Tuesday Skull Session

By Danny on May 1, 2012 at 6:00a

Good morning Buckeye faithful and welcome to your Tuesday Skull Session.

I wish you could see the view from my front porch right now because it's absolutely stunning. Spring quarter always brings out the beauty of Ohio State's campus and everything it has to offer.

Whether it's oval beach, friends' 21st birthdays, intramural softball, you just can't replace being a Buckeye at this time of year. However, I might need to pay attention to this whole school thing as apparently they are giving out these things called grades at the end of the quarter. If you're as shocked as I am, don't worry it's the first time I've heard of these things as well.

Not everything is great in Buckeye nation, though, as yesterday it was learned that Lewis Neal, the 13th recruit in OSU's 2013 football class, announced he would be looking at other schools.

The positive side is that the DE/OLB has maintained that the Buckeyes still have a shot to reacquire his services. I'm sure Urban Meyer is going to be selling what Ohio State is going to be like in just a few years. Meyer has already racked up quality talent, and with the right coaching, the Buckeyes should be back on top of the NCAA.

In my opinion, though, Meyer doesn't have to sell this place too hard. As I've mentioned before, and will until the day I die, I will never regret coming to this school. Then again, I'm not a highly touted football prospect, so there may be different factors in Neal's decision. All I know is it would be great to see Neal in Scarlet and Grey and I hope the feeling is mutual.

PRESEASON TOP 25. ESPN's flagship college football show released its pre-pre-preseason Top 25 for the upcoming season and they have Ohio State at #20.

Being ranked at all is certainly an improvement over last season as the Buckeyes failed to make the top 25 for the majority of the regular season last year. I believe it's a fair ranking, as of now, to have OSU at 20th because we're still not sure what to expect from them coming off a 6-7 season.

I don't think it's out of the question to think the Buckeyes could climb up to a higher ranking, but we need to see how helpful Urban Meyer's coaching philosophy is from the beginning of his reign here in Columbus. This new offense is still a work in progress and the defense last year was miserable. However, the Buckeyes do have more experienced talent coming back this year and this team will be playing with a chip on their shoulder due to the NCAA bowl ban.

Other notable teams from the Big Ten to make the preseason ranking were #10 Michigan, #12 Michigan State, #16 Wisconsin, and #17 Nebraska. USC, LSU, Alabama, Oregon, and Oklahoma make up the top 5 in College Football Live's rankings.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN. Former Ohio State basketball player Jordan Sibert is still weighing his options in terms of where he wants to transfer to.

According to Bob Baptist via Twitter, Sibert is considering Xavier and Missouri after visiting the University of Dayton last Friday. This comes as a bit of a surprise as the belief was Sibert was transferring to Dayton.

It would be interesting to see what Sibert's role would be at two schools that are coming off nice seasons, whereas he probably could've found a way into the rotation at Dayton after sitting out a season.

Coming to a city probably somewhat close to you.

BUCKEYE LAXER REWARDED. Ohio State junior attackman Logan Schuss has been named ECAC offensive player of the year.

Schuss leads the Buckeyes with 55 points on the season. He is ranked 13th nationally with 3.93 points per game and second overall in points per game in the ECAC. Additionally, Schuss was named to the all-ECAC team along with fellow OSU player Joe Bonanni, a defenseman. Defenseman Keenan Ochwat and goalie Greg Dutton made the the ECAC-second team. Midfielder Jesse King was named to the all-rookie team.

The Buckeyes are currently ranked 17/18 on the season.

O'BRIEN TOUR. New Penn State head coach started his 18-stop tour yesterday in Philadelphia. Bill O'brien will be visiting areas with "strong Penn State ties", including important recruiting areas, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Richmond, Virginia.

The tour is aimed at assuring the Penn State fan base that O'Brien is committed to restoring the program back to glory in the wake of the Penn State sex scandal. The tour will last nine days and O'Brien will be making every stop in order to speak with alumni and recruits.

This is somewhat of a much larger version of Urban Meyer's efforts to connect with fans at OSU after the NCAA sanctions were handed down to the football program. However, while Meyer is seen as the new hope for the Buckeyes, O'Brien is seen as being the guy who needs to clean up a much bigger mess in Happy Valley.

It's a good plan by PSU to try and show dedicated fans that O'Brien wants to begin to help fans forget about the late Joe Paterno who passed away at the age of 85.

LOS LINKS. ESPN's thoughts on Ohio State... Obama pushes back OSU's baseball game... Hoke reinstates safety Josh Furman... Butler to the A-10?... Case Keenum signs with Houston.


Comments Show All Comments

LadyBuck's picture

ESPN's video wasn't totally bashing us. That's a first...
Good Monday to all, and a good Skull Session, Danny.

dubjayfootball90's picture

You scared me with all this Monday talk. I had to check the date to make sure it was Tuesday, haha

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

LadyBuck's picture

Haha. It's been another long night at the good, ol' SEL. xD

BuiltfortheNuthouse's picture

They started good and then completely made our defense sound terrible and cal and UCFs defenses.

" I went for two cause I couldn't go for three." 
-woody Hayes 

DefendOhio's picture

Yeah, they lost me when they started saying UCF and Cal were going to be real challenges to us.

Jdadams01's picture

They could be. Both have better athletes than the normal MAC teams we play in OOC. If our guys don't take them seriously coming in, it will be a game.

Borrowed Time's picture

Seeing how that's an ESPN video, I'll gladly take those comments about Ohio State. Made sense to me - developing offense with a stud defense.

klfeck's picture

Overall I thought their analysis was fair and spot on. Gotta love Smith.



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

Poison nuts's picture

You do gotta love Smith. Went right at old dude from Georgia...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

btalbert25's picture

I think 20 is a fair preseason assessment.  I think they'll exceed those expectations though.  Last year the team had no real leadership from the head coach on down.  I think playing for Ohio State last year was no picnic and I do believe it was much worse than we all really knew.
This year, they have very clear leadership both on and off the field.  Urban is pumping up guys like Simon and Boren to be great leaders.  He is pushing Braxton to become more of a leader.  He is very much so a leader.  The players have confidence in their staff now, it's not the joke it was last year.  Anyway, if you believe intangibles are important(and I thinkt hey have some value) Ohio State is going to be exponentially better than last year.
The new attitude will bring a more inspired bunch in the weight room, practice, and on the field.  Offense and Defense will improve this year.  Sure the new offense will have some hitches, but seriously it will not be anything close to the horrendous product they put on the field last year.  I also don't think the teams on the schedule are going to be any better.  I see MSU and Wisconsin taking a step back.  I'm not convinced Michigan is going to be much better at all.  Nebraska could be about the same.   With all that being said, I think Ohio State will end up quite a bit better than number 20.

Alhan's picture

I have to say, I'm suprised we're even allowed to be ranked this year with a postseason ban.  Was USC just that bad during thier bowl ban that they never got into the rankings?  I didn't really pay attention to thier record, I just know I never saw them in the top 25 for that time period.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

hodge's picture

Don't get ranked by BCS, but USC was #6 last year in the final poll.

Borrowed Time's picture

USC lost two games early in the season so they weren't really talked about, but by the end of the season they were one of the hottest teams

btalbert25's picture

Wasn't Auburn undefeated and in the top 3 one year when they had a bowl ban?  I'm thinking it was early-mid 90's.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Yeah, under Terry Bowden in 1993, Auburn went 11-0 and finished 4th in the A.P. (the coaches poll doesn't rank teams under bowl bans).  

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Do you read Phil Steele's annual cfb preseason mags? The 2012 Buckeyes appear to fit his profile of a likely "most improved" team. I wouldn't surprised if they're no. 1 on his list for that category this year.
Up until about five years ago, Steele liked to point out a recurring pattern of teams that would go like 7-5 one year, then the very next year winning the NC, or at least making a run at it. Oklahoma 2000, Ohio State 2002, 2003 LSU, 2008 FLA. Seems like that pattern has cooled off more recently, though.  
Obviously, the Buckeyes are not eligible to do that, and they're probably not as good as some of the above examples, anyway. I could easily see them going from 6-7 to 10-2, though.

Doc's picture

BT, you are spot on.  The B1G is not going to be any better this year.  MSU and Wisky will have major holes on offense.  Nebraska "still has Martinez", as the espn analysis bluntly put it.  AACC still has Detard.  I honestly believe they won't get better until he leaves.  I'm not saying we run the table this year, but we could.  I'm betting top 10 at year end.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Yeah, I ran some quick numbers and project that the Buckeyes will win about 9 games this year (rounding up from 8.92), in part because the Big Ten will not be that strong.  
My initial feeling was 10-2, but they do have five games that could go either way (at least on paper): at MSU, Nebraska, at PSU, at Wisky, Michigan.
Throw in a few other games against teams that they should beat but that aren't mortal locks: California and Purdue, maybe ILL.
Still, I like them to beat "the numbers" (i.e., my own artificially contrived numbers) by a bit and go 10-2.  

btalbert25's picture

The 3 really tough games will be @MSU, @PSU, and @Wisky.  The teams may not be as good as last year, but they'll be tough road games.  I also worry about the Cal game(although I don't think Cal is that great) simply because it's early and kinks will be getting worked out in the new offense.
I really don't see Michigan being a loss this year.  I just don't see it.  Urban is a big game coach first of all.  It's basically the bowl game for Ohio State this year and I think that is the game they just will not lose.  I also think seniors like Johnny Simon aren't going to go out with an L.  The Game, this year, means more to Ohio State than any year in my lifetime.  At least in my opinion.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I agree with you about the Michigan game and your points in general, but if we're trying to objectively project victories for 2012, we'd assume that the probability of win over Michigan as being no better than maybe 0.65 - and that's perhaps a bit homerish as it is.
Well, if you guess the probabilities for all 12 games, you begin to figure that maybe the Buckeyes will take at least a couple of losses next year due to odds sort of weighing against them, so to speak - i.e., they won't so dominant that they're going into games against the likes of Purdue or ILL with a 0.93+ probability of winning - whereas that was the case in years like 2006.

btalbert25's picture

I can definitely see a 3 loss season coming, and I understand where you are coming from.  Crunching numbers you can't factor in intangibles so I can agree with what you are saying.

Doc's picture

What would be your three losses?  Cal, Wisky and who?  Sparty? PSU?  I'm not saying it won't happen, but I think they will be playing with their hair on fire this year, even the seniors.  With the offense being just 50% better than it was last season I see us "winning" the Leaders division.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Doc: actually, I agree with you. If I'm going down the 2012 schedule, picking wins and losses, I have the Buckeyes going 10-2 or even 11-1. They will play with their hair on fire and they'll treat the Michigan game as their Rose Bowl and NCG rolled into one.
But projecting total victories based on probabilities is a different sort of exercise. You're not picking wins and losses in isolation, but guessing the likelihood that they'll win each game, and then adding up all those guesses. So, hypothetically, if the Buckeyes played Purdue 12 times, maybe they'd figure to win 10 or 11 times. Going into a game against Purdue, you'd never expect or "see" the Buckeyes losing against them, but it would figure to happen once or twice over the long run.
With that in mind, Ohio State is playing 6-7 games against teams with a pulse. Going into each game, I'll probably "like" them to win all 6-7 of them, but the odds over 12 games won't favor that outcome: they figure to play a few subpar games, while they figure to run into a few uncharacteristically good performances from opponents - and that's not even factoring in that a few of the teams they play this year might turn out to be a little better than the Buckeyes (in defiance of my ultra scientific projections, damn it!).  
P.s., for example, the dominant USC teams of 2002 - 2009 seemed to lose to one inferior opponent every year; many were probably right to blame those anamolies on USC being compacent, but it was probably also due to averages working themselves out over the course of 12-14 game seasons.  

Doc's picture

I agree Fido, over time you will lose one out of 10.  This year I think those odds can be scrapped.  Urban will have them playing at a different level and I think the team will be much more focused then years past.  We had a fair chance of winning the leaders division last year, before the wheels fells off.  Having a cohesive coaching staff this year wins us three games at least.  I think we'll be 10-2/11-1.  I'm wondering who the losses will come from.  I'm guessing Wisky and PSU.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

pcon258's picture

thats some hardcore number crunching, 8.92 games is extremely specific, although its a very fair number

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Haha! What is it that they say about statistics (and blind guesses at probabilities)? There are lies; there are damn lies; and then there are statistics (or b.s. probability guesses)!
The precision of the 8.92 number is totally misleading (I should have pointed that out before, of course): it's simply a sum of all 12 of my guesses for the probability that the Buckeyes will beat each of their opponents. It's a useful shorthand way creating an over/under for betting purposes but is not very "scientific."
If you change my assumptions, you get a different number - also with two decimal points, and just as misleadingly precise.  

btalbert25's picture

Do you handicap horses too?  Just seems like your numbers crunching and etc would make you really like trying to calculate the ponies lol.  If so who do you like for the Derby?  I have about 6 in mind but I can't seem to pick just one. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Albert, at one time, I played the ponies on a fairly regular basis. I wasn't good enough at it to quit my day job. Of course, I was a bum then and didn't really have a full-time day job, but that's another story.
I am better at handicapping cfb - still not good enough to quit the day job, but I can usually tread water or even come out a little ahead for a season.
I'll take a quick look at the Derby form and get back to you - haven't followed it nearly as closely as I used to. It sounds like I should be asking you for advice on your picks this Saturday, though. 

btalbert25's picture

Yeah, I actually won't be doing much betting on it this year.  I have other things my money needs to go to.  A case can be made for several horses.  I have a personal attachment to Hansen because he's a Turfway horse and I live about 3 minutes from Turfway Park. 
I really don't play the ponies that much though.  After my grandma passed away my gramps would go up there every day pretty much and on the weekends I would go up to hang out.  We would have a blast.  He passed away about 1 1/2 years ago and it's just not the same, but I still like to bet the Derby and Breeder's Cup days.

Buckeyeneer's picture

I'm going to the Derby this year. I know just enough about racing to be dangerous but a crushing workload has kept me from doing any research. Who do you like? 

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

btalbert25's picture

Gun to my head I would pick Union Rags, Gemologist, or Bodemeister.  I like those 3, and Dullahan, Hansen, and Creative cause as well.  That being said, all 6 are destined to lose now lol.  Gemologist has never lost a race, but he hasn't put up huge Beyer's either.  SO, you could see a horse that has never lost a race getting around 10-1. Hard to pass that up.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

This past weekend, I did some touch up work on my kitchen ceiling. Now, when I look at the picture of O'Brien above, I find myself (mentally) reaching for the spackle and putty knife, so that I can fill-in that big dent in his chin. Hopefully, I'll get over it after I've moved on to the next item on the "honey, do" list.

Bucksfan's picture

I don't even care where the Bucks are ranked.  It doesn't mean a thing.

funky123's picture

ESPiN is a joke.

phxbuck's picture

Best quote was by Herbie "This is 2012, and this is how you play football"

Poison nuts's picture

Do you think BOB will come by Columbus & say "dont worry guys - there will be no more beer cans & piss bombs being tossed your way in Happy Valley"?

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Squirrel Master's picture

Make sure you hide all the Colombian hookers up there in Columbus! Don't need to get anymore Secret Service agents in trouble now!

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