Thursday Skull Session: Still Sweet Edition

By Alex on January 6, 2011 at 12:00p
Grant and Shazier are ballers

Not sure about any of you, but I know I sure can't stop smiling about Tuesday night. Winning the Sugar Bowl after all the team has been through the last two weeks, and doing it against an SEC team nonetheless, made it all the better. We'll keep you going on your New Orleans high in this Thursday Skull Session, while sprinkling in some things you may have missed while in non-stop party mode the last two days.

 There was a basketball game Tuesday? Yes, indeed there was. If you missed it, the hoops Buckeyes defeated Iowa 73-68 in Iowa City in what was a way too close for comfort game. The Bucks found themselves down at halftime, before taking a sizable second half lead, only to almost blow the game. Maybe this can serve as a wake-up call for an OSU team that has been coasting through the early part of the season. An effort like Tuesday's cannot happen come the brunt of the Big Ten schedule, which is right around the corner. 

 You win some, you lose some In this case, we're talking recruiting, and more specifically the Under Armour All-American Game. The all-star game aired on ESPN last night and featured Buckeye verbal commitments in Braxton Miller, Steve Miller, and Ryan Shazier. OSU prospects Jadeveon Clowney, Ja'Juan Story, James Vaughters, Darius Jennings, Jabari Gorman, and Doran Grant were also players honored to make the trip to Orlando. The latter two announced their college decisions at the game, and as expected Jabari Gorman chose Florida, while Doran Grant picked the good guys. Both of these players would have been nice to add to the depth chart next year, but if we had to pick one, it would be Grant. Consider us happy campers today, as Grant could step in and see time as the nickel back right away next season. 

 Sugar still sweet Yes it is and we have plenty of reading for you to browse at involving the game. Tim May has some short shots about the game, including a note that Terrelle Pryor now has more rushing yards in his career than any other OSU quarterback. Doug Lesmerises and Bill Livingston share their favorite memories from the game. Rob Oller has some humorous observations. Ray Stein has the bottom line on the night in New Orleans. Bob Hunter says the most important thing in Buckeye land isn't Tatgate, but rather the big least for now.'s Andy Staples gives OSU praise, but says it came at a moral cost. Terrelle Pryor has a plan for his senior year. Finally, some solid video by Adam Rittenberg, as he interviews Solomon Thomas and Dane Sanzenbacher.  

 Caught On Camera Bucknuts has some solid shots from the bowl trip, while the Dispatch has the video to give the one-up. Too bad they're all outdone as some handsome editor of a great Buckeye website was caught with THE JHC on Bourbon Street. Sorry Jason, had to get that in one more time! Oh yeah, and one more thing. This is way TOO SOON.

 Two times a charm? Pitt's sure hoping so, as it appears they have hired longtime Penn State defensive coordinator, Tom Bradley. This move seems safe for Pitt who gets a coach who has recruited the state for a long time and is a name well known throughout the college football community. Bradley must know more than any of us about the future in Happy Valley, and it appears that he wasn't in line to take over for Joe Pa in the next year or two when the old man calls it quits (Greg Schiano anyone???). After striking out with Mike "He Hit Me" Haywood, the Panthers had to make a move that could salvage the program. It will be interesting to see how Bradley does as a head coach after spending the last 32 years as an assistant at PSU. 


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yrro's picture

I think the Bradley hire is an excellent one. I think Penn State's recent resurgence is a direct result of him pretty much running everything for Joe Pa. He's got some tools leftover in Pitt to make a good run in a weak conference right off, as well.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Is the TP Ebay posting real?? I mean, I know that it's probably BS (there's another posting for his Sugar Bowl ring). Some confirmation would help me sleep easier.

Colin's picture

It's a joke...Pryor woudn't do that. People did similar stuff after the tat scandal first broke.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Gotcha. OSU fan=worst case scenario paranoia.

Irricoir's picture

Lower ratings huh? Now does this mean that every time someone turned on the channel credit was given? Or does this encompass total viewing time? The only reason I could see the ratings being lower is because SEC fans were embarrassed for the first half and turned off their televisions because they discovered a threat to their supremacy was real and were intimidated! Many people I work with in Alabama told me they turned it off because they assumed we were going to steam roll Arkansas after the first half.

Good Job ESPN! Keep trying to diminish our accomplishments!

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

Colin's picture

On a brighter side, the rating in Columbus was the highest ESPN has ever gotten for a single market.

luckynewman13's picture

yeah, Mandel said ESPN scored a rating of 46.2 in Columbus, that's almost unheard of...


...maybe if they take a look at these numbers the talking heads at eSECpn will start being a little nicer to us.

luckynewman13's picture

not that I care what that insufferable d-bag Mark May thinks

Kurt's picture

Why? If they can do what they do and still get those ratings...

Chris Lauderback's picture

I hate ESPN as much as the next guy but the Sugar actually did well in comparison to other bowls this year. A drop of .3 point to an 8.4 is nothing compared to what the other bowls turned in. Virtually all of the junky pre-NewYears Day bowls saw double digit ratings drops compared to last year and I see the Rose Bowl was down 15% and Fiesta Bowl down 22%. The Rose was hurt as a result of moving from free TV to ESPN. Interestingly, the article below says the Rose actually earned the highest overnight cable rating of any bowl on cable since 2001. 

luckynewman13's picture

the BCS Bowls were a huge get for ESPN and they are certainly happy...but the Bowls themselves have to be looking at these numbers and getting nervous. I guess there are more network tv-only football watchers out there than we originally thought. Who knew?

yrro's picture

The bowls are played over the holidays. Who are the people most like to watch football on network television? Your grandparents. When are you most likely to be watching football with your grandparents? When you turn it on as something to keep you from having to small talk with the family at a holiday family gathering.


I'll be curious if there's more backlash to this. The only people who even knew about the switch before last weekend were hardcore sports fans, most whom already pay $100/month for a cable package just to get ESPN, NFL Network, and BTN. People wrote in to Stewart Mandel to complain and his response was pretty much "you people still don't have cable?" As someone who doesn't think ESPN is worth that much, it kind of ticks me off that the universities are doing that to this section of their fanbase (who, according to most estimates, is still over 15% of the whole).

The_Lurker's picture

What killed the Fiesta Bowl was that it was a horrible matchup that no one wanted to see.

luckynewman13's picture

This may be the catalyst that forces the BCS to require a 9 win minumum to be in a BCS bowl? Thoughts? I know change comes at a snails pace for these guys and being a "Conference Champion" is almost sacrosanct in CFB, but when a bowl is forced to take an 8 win team nobody cares about or even expects to compete, then you're messing with their money.

Alex's picture

Let's also remember last year's game was on Fox, this was on ESPN. More people in the country get fox than espn. I know most of you pay for cable, but not everyone does!

btalbert25's picture

Granted the regular networks still draw more eyes than ESPN, however that wouldn't affect that crappy bowls that have always been on ESPN.  I think it has a lot to do with the joke that is the NCAA and their inconsistent rulings, and the sham of a system the BCS is.  The fact that TCU went undefeated and isn't given a chance to compete for a title rubs a lot of people the wrong way.  Not just conspiracy theorists like myself who believe Cam Newton was allowed to play to keep Auburn/Oregon in and not allow a non AQ school to play.  A lot of people are getting tired of watching college football who normally would tune in to see bowl games.

Jason Priestas's picture

Further, the 2010 Sugar was played on 1/1, a day most of America had off of work (with a Saturday following so no worries about staying up too late, drinking too much, etc.).

RoweTrain's picture

This is exactly what came to mind when I first saw that article.  You cannot compare a game on New Year's Day which also happens to be a Friday with a game played on a Tuesday night at 8:30 pm.  The only thing that is the same from both years is the name of the Bowl.

"Just bow up and go out and play." ~ D. Lee

"As it stands right now, I know I am the best athlete in college football." ~ B. Miller

gravey's picture

It's because Arkansas is a much smaller market than the teams we normally play.  Ohio probably did its part for the most part.  I would guess tatgate didn't help....

NW Buckeye's picture

The real apples to apples comparison for the broadcast of the game was:

"The rating was 17 percent higher than last year's Iowa-Georgia Tech Orange Bowl played on the equivalent Tuesday night."

Different bowl, yes, but a much better barometer of the real success.  Particularly when you figure in that this game was broadcast by eSECpn, and last year's Orange was on Fox.  You instantly have fewer possible viewers when that switch was made, but the ratings are for total tv sets, not just those with access to eSECpn.  The tat(mem)gate 5 probably had no bearing on the overall ratings - those who were turned off by the NCAA ruling and would not watch are just a very vocal miniscule minority. 

buckeye33's picture


Wait until you see this


Needless to say, this young fellow will have many coaches

trying to get him to play for them........


Thad's newest recruit.

NW Buckeye's picture

If you have trouble with the KOMO link, here it is on YouTube:

German Buckeye's picture

It's ridiculous how people try to tear positive things down (similar to a network we all know).  Reading the posts in reference to the video on this kid made me sick.  Why can't people just praise and enjoy special talent?  Why do they have to make snide comments and rip this kid who obviously has reall basketball talent at a young age (12 yrs).  I hope Thad does recruit this kid!

flipbuckeye's picture

Welcome to the Internet.

buckeyedude's picture

Wasn't one of the main reasons listed by many college presidents for not having a CFB playoff was that it "would extend the bowl season too long"?

Well, it is thursday, January 6, and the " bowl" is on... the Miami Redskins are playing Upper Middle Congested Tennessee State University Blue Raiders. 

Thank GOD we don't have a true playoff!(Not)



JakeBuckeye's picture

I will say this:

The feeling I had after the Rose and Sugar Bowl these past two years is something pretty special as a die hard fan. In this system, this feeling is much more possible and likely.

German Buckeye's picture

I for one would be an extremely content, happy and satisfied Buckeye fan if we 1) continue to earn BCS Bowl games at the pace we have for the past decade and 2) every so often (once every 7-8 years of that span), earn a trip to the MNC, and 3) continue to recuit top 15 classes to keep us at the top of the BIG10.  How can that not make a Buckeye fan just over freaking happy to call this program ours? 

buckeye33's picture

Right on !!!  This is the Golden Age for Buckeye Football & Basketball.  Tressel & Matta are exceptional coaches......They can flat out coach and recruit...remember every school has their 4 & 5 star's taking the talent and making them winners on & off the field that's the difference.