Sunday Skull Session

By D.J. Byrnes on August 16, 2015 at 4:59 am
Matt Burrell and Bill Price

My goal today is to not have a syntax error in the first sentence. Mission accomplished? Hell, I never know.

THE 11W WEEK IN REVIEW. Here is some stuff written this week by people more talented than me:

LUKE FICKELL TURNS UP THE HEAT. Some teams don't treat every practice like a Super Bowl. Ohio State is not one of those teams.

From Bill Rabinowitz of

“We make it very uncomfortable still,” Fickell said after practice on Thursday. “Sometimes you have to find other ways to create that discomfort. We didn’t have to do that last year. We had a lot of outside sources that would help create that discomfort and that challenge to them mentally.

“But we feel a lot more comfortable when we get to create those discomfortable things. I know coach (Urban Meyer) does it to us (assistant coaches), and it makes us grow, and we’ll continue to do it to our guys.”

The idea is to create adversity and force players to handle it, so that when the inevitable setbacks occur on or off the field, they’ll know how to respond. Though the Buckeyes have most of their star players on defense back this year, including Joey Bosa, Darron Lee and Joshua Perry, there are questions to answer. The unit lost its senior leaders — Michael Bennett on the defensive line, Curtis Grant at linebacker and Doran Grant in the secondary.

Hmmm. *takes a drag on an intricate corncob pipe* Meyer's grand plan seems to be working. So, uh, keep up the good work, coach!

BE AFRAID, AFC NORTH QBs. Here's something of which you might not be aware: Ryan Shazier is good at football, and he's 100 percent healthy and back to doing War Damn Shazier things.

From Bryan DeArdo of

Shazier, Pittsburgh's second year linebacker out of Ohio State, is off to a strong start this preseason. After two games, the 6-1, 237-pound Shazier has led the Steelers in tackles in each game while showing the traits that led to Pittsburgh drafting him with their first draft pick in 2014.

Just five days after posting five tackles that included his jarring hit that stop the Vikings on fourth and goal, Shazier tallied eight tackles that included six solo stops in Pittsburgh's 23-21 loss to the Jaguars.

After just two preseason games, Shazier is already more than halfway towards his tackle total from his rookie season. In 2014, Shazier suffered an injury in Pittsburgh's Week 1 win over the Browns, and played through the injury for the rest of the season. He played in just nine games and started five his rookie season, recording 27 tackles in limited action.

Some day — maybe next year! — the Cleveland Browns are going to realize there's an elite prep football factory just two and a half hours down I-71. When that day comes... it's going to be a reckoning for the NFL, and I'm going to become the most obnoxious football fan in the world.

HOW TO SCORE TICKETS. 11Wer Hetuck passed along this article by Shawn Mitchell on the different ways to score tickets to an Ohio State game.

I thought the options were being a connected alumnus, Stubhub, or making a cash transaction with a stranger on a busy sidewalk (my preferred method). There are, however, many more avenues to take. Shows you what I know.

SALTY HERBSTREIT. Here's a video of Kirk Herbstreit distraught over a fan-voted "greatest team ever" tournament that resulted in an all-Nebraska final.

via r/CFB:

I was going to say, "2001 Miami would tax either of those Nebraska teams back into the pre-forward pass era," but then I remembered the national pundits that had a similar line of thinking in the lead up to the 2002 title game.

Makes you think, for sure.

THOSE WMDs. I want to party with this man... A Rainbow and Lightning Bolt... George Carlin's FBI file... True....  How much money has Rick Astley made from RickRolling?

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