Saturday Skull Session

By D.J. Byrnes on January 31, 2015 at 6:00 am
The Iron King, Cardale Jones, First of His Name, Poacher of Badgers, Controller of Tides, Slayer of Ducks, Troll Sultan, and 12th Son of Ohio

With next week's National Signing Day Looming, it's Ohio State's last weekend to get guys like Porter Gustin on campus. Why should I stress? My favorite team employs this guy:


Oh, and a special "happy birthday" to my mom, who turns ~30 today, which must feel like 93 after living with me for 18 years.

 YEAH, OFFICER PETERS DONE GOOFEDRemember when Devin Smith nearly died last summer in a single car accident? For a situation in which he was lucky to be alive, it was almost much worse.

From Carl Monday of (via Groveport Heisman):

At the scene, [Officer Peters] told Smith, "I know you're going to be a .08 (the legal limit.)  You're probably going to be a .10 or above. Just by looking at your eyes you're at least a one."

With that, Officer Peters arrested Smith for O.V.I.

At the hospital, Peters encourages Smith to take a blood alcohol test, a test he's convinced will prove Smith is over the limit.

"I'm confident enough after 17 years, when we get to court, I'll win," said Peters.

But ten days later when the test came back, it showed Smith's blood alcohol level was only .02 percent. In other words, nearly four times BELOW the legal limit.  For a man Smith's size, that's the equivalent of one or two beers.

Hmmm. Really makes you think, Officer Peters. Although the system ended up working out for Smith in the end, he'd be right to be salty about being arrest shortly after surviving a near-death experience.

This is also the first photograph I've seen of Smith's accident:


And now he could be a first round NFL draft pick. I guess it goes to show how precious life really is.

GENE SMITH RE-UPS. Gene Smith is tired of collecting tens of thousands of dollars in bonuses when people like wrestler Logan Stieber win national championships. OSU's AD has reworked his contract:

Say what you will about Gene Smith, but the guy outlasted Jim Tressel, Gordon Gee, and John Waters. To me, that's the epitome of "Don't hate the player, hate the game."

RISE OF THE UNOFFICIAL VISIT NO GOOD FOR B1G. Recruiting in college football has changed in the last decade, and the rules have yet to catch up. While prospects are allowed to take official visits during their senior season, hyper-recruiting has given rise to the unofficial visit. And since school's cant foot that bill (at least "legally"), it's on the parents.

This is not good news for the Big Ten.

From Greg Coach of

And what has happened? The unofficial visits have become the big deciders, done before official visits. Coaches have protocols set up to make sure any unofficial visitor gets the official-visitor treatment. Then, most athletes have already made their decisions by the time they take their official visits, which become a ceremonial trip.

In other words, if you don't get an athlete on campus before his official visit, for the most part, it's already too late. So how does that favor the SEC? How is it unfair to the Big Ten?

Well, the big problem with football in the Midwest involves population shifts in the U.S. away from the Rust Belt. Simply, the kids of farmers, manufacturers, plant workers and miners who used to make up the core of Midwestern teams aren't as abundant anymore.

As a result, nearly all the top high school players are from the Southeast, Texas or the West Coast, according to 247Sports' Composite player rankings.

Ohio State has championship pedigree, world-class facilities, and sits in the middle of a midwest prep footballing oasis. I'm not concerned about Ohio State's future prospects.

But for the mid-table teams in the Big Ten? I can see why fans of those programs would be salty. Look at where Lincoln, Nebraska, is located; how many parents are going to make that trip a priority?

MATTA AIN'T NO WELCHER. Speaking of coaches making bets, where are we on Urban Meyer's tattoo? (THE STREETS REMEMBER, COACH.)

As for NBA JAM, one of the greatest video games ever produced, there is only one combo to rule them all: Charlotte Hornets-era Mugsy Bogues and Larry "Grandmama" Johnson. (Grandmama is one of sports' most underrated nicknames.)

 HMMMMM. Does anybody happen to know who coached Richard Sherman in college?

From Richard Sherman, via Barry Petchesky of (emphasis mine):

"[T]hose aren't the things that people focus on when talking about student-athletes. They are upset when a student-athlete says they need a little cash. Well, I can tell you from experience, I had negative-40 bucks in my account. Usually my account was in the negative more time than it was in the positive. You've got to make decisions on whether you get gas for your car or whether you get a meal for the day. You've got one of the two choices. People think, 'Oh, you're on scholarship.' They pay for your room and board, they pay for your education, but to their knowledge, you're there to play football. You're not on scholarship for school and it sounds crazy when a student-athlete says that, but that's those are the things coaches tell them every day: 'You're not on scholarship for school.'"

Because I'm pretty sure it was the same guy who said this in 2007:

Harbaugh in May told the San Francisco Examiner that Michigan admitted athletes who were borderline academically, then steered them into less-challenging courses to keep them eligible.

"They're adulated when they're playing," Harbaugh was quoted as saying. "But when they get out, the people who adulated them won't hire them."

Harbaugh later told The Ann Arbor News that even serious student athletes are encouraged to take easier majors.

I'm not saying Harbaugh won't be good for Michigan, but Michigan fans are delusional if they think I'm quaking in my boots over the guy.

THOSE WMDs. Why NFL teams should be more aggressive on 4th down... Cat videos are way better than any George Lucas film this side of 2000... The leaked Game of Thrones Season 5 trailer... Suge Knight doing Suge Knight things... Good recruiting #longform.

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