Monday Skull Session

By D.J. Byrnes on June 15, 2015 at 4:59 am
Nick Conner #Elite15

Folks: I'm not going to lie about my mental state right now. I followed last night's Cavs loss with The Game of Thrones season finale, and that was a grave, grave mistake.

It's now 12:30 a.m. and my mental state is that of a career prisoner in a North Korean labor camp. Sure, that's only three pegs below where my brain normally resides, but I like my readers to know what kind of buzzsaw they could be walking into.

But no, I'm not worried about the Cavs, because they employ the best basketball player in the league. Want proof? Close your eyes and imagine where this series would be if LeBron James and Stephen "MVP" Curry switched teams. 

... Exactly.

The Cavs will be a monster to close out in Cleveland, and I'll never bet against LBJ in a Game 7. If you're a Cavs fan worried about Game 6 just remember: The NBA has tens of millions of reasons for this series to go seven games. 

GENE SMITH SPEAKS. Gene Smith had his critics in Buckeye Nation — I'm still pissed about that 2011 Bowl — but this year he struck back against his enemies with a ruthlessness that would make Michael Corleone cringe.

The Don of Ohio State Athletics sat down with Dave Briggs of BCSN.TV to talk shop:

Q: Most would say the football program is in a better place because of the scandal. Beyond the increased compliance measures, there was the quirk of fate that allowed for Urban Meyer’s homecoming. For as much as Jim Tressel meant to Ohio State, have you seen Urban raise the bar?

A: “I would say that. We were blessed that Jim Tressel was one of the best coaches ever. He was on a special trajectory and went to more BCS games than any school in the country. So people need to respect the great job he did. Urban has taken it to another level. There’s no doubt about that. 

“To me, the biggest lesson learned from all that in 2011 is really what we’re doing with our kids, educating them on financial literacy and all of the types of things that came out of that case. We’re in a better place because of it. We learned a lot because of it. When you have those situations, you need to get better. It’s funny, Urban and I were just talking about [last season] and the lessons learned and how do we get better. All situations force you to look in the mirror.”

Glad Gene Smith can finally admit what we've all long known to be true: Tatgate was good, actually.

You can't learn from success like you can failure. I'm glad Ohio State made some institutional changes in how it handles its student-athletes, but I still think the Tat 5 should be sent their own championship rings and Terrelle Pryor's disassociation should be lifted immediately. It's only right.

Smith says Urban Meyer wants to retire at Ohio State (here's to another 300 years, my friends), but I chuckled at this underhanded dig at Harbaugh:

Q: Harbaugh has a very interesting, aggressive personality. Especially being the underdog, it seems like he revels in poking Ohio State. Are you interested to see where the Urban Meyer-Jim Harbaugh rivalry goes?

A: “It’s funny, I don’t really pay attention to that. I really don’t. I know the media does and others do, and people are trying to make it bigger it is. [Harbaugh] is doing his job. He’s busting his butt. We’re the standard right now, so how do you overcome the standard? How do you be creative and get yourself out there? I would have done the same thing [with satellite camps]. If I went there, I would have done 100 satellite camps because I’ve got ground to make up and it’s legal."

Translated: "I don't think about Harbaugh. Why would I? I hired The Standard. Sure, Harbaugh's busting his butt, but it's a drop of water in the canyon separating the two programs. So yeah, I'm not worried about that clown cabal north of Toledo."

SCENES FROM #ELITE15's ARRIVAL. Ohio State football's (and basketball's) latest recruiting class touched down in Columbus yesterday, and Mike Weber is coming for that back-up spot, y'all:

I'm sure Bri'onte Dunn has something to say about that, but Elliott and Weber would form quite the tandem. (Death upon the first announcer that dubs Weber as "the thunder to Ezekiel Elliott's lightning.")

Speaking of tandems, it's a shame we'll probably never see these two on the same defensive line: 

(Our only hope is that Dre'Mont recovers from his ACL tear in time for the playoffs.)

... Apartment? Poor, poor Torrance Gibson. Dorms are like an apartment except even smaller. And you still live with your dad, who is now only a few years older and despises you.

WOMEN'S CLINIC SOUNDS LIKE A BANGER. Sounds like 1,000+ Buckeye women got after the dang thing yesterday.


The clinic is truly for the masses. One lady in the front row, who was called out by Meyer, has been to all four clinics. She's 86.

A pregnant woman was spotted chilling in the back of the Woody. Not sure what drills, if any, she did, but she was in attendance and having a good time.

One woman, Ann from California, was given an Ohio State football tee-shirt to cover up the blue tank top she was wearing. Then she ripped off 10 push-ups with the crowd roaring and counting them down.

"A pregnant woman was spotted chilling in the back of the Woody."

"A pregnant woman was spotted chilling in the back of the Woody."

"A pregnant woman was spotted chilling in the back of the Woody."

I drank five cans of Modelo by a pool on Friday afternoon. I did not realize it escalated into me blacking out and writing copy for Ohio State's official athletics site. (That's better than waking up in a prison cell with no recollection of the last 72 hours, but still.)

I would love to see the behind-the-scenes talks about offering that 86-year-old. ("Her hips are fluid for a gal of that age," Kerry Coombs would say. "You give me a redshirt season with her and I can fix her tepid footwork.")

Let's just say that octogenarian is already my favorite prospect in the 2016 class.

DEAN TO REDSHIRT. Jamel Dean early enrolled at Ohio State, but was never medically cleared by Ohio State's staff. That means he was in Columbus for about a month, and it cost him a year of eligibility because the NCAA is a joke.

From Brandon Marcello of

The NCAA rejected a waiver request from the freshman cornerback recently, Dean told the newspaper.

"Because of the whole NCAA transfer thing, I've got to sit out a year, so I've got to redshirt," he said.


Dean was declared medically ineligible with the Buckeyes during a physical in the spring because of multiple knee surgeries during his high school career. He sought a second opinion -- and potential playing time elsewhere -- and got it from Dr. James Andrews, who told him he only had to strengthen his quad muscles.

He only had to strengthen his quads? Hmmm. I wish the law allowed Dr. James Andrews go on record about this. Not because I think Dean is lying; rather, I doubt Dr. Andrews merely said, "Quit skipping leg day bro," before walking out of the room.

Ohio State, which oversigned players and had to make room for recruits, denied any wrongdoing in their decision and Dean started seeking a transfer in February.

"They really didn't care [if he stayed or not]," Dean said of Ohio State. "Once Auburn said they were going to let me play, I was ready to leave."

(It's good to see continuing its noble crusade against oversigning.)

Dean said he was playing pickup basketball when he was medically disqualified from Ohio State, and that he could've played this year. He also said an assistant coach suggested to him that he transfer.

Dean, who used to go by "Mr. Ohio State" on Twitter, saved his best shot for last:

"Oh my gosh, I'd say I'm going to have a lot of anger built up for [playing Ohio State]," Dean said. "A lot of people are hoping it will happen — friends, coaches, other people that were supporting me."

I understand where Dean's anger is coming from. Sometimes sports are the worst, and this is one of those times. I hope this kind of situation is avoided in the future. 

WANT TO LEARN TO PAINT THE SHOE? I can't paint a stick figure, but this might be a cool opportunity for you, the person who could paint a stick figure.

Via r/Columbus:

This is a 3-hour painting class for beginners. No experience is necessary, and the image will already be sketched out on the canvas for your convenience.

We'll take you through the painting step-by-step, and you'll have plenty of time in between brush strokes to sip your ice, cold beer... to help ease the anxiety of trying something new.

We promise, we can bring the artist out in YOU!

This class is going down tomorrow, from 7:00-10:00 p.m. at Zauber Brewing (909 W. 5th Avenue). The price is $45 (that includes supplies), and there are 26 seats left as of 2:22 a.m.  

[Full details/registration here.]

Your goal will be to walk home with something that looks like this:

Not bad

Not a bad conversation piece at all, if you ask me.

THOSE WMDs. Columbus' Nikola Labs on the move... Homaroo sounds more entertaining than Bonaroo... Two blind Rockies fans love a game they can’t see... How the Unicode committee broke the apostrophe... Encrypt your laptop like you mean it... American Hippopotamus

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