[Sitting by a fire, looks up from book, removes pipe]
Welcome back to our latest installment of the BS Interview Series. You're likely saying to yourself, "Yeah, it sure is BS." And to that I say, yes, that joke is well-established. It's a pun we like to use sometimes. We're all about the BS here. And our readers are supporters of the BS. And many are BS artists themselves. But I digress.
Normally, Fridays around here are devoted to boobs. So what better day to share our interview with one of the gentlemen from an OSU blog? (I kid, I kid.) Without further ado, I'd like to thank Jason from the OSU blog Eleven Warriors for joining us for today's discussion. What follows will be hard-hitting, James Lipton-style questions and the answers from a kind chap who is a fan of a program that is beginning to make a habit of humbling everyone else all season and then getting humbled themselves in the title game.
Away we go.
Boiled Sports: So let me ask right off the start here, what did you guys think of Carson Palmer’s anti-Buckeye comments? Is the guy obligated to tolerate the Bucks or is it fine because he’s never pretended to be anything but a USC guy?
Jason of Eleven Warriors: I honestly kind of liked it. I would be just as amped if I were in his shoes and shudder to think about what I would blurt out in front of a mic, so it's hard to come down on him. I think he made some people angry with the "those fans" and "that coach" comments, but it's not like many dual-fans are going to stop rooting for him or the Bengals. It'll be really fun if USC happens to get beat, though.
BS: Seriously, what’s the deal with the sweatervest?
J,11W: Buckeye fans are blessed to have Ward Beaver patroling the sidelines. I think it's just a reflection of his conservative nature. To him, it's probably just one step shy of throwing on leather pants, so for all we know, he believes he's living on the edge.
I know some opposing fans see him as arrogant, but he's just a guy that prepares hard, works hard and measures every one of his words when speaking. In other words, characteristics I'd love to emulate more.
BS: When you think of Purdue athletics, what do you think of?
J,11W: The first thought is of a school that's usually pretty good in both major sports within conference. There are only a few teams that are doing or have consistently done both sports well -- Ohio State, Wisconsin and Purdue. Illinois could be joining the club soon, but they look to be heading South in hoops.
I think of Joe Tiller, who will always be adored by Buckeye fans for calling Michigan's new coach a snake-oil salesman. I think of Glenn Robinson, who is still to this day the most dominant college player I've ever seen. I also think of Bob Griese and cringe thinking of all of the Ohio State/Michigan games he called while his son was on the field. He could have been talking about the weather and we were calling him out for being biased.
BS: What do you guys say to people who suggest the Big Ten is weak by comparison to other “power” conferences and use OSU’s National Title game losses as evidence?
J, 11W: 2007 was tough because it shouldn't have gone down like that. The Florida win brought out some of our more vocal SEC friends and the web became a tough place for the Buckeyes and the Big Ten. Most Buckeye fans don't sweat the LSU loss. Yes, a win would have been great, but that Tiger team was the best team in the nation -- especially with all of their guys back (namely Ricky-Jean Francois). Ohio State got a shot in that game because other teams failed to take advantage of their chances. Should we apologize for that?
I do think the Big Ten is going through a down cycle. It's not as bad as some are painting it, though, but the SEC has better coaching and the conference championship game is a bonus when prepping their teams for BCS bowl games. Still, the Big Ten matches up well with the PAC 10 and Big 12 and the addition of Rodriguez and the coming schedule extension will help.
Despite all of that, it's not lost on Buckeye fans that if OSU had beaten Florida or LSU, the conference perception wouldn't be what it is (though Michigan did the Big Ten no favors in 2007).
BS: In a paragraph or two, sum up Ohio State fans feelings, expectations and hopes going into 2008.
J, 11W: Fans are cautiously optimistic. If the Buckeyes had won even one of the last two MNC games, we'd be pretty damn insufferable right about now, but because of what happened, we have to just kind of hang low and hope for the best against the Trojans. I think this is the best Buckeye team we've seen in the last decade, but there's still a good bit of worry about heading West on 9/13. If they pull that one off and take care of business in conference, we could easily see another OSU/SEC matchup in the form of Florida or Georgia.
BS: What’s more fun – beating Michigan or seeing them lose to Appalachian State?
J, 11W: I had mixed feelings about the Appalachian State game. On one hand, it was awesome, funny and one of the greatest upsets I've ever seen in my life. On the other hand, you knew that the conference was going to take a hit on it. I want to see the Wolverines undefeated heading into that last game in November every season.
BS: Best moment for you personally as a Buckeyes fan? Worst moment for you as a Buckeyes fan?
J, 11W: The best moment was the last play of the Miami game in '03. Some big runs out of Wells against Michigan the last couple of years rank up there as well. As far as the worst moment, it's a tie between that moment in both the Florida and LSU games when I realized the Buckeye defense couldn't stop the opposing offense.
BS: Do you have a college program other than your true love that you kind of have a guilty pleasure for? For example, despite all the haters, do you have a soft spot another program?
J, 11W: There are a couple of teams I enjoy rooting for. I like watching USC light it up. I like to cheer for the new teams of guys that have been run out of town unjustly, like Willingham at Washington or Solich at Ohio University. I secretly cheer for Spurrier because I think he's funny and he needs to be in the spotlight more often.
Outside of a few teams, who I cheer for normally follows this order: cheering for teams to lose that move the Buckeyes up, rooting for the Big Ten and teams on OSU's schedule to boost that SOS and then it's a toss-up between pulling for an upset and cheering for the team with the coolest uniforms or player names.
BS: Did “Holy Buckeye” cement Tressel’s status as having balls of steel?
J, 11W: What's interesting is that Jenkins wasn't the primary option on that play. Tressel was just trying to get the first down and had to pass because the running game was non-existent that day. It was typical Krenzel -- pedestrian all day until something big at the end.
BS: Most of those of us who write one of these blogsites have a steady list of sites they visit every morning. What are some favorite blogs of yours to read? List as many or as few as you’d like.
J, 11W: All of the big sites like The Wizard of Odds, MGoBlog, EDSBS and SMQ. FanHouse CFB is also a must-read. I'm a huge fan of the Big Ten Blogger feed. I know so much more about other teams in the Big Ten than I did two years ago. A few of my favorite Buckeye blogs are Our Honor Defend, Buckeye Commentary and Dotting the I. Hey Jenny Slater, Get the Picture and Orange and Blue Hue are fantastic SEC blogs. Adam Rittenberg at ESPN is taking food off of our tables, but is great. Loser With Socks is comedy gold and Big Red Network is a fine Nebraska blog.
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