Skull Session: The Game Could Mean Big Ratings for FOX, Big Ten Didn't Foresee Friday Night Backlash, and CFL Bucks

By D.J. Byrnes on May 18, 2017 at 4:59 am
Larry Johnson and Bill Davis discuss the May 18th

The Skull Session will be served as soon as I recover from Phillip and Elizabeth's latest deed on The Americans

And somebody should tell the Boston Celtics they already lost to Labron Jim and the Cavs. Checkmate, Boston. Nobody cares anymore.


Word of the Day: Diaspora.

 FOX PROFITEERS ON RIVALRY. What used to be a dustup between two university football team evolved into an annual multimillion dollar extravaganza. FOX Sports purchased Big Ten rights at a premium price. As such, they hope to use The Rivalry We All Love to Know to line its coffers.


Having that game switch networks is a big deal, and that’s why Fox outbid ESPN for the Tier 1 rights ($240 million annually versus $190 million). Both networks will show the same amount of games each year (25 football and 50 basketball), but Fox gets the first pick every year (ESPN gets second, Fox gets third and so on), so they can take Ohio State – Michigan in perpetuity for the life of the contract (presuming they’d want to, but it seems unlikely anything else will come close in terms of ratings). The Tier 1 rights aren’t just about Ohio State – Michigan, of course; they also include the Big Ten championship game and a few other notable things. But grabbing this matchup is a huge part of why Fox was willing to pay more for what’s mostly the same number of games.

FOX has great HD and pays Gus Johnson's salary, which is worth every penny. That's about where my list ends on complimentary things to say about the company or their approach to sports broadcasting.

As someone who grew up in the nineties, breaking up The Game and ABC seems akin to sundering Arm & Hammer despite knowing CBS and FOX have also broadcast The Game in the path.

Can't hate on FOX's business sense, though. They could make that wilted scrotum Clay Travis a color commentator, and I would mute the television for solo commentary from my heart stomping my rib cage.

That's a helluva product to hawk if you can afford it.

 LOL. One common meme in America that amuses me is when people in charge of things have no idea how their decisions affect the lives of their customers. Jim Delany and Big Ten executives don't spend their Friday nights enmeshed in local high school football culture.

If they did, they would have tombstoned the networks' push to move games to Friday night to capture the always valued sports bars and dads drunk off a six-pack after putting the kids down demographics.

They didn't see the backlash coming.


“The commissioner [Jim Delany] made the comment that Friday night games have been happening all across the country,” Tenopir, executive director of the Nebraska School Activities Association, told Land of 10 during Day One of the Big Ten Conference Joint Group Meetings.

“They did not expect the blowback that the Big Ten got on Friday nights.”

And by “blowback,” he means calls. Emails. Facebook comments. General social media hell.

Amazing! They could've called me, the dipshit blogger with an opinion on everything, and I could've given them a listicle of why that was a terrible idea by 4 p.m. that day. 

Of course, this won't stop all Friday night games because the person paying the bills always makes the rules in the #business world.

 BIG YEAR FOR FORMER BUCKEYES. Can't wait until 11W WORLDWIDE LLC blows up and I can spend my summers in Canada following former Buckeyes in the CFL.

Duron Carter has a new team (lol) and DeVier Posey is looking to expand on his foreign #brand.


Although still extremely productive, Carter was suspended for pushing the opposing team’s coach during a game, and he got into two altercations with starting quarterback Rakeem Cato. Carter has consistently shined during his time in the CFL, and he will probably do so again in 2017.


After a full off-season with the [Toronto Agronauts], Posey should be an exciting player to watch at receiver and returner. 2017 will be a big year for Posey and the CFL is offering him a great opportunity to turn his career around.

Former Ohio State linebacker Jonathan Newsome, who finished at Ball State, also plays for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. They might have to be my second team this year after the Montreal Alouettes (suck on those seven Grey Cups, haters!). 

Also shoutout to Ottawa Redblacks quarterback and Marionaire Trevor Harris. I may or may not have heckled him during a River Valley–Pleasant basketball game about running over the family dog with his truck, but being able to move past high school feuds after the age of 30 separates a Marionaire from a Cincinnatian.

 PUSH BAYLOR INTO THE SEA. More bad news for Baylor. A former volleyball player filed a Title IX lawsuit against the school yesterday. In it, she alleges ritualistic gang rape.


According to's Mark Schlabach, the woman said she was raped by at least four and as many as eight Baylor football players.

Per Jim Vertuno of the Associated Press, the latest Title IX lawsuit against Baylor alleges that football players made a 21-second gang rape video and staged dog fights.

According to KXXV-TV in Waco, Texas, the alleged rape occurred in February 2012.

Pro tip: Don't google anything related to this case within three hours of eating. You will throw up all over yourself in disgust.

 THANK YOU, CARDALE. This world cannot be 100% evil because The Iron King, Cardale Jones, First of His Name, Poacher of Badgers, Controller of Tides, Slayer of Ducks, Troll Sultan, and 12th Son of Ohio belongs to it.

J.T. Barrett is in Ecuador as part of Ohio State's contributions to the Soles4Souls program. Barrett did that thing where you ask somebody (in this case LB Dante Booker) to take a picture of you not looking at the camera in order to seem pensive and philosophical to your followers.

Don't try such games around Dolodale.

The greatest quarterback in Ohio State history, folks.

 THOSE WMDs. Amazing dinosaur found by miners... The Zankou chicken murders... The rules of ascent... From 1996: Tiger Woods, the Chosen One... After the Jonestown Massacre.

View 73 Comments