Wednesday Skull Session

By Jason Priestas on March 23, 2011 at 6:00a
Thad Matta and Mr. Threebler"Football school. LOL."

Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to your Wednesday Skull Session. We're a little over 60 hours away from a monster Sweet 16 matchup with college basketball's winningest program and Columbus, a football town if there ever was one, is gripped with hoops fever.

It's funny to think of the "I ONLY CARE ABOUT FOOTBALL" comments we receive when we pick up our basketball coverage in early November each year, but I'm guessing that as long as Thad Matta is in town, those types of comments will become scarcer. And why wouldn't they be? The Ohio State basketball program under Matta has been there to pick us up right after the two darkest periods of football in the last decade.

The 41-14 setback to the Gators hit us all like a ton of bricks because I'm not sure any of us saw it coming (compare to the throttling we received in the Coliseum in 2008, which, while traumatizing, likely crossed your mind the moment you found out Beanie Wells would be out). To this day, it's probably the most painful Ohio State game I've endured, but two months later, Oden, Conley and crew put on a show on the way to the national championship game and the pain from January was softened.

The last 90 days brought another dose of heavy heartbreak as we discovered that not only were some of our star players selling awards that we'd rightfully give a limb to own, but the Patron Saint of Ohio, James Patrick Tressel, knew about the whole affair, keeping quiet until it was uncovered by a University investigation. Heading into spring practice with the realization that five key players and the head coach will be out for the first five games next season, the basketball Buckeyes are there once again to scoop us up on a ride to make us forget about troubles on the gridiron.

Twice in five years, we've been hit with sucker punches on the football front and each time, Matta's boys have been there for the pick-me-up. Need more of a boost? Keep reading. Here's SI's Seth Davis on Friday's matchup:

Between Jared Sullinger's power, Jon Diebler's shooting and Aaron Craft's, well, craftiness, nobody seems to spend much time praising Ohio State's defense. So let me do that. The Buckeyes are ranked eighth in the country in defensive efficiency, and they're first in both steals per possession and defensive free-throw rate. In other words, they shut you down, turn you over and keep you off the foul line.

ESPN's Andy Katz:

The Buckeyes are the No. 1 overall seed and have done little to change that billing through the first three rounds of the NCAA tournament. Ohio State still has the best low-post scorer in the field in freshman Jared Sullinger and the most prolific group of 3-point shooters. And the Buckeyes had the most dominant performance of any of the top teams heading into the Sweet 16 by absolutely crushing George Mason.

Thank you, Thad.


Amazing. That's all there really is to say about Alex Trebek calling college football (via The Solid Verbal):


Comcast/XFINITY: Nailed it. Kentucky fans were in for quite the shock when they checked Comcast's online television listings earlier this week. The description for the Sweet 16 battle read: (since updated):

Two power programs. The top team in the tournament. Two of the nation's best freshman with the Buckeyes' Jared Sullinger and Kentucky's Brandon Knight. One of college basketball's slimiest coaches, John Calipari, against one of its classiest, Thad Matta. This matchup has it all.

Ouch. But a big shoutout to the Buckeye in Philly that made the lulz possible.


Can't decide between "awesome" and "terrible". Ever wanted to see three grown men belt out "Hang on Tressel" to the tune of the McCoy's classic? You have? Well, here you go:


Stumblings (BOOM, HUNTER'D):  A day after threatening to put The Fan on blast for "defaming" him on air, Bruce Hooley stayed up all night setting up WordPress. This could get interesting. Meanwhile, a trolling Twitter account is back in business after a nearly 10 month hiatus... Dennis Dodd wonders how the NCAA will decide who gets credit as the coach for OSU wins while Tressel is sidelined... Friends of the blog within the Columbus Police Department are hosting their 3rd annual Celebrity Bartender Contest Friday night at Park Street Patio. If you've ever wanted to order a Busch Light from Rick Nash, now is your chance... Finally, people cannot wait to get out of Michigan.


Comments Show All Comments

slippy's picture

I understand supporting your team and all and defending them from attacks...but you're completely delusional if you think Calipari is a straight shooter.  I was actually just talking to my buddy who got a grad degree from UMASS and he said the people up there still worship him for what he did...even though the retired numbers and the final four banners are gone.

slippy's picture

I assume everyone is smart enough to realize the 'you' here is UK fans.  Just doesn't seem right reading it again though.

btalbert25's picture

The common response is, Cal never did anything it was the players.  That may be true but it says something when every school you have coached, even UK, has had some rumblings about players He recruited.  That being said, UK fans consistently accused him of cheating while he was hauling in massive recruiting classes at Memphis.  That's just how fans are.  You hate on the guy when he's elsewhere, you love him at your school.  That's why, despite all the griping and carrying on now, Urban Meyer would be loved by Buckeye faithful.

yrro's picture

I don't know, you can definitely lose some edge cases. I grew up in Kentucky, mom went to UK, and I was a fan as a kid during the 90's. I've been a bit of a UK basketball fan even while going to OSU. But I just can't bring myself to root for them while Calipari's there.

You're right that you don't lose the booster group and the paint your kids in the school colors crowd, but that doesn't mean everyone's happy about it. Personally I know I would put up with Urban Meyer much more than I would embrace him.

F O U R's picture

It's no different than people with blind faith in Tressel.

Calipari is the sleeziest, but at least he doesn't pretend to be something he isn't.

I'm still heart broken over tat gate and the only cure will be a title by Thad and the dudes.



gravey's picture

I don't understand that "I only care about football" mentality.  I root for the Buckeyes in every sport because those are fellow Buckeyes playing.  I may not watch closely because I don't know what's going on sometimes.  Football is on the biggest stage, but to the players who bleed their sport with scarlet and gray blood, winning and losing is just as important.  It's not very Buckeye to care only about some Buckeyes and not the others.

builderofcoalitions's picture

Hooley is from my hometown (West Liberty, OH) and his name came up the other day on my dad's FB wall. Unbeknownst to me, one of his relatives is friends with my dad. The relative went off on how the real story isn't out there regarding Hooley's dismissal/firing/whatever from the station. She directed me to his posts on the 17th for the "truth." I'm not sure it explains anything, though. Of course, none of this means anything to me as I really don't know Hooley (despite the smallness of our hometown) and I don't live in central Ohio anymore. It's just odd that his name has come up twice in the past few weeks. His departure from his radio station must have been a big deal.

Because we couldn't go for three.

741's picture

His departure from 97.1 is a far bigger deal in his own mind (and within his relatively small cadre of like minded followers) than it is within the larger Buckeye community.

With all this talk about "the truth" it makes me wonder if he somehow thinks he was involved in breaking the story? In reality he had nothing at all to do with uncovering the truth. We all heard the truth at the Tressel/Smith/Gee press conference a couple of weeks ago.

Hooley is gone because he did not understand his audience, and because he can't figure out whether he wants to be a journalist, or an on-air radio personality.

My opinion is that he is fading into the rear-view mirror and will be forgotten by Buckeye Nation soon.

SuperBuckFan08's picture

Bruce who??? All I remember is some back of hot air... 

Because I couldn't go for three.   -Woody-

J.Mo's picture

"My opinion is that he is fading into the rear-view mirror and will be forgotten by Buckeye Nation soon."

I already forgot him. Life goes on.

M Man's picture

Breaking news: Diebler, announcing his transfer to Michigan.  (Slow-news Wednesday):

The_Lurker's picture

Isn't that Ross from Friends?

Powers's picture

Yes. David Schwimmer.

Doc's picture

I know this is heresay, but a patient of mine knows a person that knows Willie B.  He states that Will is not enrolled for next quarter.  I have no proof.  This is just what I heard. 

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

johnblairgobucks's picture

I'ld be suprised to see Buford back next season.  Thomas will be seeing alot of playing time next year, so Buford's shot attempts will go down.

RB's picture

Hooley certainly had his d bag moments, but atleast he was not full retard.  D Stanley's stupidity is shocking.  He says some things that make me wonder how he even finds his way to the station everyday.  I am assuming Rothman must pick him up and drop him off everday, and make sure he doesn't try to hump the A/V equipment in the studio.  Speaking of Rothman, he pretty much blows too.  The station has gone WAY downhill, especially in that early afternoon slot. 

Tim's picture

The caption to the picture in this article made me think of my freshman year at OSU in 2007 when I was going to pick up football tickets at the Schott.  I happened to be walking toward the Schott right as Thad Matta was (he was in a walking boot because it was around the time of his surgery, so I know it was him), and when I told him I was going to pick up my tickets, he said "What?  They play football here?!".  I was surprised he even took the time to say anything to me, and he came across as a genuinely nice guy, which is way different than I would imagine if I ran into Roy Williams, Bo Ryan, or a number of other basketball coaches around the country.

\random story ended

blazers34's picture

I hear you guys on Willie B, and I wouldnt be surprised to see him leave either.  but i dont think he will go in the first round

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Its Thursday, March 24th and Hooley is still a douche nugget.

"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