Tuesday Skull Session

By Danny on September 13, 2011 at 6:00a

Good morning Buckeye faithful and welcome to your Tuesday Skull Session. I'm still waking up from this weekend's panic-induced coma, as my head is fraught with flashbacks of Rod Smith fumbling and near calls of "Holy Toledo!". To top things off, my Cleveland Browns didn't seem to do me any favors either, losing to the lowly Bengals at home.

Anyway, now that all that is pushed out of my selective memory, let's snap back to reality as the Buckeyes are still 2-0 and will be facing their first major test of the season this weekend against the Miami Hurricanes. Hope you're as stoked as I am.

Let's get to it:

 DEPTH PERCEPTION. Ohio State has released its football depth chart going into week three of the season and for once there are a few changes in the pecking order.

Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller are still both listed as the number one quarterback, even though Miller didn't see the field against Toledo. It should be interesting to see how Luke Fickell utilizes the quarterback tandem against a more talented Miami team.

Rod Smith is still listed as the backup running back behind Carlos Hyde despite his second fumble of the season during a crucial drive of the game against Toledo. This is notable as Jaamal Berry is still not listed in the two-deep at the position and it is unknown whether his hamstring is up to the challenge of picking up carries this week. Jordan Hall (like fellow Charity goers Travis Howard and Pitt Brown) also is absent from the depth chart as he has still not been reinstated by the NCAA.

Chris Fields and Corey "Philly" Brown are both listed at the second wide receiver spot with freshman Devin Smith slated in as the backup. Brown re-aggrivated an ankle injury against Toledo and is likely to see less snaps against Miami.

Corey Linsley returns from a two game suspension for violating team rules and backs up Marcus Hall at right guard. Based on Hall's poor play against the Rockets, Linsley may be needed to give the former Glenville product a breather.

Finally, JT Moore and Nathan Williams are listed together at the LEO position. Williams suffered a leg injury in practice last week and sat against Toledo, but the Buckeyes will need him in South Beach if they want to force some more Jacory Harris interceptions in this year's match-up.

 NOTABLE BUCKEYES IN THE NFL. The return of the Houndie comes later this afternoon, but for now we'll give you some quick hits as a brief preview of your favorite weekly award.

37 former Buckeyes have secured a spot on an NFL roster for the opening week, and those that took the field this opening weekend of the NFL season did not disappoint their alma mater. Ted Ginn Jr. took a 102-yard kick-off return straight back to the house in what proved to be a game winner for the San Francisco 49ers over the Seattle Seahawks. Ginn also took back a punt return for a touchdown and reminded everyone why we loved him so dearly in Columbus.

James "The Little Animal" Laurinaitis had 6 tackles, including 1 for a loss, for the St. Louis Rams in a loss to the "dream team" Philadelphia Eagles,  Santonio Holmes had 6 receptions for 70 yards for the New York Jets in a victory over the Dallas Cowboys, everyone's favorite undrafted free agent, Dane Sanzenbacher , tallied his first NFL reception this weekend with a 6-yard catch in a victory over the Atlanta Falcons, and the Buckeyes' lone NFL first-round draft choice, Cameron Heyward, had one tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers' back-up duty.

Come back to the site later to check out the other performances by former Buckeyes in the league and to see who took home The Houndie in week one of the NFL season.

Can Devin Smith surpass Reed or Brown this season?

 FUTURE, THY NAME IS DEVIN. Ohio State freshman wide receiver Devin Smith is 10th in the B1G in receiving and leads all Buckeye pass catchers this year with 119 yards. It's no secret that Smith was going to be a play maker when he arrived at OSU, but I don't know how many fans would have expected him to be leading the entire receiving corps after two games. 

What's even more impressive is that Smith has only seen limited action in the first two contests because he wasn't supposed to be a major factor in the receiving rotation this early in the season. When Philly Brown went down with a sprained ankle last Saturday, Smith played with a magnanimous spirit that allowed him to make some big plays down the field and keep the chains moving in what was a stagnant OSU offense.

He came up big in a situation when the Buckeyes needed him most, hauling in a 36-yard completion in the third quarter that took the OSU offense to Toledo's 7-yard line. Ohio State went on to score what would prove to be the winning touchdown on that drive.

Smith was also wide open on several other occasions, but was left with nothing to catch due to misjudged throws from Joe Bauserman, who went from 3rd in the NCAA in passing efficiency to 35th in a one-game span. Bauserman will have to work on his touch and find open receivers like Smith more often if OSU wants to beat the Hurricanes.

Brown is supposed to come back this week from his ankle sprain, which will likely reduce the playing time of Smith. Being that Philly is hampered, if I'm Luke Fickell, I find ways to get Devin into the game. He's proving to be too talented to ignore, and I won't be surprised if he's named a starter at some point this season. At least before DeVier Posey returns for the game in Lincoln.

 THE DOLLARS MAKE CENTS. An AP report claims "fair market value of top-tier college football and men's basketball players is over $100,000 each." More specifically, the report states the average football player is worth $121,000 and the average basketball player is worth $265,000. In the report, Ramogi Huma, head of the National College Players Association, and Ellen J. Staurowsky, a professor at Drexel University, state that they believe athletes should not only be paid, but also should be able to pursue endorsement deals.

Paying college athletes is certainly a hot-button issue in college sports, and I can't bring myself to say that I'm 100% for it. When money enters the equation of college athletics, it takes away some of the allure and mystique from the game. When I watch college games, I see players who are playing for the love of the game, no strings attached, until they finally reach the professional level.

However, there's too much money being made off college sports by the universities to keep their athletes out of the picture, so I can see that point of view as well. Scholarships can't always fully compensate an NCAA athlete and many of these players come from backgrounds in which they don't have the necessary funds to keep up with the college environment.

Letting college players seek endorsement deals is still too controversial for me, but I expect one day to see players paid by the NCAA. To be clear, though, in my opinion, something like this will take decades to come to fruition as there are many roadblocks and obstacles to overcome.  

 LOS LINKS. The Michigan-Western Michigan game-score statistics have disappeared, or Brady Hoke ate them... What a patriotic Thursday it was in Green Bay... The Oklahoma Sooners set an impressive milestone... A great piece on James Laurinaitis and his father... Ted Ginn was making plays long before this weekend.

From The Web


blazers34's picture

the houndie is a no brainer this week.

AcrossTheField11's picture

Brian Robiskie?

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

original buckeye's picture

Yep, Ginn's got it wrapped.  That said, anyone notice Winfield?  An INT and led the team with 10 tackes.  Dude just keeps tearing it up, year in and year out.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

Any chance these charitygate guys are able to play Saturday? Wouldnt it suck if they didnt announce it until late Friday afternoon?

How are basketball players worth more to a school than a football player? Maybe at Duke, and some other schools but football sells more seats, seems to sell more jerseys and seems to have a much bigger fan base. I love college basketball but it is second in my heart to football. And can we get a heads up if it's an ESPN link next time pls? I'm committed to my boycott.

Defend Youngstown's picture

5 starters versus 22+. Same reason NBA salaries are higher despite significantly less revenue.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I'll blame me not realizing/thinking about the rosters being so much smaller on lack of sleep last night if anyone will buy into that excuse.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Just some rough numbers.

345 Division I basketball schools x about 15 players per team = 5,175 Division I basketball players

120 FBS football teams x average 115 man roster = 13,800 FBS football players

And don't forget that basketball still makes a lot of money, a lot of it off of the sheer volume of games (40ish versus 13) and massive ratings for the NCAA tournament. It might not be as much as football, but it's up there. And if you divide that revenue by fewer players, you come up with those numbers.

It's the same for the NBA. No one is ever going to argue that the NBA is more popular than the NFL, but the average NBA salary is $4.9 million versus $1.25 million in the NFL.

yrro's picture

Moreover, the smaller number of players makes the impact of any one player that much better.

Even if you are a Cam Newton or a Tim Tebow, you still need a defense to do well, receivers to throw to, and a good o-line.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

It would be nice if for once during a presser, the leaders of OSU spoke plainly and addressed issues in clear, unobscure language. Fickell could start today, but that might be too much to ask.

buckeye56's picture

The Pro Combat Uniforms that are being worn against Wisconsin were just released



Buckeyebrowny919's picture

for some reason...i really really dig these..except the gloves

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

O-H Kee Pa's picture

The gloves and base layer aren't all that exciting. Other than that, it could be a lot worse.

Bucks's picture

Agreed. I was scared to click the link and look, but those uni's could look pretty damn nice on the field ... especially under the lights.


RBuck's picture

Well, better than Maryland but still a big meh.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

The Buck Guy's picture

Really don't like these. If they want to do "throw-back" unis, then they should at least resemble the actual uni that they are supposed to represent. I see no semblance of commonality with these. The ochre-red is not Scarlet, the striping is different, etc.  I hate not being able to recognize my team on the field.

~ The Buck Guy
Go Bucks!!!!

O-H Kee Pa's picture

I think everyone's preference would be to do away with the Pro Combats in general. However, we have to live with them, and we've seen that there are different levels of "suck" when it comes to these jerseys. Fortunately, we've been on the low end of "suck" these past three seasons.

buckeye56's picture

I'm to the point with the alternate uniforms where if the players on the team like them and are excited to play in them, thats good enough for me.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Fair enough, and you're right. If it gets them excited, who the hell are we to complain?

The Buck Guy's picture

Fair.  Honestly, I think that the unis look pretty sharp... and am sure that some of these young players would like them and that's fine.

My point is just that they do not resemble the Buckeyes' 1961 unis, so why pretend like they are paying homage to that team with these things? It's offensive.  Hop Cassady and Galen Cisco saw no resemblance in the "throw-back" homage unis for the 1957 team either. It's disappointing to expect such a thing and then to go out there and see some star wars interpretation instead.

~ The Buck Guy
Go Bucks!!!!

O-H Kee Pa's picture

I don't disagree at all. All four major professional sports leagues creates and promotes AUTHENTIC throwbacks. College football, for some reason, insists on putting up with throwbacks that are inspired by the year 2050.

jenks's picture

Agreed. And I think that shade of grey is god-awful. My eyes get lost in it and make me tired and depressed. It's like they could only choose from 5 colors like the old days of Madden...

EDIT: I think my complaint is that there is no texture in the colors.

The_Lurker's picture

As far as I'm concerned, we already have the coolest home uniforms on the planet. Maybe I'm just old and can't stand change, but I hate Pro Combat uniforms with the white-hot intensity of a million suns, and these are no exception. They look like OSU-themed pajamas and I hate the look of the helmet most of all. Two thumbs down.

Baroclinicity's picture

I want gray on the sleeves.  This has been bugging me for the last 5 years or so.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

flipbuckeye's picture

Meh. I could just be overly critical since it's for OSU but these are one of the worst they've put out this year. I hate the dark, dull shade of grey. It didn't look right last year. It just doesn't compliment the scarlet as well as a lighter shade does.  And what's up with the in your face white jersey numbering?  It's a loud eyesore in a sea of blandness.

Oh well, no biggie.  We'll see how it looks under the lights on the field.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Remember when bitching about these jerseys/worrying about how badly Nike was going to butcher them used to be the worst thing we had to worry about?

flipbuckeye's picture

Nah. Even then we still had to worry about a blocked kick/punt or giving up a return for a touchdown.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

But, even then, we always found a way. Just like we'll find a way this Saturday, right? (looking for reassurance, but not expecting to find it)

flipbuckeye's picture

The more I look through the photos, the more they're growing on me.

Yet my eyes and brain are still offended by the sheer randomness in design from top to bottom. 

buckeyedude's picture

Between this one and the previous two, I like this one the best. I didn't like the home pro-combats we had before with the plain Jane red helmets. This one has that cool wide stripe that I really dig. Everything else looks good.

Is Wisconsin going to use their regular unis, pro-combats, or are they not Nike affiliated?



Bucksfan's picture

I think the Pro-Combats are going to look awful.  I was really high on last year's version when they were announced, and then when I saw them on TV I thought they looked ridiculous.  These really aren't that different from last year's.  Last year it looked like the red on the helmet matched the jerseys in the Nike pictures, but in real life the helmet and jersey will clash as 2 different color reds.  And then there's the shoes.  Again, red shoes in pictures might look great.  On a green field, they make the players look like Christmas elves.  Extra points for HUGE white block numbers - should be standard on an Ohio State uniform.

Anyway, I give them a "C" overall.  We're going to resemble UNLV.  Is that what we want against Wisconsin?

theDuke's picture

ted ginn is kind of fast.


GoBucks713's picture

These jerseys aren't bad. I just hope those dilweed "super"(nuts)fans don't wear them and ruin them for everyone else. Those things are going to look sick under the lights. I like the buckeye tree print on the sleeves.

-The Aristocrats!

btalbert25's picture

I like them.  I used to hate the idea of pro combat uniforms.  I didn't like the helmets on the last 2, but I'm glad they have Silver on this helmet.  I'm still not a fan of numbers on the helmet, but overall I think these unis are pretty bad ass.


Buckeyebrowny919's picture

is anyone else as depressed watching a real quarterback (troy) throwing to an actual wr threat (ginn) in that youtube video as i am?

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

buckeye56's picture

Look on the bright side, guys.  It could have been waaaaaaayyy worse.


flipbuckeye's picture

Actually, I think those look very slick. You probably wouldn't be able to tell that they are for Michigan State at a glance, but that goes for a lot of these Pro Combats.

Haters Gonna Hate's picture

Yeah I agree. Even though the gold comes from left field, it still looks sharp.

How many times are they gonna get flagged for making the spartan on the gloves?

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

Jugdish's picture

Meatchicken had the ugliest throw-back unis ever.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

Boxing Buckeye's picture

The jerseys have grown on me, as long as its one game per season. But man I wish they would stop screwing with the helmets. These look just like UGA. That said, you're right Buckeye56 Michigan State's uni's make them look like Baylor. Rediculous.

"God, Family, Country, Buckeyes"

Jugdish's picture

Just a thought - What if high school athletes could go pro right out of high school as an option. These guys have dollar signs in their heads anyway instead of an education. The other choice would be to accept at least a 3 year commitment to a university. The student athlete knows that for his/her services in college that they will get an education, get great coaching, and room and board. College will be a living hell because you won't get paid and you will have to live like a pauper like every other college student. If you break any rules, it will mean that you defaulted on your contract and will be released. Colleges don't have the time and resources to baby sit with some of these ungrateful people.


Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

flipbuckeye's picture

The NFL will never accept raw players out of high school when they have a free developmental league in the form of college football.

Nitz25's picture

3 year rule is for the kids safety.  Imagine a high school kid getting hit by James Harrison over the middle?  Instant career-ending head trauma could result.  Football isn't like BBall, in this contact sport kids need extra time to develop before they can safely play amongst men.

BigRedBuckeye's picture

I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but it is important to me...

As far as paying players, I am against it as salary but I do believe they should receive revenue sharing. This idea has been formed mostly because of the nature of my job (trust and estate attorney), and I believe the seed came from reading an abstract of the idea in a trade journal.

The basic concept would be as follows: College athletes in all sports would continue to receive scholarships the way they do now. This serves as their sort of "base salary". If the sport they participate in produces positive revenue for the University on a year by year basis, then some percentage of that revenue (10%? 25%?) would go into an Athlete's Trust created for each individual athlete on the revenue producing team. You could flesh out how to allocate this, i.e. pro rata vs. performance of some type vs. minutes played vs. seniority (i.e. time devoted to the program) or some hybrid of all of these.

But the athletes would have no access to these funds until some future time. Perhaps they could receive the interest income the money earns from whatever it is invested in (governed by a national body) so long as they are enrolled full time at the University.


As time progresses, I would think a vesting schedule would be a good idea. The first thing I would require is that none of the principal be paid over until the athlete reaches 25. In the meantime, they could continue to receive the income. The second requirement I would add is that, to be eligible to receive principal at age 25 and thereafter, the athlete would have to graduate. This would raise the stakes for players leaving early, and increase the number of borderline athletes who go too early (Thad Gibson, Koufos, B.J. Mullens and so forth). Once graduated and aged 25, the athlete would receive 1/3 of the principal. At age 30 they would receive half of what was left. At age 35, the would receive the balance.


The Athlete's Trust would prohibit the Athlete's ability to encumber, pledge, or offer as credit any portion of the trust. Any party agreeing to loan the athlete money based on his Athlete's Trust would not be able to legally enforce repayment of the loan as a result. This is a common aspect of many testamentary and inter vivos trusts. The Athlete's Trust would pay to the Athlete's family if he were to pass away before his trust was fully terminated.

If Congress wanted to get on board, they might be willing to make such money income tax exempt or perhaps tax it a low rate.

In any event, I have thought a lot about this concept over the past couple years. It accomplishes the goal of making the athlete's stakeholders in the revenue they produce for the university, which is the often-athlete-cited reason justifying why they took cash or other benefits ("do you know how much money we make for the school!!!?"). But if falls short of outright pay, which would sully the NCAA experience into something totally unrecognizable. Further, while paternalistic in its restrictions, I believe such restrictions would have an overall positive impact on young men, many of whom come to college without much financial acumen and, at least as the stereotype goes, with a propensity for blowing large financial opportunities.

Would love anyone's comments...! GO BUCKS.


And we'll drink to old Ohio, 'Til we wobble in our shoes! 

Nitz25's picture

I'm no legal expert, but I think that Title 9 would make this or any type of asymmetrical revenue-sharing arrangement impossible.  In order to pay college football/bball players what that study says they're "worth", you would have to change the law.  It would take an act of Congress, and I'm sure there would be plenty of special interest groups who control political funding and votes that would not stand for 5% of the athletes on a University campus getting paid 95% of the athletic revenue-sharing arrangement.  If you're going to pay the football team, you've got to pay the swimming team (mens and womens), the track and field team (mens and womens), the golf team (mens and womens), the wrestling team, etc....

RBuck's picture

It's not going to stop the improper benefits. These kids want the money now.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

Jugdish's picture

I like your thinking. Something creative needs to be done with the money aspect of college sports. There is too much attention given to star athletes and they want some compensation. Look at all the number 2 jerseys or any other star athlete's number. This is creating revenue for the university of which the athlete gets no reward. There needs to be some type of contract in place and if that contract is broken, then the punishment needs to be swift and forceful.


Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

btalbert25's picture

I always wonder at what point does the government look at these schools and the 10's of millions they are raking in off of gear, ticket sales, and TV contracts before they say, ok now we want our cut.  You just can't convince me these athletic departments can be considered non profits. 

Although, perhaps this money is dwarfed by the research dollars, grants, and donations the academic side of things get. 

phxbuck's picture

Can someone give me a logical explanation on why Tyler Moeller is still starting. 

Buckeye in Athens's picture

See play #1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rmkrN36lEc

When he blitzes, he knocks the living snot out of quarterbacks. These past two weeks have been a readjustment back into the game. I fully expect him to step up the intensity, especially since he recognizes that more is expected of him than what he's produced so far (as evidenced by his interview at the media days today). 


Jugdish's picture

Thanks for the link. That is the Tyler that we know. I hope he gets back to that form at Miami.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

buckeyedude's picture

pound for pound, Moeller is one of the hardest hitters.



Matt's picture

Yes, when he actually hits the guy.  All I've seen thus far from him is him flying past defenders without actually connecting.

phxbuck's picture

I really am not interested in a video from last year.  I can pull up some awesome videos of Rod Smith in high school not fumbling and running over people if you would like. 

O-H Kee Pa's picture

One thing that I'm surprised that I've never seen (and if it has, I apologize) on 11W is a retrospective piece on the history of OSU's football unis, a poll voting on the best unis in OSU history, etc.

btalbert25's picture

It's funny how bent out of shape people get over uniforms, especially since it's something that constantly changes.  I went to a UK basketball game one time and they had on these sharp looking gray unis with blue trim.  People hated them because they didn't have names on the jerseys.  I'm like ummmm if you are a fan shouldn' tyou know the players by number, position, they way they look?  Anyway, they lost the game and those uniforms were gone forever.  Seems like teams like Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Bama, PSU, or UK, UNC, and INdiana in basketball get a crazy by any little mention of change.  Ohio State's football uniforms seem to have changed quite a bit over the decades.  I guess I just don't understand the rage that seems to result from the uniform changes.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Boise to be hit with sanctions at 3:00 today.


Buckeyebrowny919's picture


To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Per a tweet from Charles Robinson. 22 violations across multiple sports, for which the NCAA slapped them with LOIC.

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

oh..derp..i forgot about this whole situation. thought it was something recently discovered.

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

O-H Kee Pa's picture

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, their sanctions can tell us about our impending decision (although the violations in football were minor).

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Fickell just said we weren't holding anything back these past two weeks in preparation for Miami (not that he would say anything different). This is a situation in which I hope our HC is blatantly lying. Just a dull presser so far from what I can gather.

btalbert25's picture

I can imagine that they weren't.  Seems like every year when there's a crappy game the week before a big one the excuse is, "well we didn't want to show USC, Texas, Miami too much.  It typically works out that the team just played lousy.