Wednesday Skull Session

By Chad Peltier on January 23, 2013 at 6:00a

Good morning chilly Columbus, Ohio, and to all other places Buckeyes may reside. 

This is my first winter living in a state north of the Mason-Dixon line and I've got to say that I'm not very impressed with the weather so far.

It's 11 degrees right now in Chicago (and 13 in Columbus), but that really is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. So, toughen up people! 

Anyway, enough about the weather – let's get to some sports. 

 B1G BUZZSAW. The Buckeyes managed to avoid the B1G buzzsaw last night against Iowa, winning a largely forgettable game, 72-63. 

A fairly comfortable looking final score belies a near collapse in the final minutes as the Buckeyes had a 24-point lead shortened to just four points. 

Deshaun was his usual scoring self with 16 before getting knocked out of the game with a cut above his eye. Craft, Smith, and Ravenel all made the double-digit club, chipping in 12, 12, and 11, respectively. 

Iowa's atypically atrocious free-throw shooting percentage – 13/26 – went a long way in the Buckeye win. 

Aaron Craft also broke Ohio State's record for career steals, but was humble and worried about his six turnovers after the game:

“That’s unacceptable,” Craft said. “I had a couple turnovers down the stretch that you just can’t have when you want to close out games. Before you know it, you have to find ways to make plays at the end.

In other basketball news, Michigan State can't seem to win a game in any sport by more than 3 points, this time escaping from Wisconsin, 49-47

At least Michigan State and the Buckeyes avoided the big upsets of the night, as both NC State and Louisville were toppled by Wake Forest and Villanova, respectively. Kentucky continues to be completely unimpressive, this time losing to Alabama.

It doesn't look like there are any truly dominant teams this year in college basketball, but Duke will take the top spot once again. 

START MAKING THOSE BRACKETS. CBS Sports' Tiernan has analyzed the last 12 NCAA tournament winners and found that the last 12 have all shared eight characteristics, including earning a one, two, or three seed, coming from a "power" conference, averaging >73 points and allowing < 73 points per game, and playing a schedule that is among the 75 strongest. 

There's not really any theory per se about what makes numbers like "73 points" special, but possessing all of these statistics does seem to be a good sign for a team. His results for this year: 

The 10 teams on the champ list are Duke, Michigan, Kansas, Syracuse, Louisville, Indiana, Florida, Minnesota, Ohio State and North Carolina State. Some notable omissions include Arizona, Butler, Gonzaga and Michigan State.

Alright! Go B1G! Ohio State, TSUN, Indiana, and Minnesota (!) all make the cut. Unfortunately, 

When you evaluate the AP top 20 on these two KenPom rankings, four of our potential champs don't make the grade:

Michigan drops off because they rank 39th on defense.
Minnesota misses out on defense too -- just barely -- ranking 26th
Ohio State's offense isn't efficient enough (20th)

Well, that's kind of deflating. His only real locks are Indiana, Duke, and Syracuse. 

That's a face tailor made for ArkansasCharming, Mr. Bielema

NEVER CHANGE, BRET. I'll be honest – ever since Bret Bielema left Wisconsin, I've become a huge fan of him, mainly because the SEC is stuck with him now and because he absolutely tears up Twitter.

You'd think his actual account was a parody based on his tendency to get a little snarky with fans

One user mocks Bielema for thinking he can compete in the SEC after failing to win Big Ten games. Bielema responded by telling the user to "Check stats, and go back to sleep."... He told another Twitter user to think before "you tweet stupid things," referred to one person as having a weak mind and told someone to "Enjoy life alone."

Jeez Bret, like Sarah said yesterday, it's not all of us can marry girls we met in Vegas casinos. Luckily, Bucky's 5th Quarter has some advice for Bret (that is actually serious anti-trolling knowledge) so he gets it right in the future. 

In case you need lessons on how to use Twitter, Mr. Bielema, let De'Anthony Thomas be your guide:

This is Twitter done right, folks.  

IS IT SEPTEMBER YET? Were you looking for another way-too-early top 25 poll? No? Well here's one anyway

Alabama, Texas A&M, Stanford, Oregon, and Ohio State are Andy Staples' top 5 right now. As for the Buckeyes: 

Why this ranking could be too low: If the teams on the schedule aren't better than expected, the Buckeyes may buzzsaw the competition and voters may blindly move them up the polls without considering schedule strength.

Why this ranking could be too high: If an inexperienced defensive line falters, the Buckeyes could struggle against Wisconsin and Michigan. Also, a visit to Northwestern on Oct. 5 could prove tricky.

It's true the defensive line will be fairly inexperienced, but at least it will be populated by former blue-chip recruits. 

 LINKING THE DAY AWAY. Ain't that the truth, Re: commitments... New fancy Houston helmets... Craft soars... Super Bowl players as recruits... Recruits are finally wising up to Kiffin... Not Haden, though... Urban goes fishing... Rise up has a sad... Seriously, Marshall and OSU put the same number of players in the Super Bowl this year. Obviously... I'm putting Aurora, Chestnut, and Juniper on my puppy fantasy team... I feel bad for John Simon... MWC all grown up.


Comments Show All Comments

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

To me you can't justify having any team but Bama ahead of Ohio State.

Ohio State has 11(possibly 14) players in the top 250.

I actually like the Houston helmets.

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

rdubs's picture

I don't necessarily disagree with your first statement, but I don't think your second one backs the first up.  Our freshman class will likely have a relatively small impact this year (and if we have to rely on them, I don't think we can hope for a top 2 finish).

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I think you misunderstood. I'm not implying that the reason Ohio State should be in the top 2 is because of the recruiting class.

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

IBleedSandG's picture

Those new Houston helmets are dope.


Doc's picture

Bert, being Bert is all I see. Maybe he should stfu until he wins a game or three. Nah, that would be the right thing to do, and we all know he is uncapable of doing that.
I like Houston's helmets too, especially the red one.
Lastly, congrats Aaron on being the theifyest theif that ever thiefed at OSU.  Hheee's Crafty!

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Alhan's picture

Shutting up, at least as far as "#1-0" is concerned would seem to be good idea until you ARE in fact 1-0.  What exactly is that supposed to mean?  If he wants to say starting over with a clean slate, wouldn't it be #0-0?

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

gwalther's picture

I also like the Houston helmets. UH will be playing in half-empty Reliant next year, but the new stadium theyre building will be sweet (though Oregon).

Class of 2008

BuckeyeAsylum's picture

Red Houston helmet is nice, other not so much for me.

dumpus's picture

"mountain" division and "west" division, eh?  I mean - it can't possibly be that easy to come up with division names, right?  right!?!

yrro's picture

Come on, we can't exactly have the "B" and "1G" divisions. Although that would still be less confusing than leaders and legends.

dumpus's picture

guarantee that the MWC stewards didn't drop a million or so to a product branding specialist and focus groups to come up with that though.
sometimes less is more.  just sayin.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

The only way the Big Ten could emulate that approach:
Big Chiefs Division: Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State.
Ten Little Indians Division: Iowa, Indiana, ILL, Purdue, Wisc, Minn, NW, MSU, Maryland, Rutgers.

AndyVance's picture

Just call them the "The Big" and "The Ten." Now that we're at 14 teams, it so works.

okiebuck's picture

I think our D Line is going to be just fine; a positive surprise. Tarpon fishing in the Keys is a slice of heaven; especially with your kid; fish on Urban and Nate!

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

AndyVance's picture

Why this ranking could be too low: If the teams on the schedule aren't better than expected, the Buckeyes may buzzsaw the competition and voters may blindly move them up the polls without considering schedule strength.

Come on, Staples: you of all people are well aware that you and your colleagues at ESPN and SI will do everything possible to remind voters just how sorry the Buckeyes' strength of schedule is, week in and week out. We will get no "blind" votes next season, and will be playing from behind from the start despite being the only undefeated team in the league.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Yes, but fortunately, hacks like Staples will also be bipolar about it: hating on Ohio State, but not being able to resist the Urbz factor.
I'm not worried about it. If Ohio State goes 13-0 next year, they'll be 25-0 over two seasons, with a Big Story coach. No way in hell they'll get denied.
Whereas if they lose a game against that schedule, I'm not sure that they'd really belong in the NCG. That's the risk/reward of playing a relatively weak non-conference schedule.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

If by some chance they do get left out, do we riot?

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


No, but I would highly advocate leaving a flaming bag of poo on every ESPN/AP/USA Today voter's doorstep

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

Ethos's picture

that's a lot of burning poo

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Awww, man. I haven't seen a flipped over car on campus since 2004. lol

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

Colonel Quaritch's picture

I hope Kiffin loses his whole recruiting class now that people are finally wising up to how he is as a person. But heck, we've known that since he was at Tennessee.

"The question isn't who's going to let me, it's who's going to stop me." 

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

If being an a-hole was the criteria for losing recruits, Saban wouldn't have 4 NC.

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

buckeyedude's picture

Life ain't fair, Buckeyevstheworld. Anybody that has an ex-wife knows this.



thatlillefty's picture

Only a matter of time until the Arkansas AD tells Bert to put a lid on his twitter account. What kind of coach acts like that on social media? smh.

BuckeyeinExile's picture

I think we do go undefeated this year, but still don't make the cut for the championship game because of strength of schedule. I think the season after next is our year. I would rather have all the pieces in plaace and show up to play rather then not having depth and get embarrassed like Notre Dame this year or us in 06. I think this is a Rose Bowl year for us, but that Rose Bowl will be a W. Maybe Urb can send Bert a signed print of the trophy via twitter!

buckeyedude's picture

yeah, but we won't have Roby and El Guapo in 2014. :(



gobucks5413's picture

I have to stay off of any sort of commenting site after Buckeye basketball games. If I remember correctly, the sky was falling last year as well, and that ended up alright if I remember correctly.
There are a lot of things wrong (this new lack of rebounding is something to be worried about), but with the exception of the Illinois debacle, this team has lost 3 super competitive games to top 15 teams. I don't know if you have noticed, but almost every big game in the BIG, ends up being in the 50's (or even the 40's). Plain and simple, while wins are nice, its tough to expect to go to places like the Breslin Center and come out with wins.

Ethos's picture

the team is just not impressive this year compared to past years.  I don't see them going much further then the 2nd round.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

bukyze's picture

They aren't even close from a talent perspective.  Losing Sully, Buford, and Diebler was huge, obviously.  I see them possibly getting to the sweet 16, but a 2nd round loss would not be a surprise.  I guess you could look at this year as having very few dominant teams, so who knows.

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

If Bielema had a brain that worked correctly, he wouldn't use twitter or care what people said about him on twitter.

Codeezy's picture

We may have as many guys in the super bowl as Marshall, but TTUN only has one and bama has as many as Delaware and Washburn.

buckeyedude's picture

I like at the beginning of the SB when the players come out individually, and they call their name, and what college they attended. Definitely a 49ers fan for a day.



GoBucks713's picture

"averaging >73 points and allowing < 73 points per game " 

That's an interesting finding. The magic number is 73 DTrain. Go get it.

-The Aristocrats!

scc8t's picture

interesting article about star rankings for the starters. but no mention to Ted Ginn Jr. too bad.

Dougger's picture

i cannot stand graham watson.
that's all i have to add

I like football