Tuesday Skull Session

By Johnny Ginter on February 15, 2011 at 6:00a

Happy Tuesday everyone, and welcome to your morning Skull Session. Hopefully you've all recovered from a wild and hedonistic Valentine's Day. I know mine was certainly an eventful one, windsurfing through the Okefenokee swamp with my lady friend, supermodel Natalishinka Olgava, laughing at the snapping alligators as we sipped a vintage 1907 Heidsieck champagne from our beer hats. Giddily, we finally settled down on a sand bar occupied by two large and amorous nutria. As the rodents began to copulate, Natalishinka looked into my eyes.

"Johnny... you know I love you."

"As I, you, my pet. Soon we shall be together in the Caymans, away from the cloak and dagger intrigue of being an undercover supermodel spy and a college sports blogger in a crazy, unpredictable world."

"But my love! Oh, such shame I must tell you! It was I! I was the one who spit on Jared Sullinger after the Wisconsin game. They offered me booze!"

Hurt and betrayed, I angrily stood up and heard no more as I left Natalishinka and windsurfed away from that sandbar. Away from the inevitable pain that comes as the price foolish and headstrong bloggers must pay for getting involved with sultry Russian supermodels/spies/easily swayed alcoholics. Maybe one day I'll learn.

Maybe one day.

That Was Quick Well, pretty much the entire universe got its wish to not have to rank the Buckeyes as the number 1 basketball team when Ohio State fell in Madison last weekend, ending their bid for an undefeated season. The chosen replacement, Kansas, decided to reward voters by promptly crapping the bed against an unranked Kansas State team that had gone 5-6 in Big 12 conference play. It's been said by many people for a while now that one regular season loss in the grand scheme of things is not that big of a deal, but I do think it should be pointed out that losing to the 14th ranked team by 4 is a tad bit different than getting blown out by an unranked team by 16. The #1 overall seed is definitely still there for the taking, and if OSU can finish out strong I think they have a terrific case for it.

Speaking Of Which... The new Bracketology put out by ESPN still has the Bucks as a 1 seed (no surprise there), but also has them matching up against a potential Xavier opponent in the second round. Xavier, of course, is Thad Matta's old stomping grounds, and the intrigue of that matchup would no doubt rival the buildup of the last matchup between the two teams, when this happened:

Hopefully the outcome of the next game would be similar, but with far fewer things for Gus to get excited about.

Pack It Up, Season's Over The worst thing in the world that could ever possibly happen has happened. For the first time all season, a player not on the Ohio State men's basketball team has been named as Big Ten Freshman of the Week. A highly sarcastic congratulations to Tim Hardaway Junior of the Michigan Wolverines, who probably got his dad to threaten to beat up the committee members so he could win the award and finally have something to put on his trophy shelf. Jared Sullinger was reportedly very disappointed, but Coach Matta promised him a trip to Dairy Queen and Sully perked right back up, bouncing in his seat on the ride there.

Breadth Of A Salesman Rivals.com recently put out their list of the best recruiters in the country, and our very own Luke Fickell makes the list due to his involvement with the higher profile defensive recruits that decided to come to OSU this year, such as Curtis Grant and Ryan Shazier. Fickell being a monster recruiter doesn't really come as a shock; his high energy approach is a bit different than what Tressel himself generally puts out there, but the proof is in the pudding, and Fickell is loved by his players. Unsurprisingly, the south is over represented on this list, along with Ed Orgeron at USC. Personally I don't understand how a guy that slimy gets any recruits period, but I guess some people who walk into a car dealership make up their minds not to leave without a car.

New OSU WR coach and recruiter extraordinaire Stan Drayton does not make this list (probably because he couldn't contribute much to this recruiting cycle for OSU), but expect to see his name on there in the future.


Comments Show All Comments

flipbuckeye's picture

It says more when a guy can get recruits to come up to boring, cold Ohio.  Whereas recruiting for a school like USC takes much less effort.  The weather, girls, etc are understandably more tempting to an 18 year old than cold weather and... cold weather.  Fickell is a beast and we're going to take a hit when he gets a head coaching offer he can't refuse.

And the intro to this skull session was... AWESOME.

craigfling's picture

True true my friend. But there's fine Bettys everywhere, including on the OSU campus, and for a high-profile football recruit, he's got all the honeys he wants right there for the taking. But the cold weather ... that's another thing.

btalbert25's picture

I really don't think it's that hard to get kids to come to Columbus because of weather and girls.  We lose what, 1 or 2 kids significant recruits  a year from Ohio to other major programs each year.  That's far fewer than the Florida schools lose to programs like Ohio State.  Ohio State holds on to the great recruits at home, and has a pretty darn good haul from other states. Sure the south has warmer weather longer but overall is the weather in Tuscaloosa that much better than Columbus?  I don't know.  It seems just far enough north to have crappy winters, and it's far enuogh south that it's miserably hot and humid well into October. 

The_Lurker's picture

I heart Ron Lewis.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

That was such a fun run through the tourney. Sucks that Florida hit EVERYTHING in the championship game to ruin it all. And LOL at Kansas. I said they'd drop atleast one more(against Texas), but never expected them to lose to a 5-6 K-State team. By double digits no less. And damn, K-State's coach is a total asshole. Every time I see him, he is screaming at someone (player(s) or media). How does he ever get kids to play for him? He looks like he is more suited to be a drill sargent for the Marines.

"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

Irricoir's picture

Oohh Rahh!

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

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Actually, it's a fitting time to reference the scary 2007 tourney game against Xavier. If the Buckeyes had lost that game, the Thad Five would have gone two-and-out and the pseudo-fans would have argued thenceforth that they were a "bunch of bums," etc.  

And winning that game was a semi-miracle: before the Ron Lewis heroics, Oden maybe got lucky not being called for an intentional foul that would have iced the game for Xavier and that was after the Bucks had to come back from a 9pt deficit with like 3 minutes to go.

Before then, they played like crap against a good but less talented Xavier team that made Ohio State play at their pace. After scrapping by Tenn in the next game, though, the Buckeyes played lights out until running into a great FLA team.

Btw, that great FLA team lost 5 games in 2006-07, including three straight SEC road games to end their regular season.

In the last few days, we've seen hyper-critical comments concerning the Wisc game from supposed Buckeye fans in the CD and elsewhere. Would it do any good to urge them to get some perspective? 

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

There was no shame in losing AT Wisconsin. They did what a top ranked team should have done. They protected their homecourt. And did it by shooting a rediculous (and a once in a school's lifetime) percentage from the field (and behind the 3-point line). And they barely beat us. It was the one game I said we'd lose. I don't see us dropping another the entire year. And if both teams handle their business, I see a tOSU vs. Texas championship game. Which shouldn't be a helluva game. Both squads are digging in now.

"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

Squirrel Master's picture

Tim Hardaway Jr. getting the freshman of the week award is bogus. What did he do this week that Jared Sullinger wasn't better than? I haven't heard of any amazing numbers!

and this whole Jimmer and Sullinger for national player of the year debate. Everyone keeps talking about Jimmer getting keyed in on by opposing defenses. I would take a double team at the top of the key any day over a double team in the post. Sullinger has to battle through as many double teams if not more and still has put up POY numbers. Jimmer has a couple 40 point games but how many double-doubles does he have. Sullinger has a 40 point game and is averaging 18 and 8 with 10 or more double-doubles. Its a joke that any player should get the POY award over Sullinger. He is the best player on the best team in the league and in arguably the toughest conference hands down!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

btalbert25's picture

Jimmer is crazy good though.  Have you seen some of the shots that dude hits.  I'm not saying that he deserves it or Sullinger does, I'm just saying he's the player BYU has and because of him, that team is pretty good.  He's like Steph Curry but an even more impressive shooter.  Dude is falling down from 30 feet with a hand in his face and still makes the 3!

I love Sully, and lord knows this team wouldn't be nearly as good without him, but could you imagine how good Jimmer would be if he were on a team that had someone else capable of scoring.  Put him on the Buckeyes, and see how valuable he'd be. 

Dean's picture

Let's not forget - Sully can hit the falling-back-with-a-hand-in-his-face three, too, as he showed against Wisconsin, and Sullinger's a CENTER.

btalbert25's picture

I'm not knocking Sully at all, that was a great shot, but Jimmer seems to do it multiple times a game.  I understand the case for both guys, and would hate if Sullinger didn't get it, but The Jimmer could win it and I wouldn't think it's an outrage.

gwalther's picture

Never trust a russian!

Class of 2008

Nik's picture

The thought of Sully bouncing in his seat, giddy as a schoolgirl, on the way to dairy queen had me laughing my arse off

btalbert25's picture

Bracketology is nuts.  The other day I was looking at his projections, it was looking like Xavier in the 2nd round, UK in the 3rd round and Duke to get to the final four.  That is a hell of a bracket for the number 1 overall seed.  I'll refrain from my comments about Kansas until I see how we do against MSU.  I have had a bad feeling about that game for a while, and actually thought that may be the first loss of the year.

tomcollins's picture

Kentucky got replaced with Louisville.  Kansas should get bumped from a 1 seed and that would possibly bump Duke up.

There will be upsets, though.  Would be funny to play Xavier > Louisville > Cincinnati, though. 

This game against MSU is such a trap game, but they are going to be pissed after losing on Saturday.  I expect a big win.

btalbert25's picture

It's just that time of year the MSU seems to get really good. As for the tournament Louisville and UK are about a push I'd say.  Either team could make a really nice run or lose to a crapper team in the first round.  I'd say, unless there are other losses Kansas has lost their shot at a number 1 seed.  They'll have to win their conference tournament and possibly not lose another game.  That was an ugly loss last night.  What scares me, is K-State and MSU aren't all that much different Both started the season highly ranked, both have a lot of talent, and both are desperate for signature wins.  I think the Bucks pull it out, but I wouldn't feel confident betting that game.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Only would the number 1 overall seed have that tough of a road to get to the Final Four if it were tOSU. However, IF that is our path to the Final Four, and we get through it, I can't see anyone beating us in the final two games. That is a tough stretch.

"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

btalbert25's picture

I would really hate to play X in the 2nd round.  I live close to Cincinnati and have always liked their team.  Plus, my wife got her masters there, so we would be a house divided.  Plus, they are never and easy out in the tournament. Their game with K-State last year was one of the best tournament games I've ever watched.

beserkr29's picture

Small correction.  K-State was 4-6 coming into this game.  Beating KU puts them at 5-6.