Monday Skull Session

By Nicholas Jervey on September 30, 2013 at 6:00 am

Hello, everyone. Normally you’d be seeing DJ writing this, but seeing as how he's still hyperventilating about the end of Breaking Bad and the Cleveland Browns being in first place, I'll be your copilot.

So that quarterback controversy nonsense is over with, right? Kenny Guiton has done an admirable job in replacing Braxton Miller, but Miller expands the playbook in ways that Guiton --who is very talented in his own right-- just can’t emulate. If it's any consolation, Guiton is OSU's best backup QB season since at least 1996 Joe Germaine.

 BRYANT ON ROAD TO RECOVERY. The exhilaration of the primetime win over Wisconsin was tempered by the loss of Christian Bryant for the season with an ankle injury. Bryant has undergone surgery for the broken ankle he suffered on the next to last play of the game and is expected to heal in three months.

Bryant's Buckeye career over unless he's healthy in time for the bowl game, since this is Bryant's senior season and he wouldn't qualify for a medical redshirt. The silver lining to the suckiness of Christian Bryant's injury is that he has plans for life after football. Urban Meyer had glowing comments on Bryant's value to the program:

“(I) just love that kid,” Meyer said. “I just want to ask you to keep Christian's family in your prayers. That darn kid has done so much for our program, come so far. Incredible leadership skills.  And he's going to be even more valuable outside of football.  I love that guy.  Doggone it. Hard part of the game, boy.”

On a more strategic level, his departure leaves the OSU secondary even thinner, and the way Jared Abbrederis burned Bradley Roby all night demolished the confidence people may have had in the unit, not to mention how demoralizing it is to lose a team captain to injury. Best wishes for his recovery.

 OSU HOLDS STEADY IN POLLS. It seems like Ohio State is stuck in place in the polls, no matter what they do. The new polls are nearly the same as the old polls: once again, Ohio State is No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today poll and No. 4 in the AP Poll. The only difference is losing a couple points to Oregon and Clemson, but that seems unavoidable this season.

Three other Big Ten teams are ranked, after Wisconsin dropped out of the poll: No. 25/NR Nebraska,  No. 17/19 Michigan, and No. 15/16 Northwestern. I suspect ESPN would rather use its own rankings to promote a top 15 matchup, because...

 NORTHWESTERN WILL HOST GAMEDAY. Well looky here, Northwestern has done well for itself:

This is the first time College GameDay has come to Evanston since 1995, and the first Northwestern game since 2010. As a 4-5.5 point underdog in Las Vegas, the Wildcats have a significant chance of making a national statement against Ohio State.

To those wondering why the location matters, consider that Ohio State fans are so used to hosting the show in Columbus that one more time doesn't feel special. For Northwestern, this is their once-in-a-decade chance to raise the prestige of their program.

Not only is the game important for Northwestern's Big Ten hopes, the outcome may affect whether NU coach Pat Fitzgerald stays at his alma mater or moves up to Southern Cal to replace Lane Kiffin. Speaking of Kiffin...

Les Miles bribed the French judge to give Odell Beckham a high score, though.6.0 on technical merit, 5.9 on presentation. Via @cjzero

 KIFFIN FIRED WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE. The big story on Sunday was Lane Kiffin's Firing with a capital F. Following a 62-41 shellacking by Arizona State, USC's administrators were fed up and canned him in ignominious fashion. Consider this: Kiffin was fired

  • in September
  • on a Sunday morning
  • at 4:30 AM
  • in the LAX parking lot
  • by all of USC's top brass.

The cherry on the top is that he somehow managed to get fired while the game was still in progress:

Now the journalist reporting the bulk of the news is not always reliable, and he's clearly being fed information from a source with vested interests. Nevertheless, Kiffin has burnt bridges with just about everybody between his time at USC, Tennessee, and the NFL and failed spectacularly. Even being dumped like a sack of garbage earned more awe for athletic director Pat Haden's coldbloodedness than sympathy for Kiffin.

The frenzy over who USC will hire to replace interim head coach Ed Orgeron in 2014 has already started. Jack Del Rio is one popular choice, and people were making impossible logistical claims about his interest. If one of the coaching candidates comes from the college ranks, prepare for a chain reaction of coaching changes.

 MORAL VICTORY FOR KENTUCKY. It must be awful to be a Florida fan; after being spoiled by Steve Spurrier's fun 'n' gun and Meyer's spread option offenses, they have to suffer through the football equivalent of Wisconsin basketball under offensive coordinator Brent Pease. It's effective, but it produces joyless slogs, like its 24-7 win over Kentucky on Saturday night.

Kentucky fans would kill for a tenth of the success Florida has had, but at least they had the play of the game with this nifty fake field goal:


 THANKS FOR A GREAT WEEKEND. We'll have a wrap-up on Eat Too, Brutus and the Gold Pants Social, but this is an opportunity to make a personal statement. Thanks, everyone, for making those such great events. You raised a substantial amount for the Gold Pants Club and DownSyndrome Achieve, made for wonderful atmosphere at the dinner and tailgate, and fired up everyone for the sublime Wisconsin game. To all who attended, in person or in spirit, thank you.

 LINKS AHOY. It's been 50 years since Art Modell fired Paul Brown... The strength, health, and toil of professional bodybuilders... Mike the "Tiger" was adorable on College GameDay... Here's hoping the red-hot Indians put an end to all the anti-Cleveland crap... A letter to Niko Bellic on Grand Theft Auto V... Brutus's boundless enthusiasm for cymbals... Boise broke out an ultra-rare A-11 formation on Saturday... The Onion is brutal: 53 Worst Buffalo Bills Players... CSN Houston has filed for bankruptcy, rendering the wretched Houston Astros destitute... Yet again, Bernie Kosar is arrested on suspicion of DUI... Michigan's diving coach going strong at 78... Women's basketball picks up fifth 2014 recruit, Asia Doss... Ken Pomeroy on normal distribution and scoring margin... Rock, paper, scissors, shoot... a Home Improvement accident compilation... what high-end repo men do... behold the marvelous Antikythera mechanism... and Huell will stay on that bed through time and space.

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