Skull Session: Johnnie Dixon Manages Pain, Ohio State Dean Dislikes College Rankings, and Dallas Gant's Decision

By D.J. Byrnes on May 16, 2017 at 4:59 am
Ben Victor vs. Jeffrey Okudah for the May 16 2017 Skull Session

Which one of you #business tycoons with a flair for marketing wants to sponsor the Skull Session? Email me. (It's illegal for trolls to click that link.)


Word of the Day: Sepulcher.

 DIXON PLAYS THROUGH PAIN. Johnnie Dixon, once a prized recruit, scored two touchdowns in Ohio State's spring game, which now means he'll be the subject of speculative pieces from now until late August.

As past spring game performances have proven, it's not always indicative of fall success. But unlike some standouts, Dixon has the talent to be great. It's just a matter of keeping him healthy.

That plan spans across summer.

From Tim May da Don Da Da of

To have the chance to show those things in the fall, he said he will stay disciplined with the workout and treatment plan through the summer that worked so well for him through the winter and spring, including what’s called a “blood flow” machine that enhances circulation around his knees.

There was no magic surgery that alleviated his ailments. As one insider said, it was as much Dixon pushing through discomfort where before he had stepped back.

I wish I were big, fast, or strong enough to be worthy of health care that included a "blood flow" machine for my knees, which undergo hours of sitting in "the poster's" stance every day.

Still, credit to Dixon for the mentality capable of playing through what must be monotonous dull pain. It will be quite the story if he bounces back to contribute anything this fall, let alone if it's, say, an iconic game-winning fourth-quarter touchdown reception in Ann Arbor on Nov. 25th.

 NO LISTS, PLEASE. Folks love lists. Our society would collapse without them. Why do you think mock drafts descend upon us every year like a biblical plague? We can't get enough of the hypothetical, rankings, or hypothetical rankings.

Which is why we even have entire publications based on the ranking colleges. It's where every argument about football ends with Michigan fans. "wELl acCoRDinG to ThE laTeSt uS and nEWs woRlD rePorRT..."

But one brave Fisher Business dean is pushing back against these arbitrary rankings as fools' gold for perspective students.

From Tom Knox of Columbus Business First:

Elliot Bendoly, associate dean of undergraduate students and programs at the Fisher College of Business, helped write a research paper on B-school rankings that have become important barometers for colleges.

“If the goal is to help inform (students) about how to make the best decision about business schools, let’s give them the raw information, and not take numbers — which may or may not be relevant to the student—and bungle them together into a ranked list,” Bendoly told the Wall Street Journal for a story about the criticisms. The full paper is in this month's Decision Sciences Journal, which can be read by faculty members.

Bendoly and his peers say the way media outlets gather and rank different data oversimplifies why students pursue business degrees.

Since rankings will be outlawed here soon, here are my eternal top 10:

  1. The local team.
  2. UCLA
  3. Louisiana State
  4. Washington
  5. Texas
  6. Montana
  7. Appalachian State
  8. North Carolina
  9. Cleveland State
  10. Youngstown State:

LAST (TIED): Notre Dame, Duke, Harvard, Yale, Penn State, Florida State, and Miami (OH).

 JUDGMENT DAY FOR OHIO'S NO. 1 OLB. Dallas Gant, a four-star outside linebacker from Toledo St. John's Jesuit, will announce his commitment around 3:30 p.m. today during a ceremony at his school.

Gant will select between Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State.

While some people selling subscriptions recruiting industry insiders once told of Gant leaning toward Notre Dame, he's a "must-have" in-state product for the local team. My three wise cats foretell of a tidal wave of #BOOM gifs at the bottom of the 3 o'clock hour.

Be sure to follow 11W and our recruiting director, Andrew Lind, on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates from the scene.

For those that only pay attention to recruiting when a #teen pledges fealty to the good guys, here are Gant's junior highlights:

 PURDUE LURES CHILD. Not every team in the Big Ten is as awash in cash and history as Ohio State. Teams like Purdue must get innovative when trying to close the resources gap. It leads to things like a former XFL quarterback offering a 13-year-old.


So, Coach Brohm and his staff have been getting offers out early to 2018 and 2019 guys. But, yesterday, they put one out for a kid in the class of 2021. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be offering 8th graders.

But, we shouldn’t be offering 8th graders.

They obviously know way more about football than any of us. I get it, the early bird gets the worm. But, there are so many thing that could happen by 2021 if the kid were to commit. I am sure he is very talented for his age, but who is to say that he hasn’t reached his potential? That happens all the time with dominant middle school players.

It's cute "Coach Brohm" is making plans for the 2022 season, like he won't be cashing quarterly six-figure checks not to coach the Purdue Boilermakers.

(Watch KeyShawn Spencer go on to five Big Ten titles and three national championships at Purdue and damn me into forced retirement at age 41.)

 GET DUMPED THEN, RHCP. Like most stiff white guys with no rhythm born in Los Angeles during the late 1980s, I have once or twice bumped my foot and maybe even my T-Rex egg-shaped head while listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Those times are dead to me after RHCP's drummer, hilariously and appropriately named Chaz Smith, decided to troll paying customers in Columbus by singing the Michigan fight song. 


Ah yes, the ol' Big Blue fight song that reminisces about Michigan's last true era of dominance—back when Americans considered Satan's Mitten "the West." It truly strikes fear into the heart of Columbus, the city that hasn't witnessed a Michigan victory since 2000.

And no, I haven't seen such inane and intentional inflammation of customers since I went out of my way to rail about paying players in Monday's Skull Session.

So I get it, sometimes you just gotta get these #takes off. But sometimes you just have to throw a band in the trash can.

 THOSE WMDs. My mom was my best friend, and I was kind of a dick... Signing away the right to get a new job... 25 Australian slang terms... With new digital tools, non-experts can wage cyberattacks... This is how to love a man, and if it doesn't work there are more than one.

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