Mike Nugent is Living the Dream!

September 30th, 2010

Mike Nugent is living the dream of a Dayton kid. The dream of watching your two favorite football teams growing up – the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cincinnati Bengals – and hoping to play for both teams someday. Not only is he able to play for both of them, but he has been a superstar for both teams.

As a kicker at Ohio State, he broke or tied 22 records, including the most points by any player at OSU.  He was a consensus All-American and he won the Lou Groza award in 2004, as the nation’s top kicker.  He also became the first Buckeye kicker in history to earn team MVP (Wikipedia). 

The past several football seasons had been sub-par for Nugent until he recently signed with the Bengals back in April.  Since signing with the Bengals, he is having a breakout season so far.  In Week 2, he led the Bengals offense by making all 5 field goals in a 15-10 victory over the Ravens.  Nugent is off to an excellent start with the Bengals and was named AFC Offensive Special Teams Player of the Month.

Dayton Flyers 2009-2010 Season Still A Success

April 3rd, 2010

The Dayton Flyers closed out their season by winning the 2010 NIT Championship against last year’s defending NCAA national champion North Carolina.  Dayton played well in the NIT and defeated Cincinnati, Illinois, Ole Miss, and UNC – 4 teams from the power conferences of the Big East, Big 10, SEC and ACC on national televison. 

Despite Dayton not meeting pre-season expectations, the team really redeemed themselves by winning the NIT tournament.  Winning the NIT was just as good as making it to the 2nd round or Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.  In fact, seniors Marcus Johnson and Kurt Huelsman played their best basketball of the season in the NIT tournament.   This maybe the last year they have the NIT before combining it with the NCAA tournament and Dayton could be remembered as the last team to win the NIT tournament.  I don’t know if the black uniforms had anything to do with their success, but I think the Flyers should continue to wear those black uniforms every game next season.

Very few college basketball teams end their season in April with a victory and I can say that I am proud of the Dayton Flyer Basketball team.

Buckeyes Rose Bowl Flashback

December 28th, 2009

“>

The last time the Ohio State Buckeyes played in the Rose Bowl was against Arizona State on January 1, 1997. I remember I was eight years old when I watched the game and started to cry when Arizona State scored the go-ahead touchdown with less than 2 minutes to go as players celebrated on the sidelines as if they had won the game.  My dad assured me that Ohio State was going to drive down the field and win the game.   He was right.  With the help of some pass interference calls, QB Joe Germaine drove the Buckeyes down the field and found David Boston in the end zone for the game winning touchdown.  I have followed Ohio State football for about 15 years now and I definitely rank this game as a top 10 game, a top 10 finish and one of the greatest moments of Ohio State football. 

I hope Ohio State can end their three game bowl losing streak and finish off the season with a win against a top team on the national stage at the Rose Bowl and send their seniors off with a bowl win.  I see the 3 point underdog Buckeyes winning in double digits against Oregon in Pasadena on Friday.

Flyers and Buckeyes and Bengals! Oh My!

November 16th, 2009

 It was a great weekend for my favorite teams that I follow. 

The #21/22 Dayton Flyers tipped off the season at home in a high scoring contest beating the Creighton Blue Jays 90-80 on Saturday afternoon.  One can conclude from the game that Chris Johnson is a basketball stud (18 pts and 15 rebounds) and we can expect to see big things from him this year. 

Later in the day, the Ohio State Buckeyes beat Iowa 27-24 at home in an overtime thriller.  The win for the Buckeyes clinched a fifth straight Big 10 football title and a trip back to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl for the first time in thirteen years. 

On Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 18-12 to give them sole possesion of first place in the division and an undefeated record against division opponents.  The Bengals improved their record to 7-2 and we can keep our hopes up for the playoffs and a shot at playing in the Super Bowl. 

In summary, it was an exciting and victorious weekend for the Flyers, Buckeyes and Bengals.

Another Loss on the National Stage

September 15th, 2009

The #8 Ohio State Buckeyes football team had another disappointing loss on the national stage Saturday night losing to the #3 USC Trojans 18-15 at home at the Horseshoe in a record-setting crowd of over 106,000 fans.  This is the Buckeyes sixth loss in a row on the national stage against a top 5 team.  There are three things I can conclude from this game. 

The first thing I can conclude from the game is the poor play calling and coaching by Jim Tressel and offensive coordinator Jim Bollman.  On the drive at the end of the first quarter, the Buckeyes have the ball on 2nd and goal on the USC 2 yard line and the play is to give the ball to Herron to run up the middle two times in a row with no gain and 1 yard gain.  How many times did the Buckeyes run that same play throughout the game and Herron only gain a yard or get stuffed at the line of scrimmage?  Now it is 4th and goal on the 1 yard line, instead of opting to go for the touchdown like USC did in the same scenario on its first possesion of the game(and it succeeded), the Buckeyes chose to kick a field goal instead to make the game 10-7.  Also do Tressel and Bollman realize that Pryor isn’t a natural dropback passer and they need to make plays better suited for him to roll out and scramble more?   There was another poor coaching call that was very critical in the fourth quarter.  Coach Tressel opted to play it conservative by punting the ball instead of deciding to try and kick the 53 yard field goal to make the score 18-10.  Kicker Aaron Pettrey has the leg to kick a 50 yard + field goal.  Last week he made a field goal from about the same distance against Navy. 

 osu-lost-to-usc.jpg

The next thing is poor execution by Pryor and the offense.  The defense played above average in the game, however, Pryor and the offense did not.  Pryor even admitted that he takes the blame for it.  He had a sub-mediocre game completing less than half of his passes for 11-of-25 for 177 yards 0 touchdowns and 1 interception.  Pryor couldn’t see any receivers open and he couldn’t even see Brutus open on the sidelines.  The 1 interception he threw was crucial because USC almost ran it back for a touchdown.  USC capitalized and scored a touchdown off of the turnover that Pryor gave to them.  The Buckeyes had first and goal two times in the game and could not execute with a touchdown on the two series, instead they kicked two field goals.  In the second half, the Buckeyes offense only scored 3 points.  If the offense executes, the Buckeyes win this game by at least 10 or more points. 

The final thing is that OSU needs to change its coaching and strategy to win these games on the national stage.  The Buckeyes played, but they didn’t play to win.  If the Buckeyes play to win against a top 5 team, they need to take more risks like going for the 53 yard field goal and going for the touchdown on fourth and goal at the 1.  In other words, they need to be a little less conservative with the play calling against top 5 teams.  Some of the coaching changes could be bringing in a new offensive coordinator or changing the offensive plays to better suit Pryor and his natural athletic abilities.  There is a Bucknuts discussion poll question, “Do you approve or disapprove the way Jim Tressel is handling his job as head coach?”  Out of 82 respondents, only 34% approve of the way Jim Tressel is handling his job as head coach, while 62% disapprove of the way he is handling his job as head coach.  Jim Tressel’s conservative style of play may get him wins against other teams, but when it comes to the top competition on the national stage he needs to alter his conservative style of play.

Flyers and Raiders Schedule Not Great; Bring Back the Gem City Jam

August 29th, 2009

The Dayton Flyers and Wright State Raiders men’s basketball teams both released their upcoming schedule last month for the 2009-2010 season.  This is the link to the Dayton Flyers schedule and the Wright State Raiders basketball schedule.  Both of their schedules are pretty mediocre. 

I don’t understand why the two Dayton area teams don’t schedule to play each other annually.  The Dayton Flyers and Wright State Raiders women’s basketball teams have scheduled each other this season.  In the last few seasons, they both have scheduled the Miami Redhawks, another local area team.  In the city of Cincinnati, Xavier and UC always have a fierce rivalry every season in the annual Crosstown Shootout.  Wright State and Dayton should bring back the Gem City Jam.  The last time the Gem City Jam was played was back in the late 90’s. 

Brian Trent does an excellent job articulating why they won’t bring back the matchup in Letter to the Editor, Bring Back the Gem City Jam as well as the benefits of having the two schools play each other. 

Here is a breakdown of the RPI of Wright State and Dayton over the last decade:

Year        Dayton   Wright State
2000         43           224
2001          72           122
2002          63          128
2003         13           237
2004         40          163
2005         125         174
2006         183        179
2007           72          75
2008          33          86
2009          27          93

Average RPI of Current Head Coches

UD Coach Brian Gregory(6 seasons 04-09): RPI 80 vs WSU Coach Brad Brownell (3 seasons 07-09): RPI 84.66

Average RPI in last 3 years(2007-2009): UD: 44  WSU: 84.66

Average RPI in last 5 years (2005-2009): UD: 108  WSU: 121.4

Average RPI in last 10 years (2000-2009): UD: 67.1  WSU: 148.1

As one can see, Wright State’s average RPI has increased over the decade and WSU had a similar average RPI as Dayton did in the last 5 seasons.  

In my opinion, I personally believe that the Dayton Flyer athletic director and some (not all) Dayton Flyer fans have an anxiety that there is too much on the line – their popularity and superiority over the Wright State Raiders – if they play each season in the Gem City Jam.  They also feel they have nothing to gain and more to lose by playing the Raiders. 

The only way I see Dayton scheduling Wright State is when the Raiders start making it to the NCAA tournament.  Wright State has the potential to do that with Head Coach Brad Brownell who has coached the Raiders to three 20 win seasons – their 2007 season being an NCAA tournament season.

No LeBron, but Kobe Could Do Without Shaq

June 15th, 2009

The anticipation of the Cleveland Cavaliers versus the Los Angles Lakers  matchup in the NBA Finals or AKA the LeBron vs Kobe finals disappeared back in the end of May when the Orlando Magic defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in 6 games in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

lebron-losing.jpg 

                                                                                                                                      kobe-champion.jpg

 

This was a very disappointing finish for Cleveland (66-16) who had the best Eastern Conference regular season record and best regular season record of any team in the NBA.  This was also the best record Cleveland has had since Lebron joined the Cavs and the NBA.  The Cavaliers were expected to contend in the NBA finals and were not even Eastern Conference Champions.  The Cleveland Cavaliers personnel can now only be pondering what went wrong? What do we do now in the offseason?  There have been new rumors about Shaq heading to Cleveland.  I don’t think the move is a good idea because Shaq is at the end of his career and the move won’t help the Cavs win a championship.

After the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics last year in the NBA finals, Shaq came up with a rap called Kobe Couldnt Do Without Me.  The rap talks about how Kobe couldn’t win a championship without Shaq, but Kobe proved Shaq wrong this year in the NBA finals after the Lakers beat the Magic in 5 games and Kobe won the NBA Finals MVP to tie Shaq with 4 championships.

Columbus Blue Jackets Make Playoffs for First Time in Franchise History

April 13th, 2009

          blue-jackets-playoffs.jpg

The Columbus Blue Jackets became an NHL franchise in the 2000-2001 season and have endured consecutive losing seasons until this year.  For the first time in their entire franchise history, not only did the Columbus Blue Jackets have their first winning season this year, but they also managed to clinch a playoff spot for the #7 seed in the Western Conference Standings. 

The Blue Jackets finished the regular season tied for third place with St Louis in the Central Divison with a 41-31-10 record and 92 points.  The Blue Jackets are the #7 seed and will play the #2 seed Detroit Redwings in a best-of-7 series starting with Game 1 in Detroit on Thursday night.  Game 2 will be Saturday night in Detroit.  Game 3 and 4 comes back to Columbus on Tuesday and Thursday night. 

The Detroit Red Wings finished in first place in the Central Divison.  Detroit has always been a power-house in hockey and this will be a tough matchup for Columbus.  I predict the Blue Jackets lose the series in 5 games.  Even if the Blue Jackets get swept or lose the series, the hockey team and personnel can be proud of the Blue Jackets success and improvement this season and how far they have come as a franchise.

Buckeyes Fall in Double Overtime to Siena

March 21st, 2009

The Ohio State Buckeyes lost a heartbreaker in a 74-72 double overtime thriller to the Siena Saints Friday night at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. 

osu-vs-siena.jpg

Even if the Buckeyes had won Friday night, I still think they would lose to Louisville in the second round.  The way the Buckeyes play slow-tempo, out-of-synch on offense, zone-defense the whole game, and how they had trouble handling the zone trap from Siena, no way would they have a chance against the defensive pressure and the uptempo of #1 seed Louisville.

Overall, the Buckeyes can be proud of another 20 win season and another NCAA tournament appearance and can look forward to another season with the same players (no graduating seniors this year) that will have more expereince playing together.  Hopefully next year, they will be a better team than this year’s team and can make a run in the NCAA tournament. 


Ohio State vs Siena @ Rivals Video

Dayton Upsets West Virginia to Advance to the 2nd Round

March 21st, 2009

For the first time in 19 years, the Dayton Flyers will be playing in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament. The last time the Flyers advanced to the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament was in 1990 when they beat Illinois 88-86, before losing to Arkansas 86-84 in the second round.  

The #11 seed Dayton Flyers upset the #6 seed West Virginia Mountaineers 68-60 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota Friday afternoon and set themselves up with a second round date with last years defending national champion, the #3 seed Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday at 2:30PM.

       dayton-vs-west-virginia.jpg

Dayton was nine point underdogs and played a great game and suprised most people.  In fact, only 16% of Yahoo Tourney Pickem users chose Dayton to win against West Virginia.  The Flyers played great defense, made critical baskets and free throws down the stretch to hold off a Mountaineers comeback. 

If Dayton defeats Kansas on Sunday, they will play the winner of the Michigan State/USC game next week in Indianapolis in the Sweet Sixteen.  Dayton is going into the game again as nine point underdogs, but I think the Flyers will play well and pull off the upset.  

Maybe in this years NCAA tournament, Dayton can be the George Mason of 2006 and make it to the Final Four.


West Virginia vs Dayton @ Rivals Video