Christmas Eve Skull Session: Jerome Baker Didn't Expect This, J.T. Barrett's Footwork, And Noah Brown Not Frustrated

By D.J. Byrnes on December 24, 2016 at 4:59 am

Woke up today furious about the college bowl slate before remembering this is an amateur sport and amateur athletes should spend Christmas weekend with their families. 

12/24 SLATE

Shoutout for the Cleveland Browns for trying to ruin Christmas weekend. As much as I'd like to watch, I'll opt for the Vine of Joey Bosa—a defender who didn't fit the Browns' ingenious scheme—manslaughtering Bobby Three Sticks.

Anybody who attends that game should be stripped of their possessions and imprisoned.

 BAKER WOKE UP LIKE THIS. Dante Booker went down with an MCL injury against Bowling Green, and Jerome Baker stood up. Three months later, Baker could leave for the NFL if the rules permitted it.

Not even he expected this.


"I love the big games," Baker said. "The big games, there is something about that. It is more the competition. That is when the real competitors come out. You see who is really going to bring their game. When the big games come, I feel like that is when the big players are supposed to play."

It is an interesting -- and accurate -- outcome that Baker lumps himself in with the "big players" he references, but that was certainly not his expectation coming into this season. Not that he wasn't ever capable, it's just not what his role was going to be for this particular defense in this particular season.

"I didn't expect any of this honestly," he said. "It is really a blessing just to be here, doing what I love. The chance to show off my skills. Just a blessing."

Poor Booker. The coaches thought he was the better option heading into the season, but Baker dissuaded them. The good news for Booker is he can potentially replace Raekwon McMillan or Chris Worley when one or both of them go pro.

 ALL IN THE FEET. When you hear analysts say things like "J.T. Barrett's footwork regressed the last two years," these are the issues they're talking about:

How much of the blame is on a two-and-a-half-year starter and how much is to blame on his coaches? It's an interesting line to draw.

But let's hope Ohio State wins the whole damn thing, because otherwise the "Barrett to graduate transfer to Texas to reunite with Tom Herman" rumors will be coming fast and furious.

 NOAH NOT FRUSTRATED. Everyone is frustrated about Noah Brown's lack of production since Oklahoma except Noah Brown.


“I hear it all the time, but I don’t pay too much attention to it,” he said. “I’m going to do what I’ve got to do to help us win the game. Whether or not that involves me making a catch is not my concern. I’m going to do what I have to do on each play, and I’m going to get that done.”

That includes blocking, a must for Buckeyes receivers, and Brown has done that superbly. But receivers are, well, receivers. Surely, one as talented as Brown has to be a bit frustrated that he hasn’t gotten the ball much, right?

“Right now, I believe we’re 11-1 with a chance to play for a championship, so I’m not very frustrated at all,” he said.

That's good team-speak, but anyone who ever competed in intramurals wants to showcase their talents while helping their team win.

Again, we could sit here and parse the blame game about that lack of production until kickoff, but I came into this season on the Brown swagwagon, and I'm not about to abandon it before the biggest game of the season.

Put me down for a Mossing in Glendale.

 OK, TEXAS. THAT'S IMPRESSIVE. Sometimes you can't do anything but tilt your cap to an opponent who whipped your ass. Texas! Y'all can party.

From Tom Knox of

The University of Texas sold more than twice the amount of alcohol at football games than Ohio State University did.

Texas, comparable to the Buckeyes for its football tradition, size and city, in Austin, sold $2.74 million in alcohol during its six home games this year, according to university associate athletics director John Bianco.

Ohio State sold $1.1 million during seven games in its first year selling beer across the stadium.

On the flip side: May we never again know the pain of a seven-loss season.

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