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Monday, January 3, 2011

NFL Play-Off Pairings and Schedule - Buckeyes Know their Record vs the SEC - Fans not "Buying" Pryor's Use of Cars

NFL playoff schedule

AFC wild-card round
SAT., JAN. 8

No. 6 New York Jets (11-5) at No. 3 Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
Lucas Oil Stadium, 8 p.m. ET, NBC
AFC East blog

SUN., JAN. 9

No. 5 Baltimore Ravens (12-4) at No. 4 Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)

Arrowhead Stadium, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
AFC North blog

AFC divisional round
SAT., JAN. 15

Highest remaining seed at No. 2 Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
Heinz Field, 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS
AFC North blog

SUN., JAN. 16

Lowest remaining seed at No. 1 New England Patriots (14-2)
Gillette Stadium, 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS
AFC East blog

AFC Championship Game
SUNDAY, JAN. 23
Divisional round winners at highest remaining seed
Site TBD, 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS
NFL Nation blog
NFC wild-card round
SAT., JAN. 8

No. 5 New Orleans Saints (11-5) at No. 4 Seattle Seahawks (7-9)
Qwest Field, 4:30 p.m. ET, NBC
NFC West blog

SUN., JAN. 9

No. 6 Green Bay Packers (10-6) at No. 3 Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
Lincoln Financial Field, 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX
NFC East blog

NFC divisional round
SAT., JAN. 15

Lowest remaining seed at No. 1 Atlanta Falcons (13-3)
Georgia Dome, 8 p.m. ET, FOX
NFC South blog

SUN., JAN. 16

Highest remaining seed at No. 2 Chicago Bears (11-5)
Soldier Field, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
NFC North blog

NFC Championship Game
SUNDAY, JAN. 23
Divisional round winners at highest remaining seed
Site TBD, 3 p.m. ET, FOX
NFL Nation blog
Super Bowl XLV
SUNDAY, FEB. 6

AFC champion vs. NFC champion
Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas, 6:30 p.m. ET, FOX





Buckeyes Know Their Record Against the SEC
Good article by Mark on the bucks and the sec

By Mark Schlabach
ESPN.com

Ohio State has one of the richest traditions in college football. The Buckeyes are one of only eight teams to win 800 games. They've won seven national championships. And most recently, they've won at least a share of six consecutive Big Ten titles. The No. 6 Buckeyes take a 0-9 record against SEC teams in bowl games into Tuesday night's Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, where they'll play No. 8 Arkansas, another SEC opponent.

"O-H-I-O!"

How about: "O-H-N-O?"

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is responsible for the Buckeyes' last three losses against SEC teams, falling to South Carolina in the 2002 Outback Bowl and then Florida and LSU in the 2007 and '08 BCS National Championship Games, respectively.

"I know personally I have lost three in a row against the SEC," Tressel said. "I'm not tired of hearing about it. It's a reminder to me of just how good the SEC is in football."

SEC teams were good on New Year's Day this season, shutting out the Big Ten for the first time since 2002.

And SEC teams have been really good against Ohio State in the postseason.

The Buckeyes first played an SEC team in a bowl game after the 1977 season. In a matchup of two of the sport's iconic coaches in the 1978 Sugar Bowl, Paul "Bear" Bryant directed Alabama to a 35-6 victory over the Buckeyes, who were coached by Woody Hayes.

More than a decade later, Ohio State lost to Auburn 31-14 in the 1990 Hall of Fame Bowl. Then came three straight losses to SEC teams in the Citrus Bowl: 21-14 to Georgia in 1993, 24-17 to Alabama in 1995, and 20-14 to Tennessee in 1996.

South Carolina defeated the Buckeyes two straight times in the Outback Bowl, 24-7 in John Cooper's final game as OSU coach in 2001 and 31-28 in Tressel's first season in '02.


I know personally I have lost three in a row against the SEC. I'm not tired of hearing about it. It's a reminder to me of just how good the SEC is in football.

-- Ohio State coach Jim Tressel
"The past is what it is," Ohio State guard Bryant Browning said. "There is nothing you can do about that. But this year is a new year. I was here for a couple of games and sometimes we were not performing at our best."





Terrelle Pryor thinks you're stupid
Full disclosure: I want to believe in Ohio State. I live in Ohio, my two kids will attend college most likely in Ohio, and my goal is that they attend Ohio State.

So this question is not coming from a Buckeyes basher when I ask the following:

How stupid does Terrelle Pryor think we are?

The memorabilia he sold, against NCAA rules, basically got a free pass from me. Seriously, check out my reaction to the story that Pryor and four teammates would be suspended next season, but be allowed to play Tuesday night in the Sugar Bowl. I loved that reaction from the NCAA. If my reaction was pro-Ohio State, so be it. I'm an Ohio guy, and my initial thoughts were of other Ohio residents.

But this story ...

This car story ...

Complete garbage. Everything about it stinks, from the alleged NCAA crime to the announced excuse. All of it. Garbage.

In a nutshell, Pryor has a habit of getting his hands on cars -- nice cars -- from Columbus-area dealerships, and then getting caught speeding in them. Someone smarter than me, please figure out the odds on that:

Pryor has these cars -- nice cars -- for a day or two, and without fail, he gets caught speeding. In that tiny, day-or-two window of time.

Every time.

Garbage.

I don't believe it. Sorry, I don't. I don't believe Pryor had those cars for only a day or two. I don't believe the car dealer. I don't believe Ohio State. I don't believe any of you.

I still want my kids to go to Ohio State. But at the moment, I want Terrelle Pryor to turn pro after the Sugar Bowl. Don't come back next season. I can live with you avoiding punishment for your memorabilia "ignorance."

But I'm not sure I can stomach the sight of you in an OSU uniform in 2011. That'll be my kids' school, you know. And Terrelle Pryor is starting to make me sick.







No NCAA violation found in Pryor using loaned cars

Three times in the past three years, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was stopped for traffic violations while driving cars that were owned by a car salesman or a Columbus used-car lot where the salesman worked, according to traffic citations obtained by The Dispatch.

Ohio State is aware of two of those infractions, and an investigation determined nothing improper had occurred, said Doug Archie, associate athletic director for compliance. He was unaware of an incident that occurred in October 2008 and said yesterday that he would investigate it.

In that incident, Pryor was ticketed for speeding in eastern Ohio's Guernsey County, driving a 2004 GMC Denali that belonged to car salesman Aaron Kniffin when he said he worked for the Jack Maxton dealership.

This past March, Pryor was stopped for speeding in Licking County with a 2009 Dodge that is registered to Auto Direct of Columbus, a used-car dealership on E. Dublin-Granville Road where Kniffin worked. A week later, Pryor was pulled over in Columbus for a different infraction, driving the same Dodge.

Ohio State knew about Pryor's use of the car while he had the engine in his own car replaced this past spring and was assured that every customer receives a loaner when extended repairs like that are necessary, Archie said.

Pryor told The Dispatch last night that he borrowed cars from the dealership only when his own was in for repairs and that he spoke with Kniffin only in those instances. As for the SUV he borrowed in 2008, Pryor said, "I wanted advice from some of my family and friends I trusted to see if it would be a good vehicle for me to maybe buy."
Test driving or borrowing a car is not in itself a violation of NCAA rules. However, use of a car because of an athlete's status could be considered an improper benefit.

Ohio State examined the relationship between its athletes and Auto Direct in July after receiving an anonymous letter saying that employees were trading use of cars for autographed memorabilia. Archie concluded that there were no NCAA violations.

Kniffin and Auto Direct owner Jason Goss said they have had no improper dealings with Pryor and work closely with Ohio State when athletes buy cars from them. Both said Pryor has never purchased a car from them.
"Everything we do is aboveboard," Goss said. "We're in compliance with the compliance department."

Kniffin said that while working at Maxton he allowed Pryor to drive his SUV to his hometown in Pennsylvania so that his mother could check it out. Pryor did not buy the vehicle. Kniffin also said he arranged for Pryor to use the 2009 Dodge while Pryor's car was being repaired.

"I personally do not do anything that's not aboveboard," Kniffin said. "Under no circumstances did somebody get something they didn't pay for."

About two dozen autographed jerseys hang inside Auto Direct's office, including those from Pryor, running back Daniel Herron and receiver DeVier Posey. A number of autographs have been scribbled on the walls.

Pryor said he doesn't remember the circumstances of him signing his jersey, but "I sign a lot of stuff for Buckeye fans - I don't like to turn down fans. But I don't do it to get any favors or discounts."

Ohio State requires athletes to report details about their cars at the beginning of every year, including the purchase price and co-signers. They also must report any purchases immediately.

Pryor currently drives a black Dodge Charger that he bought used from a lot in his hometown (Jeannette) in 2009, Archie said. Even before Pryor stepped on campus in 2008, he said the NCAA had examined the car he was driving at the time because he was a high-profile recruit.

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