Ohio State Buckeyes

Jon Gruden on Ohio State’s Urban Meyer: ‘Greatest coaching job of all time’

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ESPN’s Jon Gruden is often criticized due to his bouts of hyperbole, but his stance on Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer may have redefined even his barometer.

What Ohio State accomplished last season was certainly astounding.

After the team lost to the hapless Virginia Tech Hokies 35-21 during the second week of the season, the Buckeyes changed gears and eventually ran roughshod through the Big Ten’s conference schedule and championship game, into the first ever College Football Playoff and grabbed the school’s eight national championship.

“Maybe the best coach in the SEC went to the Big Ten,” Gruden told Colin Cowherd during a radio interview, via CoachingSearch.com. “Urban Meyer did the greatest coaching job of all time. Winning a national championship with his third-string quarterback, I’ve never seen that before. … I’ve always respected him. Won two national titles at Florida.

“What he did at Ohio State, losing a Heisman Trophy candidate and then doing what he did with two different quarterbacks that were backups. Amazing to me.”

All of this came a year earlier than expected. Next year’s Ohio State squad was supposed to be the breakthrough team for Meyer in Columbus. Instead, the program is a year ahead of schedule and will almost certainly enter this coming season as the No. 1 team in the country.

However, none of that makes the most recent National Championship run the greatest in football history. Yes, the Buckeyes were forced to start three different quarterbacks. But all of them were more talented than…say…Craig Krenzel, who led the Buckeyes to the 2002 National Championship.

In fact, Ohio State was considered a 12-point underdog to an absolutely loaded Miami Hurricanes squad that year. The difference in overall talent level from top to bottom was actually in Ohio State’s favor against the Oregon Ducks in January.

It was a tremendous run by Meyer and his Buckeyes, but this is another case where Gruden remains completely over the top with his comments.

Report: Ohio State aims to poach Notre Dame RBs coach

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Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer isn’t wasting any time in his attempt to replace running backs coach Stan Drayton, who left Columbus for an opportunity with the Chicago Bears.

IrishIllustrated.com’s Pete Sampson reported that Meyer set his sights on Notre Dame’s Tony Alford to become Drayton’s replacement.

Despite never coaching together, Meyer’s interest stems from his time as an assistant coach with the Colorado State Rams when Alford was a running back for the team.

If Meyer is able to pry Alford out of South Bend, Ohio State will have its new running back coach in the fold and steal Notre Dame’s ace recruiter.

Alford also serves as Notre Dame’s recruiting coordinator. He was instrumental in Notre Dame’s 11th-ranked recruiting class, according to Rivals.com. This was Alford’s fourth class heading up Notre Dame’s recruiting department. All four were considered top 20 classes.

Prior to becoming a member of the Fighting Irish during Charlie Weis‘ tenure, Alford spent the 2007-08 seasons with the Louisville Cardinals. Previous stops also include the Iowa State Cyclones (two times), Washington Huskies, Kent State Golden Flashes and Mount Union Purple Raiders.

Alford could be the perfect hire for Meyer to solve some of the team’s recent issues with recruits after Drayton’s surprise move after National Signing Day.

History in the making: Ohio State in talks with Army to play future contest

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The Ohio State Buckeyes opened up their latest national championship campaign with a 34-17 victory over the Navy Midshipmen.

The next time the Buckeyes will face a service academy, though, won’t be until after the 2016 campaign.

Ohio State is currently in talks with the Army Black Knights to schedule a game at a future date.

Amazingly, these two programs have never met on the gridiron despite their long and illustrious histories.

While Army’s schedule remains flexible due to being an independent program, Ohio State will have to work around their conference schedule. Like Navy, Army will likely serve as a season-opening opponent. The first year both teams have an opening at the beginning of their schedules will be the 2017 campaign.

Army doesn’t have any current openings early in the season that coincide with Ohio State’s 2018 schedule.

The two sides also have openings at the start of the 2019 campaign.

Due to the size of Ohio State and the importance of home games for the Buckeyes’ athletic department, Army will almost certainly be a one- or two-game contract with the contests being played at Ohio Stadium.

The two sides still need to finalize an agreement, though.

Maurice Clarett provides advice to Ezekiel Elliott on going pro

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The last time the Ohio State Buckeyes won a national championship, they did so with a dynamic underclassman leading the way at running back.

That running back then challenged the system and attempted to enter the NFL earlier than the required three years between high school and becoming a professional.

Maurice Clarett faded into football oblivion when he lost his battle with NFL lawyers and personal demons.

After Ezekiel Elliott‘s amazing run of three-straight 200-yard performances, the conversation regarding the running back’s eligibility began anew.

Clarett knows better, though, and suggested that Elliott just continue to do what he’s been doing.

“Ignore all of this Zeke,” Clarett said, via his Instagram account. “I’m speaking from experience. You can’t beat the machine (NFL). Go to class and focus on getting better as a ball player. Rather anyone likes it or not the system isn’t going to change. Too much money and too many lobbyist are involved. Deal with it and stay focused my man!!!”

Eliott, a true sophomore, only has two options. He can continue to play for the Buckeyes next fall as the team attempts to achieve back-to-back championships, or he can sit out the entire season to prepare for the 2016 NFL draft.

Some will say the risk outweighs the reward. But the reward could be substantial — Heisman Trophy, second championship and improved draft stock — if Elliott plays an entire season at the level everyone saw at the end of the 2014 campaign.

Report: Oregon WR Darren Carrington ruled ineligible for championship game

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Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota is running out of options to throw to even though the National Championship Game is still three days away.

After receiving news that Devon Allen has been ruled out of the biggest game in the school’s history, the situation worsened for Mariota and the Ducks.

CSNNW.com’s Aaron Fentress reported that team’s second-leading receiver, Darren Carrington, is suspended for the National Championship Game due to a failed drug test.

The Ducks attempted to appeal the NCAA’s ruling and were quickly denied:

Carrington was Mariota’s favorite target during the Pac-12 Championship Game and the Rose Bowl.

According to Fentress, Carrington didn’t make the trip to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, with his teammates.

Carrington finished his season with 37 receptions for 704 yards and four touchdowns.

Mariota will now be asked to overcome the loss of two of the team’s top three receivers and the Ducks’ starting tight end in Oregon’s attempt to upend the surging Ohio State Buckeyes.