NOTEBOOK \ BCS Championship Game

Akron ties that bind: Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said there is a healthy relationship between running backs Antonio Pittman, a junior from Akron's Buchtel High School, and Chris "Beanie" Wells, a freshman from that city's Garfield High. "There's a little bit of that Rubber City brotherhood there," Tressel said. "They've known one another for quite sometime. Pitt was the guy that told Beanie, 'Hey, this is a good place. Come on and we'll do this thing together. They're both good kids and they get along great." Pittman rushed for 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns this season; he became just the fifth running back in Ohio State history to gain 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Wells finished with 567 yards and seven touchdowns, despite being hampered by problems holding onto the ball. Wells was named the Buckeyes' outstanding first-year player on offense after averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
Game room king: Ohio State defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock is the acknowledged video game champion on the Buckeyes' team. He said Thursday he hasn't allowed much time for play in the team's hotel game room. "I kind of realized [Wednesday] that I have not played a single game of Connect Four. There are a lot of spades going on and a lot of people playing pool. I haven't been over there. I've been taking my naps and watching film. Plus I don't like being in there because I'm always eating chips and dip."
Coaching fraternity: Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Heacock and Florida coach Urban Meyer go way back. Meyer was a graduate assistant coach at Ohio State in 1986-87 (starting the same year Jim Tressel began his head coaching career at Youngstown State). After Meyer's internship at Ohio State was completed, Heacock, then the head coach at Illinois State, hired the Ashtabula native as a part-time coach. "Back then, in I-AA you could have six full-time assistants and two part-timers," Heacock said. "Of course, we have a saying in the coaching profession: Part-time pay, full-time coach. Urban really worked hard; he was persistent. He stayed with me until [Earle] Bruce got the [head coaching] job at Colorado State [in 1990]." Meyer coached the outside linebackers at Illinois State in 1988 and the quarterbacks and receivers in 1989. Meyer coached the receivers at Colorado State from 1990-95 for Bruce and his successor, Sonny Lubick, then took a similar position at Notre Dame in 1996 for Lou Holtz. Meyer stayed with the Fighting Irish under Holtz's successor, Bob Davie (a Youngstown State graduate) from 1997-2000 before taking over at Bowling Green in 2001.
Rob Todor

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