|A ‘long, long time’ before Spencer talks to media|
|Wednesday, November 13, 2013 12:00 AM|
By RUSTY MILLER
COLUMBUS — What’s brewing with the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes …
BUCKEYES BUZZ: It appears that WR Evan Spencer won’t be speaking to reporters for quite a while.
Spencer, of course, said on Monday that Ohio State would “wipe the field” with Alabama and whoever is No. 2 in the Bowl Championship Series rankings.
“I guess I’m a little biased but I think we’d, uh, we’d wipe the field with both of them,” Spencer said, chuckling. “But that’s just my bias speaking.”
Currently, Alabama is No. 1 and Florida State No. 2 in the BCS rankings. Ohio State is No. 3.
It was a statement that Spencer concluded with a laugh. It was clear he was half-joking. But sarcasm, humor and wit seldom can be sensed between the lines of cold, hard print in a newspaper or on a screen or monitor.
Coach Urban Meyer was asked on the Big Ten coaches call on Tuesday about Spencer’s words.
“I’m very disappointed. I can’t stand that,” Meyer replied. “I think I know Evan well enough. I even talked to him briefly. He was kind of smiling when he said it. So, no I can’t stand it. He’s certainly not the spokesman for our team.”
Spencer, a bright, engaging talker, will be off limits to reporters — for quite some time.
“As a result, what I do is Evan won’t talk to the media, for a long, long time,” Meyer said. “You don’t do that. That’s not good sportsmanship. And that’s not what we expect. I understand, he’s a young man who made a minor mistake. But we just don’t do that. We talk about your teammates, we talk about the team and move on.”
The issue goes beyond inflaming Alabama or Florida State’s players.
Meyer was not pleased, publicly or privately, that an upcoming opponent was disparaged, even in jest.
“What he believes and what goes on inside the locker room certainly doesn’t need to be in the papers and all that,” Meyer added. “I don’t like disrespecting other teams.”
THE WEEK AHEAD: In addition to Ohio State’s noon start at Illinois on Saturday, there are plenty of other games to keep fans occupied.
This week there are games involving ranked teams on Thursday (Ball State at No. 20 Northern Illinois), Friday (Georgia Tech at No. 8 Clemson) and Friday (Washington at No. 13 UCLA) nights.
The pick of the litter on Saturday include No. 25 Georgia at No. 7 Auburn and No. 12 Oklahoma State at No. 23 Texas.
Other games featuring top-10 teams include: top-ranked Alabama at Mississippi State, Syracuse at No. 2 Florida State, No. 4 Baylor hosting Texas Tech, No. 5 Stanford at Southern California and Utah at No. 6 Oregon.
Around the Big Ten, Indiana is at No. 17 Wisconsin, Purdue at Penn State, Michigan State at Nebraska and Michigan at Northwestern.
COACH POTATO: Meyer said he watched several of the top games last week, including Stanford’s win over Oregon and Baylor beating Oklahoma on Thursday, then on Saturday, Alabama’s win over LSU and Nebraska beating Michigan.
“I watched a lot of football. I think there’s some very good teams out there,” he explained. “I really enjoyed watching the Oregon-Stanford game. Two very good teams. I saw Alabama and LSU. Excellent teams. I watched some of the Baylor-Oklahoma. So I watched as much as I could get my hands on. My impression is Alabama-LSU, that was high-level football and so was Oregon-Stanford. A lot of respect for those teams.”
FICKELL AND FAU: Rumors have been flying that co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell has interviewed for the job at Florida Atlantic University. The AD at FAU is Pat Chun, a longtime front-office worker at Ohio State in the athletic department. He fired head coach Carl Pelini a couple of weeks ago for alleged drug use.
But Meyer says there’s no truth to the rumors that Fickell is in the middle of being hired.
A week ago, Meyer said, “My wife sent me a text asking if Luke had interviewed. He did not interview. He better not have.”
Asked about the protocol for talking to an assistant, Meyer added, “The AD calls the head football coach, the assistant comes in and says they have an interest in me, when would be the right time (to talk to them). My answer is, don’t do anything to disrupt this team. I get the whole thing. But there’s absolutely no interviewing going on during this time. No chance.”
Meyer expanded on that on Monday, noting he had spoken to Chun, trying to help him come up with a profile of a coach.
He said he spoke with Chun about names of candidates on the Ohio State staff and most likely elsewhere but declined to identify them.
“We talked about names. And Pat’s a great friend. I have a lot of respect for Pat and nothing more than I would like to see Pat Chun be successful,” Meyer said. “He’s also very respectful of this time of year for us.”
Florida Atlantic is located in Boca Raton. The Owls must fight for recruits with three of the biggest powerhouses in the college game — Florida, Florida State and Miami — in addition to the dozens of top programs that also raid the state for players.
“That’s a unique place,” Meyer added. “I lived in Florida and that pocket, that’s a very, very unique recruiting place. And so that’s mostly what (Chun and I) talked about is, first of all, the profile of a coach, and someone with that, to just go dive into South Florida recruiting. That’s not a place you want to dive into unless you’ve been there before.”