Friday Skull Session

By Elika on October 14, 2011 at 6:13a

50 years ago today, the Ohio State Buckeyes played the Illinois Fighting Illini and beat them 44-0. I'm just going to go ahead and take that as a sign, and you're welcome to do so as well. Not so much because there's really any significant correlation between the players that Woody coached to victory that day and the current roster, but because I'll take what I can get at this point. 

I need something, anything, to give me hope. I'm not just saying this because we're sitting at .500 and I'm ready to throw in the towel, but really it's because... WHEN CAN WE CATCH A FREAKIN' BREAK?! On, or off, the field. I need proof of life here. Tresselball necessitated Valium. Walrusball requires Prozac. 

If any of you C'bus locals are willing to jump in Mirror Lake tonight to awaken the spirit of Woody Hayes and the 1961 team for me, I owe you a drink at Eat Too, Brutus. And... you'll get a special shout out in next Friday's Skull Session.

Now that my therapy session is up, on to what you came for...

 LET'S TALK OFFENSE. QB Coach Nick Siciliano talked to the media on Wednesday, and Luke Fickell did the same Thursday. Both covered a lot of topics regarding offense and QBs, and seeing as how I'm sure that side of the ball has been a source of pain for many of you on several Saturdays now, here's a little wrap up of what went down in those conversations. 

Siciliano took some of the heat for QB play, saying that while he doesn't think they've ever sent a kid out there unprepared, QB performance can always fall back on him, good or bad. When asked if they miss Jim Tressel in the offensive coaching room, he mentioned it's always a hit when you're no longer able to bounce things off of someone who has been around the game for 40 years, but that Bollman called 97% of the plays in the past years and Tressel chimed in on 3%. (Timeout. 97%?! Despite former OSU walk-on Scott Sika's Twitter confirmation of this, I find it incredibly hard to believe that Tressel only provided a 3% improvement to the "playcalling" we're seeing this season! I don't even know how this is possible, considering we entered October without Bollman even knowing what a screen pass is.)

Siciliano was also asked several questions regarding how ideal it is that Braxton Miller is still a true freshman, stating that they were hoping Miller could learn behind Pryor for a year, and his venturing into the starting role obviously came sooner than expected. Ideally, he said, you would have a QB not start until year three or four in the program, much like Troy Smith. (Timeout. Just for kicks, and nothing else, according to my calculations, Siciliano was younger when Troy Smith first came to OSU than Joe Bauserman is now. Can we hire someone with, ummm... experience?)

Now, what you've all been waiting for. Both Siciliano and Fickell have stated that Braxton is doing fine physically and that he's been doing well in practice. He doesn't seem to be limited at all by the right ankle injury he sustained in Lincoln. While Luke did make it clear that Kenny Guiton has been seeing many more reps in practice this week, neither of them really cared to reveal who the backup QB will be this Saturday, claiming they'd like Illinois to have to prepare for both Bauserman and Guiton. (Timeout. Having Illinois waste their time trying to figure out how to get their defense in the stands ready to pick off Bauserbombs, just in case, might be the most genius thing this offensive coaching staff has cooked up all season!)

(And that, Coach Fickell, is how you call timeouts.)

Lastly, on Boom Herron, Fickell seemed hesitant to reveal too much with the tailback situation as well. He refused to really name one guy as the #1, saying that each has their own strengths and set of plays. He added that who plays when and how much will be largely dependent on what's needed for any given week. Here's to Herron replicating his performance against the Illini last year, tomorrow!

SIR MIX A LOT WOULD BE SO PROUD. The Ohio State men's and women's basketball teams had their annual media days Thursday, posing for photos and talking to, you guessed it, the media. My favorite tidbit from the festivities? Sullinger pointed out that despite losing 20 pounds and 4.6 body fat since last year, he hasn't lost his butt. Making reference to what an asset (no pun intended) it's been to his game, he added, "I'd never lose my best friend." 

Bravo, Jared! "You can do side bends or sit-ups, but please don't lose that butt!"

BOOM!Boom Herron saved the day against Illinois last year. Time for a repeat?

DEAR SEC, PLEASE SHOW US THE WAY. I'm not quite sure how the south routinely manages to either get away, or get off easy, with what at least appear to me to be violations of NCAA rules, but they do. The NCAA released a statement this week stating that they have concluded their investigation of Cam Newton and the Auburn football program, and no major rules violations were found.

So, despite having a player that likely made more money than Maurice Clarett is getting paid now, Auburn is in the clear. I'm pretty sure that I don't need to list all the suspensions OSU has faced this year in order for you to understand the contrast, and the ridiculousness of the NCAA, so I'll refrain from pouring salt in our own wounds. Either way... Southeastern Conference... HOW DO YOU DO IT?! I'm not even mad, I'm impressed!

LBJ FOR THE NFL. This whole lockout deal is really killing LeBron's whole "Look at me! Look at me!" gimmick. Or, so it was, until he decided to "flirt" with the idea of playing football again. By flirt, I mean the way some 17 year old tease flirts with some hopeless dud in order to get what she wants. And believe me, LeBron wants the same thing all high school girls want... attention.

This gripping romance started with James tweeting John Clayton of ESPN, asking about the deadline for teams to sign free agents. Keeping up with this high-school theme, Pete Carroll watched this unfold and was completely unable to contain his urge to join in on this attention whoring fun. He and James exchanged several tweets, in which Pete asked LBJ if he's aware of the League's rookie minimum (LBJ replied that it's more than he's making now) and what kind of player he sees himself as (of course, LBJ sees himself as a touchdown maker). 

That was all just foreplay, things have just started heating up. Carroll then tweeted back that LBJ should head to "The U" and Carroll would set up a workout for him to catch a few balls and then followed it up with this picture. The sports world went nuts, and I'm sure Pete and LeBron are enjoying every last bit of the attention. 

In case any of you were hoping for a Buckeye reference in this segment, Chris Spielman said yesterday that LeBron is the "greatest athlete [he's] ever seen," as well as "the mentally weakest person" he's ever seen, when asked about the idea of LeBron playing in the NFL.

Hint to LeBron: if you just show up to "The U" with some disadvantaged kids and a camera crew that Pete can capitalize on, I'm pretty confident you'll sell him on your "skills."

Warning to LeBron: they do play four full quarters in the NFL, so good luck with that.

 FRIDAY FUNDAY. They spell real gud in the south... Some are pretty good at football, too... To learn more about the Honey Badger, click here... LSUfreek, for your laughing pleasure... First look at the Ohio State custom Nike Lebron 9's... I wouldn't be able to live with myself if some of you missed this... Best site ever?


Comments Show All Comments

Bucknut-in-the-South's picture

Besides having the best name of all the warriors on this site (sorry, ramzy) you are very funny.  Love the idea of Bollman loosing the Baus in Champaign so that the Illini waste a db or two covering the concession stands.  Honey badgers rule.  Go Bucks!

beserkr29's picture

Anchorman almost quote FTW!

3 Yards And A Cloud of Dust's picture

Tatoos, summer jobs, airsoft guns....this is the strangest OSU football season ever - a Scarlet & Gray Twilight Zone.

But, it never gets weird enough for me.

Here's to the plot twist where we go 6-1 to finish the year and turn the page.


Baroclinicity's picture

Isn't it strange in itself that you are hoping for a 6-1 finish instead of 7-0?  When was the last time we wrote off a game, pretty much as a consensus?


edit:  I-O!

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

AcrossTheField11's picture

Dear TJ Ward,

Go for the knees.

Kind Regards,

Concerned Cleveland Fan

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

baddogmaine's picture

You can almost imagine the terror in the Illinois war room. "Oh no, who's that under center? We rush when that Bauser guy is in but not that Gui bowser, right? Because, like, Joe doesn't handle pressure well but that other one, who has never taken a snap in a FBS game, will destroy us if we blitz. But if we do blitz and get him everyone will be saying 'Oh my god, you killed Kenny!'" Pure panic in Champaign if they don't know who to prepare for. Whoever thought that up should have a really high paying job at a school with a really big athletic budget.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

It's more of a tease, psychological gamemanship thing.

Let the Illini think, all week, that they'll get a chance to tee off on Bowser - get them all excited, giddy, full of anticipation. Almost like it's time to open presents on Christmas morning.

Then, at the last second, tell them that Christmas has been cancelled - that the chubby, jolly Bowserclaus will not be falling down their chimneys. The cruel shock of it!

So, it's not so much that the Illini will fear Guiton as they'll be disappointed that the Bowserclaus had littered all the other houses on the block with candy canes for passes - miami, MSU, Nebraska - but bypased their crib.  

Meanwhile, Guiton will come into the game, hand the ball off to Boom like 32 times, mix in four or five 3-yard dump off passes - basically, throwing coal at the Illini - and otherwise denying them their chances to sit on Bauserclaus' lap. 

BucksfanXC's picture

On the off chance that he reads this:

Kenny - you can't do worse than Joey B. Everyone is going to be so excited that you are coming in instead of him, don't worry, relax. It's on the road, so there won't be booing. If you take your time, do your check downs and side step the rush coming from the back, Stoney will be open, Devin will catch anything you throw remotely close to him, and if all else fails dart towards the first down marker on the sideline.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

GoBucks713's picture

what time are we jumping in Mirror Lake tonight?

-The Aristocrats!

flipbuckeye's picture

Your well-placed timeouts remind me of Saved By The Bell, Preppy.

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

+1 lol

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

GoBucks713's picture

I'm just hoping for a good weekend. That would be an Ohio State win, and for my wife to be quiet while I watch the season premiere of Walking Dead sunday night, instead of constantly asking questions.

-The Aristocrats!

klfeck's picture

A big Hell Yeah to the Walking Dead opener. Not much else to be excited about lately..



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

RoweTrain's picture

I hear ya on the constant questions.

"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

Denny's picture

As much as it pains me to say, I bet LeBron would be filthy good at football once he got past the learning curve (he surely was in HS).


flipbuckeye's picture

For the first 3 quarters, maybe.

klfeck's picture

Badass HoneyBadger video, I laughed like a freaking Hyena. Now I most go find funny Hyena videos. Good thing I am being paid for this.....



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

sandytowne's picture

So I'm not so sure the playcalling was ever "demonstrably" better when Tressel was here. I think the execution was better but that was mainly because of the experience of the starters. I don't believe having Jim Tressel here today would improve Bauserman's accuracy or Miller's decision-making skills. What would have made a demonstrable difference is having Pryor back.

As for number six, regardless of the insufferable "look at me" routine he plays, he was one great football player in high school.  In fact, people used to legitimately debate what sport would he have been better at; football or basketball. 

flipbuckeye's picture

You think Tressel would have allowed Bauserman to throw for 10 passes while trying to hang on to a 2 score lead?

Pryor's on field ability is sorely missed, but let's not pretend like Tresselball, while nauseating at times, would not have benefited the team after Braxton went down.

baddogmaine's picture

I mostly agree with Flip. Our play design and calling has been predictible for ages - we won because we made relatively few mistakes (other than the never corrected false starts) and had better athletes. We rarely tried or, I think, expected to confuse opposing defenses. I'd like to think JT would not have had JB dropping bacxk so much, in the Nebraska gae or even before, but the reality is that JT also seemed to lose track of situation and what had been working and not. Passes called when we needed to be running clock were not unusual under JT. The guy could coach, but except when Troy Smith provided a true dual threat and we had killer receivers JT seemed to have problems with getting or preserving leads against good foes.

btalbert25's picture

I was going to say the same thing myself.  I can routinely remember the shitstorms that would follow Ohio State's games when they barely beat teams they should've killed or they lost a close game.  People routinely were calling out Tressel for the playcalling.  He definitely would've handled last weeks game a little better at the end, but his ultra conservative, hand the ball off and get 1 or 2 yards at a time, 30 times in the 2nd half may have ended up with the same results.

I think, we're seeing what a kind of leader and motivator we lost when Tressel left.  It just can't be overstated how great of a coach he was. 

thorvath22's picture

Kinda like the Arkansas game... Except we made plays on D

Maestro's picture

The last part of the statement is right on the money IMHO. I think people underestimate how big of an impact losing a truly special and great leader is.

From the player standpoint in recent memory I would point to Tebow and Colt McCoy. Those players meant so much to their teams that once they were gone the void just simply could not be filled.

vacuuming sucks

btalbert25's picture

You also have to think that maybe, just maybe TP was a little bit of a better on field leader than anyone ever gave the guy credit for. 

Maestro's picture


vacuuming sucks

btalbert25's picture

I don't neccessarily agree that the SEC always gets off easy when it comes to the SEC.  Didn't Alabama get drilled over Textbooks once?  Tennessee is surely going to get bent over, and in the last decade they've had other schools find trouble along the way.  Hell even lowly UK football got drilled.  Not to mention Auburn and Mississippi State usually find there way into probation frequently.  I agree that this Auburn stuff sucks, but if they couldn't turn up any proof of the money coming from a booster, they can't just nail Auburn to the wall. 

Baroclinicity's picture

As I said in the link in Buckshots... what happened to Danny Sheridan's "Bag Man"?

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

NC_Buckeye's picture

I think Sheridan was exposed as just blowing smoke to see if anything would turn up... and it didn't. Those Auburn boosters are pretty tight-lipped.

Re the SEC, we know there are shenanigans going on, they know it too. And yet we're getting suspensions for bb guns and $200 overpayments. SEC fans must find our travails to be a source of endless bemusement.

Why was no investigation ever done on the Alabama free suits? Did there Compliance Dept even do an investigation? I'm betting not.

Baroclinicity's picture

...or Trent Richardson's SUV...

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

NC_Buckeye's picture

BT, don't take this the wrong way, but didn't you write one time that you're from Kentucky? Just wondering what's your connection to tOSU?

btalbert25's picture

I'm from NKY yes.  I started to love Ohio State in the mid 90's when they whooped Notre Dame.  I went to a catholic school and everyone was a Notre Dame fan.  Ever since that game, and listenning to Cooper afterward I was hooked.  I wanted to attend Ohio State and received a small scholarship, but I was still going to have to foot the bill for like 13,000 a year out of state with room and board so I opted to stay put and go to NKU for 1/4th of the money. 

I don't think that being from Kentucky really matters when it comes to my opinion about the SEC teams getting in trouble though if that's what you are getting at.  I'm merely pointing out that SEC teams do.  Infact, some like Alabama have gotten it multiple times in the last 20 years, whil Ohio State has had some pretty sketchy stuff happen and never got in trouble.  So when the Mo Clarett and Troy Smith stuff came up, Bama fans were probably pissing and moaning like everyone on here has been since this stuff came out last December.

I'm just tired of everyone acting like the victim here.  It's been a horrible stretch since January and we've gone through the ringer.  I just wish instead of deflecting everything and blaming our problems on ESPN, or whining about the SEC everyone would just ignore it.  It really doesn't matter who gets nailed or who doesnt, because it has nothing to do with Ohio State and their trouble.  We know the NCAA isn't fair, it never has been, and Bama, FSU, Miami, and others can tell us that.  They've all been nailed too, multiple times, and sometimes for ridiculous stuff like textbooks.

Baroclinicity's picture

Or blaming Herbstreit...

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

RBuck's picture

I can believe that Bollman called 97% of the plays last year. But I guarantee you he was following Tressel's scripted game plan.

Long live the southend.

Nappy's picture

Excellent job on the Skully. Prescription drugs? Check. Shots at TheBaus for taking shots in the stands? Check.  90's rap reference? Check. Dig at LeBron for 3 quarters? Check.  I think you covered all the bases.  Now go enjoy some Chipotle.

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

What if LeBron went to play for the Browns and helped them reach a Super Bowl? Would all be forgiven in Cleveland?

Baroclinicity's picture


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

GoBucks713's picture

That would be the only thing that would redeem him.

-The Aristocrats!

Maestro's picture

I get to watch OU attempt to score 100 points on Kansas tomorrow night.  Should be very entertaining.

vacuuming sucks

NC_Buckeye's picture

Take good notes. Bollman might be interested in seeing them.

Maestro's picture

Ryan notes needed. We don't have one of those.

vacuuming sucks

OSUNeedles's picture

You know, I was originally okay with Fickell having rotating captains, but having rotating suspensions each week seems like a questionable decision...

Is it Justin Siems' week to get some love at QB? They sure as hell wouldn't be prepared for that.

Bucks43201's picture

Rushel Shell verbals to Pitt, but said he would have chosen Ohio State:

"A few weeks ago, Shell admitted he likely would have chosen Ohio State if not for the looming NCAA sanctions and the resignation of coach Jim Tressel.

After Tressel resigned, Pitt became Shell's favorite, and he said during the summer he wanted to commit not to an established power but to a program he believed was on the rise. Pitt fits that bill."


"looming NCAA sanctions" ---- ESPiN is praying that they're looming. I didn't know it was that inevitable, ESPiN. Wow, they will either be in for some real disappoinment if we're not charged with L.O.I.C. and no bowl ban ... or, if there is some significant punishment (don't think there will be), the ESPiNers will have a collective orgasm.

Shell would have been a nice addition to already loaded backfield ... Smith, Berry, Hyde, Ball, Dunn .... but it wasn't a major need, so not a huge loss


"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

Yeah, but imagine the collective orgasm we are going to have when we stomp the weasels and then right afterwards its announced there are no additional sanctions.

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

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

While not trying to flame everyone, play calling is over-rated.  Game planning is where we really miss Tressell.  I'm sure that card with play selections would've included more runs and less passes on it than the one Walrusboy was holding last Saturday at the start of the meltdown.

A well executed mistake of a play call is better than a poorly executed perfect call.  That card with plays on it?  Its to prevent brain farts during high pressure situations.  Thats why coaches sit up til all hours of the night Monday putting the game plan together.  THATS where we miss the Senator.

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

Doug Buckles's picture

Who misses the senator? 'let's kick a fg from the one yard line boys.' 'f*ck that noise.

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

I'd take 5-1 with 18 yd fgs  right now

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

biggy84's picture

A qb coach should at least be able to teach his guys how to throw a spiral. Sicilano's credentials never merited coaching at a big time program. He must have made a scrumptious cup of coffee.

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

Another example of where we miss the Senator.  HE was the qb coach.  Siciliano was a caddy.

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