Skull Session: The Stoic Slobs, Ohioans Think Buckeyes Could Beat Browns, and 2006 Similarities

By D.J. Byrnes on October 7, 2016 at 4:59 am
Curtis Samuel laughs at the October 7th 2016 Skull Session

Folks, let's try to attack this Friday better than Parris Campbell attacked this three-pointer:

Always love to see elite athletes play another sport that makes me think I too could be an elite athlete if I tried.


 STOICISM THE NAME OF THE GAME. One of the hot takes I have in my arsenal is believing trash talk to be good. It's a display of wit and always offers an extra dimension of humor to any athletic contest.

It's a fine line, of course. Trash should only be talked at your enemy if the scoreboard backs it up. Otherwise, you're just a twerp who can't comprehend basic math.

The Slobs, the unit that drives Ohio State football to the glory we all know love, chose a different route altogether.


“We’re not going to do any talking,” right tackle Isaiah Prince said. “We’re about action. We don’t do any trash-talking.”


The line takes its cue from Elflein, Studrawa said.

“He’s not a big-time talker,” he said. “He just goes about his business, goes back to the huddle and does it again. They’re taking that type of attitude. There’s no talking, there’s no yelling, any ‘Rah rah, we’re so great.’ Shut your mouth and go back to work. That really stems from Pat and Billy and our quarterback (J.T. Barrett).”

See, that's the thing about trash talk. As effective as a well-placed barb can be, it pales in comparison to the guy who demolishes you with the demeanor of a secretary operating a fax machine. That, ultimately, is the power move.

So it makes sense why a grinder like Elflein would bestow that way of life onto the younger Slobs.

 OHIOANS STILL THINK BUCKS BEAT BROWNS. Last year, 57% of Ohio voters, the bedrock of American democracy, thought the local team could beat the Cleveland Browns.

Recent events have turned undecided voters against the Browns.


I've watched every minute of Buckeye 2016 football. I've watched every minute of Browns 2016 football, though that should get me indicted.

I'm not one of those fools that think Kentucky could beat the 76ers, either. But this year's Buckeyes could absolutely beat the Browns. 

A normal NFL team would dominate a college team in the trenches. I'm not convinced the Browns could whip the Buckeyes in either trench. And even if the Browns could run (don't sleep on Isaiah Crowell), so could the Buckeyes.

Terrelle Pryor would be a question, but not even the Dawg Pound diehard who spends 60% of his discretionary income following a four-win NFL team would bet the rent on Cody Kessler throwing into the teeth of the Buckeye secondary.

Improvable situation aside, I want to watch Hooker and Pryor practice against each other next year in Berea. 

 2006 YOU SAY? People forget 2006 was lit. Back in another life, I was the most obnoxious Ohio State fan in Montana. And why wouldn't I be? I was a dipshit, but also Ohio State ran roughshod over all its enemies, so it all equaled out (time is a flat circle, obvi).

In December 2006, I stood inside the Marion Centre Finish Line weighing a No. 10 and No. 11 championship patch jersey. 

"Get the Troy Smith," said my moronic friend, who clearly hadn't read the NCAA rulebook. "He won the Heisman and is going to win the title."

"Yeah, you're right," I replied with my pupils dilating as that crispy clean Fiesta Bowl banger slid off the rack.


“It’s very similar to 2006 but you don’t want the outcome of 2006 (losing to Florida in the national championship game),” the former OSU linebacker said when he spoke at a St. Marys Rotary Club meeting on Wednesday.


In 2006, OSU had nine new starters on defense and was undefeated going into the BCS national championship game. But it did have eight returning starters on offense, including Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez and Antonio Pittman.

“I see a lot of similarities,” Schlegel said. “We lost a lot of people – five first-round picks and nine overall – just like they did last year. At the end of the day there are a lot of similarities.”

I recently heard a prominent Ohio State media member who would know that 2006 was the most arrogant team he ever covered.

Hell, we were all arrogant. But that championship game was no fluke.

And that's the difference between 2016 and 2006. Sure, there's talent where national pundits suspected regression, but that's where the comparisons end for me, the rotting man on the couch.

We may want to crown this team after four games, but ain't no way that's happening on Urban Meyer's watch. There may be similarities, but that's the difference.

 BOOMER SOONER. Urban Meyer said yesterday, "Indiana is the best defense we've faced, and that includes Oklahoma."

This sounded like a motivational masterstroke by a man with a psychology degree from Cincinnati. But we actually may live in a world where Indiana has a better defense than Oklahoma.


But, one might counter, Oklahoma’s played a better schedule. There’s no shame in giving up lots of points to the likes of Houston (33), Ohio State (45), and TCU (46), while Indiana’s played a weakened Michigan State and varying degrees of cupcake.

Yet the Sooners are ranked 66th in Defensive S&P+. The Hoosiers are ranked 37th. That’s an advanced metric that’s, at this point, 70 percent adjusted for opponent strength, with a 30 percent adjustment based on preseason projections. The Sooners were supposed to have a good defense this year.

My colleague Bill Connelly, who runs the S&P+ model, says that without projections still factored in, Oklahoma would actually rank 81st and Indiana 29th. It'd be worse!

If this happened in Columbus there would be an armed revolution. That world-renowned Norman hospitality must extend to underachieving coaches, too.

 DOWN GOES AN ICON. Y'all, raise your damn Lokos and pour some out for a campus icon we all loved to know:

Put your favorite Long's Bookstore memory in the comments.

My most cherished Long's memory was watching some rowdy getting knocked out on the sidewalk over A Slice of New York pizza (long story). Damn, now I have to pour some out for A Slice of New York and their $5 hustle meal...

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