Thursday Skull Session

By Alex on April 21, 2011 at 6:00a
Looking better as an FBS mascotWatch out for that crazy Ohio U mascot

Good morning and welcome to your Thursday Skull Session. The Spring Game is just two games away and I'm starting to get that itching feeling of football re-entering my life. I don't know about you, but I'm a big fan of the Spring Game. I understand the sentiments that the guys don't truly go full speed and it's not the feeling of a real game, but in the Tressel Era the event has given fans who can't afford in-season tickets a chance to see the team, as well as provided fans like myself the chance to take in some football without worrying that I'll be too drunk to miss important on-goings throughout the game.

I'm curious to hear what you're plans are for this Saturday. Will you be heading to the game to get your first glimpse at the team? Will you be sitting on your couch watching BTN? Or will you just go about your weekend as usual and wait for the 11W recap following the contest? Either way, it's time to get excited for football and even moreso, your Thursday Skull Session that begins now.

Leaving the division formally known as 1-AA. No we're not talking about Villanova who is rumored to join the Big East in the not too far future. We are talking about UMass. The Minute Men will become heated rivals with the Ohio Bobcats and other state schools as they will be joining the MAC conference in a couple seasons. This is definitely a big move for the school, as they have been highly successful at the FCS level and now get the challenge of trying to bring in some more coin to their athletic department with a real life football team. After all, John Calipari cost them millions of dollars in the 90's, so they have to make up for it somehow right?

Spring Game revised. If you haven't heard, the Spring Game will undergo a change for this year. Instead of the usual format that has the seniors drafting a Scarlet and Gray team, this year will pit the offense against the defense in a battle to wear the Scarlet unis in fall camp. Due to some injuries and a low number of offensive linemen on the roster, Tressel and the staff decided to make the switch and have come up with a point system rewarding plays such as turnovers, first downs, sacks, touchdowns, and more to determine the winner. I'm personally a fan of the old system, but am willing to see what the new format gives us.

Hi I'm Chucky. No, not the horror movie doll that murders people. We're talking Jon Gruden folks. Coach Gruden will be in Columbus this weekend as the guest speaker for OSU's coaching clinic and the Dispatch caught up with him to get his opinion on Terrelle Pryor's future. Gruden isn't ready to give up on TP behind center just yet, and was impressed with his size, telling reporters he looked like Julius Peppers up close when he saw him at the Rose Bowl in January 2010. Gruden will be taking a close look at TP during practice this weekend to get a better look at how the senior to be is progressing throwing the pigskin.

Buckeyes prep for NFL. While Cam Heyward will likely be selected in the first round of next week's draft, it is unknown where other Buckeyes will be selected. Chimdi Chekwa thinks there's a good chance at least 8 and as many as 10 Buckeyes will be taken by NFL teams, and I have to agree with him. I think Heyward, Chekwa, Brian Rolle, Ross Homan, Jermal Hines, Justin Boren, Dane Sanzenbacher and Devon Torrence will likely be chosen, with Dexter Larimore and Bryant Browning as outside chances. It would be nice to see some of these lower drafted guys muscle their way onto rosters and continue to spread the Buckeye love in the No Fun League....if there even is a season this year.

Poison trees-you get jumped. Harvey Updyke Jr, the man accused of poisoning trees at Auburn, claims he was assaulted at a gas station on the Birmingham Highway. The 62 year old Tide fan says he was punched in the head and believes it was by more than one person, but didn't get a good look as he was "blind-sided" and knocked out cold, where he then got treated at a nearby hospital. I'm not condoning violence by any means here, but the scary part about this is imagine what would happen if a Michigan fan poisoned the trees planted for all-americans in the Buckeye Grove. Let's just say he/she would be out of commission faster than you can say "Seven in a row".

Big Ten Bits. Jerry Kill and his staff are bringing a new pace to Minnesota football. Northwestern finalized the nerd bowl with a series against Stanford. Illinois' running backs are taking a beating this spring. After the "rare muscle condition" suffered by many Iowa players, it's ironic that the strength coach won coach of the year for the school. Penn State's "White Out" game will be against Alabama this season. Michigan is still searching for a number one tailback (we have 5 that can start there). Here is an Indiana football spring progress report. Edwin Baker of MSU is looking forward to a big season. Adam Rittenberg has some Wisconsin practice observations.


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Buckinnc's picture

I'm having a copy sent to me here in the graveyard of empires, so no one talk about it until after I've watched it.  I'll keep you up to date.

thorvath22's picture

What time does the spring game start?

Alex's picture

The game starts at 130 with a lacrosse game before hand. Details here:

slippy's picture

I'll be wandering the streets of Zurich, Switzerland so I'm hoping for a thorough recap on our favorite 11W.

Kurt's picture

It'll be very interesting to see Minnesota this year.  I like reading that they hired Kill and brought in a read-option philosophy.  The up-tempo will be interesting to see how it works in the B10.  A team like Minnesota has nothing to lose and everything to gain, Brewster going back to a pro-style offense last year was the last thing he should've done with their talent...

Colin's picture

I'll be at the game... I just hope to god the weather holds up. I'm tired of hearing about how Alabama has the greatest fans in the country just because they always have great weather and since there is nothing else to do in Alabama more people show up on average, even though WE hold the national attendance record.

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

The Spring Game has always been MEH to me.  On top of that, its Easter Weekend.  So unless I wanted to spend big bucks on a divorce attorney, I will have to pass on driving 2 1/2 hours for the Spring Jersey Scrimmage.

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

Kyle's picture

To be fair Alabama was giving away free chewing tobacco, Walmart gift cards, and Robert. E. Lee bobbleheads to those who attended.


Oh and if an OSU or Michigan fan ever stoops to the level of those knuckle-dragging rednecks in Bama our rivalry will have lost its integrity.  Poisoning a tree or beating somebody up doesn't make you a great fan, it makes you a dickhead who embarasses his own fanbase.

Sgt. Elias's picture

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

Sgt. Elias's picture

stole that from EDBS, credit given where it's due

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

BuckeyeSki's picture

That has WIN written all over it

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Should be interesting to see this new format of the spring game. I give the edge to the defense since they will have the ability to sub along the front 4 and LB's and the offensive line is so thin really won't.

"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

Brutus's picture

This is a bit off topic, but I'm sure on the minds of nearly all of us. I'm told that the NCAA has submitted its ruling to OSU and the results should be available within the next day or so. I don't have any details, but supposedly there isn't going to be anything too shocking. I suppose that could be seen as a good sign, however, the only thing that I would find very shocking would be the death penalty. More suspensions, vacating of wins, loss of scholarships, etc. would not surprise me in the least so until I hear differently, I'll brace for these possibilities.

I want to stress that none of this info has been confirmed so I apologize in advance if I'm off base. I figure if the Dispatch guys haven't tweeted it, I may be getting ahead of myself. Take this with a grain of salt until we hear something official.

Edit to the above: The NCAA has submitted its "Notice of Allegations" to OSU. I don't know what that means so I googled it. The first thing that came up was the recent Tennessee Notice of Allegations. It looks like it's a summary of all the violations the NCAA investigation found. So I'm assuming we'll find out if the NCAA found anything more than has already been reported. It looks like there will be a separate appearance by OSU before the Committee on Infractions at some point so it might be a while before we find out about more sanctions. Or at least that's what I gather the process is like after reading the Tennessee Notice of Allegations.

KenK's picture

Even though we'll be making trip down to Ohio for the weekend, I'll depend upon 11W to provide the info.

Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

Scott K's picture

Doing reconstruction work on my father-in-law's 300+yo house in northern Italy, so will read about it later.

11W is my main source for Buckeye news living abroad...

"There's a fine line between stupid, and....clever.  David St. Hubbins/Nigel Tufnel