Skull Session: The Rivalry Comes to Pro Days, J.T. Barrett's Practice List, and Why March Madness Viewers in Columbus Saw Black

By D.J. Byrnes on March 28, 2017 at 4:59 am
Kevin Wilson screams about the March 28th 2017 Skull Session

The local team returns to the practice field today, and we're expecting to hear from some guy named Urban Meyer.

Follow Eric Seger, Tim Shoemaker, Andrew Lind, and Kevin Harrish on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates from the scene.


Word of the Day: Besot.

 RIVALRY TO NEW HEIGHTS. Let old timers tell it, and Ohio State pro days used to be a few shirtless prospects a slew of scouts with stopwatches. It's now an annual recruiting extravaganza as much as it is a place for prospects to showcase their talent to employers.

Looks like Michigan is finally getting hip.

From Bill Bender of

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer opened the curtain at Pro Day on March 23. He perched at the 40-yard line at the Woody Hayes Athletic Complex. He chatted with New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Everybody in attendance could see that. 

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh closed the curtain at Pro Day the following day. The only way to spot Belichick in the Al Glick Field House was to look behind Harbaugh during a short interview with Mike Mayock on the NFL Network. 

The turnouts in Columbus, Ohio, and Ann Arbor, Mich., were massive. Ohio State Pro Day drew nine NFL coaches and 122 NFL representatives. Michigan drew eight NFL coaches and 143 NFL representatives. All 32 teams were represented at both events. 

Yes, who knew it was possible to play at Michigan and get drafted? I didn't, yet I'm only a 30-year-old with grainy memories of the last time the Wolverines defeated a non-interim Buckeye coach.

Thanks to Sporting News, it's easy to see why that is. Here's the past decade of NFL production from Ohio State and Michigan.

2007 8 2 2007 7 1
2008 3 1 2008 6 1
2009 7 2 2009 2 0
2010 4 0 2010 3 1
2011 5 1 2011 2 0
2012 4 0 2012 3 0
2013 3 0 2013 2 0
2014 6 2 2014 3 1
2015 5 0 2015 3 0
2016 12 5 2016 3 0
TOTALS 57 13 TOTALS 34 4

Yes, for those scoring at home, Ohio State had more first-rounders in 2016 than Michigan had in the past decade. Whenever they get done putting a statue of Terrelle Pryor at the WHAC, they should put ones of Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke right next to it. Those two are certified OSU legends.

Jim Harbaugh will lead an uptick on those numbers, though Michigan fans better hope Ohio State doesn't have more first-rounders and overall draft picks in a year when the Wolverines were one of the oldest teams in the country. If that happens, their only hope in making up that gap is the federal government indicting Meyer for drug trafficking.

Even then, it might not be enough.

 WHAT ABOUT THE DEEP BALL? The deep pass is a play Ohio State fans love to know despite worshiping at the altar of a man who saw it an act of criminal negligence.

Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day will no doubt look for ways to get that back into the Buckeyes' repertoire, yet there are other areas J.T. Barrett can improve in the offseason.

Here's one from

Touch and accuracy: Barrett's completion percentage dropped for the second consecutive season, finishing last year at 61.5 percent. That was still good enough to finish in the top half of quarterbacks nationally, but it's well below the level Meyer would like from his passers. Ideally, Barrett would be around the 65 percent mark he posted as a freshman, if not even better than that, and that's where Day comes in with those new drills.

The process starts with fine-tuning the footwork in the pocket, and Day has added some obstacles during drills that otherwise don't include defenders to stress where and how some passes need to be thrown. In one drill during open periods, Ohio State has rolled out a net in front of a downfield target that snags attempts that aren't thrown with the proper arc, just one example of Day trying to squeeze more accuracy out of Barrett.

This blogger used to be of the opinion accuracy couldn't be taught. God either gave you that ability or something cooler—like being able to bang on a keyboard in a more orderly fashion than an untrained chimpanzee. 

But that was before I witnessed Dallas QB Dak Prescott evolve from a more athletic version of Tim Tebow into a more athletic Jim Zorn.

In Ryan Day we trust... until that first three-and-out. And then, unfortunately, he must be fired. Buckeye fans will never apologize for our high standards.

 ABOUT THAT BLACKOUT. College basketball fans in Columbus didn't catch the end to the thrilling Kentucky–North Carolina Elite 8 game because 10TV co-opted it with a severe weather warning.

As it turns out, it was a technical goof.


The station tried to go to a split-screen, showing the NCAA tournament basketball game and the severe weather warnings.

But because of what the station called a "massive technical failure," viewers instead saw a black screen with a weather ticker at the top and heard a reporter talking about the tornado warnings.

After several minutes, the station went back to the basketball game, but it was over. 

Got to love living in the 21st century, where a few seconds of our magic machines not working are enough to send us into a blinding fury. If my internet goes down, I have no idea how to fix it. All I know is somebody needs to pay for this injustice in pints of their own blood.

This is the only ending to the UK-UNC game you need. Take it away, salty Wildcats fans:

Don't worry, BBN. There's always a seven-loss football season right around the corner.

 OHIO D-1 OFFERS DOWN. Demographics make clear: Americans are moving south and west because they're weak and incapable of enduring two inches of snow in a month.

Normally, I wouldn't care. Fewer people in the Midwest means cheaper rents and more space. The migration, however, is starting to affect the number of scholarships offered to Ohioan athletes, and it ain't right.


The state of Ohio has always been the pacesetter for Midwest football talent, but we have started to notice a negative trend in the production of FBS talent out of the state. Sampling the recruiting classes of 2008-10 we find an average of 155 state of Ohio prospects signed with FBS schools in each class. However, taking the most recent three classes (2015-17), that number has dropped to an average of just 114 FBS signees out of Ohio per class, a 27 percent fall. In comparison, neighboring states Indiana and Michigan are producing at almost exactly the same rates as they were a decade ago.

What is the cause of this drop-off, and will it continue? The first is certainly difficult to answer, but one theory that has been floated more frequently in recent years is the state’s hostility to off-season football.

We need a list of everyone standing in the way of off-season football in this state. "Why do you hate our state and not want to secure its future for our children?" should be the first question put to them.

 A BUCKEYE IN NEED. Zach Lawrence, a Buckeye fan, and his family need your assistance.


On March 21st, my sister Meghan received a call from the Georgian Embassy that her husband Zach, who was there on business for the week, had been in a very bad car accident.  The driver lost control of their car, flipping it several times before they ended up in a gully. Two of the five passengers in the car were killed.  

Zach was thankfully wearing his seat belt, but is in critical condition in a small hospital in Georgia.  The expenses are already mounting and he needs a MEDVAC to get him to a hospital that is more equipped to take care of his injuries, which is projected to cost between $80,000-$150,000, alone. 

His condition is still being assessed as Meghan has just arrived in Tbilisi, so we will update as news arrives. Zach and Meghan have two young children who are currently being cared for by family members as Meghan, and a team of family members are travelling to Tbilisi, Georgia to be with Zach and oversee his care.

Donations will cover medical expenses, including transporting Zach to a better hospital in Europe and eventually back home to the States, as well as travel expenses associated with his care for Meghan. We appreciate your continued prayers and support for Zach and his family.

You can donate to the cause by clicking HERE.

 THE VEST CONTINUES TO LAUGH AT LAW ENFORCEMENT. Jim Tressel, the FBI's Most Wanted for almost a decade running, continues to flaunt his bon vivant lifestyle on the internet, much to the chagrin of the alphabet agencies unable to apprehend him:

Look for Kim Jong-Un and North Korea to rethink their nuclear program now that it's known South Korea operates under the grace of El Chaleco.

 THOSE WMDs. Pigeon takes secret message to the grave... Fighting Cuba's boxing ban... Gold coin worth $4.5 million stolen from Berlin Museum... Reality show set in wilderness canceled, contestants not told for months... Big pizza chains use web ordering to slice out larger market share... Inside the story of Lakers' family drama... Wanted: Python hunters in Florida.

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