Wednesday Skull Session

By Chad Peltier on January 16, 2013 at 6:00a

Good morning, Buckeye fans, and welcome to your Wednesday Skull Session. 

With the basketball Buckeyes not playing until Saturday against Michigan State, we're forced to pay attention to the NFL this week. This Atlanta native will be cheering on the Falcons; who you got? 

In times like these it's important to remember a few additional upcoming dates: February 6 is National Signing Day and we're only 60-odd days from the start of spring football camp.

  A PROBLEM-FREE QB. One thing that occurred to me recently is how lucky we are that Braxton is not only a superstar on the field, but manages to stay out of trouble off the field as well.

While he might not ponder who steals from whom with the media, Braxton seems to keep out of trouble in Columbus. *knock on wood*

The same can't exactly be said for your 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel. The No Fun Police – i.e. Texas A&M administrators – sat down to have a talk with Johnny Football about all the fun he's been having lately

“I told them he's no longer a freshman, and he's no longer a sophomore, junior or senior,” Hyman told the San Antonio Express-News. “He is a 'Heisman.’

“It's (about) education, and we've got to help the family and Johnny with the transition into being a Heisman award winner. There are things you have to learn, and we have to help him with that.”

Manziel has been the target of ridicule from fans and even some college coaches for pictures he’s posted on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. He was also the subject of a TMZ piece, which showed the 20-year-old holding a bottle of champagne at a Dallas nightclub. According to the nightclub owner, Manziel’s parents were present and no one in the club saw Manziel drinking.

The starting quarterback at a big-time SEC school who was voted player of the year is having a little fun out there? What

Regardless of how non-newsworthy this appears to be, we are fortunate as Buckeyes that Braxton isn't blowing up Sportscenter with so much drunken High Street escapades. 

WHERE THE BIG GUYS AT? I think I might have part of the basketball Buckeyes' problem figured out: the lack of an elite big man. 

The Big Ten Network just rated the top seven big men across the conference, and no Buckeye bigs made the list.

Amir Williams and company will undoubtedly need to step up their game inside for the Buckeyes to continue their Michigan-beating level of play throughout the season. This probably also explains the premium we are placing on the recruitment of top high school centers like Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander

I had to go back a bit to find a Cap1 Bowl the B1G actually wonThe Big Ten does just fine in the Cap One Bowl, thank you.

 GOING BOLDLY WHERE SPORTS WRITERS HAVEN'T BEFORE. You might expect this time of year to be slim pickings for college football articles, but thankfully sportswriters across the country are taking this part of the offseason to go ahead and make predictions about next year.

And not just any predictions, oh no – bold predictions. ESPN's Mark Schlabach takes a turn at such national bold predictions as Oregon making the title game and the SEC winning another. Totally shocking stuff. 

Here are the B1G highlights: 

6. Purdue's Darrell Hazell will become the next big thing. Hazell, who guided Kent State to a surprising 11-3 record this past season before leaving for Purdue, will become the latest African-American coach to strike it big at a school in a BCS league.

Hazell certainly won't have it easy at Purdue, as their football culture is entirely lacking based upon personal observation. My cousin is a student at Purdue and far from a representative sample, but he didn't even know that The Mustache was no more in West Lafayette. Engineers – what can you do? But I think 8-4 or so would be fairly extraordinary for Hazell in his first few years. Next: 

The Big Ten will ditch Legends and Leaders as its division names before Maryland and Rutgers join the conference in 2014. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told ESPN's Brett McMurphy that a decision could be made as early as June...Sadly, Delany and the Big Ten's athletic directors and presidents will pass on the most appropriate division names available: Rose Bowl Loser and Capital One Bowl Loser.

BURN SCHLABACH, BURN. The Big Ten is actually a respectable 5-5 in the Capital One Bowl over the last 10 years, thankyouverymuch. Finally: 

7. Ohio State won't go undefeated again.

The Buckeyes went 12-0 under first-year coach Urban Meyer in 2012, but were ineligible to win a Big Ten championship and play in a bowl game because of NCAA probation. Ohio State won't go undefeated again, after losing too much of its defense from this past season.

Behind Miller's passing and running, Ohio State will still finish 11-1 and will play Michigan in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis. Ohio State will be equipped for a national championship run in 2014 if Miller returns for his senior season.

I think this was said just to get a gigantic fan base worked up, to be honest. It's hard to go undefeated, especially 25 26 games in a row.

Do I think the Buckeyes have a shot? You bet. Do I expect to go undefeated every year? No, but I'm disappointed when it doesn't happen all the same. 

Finally, the Big Ten bloggers have their own bold predictions for next year, which are less incendiary. Of note: 

  1. Ohio State and Michigan will meet in a rematch in Indy. (Rittenberg) 
  2. Several teams have multiple 1,200-yard candidates, including Ohio State (QB Braxton Miller and RB Carlos Hyde).
  3. Nebraska plays Ohio State for the Big Ten title. (Bennett) 
  4. The Big Ten adds two more teams. Just when we least expect it, the Big Ten will shock us again with expansion news.

DOES TRADITION MEAN NOTHING? Speaking of expansion, Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski – or Coach K, as it's easier to spell – had some interesting comments about Maryland's move to the Big Ten and expansion in general. 

And in Maryland’s case, that’s the only conference they’ve known. And they’re right in the middle of the ACC. And now their fans, they don’t have a place. They’re outsiders. They really are outsiders. What price? What price is paid for that? They didn’t get public opinion from their alums, from the people there,” he later said. “All these things are secret. It’s not out there. Some of it gets leaked, but in Maryland’s case it was never leaked.

I mean, he does have a point there: it's not like the alums were polled about his move. However, conference expansion has been happening for a long time without public opinion polls from alums. I think we're just a bit freaked out by the obviousness of the cash-grabbing TV deals, non-geographic conference footprint, and the speed of change. I did like this part of the interview: 

“This is an assault on tradition,” Krzyzewski said. “What sets us apart from the pros? What sets us apart from the rest of the world? Intercollegiate sports is really something that only the United States has. No other country has that. And our thing is based on all the right values: loyalty, honesty, tradition. The branding that you have gotten from doing that has elevated the academic institutions that those athletic programs represent. And doing things the way we’re doing it now, based on money, I think it takes away from the academic missions and the innocence that an academic institution has.”

I don't know about "the innocence that an academic institution has," but I do support collegiate athletics striving to be different in some way from professional athletics. There's something unquantifiably special about college sports or else we'd all be on Browns or Bengals blogs right now. 

NFL IS CALLING. College sports may be special, but that doesn't mean it's easy to turn down the big leagues. Record numbers of juniors are leaving for the NFL this year and that trend may be here to stay. 

"This year there will be more than 70 when it's all over," Detillier said. The deadline is Tuesday.

The NFL's new collective bargaining agreement, which was signed in 2011, cut into the gap in pay for rookies drafted in the top rounds and lower rounds. That has created more reason to jump even when a player's draft stock could be improved with another season.

"More and more you are going to see middle-round juniors entering the draft because of the new pay scale from the new CBA," Detillier said. "As a third or fourth round pick, you can make between $350,000 to $500,000 with a signing bonus. And it's not worth it financially to stay another year in college to go up a round because the money is about the same. LSU is just one of the first real test cases where you had an extremely talented junior class. There will be others like this from other schools in the future."

Some argue that this will be so detrimental to senior leadership that college coaches might pursue paying players in the future. Thankfully the Buckeyes are doing just fine on this front, with Hankins as the only Buckeye on the list of early entrants. You can follow the madness of early jumps to the NFL here

LINKS FOR YOUR TIME. And you thought you'd seen the last meltdown. This time Irish style... Discussion of favorite trick plays... The Mountain West lives again... Even the University of Georgia is using "the Percy Harvin role" to recruit. Wait what?... Bron Bron back in Cleveland?... VTech QB Logan Thomas is returning for his senior year even in a weak quarterback class... Vincent Smith talks about being eaten by Clowney... Evidence of water on Mars?


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Is it Saturday Yet's picture

Rooting for the 49ers.  Boone, Whitner, Ginn and Grant.  Plus their coach spurned TSUN a bit to head to the NFL.

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Were you around when Harbaugh was the scUM QB who beat the Buckeyes? I was and I'll never be able to look past that, but I will root for the former Buckeyes on the team! Pretty impressive that Boone has turned his life around.

cinserious's picture

I'm taking the niners just because of the 'diamond' formation Urban said he's going to use. Oh yeah, and Ginn.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I was nine or so, so yeah.  I went to school during the Cooper years so I know what losing to that school feels like.  I've rooted hard for the Niners back in the day so I have to find some good in Hairball.  Still pissed he cut Troy.
Boone is a monster.  It's funny watching him pick Gore up after a run with one arm.  Their O line is amazing. 

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Tramel Terry(the one that Georgia is calling their Harvin), is built like EzE, and Jalin. So I guess it could work. fo them. 

For the LOVE of GOD TACKLE SOMEONE...Anyone...Each Other...Something

Notre Dame fans are always good for a laugh. lol

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

LadyBuck's picture

To be fair, we were like that for half of our season.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I never said tackle

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

Ethan's picture

Saw an interesting tweet yesterday (forget who sent it...maybe Feldman? Or another CBS writer?) regarding underclassmen leaving early. They said that of the 60 or so underclassmen who had declared for the draft, only 26 (or something like that) actually ended up getting drafted. I never realized the number of undrafted underclassmen was so high. You'd think it would make some guys re-think declaring, but then again, no one thinks it'll be them that goes undrafted. 

Catch 5's picture

Here's the tweet you're talking about:

LOTS of bad advice out there. RT @Gil_Brandt: Of the 69 underclassmen last year, 25 went undrafted. -- Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS)

I was surprised by that too. I don't think a kid should leave unless they are a projected 1st rounder our high 2nd. That said, Feldman it's right, threw is a lot of bad advise being thrown around out there - probably by some bad prospective agents.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Squirrel Master's picture

Feldman isn't absolutely right. Some of those underclassmen might have known there was a possibility they would go undrafted but took the chance to try to get into the NFL when they can. Some underclassmen might not have a better shot than a lower round pick or undrafted when they stay so they might as well go if they feel they have a better shot now than later. Plus other factors happen too. Outside pressure to go because of family needs, coaching change that might effect a players position, sanctions against the school that could effect your decision. There are a few different factors that could make them choose to try. Maybe they were projected mid rounder and thought to go, then go to the combine and fail miserably and can't go back because of stupid NCAA rules. Maybe they got hurt or screwed up bigtime at a proday.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Catch 5's picture

Those are good points, but to I believe that if you are a mid- or late-round projection, you can make a lot of money by coming back and getting better (thus raising your draft stock and signing bonus).  Not to mention the added value of getting a degree, as these guys aren't going to get the kind of money (at least in signing) that could set them up for life.  Now, if the guy has already graduated then I take that back - go ahead and go unless you think you can get a better rating by staying another year.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Squirrel Master's picture

With the new collective bargaining agreement, not going to get that much money by trying to get into a higher round, especially between 45- and 2-3. Really isn't much of a difference. and again, no guarantee that you will go higher if you come back another year. Many players have dropped in their rating after staying another year. Worst are the ones who are projected to be first rounders, stay, then end up in the 2nd round or lower.
I'm just saying there are some player who think they will not get any higher even if they stay and know they are currently overrated or perhaps in a draft class that might be more advantageous for them (i.e. not as many quality QBs that are seniors). but then something happens and then BAM, they go undrafted. It is a gamble to leave early but sometimes its not just about bad advice.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

AcrossTheField11's picture

There's something unquantifiably special about college sports or else we'd all be on Browns or Bengals blogs right now.

Very well said.  While I love the browns, they certainly don't hold a candle to my love for Ohio State.  I sometimes wonder, however, if the interest level around the state would be so high if the Browns or Bengals managed to be good for stretch periods of time.  The browns were great in the 40's - 60's and again in the 80's, but I'm not sure it had any impact on Ohio State fandom.  Ohio state athletics have really been the only consistant winner in this state in my lifetime.

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

yrro's picture

Penn State manages to have its cadre of loyal minion despite the fact that the Steelers haven't really sucked since the 60's.
I think there's a much stronger feeling of ownership and belonging to a college team. You have experiences in common beyond game day with the rest of the fan base, for one.

Nappy's picture

Agree 111%.  I do remember the Benglas Super Bowl run in the late 80's but beyond that the Benglas and Browns sucked for my entire childhood.  I think that helped to add to the popularity of OSU in the state. 

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

hodge's picture

Water on Mars? Yeeeeah, I'm afraid that the BBC already taught me that that's not a good thing. 

LadyBuck's picture

That was a creepy episode of Doctor Who. Loved Tennant in it though.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

That Clowney hit will go down as one of the biggest 'you got knocked the fuck out' hits in college football!  I can watch that one all day long!

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

Squirrel Master's picture

if I could get away with it at work, I would have it as my screen saver.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Boom777's picture

I hate that people always say Michigan and tOSU will meet in the B1G championship game. scUM still has to win their division first! And coach K is a jackass he is only trying to preserve his conference, he doesn't care if the ACC raids other conferences. And there has to be something with Johny Football gambling and drinking, with no consequences, I mean there is proof and this doesn't break any team rules!

Wherever you are, there you be!

Squirrel Master's picture

I haven't heard of anything about gambling. I'm sure that would be a rule. Drinking, I doubt it. Plus FYI, it is legal in Texas to drink underage if you are in arms length of a legal guardian.
You are so right about Coach K. Maryland, a somewhat bigtime rival of Duke, leaves and now he cares. Get over it! Maryland can still play Duke once a year and still be in the B1G. What did Maryland get out of the deal in the ACC, crap football games and only 2 home basketball games against Duke and UNC that would bring a crowd. Maryland was starving their sports and struggling financially not because the locals don't care, because they have nothing in terms of a decent rivalry in football and basketball can only bring in so much money unless you are Kentucky or Duke. Maryland made the right move, and the ACC will live on. Duke can now play Louisville and get their rivalry there.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

btalbert25's picture

I think Coach K is losing his mind anyway.  I saw an interview with him after a game and he was either drunk off his ass or he's losing it.  He had trouble making coherent sentences, he kept repeating himself, and just wasn't making sense at all. 

bukyze's picture

I never thought we would come out flat like this. Alabama is not this good. We are just lifting up our skirts and letting them take what they want.
There were quite a few good lines, but this was my favorite.   It feels so good to revel in their misery.  As for the NFL, I too am going with the 49ers.  But in all honesty, ANYBODY but the effing Patriots.  If Brady wins again, I may have to end up buying myself another flatscreen.

cplunk's picture

Brady has not won an SB since doing Bridget Monyhan wrong. Let that be a lesson to you, fellas, always do right by your baby mamas.

okiebuck's picture

And Tiger Woods hasn't won a major since he did Elin wrong and I for one am hoping he never does again.

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

Squirrel Master's picture

totally different scenarios. Tiger did Elin wrong but she got paid still and won't worry about the rest of her life. Bridget Moynehan wasn't even married to Brady and he ditched her. She maybe gets some child support but because she already made decent money off her acting career, I doubt she got enough. Brady screwed her bigtime, Tiger was just a dog and paid for it in an expensive divorce!
Plus, I may sound like a Tiger apologist but when he plays well and wins, its good for golf. And as a golf fan, I prefer to watch him at his best because it is amazing. Might be different if he was an UM grad but infidelity doesn't really bother me that much or we wouldn't be watching ALOT of players.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

tennbuckeye19's picture

FWIW: Supposedly Tom Brady pays Moynahan $15,000 a month in child support, which is $180K a year.

CALPOPPY's picture

Yet even though he left Moynihan, Brady still won. Damn!

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

Jack Fu's picture

I second the "anybody but the Patriots" sentiment. Boston fans are the worst.

Squirrel Master's picture

well it also has a "little bit" to do with the fact he is an ex UM player! just a bit!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Doc's picture

I too am rooting for the Niners. They have a lot of Buckeyes and Harbaugh seems to be a really good coach. I'm so glad he is in San Fran and not The Asshole of the World.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Chad Peltier's picture

Rise up? Anyone? Bueller? 

unknownmusketeer's picture

The Rise Up commercials for the Falcons are an interesting promotional tool. Who knows, making it past the first game of the playoffs can certainly help them a lot. Merchandise has been flying off the shelf. All I know is Coach Smith is an excellent fit here.

Goose's picture

I respect Harbaugh, but I can't root for him after he guaranteed a victory over the Buckeyes and then backed it up.  He is a great coach but has always been one of my top antagonists from TSUN.

Earle's picture

Been driving the "root for Harbaugh to lose every game" bus from day one. Can't stand the guy.  As a Browns fan as well, I can't stomach an all-Harbaugh SB.

Snarkies gonna snark. 

buckeyepastor's picture

Will always despise that Harbaugh made that guarantee and worse that he went and backed it up by beating us in the 1980s, but seeing him spurn TTUN for the NFL, and how little he seems to think of his alma mater, makes it easier to root for him.  Add to that, setting aside his college days, I love the way he coaches, the physical type of play from his teams.   His offense is simliar the Urban Meyer's - downhill, "Woody vs. Bo" mentality with the running game and using that and the read option to set up a very efficient pass game.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

btalbert25's picture

The Harbaughs are total assholes, but both can coach well.  They both are total pricks too though.  A buddy of mine works PR for an NFL team and says they are the worst to deal with when their team visits.  It's his job to get quotes from players after the games.  He said John Harbaugh saw his shirt for the team that just beat Baltimore and John Harbaugh kicked him out of the locker room. He said I'm here to get quotes for the press release and Harbaugh said you have enough from your own team, get the hell out of here.
He's supposed to be the nice Harbaugh too!

Doc's picture

Chad, I agree with ya about Braxton.  I'm glad the guy keeps his face off of twitter and not flashin' cash or Crystal or whatever.  Give me XBrax any day over Manziel and twice on Saturdays.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

btalbert25's picture

I don't think the Manziel stuff is that big of a deal, but I agree with you.  I like Braxton.  He's modest.  He just has a different kind of personality.  I believe I've heard he doesn't really even like to talk about himself or his achievements.  He's just a good dude, and can't wait to see how he progresses the next 2 seasons.

CSAR Buckeye's picture

I'm glad we have Braxton, too.  I personally think he's a lot more exciting to watch than Johnny M.  However, this faux media backlash against the Heisman winner feels really exaggerated and a ploy for attention.  C'mon, the guy is about inoffensive as they come.

buckeyedude's picture

My favorite sentence quote from the ND Leprechaun meltdown:
"Notre Dame needs a cheetah taped to their back."



hodge's picture


buckeyedude's picture

Notre Dame's cheetah---------->>



Grayskullsession's picture

He was also the subject of a TMZ piece, which showed the 20-year-old holding a bottle of champagne at a Dallas nightclub. According to the nightclub owner, Manziel’s parents were present and no one in the club saw Manziel drinking.

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

Michael Citro's picture

Being repulsed by both AFC finalists, I'm on #TeamNFC this year, regardless of which team wins this weekend, even though my favorite team is in the AFC.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

During my sophomore year in high school, we ran this one trick play where we looked to run the speed option weak-side, but pulled the tight end weak-side and ran the shovel pass to him. We had an entire arsenal of trick plays that we never actually got to run, though, like one where we toss to the motioning WR and he runs the triple option with another WR and the RB.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

OldColumbusTown's picture

How bout them Badgers?!?!
Always love seeing the Hoosiers go down, especially on their home court on national television.
And did anyone see Crean do the blow-by handshake again, this time to Bo Ryan.  Dude is a squirrel if I've ever seen one...

Jack Fu's picture

On the other hand, in a conference that was already ridiculously difficult, we now have confirmation that Wisconsin is good again, as well. One more team we have to worry about, even at home.

Squirrel Master's picture

got something against squirrels? huh?

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

zbd's picture

This isn't related to anything but I just read the Chris Spielman book "That's Why I'm Here" and it was very good. Shows there is more to Chris than just Massillon, OSU and the NFL. 

stevebelliseeya's picture

"Lacy has zero fucks to give...." might be the funniest line i've heard in 5 was the exact thought i had as he bulldozed Notre Lame all night

"We are eternal. All this pain is an illusion." - Tool

OSUBias's picture

I love this commmercial so this one was particularly LOL worthy to me:

Notre Dame needs a cheetah taped to their back.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

acBuckeye's picture

I get what Coach K is trying to stand for when he makes his comments, but he should know that loyalty and honesty left college sports along time ago. Now tradition?? Yes, tradition should be taken just as seriously as anything else in college sports in my opinion. It truly is one of the variables that separates college and pro sports.
That's interesting data concerning the early draft entrants. I remember the rule change of the new CBA, but had no idea it would make such an impact on the number of early departures. It makes MUCH more sense to me now why Roby and El Guapo were considering leaving. I thought they were crazy for even considering it, but I was still thinking of the old CBA. But I don't think it's going to get to a point where senior leadership is going to be a major concern on a national scale. Individual schools may encounter this problem from time to time, but it won't be a national issue.
Does anyone know when the Big East will lose it's AQ status? Boise St. and San Diego St. made the right decision.

nickma71's picture

Michigan has 5 potential and possible losses before they even play TOSU.