Monday Skull Session

By Jason Priestas on January 21, 2013 at 6:00a

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everyone.

It's astonishing to think that King's "I Have a Dream" speech is younger than some of you reading this. As a nation, we may not always do the right thing at first, but we eventually do. Tocqueville put it best, "The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults."

If we continue to do as King implored, and judge others by the content of their character, we're doing our part.

STILL BULLISH ON SCOTT. USA Today's headline was brutal: Shannon Scott's awful shot costs Ohio State in loss to Michigan State.

With the Buckeyes trailing the Spartans by three with 7.9 left on the clock, Scott took an inbound pass from Deshaun Thomas and...

Prior to the play, Matta reminded his troops of Michigan State's strategy at the end of the first half, which saw them give two fouls on Ohio State's final possession leading to an off-balance clanker of a three from NBA territory. Scott raced up the court but the foul never came.

Shannon Scott will hear about that play from his teammates for a while – especially from Deshaun Thomas who looked like someone had taken his lunch money after the final whistle – but he's still the guy that entered the game with Michigan State leading 13-2 in the first half only to trigger a 15-0 run for the Buckeyes. Scott's still the only perimeter player that can force the action against zone defense or sagging man and he's still the same player that is averaging 8.56 assists and more than a steal per game more than Aaron Craft, Ohio State's all-time steals leader, based on 40 minutes of game play.

Scott's heave was ugly, there's no denying that, but it only cost Ohio State in the Saturday's loss if you consider going the length of the court to hit a three in the final 7.9 seconds to be a gimme.

Poor play from Amir Williams (1 point and 3 boards) and Lenzelle Smith Jr. (2-7, 6 points and 3 turnovers), and a lack of a second scoring option truly cost Ohio State a road game in the Big Ten that was there for the taking.

FLEEING THE HAT. A record 73 underclassmen were approved for the 2013 NFL Draft, up from 43 just 10 years ago, and 11 of them – or a full 15% of them – are from LSU.

The 11 are the most early exits from one school in draft history and include future Bengal Tyrann Mathieu, who sat out the 2012 season, punter Brad Wing, Cincinnati Princeton's Spencer Ware, and All-Name Team captain Barkevious Mingo. The group also includes backups and players that may not go until the fourth or fifth rounds, if at all.

Meanwhile, Nick Saban is putting together his game plan for the 2013 SEC Championship Game.

Orhian Johnson repped Ohio State one final time at the NFLPA Collegiate BowlJohnson rocked the Buckeye gear one last time.

AUDITIONING FOR THE LEAGUE. The all-star game circuit kicked off over the weekend with the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game bringing annual oddities like three different helmets meeting for a photo or an East squad featuring players from New Mexico and a West squad featuring players from Virginia.

Ohio State cornerback Travis Howard and defensive end Nathan Williams participated for the West team in the East-West Game, helping to lead a defense that held Kansas State quarterback and Heisman trophy finalist Collin Klein to a 5-13 day (surely the fault of assistant coach Ron Prince) on the way to a 28-13 win Saturday.

Howard earned mixed reviews for his week of practice, while Williams, moved to inside linebacker for the game, appeared to struggle.

Another quarterback from the state of Kansas, Jayhawk Dayne Crist, led his National team to a 34-0 victory over Ohio State safety Orhian Johnson's American squad.

Next up: The Senior Bowl. Practices kick off today and the game takes place Saturday, Jan. 26. Defensive tackle John Simin will be in action for the Buckeyes, while offensive lineman Reid Fragel will sit out the game due to injury.

THE SUPERBAUGH IS UPON US. I'm not sure if you guys know this or not, but two brothers, Jim and John Harbaugh, will lead teams into the Super Bowl for the first time. Oh, you know about that?

Your rooting interest in this one is clearly with San Francisco as the 49ers feature four former Buckeyes in guard Alex Boone, wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., linebacker Larry Grant, and safety Donte Whitner. Regardless of whether the 49ers come out on top or not, we're all winners here because the one man guaranteed to turn Michigan into a football juggernaut is coaching in the NFL.

MISC. Oregon promotes offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich to replace Chip Kelly... Clutch... Cleveland native and former Buckeye assistant Mel Tucker tabbed as Bears defensive coordinator... The top 10 sports hoaxes of all time... Bill Cowher, Skoal man... PR Fail: Charged former president Graham Spanier front row at the Penn State-Nebraska game.

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