Thursday Skull Session

By Alex on October 28, 2010 at 6:00a
Do the Heisman on that Cane

 Pryor For Heisman While it doesn't seem likely, this ESPN Insider article is saying there's still hope for Pryor (and Blaine Gabbert) to take home the bronze statue. Right now, in my opinion, the Bucks would have to win out and Pryor would have to continue or better his current pace on yards and TD to INT ratio in order just to get an invite to New York. To bring home the prize, he'll have to get over his quad injury and put up more gaudy ground numbers than he has the last few weeks. With his evolution as a passer and the Bucks' growing more towards the pro-style offense (with Boom toting the rock), don't expect that to happen. 

The Heisman front-runner, Cam Newton, has put up those monsterous running numbers though and many Buckeye fans have wanted to know why Pryor is not as good as Newton. Duane Long makes the case that Newton is the better runner right now, while Pryor is the better quarterback, and has the stats to back it up. He does say he believes Newton will be better better suited for the NFL at the position at career's end, but for now, he likes TP and so do I. 

 Give Us More Day Games For a while on this site, I have been trying to convey that the Buckeyes, and most college football players, prefer day games over night games. Besides the added cost in both money (for extra security) and time (clean-up maintenance and drunks), this was one of the reasons, if not the main reason, the Miami game was played at 3:40 instead of 8. Going into a night showdown in Minneapolis this week, Terrelle Pryor backs me up and tells Tim May of The Dispatch that the team would prefer to play in the afternoon. The logic makes sense, and the reasoning:

"I hate night games," Pryor said. "You sit around all day, and you just want to go play."

 Minnesota Is Coachless Speaking of Minnesota, they do indeed have an interim coach in Jeff Horton, but he's in a lame duck situation. The Gophers search is currently being conducted with a consulting firm down in Georgia, but a decision won't be made until after the season when they can see who is available. The Dispatch has an article on the  position at the school and the difficulties the next coach will face, The Daily Gopher has a short list of potential candidates, and Joe Schmitt serves up a surprising name for the job in Miami's Randy Shannon. I think the school absolutely needs to make a "Tubby Smith splash" for the football team and think Mike Leach would be a good fit in that he is a name known nationally and his offense would be unique enough to be competitive year after year in the conference. While Glenn Mason did similar things and got canned for it, a solid 8-4 every year wouldn't be so bad for this program as it stands today. 

 Kurt Russel Digs The Buckeyes As Johnny mentioned the other day, it was speculated that the filming done on the field last week was for a pilot for USA coming soon. That is not the case and the promised Dispatch article is here. The movie, called "Touchback" will star Kurt Russell as a football coach and wad directed by OSU graduate Don Handfield. Handfield said he's been working 15 years to make his dream a reality and he's definitely seeing his hard work pay off. Once again, pictures courtesy of Jim Davidson can be found here. Be sure to check out more on the storyline at it's IMDB page and stay tuned for a release date.

 Death To The BCS Besides supposedly being a great book, the statement is basically what's Andy Staples says should happen after the Oklahoma-Mizzou game. Trailing by 9 points from their own 7-yard line, with a little over 2 minutes remaining, Stoops chose to punt instead of going for the comeback, a move made in order to lose by single digits instead of a more gaudy looking 16 points. On Monday Stoops confirmed this by saying:

"It's a long year. Who knows how poll people look at scores? Had we had a reasonable amount, some kind of field position, had we shown any signs the previous three plays of making a play, we would have (gone for it). But I didn't see that."

I'm all for saving embarrassment and not letting the other team have the ball just yards away from another score, but where did the attitude of never giving up go? And to actually admit that the polls would be effected by his team's margin of defeat? Is this why Oklahoma is still ranked ahead of Ohio State? If so, that is completely ridiculous and in my opinion, voters should penalize Stoops for such a move rather than "reward" the team in the polls. Yes Andy Staples, this is indeed the BCS system's fault, but unlike you, I can blame Stoops for such a move.

 Recruiting, Recruiting, Recruiting Linebacker Connor Crowell is set to announce his decision and is down to Ohio State and Penn State. I think the Nittany Lions win out, but landing the Maryland star would be a huge get, considering the Bucks don't have a linebacker in the class. You know Crowell will be a good one because he's from Maryland and crab cakes and football, are what Maryland does. If they miss out on Crowell, a name that has surfaced before, but didn't make much noise, is Curtis Grant from Richmond, Virginia. Grant claims Ohio State will definitely be one of his official visits, along with Florida and UNC. For someone counted out by Buckeye recruitniks, this is a great sign, as he is one of the nation's best at the position. Finally, many have clamored for Cardale Jones to be a part of the 2011 class, but it seems the staff isn't thinking the same way. An offer is out ($) to 2012 California junior Shane Dillon and this Matt Barkley look-alike is feeling the Bucks early. He has OSU on the top of his short list, followed by Oregon, Stanford, Miami, and Cincinnati. Watch him do some drills with Jim Tressel's friend and QB-guru George Whitfield here. If I had room I would take both, but it appears that will likely not happen based on the staff's past history and the number of quarterbacks already on scholarship.

 Old Friends Become One-Week Enemies Rich Cimini of ESPN New York has a nice article on longtime friends AJ Hawk and Nick Mangold. The former Buckeyes will square off this weekend and are likely to connect on a few plays throughout the game. Hawk, thought to be an odd man out before the season, has had a nice year in Green Bay, while Mangold has emerged as the league's best center. While Bobby Carpenter, Vernon Gholston, and Teddy Ballgame appear to be busts, it's nice to see these two, along with Laurinaitis, Beanie, and Hartline, continuing to keep OSU's reputation in the league going strong as stars like Winfield and Galloway fade out.

 Some Potluck Magic Say hello to Matt McGloin, who will be the starter this Saturday night for Penn State, giving Michigan a better chance to become bowl eligible this weekend. Speaking of the Wolverines is the 2010 season going to end up like 2009 all over again? Adam Rittenberg provides a Big Ten personnel round-up and I continue to get stomach aches every time I see the Buckeye injury list. Finally, Pat Forde states the case for the unbeatens this weekend and the forecast is not looking good for most, including Sparty.


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Is it Saturday Yet's picture

Teddy's going to kill it now that Troy is slinging it! Or at least I hope so.....

ToledoBuckeye's picture

I sure hope so.  I think that Carpenter and Gholston could have great careers in the right system.  I think If Gholston was playing in a 3-4 in Baltimore or Pitt he would be great.  I read an article on Aaron Maybin yesterday and it said the same thing.  Maybin was deactivated last week and hasn't had a sack in his 2 years in the league.  The idea that all 4-3 DE can easily become pass rushing linebackers is crazy.

"Anything easy ain't worth a damn." - Woody Hayes

blazers34's picture

I'd love for him to do well......but Carpenter is just BAD

ToledoBuckeye's picture

Well, we will see if he can salvage his career with the Lions.

"Anything easy ain't worth a damn." - Woody Hayes

Hoody Wayes's picture

"I'm all for saving embarrassment and not letting the other team have the ball just yards away from another score, but where did the attitude of never giving up go? And to actually admit that the polls would be effected by his team's margin of defeat? Is this why Oklahoma is still ranked ahead of Ohio State? If so, that is completely ridiculous and in my opinion, voters should penalize Stoops for such a move rather than "reward" the team in the polls. Yes Andy Staples, this is indeed the BCS system's fault, but unlike you, I can blame Stoops for such a move."

Alex, I blame the press for this gridiron "mission creep." The press is the un-named culprit, here. The press is why we have "style points." Why the press continues to have ANY official role to play in what can only - truly - be decided on the field, strikes me as the most glaring question in college football, at the moment. We need the fourth estate to recuse itself from this phony jury.  

iball's picture

If Pryor was being used as the QB he really is, he'd be running away with the Heisman.

Night games do suck, unless you have to work on Saturday.

The BCS is garbage, and I refuse to discuss it's ridiculousness.

Looks like Tress is looking for a backup plan to Braxton, the kid is injured alot.

Hawk and Carpenter have been total head scratchers.

Sparty is going down Saturday.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

slippy's picture

The press doesn't have an official role.  The AP took themselves out of the BCS formula because it sucked.  I guess some members of the Harris Poll may be press but none of them are major players. 

BigRedBuckeye's picture

Last link points to wrong article, fyi.

And we'll drink to old Ohio, 'Til we wobble in our shoes! 

Alex's picture

Sorry. Fixed. Thanks!

btalbert25's picture

Pryor is a better QB than Newton.  He could be the same type of runner too, but personally, I dont' want my QB running for 200 yards a game and taking a bunch of shots.  I don't know who backs up Newton but if he's anything like the backups we have, it could get very ugly very quickly. 

I have never liked night games.  I don't enjoy watching football til midnight, and the only thing that makes the atmosphere so amazing is that 80% of the crowd is shitfaced wasted by the time the game starts. 

When there is meaningful football to be played, I just dont pay to much attention to recruiting.  I think it gets too much love as it is, but it's interesting to follow out of season.  I also don't believe in any conspiracy theories about how recruits get lowered when they pick Ohio State or any other nonsense.  Too much attention is getting put on these kids and it's no wonder they come to college and think they don't need to go to class, practice hard, or follow the rules.  They've been elevated to celebrity status since they were 15, and probably did whatever the wanted as a result.

yrro's picture

I'm curious how much the coaches have worked on getting Pryor to run up the middle, or if they're telling him to not get injured. For as fast and as big as he is, Pryor has *really* bad vision on designed run plays. He's always trying to break it outside and missing big holes that would give him a solid 6-8 yards up the middle.

Also, after watching Denard Robinson come out of several games with minor injuries, I realized something about running quarterbacks - it's not that quarterbacks are any more likely to get injured running the ball than anyone else. It's that it takes a much more functioning body to make good throws than it does to just hold onto the football. I think we saw both this year and last year where the Michigan quarterback took a few too many hits to his throwing arm and his accuracy suffered, even though they were still in good shape to run. 

RBuck's picture

Uh, what happened to the article about the defensive stats? Did I have a "senior moment"?

Long live the southend.

gravey's picture

I wonder if Ohio State plays more night games than other teams in the league.  I know we are a huge ratings grabber, and ESPN (as much as they seem to hate us) makes a lot of dough off us.  It would make sense that they would push the league to schedule the Buckeyes in primetime as frequently as possible.  Sure seems like we've had more than our share of primetime match ups in recent years.  Has anyone run the numbers on this?

TLB's picture

Robert Griffin III better than Pryor and Newton.

Poe McKnoe's picture

Robert Griffin gets to play against paper-mache defenses too.

Kyle's picture

Night games are good as a once-in-a-while thing but OSU having to play 3 this year all on the road is total bullshit.  Why (and maybe this is just my perception) is it that PSU, Iowa and Wisconsin always( exaggerating only slightly) make their games versus OSU night games yet OSU doesn't return the favor with hostile crowds.  I'm sorry but playing @ Wisco, Iowa and PSU at noon is vastly different than 8:00 p.m.


With our defense being so banged up and our "stellar" defensive line not getting the pressure we anticipated, it might be time for Pryor and the offense to be the unit that leads this team to victory. 

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

Totally agree that it seems all the Big 10 schools that play us in their home stadiums before November play us at night.  Which, to me, is total BS.  I enjoy the night game every now and then but not often.  The 3:30 starts eat up your entire day tho.....I could do without them all the time too.  Iowa cannot play us at night this year because it is in November, correct?

Nik's picture

Big 10 does allow night games in November, it just has to be agreed upon by both parties insanely early, i believe sometime before the season starts, but i'm not sure exactly when.  At least that's what I remember reading somewhere before

tomcollins's picture

I hate night games because when they have regional coverage, I miss out.  At least I have ESPN3.

slippy's picture

Yea some of us don't want to drive downtown (Baltimore) to the heart of young professional center on Halloween.  (sorry...that sounds kind of snooty.  Just echoing OP's sentiment on it being a pain)


In this day of on-demand I can't believe we still don't have the option of picking what game to watch when they're covered on the same station.  I also can't stand watching at bars.  And paying for overpriced crappy beers.  Rather watch at home on a nice couch with a nice home brew.

Alex's picture

Fair points for sure...guess your only option is to buy the CFB package which sucks because OSU is usually on TV enough where the $ you spend on that is more than the bars....I just hate watching on my computer...I'm skipping the Buckeye bar this week and going low key to a Damon's nearby my house

tomcollins's picture

Yeah, I was a super regular at my local one.  There for every game for a LONG time.  Absolutely fantastic and highly recommend it.  It was especially nice when every game wasn't on TV prior to the Big Ten Network.

I have a newborn son now, so it makes it a bit trickier.  Definitely too young to take, and probably not going to be cool with the wife to leave her with the baby all night.

If it were a bigger game, I'd be there.  ESPN3 is fine for Minnesota.


I love night games show case your talent to the nation prime time baby

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I hate even watching the UFC at bars. Let alone Buckeye games. Usually one game a year is not televised out her in Arizona. So I am forced to go to a bar at 0900 hours.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

JakeBuckeye's picture

Has anybody around this site been on the Plain Dealer's and Dispatch's online comment section lately? Boy, arguments I would have on there would be 10x more frustrating than any I have had on this site.

gravey's picture

Stay away from those...unless you have an IQ of 40 and live in your mom's basement...  People are more knowledgeable here, generally pretty cool, frequently self-depricating and solidly pro-Buckeye, even if they complain a lot...