Wednesday Skull Session

By Sarah on April 18, 2012 at 6:00a

G'day, ladies and gentlemen. We're now 72 hours away from the Spring Game, and whether you're planning on attending in person or watching on BTN, it's safe to say most of us are looking forward to our first taste of football for months. 

Well, unless you're an OSU student and got to check out practice on Saturday. If that's the case, then you can enjoy an encore of sorts since your BuckID grants you free admission to the Spring Game. And, you're also allowed to take part in a town meeting with Urban Meyer and his staff on May 15.

There are times that I don't miss the college life, like when I think about reading 1,000 pages about Tocqueville and Keynesian economics in a week, having to study for an exam rather than watch Pete Campbell get KO'd, or sharing a bathroom with three other females.

Then again, being a good student was one of the few skills I could ever claim1, a mostly useless list that also includes staying awake for long periods of time, being able to commit to memory the filmography of random actors, and fulfilling a negative gender stereotype by getting lost even when I have simple directions to follow.

Sure, I don't have to write papers anymore at 3 AM the morning that they're due2, but seeing from afar how the current students get to savor Ohio State athletics on a more immediate and intimate level than I do gives me a twinge of nostalgia and envy. 

And now that I'm sounding like a bitter old lady, I should note that I can't complain about my time there. I went to The Ohio State University, after all. I witnessed many outstanding sports moments in my own right, and I certainly hope that continues to happen for each new class, as it did with previous generations.

Just think of Jenny, the high school senior the aforementioned Pete Campbell tried to mack on in 1966 and who was headed to Ohio State, where she would celebrate a national championship in two years. May there be another 17-year-old today who can boast the same thing. The second part, that is. I do not want a married man in his 30s trying to pick up this hypothetical girl.

THE URBAN DIVIDE. Even before he was hired, how Urban Meyer will fare at Ohio State has been a hot topic of debate. Seemingly every day for over a week, The Sporting News has posted a new article about why he was so terrible at Florida, where he won two national titles and went 65-15.

There are even some detractors locally. Greg Billing of the Dayton Daily News offered his commentary, in which he described himself as excited but admitting to having doubts as well. That's hardly an unreasonable opinion to hold, but then he compared the new coach to Terrelle Pryor because they both supposedly have "controversial baggage."

While I agree that no one should view any player or coach as a panacea, the two situations are not even in the same galaxy, and I really just linked to the article to remind everyone how ridiculous this subject has gotten. 

Despite the criticism lobbed his way, Meyer also has of plenty supporters, including former Buckeye captain William White, who praised the new man in charge at a scholarship dinner earlier this week. White told's Jim Naveau that in a recent conversation, Meyer relayed to him, "'William, you know my philosophy. If I can beat them by 45, I want to beat them by 50.'"

The ex-safety, whose years at OSU coincided with Meyer's tenure as a grad assistant, went on to compare him with Jim Tressel:

"Coach Tressel, I call him a CEO coach. He is not a motivator that is going to get in your face. But he’s going to talk to you logically and you’re going to be like, ‘We can win this game.’ But it’s not done with a lot of flash and fanfare and people wanting to jump off the roof.

"With Urban, things make sense but there’s going to be a lot of intensity," he said. "After the year we just had, I think it (hiring Meyer) probably was the best move we could have made."

Nowadays, White works in the engineering department at the university as a director of development. He earned his degree in 1992 while he was in the midst of his 11-year NFL career. 

THE BOREN SUPREMACY. Tim May shone the spotlight on captain-to-be Zach Boren, who up to this point has only one carry to his name, a 2-yard run against Michigan in 2010.

In Saturday's scrimmage, he carried the ball twice and caught a pass, a sign that the fullback will be more than just a blocker this coming season. According to his position coach Tim Hinton, "you've got to find ways to give guys who are your football players the ball and opportunities to be successful within the offense."

The second in the Borne trilogy at Ohio State.A sight that will no longer be foreign

Like with the tight end, spreading the field means Boren should get the chance to touch the ball more. As such, he's been practicing his footwork and similar to other offensive players, he said, "I'm excited I will have that opportunity."

FORGOT ABOUT DE. Although a lot of attention has been paid to the offense in the offseason, Rusty Miller points out that in comparison, the defense has been flying under the radar. Well, as much as a unit can that features the likes of John Simon, Johnathan Hankins, and Ryan Shazier. 

Speaking of Meyer-favorite Simon3, he proved his captain worthiness by downplaying the coach's raving. The senior declared, "It's a great honor everything that he says about me. But we've got a lot of guys on this team who deserve that honor as well."

Other than faster-paced practices with more emphasis on competition, the only other noticeable change on the defensive side is in the secondary, where the new staff is stressing the importance of interceptions. Travis Howard Island explained:

“Their new addition coming in was for us to be more ballhawks and have more ball-awareness. Playing off, that gives us more opportunities to make plays on the ball instead of just being pressed up man to man on a guy and not being able to see where the ball is coming.”

Helping the secondary is the defensive line's dominance and ability to pressure the quarterback. CB coach Kerry Combs noted that when the DL can get that done with a four-man rush, then it allows for seven guys in coverage. All in all, they expect more than the 13 interceptions they hauled in last season.  

SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR. With Sullinger and Buford off to the pros and Sibert and Weatherspoon transferring, Thad Matta is losing four players from this season's squad. However, Mansfield News Journal's Rob McCurdy outlines why next year's hoops team should be in good shape, and not just because the defense should once again be strong. 

Earlier this year, leadership was a problem for the Buckeyes, but McCurdy believes they won't fall into that same trap next season, thanks to Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith, Jr. The same goes for three-point shooting. Both of those players were better from long range than many assume and with practice, they could become more reliable shooters.

LaQuinton Ross has the skill set to contribute, too, especially on the offensive end where he hopes to emulate the jump Deshaun Thomas took from his freshman to sophomore year. Referring to Thomas as "a budding All-American", McCurdy states that he'll often encounter double teams and if Ross can emerge, that will make life easier for DT. 

Meanwhile, the Hall of Fame Tip Off schedule has been released. Ohio State will start with the University of Albany on November 9th and then inconveniently will face Rhode Island on November 17th, the same day as the Ohio State vs. Wisconsin football game. After that, the basketball team will take on Washington or Seton Hall on the 19th and will finish up with UMKC on the 23rd. 

HEY BABE, TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE. On the other hand, as of now, Matta will only have nine scholarship players, and ten total, on his roster next season. The three potential transfers he's looking at are Amedeo Della Valle, a guard originally from Italy who could play right away; Rodney Hood, a wing from Mississippi State who was on the same AAU team as Ross; and Anthony Gill, a PF who suited up for South Carolina this past season.

Matta and assistant coach Dave Dickerson met with Gill yesterday, and Della Valle landed in Columbus late last night. If all else fails, Matta could add another walk-on to follow in Mark Titus' footsteps. 

On that topic, Titus spoke to the Lantern after a book signing at OSU, where he answered questions about Buford's NBA prospects ("If he gets into the NBA, it'll be better-suited for him because he’s good when you can just throw him the ball and be like"), Weatherspoon's transfer ("He would have gotten his chance this year too"), and Urban Meyer, which gave us this gem:

I would tell Urban, “Gimme a shot. You never know.” I could be this year’s Joe Bauserman, which I’m sure he’s probably excited about.  

Nebraska fans are already practicing to duck in the stands. 

CAN I CLICK IT? (YES, YOU CAN). The House voted yay on Jack Nicklaus receiving the Congressional Gold Medal... Mike Adams visited with the five NFL teams, including the Browns... Michigan re-upped with Al Borges... The NCAA on academic reform... Fat Betty... The 21 Absolute Worst Things in the World... Ben Franklin, what were you up to?... So long, Space Shuttle Discovery.

  • 1 This is not intended to be a brag, humble or otherwise. Once you graduate, no one really cares about your GPA, so it's an obsolete talent to have at this point, like driving a stick shift...I'm assuming. I can't do that, either.  
  • 2 Though, chances are that the same holds true if you're reading something I wrote on this website. 
  • 3 That does not mean Urban and the other coaches are scared of Simon, but if they are, I think it's understandable. 

Comments Show All Comments

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I love that your posts are always so early. Thank you.

As far as basketball recruiting, Parker announces Friday, right? Does anyone have any insight other than big Boals being potentially happy?

mclovin's picture

I do believe Parker is announcing this upcoming Monday from his high school, not Friday as previously reported. 

BuckeyeChief's picture

Can I click it? nice ATCQ reference!

"2014 National with it!!!"

Poison nuts's picture

Nice Tribe reference indeed!

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

Buckeye06's picture

Not many teams use the fullback, but not many teams have a fullback like Boren.  The one I remember is this (sad for OSU fans)


Guy was a beast and here's to hoping Boren can do things like that for us this upcoming year

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

He kind of reminds me of Tom Rathman (build/athleticism) and Nebraska had success with that fullback.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

I miss my old manual transmission vehicles. Sarah, you know not what you know not.

LABuckeye's picture

Agreed. Manuals are awesome. The only reason my Jeep Wrangler is an automatic is because the only time manuals suck is when you are stuck in traffic and I live in LA, so...

Baroclinicity's picture

Yeah, or in my case, hills everywhere.  Had to go automatic for my street alone, which puts me at a stop sign on a 12% grade.  Gotta love West Virginia.  Miss the MT.

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

William's picture

Agreed. Driving manual is by far better than automatic. I've alredy decided that I'll never own a car with an automatic transmission.

hodge's picture

My first car was an auto (Pontiac Sunfire), moved up to a six-speed Mini Clubman S in January...I'll never go back.

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

there is nothing like driving manual..just like a bike can not drive it for a couple of years and then hop into any manual car and give it a go..

went from a tC in college manual but switched to that hardtop g6 with automatic..Northern Virginia traffic will drive you crazy..I call them raintards...raintards everywhere

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

Maestro's picture

I just got rid of a manual transmission a few months ago.  It was a blast to drive and I will go back someday.  Right now, too much stop and go on my drive to work.

vacuuming sucks

Maestro's picture

@ Hodge, Love the Clubman, but with 2 car seats and kid gear it just wasn't going to work. Had to give up that fantasy. What color?

vacuuming sucks

hodge's picture

@MAESTRO - Hot Chocolate brown, with the black roof and rear trim.  She's a beauty.  One of these days I'm going to make some burberry plaid shift and ebrake boots for her.

Maestro's picture

The Brown was my favorite color option.  NICE.

vacuuming sucks

RedStorm45's picture

I'm literally paying half in gas after switching to stick...granted I had an old Jeep Grand Cherokee that got about 14-16 mpg before that haha.

BucksfanXC's picture

My wife just bought a manual and nobody could believe they still made them. It gets better gas mileage, which the main reason she convinced me it was a good buy. She now regrets it, wishes she would have gone with the auto.

“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

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Not always the case nowadays since transmissions have improved a lot.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

Baroclinicity's picture

Yeah... I'm pretty sure in larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks the AT is more fuel efficient these days.  The offset is a very "busy", constantly shifting transmission.

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

BucksfanXC's picture

This is true, but in her case it was like 5mpg's better to get the manual.

“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

btalbert25's picture

My last 3 cars have been manuals and each time I've said I will not buy a manual again.  I don't get what is so appealing about driving them personally.  My next car will absolutely be an automatic.  I have friends that always tell me they want to get a stick.  I say, have you ever driven one?  No, then why do you want one now?  They look like fun.  I said well really, there's not a lot of fun involved, especially when you are driving in traffic, hills, and roads with lots of stop signs and stop lights.

That's right, I'm a manual driver and have been for over 10 years, and I hate the damn things.  I've just wound up getting deals I couldn't pass up.

William's picture

I've only owned one car so far and it's a 5 speed VW Passat, love that thing, it's reliable and fun to drive. I think the allure with a stick is that there's more control. After having driven my uncle's (the guy is loaded) Ford GT, I was determined to never own an automatic. 

BucksfanXC's picture

If you are driving a Ford GT or a Ferrari, Lambo, etc. yeah, it should legally be required that it's a manual. But if you want to drive a manual to get more acceleration, drag race, etc. your Honda Civic isn't getting cooler because it's a stick shift.

“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

hodge's picture

Nowadays, it's really hard to get those supercars in a pure "stick-shift" manual.  Most of them are sequential gear paddle-shifters.  I know Ferarri's F1 cars can shift in 500 milliseconds, while their best production transmissions can do it in 750.

Though, Porsche still offers true manuals.  The new 911 has 7 speeds!

pcon258's picture

yea, i think theyre just fun as hell to drive. even my 97 honda accord has some serious zip to it coming out of toll booths. 

bukyze's picture

If you are a driving enthusiast, then it's a no-brainer to get a manual.  If you drive just to get from point A to point B, go with an automatic.  It's just a matter of preference, one not being right or wrong.  I'm 43, and have never owned an automatic.  It's funny how my right hand subconciously always hovers over the gearbox, anticipating shifting, when I drive my wifes automatic.  There's nothing like upshifting (or downshifting) as you hammer out of a corner at maximum speed - and I drive a Wrangler!  My whole goal is to minimize the use of my brakes by anticipating,  downshifting instead.  I can't imagine ever driving an automatic.

biggy84's picture

Finally an article from rusty miller where he doesn't re-hash the scandal in great detail. He usually finds a way to fit that in any article.

Squirrel Master's picture

I am surprised Sarah didn't bring up the new guy, Sprinkle! That was a nice late addition yesterday. Many future puns will be dedicated to that man!

This whole crap that happened down in Florida needs to stop but unfortunately will continue until the end of this coming year. Meyer is all buckeye now and what happened, happened. Move on sports writers because it doesn't matter anymore. Plus, that crap about comparing Urban and Pryor......seriously? Pryor was a Diva coming in but didn't start to accumulate his "controversial baggage" until he was on the team. Whatever Meyer supposedly did down in Florida was before he came to the buckeyes. Leave it down there, as Santanio likes to say. He did nothing illegal and there were no major sanctions given to Florida during or after he left. If you want to go head hunt a coach, go bother Calipari!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Maestro's picture

21 worst things made me chuckle.  Thanks, much needed.  Good skully as usual.

vacuuming sucks

ziplock007's picture

I don't know why, but the 21 absolute worst things in the world link really made my day.  Thanks :)

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

William White was a mean bastard on the field!!! I remember going to the Iowa game when they were ranked #1.  It was an incredibly miserable day weather wise which no doubt played to our favor.  Iowa was trying to score the winning TD and as their receiver was going up for the ball at the goal line, William put a vicious hit on him just as he was wrapping up the ball.  I just remember seeing the ball spinning around the goal line and their receiver lying on the ground in a heap of hurt!  BRUTAL f@#$ing hit!!!

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

Johnny Ginter's picture

i am dead, commenting from beyond the grave about how fat betty was so funny that it killed me

RedStorm45's picture

Random, William White was a neighbor of mine growing up...

Those 21 worst things are spot on haha.

Colin's picture

To all of you from someone who can't drive stick...

Squirrel Master's picture

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Driving a stick SUCKS!!!  You spill too much beer!

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

Maestro's picture

You're doing it wrong.

vacuuming sucks

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Is that Flounder Hoke taking in a basketball game?

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

btalbert25's picture

I used to Valet by CVG airport and I used to hate when people had a nice car that was a stick, because the mid life crisis fella trying to overcompensate for something with his Porche would always look at me and say, YOU CAN DRIVE A STICK RIGHT????? I would always go oh yeah yeah of course,but I'd say it without much confidence.  Anyway, every time they'd get out of the car to check in with the skycap, i'd Rev the engine up and let of the cluts really abrubpty causing a jerk, tire squeal, and stahl.  Then I'd start it back up and drive off. 

NC_Buckeye's picture

That's hilarious BT. Would have loved to have seen the look on their faces.

sir rickithda3rd's picture

i have a 2000 celica gt-s with a 6 speed manual. Before this I drove an infiniti q45t. prior to that was a ford probe gt (5 speed) and a taurus SHO (5speed). There are def pros and cons to each. I did and do get better gas mileage than an auto celica probe or taurus. But with the newer cars they are coming out with 6-8 speed autos. Noone pointed out driving sticks are better in the winter only bcuz you have so much more control of the car. After recent knee surgery I def can understand the benefits of an auto though

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again