Thursday Skull Session

By D.J. Byrnes on July 31, 2014 at 6:00 am
Reunion procession, 1937 via The Ohio State Archives

They're not your friend until they help you move.

[Reminder: Urban will be doing the ESPN "carwash" today. Here's his schedule.]

BIG BROTHER OSU. High school kids, it seems, are still saying idiotic things. In a truly tragic twist of teenage idiocy, teens are typing their thoughts... on the internet.

Yes, social media presence is a thing Urban Meyer follows in his recruitment of players. (As does Penn State.) Via CollegeSpun: Urban's appearance on yesterday's Dan Patrick Show.

I am deeply thankful is Twitter didn't exist when I was in high school. Granted, I had a blog before it was called a blog — RIP The-Rooster dot com — but my high school tweeting would've made the government put a black bag on my head for 23 hours a day.

WATERS RESPONDS. My opinions on this matter are known, but as Desus always says, "Gotta hear both sides."

Here's the first public defense of Jon Waters by Jon Waters (and his attorney), as told by The Columbus Dispatch (H/T: Urban Nation Army.)

Jonathan Waters says he was changing the culture of the Ohio State University marching band while he was director — ending an underground newspaper with questionable material, addressing a “caste system” and stopping drinking on band trips.


The document says [among other things] Waters:

• Corrected a decades-old “caste system” in which first-year band members were at a disadvantage. Waters said he discontinued several practices, including having first-year members pay for food for upperclassmen on game days.

• Made sure band staff members were vigilant about prohibiting all hazing.

• Instructed students that inappropriate behavior on the bus, such as vulgar language, was prohibited.

It will be interesting to see what happens next with this. 

PLAYERS SAY URBAN HAS ADAPTED AT OHIO STATE. All successful coaches have unyielding philosophical tenets, but the good ones are separated from the great ones by their ability to adapt.

Urban Meyer is a great coach.

From Bill Rabinowitz:

“He has changed a lot,” [QB Braxton] Miller said.

“Way different,” [TE Jeff] Heuerman said.

“I have (noticed a change), especially from just last year to this year,” [DL Michael] Bennett said.

Some of that is a function of what Meyer needed to instill in the program. The team he inherited lost seven games in 2010. Five players didn’t show up for his first meeting and several more were late to his second one. The culture, players acknowledged, needed to be repaired.

“When he first got here, he didn’t really know what he was walking into,” said Heuerman, a senior tight end. “He knew it was ‘The Ohio State,’ but we were coming off that 6-7 year. He was a lot meaner, I think. He was probably more stressed out. He had a lot of work ahead of him.”

It's crazy to me five players didn't show up to a meeting held by the new, two-time title winning coach. That was not a wisest investment in their careers.

B1G'S PLAYOFF REP. In a mailbag, a sophomore from Purdue asked Fox Sports' Stew Mandel if the B1G's reputation hurt Michigan State or Ohio State's playoff chances.

Here's his answer: 

I’ve been told repeatedly that conference perception will carry no relevance with the selection committee; however, I do think team-specific perceptions will be hard to ignore. To that end, these two should have no such problems. Michigan State is coming off a Rose Bowl win over a widely respected Stanford team and has another chance to prove itself Sept. 6 at Oregon. Ohio State did lose to Clemson in last year’s Orange Bowl, but it’s still a program that started 24-0 under Urban Meyer. And it gets to test itself against … Michigan State.

The question is what happens if there’s a surprise contender from the conference? The Spartans, coming off a 7-6 season the year before and generally not a traditional power, faced a lot of skepticism last year right up until the Rose Bowl. If Iowa, for example, becomes this year’s Michigan State, will the Hawkeyes get the same benefit of the doubt as a 12-1 SEC team or will the committee consciously or subconsciously downgrade the Hawkeyes because of lack of recent history? What about Nebraska, with its long lineage of big-game meltdowns under Bo Pelini?

One of the biggest draws of the selection committee era is that it theoretically eradicates the effect of preconceived notions built before the season even begins. Like, for instance, the fact that we all assume right now the Buckeyes and Spartans are legit playoff contenders. I’ll be curious to see whether that’s true in reality.

If Ohio State runs the regular season table (and beats whomever in Indy) they'll be in the playoffs. As for anybody else in the B1G? I don't really care.

RUTGERS AND MARYLAND ARE READY. Rutgers and Maryland are in the Big Ten now, and The New York Times is on it:

“Over the last year,” [Rutgers coach Kyle] Flood said, “I’ve gotten this question probably more than any: How do you feel about being in the Big Ten? And my answer to you would be this: It feels right.”


The senior defensive back Jeremiah Johnson said the Terrapins felt no pressure besides what they put on themselves.

“Maryland is going to fight every minute of the game, regardless of the score,” he said. “We’re coming in with a chip on our shoulder, not because people doubt us, but because we know how good we can be.”

I'm higher on Maryland than I am Rutgers. Although, I'm not going to be too pleased if Rutgers upsets Ohio State in Ohio Stadium, and I have to get a tasteful Rutgers tattoo. I may need a week off if that goes down.

THE CREEPIEST PHOTO OF TIM BECKMAN. Via Twitter user @bryceparker, here's the creepiest photo of Illinois coach Tim Beckman I've ever seen:


I'm not even sure I'd let even the tiniest Tim Beckman around the locker room of my football team.

THOSE WMDs. SBX is giving away a year of free textbooks... 13 years-old, 7'4" and still growing... Cheers, Stoops: Joe Mixon suspended suspnded... Boxer Scott Jones fought for a title from inside a prison...  A-Rod's bizarre doping habits...  James Brown in 18 minutes... The first map of the ocean floor... Richard Nixon's tips on getting pandas to have sex.

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