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The Wood Shed

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Updated: 2014-10-14T04:03:47.323-04:00


Troy Smith: The Man


Troy Smith has won the Heisman as predicted. He has sealed his legend in the annals of Ohio State University Football.Just one more game to go. "National Champions" has a great ring to it.Rise of Troy: Buckeyes QB wins Heisman TrophyNEW YORK (AP) -- Winning the Heisman Trophy was easy. The hard part for Troy Smith was staying composed. To the surprise of no one, the Ohio State quarterback was a runaway winner Saturday night of the award that honors college football's best player.Seconds after his name was called, he hugged everyone important in his life -- coaches and family -- let out a deep, deep sigh and headed for the podium. "Normally, I'm pretty cool in pressure situations, but my heart is pounding so fast now," he said. "I'm at a loss for words. I just can't believe this is happening. ... It means everything. Just to be here in this situation. I love everybody back home in Columbus." Just two years after nearly derailing his career by taking money from a booster, Smith received 801 first-place votes and won the Heisman by 1,662 points -- both the second-best marks in the 71-year history of the award. The senior moved to the front of the Heisman race in September with a flawless performance against Texas and finished off a perfect regular season by throwing four touchdown passes against Michigan. Now, there's only one thing left for Smith to do: Beat Florida for the national championship on Jan. 8. Like so many of the victories Smith has led the Buckeyes to this season, the Heisman win was a rout. Arkansas running back Darren McFadden finished second, Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn was third and West Virginia running back Steve Slaton was fourth. Only O.J. Simpson's 1,750-point victory in 1968 was more onesided than Smith's. A huge smile lit up Smith's face when the winner was announced. After getting a hug and handshake from Quinn, Smith headed to the row of chairs directly behind him, where his mother, Tracy, and sister, Brittany, were sitting. They each took turns giving Smith a big squeeze. But Smith wasn't done with the hugs -- one for Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and another for his high school coach, Ted Ginn Sr. Mom wiped away a tear and his sister shouted "Yeah, Troy!" as Smith ascended the stairs to give his speech and collect his big bronze statue. Smith also received 86.7 percent of the first-place votes, a record, and his point total of 2,540 places third in Heisman history behind Simpson (2,853) and fellow Southern California tailback Reggie Bush, who had 2,541 last season The 22-year-old Smith is the sixth player from Ohio State to win the Heisman and first since tailback Eddie George in 1995. And it's the school's seventh Heisman -- Archie Griffin won two in 1974-75 -- tying Notre Dame and Southern California for the most. USC had been on a Heisman run, winning two straight and three of the last four, before Smith stepped in. Just like USC's Bush and Matt Leinart, and Oklahoma's Jason White in '03, Smith will play for the national title as a Heisman winner. It's been quite a journey. Smith came to Ohio State as part of a heralded recruiting class in 2002, but his signing was little more than a footnote. His claim to fame was being Ted Ginn Jr.'s quarterback at Glenville High School. Smith was labeled an "athlete" coming out of high school, the type of player who might ultimately find a home at wide receiver or defensive back. Even Tressel wasn't sure he'd play quarterback, but he saw potential. But Smith, a foster child as a teen with a quick temper, also had a penchant for finding trouble. After getting kicked off the basketball team at a private high school for elbowing an opponent, he transferred out of the suburbs of Cleveland to inner-city Glenville High. Smith, who is black, said the white opposing player used a racial slur against him. At Ohio State, Smith was involved in a fight outside a dorm in the fall of 2003 and found guilty of disorderly conduct. On th[...]

Buckeyes' Smith leads Walter Camp Award finalists


How much hardware will this fellow pull in this year? I remember the suspension at the beginning of his junior year. Contrast this with Maurice Clarrett and you see two opposite ends of the spectrum.

Smith one of five Walter Camp Award finalists

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith is the clear-cut favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. He figures to collect additional hardware before then.

Smith on Wednesday was named one of five finalists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.

Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, West Virginia running back Steve Slaton and Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan were also were named finalists Wednesday.

The winner will be announced Dec. 7 and receive the trophy at the Walter Camp Football Foundation's annual awards banquet Jan. 13.

The 2006 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and leader of the top-ranked Buckeyes, Smith threw for 2,507 yards with 30 touchdowns and just five interceptions. His most recent effort, a 316-yard, four TD performance against rival Michigan, clinched Ohio State's spot in the BCS national title game Jan. 8.

Continued at link

Christmas Music Tradition



I've had a busy last couple of days, and the result has been no new entries. Since the holidays season is upon us and my family loves music, we have a tradition of seeking great Christmas albums. We haven't found this years gems, but here are a few of the past selections:

For you rockers, I recommend Christmas Eve and Other Stories:

This Trans-Siberian Orchestra CD combines classical music (a full orchestra, as a matter of fact) with neo-classical shredders that are led by ex-members of the band Savatage. The music in many instances combines recognizable Christmas classics with original arrangements and original compositions to tell a Biblical based Christmas tale. Great, dramatic music.

I grew up during the era of network television, and as a child of that era looked forward to the cartoons during Christmas season. I never noticed the music until I got older. Enter A Charlie Brown Christmas:


This Vince Guaraldi Trio recording is a great swing/jazz recording in its own right. Groovy daddy-o...don't be a square and miss it.

Lastly will be an odd choice to some:


My wife and I had bought a few CD's that has some of our favorite versions of Christmas classics. The problem with with these is that they would have just a couple of the desirable tunes on them and twenty songs of, wee...crapola. Now That's What I Call Christmas! is a two CD set that has the best versions of the best holiday songs on it, and a few great songs I that are seldom heard from in the mainstream (check out Diana Krall's and Harry Connick Jr's contributions). Clearly, the best bang for the buck for music, especially if you need a variety of music for entertaining.


More Ohio State Football.


Okay, back to the hot topic: Ohio State Football!

Michigan, Ohio State set bar high for other rivalries
By Dave Revsine

Eighty-one points. I still can't believe Ohio State and Michigan combined for 81 points. The 39 the Buckeyes gave up was 45 percent of the total they had allowed the previous 11 games -- and they won. Remarkable stuff.

A few more numerical reflections on the week that was before we plow ahead into Saturday's games.

56.8: Keeping with the percentage theme (which seems like the best way to comprehend it), Ohio State's total of 187 rushing yards was 56.8 percent of the 329 yards total that Michigan had allowed in 11 games coming in.

525: Looking at it another way, the Buckeyes' rushing total was 525 percent more than the 29.9 yards per game the Wolverines had been giving up on average.

52, 56; 2: The Buckeyes had touchdown runs of 52 and 56 yards. The longest touchdown run that Michigan had allowed all year coming in was 2 yards.

25: In fact, the Wolverines hadn't given up a run longer than 25 yards all season. The Buckeyes had three runs longer than that on Saturday.

300: Buckeyes quarterback Troy Smith threw for 316 yards in the win. Smith has appeared in 32 regular season games for OSU and has thrown for 300 or more yards in just two of them. Both of those games were against Michigan.

5-1: As I'm sure you've heard by now, the win improved Jim Tressel's record against Lloyd Carr and Michigan to 5-1. Tressel becomes the first coach to win five of his first six Ohio State-Michigan games since … Lloyd Carr, who pulled it off from 1995 to 2000. How quickly they forget

(continued at link)

Courtesy ESPN.



Since this is a holiday, I haven't been on-line posting today, and this is the only post I will post here today. There are much more important things in life than politics. Folks don't seem to get that nowadays. In my little world, my family is all important- they are what I exist for, the essence of who I am. I refer to my family as "TheWoodPile". So here I am at 11:00 p.m. and the family holiday event has winded down, I am the only person awake so I am reflecting upon the day's events.

My wife works at Wal-mart, so she has to be up at 3:30 a.m. tomorrow for Black Friday. She has long been in bed. She works hard every Thanksgiving, roasting the turkey and making all the food for the idyllic Thanksgiving spread. She is an incredible woman. We've been married over 17 years, and I can not remember ever not being married (and I don't want to). The smartest thing I've ever done was to propose to her. I love her now just as much as I did when I joyfully cried all through out my own wedding beginning from the time I saw her in her dress at the far end of the isle.

My oldest daughter is 13. She gets good grades, but it isn't always easy for her. It is something she works for, and I am so proud of that. Even more so, she has a gentle soul. She sees people for their goodness. She loves animals, and wants to do nothing but good in the world.

My youngest daughter- she is my sunshine. Like her mother, she has beautiful blond curly hair. She always has this twinkle in her eye, like she has just thought of the next big idea. She can be fiercely independent, but at the same time very sensitive as to how others perceive her.

This is my family, my "Woodpile". This is what I am thankful for, and what I thank God for everyday to the very core of my being because without them, I am nothing.

Thank you God, for making me something.

Democrats Should Learn From RFK


I don't agree with all of RFK's assertions here, but I sure agree with the premise of the article. The Democrats of yesterday, like JFK and RFK, would take people like their little brother Teddy by the ear and give him what-for because of his idiotic political stances.I boldened what were especially important points, IMO.Democrats Should Learn From RFK By Ruben NavarretteSAN DIEGO -- Filmmaker Emilio Estevez has said he made "Bobby'' -- a film about the day that Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated -- to introduce this unique and powerful figure to a new generation of Americans. Glad to hear it. As a fan of RFK, I've thought for some time that an introduction was in order -- and for more than one generation, in fact. Today's college freshmen were born in the late 1980s, and likely remember only two presidents: Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The memory of my generation goes back a bit further, to Richard Nixon, whose resignation interrupted the cartoon hour and taught us that politicians were fallible -- a lesson we're still learning. Both of these generations would benefit from being exposed to the story of an inspirational leader who grabbed hold of the public's imagination in the 1960s and is still remembered fondly today. They'd learn that Kennedy was both tough and compassionate -- someone who, as attorney general, crusaded against the influence of organized crime in labor unions but who, as a U.S. senator and presidential candidate, called upon the nation to deliver social and economic justice to the downtrodden and disconnected. They'd learn that, according to most biographers, Kennedy valued courage above all other human attributes and that he believed that those who were given much by society had a duty to give back. And they'd learn that Kennedy had, at the time of his assassination in 1968, become impatient with liberalism and the welfare state and begun -- through his support of enterprise zones in urban neighborhoods -- to search for new solutions to the persistent ailments of crime, illiteracy and poverty. Think about what young people are witnessing today. Nearly four decades after that dark night in Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel, the Democratic Party to which Kennedy belonged is still searching for new solutions and fresh ideas and often coming up a few yards short. So much so that the new majorities in the House and Senate have reached back to the 1930s and listed as one of their first priorities in the coming session the raising of the minimum wage. A bill proposed by RFK's brother, Sen. Edward Kennedy, would raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour over a two-year period. It's a perfectly reasonable idea. Forty hours per week at $5.15 per hour amounts to just $10,712 per year. The richest country on earth can do better than that. But what's troubling isn't the economics, but the politics. Rather than get a handle on where we go in the next century with issues such as globalization, Democrats are re-fighting the battles of the last century such as the minimum wage. Say, maybe young people aren't the only ones who could use a refresher course on Robert Kennedy. The Democrats of today could learn a thing or two from someone many of them consider a hero. -- On war: By the time he ran for president, Kennedy had become a vocal critic of the conflict in Vietnam, even though it was his older brother -- President John F. Kennedy -- who stepped up the presence of U.S. military advisers in Southeast Asia. Bobby didn't make excuses about being misled by bad intelligence or an administration bent on war. He admitted his initial support for the war and called it what it was: a mistake. -- On sacrifice: In one oft-cited encounter, Kennedy was challenged by a college student who wanted to know who was going to pay for the growing number of social programs for the poor. Kennedy shouted back, "You are!'' It's hard to imagine that toda[...]

Raising Iraqi-zona


This is a great article I read on Real Clear Politics. This poignantly demonstrates the dynamics of the Iraqi conflict, and what dire consequences would occur if we withdrew.That said, I am not a "stay the course" person. I believe we should stay in Iraq until we've met our goals- establishment of a free, stable independent Iraq. However, it is obvious to me that whatever plan plotted for the post invasion occupation is flawed. We need a new strategy, but it must be sensible to meet our goals, not abandon them as the Democrats seem to want.There HAS to be a happy medium...Still in Saigon By Andrew Cline Judging by a lot of the rhetoric coming from the new Democratic majority in Washington, Democrats are not just stuck in a pre-9/11 mentality; they're stuck in a pre-1980s mentality. It's as if nothing has happened in the world since the fall of Saigon.Before the election, we heard incessantly how reckless President Bush was for stubbornly refusing to listen to his own generals about the situation in Iraq. Gen. Eric Shinseki was referenced who knows how many times. A good president listens to his generals and sets military policy according to their advice, not the other way around, we were told ad nauseam. Rep. John Murtha rocketed to political fame by telling how his own sources within the military command disagreed with the president on Iraq.The criticism helped bring the Democrats to power. And the first thing they did when they took charge was ignore the military command.Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week, Gen. John Abizaid, head of Central Command, said of Iraq, "under current circumstances I would not recommend troop withdrawal." What are Democrats recommending? Troop withdrawal.Following up on his Senate performance, Gen. Abizaid went to Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, where he told the audience, "We have not failed yet. I think we can win this fight. I think we are winning this fight."The Democrats are not listening. In his Senate testimony, Gen. Abizaid agreed that Gen. Shinseki had been correct in his assessment that the United States should have sent more troops to Iraq in the first place. Gen. Abizaid was not simply mouthing administration talking points. But Democrats did not like what he had to say, so they simply ignored it.Sen. Carl Levin, who will chair the Armed Services Committee in the next Congress, continues to advocate withdrawal from Iraq, despite sitting through Abizaid's testimony, including the general's warning that a timetable would hamper the military's ability to maneuver in Iraq as the generals see fit.The week after Abizaid's testimony, Democratic boy wonder Sen. Barack Obama, widely considered the party's greatest hope for the future, called for withdrawal within six months.Just ignore the man in the green uniform. Nothing to see there.It's not only the top commander who wants to stay in Iraq and finish the job. It's the troops. Just before the election, the Washington Post published a story in which every single service member interviewed over the course of the previous month -- which just happened to be the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Iraq since the start of the war -- supported staying and completing the mission. Not one supported withdrawal.The Concord Monitor, a local paper in New Hampshire, did a similar story focusing on New Hampshire service members. Again, not one supported pulling out.Yet Democrats refuse to listen. Instead of taking military policy advice from service members whose relevant experience is in Iraq, they continue to turn to former service members whose relevant experience was in Vietnam. If John Murtha is to be listened to because he served a generation ago, why is Gen. Abizaid, who knows more than anyone else about the war we are actually fighting right now, to be ignored? Because Vietnam is the only military experience the left trusts.As Demo[...]

Insurer’s billboards chronicle OSU wins.


More Ohio State-isms

By Joe Blundo

The vinyl makes it final. With each successive Ohio State victory this football season, billboard crews crossed out — with red vinyl stickers — the opponent’s name on five advertisements throughout Columbus. Yesterday, they obliterated the 12 th and last team: Michigan. The sweet duty capped a successful regular season for the Buckeyes, who finished a perfect 12-0 by beating their archrival Saturday, and Nationwide Insurance, which picked the perfect year to chronicle the OSU schedule.

"The fact that they won every game certainly helped our billboard campaign," said Steven Schreibman, Nationwide vice president of advertising and brand management.

The idea — a local version of the Columbus-based insurer’s national "Life comes at you fast" campaign — was developed by TM, a Dallas advertising agency. It also has been used in print ads.

The billboards will remain in place through the Bowl Championship Series title game on Jan. 8, after which Nationwide hopes to cross out a 13 th opponent.

The billboard campaign has attracted more attention than most others for the company, Schreibman said.

The billboards — three owned by Clear Channel and two by CBS — are on Ackerman Road near Olentangy River Road; on N. 3 rd Street, Downtown; at Hudson and Summit streets; along Rt. 315 near King Avenue; and on N. High Street south of North Broadway.

From week to week, the task of updating the Clear Channel billboards fell to supervisor Dave Ratliff and one or two co-workers.

"My No. 1 job on Mondays is to get it done," said Ratliff, explaining that each billboard adjustment — completed from an aerial lift — takes 20 to 30 minutes.

Yesterday’s took a little longer, though, because Nationwide decided to replace the big Michigans with even bigger ones — to dramatize the cross-out.

As employee Damon Young put a bold slash through the 10-foot-long word on the Ackerman billboard, passing cars honked in triumph.

What if Ohio State had lost?

The plan was to white out the name of any victorious opponent, Schreibman said.

"But," he said confidently, "we knew they wouldn’t lose."

Courtesy The Columbus Dispatch

A quick thought.


I remembered something from my old school days. In high school, a girl attended a couple of years ahead of me whose name was indicative of the OSU fanaticism I was speaking of.

Her name was Scarlet Ann Grey.

No joke...

The Washington Meat Grinder


A great article by Thomas SowellSecretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld faded away more quickly and more quietly than almost anyone who has been so prominent and so controversial for so many years. What history will say of him we cannot know because most of us cannot today know all the things that were known within a small inner circle of those who had all the available facts -- and all the weight of responsibility for decisions that had to be made under inescapable uncertainties and dangers. It is hard to think of any Secretary of Defense who has ever been popular and Donald Rumsfeld certainly did not become a historic first in that department. He did not suffer fools gladly, even though they are a major constituency in Washington.Whatever history's verdict on the Iraq war and on Secretary Rumsfeld, both deserved to be discussed and debated on a far more serious and responsible level than the media sound bites, political spin and venomous cheap shots which have become all too common. Whether Donald Rumsfeld's policies were mistaken or not, that is no reason to accept superficial and even gutter-level discourse on momentous national issues. There was a time when even politicians understood that. When British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain died early in the Second World War that his own blunders brought on and nearly lost, Winston Churchill delivered the eulogy -- even though Churchill had more reason than anyone else to be bitter at Chamberlain, who had turned a deaf ear to all Churchill's warnings for years. "Neville Chamberlain acted with perfect sincerity," Churchill said. How many people would say that today about a political opponent on an issue as explosive as war and peace? Churchill said more, that "we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations," but that "however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honor" when we have done our best. Chamberlain's best fell disastrously short but no one could accuse him of doing what he did for selfish or corrupt reasons -- which has become standard operating procedure for many today. That was a different era but we need to become aware of what is possible and how much we have declined from those days. In the United States, Wendell Wilkie received the largest vote of any Republican candidate for president when he ran against Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. But, after the elections were over, he did not spend his time trashing President Roosevelt. He in fact became an emissary from FDR to Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The issue is not whether people should be nice to Donald Rumsfeld or even whether history will vindicate him or condemn him. The real issue is whether we can have responsible adult discussions of issues at a time when the fate of this nation hangs in the balance in its most dangerous hour, with reckless and hate-filled leaders in Iran and North Korea about to become nuclear threats. This country needs to be able to draw on its best people from every walk of life and from every part of the political spectrum. But the nation is not going to get them if going to Washington means seeing the honorable reputation of a lifetime dragged through the mud just because someone disagrees with you on a political issue. Our confirmation hearings for federal judges have become a circus and a disgrace. Nominees who have fought for civil rights, even in the days when that was a risky thing to do in the South, have been pictured as "racists" just as a political ploy to keep them from being confirmed. Washington has become a political meat grinder where character assassination is standard procedure. Clever and glib people say "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen." But the far larger question is whether the country can afford to repel peop[...]

Ohio State vs. Mich-again?


This is a great article that lays out good arguement for and against OSU-Michigan in the national Championship.By Bomani JonesWhaddya know, Ohio State and Michigan lived up to the hype. This season has been called boring by more than a few observers, but it was hard to ask for anything more than Saturday's 42-39 show at The 'Shoe.The rematch talk started immediately. Then Sunday's BCS standings kept Michigan one spot behind the top-ranked Buckeyes, making another OSU-Michigan battle well within reason.That's great, right? Who wouldn't want to see the Buckeyes and Wolverines do it again?(Raises hand.)(Puts hand back down.)(Shakes hand slowly.)Let's think about this for a second, shall we?Five reasons OSU and Michigan should run it back1. These are, without question, the two best teams in America.Before Saturday, we knew Ohio State was the best team in the country, but we were sort of guessing with Michigan. Its marquee win was against a Notre Dame team that hasn't beaten a team better than hot-and-cold Georgia Tech. Michigan also has a win against Wisconsin, which also hasn't beaten anyone of note.Saturday made it clear that Michigan is almost as good as Ohio State, and the space between them is very small. The game was just as close as the score indicated, and no other team has had a moment all season when it would have stayed within three points of Ohio State. 2. Troy Smith's "the best team won" line adds the sort of bulletin board gossip that makes good games great.With knowledge that a rematch was entirely possible, Smith showed some brass with that one. It doesn't matter that Lloyd Carr said the same thing. Losing coaches are supposed to say those things.Winning quarterbacks, typically, are not.As sure as Smith sounded, you can't help but wonder if he really wanted to say, "if it wasn't for that fumble, we'd have put fiddy on 'em."Something tells me Michigan's players took Smith's words similarly. That guarantees a rematch would have additional intensity, if it's possible to get more intense than an Ohio State-Michigan game.3. We could get an entirely different game than we got Saturday.It might not have seemed like it, but both of those teams actually have really good defenses. Michigan's run defense had been impenetrable before being gashed by Antonio Pittman and Chris Wells. Ohio State hadn't given up more than 17 points in a game before the Wolverines put up 39.Saturday's game was a lot like last season's Rose Bowl – 'twas a great game, but not because both teams played their best games. A more defensive game could easily happen if OSU and Michigan met again, and that could be just as suspenseful and compelling as the first go-round without feeling like a rerun. 4. We don't need another martyr.Yeah, it's generally assumed that you only get one bite at the apple in college football. But as good as Michigan is, there's guaranteed to be lots of whining from folks in Big Ten country about how it's unfair that Michigan is being penalized for being in the same conference as the best team in the country.And it would be hard to argue with them. The Wolverines are the only team with a chance of even staying close with Ohio State. Any other game could wind up like the 2005 Orange Bowl.Michigan would be the latest BCS martyr, joining Miami in 2000, Oregon in '01, USC in '03 and Auburn in '04.The last thing the world needs is a new reason to complain about the BCS. Nobody likes the damn thing. We get that. But it's not going anywhere.Michigan's missing the chance at the crystal ball could just add to the noise. And the most unfortunate of annals. 5. I'd rather slap box with Wolverine than deal with the coverage that would come with Notre Dame in the BCS Championship.Not the Wolverines, but Logan's alter ego.Oh man, imagine if Arkansas wins out and Notre[...]

Another conversion


A pro in the business who agrees with me: OSU-Michigan is the game in college football.Re-ranking the rivalryBRUCE FELDMANUpon further review, I think I need to revise that list about top rivalries and bump Michigan-Ohio State to the top spot. This was the most charged game-day atmosphere I've ever seen. It was like 10 straight hours of a goal-line stand vibe. Thanks to Todd Jones, a columnist with the Columbus Dispatch, I got an up-close look at some of the pre-game traditions of Ohio State football, ranging from the fans serenading their beloved Bucks at the team hotel to the skull session, a pep rally inside a jammed old stacked-to-the-rafters basketball arena. For someone raised as a Buckeye fan in upstate New York, it was a much cooler experience than I expected. Anyhow. Before kickoff, one of the end-zones was overrun with OSU recruits, who were soaking up the scene with former Buckeye great Cris Carter. A few feet away Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta was with some of his players marveling at the spectacle, too. Then, there was OSU Heisman winner Eddie George running off the field waving a towel above his head to chants of "Eddie! Eddie!" just a few minutes before Michigan native Derek Jeter made his appearance on the Wolverine sideline. With such an emotional day at the end of weeks of build-up for this No. 1 vs. No 2 showdown, I kept thinking 'there has to be some kind of let-down factor coming because there had been so much energy surging throughout Columbus.' But that was hardly the case. This game actually more than lived up to its hype, which is really saying something. Troy Smith was terrific, again, and he was just as impressive in the post-game talking about the Buckeyes season and their program. Jim Tressel and his staff also deserve a ton of credit for masterfully calling a great game, setting up big play after big play while keeping the Wolverines D off balance. In reality, they made an outstanding defense look shaky. Late in the game the buzz along the sidelines was, 'is this the kind of match up people would want to see again in Arizona in January?' I didn't have much interest in that idea 72 hours ago, but after Saturday, I think it would be a great game. I still think OSU is a better football team, but I doubt Michigan would get picked apart so badly on defense a second time. Right now, I think USC has the inside track to get the crack at OSU, although the Trojans need to be more impressive than they were against Cal when they play a Notre Dame team that the Wolverines crushed in South Bend. The winner of Arkansas-Florida would have an argument, but I just don't buy that either team has an offense balanced enough to hang with the Buckeyes.Courtesy ESPN.ComAlso, this from a local writer that further frames the day!They laughed and they cried, and in the end, they celebrated Todd JonesThe veins in his neck look like ropes. His face burns with rage under a weathered Ohio State cap. "Hey, line judge, that’s holding! Holding!" the man in the front row screams. The Game is all of two minutes old. Michigan has scored. Anger fills the air. Moments later, the Buckeyes tie the score. Another face, this one aglow, lights up. People jump for joy. "Way to go, Buckeyes!" a fan yells into a white plastic megaphone. They waited six weeks for this football game, the most anticipated of the 103 played between these bitter rivals. Six minutes into the action, fans in the stands already look wrung-out. White towels swirl throughout the Ohio Stadium-record crowd of 105,708. Everyone is strapped into a carnival ride of agony and ecstasy. Ohio State is 11-0 and ranked No. 1. Michigan is 11-0 and ranked No. 2. They’re smashing into one another on a field of screams. Noise fills the cement canyon, a chaotic scen[...]

UM-OSU most-watched regular season game since '93


Yes, it was that big.

In this post, I showed how huge a game this was. It was being watched in Aberdeen, Scotland and Paris, France and Guaynabo, Puerto Rico and Brussels, Belgium and even the Armed Forces Radio Network.

Here is the proof of just how huge.

UM-OSU most-watched regular season game since '93

Top-ranked Ohio State's victory over No. 2 Michigan drew the biggest television audience for any regular-season game in 13 years.

ABC's broadcast pulled in a 13.4 rating, which translates to 14.96 million households and 21.77 million viewers. That's the biggest audience and rating for a regular-season college football network telecast since Florida State at Notre Dame on Nov. 13, 1993.

The figures for Saturday's game are according to Nielsen Media Research.

This was the second time this season ABC has televised a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. On Sept. 9, Ohio State beat second-ranked Texas. That game averaged an 8.2 rating, and was seen in 9.1 million households.

Courtesy The Associated Press

Lucky score: Ohio state lottery draws 4-2-3-9 winner


Look, more evidence that 9/11 was a Bush/Neo-con conspiracy!

CLEVELAND -- Ohio State's 42-39 victory over Michigan also was lucky for players of the Ohio Lottery.

Minutes after Saturday's game was over, the numbers 4-2-3-9 were drawn for the Pick 4 game.

"You know it happens," lottery spokeswoman Marie Kilbane said Sunday.

Bettors can play the game in a variety of ways. Anyone who played $1 and picked the 4-2-3-9 combination in order won $5,000. The odds of the numbers turning up in that combination were 10,000 to 1.

The lottery paid a total of $2.19 million in winnings. Players had wagered $347,867.50.

Kilbane said it's likely that most of the bets with the winning numbers were placed after the game ended, but she did not know how much money was wagered in that period. The football game finished at 7:13 p.m. and the drawing was at 7:29 p.m.

Courtesy The Associated Press

OSU-Michigan Redex?


Hmm...Michigan retains the number two spot for now. OSU verses Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl for the National Championship seem to be a realistic possibility.I am torn on this- I would like to see OSU kick USC's arse. I remember people whining in 2002 saying USC was the best team when Ohio State beat Miami for the national championship. Hell, on that note I'm not a big fan of the Florida teams either so playing Florida and kicking their arse would bring much satisfaction as well.That said, I've always asserted the Big Ten is THE toughest conference. OSU-Michigan II would only seem enforce that position. Take that, and put 11-1 Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl (long shot, I know) and that would seem to settle that matter, at least for this year...Nobody Move! Ready for the big shakeup in the BCS standings after an exciting weekend of college football? Didn't happen. The top five teams in the BCS did not budge, leaving Michigan the No. 2 school despite losing to Ohio State on Saturday by three points.Michigan holds slight edge over USC for No. 2 BCS spot COLUMBUS, Ohio -- For now, the BCS numbers add up to an Ohio State-Michigan rematch for the national championship. But Southern California could prevent that with two more victories. Michigan was impressive enough in a 42-39 loss to the Buckeyes to retain second place in the Bowl Championship Series standings released Sunday, by a slim margin over USC. "I'm not surprised," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said of Michigan retaining second place. "The pollsters had to be impressed with the way [Michigan] has played." Michigan's BCS average was .926. The Trojans, who have two games left, were at .919. "It'll be interesting to see how it comes out," Tressel told Fox television. The No. 1 Buckeyes locked up a spot in the BCS title game Jan. 8 in Arizona with their victory over the Wolverines on Saturday, their 19th straight overall. They also became the first team to have a perfect score of 1.000 under the BCS formula introduced in 2004. Ohio State is a unanimous No. 1 in all the polls and the best team in the country according to the BCS computer ratings. Florida was in fourth place in the BCS standings with an average of .884, followed by Notre Dame (.820), which plays at USC on Saturday. Arkansas (.807) was sixth. The Razorbacks and Gators meet in the Southeastern Conference title game on Dec. 2. Michigan's regular season is complete, so the Wolverines can do nothing but watch what happens to USC and the other contenders over the next two weeks. The Trojans, who beat Cal 23-9 on Saturday to lock up the Pac-10's automatic BCS bid, passed Michigan and moved up to No. 2 in both the coaches' poll and the Harris poll. The polls count for two-thirds of a team's BCS average. Michigan remained second in the computer ratings that account for the other third of the BCS average. USC is third in the computers, a mark that should get a boost if the Trojans can knock off a highly rated Notre Dame team and crosstown rival UCLA the following week. It appears Michigan needs USC to lose to get another crack at Ohio State. But that could open an opportunity for the SEC champion if either the Gators or Razorbacks win their final two games. Unbeaten Boise State moved up to 11th place. With one more victory in their season finale at Nevada, the Broncos will become the second team from a conference without an automatic bid to reach the BCS.Courtesy The Associated Press[...]

Rangel wants to re-institute the draft...again...


H/T: Sister Toldja.

Can you believe this guy? With strategies like this, the Dems are sure to win in '08...not. After all, it was during the Clinton administration that 800,000 military personnel or DoD personnel need to support them were cut to "balance the budget".

Senior Democrat renews call for military draft

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An influential Democratic lawmaker on Sunday called for reinstatement of the draft as a way to boost U.S. troop levels and draw a broader section of the population into the military or public service.

U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, the incoming chairman of the House of Representatives' tax-writing committee, said he would introduce legislation to reinstate the draft as soon as the new, Democratic-controlled Congress convenes in January.

Asked on CBS' "Face the Nation" if he was still serious about the proposal for a universal draft he raised a couple of years ago, he said, "You bet your life. Underscore serious.""If we're going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea and then, as some people have asked, to send more troops to Iraq, we can't do that without a draft," he said.

Rangel, who opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, also said he did not think the United States would have invaded Iraq if the children of members of Congress were sent to fight. He has said the U.S. fighting force is comprised disproportionately of people from low-income families and minorities.

"I don't see how anyone can support the war and not support the draft. I think to do so is hypocritical," he said.

The New York Democrat had introduced legislation to reinstate the draft in January 2003 before the Iraq invasion. The Pentagon has said the all-volunteer army is working well and there is no need for a draft, and the idea had no traction in the Republican-led Congress.

Democrats gained control of both the House and Senate for the first time in 12 years in the November 7 election, and a wholesale change in the leadership of Congress is to be made in January. Rangel is to head the House Ways and Means Committee, which is charged with U.S. tax and trade legislation.

The draft was in place from 1948 to 1973, when the United States converted to an all-volunteer army. But almost all men living in the United States - including most male noncitizens - are required to register with the Selective Service upon reaching 18, and federal benefits, including financial aid for college studies, are contingent on registration.

Rangel said his legislation on the draft would also offer the alternative of a couple of years of public service with educational benefits

Ohio State WINS!


O-H! I-O! O-H! I-O! O-H! I-O!So, Ohio State beat Michigan today 42-39 in what was really a great game, perhaps only eclipsed by the Championship 2002 BCS Feista Bowl victory over University of Miami.I reserve the right to change my mind though- I have settled on that. Perhaps it was THE best game.So in this post I outlined what was at stake here. Let's review, shall we?First consensus #1 vs. #2 meeting in the rivalry's history (check)Big Ten Championship (check)National Championship (winner will go on to play for this, but I see no other team touching OSU)Heisman Trophy (for troy Smith- if he doesn't get it now it will be an injustice)First team EVER to beat three #2 teams in one season (this looks probable)Perhaps the biggest game in this rivalries history (yes, for sure)Ensconcing Jim Tressel as the greatest coach in OSU's history, next to perhaps Woody Hayes (with his big game record, this looks very probable)And now, for the media's take.From the Associate Press:Ohio State streaks past Michigan into BCS title gameCOLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Troy Smith and Ohio State did it all, overwhelming Michigan with offense, winning the Big Ten title and streaking into the national title game.The top-ranked Buckeyes put their dazzling speed on display Saturday with a barrage of big plays -- and they needed every one to beat an inspired Michigan team, 42-39.The "Game of the Century," the first 1 vs. 2 matchup in this storied rivalry, was played a day after Michigan lost feisty former coach Bo Schembechler, who died Friday. The teams couldn't have honored his memory with a better game, although it wasn't the type of football he and Woody Hayes played when they battled for a decade."There were a lot of good playmakers out there today," Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel said. "It was a fast-break game the whole way."The Wolverines and Buckeyes may have another shot at each other. Depending on how the BCS standings fall, Michigan (11-1, 7-1) can still make it to the title game in Arizona.Two defenses that came in allowing 20 points per game combined were unable to stop each other's attack. It was the second highest-scoring game in the 103-game series, which dates to 1897; the most points scored were 86 in 1902, the fourth meeting, which Michigan won 86-0.This one was surely more entertaining.Smith played a near perfect first half and finished 29-for-41 for 316 yards, a third straight magical performance against Michigan that might have just locked up the Heisman Trophy for the senior.And while Smith and the Buckeyes twice jumped out to 14-point leads, the Wolverines wouldn't stay down, led by Mike Hart's 142 yards and three touchdowns.When Smith tossed his fourth touchdown pass -- a 13-yarder to Brian Robiskie with 5:38 left on a drive aided by a Michigan roughing-the-passer penalty on a third-and-long incomplete pass -- Ohio State (12-0, 8-0) was up 42-31, but they still couldn't rest.Chad Henne connected with Tyler Ecker for a 16-yard TD and with Steve Breaston on a 2-point conversion to make it 42-39 with 2:16 to go. Michigan's onside kick was caught by Ohio State's Ted Ginn Jr., and all that was left was for Ohio State to run out the clock.With 22 seconds left the Buckeyes sideline emptied onto the field. The fans followed from the stands and joined in for a rousing rendition of the alma mater.Tressel's blazing Buckeyes will play for the national championship for the second time since the 2002 season in Arizona on Jan. 8. Who they will play will be determined in the next two weeks.Michigan made quite a good case to be that team.Though that's probably little solace for Michigan coac[...]

Judgement Day is here!


So, I sit here just an hour before the OSU-Michigam game, a.k.a. "Judgement Day". All day, I've been watching and reading analysts on the game, and have enjoyed watching features about the 103 year history of this rivalry which is IMO greatest in college football and perhaps greatest of all time. here is what is at stake:First consensus #1 vs. #2 meeting in the rivalry's historyBig Ten ChampionshipNational Championship (winner will go on to play for this)Heisman Trophy (for troy Smith- if they win he will probably get it)First team EVER to beat three #2 teams in one season (or for Michigan, two #2's and a #1)Perhaps the biggest game in this rivalries historyEnsconcing Jim Tressel as the greatest coach in OSU's history, next to perhaps Woody HayesYeah, yeah- so you are saying of course it is this big for me. I live right outside of Columbus. No, it's not just us locals that are a memeber of the Buckeye Nation:Michigan-Ohio State frenzy reaching fever pitch By Chris Fowler In the Devanha Lounge in Bank Street, Aberdeen, Scotland, a group of perhaps 15 Buckeyes faithful will convene to celebrate the occasion. They will be joined by a few dozen Scots who have been enlisted in the Scarlet and Gray army. And though the locals might not be quite as emotionally invested in the outcome Saturday night, they will enjoy themselves immensely, doing the O-H-I-O chant throughout and singing traditional Buckeyes tunes "Hang On Sloopy" and "We Don't Give a Damn About the Whole State of Michigan" during the commercial breaks! Similar scenes will play out in the Great Canadian Pub in the Saint-Michel area of Paris for three dozen UM alums, and at Shannon's Pub in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, a mixed group of about 30 fans is expected, with fans on the losing side picking up the bar tab for the winners. American Forces Network will beam the game to spots all over the world -- from a place called Fat Boys where Americans of all football loyalties gather in Brussels, Belgium, across a plaza from the European Union Parliament to military bases around the globe. Ohio State versus Michigan is that big. It's global. Now more than ever. But where will historians rank it? Well, in the BCS standings of great American milestones, it ranks just behind the surrender at Yorktown and the Emancipation Proclamation, but decimal points ahead of Neil Armstrong's walk and Luke and Laura's wedding (the first one, not the cheesy vows renewal plotline recycled recently on "General Hospital"). Because the schools claim more than 740,000 living alums between them, this historic collision will touch people in every city in almost every industrialized nation. For pockets of people tiny or significant sprinkled over the four corners of the world, nothing will be more pressing than what two college football teams do in Ohio Stadium. Can Troy Smith haunt Michigan again? Does Jim Tressel own Lloyd Carr? Were the Maize and Blue underrated all year? For people a long way from home with lots on their minds, these topics will make them feel a little closer, a little more connected. My thanks to "College GameDay" contributor John Lukacs for excellent work contacting these fans worldwide. Then there is the problem of the people who are plenty connected already. Kirk Herbstreit told me he has been so wound-up waiting for this collision that he has been up all hours watching ESPN Classic replay old-time Wolverines-Buckeyes games. By the time he hits the sack, he is unable to get any sleep! Another ex-Buck, Chris Spielman, told me much the same thing. His head was exploding from rivalry overload, so h[...]

Judgement Day Eve


Twas the night before game time, And all round the shoe,
Not a creature was sleeping, They were screaming Beat Blue.
The banners were hung by the lamp posts with care
In hopes that St.Troy would find Ginn through the air.
Drunken and crazy and burning their beds,
While visions of kick off danced through their heads.
When all of the sudden there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the keg to see what was the matter.
When there in the sky, in a Coupe DeVille sleigh,
Was Woody Hayes decked out in scarlet and gray.
He looked on the crowd that was gathered around,
And said that he heard that a game was in town.
I came here to watch it, and wish you good luck.
Though it's not like you need it, cause Michigan Sucks!

Legendary Michigan Football Coach Bo Schembechler Dies


Damn, this guy will do anything to beat OSU!All joking aside, a giant in college football and a respected opponent. The vast majority of folks mourn his loss here in Ohio.ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Bo Schembechler, who became one of college football's great coaches in two decades at Michigan, died Friday after taping a TV show on the eve of the Wolverines' No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown with perennial rival Ohio State. He was 77"This is a tremendous shock and an irreplaceable loss," University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman said at a news conference at Providence Hospital in Southfield, where the coach died.Schembechler collapsed at the studios of WXYZ-TV in the Detroit suburb and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. His death at 11:42 a.m. was confirmed by Mike Dowd, chief investigator for the medical examiner's office in Oakland County. Police were sent to the station about 9:25 a.m. along with the city's fire department and escorted the ambulance, Southfield police spokesman John Harris said. "The electrical part of the heart was working fine but the mechanical part was not working," said Dr. Shukri David, the head of cardiology at Providence Hospital. "The heart was sending signals to the heart muscle to contract. The muscle was not responding."Schembechler had a heart attack on the eve of his first Rose Bowl in 1970 and another one in 1987. He had two quadruple heart-bypass operations, and doctors implanted a pacemaker to regulate his heartbeat after he became ill during a taping at WXYZ on Oct. 20.During a news conference this week to discuss Saturday's big game, Schembechler said the device covered about half his chest and doctors still were adjusting it. Schembechler said he did not plan to attend the game in Columbus, Ohio, and that he didn't travel to road games anymore. "This is an extraordinary loss for college football," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said in a statement. "Bo Schembechler touched the lives of many people and made the game of football better in every way. He will always be both a Buckeye and a Wolverine and our thoughts are with all who grieve his loss." The seven-time Big Ten coach of the year compiled a 194-48-5 record at Michigan from 1969-89. Schembechler's record in 26 years of coaching was 234-65-8. Schembechler's Wolverines were 11-9-1 against the Buckeyes. But fans in both states generally agree the rivalry's prime years were 1969-78, when Schembechler opposed his friend and coaching guru, Woody Hayes. Michigan prevailed in those meetings, going 5-4-1. "It was a very personal rivalry," Earle Bruce, who succeeded Hayes as coach, once said. "And for the first and only time, it was as much about the coaches as it was about the game. "Bo and Woody were very close because Bo played for Woody at Miami of Ohio, then coached with him at Ohio State. But their friendship was put on hold when Bo took the Michigan job because it was the protege against mentor." In their first matchup, Schembechler's team pulled off a startling upset, winning 24-12 to deny No. 1 Ohio State its second consecutive national championship. The victory came a year after the Buckeyes embarrassed Michigan 50-14. Thirteen of Schembechler's Michigan teams either won or shared the Big Ten championship. Fifteen of them finished in The Associated Press Top 10, with the 1985 team finishing No. 2. Seventeen of Schembechler's 21 Michigan teams earned bowl berths. D[...]



Ginn vs. Manningham? Pittman vs. Hart? How about Ohio State vs. Michigan? A great article on!Football 101: Keys to Michigan-Ohio StateBy Bob Davie.The Michigan-Ohio State game will provide many interesting strategies and personnel matchups, but the most intriguing will occur on passing downs. Look for Michigan to substitute into their nickel package with five defensive backs when Ohio State has its spread personnel in the game. The Wolverines will have three defensive linemen, three linebackers and five defensive backs in the game. Shawn Crable, who is a 6-foot-5, 245-pound linebacker, has the ability to align as the fourth defensive lineman. This helps Michigan's athletic front utilize a variety of pass rush combinations. Brandon Harrison will be Michigan's nickel back in the game and will be the adjuster to Ohio State's third wide receiver. The Buckeyes' talented trio of wideouts, Ted Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez and Brian Robiskie, are tough to match up with. Quarterback Troy Smith has excellent decision making and mobility out of the shotgun, which makes Ohio State difficult to pressure, too. Keep an eye on this third-down matchup.Michigan's Pass RushMichigan has the biggest linebackers in college football and its 3-3-5 alignment takes advantage of the talent it has at those positions. The Wolverines love to cause havoc on opposing offenses by rushing five defenders and playing man-free coverage behind it in the secondary. Michigan will align in a three-down look with Alan Branch, LaMarr Woodley and Rondell Biggs all down in three-point stances. Crable moves around in a two-point stance and has the flexibility to align almost anywhere, but he usually aligns over the guard or center. Look for Michigan to rush five defenders on the snap with linebacker Prescott Burgess blitzing the center/guard gap. The remaining six Michigan defenders will play man-free coverage on OSU's five eligible receivers. The free safety will be the eraser, meaning he will be the free man in the middle of the field. Ohio State's 11 PersonnelOhio State features one of the most powerful offenses in the country. The Buckeyes like to align in their 11 personnel, which means one tight end and one running back are in the game. OSU wide receivers Ginn, Gonzalez and Robiskie have given defenses matchup problems all season out of this set. Ohio State has two favorite routes out of its spread formation against man-to-man coverage. • The Buckeyes love to send Gonzalez on crossing routes from his slot position. Ginn, the flanker, will run a deep square in behind him. • Ohio State also likes to run the wheel route with Gonzalez (in the slot) and Robiskie crossing each other. The deep ball to Ginn also is an option on any snap.UM Defense vs. OSU OffenseWhen Michigan's nickel with five-man pressure is aligned against Ohio State's favorite routes, it provides many interesting matchups. Pass protection is always the key and how the Buckeyes handle the big Wolverines front will be a factor. However, Michigan's ability to match up with the talented Ohio State receivers in man-to-man coverage will be a challenge, too.How will Michigan handle the talented Ohio State receivers in man-to-man coverage? How will the Buckeyes protect the quarterback? We will find out Saturday (ABC, 3:30 ET).Courtesy[...]

Holy $h|+! The Wood Shed hit the big time!


...not really. Sister Toldjah just linked to my blog from hers. I am under "Reader Blogs". this is the first link to my humble little site.

Kinda neat...

*leans back in chair and soaks it in*

New Addition-The RCR


Today I added the "Roll Call of Rogues" (a.k.a. The RCR), which is simply a list of politicians that either have been convicted or fallen under investigation for very solid reasons. It is located in the right hand margin. Just look for the really, REALLY long list.

For details regarding each individual and their associated antics, just click on the name and it will link you to a Wikipedia article that will point you in the right direction.

I anticipate the list growing substantially over time. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions for additions to the list.

The Dead America


Our future? We have none- the America of our forefathers is dead. Get used to it. You disagree? We all have our own future- the freedom to live as one chooses. You say I am just another pessimist. I say I am a realist. But what you said is naive. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. It has been a “progression” of thought, or perhaps “regression” is a better word. My conservative leaning moderatism has taken an ugly turn. I think I need to change the way I look at thinks from a life perspective.Once a comment was made about America that no army could defeat us, and whoever said that was correct. We have been beaten internally. Our government starts with the people, and ends with them too. We no longer have the will power to maintain our freedoms; we’ve been quashed by our politicians. No, I am not referring to one party. This has nothing to do with the midterm election results either, as I predicted the House would fall two years ago. The election is of no surprise to me. Those of us that care have no real options left. Many everyday people just don’t see it yet. Do you really think that “we the people” are represented anymore? We have two parties, and everyone in those two parties with any real power (The President, Congress, Governors, etc) is corrupt. They care only about 1) their gain of status, wealth and power and 2) maintaining their parties. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be presented to us, “we the people” to vote upon by the two parties in power. When given the so called “choice”, we must choose between two folks that NEVER EVER have our interests in mind. So, we no longer have the rights we used to. Here is one example: A basic tenant of our country was once the right to own land, and thus the existence of the Fourth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. We no longer really own land: it is subjugated to excessive taxes, eminent domain, excessive permits, and the list goes on. I can no longer do what I want on my land- we do not have that freedom. Here is another example: Do remember in grade school the phrase used by our founding fathers “No taxation without representation!”? We are no longer represented, but we sure as heck are taxed! Would you agree? I can go on, but I think you get my point. The Constitution of the United States of America is no loner valid- one may as well wipe their ass with it. The rights afforded by it have been taken away by the only people who can, "we the people". That complacency has allowed the attack on our rights by Presidents, Congressmen and groups such as the ACLU. I told my wife a few nights ago, that I pity my kids. We are witnessing the beginning of the end of a once great nation and that is who will suffer. We have no future, but by “we” I mean “they”. And this is why my thinking is radically changing, and what I am thinking is scaring the hell out of me. [...]