OHIO STATE VS NORTHWESTERN 2018
Click here to read my predictions for the other three Power Five conference championships.
When asked how he felt about the upcoming matchup, Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald said, "I don't think anyone outside these doors would pick us to win this game. My mom and dad, I guess, would. I'm not even sure if my sisters would. But I don't need them. I just need the 74 guys who will put on the purple and white Saturday." Fitzgerald may be right, the odds are not in his favor. The Wildcats have been wildly inconsistent this season and have had a number of close wins that should have been blowouts such as Rutgers and Illinois.
OHIO STATE VS NORTHWESTERN LINE
If we're looking at Ohio State's weaknesses, we should probably begin with their slow offensive starts. In many of their big games, QB Dwayne Haskins and the Buckeyes' receiving corps have taken anywhere from the first quarter to the entire first half to find their rhythm. Many of the Buckeyes' Big 10 rivals, such as Penn State and Maryland have tried to take advantage of this, but only Purdue has succeeded. Unfortunately for Fitzgerald, the Wildcats have only played the Buckeyes twice since 2008 and haven't had a win against them since 2004. This inexperience is just one of many disadvantages Northwestern is facing going into this conference championship.
CLEMSON VS PITT 2018
Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers have their sights set on winning another national championship, but before the Tigers gain a formal invitation to the playoff, they will meet Pittsburgh in the ACC title game Saturday. The Panthers (7-5) earned their spot by winning the Coastal Division of the ACC with a 6-2 record.
ACC CHAMPIONSHIP 2018
The Tigers have been the stronger and more powerful team throughout the season with a number of huge blowouts against ACC rivals such as NC State, FSU, Wake Forest and Louisville. Of the all the Power Five conference championships, Clemson has the largest spread margin, but the Tigers would be making a mistake if they took the Panthers lightly. If Pittsburgh can play the Fighting Irish that close on the road, they should not be intimidated when they face the Tigers in the ACC title game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
BEST CFB DEFENSE 2018
There is nothing in Swinney's history to suggest that will happen with so much on the line for the Tigers. Look for Clemson's defense to limit Pickett's opportunities, and Lawrence should be able to have a big game. Clemson arguably is the best CFB defense in College Football Today.
TOP 4 COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAMS
The College Football Playoff only allows the Top 4 College Football programs to compete in the College Football playoffs for the right to be crowned NCAA Football National Champions. This year, we feel that there are definitely more then four deserving College Football teams and we will be guiding the fans, coaches and players through our 8 team College Football Playoff format and how it would look in College Football Today. Below are links to all of our College Football Top 25 rankings at College Football Today and they have buttons to our news feed, where we make cases for many top 25 teams and why they should be in consideration for moving up or down in the standings.
Coach Frost & The Nebraska Cornhuskers Earn Their First Victory of The Season, The Foundation Has Been PavedRead Now
College Football Today Fans Of The Year Nominee
Intro by President Maddy Sperling
When you think about what a home game looks like for an 0-6 team, a packed stadium of 89, 272 jumpy but focused fans is not the first thing that comes to mind. Looking across the stands of Memorial Stadium, you will rarely find someone distractedly gazing at their phone or gorging themselves on nachos and beer because in Lincoln, Nebraska, football games are about one thing– the Cornhuskers.The visible difference between the parents of players and the rest of the fans is almost nonexistent as every face in the sold out crowd is devotedly fixed on every move the Cornhuskers make. This is not to say Lincoln is filled with feverish or fanatic fans, in fact the atmosphere in Memorial Stadium was described as an “awesome environment” by the losing Minnesota Gophers fans as they walked through downtown Lincoln. For people who fancy themselves “football purists” should take a closer look at the Husker Nation. Rain or shine, sweltering heat or snow, Husker Nation has sold out their historic stadium for 365 consecutive home games. The last time the Cornhuskers played in Memorial Stadium without a packed house cheering them on, it was 1962 and a solid 20 years before college football was televised.
What Memorial Stadium might lack visibly in flash or commercial fixtures it more than makes up for the rich history that decorates both i
ts exterior and interior. From the walk of champions that graces the front facade to the sign at every gate that says, “through these gates pass the greatest fans in college football” reflect Lincoln’s attitude towards their team. Unlike the the cliché “win-at-all-costs” model, Nebraska fans’ approach to Huskers football could be best described as “play-at-all-costs.” The Cornhuskers are Lincoln and Lincoln doesn’t believe in failure when it comes to the Big Red.
I was fortunate enough to attend my first Nebraska Cornhusker game the day they broke a 10-game losing streak, and the day Scott Frost earned his first W as their head coach. There was both relief and pride throughout Lincoln and a sense that their long years of unwaivering loyalty was rewarded once again within the historic walls of Memorial Stadium.
Coach Frost now knows the exact measurements needed to start the framework for the Nebraska Cornhuskers
Coach Frost and the Nebraska Cornhuskers were able to garner their first victory of the season and the Nebraska faithful may now breathe a sigh of relief, as the house that Coach Frost has been contracted to build is starting to have many contributors. Who would have thought I would be traveling to Nebraska after staying up for two nights straight, as I was ranking the 2019 Top 300 FB Recruits and Top 2020 FB Recruits with our new S.T.E.P FB Recruit Algorithm to go watch a 0-6 Nebraska team take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Having seen the Land of 10 article that decided to talk trash on another opponent, instead of talk about all the great things that I happen to know occur in this great state, I decided to run some wire for my electricity. Having ran my program for three years and from having become a better athlete from coaching athletes in detail oriented football/combine training, I realized what they were attempting to accomplish rather quickly. Negative recruiting should not have to be a tactic in College Football Today and I damn well know Coach Frost did not authorize you to attack Coach Jim Harbaugh. Your website did not reflect the fine people I know from the great state of Nebraska. When this is one of your main problems with the system today, a point had to be made.
The Phoenix begins to rise from the ashes, as the Huskers Black-Shirt defense is able to deliver in crucial moments
Am I happy the Huskers lost their first 6 games of this season? Do you think I was happy about this coming from the team I admired so dearly growing up as a child. I learned mostly all of my power option package from Coach Tom Osborne and the tactics he used to play dominating smash mouth football. Am I happy that the first Nebraska Husker game a once little boy from New Jersey would die to be at, was won by Huskers Nation? I watched another sold out crowd make Minnesota feel their wrath of having to watch the Huskers struggle the first half of this season and costly penalties emerge from the immense distraction they were able to create. I watched a Pheonix begin to rise from the ashes in the once historically known mentally tough Black-Shirt defense and I watched a team shutdown their opposition when every man did his job. As I stated to my friend Joe Mazour, the dynamics of this Husker team are very special and this moment in time should be noteworthy, as the next stage now begins in "building a house 101".
NFL Draft Projection S.T.E.P Algorithm Will Be Entering The Following Huskers & Golden Gophers Into The Algorithm
Minnesota NFL Draft Prospects
OSU vs PSU - The "Cover Up Bowl" 2018
In anticipation, fans have been calling the upcoming Ohio State vs. Penn State game, “The Cover Up” bowl. While the staff that facilitated Penn State’s child abuse scandal are no longer there and James Franklin has ushered in a new era of Penn State football, many still feel that Urban Meyer deserved a harsher punishment for his alleged cover up of domestic abuse within his coaching staff. Off-the-field controversies aside, this game will have a decisive impact on the entire 2018 season. Both teams are currently undefeated, but also enjoyed easy opponents last week in Tulane and Illinois.
The first Ohio State-Penn State Match-Up was a Blood Bath
Historically, Penn State and Ohio State have a long-standing rivalry that dates back to 1912 when Penn State, coming off an 8–0–1 season in 1911, shut out Ohio State, 37–0. The entire game was a bloodbath with Penn State's Al Wilson getting knocked out cold and losing several teeth. Red Bebout (who later died in World War I) was severely lacerated from being stomped in the face. But this was 1912 so both men sucked it up and got back in the game.
With about nine minutes left in the game, Ohio State player was viciously laid out during a kickoff. Coach Richards screamed illegal blocking, but no penalty was called. He had had enough and walked his Ohio State team off the field, even as the judge informed him that he would be automatically forfeit the game before time expired.
So the Penn State players walked about the field as the hometown fans threw insults and debris at them. One PSU fan came down out of the stands and began to rush them, but was knocked him out cold with a single right fist by assistant coach Dick Farlow. Police rushed the field to surround the Penn State players and protect them as fans grabbed some blue and white bunting under one of the goalposts and set it on fire. The game was such an insult to both teams that it would be another 44 years until the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions would meet again. They would only play each other sporadically before 1993 when Penn State joined the Big Ten.
Paterno vs. Tressel vs. Franklin vs. Meyer
For an entire decade between 2001 and 2010, Joe Paterno and Jim Tressel enjoyed an intense in-conference rivalry. In fact, Penn State's "whiteout" tradition, which is being revived this Saturday, was born out of this rivalry in 2005, when Penn State upset the then-favored Buckeyes 17–10 in State College with the help of a of a loud and boisterous home crowd. All in all, Tressel finished this 10-year rivalry on top with 7 wins to Paterno's 3 (if you count the Ohio State wins vacated in 2010).
In the aftermath of Penn State's prolific scandal and the emergence of the Coach Urban Meyer era in 2013, Ohio State served Penn State's their worst loss, and most points scored against the team, since 1899 by beating them 63-14. Under Coach Franklin, Penn State has only beaten Ohio State once in 2016, but came incredibly close last year, only losing by 1 point. Here's a recap of this shoot-out below. Now the Buckeyes are the ones still reeling from a largely publicized scandal and Penn State is enjoying incendiary success with their relatively new coach James Franklin.
Penn State's Odds
First off, the game is going to take place at Beaver Stadium, giving the Nittany Lions the home field advantage. The last time Penn State hosted Ohio State, they beat the then No. 2 ranked Buckeyes 24-21, outscoring them 17-0 in the fourth quarter and taking the lead with 4:27 remaining on a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown. The odds were against them then and the odds are against them now, but statistically underdogs with big offenses like Penn State often deliver big upsets.
The Nittany Lions allowed 23 points by the unranked Fighting Illini last week, and nearly lost their season opener to App State, 45-38. By no means, is Franklin's defense vulnerable, but with only 3 returning starters, he's been doing a lot of swapping and shifting to develop his backups. So far, it's been working and if this game was later in the season, I probably wouldn't even question Penn State's defensive unit against Haskins and the Ohio State offense.
After their win against the Fighting Illini, James Franklin admitted to the press, “we have starters, and we have guys we’re rotating in, but I don’t know if anybody’s separated themselves from the pack. And I think that’s probably some our challenges there. Having a guy who you know is running the defense and can be an eraser for you in terms of making plays, we’re not there yet.”
Ohio State's Odds
QB Dwayne Haskins has been extremely impactful in his first four career starts, averaging 10.4 yards per attempt and completing 76 percent of pass attempts. He is currently ranked second in the nation with 16 touchdown passes, while only throwing a single interception. Aside from the likes of Alabama, there are few teams in the NCAA that could conceivably stop Haskins in the passing game.
Ohio State became the target of unrelenting moral outrage following their decision to keep Meyer as head coach, so they are probably doing everything in their power to make that decision count. Moreover, the 2016 loss to Penn State on the road was Urban Meyer's first true road loss as the esteemed head coach of Ohio State. For Coach Meyer, this game is about more than the rivalry or making playoffs, it's about his legacy.
Ohio State football should have running back Mike Weber and defensive tackle Robert Landers back this week against Penn State, but will still be without junior DE Nick Bosa due to his recent surgery to repair a "core muscle" injury. Bosa was considered to be a central part of the Ohio State defensive unit, and they will need every defensive weapon available against Franklin's highly productive offense.
Which ever way the wind blows, Penn State's offense is going to put Ohio State's defense to the test. But with two of the most productive offenses in the nation, it is going to be up to Penn State's rotation-heavy defensive unit to find their rhythm and stick to it in order to stop QB Dwayne Haskins if they want to pull of an upset. It's going to be a loud and high scoring shoot out between two teams who began their century-old rivalry with a literal bloodbath. Two Top 10 teams will enter Beaver Stadium on September 29th, 7:30 pm ET and only one will leave with an undefeated record.
This battle will also serve as a major recruiting showcase, as Penn State is expected to host several of its top targets from various classes. The winner of this matchup will move forward as the favorite to win a Big Ten title in December.
Greg Schiano Covers Up Child Sex Abuse At Penn State
Ohio State Football's hype video this week features their "Brotherhood" and how you should be silent about whatever your brothers are doing. Even if it is child sex-abuse, domestic violence or the severe mis-treatment of student-athletes or in other words people.
I got to meet Coach Schiano when he was at the University of Rutgers back in high school, he gave me the creeps back then, just as Sandusky did when I met him & Robbie Gould in the locker room on a unofficial visit with my Dad. My feelings were one hundred percent correct, as court documents state & others that he was one of the main people that helped cover up the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State. Click image below or button to read many articles by USA Today about what truly makes this the "Cover Bowl" for 2018.
The Ohio State "Brotherhood" Is What Allowed Domestic Violence.
The fact of the matter is, Coach Meyer got his start as a football coach from Zach Smith's grandfather, which made firing a member of the "brotherhood", nearly impossible in his eyes, even at the expense of Courtney Smith and her children.
I always loved how winning some football games can place you above the laws of mankind and why football players thought they were so special when almost 80% of them that played at the highest level are flat broke. Society has learned nothing since little boys were raped by a man they revered as a "winning ball coach", when in fact, he was just the best friend of the undeserved winningest college football coach Joe Paterno. The cover up for the rape of children would go as high up as Pennsylvania State officials. That being said, Coach Franklin is a class act and is lightyears ahead of Coach Meyer on how he treats individuals and in his overall coaching philosophy. I give Coach Franklin most of the credit for bringing Penn State back from their "Darkest Hour".
The Buckeyes Do Not Honor Any Code But Winning Football Games.
Schiano & Wilson Have Very Dark Pasts
Everyone wondered why the Buckeyes tapped Ryan Day as the Interim Head Coach and no matter what you hear from "Urban Liar", the fact was that the candidates with the two strongest resumes had the DARKEST pasts. These past crimes by these college football head coach wannabes, put Ryan Day in the position he held for only 3 games. He is now being talked about as moving on to be a head coach at another program, guess it pays to have a clean background.
Wilson puts wins over his players' well-being everywhere he goes. The true "next man up" mentality.
Reading through what Coach Wilson did at Indiana brought tears to my eyes, as he was abusive in all natures in how the matters were handled with his players. Wilson doesn't just sound like he hates players and especially injured ones, but he sounds like a man who needs help, because he hates himself. I would too having to be Coach Meyers tool bag after you were found out at Indiana by many! They are still coming forward in Indianapolis newspapers and have no agenda, rhyme or reason to! They just do not want to see Kevin Wilson do this to other young men!
Ohio State Administration rewards covering up child sex abuse with a $750,000 raise for Coach Schiano.
If you are already sick of the college football assistant coaches that Urban Meyer rewards for poor morals, you will vomit once you hear they also get substantial raises after they cover up child-sex abuse. I choose to source every article because I am sick of the ignorance of FACTS in why Urban Meyer only got 3 games. Nobody cares about you or you're issues, plain and simple. The Harvard Business Journal explained the Psychology behind what happened at Ohio State, after the screen shot below. We already have known all of this, as you cannot defeat a snake without chopping its head off.
The Tennessee Volunteers and fans had major issues with Greg Schiano.
Yea, I think we are going to pass on the guy who allowed children to continue to be raped at Penn State by Jerry Sandusky.
The IVY League Does Not Approve Of Coach Meyer or The Ohio State Staff.
I love this article & you can click on the button below to read it or one of the screen shots of some very valid points that reflect on the Ohio State Football program.
The Success Equation: E + R = O. That is, Event + Response = Outcome.
This has to be a joke right? His philosophy on success misses many key points that do not reflect any integrity at all, just win baby win. By the way Coach, you can win without being such a dirt bag to society, it is possible.
Click Picture Below To Read Maddy Sperling's OSU VS PSU 2018 Preview & Visit Our Vintage College Football Fan Shop!
New FCS Gear & 2018 Cover Up Bowl T-Shirts Coming Soon!
Madeline Sperling, Staff Writer
Urban Meyer Apology
Urban Meyer Suspension
On Wednesday, the Ohio State Board of Trustees came to a final decision on Urban Meyer's fate in the wake of a domestic abuse scandal involving his WR coach Zach Smith. I recently wrote about how Meyer's Twitter apology spoke to a greater issue in how NCAA institutions handle domestic violence, but I think Diana Moskovitz of Deadspin hit the nail on the head with this one:
"This is what any discussion of violence against women in the sports world looks like; it turns women into just another pawn, a thing to be debated in sports terminology of missed games, impacted statistics, upcoming schedules, and how it will affect a man’s career. Any concern for the safety of Courtney Smith and her family will discarded without a second thought."
Every time an accusation or lawsuit involving domestic violence or sexual assault against a woman arises in the world of sports, the crime itself becomes lost in a wave of reports and broadcasts solely focused on the perpetrator's career and how this will affect their franchise or program's success. This narrative set up by administrators who address their apologies to their fans and reinforced by sports broadcasters sets a precedent that getting caught is the real crime.
Both Urban Meyer and the OSU administration have repeatedly stressed the importance of setting an example for the young student-athletes in their program. However, this narrative that emphasizes a coach or athlete's career over everything else teaches these young student-athletes that the worst thing you can do is get caught.
Urban Meyer's insincere apology
In my previous article on the Urban Meyer scandal, I spoke briefly about the art of the public apology. Watching Meyer's formal apology reminded me a bit of that South Park episode where they made fun of BP CEO Tony Hayward's phony and insincere apology for their Gulf Coast Oil Spill. I realize there are legal ramifications of apologizing to Courtney Smith directly, but Meyer failed to even recognize her a victim and even went so far as to implicate himself as a victim. It's sad when the world is looking to you to say something sincere and from the heart, but all you can do is ambivalently read off a pre-written statement and deny culpability for your actions. The truth of the matter is that for years Courtney Smith and her children suffered greatly from abuse, harassment, and violent threats by a man who remained in a power position. Not only did Meyer fail to acknowledge Courtney Smith as a victim of domestic violence, but he redirected the question to insinuate that the upheaval and consequences suffered by him and the OSU administration was the real abuse. Watching Meyer going on about how deeply sorry he is to Buckeye Nation for putting them through this ordeal, it is clear this man doesn't believe he did anything wrong. He's just sorry everyone found out.
In their lenient decision, OSU make the distinction that it was not a 'cover-up'
In the Board of Trustees' public statement on Wednesday, the OSU administrators defended their decision to not fire Meyer because neither he nor AD Gene Smith participated in a cover-up. The university's official report read: “Although neither Urban Meyer nor Gene Smith condoned or covered up the alleged domestic abuse by Zach Smith, they failed to take sufficient management action relating to Zach Smith’s misconduct and retained an Assistant Coach who was not performing as an appropriate role model for OSU student-athletes..."
So what constitutes a "cover-up"? At what point does allowing a man habitually accused of abuse and harrassment to be a prominent member of a program responsible for mentoring young athletes covering up a potential scandal for the university?
It's overtly clear now that Ohio State values winning above all, and Urban Meyer is sorry he got caught. According to court documents, several police officers in two different states, two respected reporters, including one interview on camera, and now to Ohio State investigators, Zach Smith physically and emotionally abused his ex wife all while being comfortably employed by a top 5 FBS college football program. All this became public knowledge because she went to court to get a restraining order; in her request, Courtney Smith wrote that Zach Smith stalked her, threatened her, and hacked her email. All this woman wanted was to feel safe and raise her children in a safe environment, but neither Ohio law enforcement nor the OSU administration would help her. She did everything that people in abusive relationships are told to do, but she continued to be threatened, stalked and harassed by her abuser who remained a powerful figure at OSU and a mentor to young student-athletes.
Coach Harbaugh Names Shae Patterson Starter
Many sports channels have been after Jim Harbaugh for whatever reason in bringing up the fact that his Quarterbacks have not lived up to the "Big Blue" standard and that Harbaugh was not an outstanding QB coach. Given that Coach Harbaugh was one of the QB's who helped set the standard for what it takes to be an elite Michigan QB, I believe he has found the right guy to help him prove the naysayers wrong in Heisman Trophy Watch List student-athlete Shea Patterson. Patterson has been dubbed a man that can " do it all" for the Wolverines this season and will have one of the best defenses in the country to back the Michigan offense up. With revenge on the minds of the Michigan Wolverines for the embarrassing blowout loss they suffered in 2014 and Notre Dame dubbing this contest "Absolute War," we are in for a treat on NBC at 5:30 PM on Saturday, September 1st. To learn more about Coach Harbaugh, check out the College Football Today Nebraska preview, where we defend Coach Harbaugh against "The Land of 10".
Michigan Defense Arguably The Best In Nation
The Fighting Irish faithful have dubbed the game with the Wolverines "Absolute War" and are embracing the challenge according to multiple sources. The Irish seem very laid back in recent practices and Coach Brian Kelly is eager to see what the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are made of in 2018. That being said, he is going up against a defense that only allowed 18 points a game last year and ranked as one of the nation's top defenses in every statistical category. Khaleke Hudson will replace Jabrill Peppers, who was one of the best players in all of college football last season, and can provide a fierce pass rush to opposing offenses. With the Michigan offense struggling last year due to a QB carousel and young receiving core, the Wolverines were able to win games by creating turnovers, along with many 3 and outs. With the spike to the Michigan offense with having a Heisman Trophy contender at the helm in Shea Patterson, we could be talking Michigan Football's first ever BCS playoffs appearance. If anyone deserves to get his team to the mountaintop of College Football, it is Coach Jim Harbaugh and a QB who was once dubbed "Manziel 2.0" by the world of college football after his freshmen season at Ole Miss.
Michigan will face off against the Fighting Irish first and if they can get the revenge they seek, they will get the next three games at home, including starting out Big Ten competition against the Huskers of Lincoln, Nebraska. After traveling to a very good Northwestern team in which they should beat, they will face off against Maryland for homecoming in Ann Arbor. In my opinion, the next three games against Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State will dictate whether the Michigan Wolverines will get a BCS playoffs bid and get a shot at the coveted NCAA FBS National Championship. They will than face-off against a dangerous Rutgers football team in New Jersey and than have the Hoosiers in Ann Arbor on Nov 17th. Depending on what happens with the Ohio State head coaches and Urban Meyer, the game against Ohio State at the Horseshoe will be a game a major significance and one that will also dictate Shea Patterson's stake for the Heisman Trophy award!
College Football Today's #1 Overall 2019 QB Rickle & Harbaugh!
DJ Durkin Maryland Football
How many athletes die from heat stroke?
Since 1995, an average of 3 high school or college football players die from heat-related illnesses.Ninety percent of those deaths occurred during practice. Many programs combat the risk of heat-related health problems with cold water immersion tubs, indoor practice facilities, and encouraging players to drink a lot of water.
I grew up in the DC Metro area, so I know how hot and humid it can get in the Summertime. Maryland, like any other college football program, knows the dangers of overworking in this kind of heat, as well as the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and how to treat it. So how did Jordan McNair’s case of heat exhaustion develop into a lethal case of heat stroke? In a press conference on Monday August 13th, the University of Maryland took full legal and moral responsibility for Jordan McNair’s death. On top of this, they have put head coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave following allegations of abuse from Durkin's staff, leaving many wondering if he will be fired before the start of the 2018 season.
How Tough is to Tough?
In the wake of Jordan McNair’s tragic death, many have posed the question, ‘how tough is too tough?” Though some reporters and opinion leaders have approached this issue critically, others with more traditional outlooks on football are quick to defend the rough and tough, no-excuses type of football coaching that they experienced as players and continued as coaches. However, those who see this question of “is there an issue with football culture” as an attack on their tradition of football fail to see what part of football culture is actually lethal: the unwritten rule that you can’t tell your coach that you don’t feel well. The celebrated tradition of coaches pushing players to their limits to make them the best athletes they can be is by no means under attack. Tragedies like McNair’s untimely death should be a wakeup call to athletic coaches of all levels to be more attentive and empathetic to the needs and safety of their players.
Where Do We Draw The Line?
This culture in football that discourages players from speaking up about how their feeling physically goes beyond just heatstroke. Many injuries suffered by football players are caused less by big impact collisions on the field and more by untreated and perpetual damage to their bodies. You don’t have to become Bob Ross to be an empathetic and thoughtful coach. However, allowing and even encouraging your players to be more forthright with their feelings, you can prevent things like heatstroke, injury, and sometimes even suicide.
How does Bobby Petrino still have a job?
Written By Madeline Sperling
Don't be Ignorant, Save a LIfe - Turtle Style
What Urban Meyer's Twitter Confession Means for the Ohio State Program
On Friday, August 3rd, Urban Meyer tweeted out a long awaited response to the string of domestic violence, harassment and stalking allegations against former OSU WR coach Zach Smith by his ex-wife which began in 2009 and persisted until as recently as 2017. When Smith was fired July 23rd after being arrested for criminal trespassing on his ex-wife’s property, news reports alleging Urban Meyer and the Ohio State administration’s knowledge and subsequent inaction against Smith surfaced and the media turned to Coach Meyer for answers. Now that the head coach has made a public statement addressed specifically to “Buckeye Nation,” there are now more questions about how Ohio State and perhaps even the NCAA handle accusations of domestic abuse.
Reading Meyer's letter, I am reminded of the countless public apology letters about things as small as an insensitive comment made by a celebrity to a large corporation addressing a major blunder in their business practices. Sometimes public apologies can do more harm than good if the apologist seems insincere in taking responsibility for their words or actions. A good and properly executed public apology will make the person or entity more popular than before as their full and genuine admittance of guilt and even a pro-active *action* to prevent or fix the issue or situation humanizes and provides them with some much needed good will. In Coach Meyer’s case, his attempt to apologize for some “alternative facts” he provided on the subject on Big 10 Media Days (video below) clarified his own role in the scandal, but in doing so diffused responsibility from himself to whatever “proper channels” he allegedly reported the allegations to.
The fact of the matter is that from 2009, when allegations of domestic violence against then Florida coach Zach Smith first came to Meyer’s attention, until July 2018, no arrest was ever made and Smith remained on both Florida and Ohio State’s payroll with zero penalties or public statement by the Ohio State administration.
If Meyer is lying (again), he violated a Title IX clause in his contract that requires the him to “promptly report to Ohio State’s Title IX Coordinator for Athletics any known violations of Ohio State’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (including but not limited to sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate violence and stalking) that involve any student, faculty or staff … For purposes of this Section 4.1 (e), a 'known violation' shall mean a violation or allegation of a violation of Title IX that Coach is aware of or has reasonable cause is taking place or may have taken place.” According to this clause, a college or university that receives federal funding may be held legally responsible when it knows about and ignores sexual harassment or assault in its programs.
Either way, Ohio State has a critical decision to make: fire Urban Meyer for lying or fire whoever Meyer allegedly reported the allegations to. There’s no retracting at this point, it’s be stated now that not only Urban Meyer, but administrators above Ohio State’s head coach knew about these allegations and continued to allow Zach Smith the privileges of being an OSU coach despite Courtney’s Smith’s 9 calls to law enforcement–none of which ended in an arrest. In fact, according to Courtney Smith's interview, in the state of Ohio you can not get a protective order unless you can prove the person is actively trying to kill you.
Timeline of these Zach Smith Allegations
According to Courtney Smith’s interview with Stadium, one of the reasons she stayed with Smith following the domestic abuse incident in 2009 was due to pressure from Urban Meyer’s Attorney, Brad Koffel. She was allegedly told, “if you don’t drop these charges, he will never coach again,” and even went on to absolve him by saying, “he’s never hit you before. He was drinking… and he probably won’t do it again.” Mrs. Smith ultimately dropped the charges under pressure from not only Koffel, but from Zach Smith’s parents and two of Meyer’s closest friends and mentors, Hiram de Fries and Earle Bruce as well. Meyer has since admitted that he knew of the incident stating:
“As I do any time, that I imagine most coaches or people in leadership positions, you receive a phone call, you tell your boss, let the experts do their jobs. We’re certainly not going to investigate.”
If Urban Meyer truly had an issue with domestic violence and saw it as something that contradicted his core values of respecting women and teaching his student-athletes to do so which he claims in his Twitter post, he would have fired Zach Smith back in 2009, and especially in 2015 when the abuse allegedly began to escalate. Instead, the 2009 incident swept under the rug by people in Meyer’s inner circle, which allowed WR coach Zach Smith to not only continue his abuse and harassment for years to come, but remain a major influence in the development of the young players that Meyer so passionately feels responsible for.
When Zach Smith resumed his physical and emotional abuse against Smith again after being hired by Meyer to coach at Ohio State, she made a conscious decision to separate from her husband in hopes that abuse would end for good. However, in 2015 the Ohio State WR Coach came to pick up his son early before his legally allotted time arrived. According to her interview, when Smith stood her ground to tell her then-separated husband to leave, he threw her up against a wall with his hands around her neck–something the former Ohio State coach allegedly did habitually when the couple was still together–while her daughter clinged to her leg. Despite the fact that Zach Smith illegally left with his son that night, and the police allegedly had “more than enough evidence to convict him for domestic violence,” no arrest was made–something which seems to still baffle* Courtney Smith to this day. Once again, if Urban Meyer had reported this incident to the “proper channels” as he claims, there was still nothing done by supposed authorities to either remove Zach Smith as an Ohio State Football coach or take legal action to protect Courtney Smith and her children from further abuse and harassment.
During the Big 10 Media Days, Meyer staunchly denied any knowledge of the events that transpired in 2015; “there was nothing . . . once again, there’s nothing—once again, I don’t know who creates a story like that.” The head coach has now walked back this statement, and admitted to knowledge of the 2015 incident not long after former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy recently released text messages between Courtney Smith and Urban Meyer’s wife Shelley Meyer, which made his Media Day denial seem highly implausible. In the open letter, Meyer claims that his “core values and respecting women” which he teaches to the 105 young men of the Ohio State Football program, is not “lip service” and that he takes the issue of violence of against women seriously.
For those of you still defending Urban Meyer and Ohio State administration, there are two major takeaways from what happened here: 1) neither calling the police nor separating from her husband helped to protect Courtney Smith from further abuse and harassment; 2) her biggest fear was that her son would learn by the example of his father and continue the cycle of abuse as an adult. Urban Meyer Admits he failed in his responsibility to be truthful, but he also failed in setting an example for the young men he is responsible for by demonstrating that domestic violence is not a fire-able offense and is permitted if you're winning national titles.
It’s time to stop seeing domestic violence as ‘one mistake made by a nice guy’ or ‘that’s their business.’
1 in 4 women–and 1 in 7 men– will experience severe physical abuse by the hands of their partner. Domestic abuse, assault, harassment, etc thrive and propagate in cultures where it’s seen as an exclusively private matter by both the victim’s friends and family and law enforcement. In the case of public figures and celebrities, accusations are very often reacted to by fans, who due to cognitive dissonance, will do mental back-flips to maintain the reputation of their beloved hero by grasping at straws to discredit their accusers or fabricate intricate conspiracy theories. I’ve read and heard many Ohio State and Big 10 fans accuse Courtney Smith, Brett McMurphy, and others of conspiracy to take down a renowned college football coach. Though, to much of the Buckeye Nation's credit, most of them have just switched to talking about basketball for the time being.
But even the pieces condemning the lack of action taken against Zach Smith are narrowly focused on how this affects one individual man’s career and even defend him as a “genuinely decent man of faith.” I am not going to interpret the bible here, but a quote by Edmund Burke is often referenced when talking about watching evil happen, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” By no means am I going to judge a man’s faith here, but in the case of domestic violence, standing idle and letting it continue with impunity because ‘it’s not my job to intervene’ and ‘he’s a good guy/good at his job so it’s not my problem’ is whyonly 8.32% percent of domestic violence incidents lead to charges being filed.
Nonetheless, this issue is much bigger than Urban Meyer’s reputation. This scandal is indicative of a much larger problem in the world of College Football. The same culture of discretion and‘win-at-all-costs’ when it comes to the off-field activities of winning college coaches that influenced Meyer’s decision to not report or fire Zach Smith is the same one that allowed Jerry Sandusky and others continue their abuses with impunity.
It’s no secret that domestic violence is an issue in the world of both college and professional football. Today, 44 active NFL players have records of domestic violence, and 12 were invited to join NFL teams even as they were facing outstanding court cases based on alleged physical or sexual assaults, many committed against intimate partners. Part of being a college football coach is being a leader to young men between the critical ages of 18-22. Arguably the best coaches in college football today uphold player guidance and personal leadership as one of the central pillars of their coaching philosophies. If football and the greater world of professional sports is to fix this recurring problem of misogyny, assault, and abuse then there needs to be a systemic change starting with those who are suppose to be leaders to the next generation of pro athletes and coaches.
Penn State Football's Darkest Hour
James Franklin inherited the Penn State coaching job in one of the darkest times in the program's storied history. The Jerry Sandusky scandal was one of the most horrific and tragic cases in the history of sports. The actions of one despicable man and the cover up by university officials, left many to wonder if the Nittany Lions could ever climb back from the depths of NCAA Football Hell. Below are the sanctions handed out by the NCAA, per New York Times.
"The N.C.A.A. announced significant penalties against Penn State and its football program Monday, including a $60 million fine and a four-year postseason ban, in the wake of the child sexual abuse scandal involving the former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
The N.C.A.A. stopped short of shutting down Penn State’s program, but officials insisted that the breadth and significance of the penalties were nearly as debilitating. It is expected to be almost a decade before Penn State will be in a position to attempt to regain its place as one of the sport’s elite programs.
The punishment also included the loss of 10 scholarships per year for the next four years, with a limit of 65 total scholarship players on the roster, as opposed to the typical 85, for four years beginning with the 2014 season. The university must also vacate all its victories from 1998 to 2011, meaning that Joe Paterno is no longer the major-college career leader in football coaching wins. The university was also placed on probation for five years."
"In announcing the penalties, Mark Emmert, the N.C.A.A. president, called the case the most painful “chapter in the history of intercollegiate athletics,” and said it could be argued that the punishment was “greater than any other seen in N.C.A.A. history.”
Coach Bill O'Brien
Coach O'Brien really inherited the mess from the Sandusky fall out, after Joe Paterno was fired and was named the 15th head football coach at Penn State University. Bill O'Brien started a re-building project and after the 2012 season in which the Nittany Lions went 8-4, was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. A record of 8-4 normally does not get you this award in college football today, but with the intense scrutiny and pressure that came with this particular job, Coach O'Brien did masterfully in his first season. His name then started popping up for NFL head coaching jobs. After interviewing with multiple teams, O'Brien stated, "I’m not a one-and-done guy. I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that’s what I am going to do. I’m not gonna cut and run after one year, that’s for sure."
Coach O'Brien shortly after replaced Gary Kubiak as the Houston Texans head coach, leaving Penn State in shock and very unsure of the future of the Penn State football program.
Coach James Franklin - The Man For The Job
Coach Franklin's football roots start in the state of Pennsylvania, where he was born in Langhorne, PA and played QB for four years at the University of East Stroudsburg. Franklin was a PSAC legend, as he set 7 school passing records and was a D2 football player of the year nominee. Franklin started his coaching career in the PSAC at Kutztown University and a long career as an assistant coach and recruiting master found him as the head football coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores. Coach Franklin was able to lead the Commodores to 3 straight bowl appearances and two top 25 nationally ranked seasons, before being named the 16th head football coach at Penn State University. He has coached under as much scrutiny as Coach O'Brien did and relished the adversity in re-building the historic Penn State Nittany Lions back to national prominence. In his first two seasons he went 7-6, and the Penn State offense sputtered out time and time again, as this was a daunting task with the stigma of Big Ten play. But the recruiting extraordinaire was able to land athletes like Saquon Barkley and Walter Camp Award Watch List QB Trace McSorley who have been able to perform remarkably under Coach Franklin's tut-ledge. After two 11-win seasons and only missing the BCS playoffs by a few points in a one point loss against Ohio State (39-38) and a 27-24 loss on a last second field goal to Michigan State. So, are the Nittany Lions in a re-building year again or will we see improvement under the very impressive Coach James Franklin?
What to Expect from the 2018 Penn State Nittany Lions?
Trace McSorley has thrown at least one touchdown pass in his last 28 games and with the departure of some key components to last years offense, will look to Miles Sanders to produce in the running game. This will open up the passing game so McSorley can find returning receivers Thompkins and Johnson downfield for big plays. Justin Shorter who is a prolific 5-Star Receiver, will look to make a early impact for the Lions, as he headlines a top 5 national recruiting class that makes the future even brighter in happy valley. With the Penn State offensive line returning 5 players with at least 9 games of playing experience from the years prior, McSorley should have a successful "Heisman hopeful" type of season if the Lions stay healthy in tenacious Big Ten play. The Penn State defense had over 30 players contribute at least 5 tackles last season and Coach Pry loves to keep his defensive units fresh. This philosophy has the Lions looking very strong up front, as they return 9 of the 12 d-linemen from last season and have a plethora of options to look to in their solid linebacker core. Their defensive backs will be tested at home against Ohio State, as the Buckeyes will be looking to air it out in Happy Valley. If the Lions can run the table and make it to Michigan with anbh unblemished record, we could be looking at a historic match-up and season for the Penn State Nittany Lions and one Coach Franklin will cherish for the rest of his young career.
"To completely restore, in a sense, Joe Paterno's heretofore pristine reputation, I regret that," Boni said. "He did a world of good, but he made a huge, huge error in judgment in helping cover up Sandusky's pedophilia, and even posthumously I think that has to be recognized." Michael Bono (Attorney of victim in case)
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The Coach Scott Frost Era Has Begun
The Scott Frost era has begun in Nebraska after he led UCF to an undefeated season and a so-called tie with Alabama for the National Championship. Undoubtedly, UCF would have lost a few games in the SEC that year, so a 'national championship' to me is invalid and they need to work on moving to a power 5 conference if they want to boast a REAL title. Taking nothing away from Coach Frost's accomplishments with UCF football, but he surely had much more to work with than he does this year in Husker land. Their is no Tommy Frazier, Mike Rozier or Eric Crouch that is going to emerge from this unit, as all we have seen come out of Nebraska this off-season is trash talk against the likes of Michigan and Coach Harbaugh. The land of 10 boldly stated that Scott Frost, not Jim Harbaugh was the real QB whisperer of the Big 10. This article goes on to state that: if you were a highly rated QB, who would you be committing to play for--Frost or Harbaugh? Frost is not the real QB whisperer of the Big Ten. I believe this was a ploy by the Nebraska press in coagulation with the Huskers to land a big time QB, by using negative re-enforcement in the big time QB recruits' heads. Because as you will see, Coach Frost might have played for and coached with some of the best in the game, but his resume simply is not that of Coach Jim Harbaugh's just yet. Honestly, he is not even the best QB to put in a Nebraska uniform or wear the same number of Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch (as seen below). Are the two comparable? Yes. Did Scott Frost have the same weaponry that Crouch had? Maybe not. All in all, it's about wins and losses, and what he was able to do at UCF was flat-out remarkable, but can he bring that same tenacity and style of play to Nebraska Football in the coming years? I am not seeing it this season, as it appears he is going to have to prepare either a walk-on QB or a freshmen starter. Now, if you can put the entire picture together you will see why Nebraska media has come after the legendary Coach Harbaugh to obtain a big time QB in the class of 2019. They did however land Luke McCaffery, whom I heard through my resources in Colorado is best athlete in that amazingly talented football family. So that being said, the future is very bright in Husker land with Coach Frost at the helm of this historic program.
We Think Bipartisan
Nebraska had 28 Top 10 finishes from 1963 to 2001 and ran the triple-option/power offense that the legendary Tom Osbourne was able to win 3 of the 5 national titles that have been brought back to Lincoln. Growing up, I (Merf Trout), modeled my game after legendary Heisman Trophy winner (and arguably the best college QB of ALL-TIME) Eric Crouch. I watched this style of offense, which is now seen more ran with the Iowa Hawkeyes and their smack-you-in-the-mouth mentality, make them one of the best college football teams to ever take the field. When it was time to throw the ball, not to many had the footwork that Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch exhibited, as they would use various forms of "play action" to leave receivers wide open downfield for touchdowns. This offense was one of the most diverse power football schemes we have ever witnessed, and it had plenty of elite athletes to deploy such a strategy. Scott Frost ran pretty much the same offense when with the Huskers, as seen above next to Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch. Frost was selected in the 3rd round of the NFL draft by the N.Y Jets, where he played special teams and safety. He ended his career in Tampa Bay in 2003 and was coached by some of the best to ever play the game. This list includes, Bill Walsh (Stanford), Tom Osbourne, Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, and the Bucs' John Gruden and Mike Tomlin. Frost also worked under Chip Kelly in Oregon as the WR coach and Coach Mark Helfrich, as he is partly responsible for instilling toughness in the Oregon receiving corp that enhanced Oregon's powerful running game. In 2014, Frost was a finalist for the Broyles Award, as he was now coaching the likes of Marcus Mariota and the high scoring Oregon offense, as the O-Coordinator and QB Coach.
What to expect out of the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2018
Freshmen 4-star QB Adrian Martinez and 4-star (JR) QB Tristan Gebbia have been competing for the starting job, and both could be used this season as they both possess unique skill sets. All in all, I do believe that Martinez is the better fit for the "speed and more speed" spread-option style attack that Coach Frost uses. 4-star TE Cameron Jurgens out of Beatrice, NE will provide a big target and can operate as a H-Back with his diverse skill set. Watching the spring game below, Adrian Martinez could surprise the Big 10 in his first season, as he operates the spread style attack very well and has a very fluent throwing motion. With Coach Frost's "QB Whisperer" knowledge, this offense could surprise opponents this season, and it will be up to the Nebraska defensive unit to step up to the challenge and play with more physicality and discipline. Nebraska has been in the Big Ten for 7 seasons now and have made it to the Big 10 championship once, only to get smoked by 39 points. We have no idea what Frost has in store for the long term, as we know very little about how he maintains a program, or if he can handle the pressure of being a "home town boy" for the Husker faithful. Coach Frost is going to try and beat Big 10 defenses with "speed and more speed" as that is what his style of offense requires. But can this style of play hold up in one of the most physical conferences in all of collegiate football? The Huskers of old made it a statement to play fast, but with unmatched physicality in all phases of the game, even at the QB position. Senior All-Conference Guards Tanner Farmer and Jerald Foster return, along with four other starters from last season on the offensive line. This should provide the new developing QB's with some confidence when facing some of the best pass rushing defenses in all of collegiate football. New JuCo transfers that will be added to the already talented receiving corp in (SR) Stanley Morgan Jr. and (SO) JD Spielman, as they obviously possess electric speed that Coach Frost covets in his Oregon Ducks style attack. New players including speed rush end Caleb Tannor, who we believe can be an instant impact player for the Husker Defense are featured below. As you will see--in my opinion--Nebraska could shock some people this season in Big Ten play and nationally if Tre Bryant can stay healthy.
The "Black-Shirt" defense (110th nationally)
I believe with Coach Frost's distinguished football mind, the Huskers will rebound and score early and often with the new additions to the offensive unit. The big question is going to be can the "black-shirt" defense return to national prominence, or at least be better than 110th in the nation, according to SB Nation. This is quite uncommon in Husker land, as their defenses have been ranked 8th or better from 1993-2003 and the last 14 seasons just have not been the same for the black-shirts. Bo Pellini had the Husker defense ranked number one in 2009 and then the steady decline began, as in his final three seasons his defenses ranked an average of 50th nationally. Last season their defensive ranking fell to 110th. This must improve drastically if they have any chance of competing in Big Ten play and returning to national prominence. The Nebraska defense was 128th in rushing success rate and 122nd in passing success rate, along with being the least disruptive defense in the nation, at 130th! They will have an experienced defense, which could not be a good sign for the Huskers, as they return most of last year's starters. They have added JuCo transfers and star-studded freshmen in4-star safety Cameron Jones, speed pass rusher Tate Wildeman and ILB Will Honas. Nebraska will rely heavily on their 2018 recruiting class and former UCF defensive coordinator Erik Chinander's concepts that were ranked 74th in the nation, but were able to help produce the historic rebuilding of the UCF program. Nebraska needs help in many areas and their special teams will have to step up this season and be reliable in the close contests that the Big Ten is known for producing. If they can find a way through the first three games at 3-0, it will open up a chance to upset Michigan and only then, can we claim that Coach Frost is moving towards the best QB coach in the Big Ten.
Nebraska Football 2018 Prediction
Coach Frost and staff took UCF from 0-12 to 12-0 in two short seasons using their vast knowledge of the game, along with molding them into a cohesive unit. I expect the same turnaround this year and Nebraska to win more games then they did last season. We predict that they will finish 7-5 or 6-6 with the tough schedule they are facing. But we are not counting them out as a 'dark horse' in Big Ten play, if one of the Huskers new QB's can claim stake to the position. If the defense can move up into the Top 50 again and special teams can hold their own, Nebraska will finyujd themselves in prime position to move into Big Ten title talks and a birth to the BCS Playoffs.
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