Sunday Skull Session

By D.J. Byrnes on August 30, 2015 at 4:59 am

Welcome to the last Sunday Skull Session until April 12, 2016. With the season approaching, Tim will be taking over the 6 a.m. spot starting September 6th.

I can't get too sentimental because by the time anyone is reading this I could be sleeping in a downtown Cleveland gutter thanks to my idiot friend's bachelor party. If something more calamitous strikes... please don't cry for me, Internet.

11W WEEK IN REVIEW. Here's some stuff written this week by people more talented than myself:

WHAT MAKES EZEKIEL ELLIOTT SPECIAL. Writing for this site (and watching Urban Meyer's Ohio State) has made me appreciative of blockers. And last season Ezekiel Elliott was one of the most ferocious RB blockers in the land, which is impressive considering he did it with one hand.


“The four years I’ve been here I’ve learned a lot from Zeke Elliott, Carlos Hyde,” Dunn said this week. “It’s just all mental and you’ve just got to know your stuff to play faster so that’s what I’ve been really working on.”

But it’s not just his leadership that has made Elliott the top running back in the country, nor is it his ability to run through holes and by people – though that certainly helps. It’s the little things that make him special, like his blocking when he’s not carrying the ball.

“Basically whoever blocks the best is going to be on the field,” Dunn said. “You see Zeke, he’s really good at blocking and I got way better at blocking, so that’s the biggest thing everybody’s got to work on.”

Always love to see the knowledge passed down from the likes of Carlos Hyde to Ezekiel Elliott to Brio'nte Dunn and Mike Weber. That's the kind of thing that ensures an elite team stays elite.

IF YOU CAN'T BEAT HIM, CLONE HIM. I'm not sure if Illinois would be a more attractive job than Houston, but I do know Illinois had more money to throw at Tom Herman than Houston did.

Instead Illinois' AD, Mike Thomas, stuck with the guy he hired (because it looks bad when you hire and fire somebody). Tim Beckman is now fired anyway, and Tom Herman is out here building a sleeper cell.


“People can say that I’m just copying Urban Meyer,” Herman said. “You’re damn right I’m copying Urban Meyer!”


“This is Houston, so maybe we can’t afford to have a waterfall in the locker room like Ohio State does,” said Herman. “But they’ve got a pretty good way of doing things up there and an unbelievable track record. I’m damn sure not going to mess with the formula.”

The formula encompasses everything from off-season activities to inspirational slogans and from motivational tactics to the post-game meals. Even the seating chart for road games this season will mimic the exact set-up that Meyer has introduced at Ohio State.

Looking back at Urban Meyer's career, it seems like he was destined for greatness as far back as Bowling Green. That's because coaches are a lot like players: If they're going to bite, they're going to bite as pups.

I expect a lot of biting out of Houston this year, and I expect Illinois to inevitably replace Tim Beckman with somebody not as good as Tom Herman. (I also expect Tom Herman to replace Urban Meyer in 2068 when Meyer finally hangs up his championship rings.)

THE FAMILY. THE FAMILY. THE FAMILY. Every program in the country bills itself as a family. At Ohio State, that talk is walked every day, right down to the parents of the players.


Allison Brown received the phone call on Wednesday that every football parent fears.

Her son, Noah, had suffered a serious leg injury in practice. He suffered a broken fibula and tibia in a noncontact injury when he planted his foot awkwardly after reaching for a pass, she said.

Allison was in New Jersey, suddenly filled with worry for her son and feeling alone. She wouldn't be for long. 

The Ohio State football program's parents association - some of them dub themselves the “Buckeye mommies” - kicked into gear. President Annie Apple, the mother of cornerback Eli Apple, called to comfort Brown and inform her that she could be reimbursed for a flight and other expenses through Ohio State's student-assistance fund.

Specific shoutout to Annie Apple, one of the best under-the-radar OSU football follows in the game.

THE MOST POWERFUL BLOCK "O" IN THE WORLD. One of the (thousands) of things I miss about Ohio State is the RPAC, which is a wonderland of human advancement opportunities.

Looks like it's power levels are about to be — dare I say it? — over 9,000.


A “Block O” will soon appear on the roof of an Ohio State University recreation center, but it won’t be solely for decoration. It’ll also be soaking up the sun.

AEP Energy has begun installing a solar array on the roof of Ohio State’s Recreation & Physical Activity Center on W. 17th Avenue, one that it will own and operate.

Experts say it’s the latest in a series of projects around the country that use “green” energy on college campuses.

Just so long as they didn't take out the saunas.

THOSE WMDs. Critics name 100 best English and Irish novels... The Mystery of Patrick Modiano... Video: Time lapse video of a caterpillar turning into a monarch butterfly... Study: 15 percent of wireless users now tracked by zombie cookies... A 100-year plan to get humans to Mars.

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