Monday Skull Session

By D.J. Byrnes on March 31, 2014 at 6:00 am
  • The Elite Eight is still open for voting in 11W's Heart of It All Classic. The Wright Brothers continue to stack the bodies in their wake, with inventor/troll Thomas Edison the latest one to catch the fade. I'm still hoping my man Paul Newman has another comeback in him. 

As I wrote two years ago: John Calipari is a boss hogg outlaw. I hope he wins the title as an eight seed so I can watch the Old Timer Media weep into their Burberry scarves from their courtside seats all over again.

And to people who cheered for Michigan to beat Kentucky due to some Tennessee-like conference pride tilt: Who hurt you?

Don't let the Midwest's geniality fool you; these people wish nothing but bad things on Ohio State year-round. Looking to your conference to assuage the pain of your team's failures is best left to the same group of people who gifted us "the War of Northern Aggression."

What happened to #hatehatehate? I wish nothing but terrible fortune on the rest of the Big Ten because they've been a millstone around the neck of Ohio State's national title hopes since Jim Tressel kicked the saloon's doors down in 2001. 

Long live Jim Tressel, and Woody willing, may Bo Ryan's anti-basketball team get demolished by 30 on Saturday night.

YEAH, OSU COULD'VE USED ANTHONY LEE. Over the weekend, Ohio State secured the services of Temple-transfer Anthony Lee. Standing at 6'9", Lee averaged 13.6 points and 8.6 rebounds last year for the Owls; the latter led the American Athletic Conference. 

Sound like a guy Ohio State could've used? Thad Matta agrees. From

"It happened more quickly than I expected because all the other coaches were telling me the same thing - that I was an important piece and they needed a big guy," Lee told in a phone interview Sunday. "But with Coach Matta, he told me how bad he needed me to be a go-to guy and what I can become. That was the difference.

"He was talking about how much I could have added, that if I were on the team, maybe we'd still be playing."

Thad has struggled to recruit a reliable big man to Columbus in recent years, but it's good to see he hit this one out of the park. It looks like we can expect Lee to be a big piece for the Buckeyes moving forward.

And if he is as valuable as his list of suitors predicated, I think Ohio State could be going to the Final Four right now if he had played this year. (Could they have also still lost to Dayton? Of course. And that's what we'll always remember about the 2013-14 Basketbucks.)

PENN STATE IS TRYING TO GET #BIZZY. Steven Gonzalez, a four-star 2015 OL from New Jersey, was considered by many to be Urban Meyer's to lose.

Welp... Urban lost him. Penn State landed a commitment from Gonzalez over the weekend. This continues James Franklin's hot start to the 2015 recruiting chase; Gonzalez was the tenth commit to an already star-studded class.

Franklin didn't stop there, however; he also secured the commitment of four-star LB Josh Barajas, the top prospect from Indiana.

Penn State will continue to be hot because it's easy to sell kids on hope and promise, but that bill is due on October 25th when Ohio State travels to Happy Valley. The trip to East Lansing is getting a lot of hype (and it should) but the date with the Nittany Lions could be an equally nasty affair.

Urban Meyer dropped 63 on a well-respected guy like Bill O'Brien. He might try to hang 150 on a guy like James Franklin. (I'll take Ohio State (-7.5), please and thanks.)

BACON ON REAL MICHIGAN FANS. John Bacon wrote way too many words over the weekend about the term "Wal-Mart Wolverines" and the discussion on who is/isn't a real Michigan fan.

The argument goes that only those who attended Michigan can call themselves Michigan fans. The rest?  They’re mere “Walmart Wolverines”—fans who could have picked any school to cheer for, as well as any other, just like we pick the pro teams we want to follow, with no other connection than geography.

(I realize the term is often used by Michigan’s rivals to demean those who didn’t attend the school, but I’m writing here about the more general distinction between alumni and “fans,” which exists at most schools.  And if you don’t think it exists at Michigan, ask any Michigan fan who didn’t attend the school what they too often hear from the alums.)

Why shouldn’t hard-cord alumni turn their backs on their non-degreed brethren?

About eight months ago, after a ham-fisted jab (shocking from me I know) at superfans, the Commentariat staked me to the claim somebody can't be an Ohio State fan without attending the school and served portions of my barbecued flesh all afternoon during a block party. For the record, I do not believe that.

Wal-Mart Wolverines, to me, are people from Ohio who have no connection to Michigan and are just trying to troll people with their Michigan "fandom." (This summons a crystal-clear picture — with the backdrop being a Findlay Wal-Mart, of course — for any Ohio resident.)

To Bacon's point, though: A large swath of Michigan Men (and women) are inherently elitist, so it's of no shock some Michigan fans look down their nose at other Michigan fans. Such is the circle of life.

After all, if Michigan fans didn't have somebody to look down upon, they'd have to look in the mirror. 

KIPER SHOWS GUAPO LOVE. Mel Kiper thinks Carlos Hyde is the best running back available in the 2014 draft:

Kiper begins his sermon on El Guapo at about the :55 mark.

THOSE WMDs. Iowa State's shooting chart is awesome... #Crew96's beautiful Justin Meram sinks the Sounders in the 94th minute... A 1980s guide to cults... Your seven-year-old isn't very smart... How the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt really unfolded... The complete map of Earth's deepest cave... One is not like the others... OH '15 LB Justin Hilliard will cut recruitment list to ten later today.... The future of tailgating is here... Could Sam Sevian become the youngest US chess grandmaster ever?... A look at captive deer breeding spreading prion disease... 

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