Good morning Buckeye fans and welcome to another Thursday Skull Session. Before you make the jump into the "Skully", let me tell you why this Thursday is different from all other Thursdays and that is because we can finally smell actual, real life football just around the corner.
That excitement starts today as the annual Big Ten Media Days kick-off this morning in the Windy City. While there won't be any voting on conference pre-season awards this year, we are still fortunate enough to bring you everything else you could possibly want and need, as both Chris and Jason will be in attendance making the B1G coaches sweat. Be sure to follow ElevenWarriors and Chris11W on twitter as they will be updating you live throughout the day. If you have any questions you'd like them to ask anyone over the weekend, feel free to drop a line here and perhaps your inquiry will make it onto national television.
In addition to using the interwebs and awesomeness that is 11W social media to track the events happening in Chicago, you can also tune in to the Big Ten Network throughout the day for live coverage of the coaches' press conferences. You can check out the schedule here and if you're super lazy I'll let you know that Luke Fickell is on the podium at 12 PM ET and if you like watching a larger man sweat, Brady Hoke is up at 1:15 PM ET.
Also, there will be opportunities to hear from various players from all 12 teams during the event. The full list of players attending can be found here, and once again for all you lazy fingers, the Bucks will be represented by Mike Brewster, Andrew Sweat, and Orhian Johnson. I'm sure they'll be subject to plenty of questions about how the off-field issues surrounding the program have effected the culture of the locker room and the attitude of the team-basically nothing you haven't heard over and over again over the last six months. Nonetheless it will be intriguing to hear from the guys now that they finally can get down to business on the field.
This is sure to be one of the more interesting media days in recent memory, as some subjects that will be on the docket include reform in college football, Nebraska making it's introduction to the B1G, the first year of two divisions and a championship game, new coaches coming to the party including Hoke, Fickell, Kevin Wilson, and Jerry Kill (and Pelini in terms of new to the conference), and for the first time in a while, there is some uncertainty as to who the heavy favorite is to take home the conference crown. While we're used to being the clear-cut favorite, there is something to be said about being excited about the unknown and I'm definitely interested to see what comes out of this weekend in terms of generating a buzz heading into training camp over the next two weeks.
That Eat Too Brutus thing is pretty awesome. In case you are a first time visitor or have lived under a rock for the past few weeks, I wanted to bring to your attention again our second annual Eat Too Brutus tailgate. The event is bigger and better this year, as it is sponsored by City BBQ (FTW!) and benefits the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
More information about the event can be found here, but the gist of it is that if you buy a t-shirt at the Bauserman level, you get an awesom ETB shirt and your$14 donation goes completely to the Spielman Fund. If you purchase a shirt at our Spielman Level ($36), you get an awesome t-shirt, your $36 goes completely to the fund, and you get VIP access to the tailgate, meaning you get to pig out on some City BBQ. If you donate at our Archie Level, you get a shirt, your $45 donation goes to the fund, you get VIP access to pig out on some City BBQ, and you get a nice Cheryl & Co. Cookies packagae and some other surprises. Finally, if you donate at the Fickell/Stefanie's Heroes level, you get the shirt, your $99 donation goes to the fund, you get City BBQ, you get Cheryl & Co., and the big kahuna, promotion of you or your company on Elevenwarriors.com (a $300 value).
Fear not if you cannot make it, as donations are still encouraged to raise money for this great cause, as well as to get you some awesome swag so you can at least feel like you're there. Also, if you can't afford Spielman level or above, you are still more than welcome at the barbecue to participate in the debauchery that will be taking place starting at 1 PM ET on October 29 ahead of the 8 PM ET kick-off against Wisconsin. There will be plenty to do throughout the day thanks to our sponsors for this event (City BBQ, Cheryl & Co., Oval Brewing Co., and Buckeye Vodka) including music, games, raffles (JT may or may not be conducting this), contests, and more. It should be one awesome event and I know you certainly don't want to be "that guy" who missed it.
Jalen Rose behind bars. Back in March Jalen Rose was arrested after he drunkenly crashed his car in a suburb of Detroit. Yesterday a judge sentenced Rose to 20 days in prison and a year of probation for the incident. Rose, the former Michigan star who now serves as an NBA analyst for ESPN, had a BAC of .12 after claiming he drank six martinis, well above Michigan's legal limit of .08.
Two things here. One, drinking and driving is never a laughing matter, but come on Jalen-martinis, really? At least go down swinging with some Jack or anything along those lines. Second, I do feel bad for Rose as he has been one of the better Michigan alums when it comes to bashing Ohio State during their recent issues. There are some players (current and former) from TSUN that have taken some low-blows at the Buckeyes, but Rose has actually spoken after taking things in perspective and that is something I can appreciate. I'm not starting a #FREEJALEN campaign anytime soon, but I'm not going to gloat in his sorrows either.
Rewriting the rules. SI.com has taken a closer look at the current issues going on in NCAA football and as a result has come out with a two part piece on how to change things for the better. The first piece was written by Michael Rosenberg and suggests a pay for play system. The second article is written by Andy Staples and discusses changes including pay for play, agent issues, gambling issues, recruiting issues, transfer issues and punishment for violation of his proposed bylaws. Some stuff is a little bit over the top and won't ever happen, but if you have a minute, I suggest you give it a read as there are some really good points brought up in his writing.
Chip faces the heat. Pac 12 media days are taking place as we speak and as you can imagine the last thing reporters are asking Chip Kelly about when it comes to Oregon is how he feels about being picked to win their division this year. Naturally, journalists are more interested in asking about the Will Lyles scandal, but Kelly isn't budging.
The Ducks' coach has been side-stepping questions all week, but is deferring to an on-going NCAA investigation as the reason he can't speak in detail. The coach is doing a good job in what minimal comments he is making regarding the accusations that the school ultimately paid for recruits by speaking confidently that this is all just a misconception and that it will all be cleared up shortly after the NCAA does it's work in Eugene.
The best part of this all is that if Kelly thinks he's facing the heat now, just wait to see what happens when the Ducks go down to Cowboys Stadium to take on LSU, the other school accused in the Lyles case. Definitely going to be interesting to hear the press conferences during that week.
KC4 in it to win it. Think we forgot about 11W favorite Kurt Coleman now that he's in his second year removed from Columbus? Not a chance. CSNPhilly.com had a nice story on Kurt, who is the front-runner to start at strong safety for a depleted Eagles secondary this season. Coleman, drafted in the 7th round by Philadelphia last season, ended up starting three games last season and recorded 20 tackles during those three contests. He will be competing with Eagles' 2011 second round pick, Jaiquawn Jarrett out of Temple, but we have a good feeling KC4 will get the job done as always when the season begind. Best of luck to Kurt to put the hurt on some opposing players this season.