Friday Skull Session

By Jake on March 11, 2011 at 6:00a
David Lighty's smile lights up my worldRemember the good times, like, 6 days ago?

Guten Morgen fellow Buckeyes, and welcome to your Friday Skull Session. Around here, at least, there's been a harsh return of winter after a false spring at the end of February. Troll weather is getting all metaphorical on Buckeye nation. So with Libya descending into violence, our Senator mired in scandal, and snow falling in March, I (un)officially dub this the worst week of the year. That said, let's not forget the week started with the Epic Victory on Sunday, and March Madness is beginning in earnest very soon. I'm more than ready for the Basketball Buckeyes to resume dominating the headlines. 

Conference Tournament News. Several big games in the conference tournaments last night. In the Big East, Pitt may have cost themselves a 1-seed after falling to UCONN in the opening round, offering Notre Dame a chance to swoop into the pole position after their devastating victory over Cincinnati. San Diego State and BYU both won their first games in the MWC tournament, but they'll have to go through each other to win the conference tournament and even then a 1-seed may be out of reach. Kansas squeaked by Oklahoma State, but in all likelihood the Jayhawks share a guaranteed 1-seed with Ohio State. 

Tomorrow figures to be even bigger. Our own Buckeyes face off against Northwestern in what looks to be a tune-up to the bigger games ahead. Both Duke and UNC kickoff their tournament bids in what looks to a race for a 1-seed. Duke needs UNC to lose in order to lock down a 1-seed, while UNC needs to win the ACC tournament to stand a chance of their own 1-seed. If both win out, the last Duke-UNC game of the season could be the biggest one as well. 

The Big East are basically the squatting hippies of college basketball, looking at sending 11 teams to the tournament, almost 1 in 6 teams and almost 70% of the conference. The Big Ten bubble is a mess, with 4 teams of comparable records all jockeying for position. Illinois seems pretty secure. Michigan State, Michigan, and Penn State don't look so secure. Penn State and Michigan State have worse records but tougher schedules than Michigan, while Michigan holds the head-to-heads with MSU. Of the three, Michigan holds the easiest path to the tournament, but all 3 could concievably make the tournament if they all upset their 1st round opponents. 

Head Coach Luke Fickell? The Dispatch reports that Luke Fickell is the favorite to replace Tressel during his two day suspension this fall. If so, it would be a rather surprising elevation. Conventional wisdom had Heacock, a veteran assistant with 16 years at Ohio State, as the likely substitute. He has long been considered a sort of heir-apparant to Tressel, and if this is true, it would only feed those rumors. With Darrell Hazell at Kent State, Fickell becomes "The Man" the look for in the future. 

 Other Tressel Chatter I'm still in sit and see mode, but here is the best analogy I could think of to describe the situation: It's as if you used the office petty cash to buy something for yourself. Then, in order to cover up said minor misdemeanor, you falsified documents to cover your tracks, thereby commiting a felony. Instead of owning up to the relatively minor original offense, you made the situation 100 times worse by trying to hide it. Anyway, Ivan Maisel over at ESPN offers his commentary, while Mark Schlabach says the university considered tougher penalties. Over at Yahoo! Sports, Jason King dredges up the original scandal and bemoans a double standard that I'm not sure is even illustrated by his example. This is going to be around for awhile, and may get worse before it gets better. In the sage words of Samuel L. Jackson: Hold on to your butts. Also this


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BuckeyeChief's picture

Anyone else find it comical/ amusing that the world is calling for the hammer, that the NCAA should make an example out of us, since AUBURN got off scott free?!?!


"2014 National with it!!!"

thorvath22's picture

Let's hope this Buckeye basketball team can steal the hearts of Buckeyes forever and bring some happiness to an otherwise gloomy Columbus.

buckeyedude's picture

Gloomy here in Toledo too. Just got three more inches of snow here in Toledo and gray skies.



blazers34's picture

Dont Heacock and Bollman both coach from the booth up top?  That would make Fickell the logical choice if they want to keep things as 'normal' as possible.

BuckeyeChief's picture

Pretty sure Heacock coaches from the sideline, Fickell from the booth.

"2014 National with it!!!"

RoweTrain's picture

I believe that was true until last year when they swapped places.  Fickell is better on the sideline as he can help fire up the guys when needed.


Edit: Could've even been the past couple of years.

"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

TLB's picture

At least we won't see Jim Burr this weekend

SouthernBuck's picture

Anyone else notice Lighty giving the "shocker" in the picture?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

ha ha, great catch....that would be a great nickname for Lighty - "The Shocker"....

Buckman82's picture

I'm gonna post this early, trapped at work today. Where can I watch the game via internet? Then I can pretend to work......

cronimi's picture

It looks like it will be available on, if you have that service.  I do at home, but unfortunately not at work.

Leanenaud's picture

It could be worse. Like an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and deadly tsunami.

RBuck's picture

We fans have already had our earthquake this week; we're waiting for the NCAA tsunami.

Long live the southend.

bsaucy81's picture

Here's what I don't understand about the articles I've read concerning Tressel.  Most of the sportswriters at the big media outlets are calling Tressel a "liar" and a "cheater" and I even read "slick little con man."  They say that Tressel is smart enough to have known what he was doing.  In my experiences, when you lie or cheat you do it for a reason.  Usually a risk-reward analysis at some level is undertaken by the person contemplating cheating or lying.  I'm failing to figure out exactly what he was hoping to accomplish if he did indeed lie and/or cheat.  I don't think the national sportswriters have fully connected the dots.  Here's what I'm thinking - 

We know that Tressel was alerted that there was a federal investigation going on and that some of his players stuff was found as part of that investigation.  Its been made pretty clear that at that point, Tressel had an obligation to alert the NCAA.  It isn't likely that Tressel stayed quiet in hopes that it would all blow ever because Tressel had to have known (and he actually said during the press conference on Tuesday) that he knew this would come out eventually.  Federal criminal investigations don't just go away quietly.  They eventually wrap up and information comes out.  Therefore, the argument seems to be that Tressel kept it quiet to preserve all of his players for the 2010 season. 

That doesn't make sense to me either because there I am sure there is precedent out there for what punishment players have received for selling their gear.  Even if there isn't precedent, Tressel had to know that it wouldn't be an entire season suspension for players selling their memorabilia.  Turns out it would have been 4 games, which is what AJ Green got at Georgia and its what the Buckeyes would have received.  If Tressel had thought it through and was deliberately keeping the info from the NCAA, does it really make sense that he'd save the 2010 season and risk the 2011 season?  (Again, this is operating under the assumption that he knew the information from the federal criminal investigation would be revealed at some point).  The players involved were all Juniors in 2010 and will be Seniors for the 2011 season.  Players normally get better as they get older, so if he actually thought about it, why wouldn't he have sit out the first 4 or 5 games of their Junior season?  Again, he had to have known that information was going to come out eventually when the federal investigation finished.   

Concluding, if he really was a liar or a manipulative con man (as seems to be the consensus outside of Buckeye Nation), Tressel would have done a quick risk-reward analysis, at which point he would have realized that it made absolutely no sense to keep this information from the NCAA.  This all brings me back to my original feeling that Tressel didn't keep the information from the NCAA for any deliberate reason.  It seems like he just made a mistake.

slippy's picture

So does Bollman take control of playcalling then?  I think that's what I'm most interested to see.  If whoever calls the game does it just like Tressel or we see something different.


Although I guess Akron and Toledo our playcalling usually is a little different anyway.

Matt's picture

Slippy, I wouldn't worry too much about the play calling...something tells me it will be like Tressel never even left...


cal3713's picture

I've seen the actual card and you're missing one thing... the second exclamation point on the fourth down options.

buckeyedude's picture

I wonder if we could be looking at the future Buckeye HC with whomever is on the sidelines as the "substitute Tressel?"

And matt, that's freakin' hilarious, and posts like that, that keep me coming back to 11W on a daily freakin' basis. ROFL.



thorvath22's picture

I personally think our next coach will be either Urban Meyer, Luke Fickell, or maybe Daryll Hazell depending on how his coaching career develops.