Friday Skull Session

By D.J. Byrnes on December 12, 2014 at 6:00 am
Mike Thomas he'll yeah

Here are this week's NSFW ANTI-WORK #BANGERS:

WHERE THE ELITES GET THEIR #CROOTS. I started actively/passively following recruiting when I emerged blood-soaked and victorious from the War of the Five Skulls. One of the things that's always interested me about recruiting is how teams go about plucking their players from all over the country.

So, naturally, I stared at these recruiting maps from John Nelson, the Director of Visualization at IDV Solutions, for a good twenty minutes. 

Behold, the #teen (admit it: you knew we weren't getting through a recruiting rift without me using "#teen") hoarding power of Urban Meyer and Nick Saban:

sweeeet data viz bro

The last time Ohio State and Alabama played was in, like, 1995. In my calendar, that was B.G.E. (Before GoldenEye), which means it might as well have been played by neanderthals in the stone age. As far as I'm concerned, this is the first time Alabama and Ohio have squared up in my lifetime.

And you know what, I bet if you compared a similar map of where the Confederates and the Union drew their recruits, it'd look quite similar to the Ohio State-Alabama one. So why, as an Ohio State fan, would I be shook about Alabama? I don't get it.

Yet, I digress. If the map like the one above interests you: Go check out John's similar works featuring a more in-depth look at Ohio State's recruiting patterns and also similar stuff on Oregon and Florida State. 

 A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS. I'm always hesitant to dabble in the dark magic known as "math," but Remy sent this table to me, and I even I don't think I can flub this one:

by Remy

Those numbers got me wondering. What did the advanced statistics say about these two teams? Football Outsiders has the Tide and the Buckeyes as their No. 1 and No. 2. In other words, these two are statistically dominant in any way you slice it:

1 ALABAMA 12-1 38.4% 19.8% 3 19.7% 2 -1.1% 91
2 OHIO STATE 12-1 36.5 18.8% 4 15.4% 7 2.3% 20

One thing that I did notice: No Urban Meyer-coached team would ever be No. 91 in special teams F/+. Maybe this is just the Jim Tressel in me speaking, but to me, that seems like a prime area to exploit because it's obviously an area on which Nick Saban doesn't put much emphasis in practice. (*cue the Kick Six highlight reel*) 

#SHOUTOUT TO JACOB JARVIS. A lot of people saw this on BTN's The Journey, but a lot more people didn't. So, if you're one of the latter:

The next time ESPN shoots a playoff commercial, I officially nominate Jacob Jarvis to take the place of Buck-I-Guy. 

THE RECRUIT SABAN DIDN'T SWOOP. With Mike Rockstedt's excellent look at the recruitment and career of Alabama and Springfield's Trey DePriest,  I thought this article on Vonn Bell was an interesting juxtaposition. 

From Drew Champlin of our nation's premiere literary publication,

One who considered Alabama until the end, but went to Ohio State was safety Vonn Bell, a Rossville, Ga., native who picked OSU over Alabama and Tennessee in the 2013 class. He took official visits to all three schools in the weeks leading up to National Signing Day 2013.


Bell is second on the Buckeyes with 78 tackles and leads the team with five interceptions. He'd fit in well on Alabama's defense, which is 41stnationally in plays of 10-plus yards allowed (157). The last four years, Alabama has finished third, first, first and fifth nationally in that category.

"We thought Vonn Bell was an outstanding player and certainly wanted him in our program and think if he was in our program right now, he would be a very productive player for us," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said [...] during a Sugar Bowl coaches teleconference.

"Here lies a man who once sat above Vonn Bell on the depth chart." - Pittsburgh Brown's tombstone in 2088. (Bionic Vonn Bell will still be making plays in the NFL.)

WISCONSIN GETS ITS MAN. Barry Alvarez said this was going to be the last coach he hired, and you know what? For better or worse, he's right.

Chryst, formerly of Pittsburgh,  was offensive coordinator at Wisconsin under Bert Bielema. He's also an alumnus.

In three seasons at Pittsburgh, Chryst went 6-7, 7-6, and 6-6. This is literally another mediocre hire for the Big Ten.

My take? Folks, it's another hot one:

i fucking hate the big ten, man

THOSE WMDs. CFB's id, #FSUTwitter, melted down because their kicker didn't win an award... I want to party with this dancing horse and everyone in this Vine... I also want to party with this man and his raccoon... L'Equipe's emojii player ratings for PSG players against Barcelona... Swirling photos of mixed paint... 11 secret weapons developed by Japan during WW2.

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