and Thomas Jones. One thing that stands out is that all those teams have winning records with the exception of one (Buffalo with McGahee). Seattle is running away with the NFC West behind league leader Alexander, while James and the Colts are undefeated.

Another thing that stands out is that every one of those teams has a winning spread record. The Colts and Seahawks are a combined 12-6 against the number. One team absent from that list is Denver. Mike Shanahan’s teams are still terrific at running the football, though they are doing it this year with running back depth, which is a trend several teams are starting to develop. This may be a wave of the future, but the value of the bruising workhorse back is still alive and well.

Former Alabamacoach Bear Bryant spent the last 15 years of his career utilizing the wishbone, a run-oriented offense. When asked about it one time he said, “The Wishbone is the greatest passing offense in football history.” His point was that defenses geared to stop the running game, but every now and then when you threw a pass, it often went for a huge gain because the defense wasn’t expecting it.

The top 5 rushing teams in the NFL are the Falcons, Broncos, Seahawks, Steelers, Bears and Colts. They’re all either leading their divisions or in the thick of the playoff race. Running the football may not be as exciting as a wide-open passing attack, but the bread and butter element of football is still a significant weapon — both straight up and against the number

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Ohio State Heisman Awards

April 13, 2010

At the end of every college football season an award is given out to the nations top college football player as voted on by a group of 941 media members and past winners. This award is called the Heisman Memorial Award Trophy. While this award is highly publicized by the media and football fans throughout the world, here are some interesting facts that you may not know.

History

The Heisman Award originally began by the Downtown Athletic Club of New York City in 1935. It was named after John W Heisman, who was a member of the club. The actual trophy is modeled after former New York University football player Ed Smith in 1934.

The award had always been presented at the Downtown Athletic Club until 2002. The club was located near the site of the World Trade Center towers that were destroyed in the attacks of 9/11. The club was forced to close due in part to financial difficulties resulting from 9/11.

Voting Process

The voting process for football’s Heisman Award is on a regional basis. The country is divided into 6 separate regions with a noted media member in charge of each region. This member then chooses a select group of other voters that are football writers, reporters, or TV personalities to also cast votes.

Dividing the country up into 6 regions helps assure there will be no regional bias for any one player. Currently there are 941 members who cast votes. The award is given out in December of each year.

Award Winners

Winners of the Heisman Football award include mostly quarterbacks and running backs. In fact, 41 of the 71 Heisman Award winners are running backs and 23 have been quarterbacks.

Charles Woodson of Michigan has been the one and only defensive player to ever win the award. He did that in 1997. Although he also returned kickoffs and punts, he was primarily a defensive back.

Archie Griffin has the distinction of being the only player in Heisman Award history to win the trophy twice. He did so in 1974 and 1975 while playing with Ohio State University. You can find Ohio State Memorabilia at OhioStateOnly.com. Come visit our Ohio State Store and see the great selection of Ohio State Apparel and Ohio State Merchandise.

Two schools are tied with the most number of Heisman Award winners. Both USC and Notre Dame have had 7 past Heisman football trophy winners, although Notre Dame has only had one winner in the last 40 years. Ohio State has had 6 Heisman Award winners.

What Happened To A Few Past Winners?

While there have been many past Heisman Award winners go on to have Hall of Fame careers in the NFL, for many others, just the opposite has happened.

Jason White, the 2003 winner has never played a down in the NFL. Archie Griffin, the only two-time award winner had a dismal football career in Cincinnati. Andre Ware, the 1989 winner, sat on the bench for 4 years and then retired.

Eric Crouch, the 2001 winner out of Nebraska, has never played a game in the NFL. Rashaan Salaam, the 1994 winner, had several drug abuse suspensions in a very short and unpleasant career. Perhaps the most infamous Heisman Award winner of all-time is O.J. Simpson. After having a very illustrious career with the Buffalo Bills, he will always be remembered for his celebrity trial in the murder of his wife and Ronald Goldman.

Football fans everywhere love the Heisman football trophy. Each one has his or her own opinion on who the winner should be. It has become a yearly tradition that keeps on getting bigger every year.

Ohio State University

April 13, 2010

The Ohio State University is a public research university that has a proud tradition of fielding a top-notch football team. The university is one of the older schools in the country and was founded in 1870 and a land-grant university after the end of the Civil War. It is a single-campus school and is the largest of its kind in the country. It is considered one of the top of the twenty public universities in the USA.

The Ohio State University Buckeyes have a football team that is an intercollegiate team and is part of the Big Ten Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. They play at the Football Bowl Subdivision level. The team gets their nickname from the state tree of Ohio, the Buckeye. The team plays their home games in the Ohio Stadium and has done so since 1922.

They have a history of five times consensus Division IA National Champions and can claim seven national championships. The Buckeyes beat Ohio University in 2008 for their 800th victory. This has made them the fifth team of the FBS to have ever done so. Of the seven times National Champions that they can claim, their coaches were Paul Brown in 1942 and then Woody Hayes took the team to five of the remaining six titles. He did so in the years 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, and 1970. The last championship won was in 2002 under the direction of Jim Tressel. You can find some Ohio State Memorabilia of these past champion season at Ohio State Only.com

The Buckeyes have also had some undefeated seasons to brag of. They have been spread out over the years and are nine in total years.

It was in the year 1912 that Ohio State joined the Big Ten. Before that they belonged to the Ohio Athletic Conference and had won two of the OAC titles. The school has won a Big Ten championship thirty-three times. This is second most in the conference and the third most conference title of any school found in any conference. The coaches that can lay claim to leading the team to these great stats are Albert E. Hernstein, John Richards, John Wilce, Francis Schmidt, Pau Brown, Carroll Widdoes, Wes Fesler, Woody Hayes for a total of thirteen times, Earle Bruce for four times, John Cooper for three times, and Jim Tressel for a total of five times. There have been seven Ohio Buckeye players who have won the Heisman trophy. This record it tied with Notre Dame and USC for the most ever players from any school. At out Ohio State Store, you can find the Ohio State Apparel of your liking to show your school spirit.

The Buckeyes played their first game in 1890 against Ohio Wesleyan University and they won. The school football team has been a great community tradition in Columbus, Ohio ever since. Their first home game was on November 1, 1890 and they lost to the University of Wooster 64-0. The part that the Buckeyes took away from this game was that they needed to be in shape with a training regime if they were to have a winning team. This started a rigorous training program that still exists today.

The school started off with winning football games after that and only stumbled early in the 1942 season when 22 of their veteran players were lost to the military service as the USA entered into World War II. They even lost their coach Paul Brown as he accepted a commission in the United States Navy in 1944, However, also of note at this time was the fact that Buckeyes had a star football player on the team from 1942-44 who was the first African American star football player, Bill Willis.

When Paul Brown came home from the war, he did not return to the Buckeyes but went into professional football. This was the beginning of a small slump for the team and they did not really bounce back until the year 1957 when they won most of their games and laid claim to the Big Ten championship. The Buckeyes have had their ups and downs but football is a big tradition on the campus and in the state of Ohio and will be very important to the university and state for years to come.

Ohio State Football

April 13, 2010

If you follow college football, you’ve probably run across Ohio State a time or two. Their football program is very old and very prestigious.

But I’m still cringing at the thought of watching them get beaten by Oregon at the Rose Bowl. (Yes I’m fairly certain they’ll lose although I do hope I’m wrong.) As a Big Ten fan, I’m really tired of watching Ohio State get hammered in these big, national games.

(Of course, if MY team, the Wisconsin Badgers, would ever actually beat them in conference, maybe all of this would be different but I digress.)

For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Why did Ohio State win so darn many games only to consistently embarrass the Big Ten in big out-of-conference games? Jim Tressel is an excellent coach. Isn’t he?

Well, this year I finally got my answer. Yes Jim Tressel is an excellent coach. But he plays not to lose. He doesn’t play to win. To find Ohio State Memorabilia go to our site OhioStateOnly.com. There you will find all things Ohio State, including Ohio State Apparel and Ohio State Merchandise.

And that, my friends, is why he loses the big games. Because those teams come to win. And Tressel is coming not to lose. (And that’s why he’s probably gong to lose to Oregon at the Rose Bowl because Oregon has been playing to win all season.)

So what exactly does it mean to play not to lose? Well it means playing very conservatively. You punt the ball rather than going for it on 4th and short. You go for the field goal rather than the touchdown. You build very strong defenses. You commit very few penalties. You have a very well coached team.

It also means you don’t take chances. You don’t have quarterbacks that heave the ball down the field in broken plays that can result in an interception or an 80-yard touchdown. You also don’t win a lot of shootouts. And if your game plan isn’t working, you don’t have a lot of options because winging it isn’t something you do.

And you’re also pretty uninteresting to watch. (Sorry Buckeye fans but it’s true.)

Now, can you win games playing not to lose? Absolutely. Tressel has a very respectable record. (Much better than my Badgers.) He’s won the Big Ten Title nearly every year.

The problem happens when he gets to the big games. Now I’m not a coach nor did I ever play football but I do watch a lot of it and here’s what I think happens. If you’re not able to prevent Ohio from executing their game plan, you’re toast. If Ohio can execute their game plan, they’re going to do it very well and probably beat you.

But, if you throw a wrench in that game plan, if you throw them off, well then Ohio has a problem. They’re not good at improvising nor do they take chances. And if you don’t take a chance, especially when the chips are down, you’re probably not going to win those games.

So what about you? Are you playing not to lose or are you playing to win? Sure you can do well playing not to lose, but you’re never going to play as big of a game as you could be. Play to win, sure you might fall on your face from time to time but you’ll probably end up playing bigger than you ever thought possible.

So what does it mean to play to win or play not to lose? I’ll talk about that more in next week’s article at Ohio State Store.

Ohio State Football History

April 13, 2010

The Ohio State University Buckeyes football history is one that is held near and dear by both the regional Ohio community and the multitude of Ohio State fans that are peppered around the globe. The Ohio State University is based in Columbus, Ohio and with 60,000 students at any given moment there are proud Buckeye fans being churned out at a blistering pace. These faithful followers of the program spread out amongst the masses and preach to the uniformed about the majestic ups and downs (mostly ups) that collectively make up the storied football history of their alma mater. Ohio State University (commonly referred to as Ohio State or simply OSU) boasts 425,000 living alumni.

The first Ohio State University football team took the field in 1890 before football was even a traditional fall sport with the inaugural game being played in May. Later that same year football returned in the fall and an area tradition of autumn kickoff parties was born. With nowhere to go but up after suffering a 64-0 shellacking in their first home game the initial defeat was fortunately not an omen of things to come further down the road. Still the early road was rocky during the first few years as OSU encountered a significant pothole in the form of a dismiss 1897 season in which the squad had only 1 win to 7 losses. The earliest encounter with now hated rival the University of Michigan Wolverines occurred in the same season when the team from Ann Arbor, Michigan soundly defeated the Columbus, Ohio boys by a definitive score of 34-0.

After the embarrassing manner in which the football program began the administration realized they had to do something to right the ship and the specific action they took was to recruit the services of a man that became the first coach hired by OSU. With the help of a professional coaching staff that was led by the John Eckstorm the program quickly turned things around and enjoyed their first undefeated season in the fall of 1899. The Ohio State University Buckeyes football program has enjoyed 9 undefeated seasons to date.

In spite of their newfound success on the field the Ohio State University Buckeye football program encountered a truly tragic obstacle when a player was killed in a game as a result of a blow he took to the head. The on field fatality occurred in 1901 and as a result the program barely sustained itself into the twentieth century.

Today some 400,000 plus living OSU alumni along with countless other fans around the globe are thankful every fall Saturday that the Ohio State Buckeyes football history did not simply come to a screeching halt more than a hundred years ago when the setbacks of losing seasons and the tragic loss of life could have easily put an end to OSU football before it really even began.

OhioStateOnly.com realizes that OSU fans are some of the most enthusiastic on the planet. In an attempt to satisfy their insatiable appetites for all things scarlet and gray OhioStateOnly.com has provided Ohio State University merchandise on their website. On OhioStateOnly.com you will find Ohio State Apparel, Ohio State Merchandise, Ohio State Memorabilia.

Ohio State Only challenges all OSU fans to visit our Ohio State Store and try to leave without finding something that they like.

Members of Buckeye nation as asked to spread this piece on the early history of their beloved football program to other interested parties.