Even within the ultimate of team sports there are moments in a career - a season - or one cold night in Columbus, OH - where the pressure of an entire fan base rests solely on the shoulders of one man.
On Saturday night November 14th, 2009, only three games after taking over for the injured Aaron Pettrey, Devin Barclay lined up from just left of center with the ball placed on the 29 yard line in overtime at Ohio Stadium, stared directly into the face of a B1G Championship and a trip to Pasadena, and split the uprights to close out a 27-24 overtime win over the tenth-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. A few seconds later the 26-year old Barclay was being mobbed by his teammates - along with tens of thousands of Ohio State fans who had rushed onto the turf of the Horseshoe - all celebrating a kick that Buckeye Nation won't soon forget.
Barclay's overtime field goal clinched at least a share of Ohio State's fifth consecutive conference title and earned them a one-way ticket to a Rose Bowl the program hadn't seen in thirteen years, where they would later knock off the Oregon Ducks in impressive fashion.
While that night in Ohio Stadium didn't go exactly as Buckeye fans had envisioned - watching Iowa's backup quarterback James Vandenberg leading the Hawkeyes up and down the field from the outset - there's no doubt that the victory was a special one for head coach Jim Tressel, lover of all things foot and ball. Coach often referred to the punt as, 'the most important play in football.' He also wasn't afraid to kick field goals on 4th and inches from the opponent's red zone, no matter how loudly 106,000 fans packed into the Horseshoe disagreed at times. But his recipe for success worked 106 times in ten years.
That night in Columbus was vintage Tresselball. After Ohio State's defense stood up and forced Iowa into three plays for -16 yards on their first and only overtime possession, Tress chose to run Boom Herron straight up the middle on three consecutive plays for a net three yards, putting every ounce of his faith into the right foot of his 26-year old former professional soccer player, and the rest was history.
With the one year anniversary of coach Tressel's resignation quickly approaching we were fortunate enough to catch up with Devin Barclay to talk about overtimes, pressure kicks and his former head coach.no comments
Let's go back, shall we?
November 29th, 2011 - Jerome Schottenstein Center - Ohio State hosts the Duke Blue Devils in the marquee match-up of the 2011 B1G/ACC Challenge. Jared Sullinger poured in 21 points to go alongside his 8 rebounds, while DeShaun Thomas, William Buford and Aaron Craft combined to score 55 more in an 83-65 lopsided victory over Coach K his fourth-ranked Blue Devils. Embarrassing for Duke - but the score paled in comparison to their head coach's comments in the post-game:
"I've had my butt kicked before. We've kicked some butt. Tonight my butt's sore."
To Krzyzewski's credit (pictured right, sore butt and all), he's the consummate professional who is as classy in defeat as he is in victory. The best news for he and his Blue Devils is that they'll get their shot at revenge just one year later, but this time it will be in their friendly confines back in Durham, North Carolina.
This year's November match-up won't get quite the hype outside of Columbus and Durham as last year's #2 vs #4 game in Columbus, but with ESPN giving Ohio State an early preseason ranking of eight, and positioning Duke at fifteen, it could very well be the best pairing of this year's Challenge by the time it gets here (#5 Michigan also faces #6 NC State in Ann Arbor).no comments
A message of 140 characters or less - from a 16 year old kid - must be taken with a grain of salt. The faster we all figure that out, the better experience everyone will have on Twitter. With that being said, Hinesville, GA inside linebacker prospect Raekwon McMillan made his intentions known on Sunday afternoon through one simple-but-bold message, and it only took him 111 characters. From his @Kwon_daTRUTH account: "I'm gonna go ahead and say ,, if Da'shawn Hand commits to Ohio State ,, im going too , #BuckeyeNation #gobucks"
Hey Urban - it's working.
Let's back up a little bit. Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, VA) is an elite 2014 defensive end that schools from every major conference have their eyes on. He's yet to play the first snap of his junior year of high school and already has nineteen scholarship offers, including those from Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina of the SEC and Michigan, Penn State and - The Ohio State University - of the B1G. Simply put - everyone wants him, including Mr. McMillan.no comments
First and foremost we want to wish all of the Buckeye moms out there a very Happy Mother's Day. If the rest of the moms around the B1G have a great day as well then, meh, that's ok too. Now to the week that was....
Ohio State didn't land our next four- or five-star talent this week but, on the bright side, we also didn't have any de-commits after Lewis Neal and Alex Anzalone both pulled their commitments last week. A quick tour around Twitter also shows that our former, current and future Buckeyes are now gathering inspiration on their own now that @BDubsTriviaGuru is behind bars trying to remain inspired himself.
We take a tour around The Buckeye Bloggers Network, as well as the blogs of all eleven other B1G schools, so we can keep an eye on what the enemy has up their sleeve and at the same time overdose you with B1G sports news. It also gives us the opportunity to smear a Scarlet font all over the links of the rest of the conference. Hyperlinks abound - 41 in total.....no comments
Andrew Sweat, former Ohio State linebacker and undrafted free agent, has decided against an NFL career after signing with the Cleveland Brown immediately after the conclusion of the 2012 NFL Draft. Sweat was a no-show on Friday for the Browns' rookie mini-camp, and reports have him wanting to pursue law school as the next chapter of his life. He was accepted to multiple law schools before Cleveland signed him back on April 28th.
When camp opened on Friday in Berea, OH the Cleveland brass expected 37 total participants to take the field. But when Friday morning arrived, only 36 showed up. The Browns were unaware of Sweat's planned absence until they realized he had not shown up. Pat Shurmer later said, "Andrew Sweat is not at camp and has decided not to play."
The Washington, PA native and recent Ohio State graduate has a degree in finance from Ohio State's prestigious Fisher College of Business. He is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten Conference selection and a four-time OSU Scholar-Athlete.no comments
Simply put, Jim Tressel loves The Ohio State University. In his ten years as the head coach of the Buckeyes - known for most of it as just Tress, The Vest or The Senator - all he did was collect 106 victories on the field of play, including the twelve that were later vacated from 2010. He won one national championship, logged five BCS wins in eight appearances on the big stage and nine wins over the Michigan Wolverines in ten tries. He didn't run the score up on lesser opponents - much to the dismay of the fan base at times - and wasn't the most flamboyant of leaders in front of the camera. He could lay ten-thousand words on a room full of reporters and have virtually said nothing at all. His trademark sweater vest became a source of pride within those who rooted for Ohio State, and a punchline for all who didn't. He didn't care, and neither did we.
For nearly his entire decade at the helm he was our classy, spotless leader free of controversy. When all was said and done - ending with a Memorial Day resignation in May of 2011 - Buckeye Nation was left to ask itself one very important question: Was Jim Tressel not the man we thought he was? In the end, he probably wasn't.
But he was damn close.
With the first anniversary of Coach Tressel's resignation quickly approaching, we take a look back at his decade of success at The Ohio State University through the eye of a camera lens. Enjoy. We did.....no comments
From the Toledo War that was fought between 1835 and 1836, the nearly bloodless boundary dispute left reverberating feelings of resentment and hostility that are as equally intense now as they were then … possibly being even stronger now. This war was also known as the Michigan-Ohio War and is now known as the Michigan-Ohio State War. Our date at the end of every football season in either the Big House or the Horseshoe has become the greatest rivalry in college sports … and arguably, the greatest rivalry in all sports. This battle for glory became the bitter rivalry that it is under Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes. Neither man needs an introduction. Anyone who claims to be a fan of college football recognizes these legends by name. Neither school could boast the great football tradition they possess without paying homage to these two men, but there is something special about our rivalry … about The Game … that sets it apart from any other. In the words of the great Aretha Franklin, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” Yes, the taunts are vicious, the hate runs deep, and disgust is written over all our faces when confronted with the enemy, but this is not a typical “enemy.” They are our nemesis … our equals … The Game is at its best when both teams are at their best.
That's how it should be.
In the final years of Tressel’s tenure at The Ohio State University, That School Up North stumbled. We loved it, yes, and we certainly mocked them for it … but in their weak years, The Game ultimately suffered. Therefore, OSU suffered, too. But last year, TSUN finally found their man in Brady Hoke … just when the Buckeyes hit a brick, tattooed wall of resistance. As our first year approaches with our new coach and lifelong Buckeye fan, Urban Meyer, at the helm - could it be that our rivalry will be renewed?no comments