Published: Thursday, November 2, 2006
Ohio St. football team holds Christian pep rally
A crowd estimated at around 12,000 jammed St. John Arena for "The Main Event."
COLUMBUS (AP) Ohio State is already No. 1. Perhaps just to cover all the bases, the Buckeyes had a pep rally for God.
A crowd estimated at around 12,000 crowded into St. John Arena on Monday for "The Main Event" featuring Ohio State players and coach Jim Tressel talking about how Christianity affects their lives and their football.
The Ohio State Marching Band played "Hang On Sloopy" and huge projection screens showed game highlights.
Buckeyes Roy Hall, David Patterson, Joel Penton and Stan White Jr., along with former quarterback Craig Krenzel gave a short talk about what their faith meant to them.
In his closing remarks, Tressel said he was speaking "as a child of God."
After quoting several Bible verses, he told how he attended a sports camp in 1969 where retired New York Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson asked the question, "If the game of life ended tonight, would you be a winner?"
"I wasn't sure I could answer yes," Tressel said, adding that the question helped him find an abiding faith.
Michigan might have WR Mario Manningham back on the field on Saturday against Ball State for the first time since he had minor knee surgery a month ago.
"I don't know when [his return] will be, but I have every confidence that unless there's a setback, that he's going to play pretty shortly," coach Lloyd Carr said.
In just six games, Manningham, a Warren Harding graduate, had nine touchdowns and averaged 88 yards receiving. The second-ranked Wolverines haven't been as explosive on offense without him.
A season of bright promise spiraled into a no-win situation for John L. Smith.
Smith was fired by Michigan State on Wednesday, effective at the end of the season. The Spartans are 4-5 and have won just one of their five Big Ten games heading into Saturday's game at home against Purdue.
The season began to spiral downward when Michigan State lost to No. 12 Notre Dame 40-37 after leading by 16 points in the fourth quarter. Not even an historic 41-38 win over Northwestern the largest comeback in I-A history could pull the Spartans out of their steep fall.
Smith addressed why his team could not gain any momentum from that win before losing 46-21 at Indiana last week.
"It's very easy to forget a win. The positive you get out of a win is no way comparable to the negative you get out of a loss, if that makes sense," Smith said haltingly, fighting his emotions. "A kid will forget a win. We all have a tendency to do that. So we don't maintain that high, but we really maintain that low."
The early front-runner for the Michigan State job is former 49ers and Lions coach Steve Mariucci coincidentally also the best friend of MSU hoops coach Tom Izzo.
Not a web guy
Penn State's Joe Paterno has 360 career victories, second-most in I-A to Florida State's Bobby Bowden, who has 363. Bowden is in the midst of a 4-4 season that has some calling for his resignation.
Paterno also heard the same things when his Nittany Lions had losing seasons in 2003 and 2004 before bouncing back with an 11-1 record last year.
"I thought I was smart enough not to read any e-mail and then the [Penn State] president called me up and said he was getting complaints that I don't answer my e-mail. I said, 'I didn't even know I had an e-mail address.' He said, 'Everybody at the university has an e-mail address. You must have a thousand letters.' I said, 'Good,"' Paterno said. "I never answered them."