Ben Axelrod is a Lead Writer covering Ohio State and College Football. Prior to joining Bleacher Report and Turner Sports in July 2014, he had covered Buckeyes football and basketball for Buckeye Sports Bulletin, Scout.com, Rivals.com, TheOzone.net and The Lantern. In addition to his duties for Bleacher Report, he serves as the Monday co-host of The Big Show on 95.5 FM The Game in Columbus with former Ohio State star Matt Finkes. Axelrod graduated from The Ohio State University in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and minor in political science.
Ben, years ago, I was in San Diego Cal. for a short stay. I was able to go to a few sports pubs during my visit. Just like sports pubs here in Florida where I currently live. I ran into a bunch of Buckeye fans, and a few alums. While gathering information from my fellow Buckeye faithful, I came to the conclusion that Buckeye Nation is very strong on the West Coast, as it is every where else nation wide. Especially here in the sunshine state.
What I' am getting at is this. Why is it that Ohio St doesn't recruit very well out west? IMO, California especially can be a gold mine for the Buckeyes. I know that there is limited scholarships each, and every year. But I know that OSU can most definitely snag some 5 star talent out there.
I give Coach Meyer all the props in the world as a recruiter. But let's face it. He's in Saban's shadow as everyone else is also. I really do believe that Cali is the difference maker for Meyer. It can really put him ahead of Saban. It can be the difference between a top 3 class every year, or the number1 class.
Buckeye Nation is strong out there. Ohio St. should be spending more time out there. Just phone calls, and offers will not cut it.
Look forward to your insight!
Ben, I have an Idea for an article I think you may enjoy.
Here's little-known wrinkle to Ohio State's championship run. The Buckeyes could wind up the season facing the three finalists for the Heisman Trophy in three consecutive games.
They just played Wisconsin and Heisman finalist, Melvin Gordon, in the B1G championship game. On January 1st, they'll go up against Amari Cooper and Alabama. And assuming the Buckeyes emerge victorious, they'll be facing the probable winner of the Rose Bowl, Oregon, and the likely Heisman winner, Marcus Mariota, in the big game.
This scenario would almost certainly be unprecedented in college football history - but its not too outlandish to consider. They're two-thirds of the way there, already. A victory over the Tide and its downright likely.
But there's another little twist. In their victory over the Badgers, OSU's Ezekial Elliott out-gained Gordon by 144 yards.
One of Alabama's most conspicuous weaknesses this season has been its defense verses the deep pass. Ohio State features one of the top deep threats in the nation with wide receiver, Devin Smith and a strong-armed quarterback with Cardale Jones.
And contrary to last season, the Buckeys have an excellent pass defense this year. If they're able to slow Cooper down enough, its not terribly hard to imagine Smith out-performing him in the Sugar Bowl.
Then there's Mariota. He is very good and deserving of the award - but historically, Heisman winners have struggled in bowls and championship games - as any Buckeye with a memory (of at least eight years) knows all too well.
With another dominating performance by the defense - help from his many talented offensive weapons and another great game from the offensive line - Jones could end up with better numbers when its all said and done.
A team nobody expected to qualify for the play-off - outperforming all three Heisman finalists consecutively, on their way to a national championship. After everything Ohio State's endured this season - that would be a fitting finish to an incredible story.
Let me know what you think -
Just wanted to let you know I enjoy your articles, Ben. Keep up the good work!
Ben, based on your objective style of writing, it would be great to see a piece on this example of hypocrisy: A large majority of the CFB nation is calling the NCAA punishment for Todd Gurley stupid, unwarranted, too harsh, and the list goes on. Most are also saying that the rule should be abolished. However, when the Buckeyes’ infamous "tattoo gate" broke, the majority of the CFB nation was calling for those players to be "burned at the stake" and had zero issue with the ensuing 5 x game suspension punishment. Some try to justify the hypocrisy by saying "It's different, Tressel lied", but that aspect of the situation had nothing to do with the punishment the NCAA delivered to the players. Why is it that harsh punishment was ok for the Bucks, but most think TG should have gotten a pass and the rule is now "stupid"? Thanks for your time. Take care.
Welcome to Bleacher report, looking forward to your articles.
From one Buckeye to another, congrats on the new position Ben and welcome to Bleacher Report. I'm a member of the breaking news team here and do an OSU basketball piece every week as well.
I graduated from Ohio State in 2010 with a journalism degree, I wonder if we had any classes together.
Good luck, and I look forward to reading more of your stuff.