Part of the Scores Report Network

Ohio State stuns Alabama

Ohio State - Sugar Bowl 2

With last night’s 42-35 stunning win over Alabama, the Buckeyes pulled off one of those wins that shook up the balance of power in college football. Just like 12 years ago when Jim Tressel’s Buckeyes ended Miami’s dynasty (they haven’t been the same since!), this year’s squad led by Urban Meyer finally helped knock the mighty SEC off its pedestal.

Here are some observations from the game:

- Finally, we have a real playoff that lets these teams settle the argument on the field. Where are all the BCS defenders today? Had we had the same system this year, we’d be stuck with an overrated Alabama team facing off against Jameis Winston and a very fortunate Florida State team. With the playoff, both Oregon and Ohio State got the opportunity to show that rankings can’t be a substitute for actual games. Eight teams would be even better, as I felt both TCU and Baylor were deserving of a shot as well, but four is much better than two!

- I have to admit I thought the Buckeyes could be done when they fell behind 21-6. The momentum was clearly with Alabama, and the Buckeyes had made critical mistakes in not scoring in the red zone and then coughing up turnovers. But the Buckeyes were moving the ball, and fortunately Cardale Jones came up big right when the Buckeyes needed him. Ohio State was facing a third and long deep in their own end, when Jones stepped up with a great throw for s first down conversion. Once the passing game opened up, then Alabama couldn’t stop the Buckeye offense and everything changed.

- For all the talk about Cardale Jones being a third-string quarterback, he’s frankly one of the most talented quarterbacks in the country with his size and golden arm. The Buckeyes were underdogs for good reason, as Jones’s inexperience was an issue up against Nick Saban’s defense. But smart analysts pointed out that his arm could change things against an Alabama secondary that was vulnerable to big plays. And that’s exactly what happened. Once Alabama had to contend with Cardale Jones throwing downfield, then they had their hands full as Ohio State was also running the ball well with Ezekiel Elliott. Urban Meyer deserves a ton of credit for coaching up Jones and getting him ready, but this Tressel recruit has an NFL-caliber arm, and with him playing like this the Buckeyes may be even better than they were with J.T. Barrett.

- The biggest revelation of the evening may have been the Ohio State defense, with Darron Lee leading the way. The young linebacker was everywhere last night, and that’s the speed that really mattered last night. The Buckeyes are loaded with athletes on defense. They’re young as hell and they’re coming off a disastrous 2013 season when they couldn’t stop anybody, but not the kids are growing up and they came up big last night. It’s this talent on defense that gives Ohio State a real shot against the great Marcus Mariota and the Oregon offense. We know the Buckeyes can score, but they may have the best defense Oregon will have faced all year. That one should be fun!

- Obviously, the Ohio State offensive line played a huge role as well. Those kids are also young, and they were overmatched early in the season. But they grew up quickly and last night they dominated against mighty Alabama.

- Finally, let’s not kid ourlseves – the SEC isn’t going anywhere. Despite their miserable performance during this bowl season, the SEC is still loaded with talent and great coaches. But last night’s win for the Buckeyes coupled with an SEC West meltdown will finally end some of the ridiculous hype where you had idiots like Skip Bayless saying four SEC West teams belonged in the playoff. Urban Meyer is leading a resurgent Big Ten that had huge wins by Wisconsin and Michigan State, and Meyer made sure his players knew about those games heading into last night. With Ohio State’s talent and youth, the Buckeyes will be the team getting the benefit of the doubt in the near future, regardless of what happens against Oregon.

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates.

Buckeyes beat Wisconsin; J.J. Watt loses a bet!

Here’s J.J. Watt sporting some Ohio State gear after he lost a bet with John Simon. Watt destroyed the Buckeyes when he played for Wisconsin and the Badgers sure could have used him last Saturday as the Buckeyes rolled his former team on their way to the College Football Playoff. Nice!

Lebron flat in opening loss

Well that was a buzzkill.

Lebron James is a great player, but we’ve all known for years that he doesn’t always react well to pressure. We all remember the Boston meltdown here in Cleveland, even if the national media chose to ignore it. Then of course we had Lebron’s Finals “performance” against the Dallas Mavericks.

Of course, we’ve also seen Lebron when he gets angry and plays like a beast.

Lebron lets the moment get to him sometimes, and unfortunately that happened again last night. With all the hype and hero-worship centered around his return, Lebron had a lot on his mind and it showed. He was terrible last night. He couldn’t shoot and rarely got aggressive on the offensive end. He had eight turnovers!

Of course, this is a new team, and Lebron thrives on working with and setting up his teammates. They’re still learning how to play together, so the inevitable mistakes just made Lebron even less comfortable as the night progressed.

It’s one game. This team will learn how to play together, and the only thing that matters is how they play together next spring in the playoffs and hopefully the Finals.

Cleveland will rock tonight at season starts for Cavs

The journey begins tonight, and Nike kicks it off with a pretty awesome Lebron James commercial focused on the city of Cleveland.

Lebron has been all business so far and has focused more on the challenges ahead versus the idea of being home. But with this ad he reiterates the ultimate goal – a championship for the city of Cleveland.

Bill Simmons looks forward to Cavs home games

Bill Simmons returned from his ESPN suspension with his annual NBA rankings, and this comment caught my attention:

[E]very 2015 Cavs home game is going to be appointment viewing. Even the ones against Philly and Utah. Everyone forgets how fantastic their home games were in 2009 and 2010, how much energy ripped through that building every night, and how LeBron always seemed to feed off his hometown peeps. They went 39-2 at home in 2009 with inferior talent, a clueless coach and a roster that couldn’t do 40 percent of the stuff that this 2015 Cavs team can do. These LeBron 2.0 home games are going to be a borderline religious experience. I really believe that. It’s just one of many reasons why they’re our 2015 League Pass champs.

The “clueless coach” line cracked me up. I still can’t believe I actually supported the idea of Mike Brown coming back here in 2013. While he was clueless in 2009 as Simmons pointed out, some of us didn’t realize just how bad Brown could be as a head coach until last season, which is one of the worst coaching jobs I’ve ever seen in Cleveland (and that’s saying something!).

In his article, Simmons also raves about David Blatt, so let’s hope he’s right about that one. So far Blatt is living up to his reputation as an innovative coach.