Wednesday Skull Session

By Sarah on December 14, 2011 at 6:00a
58 Comments

Rise and shine, ladies and gentlemen1. Today is December 14th, the 724th anniversary of St. Lucia's flood. Considered one of the worst floods in history, over 50,000 people perished in the Netherlands and Northern Germany. It was a tragedy.

On that uplifting note, welcome to your midweek Skull Session. For those missing football, we're only three days away from the start of bowl season, with the Temple Bill Cosbys taking on the Wyoming...Cowboys, I'm going to guess (actually, that's right)2. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl is the first of three games on Saturday, and due to the Albuquerque location, if any of the players plan on visiting hospitals, I'm going to recommend they skedaddle on out of there if they come across an old man in a wheelchair ringing a bell.

Meanwhile, as everyone has heard by now, Urban Meyer is owning the recruiting trail. The rest of the Big Ten is realizing what happens when Avon Barksdale is taken down: a more ruthless Marlo Stanfield emerges to wear the crown. Not to suggest that Ohio State coaches are comparable to drug kingpins, but from the point of view of the other schools in the conference, it's probably apt.

So the recruiting war goes on, if you want to call it that. After all, wars end (language warning because it's The Wire).

SHOULD HE PLAY OR SHOULD HE FORGO? Although Matta admitted that Sullinger would have played on Saturday had it been an NCAA tournament game, is hasn't been decided yet whether the big man suits up tonight against South Carolina-Upstate. As BSB's Matt Hager reported last night, Matta said, "I'd like for him to play tomorrow night if he would feel up to it".

Craft relayed that Sullinger is more active than he was last week, but it's only December, so if there's any doubt, the team has the luxury of surviving his absence against the likes of South Carolina-Upstate and South Carolina-Classic. While the Buckeyes have struggled offensively without him, making less than 40% of their shots in both Sully-free games, one player who has stepped up lately is Deshaun Thomas.

Doug Lesmerises outlined his production so far:

This season he has scored in double figures in eight of nine games, and in the Buckeyes' three biggest games, against Florida, Duke and Kansas, he's averaging 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and shooting 53 percent from the field and 40 percent on 3-pointers.

That needs to continue, and if Sullinger sits again, the team will need to rely on his inside game. Thomas, like Lighty before him, can play different positions, even if we all know his first love is launching shots from behind the arc. 

URBAN PLANNING. Bit by bit, next year's coaching staff is starting to take shape. As Johnny mentioned yesterday, Brian Voltolini and Mark Pantoni, both formerly employed at Florida, are now officially on board as director of football operations and the director of player personnel, respectively. Tom Lemming told the Orlando Sentinel that Pantoni is "almost like one of those irreplaceable guys because he does such a good job organizing and putting them in the right direction. Recruiting-wise, he's worth his weight in gold."3

Yesterday, Meyer spoke to WBNS and clarified that Fickell will be a defensive coordinator, though it's quite possible that Everett Withers, UNC's interim coach, could hold the same title if he joins the team. If Fickell and Withers do end up serving as co-defensive coordinators, I hope they will karaoke tag-team "Lean On Me" in a drunken bonding experience. 

Also, CoachingSearch.com's Pete Roussel broke the news that Meyer plans to interview Texas A&M's OL coach Jim Turner for the same role. Before taking the job with the Aggies in 2008, he was on staff at Delaware. In an '08 interview, he was asked about accepting the position even with an inexperienced, and not very deep, offensive line. According to Turner, "It's not an excuse, and we are not going to use it as a crutch. We have really good football players here, and we expect them to perform the duty they need to do to win football games." 

As God as my witness, I thought tanks could fly.Deshaun has been flying high lately

GATOR AID NEEDED. Some, like CFN's Phil Harrison, have called the Gator Bowl the most exciting non-BCS bowl matchup this season. And yet, Ohio State has only sold 6,500 tickets, slightly more than half of their allotment.

Florida is well-populated with Buckeye alumni and the last time they played a bowl there was Tressel's first season. Still, it's not looking promising that Ohio State will sell out. Available tickets are in the $60-$80 range, on par with regular-season prices and can be purchased on the OSU athletic website. So if you're financially and locationally able, time to make a Gator date for January 2nd.

LADY BUCKS ARE SMILING. Last night, the women's basketball team downed Southern 83-49. Tayler Hill continued to impress, recording 21 points, 4 assists, and 5 steals. Her point total matched her scoring average, which is the 11th best in the country. Samantha Prahalis chipped in 17 points and 7 assists. Darryce Moore, filling in for Kalpana Beach who was injured in the win against Oklahoma, also hit double figures with 12 points. 

Ranked #12 in the AP poll and #14 in the coaches poll, the Lady Bucks are off to a 9-0 start, the best since the '00-'01 season. Next up, the team faces a tougher test when they go to Berkeley to meet the Cal Golden Bears.

THE ARKANSAS TRAVELER. In more coaching carousel4 news, Auburn OC Gus Malzahn is taking a pay cut to become the new head coach of Arkansas State. The Arkansas native, who was earning a higher salary than any other coordinator in the country, helped the Auburn offense set records last season on their way to a national championship. This season, without Cam Newton, the offense is ranked 104th, nearly Ohio State-level5.

Nevertheless, he was successful enough at Auburn to take home the 2010 Frank Broyles Award, given annually to the best assistant coach. Before that, he oversaw proficient offenses at Tulsa, and in 2005, he coached Springdale High School to a state national championship. 

Malzahn's HS quarterback, and during his one-season stint as Arkansas' OC, was blue-chipper Mitch Mustain, who USA Today's Matt Foss recently profiled. After one year at Arkansas, Mustain transferred to USC, where he was unable to win the starting job from Matt Barkley. Graduating last spring, he then tried out for the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but failed to make the team.

Following that, he applied for the Marines, though that has been postponed while he plays for the AFL's Georgia Force, starting in March. At the moment, he's working at a car dealership and despite the setbacks to his football career, he claims, "I wouldn't change anything." 

CATCH A LINK. Jerry Sandusky waived his preliminary hearing yesterday... His lawyer's gaffe... New Illinois coach Tim Beckman's football roots... Stereogum's Top 50 Albums of 2011... In defense of the meme-ification of Parks & Rec... Community's opening credits get the Buffy treatment... The Cosby Sweater Project... Sharing is caring, kids... "All I Want For Christmas" - The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

  • 1 I apologize. I don't think I've ever actually said, "rise and shine!" in my life, because as a non-morning person, I despise the phrase.
  • 2 It's too bad Kenyon College is a Division III school because if they played Wyoming, we could call it the "Cowboys & Episcopalians" bowl. 
  • 3 Sorry, William Jennings Bryan.
  • 4 "Carousel" always makes me think of one of TV's greatest scenes.
  • 5 This season. Hope you enjoyed it, haterz, because there will be no more of that. 
58 Comments

Comments

thorvath22's picture

SHINFO(Shitty Information) :Defeater - "empty days and sleepless nights" is probably my favorite album of the year.

Also I'm really looking forward to 2012 getting here.... Possibly the most anticipated year I can ever remember.... Let's just hope it doesn't come to an abrupt end on Dec 21st.... I mean we have Rose Bowls and National titles to win.

Denny's picture

Big fan of the Bon Iver s/t here, and also M83.

It's very funny to be a frog.

Taquitos.

Sgt. Elias's picture

But if you find it, and if you touch it
Your world can change forever
If you touch its skin
You can feel your body changing
And your vision also
Blue becomes red and red becomes blue
And your mommy suddenly becomes your daddy
And everything looks like a giant cupcake
And you keep laughing and laughing and laughing...

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

RBuck's picture

Wasn't that on The Magical Mystery Tour album in '67? ;)

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

Conroy's picture

To every Michigan fan out there, "You want it to be one way, but it's the other."

German Buckeye's picture

I hate to place inordinate expectations on Meyer and his crew to get to a MNC game next season, but with all this hype, hard not to feel that way.  The more realistic side of me will be thrilled with a 10-2 record, a BIG Championship appearance (just Win Baby), and the last BCS bowl game that we collectively will experience before a playoff system hits in 2013.  Sound good?

Denster's picture

The way I understand it is, it'd take an act of Tebow to get any post-season changes to the BCS before their TV deal is up in 2014. But when that happens, I guess it's likely? Maybe a seeded +1?

"It's a double-barreled pistol that fires hard work and victory..."

NC_Buckeye's picture

In case anyone's interested. Frank the Tank says there is definitely something going on as far as the future of the BCS.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my contacts told me that the FBS conference commissioners were evaluating a plan for the BCS to only run the national title game and then revert back to the old system for all other bowl games.  That proposal has since been reported by CBS Sports to have originated from Delany.  This same contact is now telling me that the implementation of a plus-one system to determine college football’s national champion is gaining traction in principle.  The issue is that there are differing opinions as to what that plus-one system will look like.

He then goes on to elaborate on the four plus-one options that are being considered. It's worth the read.

For anyone who isn't familiar with Frank, he's an Illinois alumnus and resident of Chicago. He has a contact(s) in the B1G corporate offices so he's usually the first to report on goings- on conference-wise. Last year he made a name for himself as the blogosphere's expert on conference realigment. Recently he correctly predicted that WVU would end up in the Big XII and that the Big East would grab Boise, SMU, Houston, etc. (Weeks before this all transpired of course.) As a corollary of the realignment issue, he also has become fairly adept at discussing cfb television deals and how that has affected realignment. (I think that has been the source for several of his predictions.)

He also is a Chicago sports nut. Da Bears, Da Bulls, and Da Cubs.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Interesting read.

Absent a playoff (which I'm ambivalent about), I'm in favor of protecting the traditional BT/P12 Rose Bowl tie-in. At the very least, the BT and P12 ought not give up that very valuable "property" for nothing, which is of course what the SEC, ACC, B12 want the BT/Pac12 to do.

I'm not sure that the BT should support the SEC's efforts to allow conferences to have more than 2 BCS invites. It's looking like the BT will remain at 12 schools, while the SEC will have 14 schools. Thus the rule change might benefit the enemy more than it will help the BT.

btalbert25's picture

Getting rid of AQ status and eliminating the cap of 2 teams per conference would be great for the B1G as well.  Last Year MSU would've gotten an at large bid to a BCS bowl.  B1G would routinely be in the running for 3 BCS bids.

Irricoir's picture

If the Big Ten had the perception that we were the best conference in college football, we might benefit from that proposal. We don't have that going for us. We are thought of as the fourth best conference in the nation. The teams that would benefit from this would be in the SEC. The SEC gets the third bid 5/1 over the Big Ten. Look at the Bias that already exists in college football. Alabama going to the title game over fOSU; Montee Ball getting screwed royally in his placement on the Heisman. Even if he isn't the winner of the Heisman in no way should he have lost the Doak Walker to Richardson. It is all relative to the south east. They are calling the shots right now. When that changes and the Big Ten takes it's rightful place, the mouth breathers will find something else they are good at and place all of their pride and focus on it; Noodling or Cow Chip Tossing, Whatever.

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

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

Don't buy everything that Frank the Tank predicts. He missed big time on his pick of Texas joining the Big Ten.

NC_Buckeye's picture

In Frank's defense, it would have been hard to predict all the smoke and mirrors and disinformation that DeLoss Dodds was up to at Texas. (Maybe Tom Osborne could have....)

Everything that I've read says that as far as Delany motives, UT to the B1G would have been a done deal. Once it became clear that Dodds was maneuvering with a singular focus on the Longhorn Network (and that ESPiN and Pickens were doing some maneuvering of their own), Frank pretty much backed off of that prediction. He was getting the same information out of Austin that the rest of us were getting. IOW Chip Brown -- Dodds' chief instrument of disinformation.

Denster's picture

I don't think anyone would argue that changes are being discussed. Everyone has reported that.

My point was, the BCS as it exists, is currently under contract w/ ESPN until 2014. Unless they work out an agreement with ESPN to change the format, nothing is happening until 2014.

"It's a double-barreled pistol that fires hard work and victory..."

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Sarah: Not to discount, in any way, the horrific tragedy that was the St. Lucia's flood, but - as you noted - it occurred 724 years ago.

The cataclysmic St. Urban's Flood is happening right now. So far, its body count is not particularly high, but this tempest is leaving a wide path of butt hurt in its wake. And, as usually happens after such destruction, the low-lying places become unsuitable to habitation, leaving the aggrieved have-nots to wimper and beg for outside assistance. 

SLVRBLLTS's picture

Really digging the "The Wire" reference. Made me miss that show even more.

"Because we couldn't go for three"

Huntington Beach Buckeye's picture

The Wire, one of the best shows...EVER. Also like the Breaking Bad reference.

 

Big Swede's picture

So if Urb is Marlo, does that mean Fickell and Vrabel are his Partlow and Snoop?

BuckeyeChris's picture

Sarah, as an alternative to "Rise and Shine" (which I order EVERY time I hit Bobby E's), might I suggest (via Kill Bill), "Wakey, wakey! Eggs and bakey!"? 

GoBucks713's picture

I prefer wakey wakey hands off snakey

-The Aristocrats!

Nappy's picture

My friends Dad always told him drop your cock and grab your socks

Fan of bacon since 1981

btalbert25's picture

really surprised that the tickets haven't sold out for the bowl game, especially with the renewed confidence int he program.

slippy's picture

Dude it's in Jacksonville.

Squirrel Master's picture

still, there are quite a few Buckeye faithful in north Florida (I was one of them for about 8 years) and this is a good chance to kick Florida's butt in their backyard and show the SEC we are as good as your upper class teams and we are not even started yet!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Huntington Beach Buckeye's picture

Love your articles. However, I would be less worried about Hector Salamanca than Walter White.....or Jesse Pinkman.

BTwrestle04's picture

If any of you guys or gals have some free time, peruse the comments on this ESPN article. Specifically the comments by Jage70. It's pretty commical. 

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7348959/urban-meyer-says-luke-fickell-call-defense-ohio-state-buckeyes

BuckeyeSki's picture

Wow....I just read thru 50 or so posts, and feel instantly dumber as a result...its like listening to a battle of wits between 4th graders on the playground

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

BTwrestle04's picture

I don't have a lot to do at work this time of year. It keeps me entertained to listen to witless banter.

BuckeyeChief's picture

Yep; comments from both sides are usually pretty dumb there.

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

Squirrel Master's picture

That is why I said yesterday what I said, I love it here on this blog. Can't stand to try to have a rational discussion with those idiots on ESPN.com. although it is partially my fault because I go on there to get my blood boiling and wake up sometimes.

who need coffee when you have those yahoos!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

btalbert25's picture

I loved the comment about how the Iron Bowl is more nationally relevant.  What Auburn wins it one time last year and some how it's more competitive? Since 1990 isn't The Game 10-10-1 overall?

carence's picture

I just read several comments as well and all I can do is laugh. Those fans up North are still talking about their win against us. That's sad considereing it was their 1st in a long time. Now they are trying to dog us because deep down inside they know what's coming. They know hiring Urban was huge and they see us getting these thoroughbreds and it makes them angry and scared So, I'm just going to sit back and continue to watch the recruiting, staff take shape, Buckeye basketball dominate and count down the days until football starts because we will be playing like our hair is on fire! (It just moved a little) :)

Nappy's picture

Fan of bacon since 1981

Squirrel Master's picture

STAY THIRSTY MY FRIENDS!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Bo_Dog says: "We already done beat Urban Meyer in 2007."

Maestro's picture

This Auburn stuff really smells fishy. 

vacuuming sucks

Conroy's picture

I think it's actually a really smart decision by Malzhan.  Arkansas State has a good Sun Belt roster, he is still a high school legend in the state, and unlike the other offers he got there will be virtually no pressure there because it's not in a BCS conference.

 

Arkansas State gives him the perfect place to cut his teeth out as a head coach while not having the imense imense expectations of a job at a school like UNC.  And if you want to be a head coach for a long time Vanderbilt probably isn't the best place to start; it's a career killer.

 

And their defensive cordinator almost certainly left for the DC job at UCF (IIRC) to save face because he was going to get fired.

Maestro's picture

That all makes sense, but $500K is $500K.

vacuuming sucks

Squirrel Master's picture

Smart move not going to UNC also. Brian Kelly should have learned that lesson 2 years ago. Cincinnati could have owned the Big East and he goes to ND to chase 3 years of good money. granted it is good money but 10 years of pressure free money is better than 3 years of hate and then getting fired. Now Weis is at Kansas (ouch) and Ty Willingham is no where to be heard of.

 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

BuckeyeChief's picture

I think ND having a practice field may have been the deal maker.

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

gwalther's picture

LOL at the photo you used.

 

That right there encapsulates Deshaun Thomas' defense. "Oh, that was a headfake?" *watching in air as his man blows by him for an easy layup* lulz

Class of 2008

Ill_Buckeye's picture

Wire references always win

BuckeyeSki's picture

How do you feel about this comment Clay Davis?

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

Kyle's picture

I call poppycock on that top 50 album list.  No MMJ "Circuital?" 

 

Nappy's picture

awesome! +1

Fan of bacon since 1981

BuckeyeChief's picture

Man, that's great!

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

sweet.....but did he take off a pair of sunglasses to reveal ANOTHER pair of sunglasses?   ha ha

Bucksfan's picture

No, he's putting another pair on top of the pair he's already wearing.  2X the amount of epic.

BuckeyeChris's picture

Wonderful stuff! How do you guys and girls do that?! I can attach a link, but how do you insert pics like this? I am IT un-inclined. Sorry. 

BuckeyeSki's picture

that is fantastic

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

Seabass1974's picture

We just picked up Everett Withers as co-DC. Another nice pick up for the coaching staff.

 

http://espn.go.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/34147/schad-withers-hired-by-ohio-state

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender. - Woody Hayes

Bucksfan's picture

Urbs will be on the Dan Patrick Show tomorrow morning.  Same bat time, same bat channel.

Maestro's picture

Nice, on the Withers hire.  Solid.  Relatively young, good resume.  I like the way this is shaping up.  Get a solid OLine coach and rule the B1G.

vacuuming sucks

buckz4evr's picture

With all these young coaches coming in, I'm a little concerned about the stability of the program.  I think most of these guys have HC goals.  I'm loving it in the moment, just thinking long term and will not lose any sleep over it