Skull Session: Mike Weber's Toughness, How Ohio State Raided Ann Arbor, and Michigan State Reshuffles Offensive Line

By D.J. Byrnes on November 16, 2016 at 4:59 am
Bobby Landers undecided about the November 16th 2016 Skull Session

It's not official yet, but Michigan vs. Ohio State with playoff implications > No 1. vs. No. 2 in 2006. It's hilarious people used to think playoffs would ruin the regular season.


  • Ohio State is No. 2 in the latest College Football Playoff Poll.
  • Alabama, Michigan (\_(ツ)_/), and Clemson round out the top four. Wisconsin is No. 7 and Penn State is No. 8.

 IMPORTED FROM DETROIT. Here's a stat you'll see on this week's ESPN broadcast: Robert Smith (1990) and Maurice Clarett (2002) are the only two freshmen in Ohio State history to rush over 1,000 yards.

Unless calamity strikes, Mike Weber could join the fraternity in the first half against Michigan State.


Mike Weber doesn’t bother denying that he’s been feeling more than a little discomfort heading into the final weeks of his first season as Ohio State’s starting running back. But it certainly hasn’t been enough to keep him out of pads for a game yet, and it also clearly isn’t causing him to shy away from absorbing or delivering any punishment for the Buckeyes.

“Yeah, I’m in a lot of pain,” Weber said before suiting up for another productive outing in last week’s win over Maryland. “But we don’t believe in days off here. I’m still practicing, so I haven’t had any days off. I just haven’t been getting a lot of contact in practice, and it’s helping me to feel good.”


But it hardly seemed to bother him as he added 93 yards on the ground before the Buckeyes shut him down early with the game in command. And Meyer suggested that extra time to recover last weekend could put Weber “close to 100 percent” for this week’s road trip to Michigan State.

Weber met all expectations so far this season, which is nice because I remember a time people fretted over no Meyer RB running over 1,000 yards. Five years later, 1K is manifest destiny.

He also doesn't need praise from a blogger, but props to Weber weathering shoulder pain. Would be problematic to a mortal tailback.

 STRIKE WHERE THEY SLEEP. I wrote it before, and I'm writing it again: One of my favorite features about Urban Meyer's 50-state recruiting strategy is it forces Michigan to defend its turf with historical effort. 

Recruiting is life for assistant coaches. Now, imagine defending your valuables against Kerry Coombs, a man who mainlines Red Bull to feel human again—if only for a few fleeting seconds.

Thankfully those aren't my problems, and even better, they're Jim Harbaugh's. Coombs looted Antjuan Simmons from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, which inducted Harbaugh into the school Hall of Fame (and keeps a framed jersey in the same area as its vacuum cleaner) earlier this year.


When we started the process, I remember we talked, and (Coombs) said, 'There's no way we're going to get this kid. We're not even going to recruit him.' They didn't want to recruit him," Brown said. "But as they talked and he'd ask, 'How's the process going with Michigan?' We'd say, 'I haven't seen the coaches. We haven't talked to them.' After a few more of those, Coach Coombs said, 'I'm coming in. We're not going to sit back because I like the kid a lot.' So they started to recruit him the way that they did."


"Ohio State didn't just come in guns blazing or whatever," Simmons said. "They literally gave Michigan (a head start). It was like, 'OK, we're going to sit back.' I kid you not, every school in the country who offered me a scholarship was waiting on Michigan to. When they realized they didn't, everyone else just fired their shot." 

Ohio State landed its shot. 

There were/are rumors OSU's staff asked Simmons to grayshirt. That remains a murky situation as Texas blue-chip linebackers Baron Browning and Anthony Hines remain on the board.

Also, Simmons officially visited East Lansing last week without clearing it with OSU's staff.

So the Ann Arbor–Columbus pipeline may not be built, but it still pleases me to know Michigan is pressed in areas it traditionally locked down. If he doesn't end up in Columbus, East Lansing is better than Ann Arbor.

 SPARTY SHUFFLE. Junior Spartan DT Malik McDowell, who impacted last year's game in Columbus, probably won't play against Ohio State.

As bad as a blow as it is to its defensive line, Michigan State is also trying to find a potent mix with the offensive line.


The Spartans’ revamped offensive line shows Cole Chewins at left tackle, Brian Allen at left guard, Benny McGowan at center, Brandon Clemons at right guard and Kodi Kieler at right tackle.

All signs point to Ohio State running roughshod over legendary Michigan State coach Mike D'antoni. I just can't bring myself to believe it yet.

 CAM HEYWARD DONE FOR 2016. Former Ohio State and current Pittsburgh Steeler defensive end Cam Heyward announced he will miss the rest of the season on Monday afternoon via Instagram:

The Steelers play the hapless Browns on Sunday. They won't need Heyward to move to .500.

 LORD FORGIVE ME. This is a controversial take, but I agree with it, despite the messenger:

I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm trying to delete.

 THOSE WMDs. When the Devil enters... Christian Pulisic can’t save U.S. Soccer from Jurgen Klinsmann... Spies use Tinder, and it's as creepy as you'd think... Death Valley is alive... Hank Williams III: The Ghost... When her best friend died, she rebuilt him with artificial intelligence.

View 114 Comments