Monday Skull Session

By Luke on February 14, 2011 at 6:00a
Wounded hearts aside, the age of Chillquarius begins.

So besides that, how wast the play Mrs. Lincoln?

Losing to Wisconsin is starting to prove to be quite the bitter pill to swallow, though I can't quite put my finger on exactly the reasoning behind it.

Losing to Texas twice-in-four years? Meh. Not a real rival, particularly when the opposition cared about the home-and home infinitely less than the insecure "TEXAS SUXORZ!1!" students/townies who caused so many Horns fans to go home with sensationalized stories of their horrible experiences in and around the Shoe (thankfully the fanbase has experienced a bit of class renaissance in time since). I certainly had my own selfish personal reasons to enjoy winning in a stadium I'd grown up going to games in. Following the late game Vince Young to Limas Sweed connection, I was privileged enough to spend an entire year getting grief from friends from back home plus getting to watch the team I grew up rooting for and disassociated myself with in place of my college of choosing win a national championship just two years removed from my severing ties and moving on (not the kind of fan whom believes in having second favorite teams). Yet even I don't harbor great resentment nor particularly care that the rubber match didn't particularly fall Ohio State's way. A tackle here, a drop passed there. Who knows, right?

What about falling at the hands twice in a half year to Florida? Priming bias. Complete happenstance the football and basketball teams were de-pansed by their Gator counterparts in a span of roughly 4 months. Sure, the context surrounding the UF loss cut deep (incredibly deep), but the subsequent loss to the defending national champs stocked to the brim with lottery caliber talent was, while certainly dissappointing, anything but a gut punch.

For whatever reason, I feel my anti-Wisconsin fervor goes far deeper.

The 2003 Rob Reynolds choke of a choke game. The 2007 night after MNC catastrophy followup. Probably other basketball games I don't recall out of my my mind burying them deep in a place to spare me the post traumautic stress. And then we come to the 2010 football game. For whatever reason at the time (in spite of my pessimism that the 2k10 Bucks weren't exactly long for the national title race), that one cut unbearably deep. In hindsight and in context, losing that game didn't really matter near as much as it could. It also provided a once in a lifetime experience in New Orleans and the chance to get a 40-year-old monkey off our collective backs, so unquestionably a mixed blessing at worst. But at the time? Goodness. Pass the hemlock.

Saturday afternoon? I'd be lying if I said it was unsurprising. Ohio State was even road dogs at a number of major Vegas books. But just simply the sheer way it all went down. Holding a relatively late 47-32 advantage and having it fade in seemingly the blink of an eye. And the whole broadcasting the Wisconsin football montage just before kickoff? The whole experience certainly felt awfully spleen jabby. I can't pretend I won't be ecstatic when Ohio State brings the force of a thousand suns in the season finale and again this fall in The Shoe. DeVier Posey and Gene Smith are certainly on-board with how I envision the not-too-distant future playing out as well.

Oh, and Happy Monday Skull Session to you and yours (and Happy Valentine's Day; if my reminder spared you a night on the couch, you can thank me at the tailgate next year). 

Empty Room. Wisconsin authorities are looking into the post-game revelations from Buckeyes star Jared Sullinger that he was spit on by classless Badger court stormers and again before the game began. While it's phenomenally improbable anything substantive will actually emerge from said investigation, going through the motions is certainly a decent gesture for the athletic leadership to carry out. Even with technology, the odds of pinpointing anything in the post game malaise is unlikely at best, and the odds that a guilty soul would fess up is even less probable. Besides, if there's one aspect of Jared Sullinger that commands respect besides his game, it's how laid back and grounded the guy actually appears to be. If crying over spuilt milk is beneath him, it probably should be from the fan sense as well. That's not to say we still can't laugh giddily when he throwns down 30 and 15, Sunday, March 6th. Bulletin board material is pseudo science at its worse, but hell hath no fury like a scorn eighteen year old looking to avenge a loss that was one outlier incalculably hot stretch from never happening in the first place.

We Used To Wait. Polls? A blind beauty pageant in a sport that actually crowns their champion on the floor. While it's likely Pitt, who's national best resume will probably give them the momentum necessary to ascend to the top spot (unless of course Kansas being #2 and Ohio State being #1 and Kansas winning and Ohio State losing causes polling fail of the highest order), will carry the flag as hoops' lipstickiest pig for the forseeable future, RPI projections still hold the Buckeyes in high regards. TeamRankings' RPI projections have the Buckeyes firmly fastened at three, behind only Kansas and BYU (JIMMER!1!!1!). Worry not; pending a completely uncharacteristic meltdown in the next three weeks, Ohio State's one seed still seems destined at this point in time.

Ready to Start. ESPN Rise has the results of Nike SPARQ's Ohio combine which contains the metrics of a number of Ohio State potential targets in the 2012 class. Amongst them Brionte Dunn, Ifeadi Odenigbo (who will unquestionably become my most hated name to type ever this side of Chimdi Chekwa should he commit), Adoplhus Washington, V'angelo Bentley, De'van Bogard, Dwayne Stanford, and Corey Smith. The 40's seem "slow", but given how artificial and poorly timed a number some of those figures out there can be (*cough* Florida Gators *cough*), there's probably a logical, circumstance grounded reason as to why those figures look the way they do. Compare the guys instead to their peers for a better sense of how well they cut it over the weekend. The defensive end/linebacking projected Washington's 40 inch verticle may also have many of you amateur recruitniks bumping him up a spot or two on your wishlists.

City With No Children. Speaking of Texas, the Austin American Statesman's Kirk Bohls and Randy Riggs have a fascinating look into the trainwreck that was the 2010 Texas football season. Your boy inexplicably actually lucked into a bargain basement priced season ticket this year. And while I only actually made it two of the games due to conflicts with tOSU ones, rest assured, it was every bit the disaster they describe and then some:

Importantly, the coaches and staff all had a role in the collapse. As a group, they missed or ignored most warning signs along the road. Those warning signs pointed to problems, among them:

• A severe depression hangover from the loss to Alabama in the national championship game on Jan. 7, 2010. It was an exhausting disappointment to Brown, who had worked so hard to get his team to the championship and who told confidantes he was certain his Longhorns would beat the Crimson Tide.

• Brown had become withdrawn from day-to-day coaching, taking on a role akin to a CEO. He was disconnected from his team and his coaches.

• As the year progressed, fractures within the coaching ranks widened to the point where defensive coordinator Will Muschamp got into a heated argument with offensive coordinator Greg Davis after the loss to Iowa State.

• UT's recruiters had overestimated the talent of incoming players, particularly on offense. Coaches had resorted more to watching tapes rather than scouring the 1,400 high schools in Texas for the type of players that brought the Longhorns nine straight 10-win seasons.

• A switch to a running offense that the team was not built for.

• A lack of dedication in summer conditioning and training, culminating with an eye-opening struggle against Texas State in a 7-on-7 game in July.

• A shift in attitude by coaches, and players, from confidence to entitlement — a sense that the team was guaranteed victory and prestige.

• A lack of on-field competence.

One former player summed it up this way: "UT was just unprepared for the 2010 season. Coaches and players alike."

While as fans and observers there's probably very little we could do (God forbid) a similar fate ever unfold in Columbus, none the less, the read should be mandatory for coaches at top programs nationally to try and nip nightmare fuel snowballs like this from ever getting out of hand.

Deep Blue. The Oracle has spoken. This Fall's AP Top 10 will play out with 9 of the 10 teams he names making the cut. Unfortunately at this point, we're left to hope Ohio State will be that outlier who sneaks their way in as presently Dr. Steele (PhD football seerology) has them on the outside looking in from the 11th spot. Given that it's 2011 and you're reading Eleven Warriors, 11 feels like it could be the start of a beautiful thing, doesn't it? Also, while I'm hardly one to question his divine powers of clairvoyance, Texas A&M? 6th? Really? I guess it's time to remind ourselves that sometimes he tests us to discard the doubters and keep but the true believers in his flock. But until those glossy size 6 font printed pages are in our hands in June, we'll certainly take whatever heavily researched insight we can possibly get.

The Suburbs. Arcade Fire broke the glass ceiling for indie-alt bands everywhere last night by winning entertainment's least substantive award ceremony's highest honor. Either that, or the verified that all the haters were right all along. No, never! Rock on, Win BROtler. While the album is probably my least favorite of their discography, there's little doubt in my mind it's the group's most cohesive, polished, and mature effort to date. Unquestionably the best of the weak competition it was up against, it none the less merrits a precursory listen (also available on Amazon for instaneous download/consumption for just $5) if you enjoy things that are good even in the least.

Here comes the collection plate (Mountains beyond mountains). We added a donate button. Background is here. Give you if you want to, if not carry-on. But, please at least consider it.


Comments Show All Comments

SilverBullets's picture

I think for a program that recruits and measures itself against Texas, USC, and Florida rather than necessarily the rest of its conference, while frustrating, it is understandable that they may get the better of us sometimes. But when it comes to Wisconsin (in both sports) who we seemingly always have more talent than, we always seem to underperform.  For me, I think I hate it the most because we know what's going to happen: in football they're going to run it 600 times and in basketball they're going to shoot the ball 20 times.


Well thankfully in basketball, you get lots of chances... on to the next one

Buckeye Black's picture

Indie rock is for scUM.

Hard rock is for guys with real Bucknuts. \m/

J/k, to each his own, unless you are for scUM, then your opinions don't matter.


btalbert25's picture

I guess, Wisconsin just doesn't bother me like they do other people.  I'm not happy to lose games, but they really do have 2 of the toughest venues in America for road teams to visit.  If the team was going to have a loss, that is the one game I would have expected them to lose.  I hope they bounce back though though because this week is not going to be easy.  If they have any sort of let down, they could lose 2 more games this week.  

Irricoir's picture

I felt the same sting after losing to Penn State in, I think it was in 2008-Pryor's freshman year. Yeah, Wisconsin is the flavor of the month, Derp..Year, but next year it could be another team. If I look at the teams I hate in the B1G I have to rank them _ichigan (Because I have to) but Penn State still ranks higher than any other team. If I wasn't required to hate _ichigan, I personally would rank Penn State higher. A lot of my hate comes from fan interaction, more so than play on the field. I have to admit that the let downs by our team with a lot on the line, has made Wisconsin take ground when closing in on State Penn but the Ninny Lieings fans are suffering from entitlement worse than even our own. I actually have seen much less Buckeyes >than all talk, from our brethern on B1G boards. I don't troll so I don't know what our guys are doing on other conference boards though. The PSU guys are the worst and still act as if losing to Iowa doesn't bother them because Iowa doesn't rate. I don't ever want our team to feel such entitlement that they don't mind losing to Wisconsin because they have tough venues.

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

btalbert25's picture

It does kind of suck they've lost against Wisconsin in football with a lot on the line, but was anything really on the line this weekend?  They are still first place in the conference, still in line for a number 1 seed, and will probably battle Pitt for the number 1 overall seed.  I just don't see 1 loss, on the road, where Bo Ryan's teams rarely ever lose, and nothing really changes as the result, being that big of a deal.  I'd rather have first and maybe only loss of the year come now, then in about 6 weeks.

I never like to lose, but it's not like terrible Wisconsin teams have knocked off our number 1 Buckeyes.  This Wisconsin team may crack the top 10 and the football Badgers were really good.  I would feel a whole lot different if Wisconsin were like Northwestern is to Iowa.

Irricoir's picture

I agree with you on that. Your reasoning is why OSU fans will always love Football more than Basketball and it is a big reason I am not all for a playoff system. Sure it would identify who was the best team at the end of the season but the way it is now, every game matters. Now if the playoffs were to take season games and take the results and give home field advantage to teams, then that would keep it interesting. If that happened you would see cupcakes on everyone's schedules though. An undefeated season, while unrealistic yet certainly attainable was on the line. While not a championship, it certainly was worth fighting for and a mark that would go down in history. Being a part of that seems pretty important to me. Does it do anything to us in the scheme of things for either tournament? Likely not, but it could motivate these guys into doing something special as far as a National Championship is concerned. Much like our loss to Wisky this year in football and then to go on and beat the SEC. (I know it was Arkansas, but had we lost it would have been to the team known as SEC.)

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

btalbert25's picture

I agree it would've been awesome to see an undefeated season in college basketball, but I just don't think in today's game we'll ever see that again.  I'm just always under the assumption a basketball team is going to lose it's just a matter of when.  With longer seasons, smaller schools ending up with pretty nice players nowadays, and even the 3 point line, it's just really ard to make it through about 40 games, if you win it all, without a loss.

As for football, I love college football, but could care less about the national championship.  The season is basically 1 big exhibition where you have 2 teams that may or may not deserve to be there playing 1 for a so called championship.  When there are teams out there with 1 loss or 0 losses that don't even get an opportunity to play for a title, well I just don't like it.  I love the team and the game, but really don't view a BCS title as anything more than winning any other bowl game.  I just don't see the regular season as the playoff when teams that are clearly deserving don't get the chance to at least play it out on the field.   At the same time I would like basketball to have a smaller field.

It's hard to compare the 2 sports though and the importance of a loss.  I mean football you play 12 games in the regular season.  1 loss is going to carry much more weight than a sport where you play 35 to 40 games a year.

Irricoir's picture

I know music has a different flavor for everyone but that band sounds to "Abercrombie and Fitch." Give me something I can sweat and blead to in the gym ala.. Five Finger Death Punch

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

RoweTrain's picture

Yes.  IMO that is one of the coolest names for a band ever.  Taking it into context of course. 

"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

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

in case i'm misreading...we're still #1 across the bored..heelllo biiigger target of pissed off teams on our back..

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

blazers34's picture

you dont have a second favorite team, but you have texas season tickets? or did i read that wrong?


not that it matters, just wondering

Luke's picture

Ha, I'm a blogging conundrum, no? I mean, to me it was like living in New York and going to the occasional Mets game despite being raised in Cincinnati if that makes sense. You might root for them if they're not playing your team, but a win will never be as fulfilling as when your team wins and a loss will never be as soul crippling as when your team goes down.

blazers34's picture

gotcha, was just wondering.  Wife and I try to take in a new college stadium every year, so I can see goin to UT games.  Heard it is awesome down there

Luke's picture

Stadium is nice. Takes a lot to get the crowd up though. Total wine and cheese group, very much like Michigan.

btalbert25's picture

If I lived in Austin, and I were so not rich that I could afford to go to the Shoe every weekend to see the Buckeyes, I'm pretty sure I'd be at Texas games too. I was lucky enough to get to go to the World Series in Arlington this year, we almost go to go to the Texas game the night before.  It fell through but I was looking forward to going to Austin and seeing a game in that stadium.  I would've been decked out in Buckeye gear though.  I was also decked out head to toe in Reds gear at the WS game.  People were like wow so you are a Reds fan that drove to Texas to see the WS?  I said it's the WS, baseball is my favorite game, and he Reds are my favorite team.  That seemed to make sense to everyone lol. 

Oddly enough, I was extremely surprised by how many people came up to me at the game and said "Go Redlegs"  or I love the Reds man.  At the game I attended, Joey Votto was called out onto the field to receive the Hank Aaron Award too.  So, I was actually quite happy for the Reds love/presence in Arlingto at the WS which had nothing to do with the Reds lol.

gwalther's picture

DKR is not a great stadium it all. The fans are even worse. Did you notice how empty it was this year after they started losing? Even for the Ohio State-Texas game in 2006, No.1 v. No.2, THE STUDENTS were late arriving. What a sad experience. Except for the Buckeyes winning.

Class of 2008

Bobcat04's picture

I would listen to indie alternative, but my cardigan is being cleaned, haven't got my horn-rimmed glasses yet, don't have a vinyl record player, and the store is out of PBR.  Sorry.  Also already went into detail that I hate Wisconsin more than any other B1G team, save for the natural rival.   

Luke's picture

I have a cardigan in my closet, my glasses have sort of a horned rimmed top aesthetic, I own a record player, and actually like PBR :(

tomcollins's picture

Do you have any PBR related tattoos?

Denny's picture

Luke and I were thisclose to getting matching 'vintage black and white PBR can tattoos' on our triceps back in December, but it didn't quite happen.


Denny's picture

'LOL HIPSTERS AMIRITE' - pretty much everyone who has commented already.


Kyle's picture

Ohio's own Black Keys scored three Grammys last night.  Didn't see any shitty Wisconsin polka bands bringing home hardware.

Nappy's picture

John Legend won 3 as well, Ohio native and HUGE Buckeye fan. 

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

Maestro's picture

Those 40 times at the Nike Combine are good to see in my opinion because they look real.  There just aren't that many humans that run sub 4.5 40 yard dashes. 

vacuuming sucks

gwalther's picture

Is Luke, Luke Zimmerman? Knew a guy in college from Austin named Luke, thought it might be the same.


And my anti-Texas fervor goes deeper because I go to law school at University of Houston Law with a bunch of fratty UT dbags. Can't wait to graduate.

Class of 2008

Luke's picture

Guilty as charged. Was wondering how long it'd take you to ID me. Well played. For what it's worth, just like at Ohio State, the fraternity types are the minority. I know a good number of solid UT alums but feel your pain on the assclowns.

gwalther's picture

Haha. Glad you're doing well man. I enjoy the writing. I'm not on FB anymore mainly for career and time-drain reasons, but stay in contact with Manoogian and Midge Walsh via twitter.

And are they the minority? Because in law school, they are the majority. I forget certain people went to UT because they are the few non-fratastic non-assclowns in the law school group. I feel like I need a pair of too-tight jeans, a tucked-in polo, cowboy boots, and fluffy hair combed to the side to hang out with them. I call the foregoing their "uniform." With that said, I know some very cool UT alums. Anyway, keep it coming with the writing bro. Much appreciated.

Class of 2008