Different characters, players, coaches and administrators hold serve is different ways with the media. Some are candid. Some are not.
From an Ohio State perspective, the time allotted with reporters varies based on time of the year, situation and person. For example: we don't get to talk to true freshmen until they play a game for the Buckeyes, regardless who it is or what happens. This is not uncommon.
Still, there are plenty of moments that deserve recognition from a press conference standpoint. Below are our 11 favorites, in no order.
“Bring A Gallon of Milk Home”
Exhausted and excited to have just beaten Michigan for a fifth straight time, Urban Meyer fielded a telephone call from his wife, Shelley, in front of television cameras and sportswriters. Why did he have his phone on during his postgame press conference? Why did his wife feel the need to call him? Did he put her up to it? Was it really her on the other end of the line? Is the comment a subtle jab at Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh's obsession with whole milk and his endorsement deal with fairlife? These are questions we may never know the answer to.
But we do know this: Everything the man does is calculated. Take that how you will.
“Two Types of People, Those From Cleveland And Those Who Wish They Were”
In a banner year for the city of Cleveland, LeBron James and the Cavaliers brought the city its first championship since 1964 by coming back from a 3-1 deficit to beat Golden State in the NBA Finals. Four months later, the Indians made it to the World Series.
In order to get there, though, Cleveland had to beat the Toronto Blue Jays. Meyer met with the media on the Wednesday before his team traveled to Penn State after practice like usual during game week, only this time he wanted an update on the ALCS. He got it.
“It's Got Me Thinking. Who We got?”
Alabama and Nick Saban made headlines this season by inviting former running back Trent Richardson onto its scout team to help the Crimson Tide prepare for LSU star Leonard Fournette. An NCAA bylaw allows schools to do this with former players as long as they don't broadcast or promote it to the world.
A reporter brought this to Meyer's attention in November. The wheels immediately started turning in his head and the Buckeyes ended up inviting former receiver Briant Hartline and linebackers Bobby Carpenter and Zach Boren to Fiesta Bowl practice.
“I Was On My Couch, Eating Some Chicken Wings”
J.T. Barrett and Ohio State made the College Football Playoff without even playing for a Big Ten Championship this season. But because the Buckeyes didn't get to make a trip to Indianapolis this year, it was still relatively up in the air if they would finish in the top-4 of the rankings on the first Sunday in December because no team had done so without a conference crown.
So what was Ohio State's quarterback doing when he found out whether or not he and his team would get a chance to compete for a national championship? Vibing alone at his house with some delicious chicken wings.
Though the quote is great, Barrett tweet after the fact makes it even better.
It was Royals and a dab of ranch on the side https://t.co/DgZaBrg95I— Jt Barrett (@JT_theQB4th) December 4, 2016
“Come on, Jerry!”
OK, so there was a debate during the season about where J.T. Barrett ranks among Big Ten greats in terms of touchdowns responsible for. The NCAA elects to not factor in bowl game statistics for whatever reason, though they have been recognized for the last 15 years or so by sports writers, historians and sane people.
Looking at it through that lens, former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees has 106 career touchdowns—90 passing, 14 rushing and two receiving. If you remove his bowl stats, though, he only has 97. During Ohio State's 62-3 whipping of Maryland, it was up in the air whether Barrett had passed Brees' mark, which ESPN reported. Ohio State spokesman Jerry Emig told the media in the press box that the school is recognizing Brees' bowl numbers. So Barrett remains six shy of tying the mark, with 100 total (69 passing, 31 rushing) going into Saturday's Fiesta Bowl.
A reporter brought the situation up to Meyer after the Maryland game and as Emig is explaining himself, Meyer offered a quick jab at his sports information director's lack of initial clarity.
“I Ain't Answering That one But ... Half. Half Of 'Em”
Demario McCall is a player I mentioned above that the media doesn't get to speak with much. Yet.
It is one of the largest crimes beset by Ohio State on its media contingent due to McCall's amazing personality and outlook on life, but the true freshman spoke at Fiesta Bowl Media Day on Thursday because he had to be. All players were required to be available.
McCall and another true freshman, Antonio Williams, got into a discussion about how great their scout team performs in practice against the first-team defense. A reporter asked how many teams on Ohio State's 2016 schedule could that group of young bloods beat? McCall's reaction is terrific.
“Durbin. I Think That's His Name, Right?”
OK, let's be honest with ourselves. Meyer had no clue who Tyler Durbin was until he absolutely had to, when Sean Nuernberger dealt with injuries in camp and lost his job to the walk-on. When asked about the kicking game the Monday before Ohio State's season opener against Bowling Green, Meyer had to double check that he said Durbin's name correctly after he named him a starter.
“I Don't Know Where The Hell He Came From”
A week later, Meyer doubled down on not knowing much about the former soccer player at James Madison: “I don't know where the hell he came from.”
“Beat Maryland. Beat. Maryland.”
Meyer got to a point during the 2016 season when he just got tired of answering the same versions of different questions. He reverted to simply saying "Beat [insert team here]" instead of giving a thoughtful response.
The time below was the best instance of such a course of action, during Maryland week.
“Nah, I Don't Root For Them”
If you're reading this, there is a good chance you root for Ohio State and don't like the team's archrival, the Michigan Wolverines.
Sports are funny sometimes, though, and because Ohio State lost to Penn State, it needed to play an undefeated Michigan at the end of the season and beat it in order to win tiebreaker scenarios to go to the Big Ten Championship Game. The Wolverines lost to Iowa on a last second field goal Nov. 12, though, so the Buckeyes were in a bit of a pickle to earn a trip to Indy. They didn't but it didn't end up mattering as they made the College Football Playoff anyways.
The following Monday after Michigan's loss, however, players were asked if they would ever bring themselves to root for the Wolverines if in the end it would help them get to where they want to go. They responded as you would think.
McMillan asked if he was rooting for Michigan on Saturday knowing a loss would hurt Ohio State. "Nah, I don't root for them."— Tim Shoemaker (@TimShoemaker) November 14, 2016
Pat Elflein said he wasn't rooting for Michigan on Saturday, even though he knows the B1G scenarios: "I'll never root for those guys."— Eric Seger (@EricSeger33) November 14, 2016
We don't have those responses on video unfortunately but still a series of great quotes nonetheless.
Remember when Ohio State beat Michigan in double overtime? Of course you do. Remember when Jim Harbaugh lashed out on the officiating afterward like a 6-year-old? Of course you do.
Michigan's head coach thought the Buckeyes received some favorable calls, like The Spot, a false start and many more. A deep investigation before Christmas revealed there wasn't enough evidence to overturn The Spot but in the moment, Harbaugh lost his mind.
Harbaugh furious pic.twitter.com/rEA6ycDXDq— angelique (@chengelis) November 26, 2016
The Rivalry is alive and well, folks.