First Annual McKnoe Awards

Buckeye CommentarySenior Analyst IAugust 5, 2009

HOLLYWOOD - JULY 16:  Ohio State Buckeye's Jim Tressel  (C), Craig Crenzel and  Michael  Jenkins accept the award for 'Best Game' onstage during the 2003 ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre July 16, 2003 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

As a lead in to the 2009 Ohio State football season, Buckeye Commentary takes a look back at the 2008 Ohio State Buckeye football season. Poe lays down the law and delivers 6 very, very real awards for the 2008 season.

Offensive Touchdowns Are Overrated Award

Malcolm Jenkins Blocks a Punt vs. Purdue

Why It Was Nominated: The only play really worth watching in the 16-3 snoozefest. Just one week after scoring the winning touchdown in Madison, Wis., Terrelle Pryor led the anemic Buckeye offense to 222 yards of offense, or roughly one quarter of a Big 12 football game.

Malcolm Jenkins proved he was the game changer everyone knew he was and freshman Etienne Sabino was able to capitalize for seven points. It happened in the first quarter, before you fell asleep.

Why It Won: At least the box score recorded a touchdown of some sort.

Also Nominated: Games against USC and Penn State.

White Men Can't Jump Award

Chris Wells Hurdles Illinois Safety Donsay Hardeman

Why It Was Nominated: In the sequel to “Beanie Wells Hurdles Minnesota Defender”, Beanie Wells stars as high-flying self. Wells turned what was a quality run into a screenshot for the ages by hurdling over a Hardeman. Hardeman would have had a shot had he not closed his eyes like he was peering into a solar eclipse.

After the run, Hardeman jumped on a tackled Wells and congratulated him* for being nominated for this award. The only thing more embarrassing would have been if the announcers could have got the right player. [*may or may not have happened]

Why It Won: The Boeckman Bounce off the turf against USC was a close second.

Also Nominated: Beanie Wells Hurdles Minnesota Defender, Beanie Hop Against MSU.

That Was a Quarterback?!?! Award

Terrelle Pryor Gives Minnesota Linebacker a Free Ride

Why It Was Nominated: After being accused of running “soft” by the Minnesota bench, Terrelle Pryor launched Minnesota LBer Rex Sharpe 10 yards out of bounds. Offensive players around the nation realized that they are lucky he’s on offense. Pryor finished it off with a couple thank yous and you’re welcomes.

Sharpe could not be reached for comment, nor did we try.

Why It Won: As Glenn Mason noted, it’s possibly the first time a QB could have been called for unnecessary roughness. Fire, passion, and the desire to prove people wrong are good qualities of a QB.

Also Nominated: Todd Boeckman to Terrelle Pryor, Terrelle Pryor Blocking Downfield.

Annual Beatdown of Northwestern Award

Ohio Beats Northwestern 45-10

Why It Was Nominated: In the almost annual thumping of Northwestern, Ohio State proved that not even an anemic offense could be stopped by Northwestern. It was more shocking this year because Northwestern was above average (and should have beat Big 12 title contender Missouri).

Jim Tressel obviously despises Northwestern for beating OSU in 2004 and will not stop until reparations are paid in full. Unfortunately, the Cats aren’t on the schedule in 2009, so how can we present the award? One word: Indiana.

Why It Won: Unfortunately, Ohio State plays Northwestern only once per year. This year wasn’t quite as laughable as the 45 first half points administered by OSU in 2007.

Also Nominated: Michigan State 45-7, Youngstown State 43-0.

Hey, at Least We're Not Michigan Award

Ohio State Survives Ohio

Why It Was Nominated: The “Jim Tressel Doesn’t Want to Open The Playbook for USC” excuse worked for at least a week, until OSU actually played USC. The second game of the season (and first game without Beanie Wells) proved that maybe the Big Ten doesn’t understand offense all that well.

Trailing 7-6 at half time, Ohio State was engaged in a battle with the Bobcats from Athens and Boo Jackson, their QB, who seemingly only made plays when he had to. A Brandon Saine TD a Ray Small punt return for TD, and the Play of the Season Award nominee fumble recovery by Shaun Lane sealed the deal for the Buckeyes.

Why It Won: Ohio State’s line might have been in a pillow fight against Ohio, but at least Ohio State wins games against the MAC. Michigan? Notsomuch.

Also Nominated: Northwestern Beats Michigan, Toledo Beats Michigan, Michigan Goes 3-9 and Bowl-less.

Play of the Season Award

Quan Cosby Takes It To The House For The Win With 16 Seconds Left

Why It Was Nominated: Hardly satisfying, isn’t it? In a way, that’s the perfect description for the season. From preseason top-three to tainted by USC and Penn State, the 2008 season will always be described as “well, it happened”.

There were plenty of great plays and some not so great plays. Rather than lay down as they had several times before, Ohio State came roaring back to take the lead against the "Should Have Been Playing for the National Championship” Longhorns on a Terrelle Pryor touchdown catch, and an all too easy Boom Herron touchdown run.

With aid from a few interesting calls from the referees, Texas was creeping down the field with the clock wearing down. Then, as decried by the football gods, Ohio State’s last line of defense Anderson Russell was struck down by the Ghost of Vince Young. Jim Tressel could easily be 3-0 against Mack Brown but, alas, he’s not.

Why It Won: Would it have felt good to beat Texas? Sure. Would it have made sense? Hardly. After Florida, LSU, and USC, sending the seniors and juniors out with a win just wasn’t in the football gods’ plans.

Also Nominated: Shaun Lane Wins the Battle of Ohio, Terrelle Pryor Becomes a Man in Madison, Terrelle Pryor TD Catch, OSU Goes up 3-0 on USC.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.