Another beautiful Monday

Though there was frost on the grass and card windows this morning, the sun is shining on a beautiful autumn morning. The colors of the leaves are breath-takingly sharp hues of red, orange, yellow and green. Ohio University’s campus looks like a montage of photos taken for calendars — it’s THAT pretty.

Ohio State losing to Purdue was that pretty, too.

It’s not that I hate the players at Ohio State, or Jim Tressel, or the Buckeyes. As a matter of fact, former AD Andy Geiger is a great man (who happens to live in Washington state.) What I can’t stand is the disillusionment of the fans. (And, to be fair, I don’t like disillusioned fans from anywhere.) But Ohio State’s fans are more disillusioned than most and they cry harder and louder to AP voters, to radio talkshow hosts, on the Web, etc.

Who’s cryin’ after a butt-spankin’ to Purdue, I wonder?

After spending a couple weeks waa-waaing about how Cincinnati was (deservedly) ranked higher than Ohio State, the Buckeyes’ fans watched their team play a lackluster game against what was considered the worst team in the Big Ten, Purdue.

But here’s the thing I’m noticing — Tressel & Co. aren’t getting the most out of Terrelle Pryor. They’re reining this kid in, instead of letting him use his gifts (uh, his legs.) I’d go so far as to suggest Pryor would have been better off at Michigan where Rich Rodriguez would be turning him into a Pat White-type of player. The Buckeyes — and most of the Big Ten for that matter — are stuck in football purgatory. The days of three yards and a cloud of dust are long gone and it is time to adapt. My God, even the Pittsburgh Steelers are slinging the ball all over the yard and utilizing smaller, faster defenders to eat up the opponents.

The New York Times’ Pete Thamel tweeted Saturday after Ohio State’s loss that the defeat “takes the Big Ten from irrelevant to non-existent.” I concur… Next…

* I watched the first half of the Washington-Arizona State game, but have to admit I fell asleep during halftime and didn’t wake up until there about five minutes left in the game. And, well, that was pretty much all I needed to see.

The Huskies are so much better than they were a year ago. They have more spirit, they have a fighting chance and that is exciting. But there is one thing they don’t have — a good defense.

This program hasn’t had a good defense since before I covered the team. Saturday’s game-winning play for ASU was simply a good call by the Sun Devils coaching staff and the kind of lapse in the secondary Huskies fans have been watching for years.

I’m not going to pick on Nate Williams because here is the fact of the matter: He isn’t fast enough to be doing what he is trying to do.

The Huskies are going to have a hard time pulling out a bowl berth. At this point, I’d be awfully surprised if they do. But this team surprised the hell out of me when it beat USC, so I’m not counting out.

I love Steve Sarkisian’s and Nick Holt’s enthusiasm and belief. I also love to see them trying to make the plays Pac-10 players should be making. But if Tyrone Willingham ever said anything that made sense — and, well, it wasn’t often that he did — he did when he said there just aren’t enough bullets in the gun right now.

* I have to get to back into class, but I’ll have more later today… At Sam Bellezza’s request, some local color, and some memories of a Homecoming night on Court Street to come…


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