Thursday Skull Session

By Chris Lauderback on January 31, 2013 at 6:00a
59 Comments

Rise and shine Buckeye junkies, and welcome to your first Skull Session that comes less than a week before the football holiday known as National Signing Day. 

I was hoping there'd be some big news to wow you with but last night didn't really yield any solid nuggets that might provide any additional clarity on topics such as whether EZE will stick with the Buckeyes, if Vonn Bell can be had, and what remaining playmakers out of the James Clark, Dontre Wilson and Ryan Timmons lot might pledge allegiance to Urban Meyer, among other lingering recruiting story lines.  

It sounds like Clark had good things to say about Ohio State in a recent interview with Dave Biddle and confirmed that the verbal from Corey Smith will have zero impact on whether or not he's eventually Columbus bound, but our recruitniks still see Gainesville as his most likely destination

What we do know is that the Buckeyes and Wolverines are dominating conference recruiting. In the Rivals team rankings, Ohio State currently sits 4th while Michigan holds down the 6th slot. After that, Nebraska checks in at #15 but the next B1G program isn't found until Sparty in the 34th spot, behind programs like Washington, Virginia, Pitt and Utah. 

Ineligible for postseason play for another handful of years, Penn State sits 40th, five slots ahead of Wisconsin which is just two spots ahead of Houston. 

THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY. Going all in with the hire of Darrell Hazell and shelling out more cash for assistant coaches' salaries, Purdue is now faced with hatching a way to pay for the increased compensation packages. 

With that, Purdue has announced their plans for generating extra cheddar in the form of a ticket price increase tabbed the Legacy Fund. Facing the reality that an overnight attendance boon is unlikely, the Legacy Fund will receive coin by way of a season ticket plan affecting only 25% of Ross-Ade's capacity that requires a $250 or $100 donation, depending on seat location. 

Hazell is set to be paid $2 million in 2013 and his nine assistant coaches come with a combined cost of $2.1 million this season. 

Now, I'm as a big a Hazell fan as the next guy but I fear both he and the school are setting themselves up for an epic fail considering so many of the offensive players will be under the tutelage of Jim Bollman and John Shoop

REMNANTS OF A PERFECT SEASON. Brian Bennett took a stab at ranking the top individual performances in conference play from last season and two Buckeyes made the cut, with Johnny Simon's dominating four-sack performance in the overtime win in Madison holding down the 9th spot and Braxton's determined effort in a 17-16 win over the Spartans in East Lansing ranking 8th: 

9. Ohio State's John Simon vs. Wisconsin: In what would turn out to be his final college game, the Buckeyes defensive end went out with a bang against the Badgers in Madison. He had four sacks, which set a school record and were the most by a Big Ten player since Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan registered four vs. Michigan in 2010.

8. Ohio State's Braxton Miller vs. Michigan State: Miller had better statistical days than the one he turned in against the Spartans, but none were grittier. Hit over and over again, he somehow kept answering the bell and finished with 136 hard-earned rushing yards and 179 passing yards in Ohio State's 17-16 road win. Teammates said after the game that their quarterback was in a tremendous amount of pain, but he earned he even more respect from them.

Because of the fact he left the game twice due to injury is what I think of first, I initially questioned this selection but Braxton was responsible for 82% of Ohio State's total yardage in a one-point win on the road. You really can't ask for much else despite the freaked-out fumble. 

As for performances that didn't make the list, I thought Carlos Hyde's 140-yard, four-touchdown performance deserved some love even if it was against Nebraska's powder-puff defense. My sleeper pick would be Drew Basil's 4/5 field goal performance in The Game considering he'd attempted exactly six field goals in the 11 games prior and still ended up scoring the last nine points in Ohio State's come-from-behind 26-21 win. 

I never knew Bollman and Andre the Giant shared blood lines. Kooky. 

LOVE IS...ALL KINDS OF WEIRD. First, did you even know Dr. Phil was still a show? I had no idea. Bonkers. Second, I hadn't really even been paying any attention to the Manti Te'o soap opera after it was determined he wasn't involved because it was no longer a juicy story. It was just a sad tale about a linebacker ranking in the top 1% of naive people in the Northern Hemisphere. 

But things did get a little bit weirder yesterday as Doc P sat town with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the, uh, I guess, mastermind of the entire relationship charade. Discussing the interview scheduled to be televised today and tomorrow, Phil offered a little teaser on the interview:

"Here we have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love. "I asked him straight up, 'Was this a romantic relationship with you?,' and he says yes. I said, 'Are you then therefore gay?' And he said, 'When you put it that way, yes.' And then he caught himself and said, 'I am confused,'" McGraw told "Today."

Look, it should go without saying that I couldn't care less about the sexual orientation of anyone connected to this story, or in the world for that matter (and nobody cares if you have opinion on it so leave it out of the comments). I just find it fascinating that this dude wasn't really trying to pull a prank on Te'o as much as he was seemingly acting out a fantasy that afforded him the ability to carry on a very real emotional relationship and Te'o had no inclination that he, an emphatically declared straight man, was falling in love with a fictitious woman created by a man. Like I said, weird.  

IF THE SHOE FITS. I've always been a fan of the Commodores. I mean, those dudes had tight afros and even tighter threads. My love for anything Commodores only deepened when Vanderbilt hired James Franklin to bring the football program back from the dead in 2011. 

From day one, Franklin approached the job with a huge chip on his shoulder and isn't afraid to be a bit controversial, realizing being a passionate, outspoken coach helps create buzz for a program that will take media attention almost any way it can get it. 

Last year, shortly after National Signing Day, he took an indirect shot at a couple kids who decommitted late in the recruiting season by saying any players who decommitted from his program were "not men of honor and not men of integrity." Later that season, he went nose to nose with a Georgia assistant coach that was reportedly the lead recruiter that caused one-time Vandy commit Josh Dawson to sign with the 'Dawgs on NSD. 

At the conclusion of the regular season, Franklin drew a bit of flak after his final coaches ballot was released showing Notre Dame ranked 4th behind the SEC trio of Alabama, Georgia and Florida. 

Earlier this week, Franklin was at it again, speaking at an appearance at a Macon, Georgia high school. This time, he talked about his program was aiming high and took a swipe at Nick Saban in the process:

There's this guy at Alabama, I think his name is 'Nicky Satan". I think you guys have probably heard of him before. I'm going to outwork him. I'm going to outwork him, and that's kind of our plan every single day."

The only knock on this statement is that he later called Saban to apologize. In all seriousness, I don't necessarily agree with everything he says or does but I don't think there's any question he's given Vanderbilt a boost in recognition. And dude does have an outstanding business card

BACON. How many five-star receivers panned out in the last 10 years?... Freedom of the press, worldwide, in 2013... Titus goes all Switzerland while examining Craft vs. Oladipo at the defensive end... J.T. Barrett fluff... Hang in there, Ron Jeremy... One way to handle a videobomber in New Orleans... 50 Most Popular Tourist Destinations... Passive Aggressive Roommate Notes (NSFW). 

59 Comments

Comments

Defiance J's picture

Need to redo my business cards. 

OSUStu's picture

No kidding.  If you find a print shop that does that, please let me know.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

OSUStu's picture

Nice find.  This discussion is strangely reminding me of Christian Bale's obsessing on business cards in American Psycho.
"I can't believe that Bryce prefers Van Patten's card to mine."
and
"Look at that subtle off white coloring.  The tasteful thickness of it.  Oh my God, it even has a watermark."

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

AndyVance's picture

Ask and ye shall receive:

 

OSUStu's picture

Um, glorious.  Upvote!

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

andyb's picture

The fact that Penn State is ahead of Wisconsin just speaks volumes about the state of this conference...terrible.

BUCKtuckian's picture

Get well Hedgehog!

People are saying that I'm an alcoholic, and that's not true, because I only drink when I work, and I'm a workaholic.
Ron White

slicksickle's picture

Man, that freedom of the press link. It gives Canadians another excuse to complain about the US.

OSUStu's picture

Thought not really surprising, it is encouraging to see such a favorable situation for press freedoms in Germany considering its history...particularly after the Reichstag fire and the establishment Goebbels' propaganda machine.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

AndyVance's picture

As a U.S. journalist, I was puzzled as to how an NGO would view the Canadian press as somehow more free than our own ever-present media here, so I dug up the "methodology" behind the Reporters Without Borders report:

How we score countries
The questions consider six general criteria. Using a system of weighting for each possible response, countries are given a score of between 0 and 100 for each of the six overall criteria. These scores are then used as indicators in calculating each country’s final score.

  • Pluralism: Measures the degree to which opinions are represented in the media
  • Media independence: Measures the degree to which the media are able to function independently of the authorities
  • Environment and self-censorship: Analyses the environment in which journalists work
  • Legislative framework: Analyses the quality of the legislative framework and measures its effectiveness
  • Transparency: Measures the transparency of the institutions and procedures that affect the production of news and information
  • Infrastructure: Measures the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information

Reporters Without Borders meanwhile calculates a score of between 0 and 100 reflecting the level of violence against journalists during the period considered. The score is based on the monitoring carried out by RWB’s own staff.

With scores for those seven factors calculated based on survey questions answered by press freedom organizations in each country ranked, RWB uses a fairly complex formula to determine its overall rankings. A first score weights the first six factors alone, giving Pluralism roughly 1/3rd of the score, giving the second three factors 1/6th and the final two 1/12th.
When adding in the "violence" score, the formula shifts to give that factor 20% of the final score, and the final calculation getting an adjustment by a given coefficient the longer a journalist, "netizen" or media assistant is imprisoned.
In other words, a very subjective process is dressed up with a fairly complicated mathematical formula, and given that press-types tend to romanticize Canada and criticize the U.S. (broad generality, I know), I'm not surprised that RWB gives our brothers to the North a more favorable hearing.

GoBucks713's picture

Love the links, and thanks for theChive link from a few months ago. I go back to this from time to time. Love it. KCCO Chris.

-The Aristocrats!

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

From time to time means everyday. lol

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

GoBucks713's picture

You know it. theChive is the only website that I go to more often than 11W.

-The Aristocrats!

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I try to avoid it as much as possible these days. Otherwise, I spend an hour or two on there.

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

GoBucks713's picture

Now that theChive app for iPhone finally runs .gif files, my bathroom breaks have been extended until further notice.

-The Aristocrats!

Kurt's picture

Even though he's an asshole, I think Franklin's prime to be swooped away from Vandy for a bigger job at the end of this year. Ahem anyone B1G...

William's picture

I was going to say something like this. Franklin is a real McAsshole, but a good coach. 

cptfreedm's picture

The T'eo story ust shows how the school of media fish swarm whatever is determined to be "news".  This would have been a nifty weird story for 1 day or 2 but sheesh.  Give it a rest.  Slow news cycles will milk anything.

CPTFreedm
Go Bucks!!!

AllDay028's picture

Wait, Chris, you beleive that Te'o wasn't involved? I didn't think anyone was actually buying all this victim stuff.

Chris Lauderback's picture

Unless something more substantial comes out, no, I don't believe he was involved. I believe he's the world's biggest rube. I like clowing on Swarbrick and Notre Dame as much as the next guy but when the AD of Notre Dame has an investigation completed on the matter and makes the choice to vehemently, tearfully and publically defend the kid when he doesn't have to, it's hard for me to be a conspiracy theorist. That said, I could be the naive one. Time will tell, I'm sure.

chicagobuckeye's picture

Well no one will belive your a consipiricy theorist unless you let them know that your FAAAAAAAR from it

awwwwwwop's picture

I see where you are coming from but Notre Dame's "investigation" was a complete farce. It is about 1/10 of the investigation dead spin did. http://m.deadspin.com/5977416/notre-dames-lennay-kekua-investigation-bas...
Even if he was totally duped he is both the worlds worst boyfriend and a liar once he found out.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

NC_Buckeye's picture

I watched Dr. Phil while getting ready for work this morning. And Ronaiah Tuiasosopo's premise is totally believable (ie that he has romantic feelings for Te'o and is confused about his sexuality).
UNTIL... Dr. Phil asks him to do the voice on the voice mail. He begs off. Then they cut to commercial. Think it's intentional by the producers to get people to tune back in tomorrow. They kept dropping teasers about Phil saying multiple voice analysts have told him there's a one in million chance that Tuiasosopo is the person on the voice mail. That he can put that to rest by just doing the voice. Also teasers about Phil telling Tuiasosopo he already caught him in one lie... are you lying now...?
Have to say that, in spite of his usual schlock, Dr. Phil was not trying to give this guy a pass like the media has done with Te'o. [The exceptions being the New York Post and Deadspin, of course.]
BTW, after hearing him speak, there's no way that's Tuiasosopo's voice on the voice mails. I think his cousin Tino is definitely involved as well. And that's where the "I'm gay for Te'o backstory" falls apart. Still too many holes to be believable.

OSUStu's picture

A Portrait of the Walrus as a Young...Walrus

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

GoBucks713's picture

He's mad that someone took his bukkit..

-The Aristocrats!

buckeyedude's picture

I didn't realize that baby walruses had that much hair.

 
 

AndyVance's picture

Te'o conspiracy theory alert... If Tuiasosopo was smart enough to pull off this whole hoax for months and months, doesn't it stand to reason that he's smart enough to game Dr. Phil?
In other words, he's not actually gay, or really in love with Manti Te'o, but instead he's just pulling a fast one on Phil to stretch the shelf-life of this whole sordid story a little longer (which is clearly happening since it even made it into this Skully).

Chris Lauderback's picture

I know. I hate myself for including it but it was kind of a slow news day.

okiebuck's picture

How about no more Teo stories at all; isn't his fifteen minutes of fame over??

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

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Unfortunately that won't happen. It's almost guaranteed that the Friday SS will mention Te'o.
 
 

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

Chris Lauderback's picture

Again, my bad fellas. I sincerely hope your corneas recover fully from the tragedy of reading a few sentences about a subject you've grown tired of.

AndyVance's picture

You're not the bad guy, here, Chris - my point wasn't that you shouldn't have included it, just that I'm not convinced that Tuiasosopo isn't still playing games to maximize his own sick, twisted 15 minutes...

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Thank you for your kind words, Chris. :D

By the end of day 1 I was tired of it. I really thought this story would be around a week at best. I never expected this to be dragged out with Katie Couric, and Dr. Phil.

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

rgarrett22's picture

I never expected this to be dragged out with Katie Couric, and Dr. Phil.

Haha, your significant other must not watch The Today Show every single morning or you would have known this story's shelf life was going to be extended past its expiration date.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Haha, your significant other must not watch The Today Show every single morning

 
My hand doesn't watch much of anything. ;_;
 
The only thing I watch that early is Good Day Columbus. But that's only because of Carolyn Bruck.

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

Chris Lauderback's picture

Haha. It's all good. To each his own and honestly, I can completely understand anyone being tired of it.

btalbert25's picture

You know, I am kind of believing that Te'o may have been in this relationship.  There are phone records that show he spent a LOT of time on the phone with who he thought was his GF.  I do have to wonder, though, if he didn't find out of get suspicious about it in the end.  I just can't imagine being someone so in love that I don't go visit the love of my life when she almost dies in a car wreck and then is dying of cancer.
I do think it's possible that Tuiassaspa may have been living out some kind of fantasy.  His dad was a pastor right?  He knew Te'o too.  Maybe that was the only way he could have a relationship with him.  Story is bizzarre that's for sure.  I am kind of believing Te'o got duped too though, but maybe just part of the time, not the full relationship.

OSUStu's picture

It is really amazing that a team whose incoming freshmen will only be eligible for one bowl game is out-recruiting the team that represented the conference in the last three Rose Bowls.  (Ignoring how atrocious that Rose Bowl record is.)
Must be the BOB factor.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

btalbert25's picture

It's funny because people say EVERYTHING helps recruiting. I don't put much stock in that, see Pro combat unis for instance. When Ohio State was looking at a crappy bowl in 2011 it was WE HAVE TO GO TO A BOWL, IT'S GOOD FOR RECRUITING!!!!!!!
Well, Wisconsin proves that going to a GREAT bowl doesn't mean shit for recruiting.  They've had success on the field, they put guys in the NFL, and they make Rosebowls and they can't recruit.  Hell, they got rid of a horrible D-bag coach and still can't recruit.

sb97's picture

For all the talk about Michigan and Ohio State dominating recruiting (and they are) BoB is doing a pretty solid job of keeping PSU relevant.  I have no idea if he can keep this up for the next few seasons or if he will even stay but...  He is doing as well as anyone can expect to weather the storm.  It really does look like PSU can become a player when the shackles are off.  Good on him.  Wont stop me from hating them in the fall though :)

btalbert25's picture

He did a great job bringing those guys together, but I think they have a rough few years ahead of them.  Guys can still transfer out without having to sit out a year right?  If they hit a real rough patch this year, it'll be interesting to see if he can hold them together.  With the Scholarship losses they're going to be extremely thin, plus, who knows he may take off.  I really think he genuinely  though about taking the Philly job this year.
If he stays through all their sanctions, he could potentially build something special, but it'll take him a couple years after sanctions even to get numbers where they need to be in terms of depth and building a winner.  It's going to get increasingly difficult each year of these sanctions for them to have 4 or 5 loss seasons.

rgarrett22's picture

Q: How long do players have to make a decision?
A: Any player on the roster now can transfer under the NCAA prescribed liberal guidelines at any point of their Penn State career. But, they can’t transfer and play right away once a season starts. They have to wait until the conclusion of a season to transfer. The start of a season is considered to be when a team begins training camp. Penn State opens camp on August 6.

http://btn.com/2012/07/24/faq-penn-state-football-players-options/

You would think that the worst has already happened for PSU transfers, but you are correct that any PSU player who was already on the roster when the sanctions were leveled against the program has the ability to transfer in this fashion at any point during their collegiate career.

btalbert25's picture

I agree that it would seem like the worst is over transfer wise, but I could see Penn State having a really bad year this season and guys thinking you know what, this just isn't worth and take a shot somewhere else.  Not saying it'll happen or would be a mass exodus, but with the depth issues they'll have the next few years, they really can't afford to lose anyone at all.

okiebuck's picture

Vandy's Franklin should learn to pick his battles; you sure don't want to piss off old Nicky; he may forgive but he won't forget.

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

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Vandy doesn't have to play Bama, so the coach taking shots at Saban isn't shocking.

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

labuck's picture

Vandy is weak, they dont play tOSU or NW next year because they backed out of both.

okiebuck's picture

Ah ha; then no beat down this year from the Bama boys.

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

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Amazing how this year's recruits won't be able to play in a bowl game until they're seniors if they go to Penn State (and then they have to hope that PSU doesn't absolutely suck due to sanctions in 2016), yet Penn State is ranked 4th in this conference in recruiting.  FOURTH!  True, BOB did a great job there this year, but STILL!  If nothing else, I can at least go to a bowl game all 4 years if I go to Wisconsin.   This is one of the big reasons why this conference is so bad right now. 

Class of 2010.

Ethos's picture

even without the bowl games they get a lot of media attention during their regular games to showcase their skills for the pros.  So it isn't losing very much.  Still get a good education and all the connections assosicated with the program.

"What do you need water for, Sunshine?!" - Coach Coombs, if you don't love this man, you have no soul.

OSUAndy07's picture

Bollman had some impressive chops

"But I'm tryin' Ringo. I'm tryin', real hard, to be the shepherd"

KateUptonsLowerBack's picture

With regards to Te'o & Tuiasosopo, whether they were conspiring together in this hoax, I think there's something people haven't given enough attention to. This would be the phone voicemail messages "Lennay Kekua" supposedly left Te'o, which he supposedly still has. Well, Tuiasosopo claims he disguised his voice as a female in order to ruse Manti, who "didn't have anything to do with the hoax". Why doesn't Dr. Phil or one of these media geniuses then ask Tuiasosopo to simply perform the fake female voice for all to hear, and have Te'o release the voicemail recordings? It'd be an informative comparison. Furthermore, if he had nothing to do with this, why wouldn't Te'o just do this to end the questions? (Rhetorical. I sense he's been in on it from the get-go.)

luckynewman13's picture

the way the whole voicemail thing was dropped is very strange. When I first heard them I was sure it was a woman. And there a few voice experts who listened to the the tapes who confirmed the voice was a woman, isn't that right?

Bucks43201's picture

Yes believe so

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

Ethos's picture

First rule of the internet: She's underage
Second rule of the internet: She's a guy
Third rule of the internet: It's either your mom or your sister.

"What do you need water for, Sunshine?!" - Coach Coombs, if you don't love this man, you have no soul.

NC_Buckeye's picture

You forgot the Craigslist addendum:
She's a prostitute.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I thought the first rule was that there aren't any females online.

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

osubuckeye4life's picture

Or, they are all undercover cops?