Skull Session: Ohio State's Worst Case Scenario, Sam Hubbard Wants No. 1 Ranking, and Wide Receiver by Committee

By D.J. Byrnes on August 29, 2017 at 4:59 am
Ben Victor wore a bunny huggy for the August 29th 2017 Skull Session
Binjimen Victor

Ohio State fans mad about everything from the lack of clarity on the depth chart to Thursday night games, which I love to see. A pissed off fanbase gets from Ohio to Indiana that much quicker. 

Bloomington, your PB&J-fueled reckoning is en route:


Word of the Day: Pidgin.

 TWO LOSSES? THERE WOULD BE BLOOD. We all know how this season ends, with Urban Meyer and Ohio State avenging the 2016 Fiesta Bowl debacle and winning a national championship. Frankly, I'm not sure why they're even playing the season.

But there's always somebody who must play the "Devil's Advocate," as if the Prince of Darkness needs an advocate.

What if... Ohio State doesn't win the national championship? What if the worst scenario is realized? What would that be like? Again, I'm "just asking questions." (Somebody can punch me; it's legal to punch the "just asking questions" guy.)

From David Briggs of

Worst case: 10-2, 7-1 Big Ten


All of the offensive issues from last season — a scattershot Barrett, a permeable line, receivers failing to get open — reappear while a defense that must replace three first-round picks in the secondary is not quite the same.

Ohio State loses to seventh-ranked Oklahoma in Week 2 and drops its finale at Michigan, finishing second in the Big Ten East for the third consecutive season. 

The Buckeyes then get a rematch against Clemson in the Orange Bowl. But without a title on the line, they go through the motions of a two-touchdown loss.

It's hilarious how we're at the point where two losses would be an unmitigated disaster. Helps explain why a lot of coaches play things so tight to the vest these days (more on that later).

But I swear if this season ends with a two-touchdown loss to Clemson, I will strip naked and walk into the Miami River. After an offseason of three post-victory Savage Tiger voicemails sprinkled into my playlist, I'm not sure my fragile psyche could take another postseason loss to those guys.

 ACTUALLY, NO. 1 SPOT IS BAD RIGHT NOW. Ohio State enters the 2017 season as the No. 2 team in the country. I'd prefer the Buckeyes to be unranked, but I obviously don't control anything.

While that ranking seems 'bout right, it doesn't satisfy Sam Hubbard.

From the Ohio State beat G.O.A.T., Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch:

Junior defensive end Sam Hubbard was asked whether he thought the ranking was legitimate, and whether he thinks he’s on a team that could be special.

“I think we should be No. 1,” Hubbard said. “But it’s like coach (Urban) Meyer says, if they’re keeping score we want to be No. 1, and we’ve got to play like we’re No. 1.

“Definitely (I) feel like we’re the No. 1 so we’ve got to play like it.”

Bold words from Hubbard, and I like it. He's right, though. They have to play like they deserve it. But I'm not tripping about any ranking until the one that decides the playoff field. 

 EVERYONE STARTS. As predicted, Ohio State released a depth chart yesterday with a copious amount of "OR." Some people see them as "participation trophies." While others, correctly, see it as a fluid situation that will solidify itself over the course of a season.

One place where that might not change is receiver, where six are listed as starters.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Six receivers are listed as starters on Ohio State's official depth chart released Monday, a sure indication that all will get plenty of chances to shine in the season opener this week.

Paris Campbell and K.J. Hill are listed as co-starters at H-back. Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor both are listed at one wide receiver spot, and Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin are slotted in at the other. While all have game experience, none has been a major contributor yet at Ohio State.

Coach Urban Meyer said Monday all six "will play in a pure rotation basis" when the Buckeyes open on the road at Indiana on Thursday night.

"That's how much confidence we have in them," he said, noting that it's more depth at receiver than he's had in five previous seasons at Ohio State.

I'll settle for three viable receivers before I get greedy about six. I'll need to see that to believe it.

Do note, however, the fluidity of the depth chart is by design of receivers coach Zach Smith.

From my overachieving son, Kevin Harrish:

"You have to have six. Every year I gotta have six. I tell them, there’s no three starters. They do a little video board and I tell [sports information director] Jerry [Emig] all the time, ‘There should be six guys up there.’

Because there’s not like one starting X. If there is, we’re going to be really bad. There’s gotta be two. There’s gotta be two Hs, there’s gotta be two Z's. A lot of them are interchangeable, like a guy like Parris [Campbell] you can move in and out, K.J. [Hill] in and out, but I gotta have six. And then the next one is the seventh guy that, he’s gotta be ready because at any time an injury—the seventh guy is the sixth guy.”

Sounds good in theory. Let's see how it plays out in reality. (Is it Thursday night yet!?)

 ELLIOTT UP AGAINST IT. The NFL will hear Ezekiel Elliott's appeal of his six-game suspension stemming from allegations of domestic abuse in July 2016. It sounds like it won't be much of an appeal.


Even before his appeal hearing this week in New York, Elliott’s defense team and the NFL players union suffered two significant setbacks that sources close to the player believe will result in a loss. Elliott’s representatives asked commissioner Roger Goodell to name an independent arbiter for the appeal – most specifically, not former league executive Harold Henderson, whom the union continues to argue is not a neutral party. That ultimately failed, as Goodell chose Henderson to hear the case.

The next loss for Elliott’s camp came when Henderson refused a request from the running back’s lawyers to make his accuser, Tiffany Thompson, appear for cross-examination at the hearing, which begins Tuesday. Henderson also went further, denying a request to make the notes and six specific Thompson interviews with investigators available in the hearing. A source told Yahoo Sports the potential cross-examination of Thompson and work material of investigators (which might have revealed flaws or missteps in the probe) were considered pivotal by the legal team and NFLPA in Elliott’s defense. Now they’ll have neither, significantly stacking the deck against probing the credibility and motives of Thompson, as well as keeping portions of the investigative process and interviews shrouded.

Shoutout to the garbage NFL players union for getting rolled over. I believe Tiffany Thompson, but stacking the deck against Elliott like this in the appeals process only undermines the year-long investigation.

The NFL has never been known for its logical ruling system, though. I can't wait until the Browns disband again (or win the Super Bowl, which ever coms first) so I can quit paying attention to the farce.

 HARBAUGH! Michigan and Florida are currently like two children pointing the finger at the other while accusing each other of ringing up $3,000 on dad's credit card in Minecraft purchases.

Of course adults know Jim Harbaugh started it, but it won't stop the man who claims he doesn't have a roster from pointing the finger at Jim McElwain, the guy who totally didn't hump that shark this summer.


Michigan and Florida are remaining mum on naming starting quarterbacks for Saturday’s season opener at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“People make a big deal about our roster and not announcing our starting quarterback,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday at his weekly news conference. “I have not seen the starting quarterback come out of Florida. Never any mention of that. Very interesting.

“Yes, we’d like to have that information from them. I’m sure they’d like to have it from us. Right now, neither is giving that information.”

McElwain must've hit the FourLoko in the a.m. yesterday, because he wasn't having it:

Somebody is getting blown out Saturday night. I can't wait. This may be more entertaining than the Florida State–Alabama slobberknocker.

 THOSE WMDs. Underground wonder of Tokyo... The couple behind the colorful "camo house" near campus speaks... How Norway's state manages ownership of its companies... Acapulco became Mexico's murder capital... John Smelcer, Native American literature's "living con job."

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