Thursday Skull Session

By D.J. Byrnes on August 28, 2014 at 6:00 am
Cadet Officers of Company B
Cadet Officers of Company B, circa 1880s [Ohio State Archives]

#Shoutout to all the Buckeye fans that are going to go ballistic on Saturday because they don't get the Ohio State-Navy game. And :::prayer emoji::: for the cable employees that will have to deal with with some of Buckeye Nation's most cantankerous members. Can't say I envy them.

As a Marionaire, my plan of attack is quite simple. I'm calling Time Warner Cable — a legalized cartel — later today and upgrading my package to get CBS Sports. I'm then watching the Ohio State-Navy game tomorrow on Saturday.

On Sunday, as I'm sitting shirtless (and soulless) in my kitchen eating peppered scrambled eggs off a napkin, I'm cancelling CBS Sports. It won't take a long time either because I don't take guff on the phone, especially from the payroll of Lucifer.

Worst case scenario: The cartel chisels me for a few bucks, which in the end, is quality price for an HD broadcast of my Bucks.

[As a reference, Jerry Emig released a handy graphic detailing providers and channels.]

WARINNER SAYS OFFENSIVE LINE IS PRETTY MUCH SET. (The or-riddled depth chart can be viewed here.)

I'm not sure what's the purpose of listing three running backs as potential starters (and so forth), but then again, I'm not paid north of $4 million a year to coach football. So, I'll just sit on my hands until noon on Saturday.

SILVER BULLETS READY FOR NAVY VOODOO. Besides giving money to the Naval Academy athletic department, there's no upside to playing a service academy.

I don't like cheering against future American servicemen. I'm also not looking forward to watching Ohio State's defensive line get cutblocked for three and a half hours.

The Silver Bullets, however, appear ready for the challenge.

From Rusty Miller of the Associated Press:

"These guys are guys who are trained to be fearless and they're trained to be relentless," Ohio State linebacker Joshua Perry said. "So we know that we have to go full-go the whole game. Are we prepared to play 60 minutes? Yeah."


Last year, Ohio State's defense was riddled in consecutive losses to end the season after a 24-game winning streak. Cornerback Doran Grant was asked whether he was worried about how good the pass defense would be this season.

"That's not what we're worried about," he said. "We're worried about beating Navy. That's what we've been focused on this training camp. They have a unique style of playing offense."

I don't care about margin of victory; I'm just hoping Ohio State gets out of M&T Bank Stadium healthy and with a W.

TOM HERMAN DOESN'T NEED A ROCKET SURGEON. Herman — who, you might not know, is a card-carrying member of MENSA — wants people to know: Ohio State doesn't need J.T. Barrett to be a rocket surgeon.

From Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch:

We don’t ask the quarterback to be a rocket surgeon by any stretch of the imagination,” Herman said after the Buckeyes’ practice late this afternoon.

He was responding to a question of whether he intended to keep things simple for first-time collegiate starter J.T. Barrett on Saturday in the season opener against Navy in Baltimore. The redshirt-freshman is taking the place of Braxton Miller, the starter the past three years who was knocked out for the season nine days ago when he suffered a second injury to his right shoulder in eight months.

As for Herman's confidence in the J.T. Barrett's ability:

“Great. I’m very confident,” Herman said. “J.T. has had an excellent camp. Cardale has actually had probably his best week as a Buckeye this week. I I feel great. I don’t know that either one of them are the Big Ten player of the year, but I would think there’s a lot of schools right now that would take our scenario (at quarterback) over what they’ve got.”

I will have convinced myself into 15-0 by Friday night. It's either going to be a glorious carpet ride through the skies or I'm going to end up puking into my bath tub. 

Love ya, football.

A HATER'S TAKE. In 2011, on this very site, I predicted Ohio State would finish 11-1 and win the Rose Bowl. (We all know how that ended.) As I mentioned, I'm growing more bullish on the 2013 team by the day; a dangerous prospect considering they have yet to play a down.

While I believe this team is much more mentally tough, talented and prepared than the 2011 team, there's certainly a case to be made against me.

Enter Dan Hackenberg of The Toledo Blade:

There was a big-time attempt to put a happy face, or at least a face without the stain of tears, on this turn of events. And, who knows? Maybe the Buckeyes will get the last laugh on this.

But it seems unlikely.

Barrett may prove to be good, very good. But he is not a two-time Big Ten offensive player of the year. He is not replacing just any college quarterback. He’s replacing the guy who was perfect for Meyer’s spread offense, whose combined arm strength and mobility made him a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate. Miller has 5,292 career passing yards and 3,054 rushing yards, incredible instincts and eyes in the back of his head.

Barrett’s yardage totals, to date, are 0 and 0. Experience matters.

Experience matters, but thankfully J.T. Barrett has until the Penn State trip to get oriented. And thankfully Penn State will be depleted (though their fans will be rabid), to give J.T. some more experience before Ohio State rolls into East Lansing.

We'll know what Ohio State has in J.T. Barrett after the Michigan State game, even if they're not undefeated going into it.

Man, that's going to be a #banger.

NOW THAT'S B1G. Big news on Maryland's ongoing assimilation:

And then this from Maryland's game day guide, via Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post:

cardiac arrest in a box
[Source: Maryland Athletics]

G is for GIGANTIC: The Maryland Concessions team has been cooking up some creative new menu items including the “Chessie,” a gigantic soft pretzel baked with back fin crab dip and melted cheese (serves 4).

(Notice how they didn't list the price?) 

Sea Iowa with some cheese-covered pretzels and TVs on the eastern seaboard... I guess I'm warming up to the Terrapins.

THOSE WMDs. My favorite annual read: Why Your Team Sucks, Cleveland Browns edition... Back to the drawing boards, Oregon State... Good effort, good try, Pistons fans... FS1 bought "branded content" on Buzzfeed and I'm now blind... I want this to be real so, so, so bad... Cocaine is a hell of a drug... Alabama's Trey DePriest suspended one game for "minor NCAA infraction."

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