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Urban Meyer + Greg Schiano should have rest of Big Ten scared

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Urban Meyer-coached teams are scary for opponents, what with his 31-1 record against Big Ten teams in four years and all. However, part of that equation was an aggressive and debilitating defense led by Chris Ash.

Ash left for the head coaching gig at Rutgers, and that left a huge hole in the game plan to get back to Big Ten championship and national championship winning teams. So, when it was announced that Meyer went out and filled the job with former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano, teams (and the media) had to be shaking their collective heads.

It’s almost not fair. First there was offensive genius Tom Herman hired away from Iowa State back in 2012. Herman would go on to ignite the Buckeyes offense and win the Broyles Award as the nation’s best assistant coach this past season.

Then Meyer replaces one of the best secondary coaches in the country with a former NFL head coach and a respected college head coach like Schiano?

One look at Schiano’s defensive record should be enough to let folks know just how genius of a hire this was. That’s because Schiano’s defenses topped the Big East in scoring defense twice in the final four years of his tenure at Rutgers (2009 and 2011), also topping the conference in passing defense in 2011 and ranking second in 2008 and 2009.

Schiano’s best season was 2006, where his Scarlet Knights went 11-2 on the season. It was the defense that was the catalyst for it, ranking No. 8 in the country in total defense.

Meyer’s eye for talent and coaching ability is bar none, but getting a veteran coach like this to help lead a defense that will need the most help in the secondary is a coup to say the least.

OSU could be facing life without junior Vonn Bell, who is NFL Draft eligible and could make that leap. The Buckeyes are also going to be facing life without the likes of Joey Bosa, Adolphus Washington, Tommy Schutt and Joshua Perry up front, making the veteran secondary a huge part of whatever success or failure OSU has in 2016.

Even more dangerous than the numbers — Meyer and Schiano are about as close as any two coaches in the country. It’s something that Doug Lesmerises pointed out on Cleveland.com when remembering back to a reporter’s question back in August:

“It’s interesting that my confidantes are Steve Addazio, Greg Schiano and some other guys I call frequently about, hey, tell me about this situation, tell me about this, guys that I know have no vested interest other than they’re very good friends and I respect them.”

With the Buckeyes facing more and more pressure as they reached the pinnacle in 2014 and nearly reached it again in 2015 despite injuries and a crazy quarterback situation, hiring a confidant like Schiano is also good for the mental health of Meyer.

He left Florida because of burn out and stress starting to take a physical toll on him. Having someone to take some of that pressure off of him this time around can only help keep Meyer sane and physically healthy.

With Meyer’s coaching tree growing, a return of a friend back to the coaching ranks makes an already dangerous Ohio State team even more so. Good luck figuring out a way to beat this team in 2016, especially now that Schiano comes on board.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

Buckeyes Hockey

Ohio State picked by coaches as Big Ten hockey favorite

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Last year the Ohio State Buckeyes hockey program made history by making just its second ever appearance in the Frozen Four and first since 1998. 

That finish and the returning players have impressed fellow coaches enough to name them the preseason pick to win the Big Ten. Michigan, now in the second year of the Mel Pearson era were picked second.

Last season’s regular season winner, Notre Dame, came in third in the picks this year despite a lot of returning talent in the program. 

One of college hockey’s best-known programs could be in for a rough year if fellow coaches are to be believed. That’s because Wisconsin was picked to finish sixth in the league, with only Michigan State picked behind them. 

Here’s the full list of predicted finish: 

2018-19 BIG TEN PRESEASON POLL
1.     Ohio State
2.     Michigan
3.     Notre Dame
4.     Minnesota
5.     Penn State
6.     Wisconsin
7.     Michigan State

The coaches also named Quinn Hughes (Michigan), Taro Hirose (Michigan State), Cale Morris (Notre Dame), Mason Jobst (Ohio State), Tanner Laczynski (Ohio State) and Wyatt Kalynuk (Wisconsin) unanimous picks to the preseason players to watch list. 

Overall, 15 players were mentioned on the full watch list: 

QUINN HUGHES, MICH
Josh Norris, MICH
Jake Slaker, MICH
TARO HIROSE, MSU
Patrick Khodorenko, MSU
Mitch Lewandowski, MSU
Rem Pitlick, MINN
Tyler Sheehy, MINN
CALE MORRIS, ND
MASON JOBST, OSU
Dakota Joshua, OSU
TANNER LACZYNSKI, OSU
Denis Smirnov, PSU
Nate Sucese, PSU
WYATT KALYNUK, WIS
*all caps indicates unanimous selection

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Buckeyes Football

Talking10 Podcast Episode 100: Something, something Urban Meyer

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Ohio State made its decision on Urban Meyer. Andy and Phil are here to break it all down for you and give you the truth in a hazy situation. What better way to celebrate episode 100 of the podcast than to spend 50 minutes breaking down a mess of a situation in Columbus, right?

We’ll talk our reactions to the press conference, break down the actual findings of OSU’s investigative report and we’ll even talk how the media-at-large and the OSU media handled the fallout from Wednesday night’s press conference.

Don’t forget you can listen to the podcast each week via Radio Public and other podcasting apps. 

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Twitter @talkingB1G

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Buckeyes Football

Urban Meyer and OSU AD put on suspension following investigation

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The media stakeout of the Ohio State Board of Trustee’s meeting can now end. It only took 12 hours or so, but answers finally came. 

According to multiple reports, including from the AP, OSU head coach Urban Meyer is suspended for the first three games of the season. In addition, athletic director Gene Smith will serve the same suspension from Aug. 31 to Sept. 16 — both will not receive pay during that time frame as well. 

Both came under fire as this story unfolded. It began just prior to the Big Ten media days in late July, the story that Zach Smith had been arrested for criminal trespassing in April of this year broke and Meyer fired Smith on Monday morning of the start of Big Ten media days.

Brett McMurphy then detailed in an exclusive report that Smith had previously been “arrested” back in 2015 for a second allegation of domestic abuse against his then-wife Courtney Smith. 

Meyer was questioned about that arrest and allegation from 2015 at media days and struck out against reporters repeated questioning. He would deny knowing of the arrest report back in 2015. 

However, further reporting by McMurphy put that denial in to further question and Ohio State decided to get to the bottom of it. 

Once Meyer was put on paid administrative leave, he would put a statement out admitting to knowing about the 2015 incident and alerting athletic administrators of the domestic abuse allegations. 

Meyer has stayed silent since that statement and awaited the outcome of the 14-day inquiry in to whom knew what and when and what action was taken. 

That investigation ended this past Sunday, with the committee verbally advising the Board of Trustees on Monday morning of its findings. Two days later, the Board of Trustees would come to meet publicly and then behind closed doors to discuss what would happen to Meyer and others involved in this situation. 

Meyer’s suspension is for the first three games, and on the field that is a big hit with three FBS games coming at the start of the season. OSU kicks off the year against Oregon State, plays a Big Ten contest against Rutgers and a massive game against TCU at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

We will have more on this situation and the reaction to what Meyer and Smith had to say on the talking10 Podcast tomorrow. 

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Buckeyes Football

Report: OSU to suspend Urban Meyer

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The Ohio State University board of trustees have been verbally read in on the findings of a 14-day investigation in to the conduct of football head coach Urban Meyer. 

So, what will happen next? 

According to the Columbus Dispatch, it appears a suspension or even lighter punishment is coming for Meyer:

“Two sources connected to the investigation said the likely recommendation to university President Michael V. Drake is a suspension for Meyer. Drake and the board could also opt for a ‘time served’ punishment since Meyer has been removed from football activities for more than two weeks.”

Meyer has already been on suspension (or paid administrative leave) for the better part the month of August.

The meeting on Monday was able to take place because it was an “informational meeting” and no public business was conducted. However, there is a meeting scheduled for 9a.m. on Wednesday to discuss just what punishment would be recommended. 

Ultimately it will be the university president that makes the final decision, but the board of trustees will meet to send their recommendation to President Michael V. Drake, who is likely to adhere to the recommendation of the board. 

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