Thursday Skull Session

By Jeremy Birmingham on December 15, 2011 at 6:00a

Good morning angels!

Welcome to the Thursday, December 15th edition of the Skull Session, your daily dose of what Buckeye fans are going to be talking about today.

We are in day 17 of the Urban Meyer era at Ohio State, and it's pretty obvious how much his presence has impacted the national perception of Ohio State already. There is plenty of genuflecting, plenty of objective folks looking at how Meyer will keep Ohio State at the top of the B1G mountain, The hand-wringing and whining coming from up north is also tremendously encouraging, since mental domination of your opponent is the first step towards physical supremacy.

As I write this however, it's been at least a full day since Ohio State received a verbal commitment from a single All-American candidate, so maybe the bloom is off the rose, huh?

CYRUS JONES WILL NOT VISIT OHIO STATE. It was a star-studded night at a high school gym in Maryland last night, as Nick Saban, Luke Fickell and more were in attendance to see Gilman HS star WR Cyrus Jones play. Jones was scheduled to visit Ohio State this upcoming weekend, following at in-home visit with Satan, er, Saban last night. Jones had reportedly even convinced his junior teammate, DT Henry Poggi to accompany him.

Sadly for Buckeyes fans who had dreams of Jones playing a Harvin-esque role at OSU, it appears that Jones has decided to nix his trip to Ohio this weekend and has eliminated Ohio State from contention, instead deciding to narrow his focus on Alabama and Virginia Tech.

For the Buckeyes and their pursuit of the "next" Harvin, another Baltimore prep star, Stefon Diggs, will become the main priority in that chase. Diggs has indicated he will be taking a visit to Columbus sometime in January, but as we learned with Jones, plans can change in an instant.

THOMPSON'S DEFENSIVE SEAL. Jared Sullinger made his return to the Ohio State lineup after sitting out the last two Buckeye contests with back spasms and Ohio State returned home after their first road game, and subsequent first loss of the young season, on Saturday. The Buckeyes hosted the Spartans from the University of South Carolina Upstate and it had all the trappings of a good ol' fashioned Buckeye beatdown; full of run and fun and dunks. Surely the Spartans would learn the unfortunate lesson that so many small schools learn every night across the country: you don't belong on the court with the "Big Boys".

Apparently, someone forgot to give the Buckeyes the script in the first half. To say that Ohio State's performance in the first 20 minutes on Wednesday night against South Carolina Upstate was a bit uninspired is akin to calling the Grand Canyon just a hole in the ground, might be a bit of an understatement.

The Buckeyes trailed 21-17 with 7:15 seconds left in the first half after more than six minutes without a made field goal and freshman guard Sam Thompson had been inserted into the game, hoping to to give an infusion of energy into the Ohio State lineup (maybe to wake up a lackluster Buckeye crowd, as well).

Thompson, who played a single minute in the loss at Kansas, turned the Buckeyes fates with a single play, as he chased down the Spartans' Ty Greene and pinned his lay-up attempt against the backboard. The Buckeyes took the momentum from there, outscoring the Spartans 20-7 in the last 6:30 of the first half before putting the game away with a solid second half. Sullinger finished with a double-double, Deshaun Thomas scored 23 points and the Buckeyes won comfortably, but Thompson's effort in the first half changed things for the Buckeyes.

Sam ended the night with 21 minutes on the court and dazzled the Buckeye faithful not only with his defensive tenacity, but with two thunderous dunks which showcased his incredible athletic ability. He finished with a career-high 8 points, blocking two shots along the way.

Matta's is blessed with possibly the deepest team in Buckeye hoops history, but he has not been kind to the back half of the bench in the past few years, hopefully Thompson's effort will give him more cause to let the youngsters get meaningful minutes moving forward.

Freshman LaQuinton Ross, who was eligible for the first time for the Buckeyes following academic issues that forced him to miss the first 9 games, did not play.

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images North AmericaThompson electrifying the crowd

FEAR THE SHAZIER. We all know that Ryan Shazier is tough. We all know that Ryan Shazier is a play-maker. We all know that he should have had more playing time early in the season, because we all saw that this freshman sack-machine from Florida was a difference maker.

Yesterday, the rest of the country received a little confirmation that upheld what already knew, as Shazier was named a Sporting News freshman All-American, despite only playing significant minutes in the final half of the season. His efforts against Penn State, where he had 15 tackles and Michigan (8 tackles with the aforementioned knee injury) certainly opened a lot of eyes and makes him a player to watch heading into the 2012 season.

WILLIAMS TO RETURN IN 2012? While the Buckeyes did not receive any new verbal commitments for the class of 2012 yesterday, they do seem to be getting a bit closer to hearing definitively that DE Nathan Williams, whose microfracture knee surgery took him away from the Buckeyes in 2011, will in fact be back for 2012.

Williams had applied for a medical red-shirt exception and 97.1 The Fan out of Columbus reported yesterday that the request would indeed be granted. Nothing has been made official yet, but it will be a serious shock if that request isn't approved.

Williams had 45.5 tackles, including 8.5 for loss to go along with 4.5 sacks for the Buckeyes in 2010*. His return, combined with the expected announcement that third team All-American John Simon will return for his senior year will provide Urban Meyer some much needed senior leadership in his first year patrolling the OSU sidelines.

GOLDEN GRAHAM LOOKS FOR MORE HONEY. A year ago, the University of Pittsburgh fired head coach Dave Wannstedt and turned their program over to Mike Haywood, who came to them via Oxford, Ohio and Miami University, where he had been the head coach for two years. The Miami job was Haywood's fourth different stop in ten years. His tenure at Pittsburgh came to an abrupt end following a domestic violence charge, and Pitt, in shambles, decided to hire Todd Graham away from the University of Tulsa. Graham had been the HC at Tulsa since 2007, a job he took after one year as the head man at Rice University.

Yesterday, via this text message to his players, Graham announced that he was once again breaking a contract after only one year, and leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State. His decision came one day after being told by Pitt AD Steve Pederson that he would not be granted permission to speak with ASU about their opening after they had initially inquired. So, rather than deal with pesky things like contracts and commitments and honor, Graham slipped out the back door three weeks before his team plays in their bowl game against Southern Methodist.

The way that coaches come and go without warning, without consideration for their commitments, the NCAA's vice-grip on players who wish to transfer to other schools seeking better opportunities provides one more example of the rampant hypocrisy that permeates every facet of the game's governing body.

Players commit to a school, receive a one year scholarship that coaches can rescind when they see fit (see: SEC oversigning practices) and are held hostage by schools if they wish to transfer by restrictive rules that force them to sit out a year, or sometimes two. You see players being sold a bill of a goods daily from coaches who have no plans to be the coach when they graduate, or in some cases, when they arrive on campus.

Seems like a bit of a double-standard to me, but I guess I might be over-reacting.

QUICK SLANTS. Didn't think we'd get through an entire day without talking about Tebow, did ya? South Carolina's major violations continue to be basically ignored in the public eye... The highly unusual "self-photo bomb"... Do the Hoke-y joke.... What happened in your birth year?  Funny salesmen or insane, rambling maniac?


Comments Show All Comments

BuckeyeNation's picture

You mentioned Luke Fickell in the article about Jones but no Meyer. Do you think part of the reason he'll probably, (term "probably" was used because nothing is official, until, well... it's official, lol), bail on us was because Urban didn't show up and Saban actually did?

btalbert25's picture

Isn't Urban restricted to 1 recruiting trip or something like that?  I thought I read that yesterday.  He was going to be attending a game in Pennsylvania tomorrow, and then the kid is coming to Columbus on Saturday.  They said Meyer making that trip is probably not going to happen, but Fickell will be there, because Meyer is only allowed to make 1 or has limited trips he's allowed to make.

BuckeyeNation's picture

By the way... you Writers are AWESOME! Thanks for all the info you provide to us all day, everyday! Your efforts don't go unnoticed and are appreciated far more than us Buckeyes Fans can ever express!!! GO BUCKS!

BrewstersMillions's picture


I jest. Great news. Loved Williams' play in 2010*. Really hope we get to see him again at a high level in 2012.

BuckeyeChief's picture

Microfracture is tough to come back from...I hope he does though.

"2014 National with it!!!"

Maestro's picture

Hope we don't see the drop off in production that we saw with Moeller.

vacuuming sucks

pioneer92's picture

Apparently Dave Brandon didn't have to learn about common NCAA policies and procedures while working at Dominos. He's just mad since he waited until after his bowl game to fire DickRod.

cronimi's picture

^ This. That's exactly what's going on.  "What, I didn't have to wait to fire RR? Aw, nuts...."

Doc's picture

The salesman video was lol funny.  Not as funny as the Domino's AD.  It's kinda your job to know about this stuff.  quit your bitchin and get somebody to read the manual to you.  Meatchicken academics my ass.


Oh, by the way.  Yesterday I went to the Mgoblow blog and they refer to us as TSIO(That School In Ohio).  Really original ain't it?  They even use OSU to rip off their insults.  DERP

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I was on there as well - what a bunch of sniveling little whiny bitches!!!  I love the blog owner in his explanation as to why he had to lock down their site again because too many Buckeye fans were posting and raining on their little Flounder Hoke circle jerk! 

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Buckeyejason's picture

Should be THE school in Ohio.


NC_Buckeye's picture

I like that. With your permission BJ, I'm going to use it in any exchanges with Michigan commenters.

Them: blah blah blah Ohio blah blah blah blah

Me: Ahem... you mean THE Ohio? Yes then blah blah blah. Fuck Michigan.

Buckeyejason's picture

Sure, use it all you want lol


Arkansas Buckeye's picture

Please keep hammering away at the issue of "oversigning" recruits. It is an injustice and I don't see how this is not a persistent theme when the supremecy of SEC is discussed.

"It seemed like a good idea at the time."

Irricoir's picture

Funniest quick slants ever. I think this was the best elevenwarriors morning, sans hiring Urban Meyer news or waking up after a BCS bowl victory. From the Hoke clip to the salesman...hilarious!

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

OHIOST1087's picture

So with Graham out at Pitt does that mean there's any chance Ejaun Price switches/recommits to tOSU? Or is it already too late?

blazers34's picture

he just had a pretty good freshman year.  doubt he wants to sit out

Kyle's picture



20sider's picture

The amount of angst from the Meatchicken fans fills me with glee.


BrewstersMillions's picture

It really is something. I read a few comments today in response to their wondering if Meyer knows what the NCAA is ultimatley going to decide (PS, He does) and a few comments took on a unusually arrogant tone, even by Michigan standards. "Whatever, they are screwed on the field if the NCAA doesn't screw them off of it. We will just keep beating them and listen to excuses when we stick it to them on their field".

They continue to mock his imminence. Its a mistake they won't live to tell about.

BTwrestle04's picture

Amazing what 1 win in 8 years will do to the ego. A win over the worst Ohio State team I can remember watching in my 25 years of existence, mind you.

BrewstersMillions's picture

A win that was a mere 18 inches away from another loss too. Devier Posey just missed streaking down the sideline, crushing their souls with each step he took towards pay dirt. I can assure you, Brax won't miss a throw like that again.

Baroclinicity's picture

Not to be Debbie Downer, but if I recall correctly, that overthrow happened with about a minute and a half to go in the game.  A minute thirty to get into FG range (and I think they had a timeout or two) against our defense that wasn't stopping much that day... you never know, but that still had the makings of disaster for us.

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

Doc's picture

I just had a patient walk in spouting crap about how unfortunate it must be to be a Buckeye fan.  Saying we are "stuck" with Braxton.  I reminded him about us almost beating them and he says, "Let's not talk about the past."  I said fine, let's talk about the right now.  Urbz is recruiting like there is no tomorrow.  Long story short, I made sure to tell him to enjoy the victory this year, because there won't be any for awhile.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

bassplayer7770's picture

It's awful to be stuck with Braxton.  Awful for Michigan!

BrewstersMillions's picture

I'm so angry that we are stuck with the shiftiest QB OSU has ever had-at least as far as I can remember. I won't draw comparisons to Troy or anyone else, Miller is a unique talent. One that gets to shine in Meyer's system.

We're so screwed. Three years of 25 passing, 10 rushind TDs. 2800 passing yards 800 rushing yards. And I think I'm being conservative on the yardage.

The nation is screwed. Not us.

btalbert25's picture

When Meyer started to talk about Braxton, I swear he was about to say Braxton could end up the best QB he's every coached.  He was starting to talk about the other QB's, then said this kid is special.  The way he can run and his throwing, he looked like he was going to keep going on about it, then he said wow I'm putting a lot of pressure on the cat.  Then he kind of reined it in and said but he's a playmaker.  You can tell that Meyer is extremely excited about the opportunity to work with Braxton. 

I'd gladly be "stuck" with Braxton.  Even as an unpolished passer his freshman year I'd take him of Detard.

Doc's picture

My patient needs to come back for some fillings.  I told him to do his homework and give me a good answer why we are screwed with Miller and Urbz.  We'll see?

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

RBuck's picture

Naw, just ask him if it's safe.

Long live the southend.

btalbert25's picture

If he comes back spewing that BS again make sure to have your assistant cut back on the novacaine a little bit.  Sounds like he could use a little shock lol.  All kidding aside last time I went to the dentist I was not given enough and thought I was going to go through the roof when the dentist got to drilling lol.

Doc's picture

Must be a Kentucky grad;(

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

btalbert25's picture

Probably!  As you go south of the 275 loop, the need for a dentist decreases dramatically the farther you go!  Maybe the poor guy just doesn't get enough practice.

btalbert25's picture

Especially, if you are going southeast.

BuckeyeSaab's picture

Worse than the 4-6-1 team in '88?  Me thinks you use hyperbole with your, "in my 25 years" comment.

I'm sorry for not being sorry.

ArTbkward's picture

Chances are that the '88 team didn't make much of an impression on a 2 year old.

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...

(Also, I'm not a dude)

BuckeyeSaab's picture

Well then he's not a REAL FAN is he!!!  ;)

I'm sorry for not being sorry.

BTwrestle04's picture

Kevin from The Office = Brady Hoke?

Doc's picture

They should play that Flounder video on a loop at the Shoe next year.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

RBuck's picture

11W crew: Any updates on bowl practice or injury situations.? Any pressers scheduled? Any practices open to the media?

Long live the southend.

timdogdad's picture

it's bad we're stuck with braxton?  not the most educated statement is it there? are you related to the gumps of greenbow,alabama?     

Bucks43201's picture

so Cyrus Jones is not making the visit (at least he didn't slow play it), but does his teammate Henry Poggi still make the visit?

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes