■ Buckeyes motivated by last year’s end
It was a smudge on the Mona Lisa, a patch of weeds on the White House lawn, a losing streak after a school-record stretch of wins.
Ohio State knows the difference between near perfection and perfection.
Coach Urban Meyer’s first two years in Columbus ranked among the best in school history. High on the wall of the Buckeyes’ indoor practice complex, a “12-0” banner honoring the bowl-banned 2012 team hangs in the same row as those marking the program’s seven national championships. Another perfect regular season followed, with Ohio State coming within one game of playing for the national title last year.
■ QB, coordinator unity crucial for Michigan
At the Manning Passing Academy earlier this month, Devin Gardner barked orders to the budding quarterbacks who surrounded him. The pace of his speech got faster, and he expected the campers he worked with to know exactly what he was saying.
As he set the ground rules at the Thibodaux, La., camp, Gardner realized something.
“Oh my gosh,” he said to himself. “I’m turning into Coach Nuss.”
■ New members adjust to Big Ten
The Big Ten Conference got a little bigger over the summer, with the addition of Rutgers and Maryland. But it wasn’t just the Big Ten that had to do some rearranging. Maryland coach Randy Edsall and Rutgers coach Kyle Flood each have to do some housekeeping of their own when it comes to making the move to a new conference.
“When you go from one conference to another, there’s different rules within the conferences,” Edsall said Tuesday at the Hilton Chicago. “Getting to learn all the rules for the Big Ten as opposed to the ACC, and just getting a firm handle on the people you’re going to be playing against, just those things are the things I think you have to spend the most time on, making that transition.”