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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Herman’

No. 21: Ohio State

Not that Luke Fickell didn’t have his hands full. And not that this wasn’t one of the youngest Ohio State teams in recent memory. And not that the team, planning on having Terrelle Pryor and company in the fold in time for the heart of Big Ten play, wasn’t thrown a loop when the old guard didn’t ride into town and save the day in October. But there’s one fact that can’t be ignored: not counting the forfeited season of 2010, Ohio State finished with a losing record for the first time since 1988 and for only the second time since 1967. The slide was inevitable, perhaps, and so was the glee with which it was greeted by the rest of the Big Ten. Here’s guessing that Ohio State will have the last laugh: Enter Urban Meyer — and you can hear the collective giggles over Ohio State’s slide catch in the collective throat of the Big Ten.

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    No. 81: Iowa State

    How does Iowa State win games? As a whole, the program has brought in only 10 four-star recruits since the 2003 recruiting cycle, according to Rivals.com. In comparison, Texas, a team Iowa State beat on the road in 2010, signed 15 four-star recruits on this winter’s national signing day alone. The program has not finished better than second-to-last in the Big 12 team recruiting rankings since 2004. There’s little that would lead one to believe that Iowa State, with little in its corner, could hang with the programs to which life comes easy. But there’s coaching. Grit, perhaps? An underdog mentality tinged with a devil-may-care attitude, one that leads I.S.U. to engage its heavily-favored conference foes with guerrilla warfare, sneaking through the back door to win five, six, seven games. When the dust clears, the rest of the Big 12 asks the following question: How did Iowa State win six games? Sometimes, a team will ask: How did Iowa State beat us? If there was a way to bottle moxie, you’d see a picture of Paul Rhoads and the Cyclones on the label.

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      The Countdown

      A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.