Tuesday Skull Session

By Sarah on January 8, 2013 at 6:00a

Hello, readers, and goodbye, college football. Welcome to the saddest day of the year — the first day of the offseason. 

And of course, we'll once again have to endure more of the "S-E-C!" narrative this offseason. Never mind that Alabama's 42-14 destruction of Notre Dame last night was more Alabama and Nick Saban's black magic ways than the SEC being an unstoppable conglomerate. 

Other than the Crimson Tide, the only other SEC team that looked totally dominant in its bowl game was the Fightin' Manziels. I mean, Northwestern, who hadn't tasted postseason victory since the Truman Administration, even beat an SEC team on New Year's Day.

For most of us, Alabama vs. Notre Dame represented a lose-lose situation1. Ohio State didn't even move in the final AP poll, staying at No. 3 while being jumped by Oregon.

And though several Ohio State players tweeted last night about how they should have been playing in the national championship game, we can at least comfort ourselves knowing that Ohio State was the only FBS team to finish the season with a perfect record. 

Hopefully we can say the same thing a year from now. It would only be fitting if Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes ended the SEC's title streak.

Now, though, it's time to focus all our energy on college basketball. Ohio State's hoops team needs to do the same after a lackluster effort over the weekend. Tonight is a huge game for the guys, not only because West Lafayette is possessed by malevolent spirits that are difficult for visitors to overcome, but also because everyone needs to move on from the embarrassment against Illinois. 

More importantly, Ohio State needs a good win, and even though Purdue is just 7-7 right now, a road win in the Big Ten would be a statement victory this team has yet to earn this season. It could also be a confident booster for the next game, a Sunday meeting with an annoyingly good and undefeated Michigan team.

  WHAT'S THE MATTA WITH OHIO STATE? Naturally, Ohio State dropped in this week's polls, falling from No. 8 to No. 14/15. There's no question that this team has real issues, but one person who is not overreacting is Thad Matta, believing this past weekend was a fluke2 more than anything:

"I have to be honest, I have to throw Saturday out,'' he said. "We did things that were so uncharacteristic. As I told them, `Look, I'm not sure who was in your jerseys in this game.'''

Matta is open to the idea of changing the starting lineup and will consider going center-free at some point like he did for a time on Saturday, with Deshaun Thomas playing the five alongside Aaron Craft, Shannon Scott, Lenzelle Smith, and LaQuinton Ross. His main goal is "finding those five guys who have a flow to them is what I'm still looking at.''

Thomas is also not in panic mode:

"I don't think this team is falling apart. There's some things we need to work on. We're going to get there. We know now what it's going to take and what we have to do to play hard and win ballgames.''

Granted, that's easier said than done without players like Jared Sullinger and Evan Turner on hand. But it's not like this team is devoid of talent either, and March is still two months away. For those such as the Big Ten Geeks questioning if Ohio State will even make the Tourney, let's just pump our brakes a bit and see how they play these next couple weeks.

B1G, IF TRUE. In his presser yesterday, Matta also said, "We have to be good every night... But we can't have one guy who is playing ridiculously hard and the others are not."

That's what happened to the Buckeyes against Illinois, and as Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News wrote, "take a night off in this conference, and you're cooked."

We are reminded of this every season, but this year it's truer than ever: it's hard to win on the road in the Big Ten. This week alone features several matchups between ranked teams, including Minnesota at Illinois tonight, Minnesota at Indiana on Saturday, and Michigan at Ohio State on Sunday. Even ranked teams going on the road are no gimmes — Michigan State at Iowa on Thursday could prove to be a tough test for the Spartans.

For Michigan, largely regarded as the best or at least second-best team in the Big Ten, the conference schedule still presents about as many traps as Indiana Jones encountered. Their trip to Columbus is the first of four road contests against a ranked team in their next six games. 

It should be another wild ride in the B1G this season.

THE FRESHMAKER. The Football Writers Association of America unveiled its Freshman All-America Team, which featured four Big Ten players — Michigan TE Devin Funchess, Michigan State OL Jack Allen, Iowa OL Austin Blythe, and Penn State DE Deion Barnes.  

Although no Buckeyes were selected, Urban Meyer was chosen as the team's coach3. He's hardly new to college football, but since he took a break before coming to Ohio State, I guess that was enough for the FWAA to name him as their "freshman" coach. And coaching the only undefeated team certainly helped, too. 

Do not complain that this isn't a picture of McCarron's girlfriend.BCS tested, Gordon Gee approved

As a spectator and analyst at the BCS National Championship Game, Meyer was asked if the game would have been closer had Ohio State played:

"That's all speculative. I can't say that," Meyer said. "I have a lot respect for the Notre Dame team. I am somewhat surprised. I thought it would be more of a low-scoring game because Notre Dame's defense has been good all year."

The way-too-early odds for the Buckeyes winning it all next season? 10-1:

2015? YOU MEAN WE'RE IN THE FUTURE? As last night reminded us, the playoff system can't get here soon enough. While we're two years away from that, BCS executive director Bill Hancock provided a few more details about what January 2015 will look like. 

The national championship game will continue to be played on a Monday, and the semifinals will take place on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1. Even though there hasn't been a formal announcement yet, the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl are expected to host the inaugural semifinals.

Cowboys Stadium is the early favorite to host the title game:

Only the first title game will be announced, he said, after a formal bidding process. Although it is widely expected to be awarded to Cowboys Stadium at Arlington, Texas, Hancock said there has been interest from 12-15 cities. He said although the initial hosting would probably be limited to the sites of the six bowls involved in the playoff, other sites were likely in the future, including "cold-weather cities."

The conference commissioners will meet once more today and then again in April. By that time, we should know which stadium Braxton Miller will win his second straight national championship in.

ONE CLICK PONY. Amber Stokes is out for four weeks with a knee sprain... AJ McCarron learned it by watching Saban... Confirmed attendees for postseason all-star games... Bill O'Brien says he did not ask for a raise... Oregon's Keanon Lowe had a good reason for faking an injury... In honor of Justified's return tonight, here's some Raylan Givens wisdom... David Bowie is releasing his first album in 10 years... Oops, Al Roker crapped his pants.

  • 1 The upside is we won't have to deal with smugger-than-usual Notre Dame fans.
  • 2 The cold shooting is obviously not a fluke with this team, but the high number of turnovers and lazy defense hopefully are. 
  • 3 Hey, Urban Meyer finally beat Bill O'Brien! Well, other than on the field, of course.


Buckeyevstheworld's picture

All last night showed me was that I hate Oregon. All they had to do was beat Stanford, and all of this could have been avoided. Darn you Chip Kelly! *shakes fist*

I'm surprised the internet still works after everyone went crazy over AJ's future ex wife.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Mush's picture

OR Kansas State beats Baylor....

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Nah. I don't think KSU could beat Notre Dame. That or it would have been a 6-3 game. Bleh.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Kurt's picture

Agree...Oregon screwed the pooch.  It was all theirs.

Abe Froman's picture

Love me some Justified.  It is har dot beat coal mining, gun play and crazy people.  Sort of like, well.... Kentucky.

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

oregonianbuckeye's picture

tOSU at 10-1? With that team, that coach, and that schedule, I like those odds. 

zbd's picture

Any team would have been annilated by Alabama last night. At least OSU wasn't embarrassed again by an SEC team. Texas A&M should have been number 2 or 3 by beating Alabama earlier. I like next year's team with new LBs and WRs.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I disagree. This isn't the first time a Brian Kelly team has looked lost in a BCS game.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

BuddhaBuck's picture

I believe this is your Exhibit A.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Sugar_Bowl

Don't text while driving.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

That would be Exhibit B. This is Exhibit A..


"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Replace_the_o's picture

I'm pretty sure that Kelly left Cincinnati before this game, so he did not coach.  Maybe he should have waited to leave so that he could get some more experience coaching in big games.

nickma71's picture

Rich Rodriguez left WVU before the bowl game against Little Game Bob and they blasted the Sooners. Cincinnatti had no business being in that game.

onetwentyeight's picture

Don't buy into this "Bama is invincible" crap narrative. It was mere WEEKS ago we saw them look VERY mortal at home against a redshirt freshman QB who cut up their defense like Swiss cheese. He just wasn't playing last night. 
Also, an Urban Meyer team wouldn't have been "annihilated" last night. IDK honestly if we could've won (and I'm as homer as it gets regarding our coach) but I GUARANTEE you we wouldn't have just rolled over and died like Kelly's team did. Bama is objectively speaking more experienced and talented than we were this year. But underdogs do pull of upsets in the BCS NCG. Everyone thought ND was capable of accomplishing this. What they all ignored was that ND was coached by some guy whose previous big game experience consisted of being curbstomped while at UC. Give Urban and Herman the prep time against Bama and who knows? I can't say. I CAN say we would've been more prepared, would've had more fight in us, and would've at least hit them back. Plus, Bama plays the same style of physical B1G-ish running football that we generally do well against. Big Hank will play on Sundays against the likes of Barret Jones & co. Stuff them in the middle and Bama doesn't have the sort of big-play Mobile Qb that would give us headaches, nor do they have any real burners on the edge who can manufacture yardage without the assistance of massive, gaping holes opened up by their OLine. 
And you bet your ass Brax is capable of at least pulling off a workable Johnny Football impersonation. Alabama isn't invincible merely b/c Kelly is a s*it playcaller and tried to make Golson a pocket passer the whole night when clearly their best chance was to have him scramble around, get in space via bootleg-rollouts-options, and try to create chaos. But nope, keep throwing SPRAY N PRAY bauserman style back shoulder fades against an All-American corner. That Brian kelly, man, heck of a coach. 

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

Seriously, who "picks on" one of, if not the, top CB's in the country?  Throw the ball to the opposite side, Brian!  
I hate ND, so I was happy with the outcome.   I can deal with the SEC/Alabama fans for another year.   What's one more season of it at this point.   ND fans are already intolerable, a win here would have put them into hyper-drive.

NC_Buckeye's picture

Yeah, that was a completely arrogant move on Kelly's part. Just because your receiver has a height advantage doesn't mean that matchup is your goto pass play. Milliner probably hasn't had a qb try to throw his way since the Michigan game. Last night was a second Christmas for the kid.

nickma71's picture

But underdogs do pull of upsets in the BCS NCG. Everyone thought ND was capable of accomplishing this.

Well, not everybody thinks they were capable.

onetwentyeight's picture

Fair point. I was one of those who thought they were. So was Our Head Coach, as he stated on national TV. And I still don't think the gap in talent between the rosters of ND and Bama is as wide as it looked. I suspect its more about "coaching", "game-planning" and "execution" being responsible for the final score. ASk yourself, if Urban + his staff had been coaching this ND roster, could you see them being blasted like this? Would you admit an upset is plausible under this scenario? 

Torpedo Vegas's picture

Even Lou Holtz was critical of the playcalling last night. Then again most fans are after a big loss like that. As to Brian Kelly having no big game experience, that seemed to reflect all the way down to the players last night too. The fear in the Notre Dame defense was especially noticable after reading that oral history of the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. Both Doss and Mcgahee mentioned the first big hit on Mcgahee as the moment the game was on. ND didn't have an early moment like that and with the defense they played all year, that's inexcusable. 

BME_Buckeye's picture

This photo sums up last night game. Kinda sad but that's reality for you. 

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.


BuddhaBuck's picture


Don't text while driving.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I can't stand that mascot - thanks for the great pic!!! It makes me laugh long and loud!!!

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

Run_Fido_Run's picture

That leprechaun's facial expressions say, "I just got dumped by my fifteen year old girlfriend. In my despair, I guess that I'll read Catcher in the Rye for the eighth time." So, maybe it's not surprising that the "fighting Irish" looked like fancy boys last night.
If ND's leprechaun looked more like this, maybe they wouldn't have spent all night traipsing through the clovers: 


Mi.Buckeye's picture

I don't have enough helmet stickers yet but ^ is up voted in my book

GoBucks713's picture

your reply helps both of you out. and my reply helps you out.

-The Aristocrats!

NC_Buckeye's picture

I love, love, love pictures of the sad leprechaun. What a wonderful day today is.

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Irish Eyes are NOT smiling.....

TheHannimal's picture

3 cheers for Al Rocker taking a dump in his pants IN THE WHITE HOUSE and then leaving his soiled underwear in the bathroom...and then living to talk about it.
Well done sir!

daytonbuckeye's picture

It's the talking about it thing that bothers me. I would be dying with that knowledge if it had happened to me.

3 85 yards and a cloud of dust.

TheHannimal's picture

Perfect opportunity to start a Tucker Max style book.  

buckeyepastor's picture

I knew we had too many bowl games, but I didn't realize we also had too many all-star games. I'd never even heard of three of those five before.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

farmerbuck's picture

It pisses me off that another SEC team won, but when your wife and in laws are ND fans and laugh at the Buckeyes like they are so perfect! All I can do is laugh my ass off!! Plus the Buckeyes can be the one's to dethrone the mighty SEC next year!

You have to hate losing more than you love winning! GO BUCKS!!

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Worth posting again.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

farmerbuck's picture

Feakin hilarious!! An upvote for that for sure.

You have to hate losing more than you love winning! GO BUCKS!!

gobucks5413's picture

Alabama looked so powerful last night...ND literally COULD NOT tackle Lacy. Scary team.
I'm sure this has been talked about on here, but Kelly is such a scum bag. I hate his angry purple face...for god sakes, control yourself a bit. Also, amazing how Bucks get lit up for "free tattoos" from ND fans when their coach allowed rape by his players (that led to a suicide because of intimidation, "you don't mess with the ND football team") as well as a cameraman losing his life because of Kelly's lack of responsibility. Its okay though. Its Notre Dame

farmerbuck's picture

Exactly! They think that getting free ink was just horrible!

You have to hate losing more than you love winning! GO BUCKS!!

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I agree that Bama laying waste to ND was probably the best outcome for Ohio State.
The differences between 7 NCGs games in a row for the SEC versus 8 in a row, or 2-3 versus 3-4 NCGs for Saban, are marginal. SEC superiority was already an established fact (to a degree) as well as media narrative (to the umpteenth degree). Saban has no more leverage than he did two days ago, and he wouldn't have lost much leverage if Bama had lost last night. The SEC is now getting diminishing returns on their championships, while eSECpn fatigue only grows. In show business, the worst thing that can happen is that the product becomes tired and predictable as the audience becomes increasingly bored with it.
In contrast, Kelly/Notre Dame had a lot to gain from winning last night, but also potentially a lot to lose. ND was threatening to become a legit competitor for talent in the Midwest. After last night, though, a new media narrative is taking shape: Brian Kelly = BCS embarassment; ND revival = mirage. This one event, by itself, won't slow down Kelly's momentum at ND; however, it will prompt media and fans to begin interpreting any future ND hiccups as confirmation that ND revival is a mirage and, as a result, Kelly/ND might be swimming against by a negative media/public-perceptions feedback loop of sorts.
Which is good, A). Because ND needs to climb back into the hole where it belongs; B). Kelly killed a kid.
Meanwhile, as others have said, Bama winning presents an opportunity for the Buckeyes to create a new narrative of their own: the program that started the eight year SEC run with back-to-back NCG losses rises back up nine years later and shocks the world, overthrowing the SEC dynasty, and establishing a new order.

thatlillefty's picture

Fido, you're one of my favorite contributors to this site along with Ramzy n Johnny.

Couldn't have said it better myself. Although I'll admit I was pulling for ND prior to the game.

Next season should be sweet. Go bucks!

NC_Buckeye's picture

Re: Fido's new media narrative. It begins thusly.
Notre Dame gets reality check in BCS title game embarrassment
I give this article 5 sad leprechauns. Good job Dan Wolken.

farmerbuck's picture

ND is very consistent, they have been crushed in every BCS bowl they have played in.

You have to hate losing more than you love winning! GO BUCKS!!

Earle's picture

Though I will miss college football, for me the saddest day was the first day of the offseason for Ohio State.

Your Noble Savage is a Straw Yeti.

okiebuck's picture

I was depressed at the end of CFB until you reminded me of the return of Justified tonight; sweet! 

"Fate has cards that it don't want to show"

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Doc's picture

I was happy to see the curb stomping last night.  Notre Lame can now stfu.  Just proves to me God is a Buckeye.  ;D  Urban was there and witnessed it first hand.  You can't tell me he wasn't taking notes.
Mccarron getting clocked by his center was worth the time I took watching the game.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

IBleedSandG's picture

I'd put the Buckeyes odds of getting to the BCS championship at 7 or 8:1.


btalbert25's picture

Bama is that good.  Sure they lost to A&M, but they are really good.  I think Oregon may have given them a game, but that's the only team I think would of stood up to them at all last night.  They just have a ton of really good players.  Remember all those USC teams that screwed the pooch 1 time per year?  To me, there was no doubt they were by far the best team in America most of the 2000's, the current system just didn't let them in.  If there were a 4 team playoff implemented 12 years ago, USC may have 7 championships.  Their teams were just flat better than everyone else.  That's how Bama is now.  2 years in a row they've lost a game the shouldn't have, but when it matters they destroy the competition.  They are just really good.
So I do buy into the Dynasty and dominance talk, because when the lights are brightest, they continue to blast the other teams and win the title.  I don't believe Herbie so much when he says this is the most dominant bunch or most impressive dynasty.  In my opinion those USC teams had more talent, they just didn't have the titles, although they did have 2.

William's picture

I'd agree that this Alabama team is a dynasty, but Herbie was just touting the company line in regards to Alabama being the most dominant. 1980s Miami was more dominant, and if you go way back to the beginning of the AP poll, 1930s Minnesota won three titles in a row, they destroyed teams back then. From 1934-1941 Minnesota won 5 national titles. In the AP era, that's probably the greatest dynasty of all time. 

btalbert25's picture

I'm really surprised to see LSU with better odds than Florida or A&M.  I suppose Florida is going to lose at least their 2 best defenders though and A&M will lose their center and could lose their two tackles.

BuckeyeinExile's picture

Wow, at least we scored once before we got our butts kicked!
Since we got labeled with "the Debacle in the Desert" can we start calling this the "Shellacking in South Beach." Notre Dame looked like our defense from the first half of the season.
p.s. Did anyone else notice the look Urban gave Desmond Howard at halftime when Howard put his hand on Urban's shoulder. Urban gave an awkward smile but the rest of his face said "Get that disgusting Michigan hand off of me you traitor!"

Doc's picture

Notre Lame got shillelaghed.  So it should be the "Shillelaghing in South Beach".  This way we will never forget it was ND who got pantsed on national tv.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

LouGroza's picture

Yes. The look he gave him was priceless. I noticed it before the hand to the shoulder. No doubt in my mind Urban knows of all the backhanded jabs he always takes at OSU when he talks on espn. The little typical scUM twerp wouldn't say a word while around Meyer. You can bet your ass on that. They save that crap for twitter and when no ones around to challenge them. Great job Urban.

daytonbuckeye's picture

I am gonna be really stoked if the Buckeyes win the last MNC before playoffs begin and then to win the first playoff NC the next season.

3 85 yards and a cloud of dust.

oregonianbuckeye's picture

I don't understand. Brian Kelly told me that, "the team that makes the most mistakes will win" but I'm pretty sure that ND made more mistakes last night. I'm confused. 

NC_Buckeye's picture

Wonder how far Manti Te'o's stock drops. This was the guy who came in second in Heisman ballots? Seriously? I didn't see him make any big plays last night. None.
He looked liked a freshman playing in his first high school game. Totally lost and confused.

OSUBias's picture

Hey he could have started for us for 6 games with the lost and confused look!

Shitter's full

Maestro's picture

His Heisman campaign was a joke to begin with IMHO.  His stock fell significantly last night.  I am sure someone will take him in the first round, but I don't think he will be anything special in the NFL.

vacuuming sucks

Maestro's picture

I REALLY didn't want Bama to win last night, but at a certain point it was just so comical that I embraced it.  I am glad that ND has now experienced something that humiliating.

vacuuming sucks

causeicouldntgo43's picture

My Shaden has been Frooded