Skull Session: Clemson Matchup to Watch, Ohio State Tops $1 Million in Beer Sales, and Fiesta Bowl “Gifts”

By D.J. Byrnes on December 6, 2016 at 4:59 am
Jerome Baker runs towards the December 6th 2016 Skull Session

I don't mean to be a Grinch (I do and I love it), but does anybody mind if we skip Christmas and move Dec. 31st to tomorrow?

We've all chopped down Christmas trees and watched them starve to death in our living room. We all remember enjoying two weeks off school. We all remember that favorite toy that ended up in the Great Pacific garbage patch.

Christmas is old hat, except for babies. But they can't read this.

Damnit, Randy! As proud as we are about you being the first human to reproduce through fornication (folks, give another Instagram like to @Sex_Wizard69420) take it from a former kid: At 29, the only Christmas gift I remember is a Nintendo 64.

You know how much sweat and labor my parents put into the N64 my underdeveloped frontal lobe thought I "needed" to survive, Randall? A lot more than the $20 bill that could purchase one off Craiglist.

Tell your spawn Santa got laid off (thanks, NAFTA) and return those overpriced toys and buy something cooler like a motorcycle or a trip to Tahiti. Trust me, your mediocre son won't miss the stage of his life where his father lied to him about an omnipotent magical being with an army of slaves who also has a side hustle where he breaks into houses to binge-eat sacrificial offerings.

What he will remember is his local team loyalist father heroically poisoning himself to the brink of insanity while his favorite team runs roughshod over false flag local teams from inferior geographical regions.

So what are you, Randall? An agent for the great state of Ohio or a fan of an ACC team?


Yessir, Randy! That glint in your eye is of a man willing to risk his soul in experimental time travel for his favorite amateur football team. That glint is what separates us from our enemies. Cherish and nurture it.

I'll see everyone tomorrow at the portal entrance at 4:59 a.m.

 BEST IN AMERICA ON DECK. Ohio State's secondary dubbed itself BIA—Best in America. If you crown yourself, you have to back it up.

And to the secondary's credit, it walked the walk for most of the season. But it has yet to face a down-the-field attack like Clemson and Deshaun Watson, who is capable of hitting any receiver at any position on the field.


Clemson receivers against Ohio State defensive backs
As previously mentioned, the CB play has been outstanding for Ohio State. Conley has a QB rating against of just 19.8, while Lattimore’s is 29.0, the second and fourth-best marks in the country respectively. This being said, the Buckeyes have yet to face a team willing to repeatedly challenge them downfield and on the perimeter. Penn State had isolated success against the duo, as Conley gave up a 20-yard touchdown on an end zone fade pattern and Lattimore yielded a 35-yard reception, but neither was tested beyond those plays.

Look for Clemson to take multiple deep shots to Williams when Watson finds him isolated in man coverage, as he is one of the most dangerous deep ball threats in the country, regardless of who is covering him. Scott’s usage from the slot could also be a critical component for Clemson’s offense, as the Buckeyes have in the past shown a hesitancy to matchup their top cover players inside. Against Northwestern, Conley and Lattimore were responsible for just one of Biletnikoff finalist Austin Carr’s eight receptions (which went for a total of 158 yards). Scott has aligned from the slot almost a third of his snaps this season, and 29 of his 69 snags have come from inside. If Clemson has success early inside against Ohio State’s nickel and dime players, the Tigers may look to exploit the mismatch.

Prediction: Clemson 27, Ohio State 21

We'll see what happens, as I'm sure there will be more informed folks than me talking about it between now and Dec. 31st.

Hopefully, some of this "Clemson is deep at wide receiver" talk motivates Zone-6. Outside of Curtis Samuel and Noah Brown, there's not much speculation about how Clemson can match up with Dontre Wilson, Parris Campbell, James Clark, Terry McLaurin, etc.

One of those guys and Marcus Baugh will need to step up if Ohio State is going to move the ball with any consistency against Clemson, as I expect the Tigers to take Michigan's approach and swamp Curtis Samuel and make other outside skill players beat them.

 AND THE SUDS FLOWED. Well, it happened. Ohio State opened beer sales to the public and the Horseshoe didn't crumble into the Olentangy.

While the Buckeye fans drank over $1 million in booze through the 2016 season, we still have a long way to go to touch Texas' numbers.

From Tom Knox of

Revenue totaled $1.1 million for the 2016 home season, according to the university. Sales had totaled $412,000 for the first three games, or an average of $137,333. The new figures include four additional games, including the season-ender against the University of Michigan, raising the total average to $157,142 a game.

Beer sales at the University of Texas at Austin, the most comparable school – large, in a a state capital and a football blue blood – are not yet available, though the school recorded $1.1 million in alcohol sales through just two home games this year. That figure includes liquor and wine; Buckeyes home games feature only beer, ranging from $8 to $9.

I have a feeling prices will be going up in Texas to help pay Tom Herman to coach and Charlie Strong not to coach.

Honestly, #shoutout to Strong. My biggest goal in life is for somebody to put millions of dollars in my bank account in exchange for not doing my job.

 HOLY HUSTLE. C'mon now, Fiesta Bowl executives, y'all making more money off the local team than to reward them with a free video game you got from the sponsor, an overpriced backpack, and a Fossil watch purchased wholesale from a Glendale strip mall.


Gift suite or PS4 game and accessory bundle; Ogio Throttle backpack; Fossil watch; football

My favorite part about this is you can tell they tried hard to give the players "nice" things, but not nice enough to draw IRS attention.

I can hear a marketing suite finishing his presentation with, "And here's the best part... we'll toss in a football!" The conference room erupted in laughter before everyone left after 30 minutes of "work" to enjoy a catered lunch and the back nine holes of a Glendale country club.

Seriously, though, the only way you can tell the Fiesta Bowl bowl gifts from the New Mexico Bowl is because PlayStation sponsors the Fiesta.

Gift suite; Oakley sunglasses and Enduro 25 backpack; Bluetooth earbuds; beanie; Gildan stadium blanket; cap; selfie stick

A blanket. The New Mexico Bowl is handing out blankets to teams of grown men. At least a blanket has more utility than Bluetooth earbuds, the only purpose of which is broadcasting you're an asshole.

However, if the local team makes it to the national title, they will be showered with thanks for their part in earning millions of dollars for people who would die on a football field:

Iconic gift

This is code for a $20 VISA gift card.

 JURY SELECTION IN NOLA. Earlier this week, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff released Ronald Gasser, the suspected shooter of former USC star Joe McKnight who assaulted a man 10 years prior at that same intersection in a road rage incident.

(UPDATE 10:00 a.m.: The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's office arrested Gasser late Monday night on manslaughter charges.)

It made me wonder about the ongoing case of Cardell Hayes, the former semi-professional footballer who fatally shot Ohio State legend Will Smith.

Turns out, jury selection began Monday and will end this afternoon.


The accused is a 29-year-old former semiprofessional football player named Cardell Hayes. The owner of a tow-truck company and the father of a 5-year-old son, Hayes is described by friends as soft-spoken and even-tempered – hardly the type to erupt into a lethal road rage. His attorney has been laying the groundwork for a self-defense argument ahead of a trial that opens Monday.

Jury selection started Monday with about 130 potential jury candidates filing into a New Orleans courtroom. It is expected to be completed by Tuesday afternoon.

Outside, a handful of protesters brandished signs that read, “Free Cardell Hayes.” Hayes was wearing a dark suit Monday; he previously had appeared in court dressed in prison orange.

Different set of law enforcement officials and scenarios, but this case won't be as open and shut as most people think. If you want to quibble with that, take it up with the Twitter University law degree nailed to my office wall.

 PURDUE BACK? I'm reeling from living in a world where James Franklin and Penn State won the Big Ten. My frail Millennial psyche isn't prepared to also live in a world where Purdue is making competent football hires.

Purdue shelled out $20 million for six years, which shows the financial power of BTN.

Maybe the Purdue rebuild is too much for Brohm. But the Big Ten West isn't the gauntlet like East, and Indiana just fired its coach and Notre Dame lost eight games.

Is that a guy you want to face in a "street fight" at noon in urban Indiana? Not me, sir. I want no part.

Thankfully Ohio State doesn't play Purdue next year (unless Purdue and OSU make it to Indy), but a trip to West Lafayette is on tap in 2018. It will probably mark the descent of the Meyer era at Ohio State.

 UH OH, NAVY. I rooted for Army against Navy, but it switched due to my love for NavyBuckeye91. Unfortunately for the mod we all love to know, it switched back.


Highly trained and highly disciplined, the soldiers of the 82nd Airborne were asked to spearhead the invasions of Italy, Normandy, and Holland. With little to no reinforcements or relief in the most adverse conditions, their physical and mental toughness was pushed to the limits. Their unwavering brotherhood and intense dedication to success, ultimately led to mission accomplishment.


America, baby!

 THOSE WMDs. The 100-yard deception... The hellscape that is waiting in line five hours for spectacles... ESPN should be transparent in its experiment with remote broadcasts... When picky-eaters grow up... Inside Italy's ultras... What's it like to cover the Golden State Warriors?

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