Thursday Skull Session

By Chris Lauderback on December 26, 2013 at 6:00 am

After a day off allowing Lebron to steal the stage, the always electric college football bowl season resumes tonight with a pair of doozies in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl featuring Bowling Green against a 6-6 Pitt squad and the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl pitting 8-5 Utah State against Northern Illinois.

Seriously, I have no idea how the diehards can watch some of these games on television and judging from reports on ticket sales, there won't be too many fans in the stands at a good portion of these lesser contests either. 

Even some of the more marquee programs playing in decent bowls struggle to sell their dictated allotment of tickets which often go for a greater price than what a buyer can find on the secondary market. 

For the Orange Bowl, as David Briggs wrote on Sunday, Ohio State has sold just 7,000 of the 17,500 tickets each school was forced to take on. I'm sure Buckeye fans will still put together a strong showing in Miami but the B1G can expect to eat a ton of stale tickets this bowl season, just like virtually every conference and team did last year when $21 million tickets went unsold. 

Clemson officials seem a little more upbeat about the prospect of selling the bulk of their tickets, a feeling boosted by the fact they are selling $75-$90 face value tickets for $50 and offering additional carrots like complimentary passes to a tailgate, a parking pass and a tax-free transaction. 

It's a good bet the 76,000 seat Sun Life Stadium will be packed but I'm intrigued to see how close to 50/50 the crowd turns out to be knowing how well OSU fans travel and how long its been since the Buckeyes last played there coupled with Clemson boasting a fair amount of alums in Florida and assumedly having a decent amount of fans living within reasonable driving distance of the venue. 

LEWAN RESPONDS. In Scottsdale prepping for Saturday's Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Michigan Man Taylor Lewan responded to an allegation he assaulted a Columbus, Ohio bro at an Ann Arbor bar in the hours following Ohio State's 42-41 win in the Big House:

"I wasn't in any fight. I didn't hit anybody. I was really just trying to help out a situation and break up something. I can't really go into any more details than that..."

"I haven't thought about it much at all. I didn't hit anybody or do anything like that. My focus is here. I'm sure the truth will come out, and it'll all work out."

The alleged victim, Ryan Munsch, however, recalls a different version of events saying Lewan assaulted another member in his party before landing a 1-2 combo that sent Munsch to the hospital. 

Police have interviewed several people but Brady Hoke must not be too concerned as Lewan is expected to play. 

Max Copeland: Chill SEC bro

BOOM! IZZO'D. I should probably start this bullet with a "yes, I absolutely do realize Ed Hightower missed more than his fair share of calls" though even at the ripe age of 62 he was still, at the very least, better than Ted Valentine, Mike Kitts and Mike Sanzere.

Anyway, as much as it stings to gloss the alternate Commodore, Hightower finished up a 36-year run of college officiating last Sunday and if nothing else, that's worth celebrating.

In all seriousness, the very coaches he torments all seem to genuinely appreciate the guy. In a classy move, Tom to the Izzo got all choked up recently as he became one of a few coaches to honor Hightower for his service to the game

The superintendent of the Edwardsville (Ill.) Community School District, Hightower reflected on his career after Sunday's game:

“I have been the luckiest guy in the world. How many people can you say can go through life and do the kind of things they want to do? Think about that for a moment. I’ve been an educator. I worked my first national championship in 1988, had an opportunity to go to the NBA. Stayed in education, because again, I would have had to give it up. To stay in college basketball and work with young people, then my day job, working with young people, how many people can say they go through an entire career and really do the kinds of things they want to do?

“And I‘ve been fortunate, and the game has been so good to me. The game is in good shape. I don’t want to hang around. I’m healthy. I feel good. The coaches still respect me, and I want to go out with that respect and not hang around and have them remember what I used to be. That’s what this is all about.”

(If nobody's looking), a quick tip of the cap to you, sir. 

MAX COPELAND IS MY DUDE. It's not necessarily atypical for an offensive lineman to be a little left of center but former walk-on turned starting left guard Max Copeland of Missouri might be my favorite version of such a beast this season. 

Probably voted most likely to be on WWE's payroll within 2 years, Copeland's body of quote-work comes strong

On the reality of being an offensive lineman:

"Dude, we knew this job was dangerous when we took it. You know what I mean? Hell, dude, I could lose my life out here and I'd be damn fine with that. You know what I mean? You can be hailed glorious in front of 80,000 dudes, or you could have an injury out here, go down like a dog and no one could see it. That's reality. But that's what rock 'n' roll is all about. We love living on that fine line between glory and chaos. You know what I mean? Stuff might get heavy. But when it gets heavy, you get metal."

Words to live by right there. What about two certainties in life, Max? 

"I knew two things when I was that young: I knew I was supposed to be down on that field and I'm not supposed to be listening to country music. Those were the two divine rights given to me." 

Amen, brother. Let's talk society:

"There are two kinds of people. One group of people who think that 'Ace of Spades' by Motorhead is the greatest song in the world, and people who are wrong."

How about one last philosophical bomb:

"Rock and roll is not a hairstyle, it's a lifestyle. And if I ever get my own quote on something, I would like it to be that. Rock and roll isn't a hairstyle, man. It's a lifestyle."

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