Thursday Skull Session

By D.J. Byrnes on January 15, 2015 at 6:00 am

Cardale Jones!

Cardale Jones!

State of Ohio!

Car! Dale! Jones!

(I begin every morning this way now.)

THE JUDGEMENT OF DOLO JONES. Well, it's here. The Iron King, Dolodale Jones, First of His Name, Slayer of Ducks, and 12th Son of Ohio, must decide if he's going to stay in Columbus or cash-in on a stock that may never be higher. (Shame too he's only going to get like 72 hours to make a life-altering decision. I've seen people take longer to decide what they're eating at Wendy's.)

Perhaps Dolodale's greatest feat is anonymous NFL executives, who have a long history as craven hatchetmen, have little to nothing bad to say about Jones other than he only tore up two top five teams in a row.

From Mark Maske of

“I couldn’t even put a guess on it,” the executive said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to comment publicly on the draft prospects of Jones and fellow underclassman Marcus Mariota of Oregon. “That was kind of the coffee-pot discussion we had this morning. [Jones] certainly has the size. He certainly showed flashes of skills. I just can’t think of a comparable guy with such a small body of work.”


“Jones is obviously a little bit of a mystery man,” the NFL personnel executive said. “He was dropped into the deepest end of the pool imaginable. He not only survived it and treaded water. He was doing back flips off the high dive. It’s amazing. There’s just not a large body of work. That’ll be the issue if he does come out.”

Johnny Manziel, a buffoon, hoodwinked his way into a first round draft pick so please don't tell me three games on short notice against top competition isn't good enough to get No. 12 into the first three rounds of the draft. (Please, do not google my #takes on Manziel before/immediately after the Browns drafted him. They're embarrassing.)

My #take? I think Cardale is going pro, y'all. Why? Well, here's a tweet yesterday from Stephen Collier, a quarterback who will be returning to Ohio State next year:

The King? Well, he was doing good in school, but not the one in which he's currently a student:

Granted, Cardale could be taking online courses (a suave move for a man who likely gets mobbed every day on campus) or had early morning classes and made the quick 2.5 hour drive up to Cleveland to make this appearance....

... orrrr..... orrrrr.... AND HERE ME OUT PEOPLE... he's a college dropout looking to go pro. (Get that paper, Dolo, get that paper.)

MIKE THOMAS THE PROPHET. Remember when Mike Thomas went on a Twitter rant last year about this time? Funny what can change:

1) That's a bad-ass tweet. 2) He's not lying. Here's Thomas on Instagram, back in JULY:


You get the picture .... #buckeyenation #justwaitonit #prayonitthengetupandgrindforit #gobucks

A photo posted by Michael Thomas (@cantguardmike) on


If Ohio State repeats I might move to Tuscaloosa to become one of those eccentric preacher types found on Ohio State' oval, except I'll be wearing nothing but an Ohio's moon shirt and socks while talking mad shit about the Buckeyes and waving around a bronzed 2015 Sugar Bowl DVD.

OSU: THE FIRST BILLION DOLLAR PROGRAM. The best part about Ohio State is it not only is it the undisputed king of the sport but it's killing fools in the financial realm as well.

From Jared DIamond of

The Ohio State program is worth more than $1.1 billion, the largest figure in the nation, according to an annual study. The Buckeyes have dethroned Texas, which had held the top spot for three straight years in the annual valuation by Ryan Brewer, an assistant professor of finance at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus.

You know who should be in line for a windfall? No. 1: Urban Frank Meyer, who should've already done been named college football's highest paid coach. No. 2: Ed Warinner, Luke Fickell, and Chris Ash (in no order). No. 3: The rest of Ohio State's staff, down to the interns of the assistants of the assistants of the regional manager. (No. 4: Me.)

THE DIET THAT COOKED THE DUCKS. Oh! Mickey Marotti. That guy should be in that second tier of coaches deserving of a wage increase.

From Jonathan Clegg and Ben Cohen of

Ohio State coaches started strategizing for Oregon the day after they feasted on Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. What they saw wasn’t exactly appetizing. Oregon’s offense was a whir, more explosive and more efficient than any team Ohio State had seen, and no one had slowed it down all season.

But the Buckeyes came to an extraordinary conclusion. They decided that the only way they could win a national championship was to lose a lot of weight.

So they turned their Big Ten football team into a Weight Watchers clinic. Ohio State’s defensive coaches asked their players, particularly those on the defensive line, to lose about 5 pounds in 10 days. Each of the players was given a specific target weight and shepherded onto the scale before the game to make sure they hit it.

It sucks for Oregon that their great season is suddenly a shit season that will be picked apart by national pundits who only watched 10% of Oregon's snaps. (I know those feels, Duck friends.)

And I'm not one to try to rain hellfire judgement down on a program based on the outcome of one game (that could've went either way, honestly), but Ohio State did make them look small. (I guess that image was helped by the fact OSU's quarterback, a 260 lbs. cement mixer, was out there bulldozing nose guards.) Oregon was used to going against bigger guys but ironically, I'm not sure Oregon was ready for OSU's speed.

~*~*I just want to sit around all day and watch the replay of the Sugar Bowl and title game on a loop. What a dominating performance*~*~

OSU HAD CRAZIEST SEASON EVER. Speaking of a season that would not have seemed possible in September (or October), people a lot smarter than me have put some data behind the championship campaign. Guess what? IT'S STILL INSANE.

From Andrew Flowers of

After Monday’s 42-20 win over Oregon, Ohio State finished with the second-highest season-ending Elo rating ever (31.7). Only the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers had a higher rating (33.4). A little background, in case you’re not familiar: The Elo rating system was originally used for chess, but at FiveThirtyEight we use it to produce weekly NFL ratings, among other things. As my boss Nate Silver has explained, Elo ratings are a simple and transparent approach to numerically rate a team.

What makes this Ohio State team stands out is not just its dominance, but its improvement. Here is the season-ending Elo rating for the 3,758 college football team seasons back to 1982plotted against their change in start-to-finish Elo rating.

Ohio State is an outlier in both respects. In addition to the No. 2 season-ending Elo rating, the Buckeyes had the 31st most dramatic start-to-finish rating improvement.

And here's that insanity in a graph, again via FiveThirtyEight:


That's Urban Meyer, master motivator, y'all. Example:

An aside: Somebody on Twitter pointed out yesterday how the SEC will no longer be able to coast on perception. Just think, if the BCS were still a thing,  Alabama would've likely thumped FSU in the title game. (Which would've made things the exact opposite of how cool and good this week has been.)

DARRON LEE MASHES A MAN. If you ever see Darron Lee talking to your girlfriend, it's best to just hang that L up and walk way.

I watched ESPN's Film Room during the championship, and all the coaches (Mike Riley, Pat Narduzzi, Derek Mason, Dan Mullen, etc) were raving about Lee. Remember when we were all fretting about replacing Ryan Shazier? My goodness.

Shazier, by the way, is still a boss:


Had a great time at the Andy Warhol museum I really enjoyed it.

A photo posted by Ryan Shazier (@shazier50) on


CLARETT'S DISHING ADVICE. So, you might have seen professional NFL water-carrier Mike Florio say Ezekiel Elliott should sit out the 2015 season.

While I agree with the notion it's unfair E-Z Rider can't enter the 2015 draft, he's not going to change that rule, and it's not in his best interest to die on that hill.

But don't take my word for it:


Clarett, by the way, appeared on yesterday's Dubcast.

THE WORST #TAKE YOU'LL READ THIS MORNING. This #take was so bad it was promptly deleted, but I feel it deserves a special place in the Bad #Take Hall of Fame, which is something I should get around to erecting.

Woof. I guess this proves you can have a college degree and still be a shit person. Who knew?

KAREEM WALKER LOOKS LIKE A MUTANT. Oh yeah, I almost forgot Ohio State landed the 2016's No. 1 running back during the halftime of the title game.

And yeah, I'm no scout but it's easy to see why Ohio State wanted this kid, WHO IS IS ONLY A JUNIOR IN THIS TAPE.

via @jbook37:

CAN'T WAIT to cheer for a dude named Kareem. (I've always loved that name.)

THOSE WMDs. Pictures of Dennis Hoffman hiding from the papparazi... Pop's answer on why his team kept challenging Bismack Biyombo is classic Pop... That's a horrible acting job... Bill Walton with a great quote re: passing... Radio Shack set to file for bankruptcy... So, CBJ were bitten by the injury bug... My life under armed guard... This is an oil painting!?

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