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Jim Tressel shares a word with senior Cam Heyward
Dave Thurman (4:41 pm)

Three things usually consume Buckeye football fans at this time of the year: 1) The upcoming bowl game; 2) Forecasting next year's team; and 3) Recruiting.  But before we move too far ahead, let's take a moment to look back on the class of 2010, which played their last game at Ohio Stadium this past Saturday.  As a group, they have notched 43 wins, and should they be victorious in the bowl game, would tie last year's seniors as the most succesful class (in terms of wins) in the history of this storied program. 

Each year I like to mention each of the seniors individually and share my thoughts on them.  It is a huge commitment to play football at a major university, and these young men sacrifice a great deal along the way  Of course it is an honor to wear the scarlet and gray, but each of these players has put in long hours in the classroom, the weight room, and on the field.  So, here is my tribute to the class of 2010:

Devin Barclay - The old man of the group, Devin played pro soccer before enrolling at OSU.  He got his chance to play as a junior after an injury to Aaron Pettrey and hit the gamewinner against Iowa.  Quietly, Barclay had a very productive senior year, and was usually automatic from 40 and in.  

Justin Boren - The big guy made headlines when he transferred from TSUN to Ohio State, and immediately became a force.  Boren was the most dependable offesnive lineman the past two years and often overpowered opponents.  In my book he will go down as a Buckeye through and through, and I love that his name provokes Wolverine fans to this day!

Bryant Browning - An intelligent young man, Bryant struggled when forced to play tackle as a sophomore, but was rock solid the last two years at guard.  Along with Boren, he will be greatly missed next season.  

Chimdi Chekwa - Lockdown corners are hard to find, but Chekwa fit that description, and had an excellent career.  Although not that highly recruited out of high shcool, he will go down as another in a long line of tremendous Buckeye cornerbacks.  In truth, I think most OSU fans kind of took him for granted, but he'll be sorely missed in 2011.  

Ricky Crawford - A walk-on wide receiver, Crawford was moved to tight end as a senior and was awarded a scholarship by Coach Tressel.  He did get to play in eight games this year and caught one pass.

Aaron Gant - After playing quite a bit as a true freshman in '06, Gant kind of disappeared in 2007 and 2008, but was injured a great deal of the time.  He redshirted last year, so he could come back healthy as a senior and it paid off.  Due to injuries to other players, Gant wound up starting a number of games down the stretch and registered 21 tackles.  

Cameron Heyward - Cam was a huge get late in the recruiting process back in 2007, and he lived up to all the hype, Heyward vaulted into the starting lineup as a true freshman, and enjoyed an excellent career, highlighted by his versatility, which allowed him to play tackle and end.  His big junior year caused all of us to have huge expectations for 2010, and though he didn't quite deliver, Cam did enjoy another fine season. I'll always remember the long 80-yard interception return against Miami, when the 290-pound lineman kept lumbering down the field but ran out of steam a little before reaching the end zone. 

 
 
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Drew Thurman (12:37 am)

1) The Big Ten Announced the 2010 All-Conference Teams, and the Buckeyes made a strong showing as you would expect. Dan Herron, Dane Sanzenbacher, Mike Adams, Cameron Heyward, Ross Homan, Brian Rolle, Chimdi Chekwa, and Jermale Hines made the All-Conference First Team according to the coaches. Mike Brewster and Justin Boren made the Second Team.

The media, on the other hand, voted Dane Sanzenbacher, Mike Brewster, Justin Boren, Mike Adams, Cameron Heyward, Brian Rolle, and Chimdi Chekwa to the First Team. The Buckeyes on Second Team were Devin Barclay, Ross Homan, and Jermale Hines. Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, and John Simon would appear on the Honorable Mention on both lists.

I was surprised to see the heavy respect for a guy like Mike Adams who appeared on the First Team on both lists (and deserved it), while Terrelle Pryor got no love from the coaches or the media. Pryor was the named the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, and had a great year even though he will fall short of winning the Heisman as many expected. Behind Denard Robinson, he was easily the conference's most dominant player, and it's really a robbery he didn't appear on either list. Instead the media darlings, Scott Tolzien and Dan Persa, grabbed the honors ahead of him. What a joke! Unfortunately, Pryor is a victim of the high expectations placed on him, and there hasn't been near the respect for the season he put together as there should be. Judging by Pryor's latest Tweet, he didn't appreciate the lack of respect either!

2) As for the Coach of the Year honors, the media voted Mark Dantonio as expected. It's hard to argue with Dantonio getting the award, but I still feel for Tressel. There always seems to be some surprise success story that helps lift a coach to grab the honors, while all Tressel has done is dominate the conference for a decade. I think it's becoming abundantly clear that he could go his whole tenure at OSU without getting Coach of the Year.

 
 
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Dave Thurman (9:09 pm)

We at The Silver Bullet are out to fight and correct the great injustices of our world: human trafficking, world hunger, genocide and child labor come to mind.  Well, maybe those are a little bigger than we can handle, so we'll start with this - giving Coach Jim Tressel an award! 

As JT prepares to complete his tenth season as the head coach at Ohio State, he is still looking for his first Big Ten Coach of the Year Award.  And, it won't be coming in 2010.  This season is a two man race between ex-OSU assistant Mark Dantonio at Michigan State and Bret Bielema at Wisconsin.  If I had a vote (which I don't) I would cast it for Dantonio who turned things around at MSU this season after years of falling apart and imploding.  Not only do I think he is deserving, nothing would thrill me more than to keep Bielema from grabbing the award, because, quite frankly, I don't like him!

Anyway, back to Coach Tressel.  Since he is about to go 0-10 in the Big Ten Coach of the Year voting, I propose that we hand him something better: the NCAA Coach of the Decade Award!  Consider his resume:

105-22 record in ten years at OSU (Bowl game pending)
10 Bowl appearances
8 BCS Bowl appearances
3 BCS National Championship Game appearances
1 National Championship
7 Big Ten Conference titles (including 6 in a row)
9-1 record versus Michigan

Not too shabby.  In fact I challenge anyone to find a coach with more success over the past ten seasonsl.  Besides being a man of high integrity and character, Tressel has just flat out won.  So, the TSB Coach of the Decade Award goes to...envelope please...Jim Tressel, The Ohio State University. 

 
 
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Dave Thurman (7:24 pm)

One more time in 2010 Ohio State came out flat on offense, and for a quarter "The Game" wasn't pretty.  But then Terrelle Pryor took over, and Ohio State dominated what turned into a yawner in the end.  Here are some things that stood out to me:

1) Special teams domination - 2010 will be remembered as the worst special teams in Tressel's tenure, but on this day Ohio State flat dominated.  Michigan's kicking has been suspect all year, but their punting had been solid.  However, punter Will Hagerup didn't make the trip due to a violation of team policy and the job fell to kicker Seth Broekhuizen who was awful.  Meanwhile OSU kicker Devin Barclay was steady as usual, and punter Ben Buchanan had his best game to date.  However, the real special teams supremacy came courtesy of Jordan Hall's kick return touchdown.

2) Jordan Hall showed why he was the unsung hero of this year's team - Before the season began I predicted that either Jaamal Berry or Jordan Hall would take one to the house but I was beginning to think I struck out on that forecast.  However, Hall picked a perfect time to break one, right after UM scored to cut the Buckeye lead to 10-7.  What a year for number seven.  Consider all he did in 2010. On punt returns he averaged 10.1 per return, taking one back 70 yards. He averaged 30.0 on kick returns, with today's 85 yarder good for six.  Jordan rushed for 161 yards and 2 touchdows, and caught 8 passes for 83 yards and 1 td.  In addition Hall threw a touchdown on a halfback option pass, and made 4 tackles on special teams, including forcing one fumble.  Not bad for a guy some thought only received an offer because he was Pryor's high school teammate.

 
 
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Drew Thurman (3:38 pm)

It was a competitive game for the first quarter, but the Buckeyes ran away with things after forcing some turnovers and looking sharp on special teams. It was 10-7 at the 8:02 mark in the second quarter, when Jordan Hall returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. The Buckeyes would go on to score 27 unanswered points, grabbing the seventh straight victory over the Wolverines 37-7. The win also means the Buckeyes are Co-Big Ten Championships, an honor they have won or shared for six straight years!

The only negative to the game was the lousy referees. The Buckeyes were called on multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for flashing the "O" on their gloves, while a holding penalty kept Boom from breaking history. All in all, there is no reason to complain though. Great day to be a Buckeye fan...actually it has been a great decade!

 
 
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Dave and Drew Thurman (9:14 am)

Check out our Know the Opposition feature for full information on TSUN. Below we have five things to look for as the Buckeyes host RichRod and the Wolverines:

1) Watch to see if the Silver Bullets can slow down Denard Robinson. 

The unstoppable force meets the immovable object, as Michigan's big play offense (ranked #5 in the nation at 514.6 ypg) faces Ohio State's stingy defense (ranked #3 in the nation at 241.5 ypg).  There is no doubt that Robinson is the key for UM, and it is crazy to think that the Buckeyes will completely shut him down,  However, if they can contain the swift quarterback and keep him from making too many big plays, Michigan will be in trouble, because he has been their offense for much of the season.  Ohio State will also try and force Mr. Robinson into some turnovers, which may be the best way to stop the Wolverine offense. He has battled turnovers in the biggest games this season, and when you add it that the Buckeyes have been very opportunistic, it could produce a similar result to last year's.

2) Watch Tressel's offensive game plan.

Michigan's defense has been down right awful (445.2 yards, 33.5 points per game). It will be interesting to see how the Buckeyes attack, because the Wolverines have been equally ineffective stopping the run and the pass.  No doubt Pryor will want to light up the young secondary, but on cold, November days, Tressel usually prefers to play old-fashioned smashmouth football. Besides the fact that it will wear a smaller Wolverine defense down, it will also keep Denard Robinson and the Michigan offense off the field. So we expect Boom Herron should get every opportunity to rush for the 107 yards he needs to reach 1,000 for the year, but hopefully OSU will feature a diversified attack.  And, since it is Michigan week it will be interesting to see if the coaches will throw in a couple of trick plays or new formations.

 
 
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Mascot: Wolverines
Stadium: Michigan Stadium (106,201)
2009 Record: 5-7
2010 Record: 7-4
Head Coach:  Rich Rodriguez (third year at UM, 15-20; 17th year overall, 120-82-2; vs. OSU, 0-2).
Lettermen Returning: 53 (24 lost)
Returning Starters: Offense - 7; Defense - 8; Specialists - 0
Base Offense: Ace (3 receivers)
Base Defense: 3-3-5
Returning Stars: QB Denard Robinson, WR Roy Roundtree & LB Jonas Mouton

Notable Alumni:

Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States
Charlie Gehringer, Baseball Hall of Famer
Tony Fadell, Inventor of the iPod
Lucy Liu, Actress
Tom Brady, NFL quarterback (two time Super Bowl MVP)
Desmond Howard, Heisman Trophy Winner; sporstcaster
James Earl Jones, Actor
William Mayo, Co-founder of the Mayo Clinic
Madonna, Singer & Actress

Cheerleading Scouting Report:
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Michigan Preview:

That School Up North invades Ohio Stadium on Senior Day 2010, and the stakes are huge.  For Michigan, this game may decide the fate of embattled third year coach, Rich Rodriguez.  For Ohio State, the contest provides the opportunity for the Buckeyes to win their record-tying sixth consecutive Big Ten title, and secure another BCS Bowl.  The weather should be cold, as two high powered offenses take the field to renew one of the greatest rivalries in sports. After a couple of seasons when "The Game" was pretty much a foregone conclusion for Ohio State, this one should be competitive.  Buckle up and get ready for a hard-hitting game that may not be decided until late.

On offense, Michigan averages 514.5 yards and 36.8 points per game.  It all starts and ends with slippery sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson, the first player in NCAA history to throw and run for over 1,500 yards in the same seaon.  Though small (6'0" 193) he has proved to be tough, and is very difficult to tackle due to his speed and shiftiness.  Robinson is most effective as a runner (1538 yards, 6.8 ypc, 14 td's) but has progressed as a passer (147-232, 2229,16-10) and is difficult to defend.  He has shown a propensity for turning the ball over in big games, and Ohio State will try and keep him in hemmed in and make him throw the ball. Last year's starter Tate Forcier has played quite a bit down the stretch and may be used off the bench.  He isn't the runner Robinson is, though Forcier can scramble, but he is more or a pure passer who has thrown for 515 yards, hitting on 66.7% of his passes.
 
 
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Thanks again RichRod for pushing the Boren family our way!
Drew Thurman (2:13 pm)

1) OSU to land the Boren brother trifecta? Yes, it appears so. Ken Gordon announced via Twitter today that offensive lineman Jacoby Boren (Class of 2012) could commit as early as next week. Boren, the younger brother of Justin and Zach, apparently possesses the same attitude as the rest of the family. Despite only being 6-2 270 pounds, he's tough and destroys people. Would you expect any less? The best part is that we can celebrate this on Michigan week. Thanks Rich for turning a Wolverine family legacy to the Buckeyes!

2) Well Gordon Gee just put a bullseye on the back of the Buckeyes. In an interview with the Associated Press he decided to say that TCU and Boise State haven't played a tough enough schedule and don't deserve to play in the national championship game.

"Well, I don't know enough about the Xs and Os of college football," said Gee, formerly the president at West Virginia, Colorado, Brown and Vanderbilt universities. "I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it's like murderer's row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day."

Of course the media is eating this whole thing up, and Twitter has exploded with lots of harsh criticism. It's hard to blame them. While I do agree that Boise State and TCU would struggle making it through the Big Ten year in and year out, it's not exactly like OSU has played an overly tough schedule this year. Not only that but it just reflects poorly on the school, especially coming from someone who knows so little about college football (as he claimed himself). He later states in the interview that he favors the current BCS over a playoff system, which is completely contradictory. Gee, don't complain about Boise and TCU if you like the system, and please leave the football interviews to Tressel!

 
 
Drew Thurman (12:33 pm)

I'm glad Michigan fans find Greg Robinson's stuffed animal tactics as disturbing as we do. In fact, the MZone put together this video. Props to them for one of the funniest videos I have seen in awhile...
 
 
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Dave Thurman (4:59 pm)

The greatest rivalry in sports is about to be renewed, and the 2010 edition involves some fascinating numbers, a few of which are downright wacky.  Take a moment to consider, calculate and chew on the following:

2558 - Days since TSUN last defeated Ohio State in football!

1538 - Rushing yards by quarterback Denard Robinsion...an amazing 967 more than Michigan's leading running back, Vincent Smith, who has rushed for 571 yards.  Robinson is the first player in NCAA history to rush and pass for over 1500 yards in the same season. 

57-43-6 - The all-time series record in favor of Michigan, whose fans forget that since 1951 the Buckeys hold a 31-26-2 lead.

8-1 - Jim Tressel's amazing record against the Wolverines, including six in a row

65 - Points the Michigan defense surrendered to Illinois this season...in a game they actually won 67-65!

445.2 - Yards per game given up by the Wolverine defense

33.5 - Points per game allowed by UM (almost 20 per game more than the Silver Bullets)

28-4 - Jim Tressel's November record at OSU...including 16-1 since 2005