Wednesday Skull Session

By Chad Peltier on March 27, 2013 at 6:00 am

Good morning, Buckeye fans. Take a seat, grab some coffee, and let's get to your Wednesday Skull Session. 

Once again I have the pleasure of discussing another of Kyle's spring football updates.

Coach Meyer and Withers were available for practice six, so we got updates on the defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs, as well as Kyle's impressions of the offense during goal line drills. 

Here are some of my highlights:

  • I am personally surprised by the praise for the defensive backs so far. Between Pittsburgh Brown, Bryant, Armani Reeves, Tyvis Powell, and Eli Apple, the defense's big weakness might be a strength in 2013.
  • On the other hand, I'm not surprised that the running backs are bowling people over. Rod Smith, Bri'onte Dunn, and Warren Ball all want carries, and it looks like they're fighting hard for them.
  • How are the linebackers still having such problems? With all of the talent there, you have to think one of Grant, Perry, Williams, or Perkins can put it all together. I mean, we only need one more starter to go along with Shazier. 
  • It is very encouraging that Warinner is so excited about Chase Farris. That means that at least the top six guys are worthy of starting positions, and that excludes Kyle Dodson, a former top recruit as well. 

While Meyer may not be sold on the front seven just yet, it's still very early. I expect Noah Spence to get the line ready to compete in The Chase. All the defense desperately needs now is another star linebacker. 

 ROUNDBALL TOURNAMENT UPDATES. It's been a crazy tournament so far, with teams like La Salle, Wichita State, and Florida Gulf Coast in the Sweet 16. Or has it?

By comparing the average seeds of the teams in each year's Sweet 16 group, Matt Norlander of CBSSports, with an assist from John Gasaway, has figured out that this year's tournament has been the fifth-craziest in the last 28 years (since the 64-team bracket began). 

Interestingly, three of the top seven craziest tournaments have occurred since 2010. That is probably to make up for the boring 2009 tournament, which featured the fewest upsets and lowest-seeded teams in 28 seasons. 

Apart from being the fifth-craziest Sweet 16, this year also has the chance to be historic for the Big Ten. The Final Four has never been comprised of only teams from the same conference, but Louisville, Kansas, and Duke are among the teams that stand in the way of this historic conference-on-conference finish. 

Only Louisville, Kansas, and Duke. You already know that I'm not optimistic about Michigan or Michigan State's chances in the Sweet 16, but of course, anything can truly happen. That would just make Jim Delaney's day, wouldn't it? 

 CONFERENCES MAKING MOVES. It's even exciting outside the Big Ten, as several conferences made some big moves yesterday. 

First, the conference formerly known as the Big East made a modestly lucrative TV deal with CBS for $3 million per year. The Big East is hoping to just survive without its automatic bowl bid in 2014, which is what is tempting schools like Cincinnati and UConn to look for more attractive friends in the ACC. 

If those schools stay in the conference then they should be joined by two more (following the addition of East Carolina and Tulane): 

The football side will include 12 teams by 2015 with the addition of Navy and Tulsa. reported on Tuesday that the addition of Tulsa was "a matter of when, not if."

With the Tulsa addition imminent, are we prepared to say that the former Big East can survive the Great Cataclysm of 2013? Kind of remarkable, really.  

And that's not the only conference news of the day. The Sun Beast keeps on raging, with the Sun Belt set to add Buckeye favorite Appalachian State and perennial FCS powerhouse Georgia Southern.

The Sun Belt is set to be the most exciting non-AQ conference this side of the MAC, with high-scoring teams like Western Kentucky, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Georgia Southern. 

Best non-AQ not named the MACThe Sun Beast, courtesy of EDSBS

 JUST IN: CRAFT IS THE MAN. Aaron Craft makes Buckeye fans swoon on a daily basis, but apparently he makes the entire nation swoon as well. 

To be more specific, he has gotten five times more swooning than any other college basketball player in the tournament so far. 

According to Facebook, Craft received five times more mentions than any other player in the country, including that Ole Miss troublemaker Marshall Henderson. His mentions went through the roof during the final second of the Iowa State game, increasing by 181,000 percent. It's not all rosy (cheeks): 

But other factors likely helped Craft topple Henderson and the rest of the field: An early afternoon game that was the only one being played, a national reputation built over three years of play and filling that Bobby Hurley-Steve Wojciechowski role as the Eckstein-like scrappy point guard.

Ah, the old "scrappy point guard" motif. That sure sounds familiar. Wait, now you're saying that he's the Tim Tebow of college basketball? 

“He has that Tim Tebow quality,” Miller said. “Tebow, at Florida, it wasn’t just his performance on the field, but who he was as a person, the leadership that he provided, the competitive spirit he embodied. It seemed to spread through Florida’s football team, and Aaron Craft does the same thing for Ohio State basketball...Part of what make makes him such a special basketball player is who he is as a person,” Miller said.

It's hard to say what exactly that comparison implies – hated by opposing fanbases, an exceptional athlete who performs beyond expectations, full of "competitive spirit," a leader and exemplar off the court/field? All of those seem like pretty fair comparisons to me. 

 TO TEXAS WE GO. The inaugural college football playoff title game will likely be played in Arlington, Texas, at Cowboys Stadium in 2015. 

While it won't be decided until April 23-25, Tampa Bay was the only other community to submit an official request by yesterday's deadline. This was widely because Cowboys Stadium was the overwhelming favorite throughout the process, discouraging other areas from even applying.

So if The Chase needs two years to come to fruition, it's looking like Urban and Company will need to set their sights on Texas.  

 LINKS ALL THE WAY DOWN. If you're looking for another mock draft with pro day updates... I drive by WKU fairly often, and they seem happy to have Petrino... Is Te'o news not cool anymore? Well here's something about his 40 time anyway... Virginia Tech needed to make some big changes... Teddy Bridgewater will make more noise next year... Manziel got angry, stop the presses!

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