Posts Tagged ‘ohio’

Ohio’s Groce next in Illinois coaching search?

March 26, 2012

According to Yahoo sports, Illinois has turned their coaching search to Ohio’s John Groce after being rebuffed by Shaka Smart of VCU and Butler’s Brad Stevens.

Groce will not be in Athens forever. The Bobcats head coach will eventually head for greener pastures. He is a great coach that is also a great recruiter. I hope he doesn’t take the Illinois job for a couple of reasons. One of course is that I want him to stay at Ohio and build the program up to a dominant contender in the Mid American Conference. But the other reason is that Illinois is a tough spot to step into. The Big Ten has teams like Ohio State, Michigan State and Indiana to contend with as well as Purdue and Michigan. The players quit on the last coach going 2-12 to end the season and cost him his job. Groce would be at best their third choice.

Hopefully Groce will stay another season in Athens. With his roster almost fully returning for next year another run in the NCAA tourney is very possible. With that, a better opportunity will be right around the corner. Hopefully he is patient and waits for a better environment to showcase his fine coaching.

Browns talent deficit continues

March 12, 2012

Year after year since 1999, the Browns have been playing catch up in regards to  player talent. Playing in the AFC North, it’s never going to be easy with the Steelers, Ravens and even the Bengals having a system in place and good drafting over the last few years.  The Browns have no elite skill position players on offense.

The Redskins traded this week for the draft rights to Robert Griffin III. The dynamic signal caller from Baylor has speed, intelligence and a strong arm. He would have been a huge shot in the arm in Cleveland. But, the Redskins gave up 3 number one picks.  It is hard to say the Browns could have topped this bid or should have.

Andrew Luck will be taken first by Indianapolis. Griffin to Washington will follow.  Minnesota is next and then the Browns. I really have no idea what player is in their sights. If it was my choice, I would trade down a few spots and pick Trent Richardson, the running back from Alabama.  With Peyton Hillis likely leaving, the Browns could use a solid back and he looks to be a potential star. Plus the extra pick acquired in trading down could be used to add extra talent later.

This is going to be an important off season. Cleveland is looking to establish an identity and build a core of offensive talent. If no progress is made, more seasons like the last ten will follow.

My thoughts on Rick Nash and the Blue Jackets

March 3, 2012

The last time I wrote about this I thought the Jackets brass had asked Nash to waive his no movement clause. It has since come to light that Nash asked to be traded.

Rick Nash has played his whole career in Columbus. He seems like a nice, quiet guy that would make a nice neighbor or friend. He was drafted first in the draft and has been the star player on a bad team ever since. His stats are never great but the retort to that is always that he is surrounded by bad players and needs better players around him. While partly true, Nash has never grown much as a player or demanded more from himself. He has been team captain through two squads basically quitting on their coach. Watching him play in the Olympics, he plays a hard nosed aggressive style. In Columbus, he goes on auto pilot or coasts along at times. He is obviously a good player, but the motivation is gone. Right or wrong.

Scott Howson may have had the chance to trade Nash. It’s not public knowledge what he was offered or if they really intended to move him at all. Now Howson is faced with a team in disarray and a captain that wants out of town. He has had five years to get this going in the right direction. He would have been fired in any other situation but has the keys to the situation here. Trading Nash will be his legacy. I doubt he is up to the task of getting a return that will turn the Jackets into winners, but he will be forced to accept an offer at some point. This situation can not last as it is currently.

Bad teams always have drama. Being an Indians, Cavaliers, Browns and Jackets fan I see it all the time. When teams win you never hear this kind of crap. Hopefully soon the CBJ fans will have a winner to talk about instead. Frankly, it seems so far away.

A superstar that wants to play in Ohio? Trade him!

February 15, 2012

The Columbus Blue Jackets are in the midst of their worst ever season after spending all of their cap money to bolster the attack. Team captain Rick Nash reportedly has been asked to waive his no trade clause and accept a move elsewhere. Nash has been a patient man as the front office has promised him for years to build around him. At this point he looks to be the scapegoat for poor trades and drafting. Nash has been one of the few bright spots for the Jackets.

General Manager Scott Howson would be fired in most pro sports cities. His record is abysmal and his team building has been random patchwork. Only in Columbus would he be given carte blanche to rebuild something he couldn’t build in the first place. If Nash has to be traded, this man should not be the one doing it. This cycle of team building has been a failure and so has Howson.

I’m not sure how this turns out but Nash deserves better than having his loyalty and contract signing of 8 years being thrown out after 2. The Columbus hockey squad will wait a long time for a player of his caliber than wants to play here.

Ohio Sports weekend wrap up

November 29, 2011

Browns lose to Bengals 23-20

After leading at the half 17-7, the Browns couldn’t finish the deal. Greg Little dropped several key passes, the defense faltered, and Colt McCoy threw an ill timed interception as well. The Browns main problem right now is a lack of play makers. It goes all the way back to the former regimes’ trading away Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards and not finding suitable replacements for them. Coach Shurmer needs to get better at calling plays as well.  The Browns face the Ravens next week and it will again be a struggle. Hopefully they can get an upset or two these last few weeks.

Ohio State hires Urban Meyer

In possibly the worst kept secret ever, the Buckeyes hired former Florida coach Urban Meyer to a six year contract worth twenty four million.  Interim coach Luke Fickell stays on as defensive coordinator and will coach the team in the bowl game if offered one. The hiring takes the sting out of the OSU loss to Michigan Saturday, 36-30.

Grady Sizemore resigns with the Indians

Meet the new center fielder. Same as the old one. Grady is back for 4 million and another potential five in bonuses. If healthy Sizemore can be an offensive catalyst. He hasn’t been able to stay on the field lately though. He didn’t want to leave and I’m glad they kept him around for another go at it.

Blue Jackets continue to struggle and lose again to St. Louis

Sunday night in Columbus saw the Jackets go down to defeat against former coach Ken Hitchcock and his Blues 2-1 in a shoot out. The CBJ have been playing some what better but still can’t get enough offense to really roll out a nice winning streak. The Capitals and Hurricanes both fired coaches today. Its interesting to me that Scott Arniel is hanging in there after all the switching around the NHL.

Ohio State basketball

Ohio State mens basketball team hosts Duke on Tuesday. #2 against #3. Very good test early for the Buckeyes as they look to establish themselves at the top of the rankings and big ten as well.

a look ahead to the Battle of Ohio

November 26, 2011

In the first match up in Cleveland, the Bengals came out on top 27-17. This time, I expect a different outcome. It seems these games are always close and the Browns should have Peyton Hillis back finally.  The improved play of Colt McCoy and improving young defense give the Browns at least a fighters chance.

Head to Head  All time-    Bengals 40 wins Browns 36

the line-  Bengals -7.5

My prediction- Browns 17 Bengals 14