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Sports Then and Now



Archie Griffin: Two-Time Heisman Winner 1

Posted on December 09, 2012 by Dean Hybl

Archie Griffin

The December Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is the only football player ever to capture college football’s top individual award twice.

As a star running back for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Archie Griffin claimed the Heisman Trophy during his junior season in 1974 and then was able to repeat the honor the following season. Read the rest of this entry →

Fearless Zultan Predicts College Football Winners in Week 6 34

Posted on October 05, 2011 by JA Allen

Iowa State self destructed last week.

It was an agonizing week for the all-seeing seer as four of his ten picks went South on October 1.

In retrospect, Zultan offers these occult words of wisdom to the Iowa State Cyclones, “In the future, if you are going to shoot yourself in the foot, do not use a sub machine gun.”

Prior to the Texas vs. Iowa State debacle, Arkansas came back to thwart Texas A & M as the Aggies failed by five points. Zultan could not believe his eyes as he watched A&M’s second collapse in a row. Someone must tell the Aggies that the game lasts 60 minutes, not 45.

Even playing in Columbus, Ohio State could only hold on, losing by three. It could have been even uglier. But MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins spared the Buckeyes abject humiliation by doing his own Spartan version of self-destruction in key moments.

Zultan blames his cloudy crystal ball which continues to conjure up  images from 2010.

But the pigskin prognosticator’s biggest miss was Clemson who stomped on Virginia Tech 23-3 without mercy. This Tiger is all business and will claim the ACC in 2011.  Zultan made a note to himself—C Rules in ACC.

What is more—to heap on massive degradation— almost three score of you recorded better results that the Mighty One. Zultan has barricaded himself in Mom’s garage, pouting and throwing rocks at a poster of Paul Rhoads.  Where was the triple overtime win when you really needed it, Coach?

Those surpassing the great one will be listed at the end of this article along with appropriate, if begrudging accolades.

Next up for the all-seeing seer—Week 2 in the Big Ten, Week 6 overall in the college football season.

Zultan offers you another week of difficult picks daring you to try to outguess him again.  If you feel lucky, or even if you don’t, click here to make your picks and see if you can surpass the big Z this coming Saturday.

Read the rest of this entry →

College Football Classic Rewind: Spartans Shock Top-Ranked Buckeyes in Columbus 9

Posted on September 28, 2011 by A.J. Foss

During the mid-1990s, the Ohio State Buckeyes had some great teams go through most of the regular season undefeated only to have their arch rival, the Michigan Wolverines, spoil the Buckeyes’ dreams of a national title on three occasions.

But perhaps the Buckeyes’ most heartbreaking loss during this time period came at the hands of that other football team from Michigan.

The 1998 season was the 11th season for John Cooper as the Ohio State head coach as he had complied an 86-32-4 record during his 10 years in Columbus.

Despite his success, Cooper was not embraced by the Buckeye faithful as he had only defeated Michigan once in his first 10 meetings with the Wolverines and was 2-7 in bowl games.

But in 1998, it appeared that the stars were lining up for Cooper and Ohio State to have a magical season.

The Buckeyes began the season as the #1 team ranked in the country because of the 17 returning starters on offense and defense that included quarterback Joe Germaine, wide receiver David Boston, and linebacker Andy Kaztenmoyer.

Through the first two months of the season, Ohio State was dominant as they won their first eight games of the season by a combined score of 306-72.

As the Buckeyes entered the month of November, it appeared that their only obstacle would be arch-rival Michigan on the last game of the season in a game that would be played in Columbus.

So as Ohio State entered their home game with Michigan State on November 7, 1998, it seemed the only question was by how many points would the Buckeyes win over the Spartans.

It appeared that the Spartans were headed for another mediocre season under head coach Nick Saban, who had only gone 19-15-1 in his first three seasons in East Lansing, and were 4-4 at this point of the 1998 season.

The Spartans did have some talent such as sophomore wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who would break the Michigan State season record for receptions, and linebacker Julian Peterson, a junior college transfer from the Valley Forge Military Academy. Read the rest of this entry →

Will Jettisoning Jim Tressel Save Ohio State? 2

Posted on May 30, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Jim Tressel's Gatorade bath following the Sugar Bowl will be his last as head coach at Ohio State.

Given the embarrassing black eye that he has bestowed upon one of the proudest universities in big-time college football I guess it is ultimately no surprise to learn that Jim Tressel has coached his last game at Ohio State, but with the Buckeyes now squarely in the sights of NCAA investigators it is still unclear if this move will significantly reduce the inevitable penalties the school now appears to be facing.

From the president to the staff to the fans, Ohio State has long been among the national leaders in football arrogance. When the president said last fall that schools such as Boise State and TCU didn’t belong on the same field as the Buckeyes, the Buckeye Nation shook their heads in agreement.

But what made Ohio State so proud and they believed justified their cockiness wasn’t just their great record on the field, but also the pride in knowing that they accomplished their success the right way. While other programs were regularly answering NCAA inquiries, the Buckeyes ran what seemed like a clean program and were under the leadership of a coach who wrote books about integrity and doing things the right way.

But then last December the walls started to come down on this great facade.

Just days before facing Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, news came out that five players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, had violated NCAA rules by selling rings and other memorabilia for cash and reduced prices on tattoos.

At the time the story seemed very contained and only became more than a minor story when the NCAA suspended the players for the first five games of the 2011 season, but let them play in the bowl game.

Critics of Ohio State cried foul, but it was obvious the power and influence Ohio State had over the BCS and NCAA. Read the rest of this entry →

Zultan’s Fearless College Football Projections: Week Two 9

Posted on September 07, 2010 by JA Allen

Zultan predicts college football fortunes in Week Two.

Zultan should be very humble after week one of his vaunted football predictions.

He was tempted to supersede his All-Seeing Powers and was punished for his arrogance. He became human, sad to say…

The NCAA football gods, therefore, struck him down.

Hordes of you outguessed Zultan who quivers in shame and humiliation with a mere 10-4 record in week one.

The mighty one has learned two valuable lessons in predicting the outcome of football contests.

(1) When in doubt in projected close contests, always pick the home team. For example do not pick Connecticut to overcome Michigan in Big Blue’s house or Purdue to get the best of the Irish in South Bend no matter how much the crystal ball tempts you.

(2) Also always make sure that the team you select is going to be playing––Zultan did not realize that half of the North Carolina team would be sitting on the sidelines when he made his ill-fated prediction that NC would win this contest.

Besides that, the Gophers have always been a thorn in the side of the all-seeing one.

So now you think Zultan is an easy mark. If so, try him again this week and learn your lesson as Zultan did––the hard way!

Zultan senses redemption coming his way this week big time. Click here to pit your puny powers of prognostication against the mighty Zultan for a chance to win a prize.

See the end of this prediction for a comprehensive list of all of you who smote the Zultan, scorched his crystal ball in week one.  Do the hokey-pokey one time around the room and come back for week two!

Read the rest of this entry →

College Football Preview: Not So Fast Alabama 2

Posted on September 03, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Nick Saban has Alabama poised for another run, but can they repeat as champions?

After romping through an undefeated 2009 season, many experts have ordained Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide as the team to beat again in 2010. While Alabama will again be formidable, it will be hard for them to overcome the loss of most of the defensive stars that carried them past Florida and Texas and to an undefeated record a year ago.

While last season there was little question that Alabama, Texas and Florida were the undisputed best teams in college football (unless of course you are a fan of TCU and Boise State), in 2010 it may be a little harder to gauge which college teams are the cream of the crop.

Across the board, college football teams lost a plethora of talented players that must be replaced in 2010. The teams that are able to rise from the pack in 2010 will be those that have new players and former backups ready to play at the highest level.

Below is a look at the major conferences in Division I-A (Bowl Championship Subdivision): Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Iron Man Randy Smith
      February 2, 2019 | 5:58 pm

      Randy Smith-BravesThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month may have had a pretty common name, but his iron man streak as an NBA player was anything but ordinary.

      In a streak that lasted more than a decade, Randy Smith played in 906 consecutive NBA games to establish an NBA iron man record that lasted more than a decade.

      That Smith made it to the NBA at all was somewhat of an underdog story.

      A three-sport standout at Bellsport High School in Long Island (basketball, soccer and track), Smith also was a three-sport All-American at Division II Buffalo State College. He helped lead the Bengals to three straight basketball conference championships and a spot in the 1970 Division II Final Four.

      Read more »

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