Skull Session: Ohio State Enjoys Banner National Signing Day, Basketbucks Dump Purdue Pete Like Garbage, and What Negative Recruiting Looks Like

By D.J. Byrnes on February 8, 2018 at 4:59 am
Urban Meyer listens to Sister Hazel for the February 8th 2018 Skull Session

HOLY SHIT, was that the best Wednesday in Ohio State history or what? Somehow a former NFL head coach returning for his third tour as defensive coordinator was like the sixth craziest thing to happen.


Word of the Day: Flâneur.

 DEATH TO PARITY. Ohio State did not finish with the No. 1 class. Thankfully, however, neither did Michigan (more on that snafu in a bit) or Alabama.

So yeah, it's the lack of recruiting championship was no slight. It was the highest-rated class in school history.

From Andrew Lind of Eleven Warriors:

While it wasn't enough to hold off Georgia (322.39 points) for the top-rated class in the 247SportsComposite Team Rankings — as the Bulldogs signed five-star cornerback Tyson Campbell and flipped Top 100 linebackers Quay Walker and Otis Reese from Alabama and Michigan, respectively — Ohio State finished with a total score of 317.06.

For comparison's sake, last year's class finished with a score of 312.14. The Buckeyes finished second to the Crimson Tide last year, but held a higher per-player average (94.59 to 93.76). It is viewed as a more accurate assessment of a recruiting class' strength, as it doesn't give an advantage to the program that signed more players.

Ohio State narrowly squeaked by Georgia this year in per-player average, as well, 94.29 to 94.23.

It was a good day for the sport's elite as the gap between the haves and have-nots grew wider.

From Bill Bender of The Sporting News:

National Signing Day re-emphasized that lack of parity in college football once more, and if you're looking for parity in the College Football Playoff era, you'd better look elsewhere. Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma all brought in reinforcements with top-10 classes and a plethora of five-star talent.

Those five schools have already accounted for 12 of 16 possible playoff appearances over the last four years. Oregon is the only other FBS school to win a playoff game, though the Ducks were eventually beaten by the Buckeyes. When sizing up early top-25 polls for 2018, those are the top five teams; when picking teams capable of winning the national championship, that's where the short list starts.

National Signing Day showed why that list might get even shorter. Georgia, which boasts the nation's No. 1 class, reeled in seven five-star players after winning the SEC championship in 2017. The last four national champions are in business too.

Recruiting is a circus now, but it's still a multimillion dollar circus. In the internet and HD television era, it's easier than ever for the big #brands to expand a national net. We live in an era where the Buckeyes recruit Idaho.

I'm an Ohio State fan, so I have no empathy for the poors and their feckless college football choices. I believe the future of CFB will be a 16-team Super Conference (with relegation, hopefully) that operates outside of the NCAA. I know everybody will be heartbroken without November trips to Iowa.

 GET DUMPED, PURDUE PETE. The Big Ten Coach of the Year trophy is a sham if it's not already engraved with Chris Holtmann's name.

Keita Bates-Diop didn't play his best game, which I thought would have doomed the short-handed Buckeyes. I can exclusively report I was wrong—VERY WRONG. Still, KBD came through when his team needed it most.

From Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors:

The Buckeyes upset the No. 3 team in the country on Wednesday night, continuing their Cinderella first season under Chris Holtmann, defeating Purdue 64-63 to improve to 12-1 in conference play – while handing the Boilermakers their first Big Ten loss of the year – to move the Buckeyes into first place in the conference standings.

Ohio State's Keita Bates-Diop, who led the Buckeyes with 18 points for the game, scored the game-winning basket with 2.8 seconds remaining.

After a missed shot by Jae'Sean Tate with Ohio State trailing by one and just five seconds remaining, Bates-Diop saved the day and led the Buckeyes to their biggest win of the season to date, rebounding the ball and quickly putting it into the basket, giving the Buckeyes a one-point advantage that would hold as Purdue's Isaac Haas missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer.

Preseason expectations are the only thing keeping anybody from calling Ohio State the best team in the Big Ten right now. The proof is in the standings.

The camaraderie of this team is as obvious on the court as it is in their celebration videos: 

ESPN analyst Dan Dakich is going to look like a prophet when Ohio State waltzes into the Final Four. I'm sure he'll handle it with humility.

 ENEMY PROPAGANDA EXPOSED. Negative recruiting runs rampant across college football. Yesterday, we got a look at how one opponent deployed it against our beloved local team.

If I were a recruit, this team would be eliminated for intentionally misleading me. I've also never understood why coaches use enemy depth charts as a recruiting tool. It's saying to a recruit they're not good enough to make an impact there... so come play for the worse team?

If anybody knows where I can bet on this pamphlet belonging to James Franklin and Penn State, please let me know. The Starcat wants to put $20 on it.

 MEANWHILE. Let's check in with Michigan's most famous (alleged) alumnus, a mentally deranged Twitter troll, to see how his National Signing Day went.

The silver lining for Michigan is only two of the visitors for the Ohio State game ended up playing for Ohio State.

I tried to warn Michigan fans, I really did. They think I'm biased, and I am. That doesn't make me wrong, though.

 GEORGIA BAGMEN GET IT DONE. The cool thing about college football is it's an open secret a lot of recruits commit in exchange for big bags of money.

Georgia fans were openly thanking their bag men for helping the Bulldogs secure the nation's No. 1 class.

The SEC: It just means more.

 THOSE WMDs. Before he surrendered, Roberto Duran was looking to harm... GWOC American Conference teams intend to leave Trotwood-Madison out, form new league... UK police ended up in a standoff with a stuffed toy... Feds: Man posed as Army officer, landed helicopter... "Cheddar Man," Britain's oldest skeleton, had dark skin and blue eyes, DNA shows.

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