Sports Today: Who wants to be a quarterback, anyway?

Published: Monday, September 18, 2017 @ 9:46 AM

Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton was asked about criticism of his play during the team's 0-2 start, and coach Marvin Lewis talked about his job security.

OK, so football turned out a little better in The Heart of It All this weekend, but not by much. 

Especially if you’re a quarterback. 

Andy Dalton kicked things off by getting outplayed on his home field by a rookie making his first start Thursday night. 

J.T. Barrett went next, playing a key role in Ohio State’s 38-7 win over Army on Saturday. The Buckeyes won comfortably — and Barrett was a big reason why — but that wasn't enough for everybody. Others were more enthralled by Dwayne Haskins’ four-pass debut than Barrett’s 302-total-yard, three-touchdown day. 

RELATED: 5 reasons to be encouraged and one for concern about Ohio State’s offense

Sunday it was DeShone Kizer’s turn. The Browns rookie quarterback completed less than 50 percent of his passes and was intercepted three times in a 24-10 loss to the Ravens in Cleveland. 

Of the three, Kizer would still seem to have the brightest future… but then again that might be mostly because we’ve seen the least of him. 

I wish that were a joke, but there’s undeniably some truth in it. 

Nobody knows if Kizer will ever accomplish what Dalton has (his college career was nothing compared to Barrett’s), but hope is a powerful thing. 

Barrett and Dalton enjoyed their time as the cool new guy, and they have suffered slings and arrows that go with fame since. (As Braxton Miller and Carson Palmer did before them.) 

Now both are in the odd situation of having strong resumes but uncertain futures. 

If Dalton and Barrett were stocks, the public would sell on both, but that’s not really how this works, at least for the people in those locker rooms who have to juggle competing interests. 

RELATED: What’s next for the Bengals after 0-2 start? | How was Marvin Lewis part of ESPN College GameDay?

Pro Football Talk reported “the leash isn’t quote so long” for Dalton and some Bengals players are interested in seeing the team sign Colin Kaepernick. 

The Kaepernick note should be taken with a grain of salt because PFT has been among the most egregious of his water carriers in the national media over the past year and there’s no indication how big a percentage “some” players might be. 

The suggestion Dalton is losing the locker room is noteworthy as benching him and replacing him with his younger, cheaper, perhaps more confident version wouldn’t be nearly as complicated as bringing in a guy who would necessitate changing the offense, turn off some fans and still might not be any better than what they’ve got. 

READ MORE: What’s next for Bengals, Dalton after another disappointing performance?

I’m inclined to think both Dalton and Barrett have carried their teams about as far as they can go. 

I’m less certain with Barrett, though neither of them have played their best recently. 

I think the ceiling is higher for the Ohio State offense with Dwayne Haskins or Joe Burrow at the controls, but the floor is lower, too. 

Which one is more preferable? 

On one hand, winning the national championship has become the only acceptable goal for a large swath of fandom ever since the BCS came into existence. 

On the other…. well maybe there’s not another. 

Meyer is in a tough spot because he no doubt wants to show loyalty to Barrett, the ultimate team guy who has had some big moments at important times, but he also owes the rest of the locker room the best chance to succeed. 

That might still be Barrett, of course. 

Either way, I guess that’s why the head coach gets the big bucks. 

The Ohio State offense still needs to do a better job adjusting to the style of quarterback they have in the game, but they’ve been stuck in between doing things to complement each, so they need to commit one way or another regardless of who is calling the signals. 

RELATED: Ohio State offense must decide what it wants to be to take next step

Were the Bengals to swap McCarron for Dalton, it would be more about restoring what has worked over the past six years and the possibility a different personality could provide a spark. 

As for Kizer? I love him as a prospect, and there’s not much worry about actually winning now in Cleveland, so it would stand to reason they will be plenty patient with him. 

There’s no sure thing in the NFL, but he’s got the ability to play the position and some swagger, too. 

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Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell era ends with blowout loss to Central Michigan

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 8:58 PM

Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell, right, dribbles the basketball while defended by Maryland guard Kaila Charles during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the finals of the Big Ten conference tournament, Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Indianapolis. Ohio State won 79-69. (AP Photo/R Brent Smith)
R Brent Smith/AP
Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell, right, dribbles the basketball while defended by Maryland guard Kaila Charles during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the finals of the Big Ten conference tournament, Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Indianapolis. Ohio State won 79-69. (AP Photo/R Brent Smith)(R Brent Smith/AP)

Central Michigan looked far from an 11 seed Monday night. 

The Chippewas crushed third-seeded Ohio State 95-78 at St. John Arena to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. 

That brought an end to the brilliant career of Ohio State point guard Kelsey Mitchell. 

She scored 28 points to finish with 3,402 for her career. 

That is No. 1 at Ohio State and in Big Ten annals while trailing only Washington’s Kelsey Plum on the NCAA’s all-time list (3,527). Mitchell passed Jackie Stiles of Missouri State to move into second place with a breakaway layup in the fourth quarter. 

The three-time Big Ten Player of the Year also holds the NCAA record for 3-pointers with 497. 

Sports Today: So much for Ohio’s high NCAA tournament hopes

Ohio State led by as many as 10 in the first quarter, but the Chippewas scored the last four points of the stanza to close within 15-9. 

CMU hung around despite missing 13 of 16 shots in the first quarter.  

Ohio State was 6 for 16 but committed four turnovers, but that was spectacular compared to a disastrous second quarter for the Buckeyes. 

They missed 11 of 13 shots from the field and committed six turnovers against an aggressive CMU defense and while being outscored 25-6. 

The Chippewas used a 20-1 run that started late in the first quarter to open up a 25-16. 

Mitchell halted that by rattling home a jumper from the elbow with 3:12 on the clock. 

She had a chance to make it a three-point game with 2:18 left but missed a free throw. 

Then the Buckeyes gave up three consecutive 3-pointers, two wide-open looks for Cassie Breen and one a fadeaway by Presley Hudson off the dribble. 

That plunged the Buckeyes into a 34-21 hole from which they never recovered.

Ohio State shot 27.6 percent in the first half and committed 10 turnovers. 

Central Michigan made 30.6 percent of its shots, had only five turnovers and enjoyed a 28-20 rebounding advantage. 

The Chippewas extended their lead in the third quarter with an out-of-this-world shooting performance. 

They made 11 of 16 field goals, including 7 of 8 from 3-point range to extend their lead to 67-46. 

The Buckeyes found some offense in the third, but not nearly enough. 

Ohio State was still outscored 33-25 in the stanza and never got closer than 13 in the fourth quarter. 

“I guess it just felt like everything was going in,” Hudson said of the second half. “We got a lot of open shots and even if we weren’t open we felt like we could make ‘em.” 

Hudson led Central Michigan with 28 points while Breen had 22. 

Stephanie Mavunga scored 16 points for Ohio State while fellow senior Linnae Harper added 14.

“They did a good job of capitalizing on everything we did wrong,” Mavunga said. “They never let up.” 

The Buckeyes had a seven-game winning streak in NCAA tournament games at St. John Arena snapped. 

Central Michigan ended up making 14 of 27 from 3-point range and won the battle of the boards 46-35. 

Ohio State was knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the second round for the first time since 2015. 

The Buckeyes advanced to the Sweet 16 the past two seasons but haven’t been to the Elite Eight since 1993, when they made their only Final Four and lost in the national championship game to Texas Tech.  

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Bodine leaves Bengals for Bills

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 6:28 PM

            ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 09: Russell Bodine #61 of the Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 09: Russell Bodine #61 of the Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Russell Bodine will not return to the Cincinnati Bengals after signing with the Buffalo Bills on Monday.

Bodine started all 64 games at center after the Bengals traded up to draft him in the fourth round in 2015. The unrestricted free agent signed a two-year contract with the Bills.

›› Burfict suspended for PED violation

The only center on the Bengals roster is T.J. Johnson, a seventh-round pick in 2013 who has appeared in 45 games with five starts, all at guard.

The Bengals could look to add depth at the position by signing one of the veteran free agents available, but the 2018 starter could be a player they select in the 2018 draft next month.

Follow Jay Morrison on Twitter

The Bengals own the 21st pick after trading back nine spots to obtain tackle Cordy Glenn from Buffalo.

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Dayton has two scholarships open as another player leaves

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 5:18 PM

Dayton’s Matej Svoboda looks to pass against Auburn on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Staff Writer
Dayton’s Matej Svoboda looks to pass against Auburn on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

Dayton Flyers freshman Matej Svoboda will leave the program after one season to return home to the Czech Republic, according to a source.

Svoboda’s departure means Dayton has two scholarships open for the 2018-19 season. Xeyrius Williams announced he was transferring earlier this month.

» RELATED: Dayton holiday tournament shaping up to be a tough one

Svoboda, a 6-foot-7 forward, will play professional basketball in his home country. He appeared in 28 games this past season for the Flyers, averaging 2.2 points and 1.2 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per game. He shot 20 percent from 3-point range (9 of 45).

Svoboda was recruited by Archie Miller’s staff and committed to Dayton in February of 2017. He signed with Dayton in May despite not having met new coach Anthony Grant in person.

» RELATED: Archdeacon on Svoboda

Svoboda was one of five members of the 2017 freshman class and one of six Flyers to make their college debuts last season.

Like many of the Flyers, Svoboda’s minutes dipped and climbed throughout the season, but he found a role as a contributor off the bench late in the season. He never developed into a consistent scoring threat and didn’t score in four of his last five appearances. He missed his last six 3-pointers. He scored his season high of nine points in the fourth game of the season against Akron.

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Dayton’s 2018 holiday tournament shaping up to be a tough one

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 4:42 PM

Dayton players huddle before a game against Duquesne on Feb. 7 at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Staff Writer
Dayton players huddle before a game against Duquesne on Feb. 7 at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

Tickets are now on sale for the Battle 4 Atlantis, the November tournament in the Bahamas that will include the Dayton Flyers. On paper, it looks like one of the best in-season tournaments ever to have Dayton in the field.

Even if the Flyers are much improved from a 14-17 season, they might be the big underdog. The tournament features four teams from the 2018 NCAA tournament. It also includes three programs Dayton played in the NCAA tournament in 2014 and 2015. The top six conferences are represented: ACC, Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, Pac 12 and Big East.

» WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Green excited about Dayton’s future

The tournament takes place Nov. 21-23 on Paradise Island, Bahamas. Here’s a glance at the eight teams with 2018 RPI in parentheses:

1. Virginia (1): The Cavaliers ranked No. 1 in the RPI and received the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament. Of course, by now, everyone knows what happened next.

2. Middle Tennessee State (33): The Blue Raiders were snubbed by the NCAA tournament selection committee despite a 25-8 record. They also lost their coach, Kermit Davis, after 16 seasons. He’s now the head coach at Mississippi.

» FIRST FOUR: How teams fared in rest of tournament

3.  Butler (41): The Bulldogs finished 21-14, losing 76-73 to Purdue in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

4. Florida (46): The Gators beat St. Bonaventure 77-62 in the first round before losing 69-66 to Texas Tech on Saturday. Florida beat Dayton 62-52 in the Elite Eight in 2014.

5. Oklahoma (49): The Sooners finished 18-14. They lost 83-78 to Rhode Island in the first round. Oklahoma knocked Dayton out of the tournament in 2015, winning 72-66 in the second round in Columbus.

» MARCH SADNESS: Cincinnati’s worst sports moments since 2000 | So much for Ohio’s high hopes in the Big Dance

6. Stanford (86): The Cardinal finished 19-15. They missed the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight season. They played Dayton in their last NCAA tournament game, losing 82-72 in the Sweet 16 in 2014.

7. Wisconsin (113): The Badgers saw their streak of 19 straight NCAA tournament appearances end this year. They finished 15-18. It was their first losing season since 1997-98 (12-19).

8. Dayton (147): Dayton’s streak of four NCAA appearances ended this March. The Flyers lose one starter, Darrell Davis, and return leading scorer Josh Cunningham (15.4 points per game).

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