Why didn't anybody tell me the new Adele album is fire? Somebody get her and Future in the booth immediately. That album would go diamond in 30 seconds.
WHAT WENT WRONG. Ohio State's offense returned 4/5ths of a dominant offensive line, two beast quarterbacks, a Heisman hopeful running back and perimeter playmakers like Michael Thomas, Braxton Miller, Jalin Marshall, and Curtis Samuel... and they were just the known quantities heading into the season.
Obviously, it did not go according to plan. What happened? Well, the schematic autopsies are starting to roll out, and they may be even more frustrating than a dogfight with Northern Illinois.
Defenses used three basic tactics. First, opposing coordinators slanted their fronts away from Ezekiel Elliott. The goal was to prevent offensive line double teams and take away the backside A-gap - the aiming point for tight zone.
Second, defenses cheated their overhang defender - the player aligned over the slot receiver - into the gray area between the receiver and the offensive tackle. Rather than cover the slot receiver, that defender attacked the backside edge when presented with run action.
Third, opponents generally deployed a cover 3 or cover 4 zone. This allowed defensive coordinators to have one or both safeties flow downhill against run action.
Urban Meyer doesn't need gimmicks to move the chains, so it only makes sense defenses figured out ways to attack Ohio State's offense. After all, football is a game of adjustments and counter-adjustments, right?
Let's go to the tape.
But - problematically - Meyer's staff would not stick with plays that took advantage of opposing defensive strategy. Instead, they would revert to strategies that played into the defense's hands.
Well, it was certainly a bold strategy.
Apparently this was much of the case for 2015... until Meyer's stubbornness—and there's no other word for it going off this report—came to a head against Michigan State.
After the loss, Meyer sent Ed Warinner to the booth, Ohio State started running gap blocking with power and power-read (things designed to counteract the aforementioned defensive adjustments) and the Buckeyes steamrolled Michigan.
Now we're left to wonder "What if?"
Many people pointed to Tom Herman's exit as the source of Ohio State's offensive woes. It looks like Joey Bosa may agree with them, at least in part:
It seems like I get saltier about that Michigan State loss by the week.
ASH POACHES QUALITY CONTROL ASSISTANT. Chris Ash is leaving Ohio State after the Fiesta Bowl, and he's taking Vince Okruch with him.
Chris Ash intends to bring Ohio State quality control Vince Okruch to Rutgers as special teams coordinator. Okruch is a long-time college assistant with significant Big Ten experience.
From Okruch's Ohio State bio:
Vince Okruch joined the Ohio State football staff in the spring of 2013. He assists with quality control for the kicking game and the defense, and he also provides administrative responsibilities.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y. and a graduate of Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., Okruch brings a wealth of collegiate coaching and administrative experience to the Ohio State program. He has 34 years of coaching experience on the collegiate level, including most recently, a three-year stay at the University of Akron where he coached on the defensive side of the ball from 2009-2011 and also served as special teams coordinator.
Okruch has 15 years of experience coaching in the Big Ten with stops at Minnesota, where he coached under Lou Holtz and John Gutekunst, Northwestern (Gary Barnett) and Illinois (Ron Zook). Okruch coached alongside Barnett for a total of 12 years, including five seasons at the University of Colorado.
The fact I shivered at the thought of walking into Urban Meyer's office and saying, "Hey coach not only am I bouncing out, but I'm taking some guys with me," says a lot about why I'm a blogger and not a college football coach.
JIM TRESSEL CATCHES A STRAY BULLET. What's Jim Tressel doing right now? If you guessed "evading an international manhunt" or "sipping a warm glass of milk while evading an international manhunt" ... those aren't bad guessed but they're not 100% accurate.
The man we all know and love, Jim "The Senator" Tressel, is recovering from wounds suffered from being thrown under the dang bus by Alabama athletics director Bill Battle.
Speaking on a panel about cost of attendance at the IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, Battle added a comment about the unwise ways athletes are spending their checks. After NC State athletics director Debbie Yow went first.
"You try to teach student athletes about financial literacy but know you failed when you see them on their new hover board," she said.
Panel leader Michael Smith began the next thought when Battle added "tattoos and rims."
Can we please stop calling them "hoverboards?" They don't hover and it makes them sound like something off the Jetsons and cost $4,000. Ohio State bought its athletes a fleet of them. (You do what you want when you're poppin'.)
But it gets worse. I'll allow Battle to do his own digging:
"That was the Jim Tressel thing I guess," Battle said, referencing the scandal at Ohio State that led to Tressel's resignation in 2011. "The thing that students in general, not just athletes, spend money on is those kinds of things sometimes. That's what we hope to educate our student athletes that those are not wise investments and they ought to be spending their money on those that add to the experience or the collegiate experience."
You see, this is why people like Battle and Yow hold the coins in this realm. It's because otherwise players would be spending their hard-earned money on things like "hoverboards, tattoos, and rims." (Fun facts: Nobody besides drug dealers have bought rims since 2007. Also: Yow mismanaged Maryland's money and it cut seven sports and had to join the Big Ten.)
I'll let the reader unpack the ramifications of Battle's interjection, but it's also curious Battle would throw Jim Tressel under the bus when stuff like this is happening (via @RyanGinnBSB):
The SEC photoshopping Henry's tattoos out of the picture sure makes you think, doesn't it? Though I will say the idea of a bunch of suits at the SEC office sweating over Henry's tattoos delights me.
And while we're pondering the finer highs in life like the irony involved in Alabama throwing NCAA violation shade... Does anybody know what's so horrific about people using their earned money however they see fit?
I see people idling 12 cars deep in a Starbucks drive-thru and it makes me want to hit the gas pedal and careen into the nearest telephone pole.
Now imagine if I were somebody's boss, wearing a $3,000 suit, and saying things like, "Could you imagine if I paid my employees the minimum wage? They'd buy dumb shit like $8 cups of 4,000-calorie mochaccino."
Soon enough I'd be saying that from jail, right next to the people who voted for Carl Nassib over Joey Bosa as the nation's top defensive lineman.
People buy dumb shit, and there are too many junk peddlers in this country for people to pretend like that's restricted to young folks (who, coincidentally, have less money than anyone).
Yow and Battle are free to defend the status quo with patronizing and archaic rhetoric, but to drag Jim Tressel's name through the mud to do so is where I draw the line.
Tressel left millions of dollars in guaranteed money at Ohio State. He now makes ~10% what he did as Ohio State's coach for trying to resurrect his old university in a dying steel town. Would we find Battle or Yow doing the same for dimes on the dollar? Somehow, I doubt it.
PROPS TO THE STUDENT-ATHLETES. The Skull Session respects student-athletes and the discipline it requires to dominate in both fields. As proof, I've contributed to the carpal tunnel that will derail my thirties and wreck my life.
From Ohio State's release:
To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, students must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
|LAUREN ARCHIBALD||FIELD HOCKEY||SOPHOMORE||SOCIOLOGY||TORONTO, ONTARIO|
|LAUREN CARROLL||FIELD HOCKEY||SOPHOMORE||PRE-COMMUNICATIONS||LANCASTER, PENNSYVLVANIA|
|NATALIE FAUST||FIELD HOCKEY||SOPHOMORE||SPORTS INDUSTRY||LUTHERVILLE, MARYLAND|
|BROOKE HILTZ||FIELD HOCKEY||JUNIOR||GEOGRAPHY||VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA|
|ERIN HOOVER||FIELD HOCKEY||SOPHOMORE||BIOLOGY||HUDSON, OH|
|ELISE JOHNSON||FIELD HOCKEY||SENIOR||BIOLOGY||DAYTON, OH|
|CHELSEA QUINN||FIELD HOCKEY||SENIOR||EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION||EASTON, PENNSYLVANIA|
|CAROLINE RATH||FIELD HOCKEY||SOPHOMORE||SPORT INDUSTRY||GREENVILLE, DEAWaRE|
|MAGGIE REDDECLIFF||FIELD HOCKEY||SENIOR||COMMUNICATION ANALYSIS AND PRACTICE||HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA|
|MEGAN ROSSI||FIELD HOCKEY||SOPHOMORE||PRE-SPORT INDUSTRY||SPARKS, MARYLAND|
|SYDNEY STYPE||FIELD HOCKEY||SENIOR||SPORT INDUSTRY||UPPER ARLINGTON, OHIO|
|LIZ TAMBURRO||FIELD HOCKEY||SOPHOMORE||SPANISH||PHOENIXVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA|
|DANTE BOOKER||FOOTBALL||SOPHOMORE||SPORT INDUSTRY||AKRON, OHIO|
|JACOBY BOREN||FOOTBALL||SENIOR||SUSTAINABLE PLANT SYSTEMS||PICKERINGTON, OHIO|
|JOE BURGER||FOOTBALL||SENIOR||INDUSTRIAL AND SYSTEM ENGINEERING||CINCINNATI, OHIO|
|PAT ELFLEIN||FOOTBALL||SENIOR||COMMUNICATIONS||PICKERINGTON, OHIO|
|CHASE FARRIS||FOOTBALL||SENIOR||KINESIOLOGY||ELYRIA, OHIO|
|BRYCE HAYNES||FOOTBALL||SENIOR||PSYCHOLOGY||CUMMING, GEORGIA|
|SAM HUBBARD||FOOTBALL||SOPHOMORE||BUSINESS FINANCE||CINCINNATI, OHIO|
|KATO MITCHELL||FOOTBALL||SENIOR||SPORT INDUSTRY||CLEVELAND, OHIO|
|SEAN NEURNBERGER||FOOTBALL||SOPHOMORE||INFORMATION SYSTEMS||BUCKER, KENTUCKY|
|AARON PARRY||FOOTBALL||JUNIOR||BIOLOGY||ZANESVILLE, OHIO|
|CAM WILLIAMS||FOOTBALL||SENIOR||COMMUNICATIONS||WEST ROXBURY, MASSACHUSSETTS|
|JACK WILLOUGHBY||FOOTBALL||SENIOR||AGRICULTURE, ENVRIONEMNTAL, & DEVELOPMENTAL ECONOMICS||PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY|
|KEVIN BLANK||CROSS COUNTRY||SOPHOMORE||INFORMATION SYSTEMS||SOLON, OHIO|
|MICHAEL BRAJDIC||CROSS COUNTRY||SENIOR||FINANCE||BAY VILLAGE, OHIO|
|EVAN STIFEL||CROSS COUNTRY||SOPHOMORE||PRE-NURSING||CINCINNATI, OHIO|
|CHRISTINE FREDERICK||CROSS COUNTRY||SOPHOMORE||ACCOUNTING||CINCINNATI, OHIO|
|ANDREA MCARDLE||CROSS COUNTRY||SENIOR||EVOLUTION AND ECOLOGY||WELLINGTON, OHIO|
|MINORI MINAGAWA||CROSS COUNTRY||SENIOR||EXERCISE SCIENCE||DUBLIN, OHIO|
|SAKIKO MINAGAWA||CROSS COUNTRY||SENIOR||EXERCISE SCIENCE||DUBLIN, OHIO|
|RACHEL WEBER||CROSS COUNTRY||JUNIOR||ELECTRIC ENGINEERING||DUBLIN, OHIO|
|HELEN WILLMAN||CROSS COUNTRY||SENIOR||FINANCE||CARMEL, INDIANA|
|HENRY CHANCY||SOCCER||JUNIOR||FINANCE||ATLANTA, GEORGIA|
|KYLE CULBERTSON||SOCCER||SENIOR||HUMAN NUTRITION||COLUMBUS, OHIO|
|LIAM DOYLE||SOCCER||SENIOR||SPORT INDUSTRY||ISLE OF MAN, UNITED KINGDOM|
|JOAO EHLERS||SOCCER||SENIOR||SPORT INDUSTRY||CAXIAS DO SUL, BRAZIL|
|FIKAYO IDOWU||SOCCER||SOPHOMORE||HEALTH SCIENCES||MADISON, MISSISSIPPI|
|DANNY JENSEN||SOCCER||JUNIOR||OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT||WESTON, FLRODIA|
|TYLER KIDWELL||SOCCER||JUNIOR||FINANCE||DUBLIN, OHIO|
|ZACH MASON||SOCCER||SENIOR||OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT||GALENA, OHIO|
|MARCUS MCRARY||SOCCER||SOPHOMORE||HISTORY||MADISON, WISCONSIN|
|STEVEN MUNN||SOCCER||SPOHOMORE||FINANCE||CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA|
|ALEX RANALLI||SOCCER||SENIOR||SPORT INDUSTRY||POWELL, OHIO|
|MAX SWARTZ||SOCCER||JUNIOR||INFORMATION SYSTEMS||CARY, NORTH CAROLINA|
|LINDSAY AGNEW||SOCCER||JUNIOR||ENVIRONMENTAL, ECONOMY, DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY||DUBLIN, OHIO|
|NYA CASON||SOCCER||SOPHOMORE||PRE-COMMUNICATIONS||WORTHINGTON, OHIO|
|ALEXIS DEGLER||SOCCER||JUNIOR||COMMUNICATIONS||CARY, NORTH CAROLINA|
|SYDNEY DUDLEY||SOCCER||SOPHOMORE||BUSINESS||LOVELAND, OHIO|
|SAMMYE DWARDS||SOCCER||SOPHOMORE||EXPLORATION||DUBLIN, OHIO|
|ELEANOR GABRIEL||SOCCER||JUNIOR||BIOLOGY||LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY|
|MEGAN GEIDEMICK||SOCCER||JUNIOR||SPORT INDUSTRY||AURORA, ILLINOIS|
|KATELYN KRAFT||SOCCER||SENIOR||EARLY AND MIDDLE CHILDHOOD STUDIES||MIDDLETOWN, NEW JERSEY|
|JILLIAN MCVICER||SOCCER||SENIOR||COMMUNICATIONS||METUCHEN, NEW JERSEY|
|NICOLE MIYASHIRO||SOCCER||JUNIOR||BUSINESS||LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIFORNIA|
|MICHELA PARADISO||SOCCER||SENIOR||NEUROSCIENCE||COLUMBUS, OHIO|
|CAITYLN PATTON||SOCCER||SOPHOMORE||BIOLOGY||CANTON, OHIO|
|NICHELLE PRINCE||SOCCER||JUNIOR||SPORT INDUSTRY||AJAX, ONTARIO|
|BRIDGET SKINNER||SOCCER||JUNIOR||BUSINESS||MIDDLETOWN, NEW JERSEY|
|NIKKA WALTS||SOCCER||SOPHOMORE||SPORT INDUSTRY||SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA|
|EMMA WANGSNESS||SOCCER||SOPHOMORE||CIVIL ENGINEERING||REDOOWD CITY, CALIORNIA|
|MORGAN WOLCOTT||SOCCER||SENIOR||SOCIOLOGY||MILFORD, OHIO|
|MARISA WOLF||SOCCER||SENIOR||COMMUNICATIONS||CINCINNATI, OHIO|
|ELIZABATH CAMPBELL||VOLLEYBALL||SENIOR||PSYCHOLOGY||RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA|
|KALISHA GOREE||VOLLEYBALL||SOPHOMORE||SPORT INDUSTRY||COLUMBIA CITY, INDIANA|
|ANDREA KACSITS||VOLLEYBALL||SENIOR||COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY||ROCKFORD, MICHIGAN|
|VALERIA LEÓN||VOLLEYBALL||JUNIOR||STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS||PONCE, PUERTO RICO|
|KATIE MITCHELL||VOLLEYBALL||SENIOR||SPORT INDUSTRY||THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS|
|KYLIE RANDALL||VOLLEYBALL||JUNIOR||COMMUNICATION ANALYSIS AND PRACTICE||TOMBALL, TEXAS|
|LUISA SCHIRMER||VOLLEYBALL||SOPHOMORE||MECHANICAL ENGINEERING||PITTTSFORD, NEW YORK|
|ASHLEY WENZ||VOLLEYBALL||SOPHOMORE||EXPLORATION||SPRINGBORO, OHIO|
WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE FIRE BYRON SCOTT? "Hey Byron, have you thought about doing your job today?"
Byron said he has not talked to Russell and Randle about their demotions: "It's a big boys league. You got to come to work everyday."— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 9, 2015
Let's see what kind of actual coaching D'Angelo is getting these days:
The jokes write themselves. D'Angelo says he's about to imitate Kobe. Then D'Angelo airballs a shot https://t.co/2zdFhE1l9E— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 9, 2015
The good news: Russell, in action later Wednesday night, sent a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves into overtime:
D'Angelo Russell hits a crazy off balance shot to tie the Wolves and force OT, Kobe loves it pic.twitter.com/tehmSkTCWA— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) December 10, 2015
Bad news: Russell went 0-3 in overtime and the Lakers lost 123-122. Silk finished with 23 points, three assists and one rebound.
THOSE WMDs. The man behind Fargo's Hanzee Dent... Why gravy, syllabus, and tweed are considered ghost words... Tribune Media partners with king of clickbait... Sarkisian's $30M lawsuit may have a legit chance... Clevelanders climbing buildings and bridges for the Likes.