Thursday Skull Session

By Alex on January 20, 2011 at 6:00a
46 Comments
Will Hill having funWill Hill's Twitter might be dead, but his legend will
live on the internet forever.

 Apology Granted That's exactly what Adam Rittenberg did to the Ohio State program after thinking the Tat 5's pledge to The Vest wouldn't hold up. He was wrong, and rightfully admitted his mistake in assuming that the players would bolt after the Sugar Bowl just because the going got tough. While Rittenberg wouldn't go as far as calling the suspended players outstanding citizens, he definitely gives them credit, and even more to Jim Tressel for the respect he commands from his players.

As stated before, Tressel played this perfectly. He knew the pledge wasn't "binding" by any means, but by going public with news that the players did indeed sign a pledge to return if they played in the bowl game, he set up any player that jetted for the NFL for an ultimate ban from Buckeye folklore. The Bucks can now concentrate on setting up their team for next season, specifically the offense for the first five games. I think in the end, if the Bucks can escape the beginning of the season unscathed, that the suspensions will end up being a blessing in disguise, in that younger players will get a chance to prove their worth. This will be a great chance to allow for Tressel to have greater depth on the roster throughout the season and get an insight into life after The Brew Crew.

 Going for Greener Pastures While the Buckeyes didn't lose anyone early to the NFL, a lot of other schools did. Despite potential labor strife in the league next season, a record 56 players left college eligibility on the table in exchange for potential cash waiting for them at the next level. Notable Big Ten early entrees include Illinois' Mikel Leshoure, Martez Wilson, and Corey Liuget, Wisconsin's John Clay and JJ Watt, Indiana's Tandon Doss, and Iowa's Tyler Sash. Looks like Michigan State and Ohio State came out winners heading into next year's Big Ten football season.

 Crafting Something Special While Jared Sullinger has been outstanding, collecting multiple Big Ten Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week honors, people are starting to realize that point guard Aaron Craft may be the key to an OSU championship run. Bob Baptist writes that the Buckeyes are very happy Craft had a change of heart after originally giving a verbal to Tennessee, and we cannot tell you how happy we are that Thad decided to offer the kid. Doug Lesmerises also has plenty of praise for the tough-nosed competitor from Findlay, and why not? All Craft has done is gone Mike Conley Jr. on us, taking over the team on the court, scoring when needed and otherwise acting as a floor general in finding open teammates for easy buckets. If you haven't started to yet, I suggest you tune into Buckeye hoops this season and watch Craft and the rest of the guys storm through on their way to Houston.

 Deja Vu All Over Again Apparently I'm not the only one thinking Aaron Craft is reminding us of Mike Conley Jr.'s time in Columbus. The Lantern compares this year's basketball team to the national runner-up team from 2006-2007, and makes some pretty good points in backing up their thesis. I'd love for this team to mirror that squad, with one difference: actually winning the national championship. I think overall the 2006-2007 team had more depth (used a 9 man rotation), but the current group of players seeing minutes this year may be more talented at the end of the day.

 Fear Notre Dame? Recruiting is always a toss-up in terms of predicting how well a player will perform at the college level, but if current projections are any indication, Brian Kelly is creating a beast in South Bend. Kelly has always been successful on the offensive side of the football and I think he will continue to recruit very good "system" players to run his offense at Notre Dame, but over the years, defense has been his achilles heel. He had some good "Big East level" defenses while at Cincinnati, but those eventually proved to be inferior on a national level when matched up against elite teams, such as when the Bearcats played VT and Florida in BCS games, where they were beaten convincingly in both contests.

That is about to change and with the luck of the Irish behind him, Kelly is realizing he can get defensive too. The Notre Dame class of 2011 features some outstanding defensive prospects, including two of the top four defensive ends in the country in Aaron Lynch and Ishaq Williams, the #12 safety in the country in Pickerington Central's Eliar Hardy, and the #14 OLB in the country in Colerain's Jarret Grace. Over half of the current commits in the class will play on the defensive side of the ball, a sign Kelly is about to change both the way his staff recruits and the way his team plays, now that he is calling the shots at one of the most storied college programs in the history of the game.

Scared yet? I'm not as of now, but recruiting like this in the next few years and you can expect the Irish to return to prominence, as long as Kelly keeps doing his thing on offense.

46 Comments

Comments

The_Lurker's picture

Oh how proud must be the parents of those two ladies.

flipbuckeye's picture

Ahhh NSFW... guess I'll be on 11W via mobile for the rest of the day.

Luke's picture

Got some thing a bit more office friendly place holding now. You should be good. Sorry for the inconvenience.

flipbuckeye's picture

Appreciate the update.

Jason Priestas's picture

Do you work at the Vatican by chance? The girls were in bikinis and there was no nudity.

flipbuckeye's picture

Not at liberty to say where I work, haha.  I know it wasn't all that NSFW but I can never be too safe.

Matthew's picture

This post will self destruct in 5 seconds.

Class of 2010

thePhilipJFry's picture

That Kelly guy is for real.  At some point UM fans are going to wonder how they let the Jim Tressel of the state of Michigan coach at Notre Dame.

Matthew's picture

Weiss dominated the recruiting rankings when he was HC of the Irish as well. With Kelley, I'll believe it when I see it at this point.

 

Class of 2010

luckynewman13's picture

I'm with you here, they were saying the same things about Weiss when he was recruiting, "he's an offense guy, but wow look at the linebacker talent he's getting!"

When they can get to a BCS game and win, then I'll believe the echoes might be returning.

jfunk's picture

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/8256625/

 

Anyone else seen this?

Scotch: It may be too early to drink it, yes; but people it is never to early to think about it.

thePhilipJFry's picture

The random "I want to puch you" had me laughing.

jfunk's picture

I personally liked "Plus I never beat Michigan and I'm awesome and awesomely good looking."

Scotch: It may be too early to drink it, yes; but people it is never to early to think about it.

Jdadams01's picture

That. Was. Amazing.

tomcollins's picture

Sums it up so well.  So many quality xtranormals.  Amazing how Tressel and the Tat5 are getting the last laugh.

The_Lurker's picture

That was outstanding.

"What is your favorite Keanu Reeves movie?"

"Speed."

RoweTrain's picture

I just want to say thank you for providing us with that.  I was not having a good day at all and that may have turned it around.

jfunk's picture

Hey, I try and do what i can. Just wish I could take credit for actually creating it.

Scotch: It may be too early to drink it, yes; but people it is never to early to think about it.

RoweTrain's picture

That would be nice but at least you helped share this wonderful piece of video.

Hoody Wayes's picture

I believe Ohio State should - at the least - explore football independence. I'd suggest Michigan, Penn State and Nebraska, do the same. Moreover, I think the foundation of a league of college football titans (the most-decorated football programs, biggest stadiums and largest fan bases) - including the likes of USC, ND, TX, Alabama, Florida, etc. is, inevitable. I just hope its governing body won't be the NCAA...but a refinement of it:

http://www.burntorangenation.com/2011/1/19/1944101/texas-longhorns-tv-ne...

Buckeye Black's picture

This is the wrong way to go.  How many people thought Wiscy was going to steam roll TCU?  There won't be anything good out of going independent.

tomcollins's picture

The Big Ten have so much of what you claim, though.  Most decorated, biggest programs, largest fan bases, etc...  We just need to get rid of Indiana and Northwestern.

btalbert25's picture

I'd vote to Keep NW and drop Minnesota, If Figtzgerald gets the lifetime contract they could at least be respectable for the next 20 years or so.

tomcollins's picture

It's more about money and fan support than being decent.  When your puny ass stadium only sells out when the big boys come to town, that sucks.

btalbert25's picture

Yeah I guess that make sense with an alignment of big schools/fan bases/stadiums.  I was thinking of the current system, my mistake.

Buckeye Black's picture

Can we get some sweet basketball computer backgrounds?  I've been searching, only Evan Turner ones pop up.

nickma71's picture

I wouldn't mind seeing JJ Watt in Brown and Orange, and I don't mean Cincintucky. Mek Kiper things AJ Green will still be on the board at numbers 6. God I hope so after all the player mismanagement with Kellen Winslow, Braylon Edwards, Couch/Holcomb-or any bad luck like sure thing Courtney Brown. Green would make Hillis look even better.

Irricoir's picture

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

tomcollins's picture

OMG oversigning, except we put them on the bench and let them transfer!

btalbert25's picture

He's leaving on his own though, not being forced out.

tomcollins's picture

So if you put someone on the bench and tell them they aren't gonna play, that's not any force?

It's very similar to oversigning, except we are forcing their hands.

btalbert25's picture

But he still had a scholarship and the benefits that came with it.  A guy like Elliot Porter at LSU was in his dorm room one minute, and 24 hours later was at home wondering WTF just happened. That, to me, is totally different.

tomcollins's picture

Sometimes its better to be dumped than to waste your time being led on, though.

btalbert25's picture

Who is to say he was being led on, some guys just don't pan out once they hit college, he was granted a release to go somewhere else where he may be able to contribute. It has happened to 2 star and 5 star recruits alike.   Bottom line is, as a student athlete he was being taken care of, and the school kept their committment. 

He didn't move into the dorm expecting to start a semester at school, then have the rug pulled out from under him.  That's the problem with oversigning, if it were nice and honest and clean it may not be that big of a deal, but situations like Porter's aren't isolated.  I know you may  not think it's that big of a deal, but to me, even if incidents like this happen only  10 percent of the time, it's way too much. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Tom, you're a pretty smart guy, but I sometimes you seem to open your mouth (or grab your keyboard) before really thinking through an argument and then, once it's out there, you dig in your heels.

No, it's nowhere near the same thing. Look, others have already talked about the ethical and theoretical differences, so I won't duplicate their points. 

Remember, however, that the great majority of CFB players have little to no chance of making it to the NFL. Even if they don't realize it while they are still 20 year kids, their main benefit of playing & practicing football for all those years will end up being the opportunity to get a college education.  

Football programs have 85 scholarships. Obviously, a good percentage of those 85 will never see the field, except maybe in big blowouts (unless a coaching staff doesn't care a lick about winning, and decided to heavily rotate all of their players (including walk ons) regardless of ability, so that little Johnny's self esteem wouldn't be fractured, you know like pee wee football).

The deal is: we give you a scholarship; if you suck, you ride the bench. The deal is not: you suck, we kick you out on the streets.    

Jdadams01's picture

Completely agree. The difference to me is that Longo had the option of staying at Ohio State and still competing for more playing time as well as getting a scholarship. He would probably have ridden the bench, but the opportunity was not taken from him. At SEC schools, you lose that option and your scholarship altogether. So you don't get a free education or a spot on the bench and to compete in practice. When Ohio State's coaches miss on projecting a high school kid's abilities, they still honor their commitment and keep the kid. Nick Saban says, "too bad, kid, you didn't cut it" and boots them.

Jdadams01's picture

At Ohio State, the choice belongs to the kid. In the SEC, they have no say.

tomcollins's picture

You'd be surprsied how many guys, even senior backups, think they still are gonna make the NFL.  They tend to be very delusional.  At the very least, they are going to expect to eventually get playing time.

Obviously it is different.  But how different is it?  It's the difference between a guy breaking up with his girlfriend and a guy being a dick to her waiting for her to break up with him.

I'm sure those degrees in criminology will do those benchwarmers well, though.

btalbert25's picture

Every college sport gives scholarships to people who inevitably end up riding the pine, and those college athletes go on to complete their degrees.  Guess what, putting in the 4 years, on the pine or not and getting their degree in whatever it may be in, gets these kids jobs.  A guy has a letter of recommendation from Jim Tressel, and has 4 years of football at Ohio State on the resume, they get a job.  Happens all the time.  

The point of college athletics, and maybe it's lost on us because we are so used to being a major Division 1 power, is to give kids an opportunity be on a team, in a game they love, and get a free education.  It's not to churn out NFL prospects.  So, maybe some kids have that dream and still hold onto it, even as a senior who hasn't played much.  That's good, keep the hunger because you don't know when you may get that shot.  I just don't see how you can say it's not that much different when if the kid does follow through and finish his degree, he is going to certainly be in line to get a pretty good job, and while it may not be millions in the NFL, it's certainly better than booting them out on the street because you don't have a scholarship for them.

tomcollins's picture

It's just so entirely different than almost every scenario out there.  Even in HS, if you are a freshman on the varsity team, you could always get cut each year.  I don't see what's so wrong with cutting players.  You don't cut it, you are gone.  College is the only part of it that's different.

The idea that college athletics is really about college is silly.  Half of these players come out barely literate.  They have tutors to do all their work for them.  They need their hands held constantly.  But they end up with their piece of paper and some rube with a local business will let them stock shelves because he was a Buckeye!  If they are getting "pretty good jobs", it's almost entirely payback for services rendered.  But perhaps I'm wrong on this, I'd like to see a "where are they now" for scholarship athletes from Ohio State that didn't get any playing time to see where these good jobs are for athletes that needed to be coddled endlessly to get a degree.  Of course there are plenty of athletes who are great students as well, and I'm not talking about them.

btalbert25's picture

Well I dont' know that I would agree that half of all college athletes come out illiterate and never do their own work, so I'll have to take your word for it.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

You're unfairly belittling the intelligence and/or academic abilities of CFB players in major programs while overrating the intelligence and/or academic abilities of average college grads these days.

Sure, the football players tend to come in with lower scores, not as well developed study habits, etc., compared to average students, but let's not exaggerate the issue. These kids spend extreme amounts of time on football and related activities, while other college kids are doing keg stands and watching reality t.v. shows.

When these athletes graduate from Ohio State with degrees in exercise science, criminology, sociology, or possibly some other major that does not require a super heavy workload (e.g. chemistry), they will be in a much stronger position to be coaches/educators, salesmen, entrepreneurs, youth outreach specialists, etc. Contrary to the stereotypes, the great majority of CFB players who graduate from college - even the ones who arrived with lower than average academic credentials - end up utilizing their educations in constructive ways.     

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Tom asked, "But how different is it?"

If you were leasing an apartment at Tressel Estates: You sign a four/five-year lease. You're allowed to get out of the lease for a price (in CFB, that would be sit out 1 year to transfer to another 1A school), but Tressel Estates cannot raise the price on you and you're entitled to live there for the full term of the lease unless you violate the pre-arranged rules of the agreement, etc.

If you were leasing a shack in Saban's 'Hood: You sign what you think is a four/five-year lease. Two years into the lease, though, Slumlord Saban finds another tennant who is willing to pay higher rent for your unit. Slumlord Saban gives you five days to vacate the premises or else . . .       

btalbert25's picture

Good luck to him, hopefully his Scholarship can be put to good use.

The_Lurker's picture

Longo wasn't forced out. He was a project that was given every opportunity to develop and earn playing time. He didn't. So, by his own choice, he will leave and look to play elsewhere. This is NORMAL attrition in a program. What's not normal is to browbeat a kid into leaving so you can sign the extra 5-star recruit whose high school you just gave thousands of dollars to for improvements in the name of "player safety." JT would have happily allowed Longo to hang around, get his degree, participate in practice and enjoy the benefits of being a student-athlete at a major university. By the accounts of former Alabama players, Saban chooses the other way.