Skull Session: The Case to Keep Playing Barrett, Meyer Backs Receiver Rotation, and Alcohol Sales Lead to Drop in Game Day Incidents

By D.J. Byrnes on September 12, 2017 at 4:59 am
Austin Mack lays out for the September 12 2017 Skull Session.

The worst part about this latest loss is Ohio State doesn't play today. The second worst part is the next opponent is Army. 

Nothing appealing about playing Army, other than the pageantry and giving cadets an opportunity to play in the Shoe.

Personally, I'd eschew scheduling teams that run the triple option and would leave fans uneasy about an 150-0 blowout. I need that 150-0 blowout in my life this week.


Word of the Day: Mellifluous.

 THE CASE FOR JTB IV. I abandoned the J.T. Barrett bandwagon yesterday. I did it with a heavy heart and knowing Meyer would cut off one of his feet before making a change ahead of Army. 

76% percent of polled 11W readers voted for a quarterback change yesterday. So let's try to talk ourselves into a former Silver Football winner.

From Tom Orr of

PLAY HIM: A look at the entirety of Barrett’s resume suggests that he deserves more time to work with first-year quarterbacks coach Ryan Day and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson to get the kinks worked out of the new system.

Barrett finished fifth in the Heisman voting his freshman year, and is already the school record holder for career pass completions, touchdown passes in a game and career, 200-yard passing games, and is poised to set the all-time school passing yardage record. Even after Saturday’s ugly loss, his record as a starting quarterback is 27-5.


PLAY HIM: Of course, a lot of the downfield passing issues also fall on the wide receivers. Parris Campbell dropped a beautifully-thrown ball that would have been a long touchdown against Indiana, and Terry McLaurin had an almost-identical drop when Barrett arced a throw just over a defender and directly into McLaurin’s arms at the goal line. And whether you can see it on TV or not, there are frequently not any open receivers for Barrett to throw to. Dwayne Haskins or Joe Burrow can’t catch their own deep passes, either – the receivers need to do their part.

Meyer said yesterday there's more to a quarterback's job than throwing. Which, sure, but throwing seems to be the No. 1 quality.

I also refuse to acknowledge any pro-Barrett argument centering on his position in the record books. His stiffest competition currently resides in federal prison. The other plays wide receiver in Washington D.C.

His record is good, but let's not pretend Ohio State plays equally talented teams every week. Barrett is fine against teams like Indiana, Army, UNLV, Maryland, Rutgers, etc.

The struggles come against equally talented teams with defenses that disrespect him. He has no confident when he drops back, either.

Actually, just save these tweets the Penn State game, when these issues rear their grotesque head again after we've spent the last five weeks convincing ourselves Meyer fixed the problem.

 DID SOMEBODY SAY ROTATION? Folks, if you thought a blogger was done questioning a three-time national champion... I have some bad news. I re-watched the Oklahoma loss last night and am still surly. (THE LOCAL TEAM GOT LIT UP BY A FULLBACK!!!!!)

Yesterday, I sighed when Meyer revamped his belief in the fabled wide receiver rotation.


"It's a six-man rotation," Meyer said Monday. "There's not a differentiation from No. 1 through No. 6, and I think they're going to be all fine players. They're continuing to grow. It's not -- Johnnie Dixon to Ben Victor and Austin Mack -- there's not that Michael Thomas right now where you say he's your go to all the time. Ben Victor, we tried a couple with him. I think Terry got behind (the defense) one time."

But should it be time to shorten the rotation? Should Mack and Victor, two second-year players who seem to show the most promise, be the featured receivers in the offense? 

First of all, Ohio State never treated Michael Thomas like a go-to receiver. He averaged 4.3 catches a game for 60 yards in his final season. His only 100+ yard games came against Maryland (107) and Rutgers (103).

There isn't a six-man rotation, because Ohio State doesn't have six viable receivers.

It sounded good in theory. It's not there in reality. I wish he'd stop pretending otherwise, shorten the rotation, and move on.

 OSU SELLS BOOZE; INCIDENTS GO DOWN. Remember when some university sachems worried selling booze at football games would turn them into bacchanalian orgies?

Fun times.

Not only did the Horseshoe crumble into the Olentangy last season, it saw a drop in alcohol related incidents.

From Jacob Myers of The Lantern:

In the Buckeyes’ seven home games last season, University Police — in collaboration with the Ohio Investigative Unit, Columbus Division of Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office — responded to 61 total incidents, compared to 175 in 2015 and 269 total incidents in 2014, based on records obtained by The Lantern.

The Department of Athletics and University Police spoke to officials at other universities that instituted in-stadium alcohol sales to gauge the results Ohio State might have if adopting a similar policy, said University Police Chief Craig Stone. They found that universities with in-stadium sales had less incidents year to year than the years without in-stadium sales, which led to their adoption of the stadium-wide policy in 2016.

For the 2016 season, the Department of Public Safety recorded 26 arrests inside the stadium, 25 ejections, six arrests outside the stadium and four citations. In 2015, when alcohol was sold exclusively to fans at the suite and club level, there were a total of 85 ejections, 18 in-stadium arrests, seven out-of-stadium arrests and 65 citations.

I know two Ohio Stadium ushers. Their superiors said because alcohol is available in the stadium, fans don't guzzle alcohol and walk into the stadium blacked out (well, most fans).

Can't wait to see what opium sales in 2038 do to these numbers.

 DISRESPECT ONE, DISRESPECT ALL. Baker Mayfield said yesterday he didn't mean for his attempted flag plant "wasn't meant to be disrespectful."

I had no problem with what he did, namely because I thought it was hilarious watching a man try to plant a flag into a rubber field. But Mike Weber said it best:

Turns out, Mayfield may have to worry about retribution from former Buckeyes should he make the NFL.


The former OSU running back tells TMZ Sports Mayfield's move was "the ultimate disrespect ... a slap in the face" -- and current and former Ohio State players are pretty pissed about it.

Wells says he spoke with a bunch of current OSU players after they got beaten by Oklahoma this weekend -- and they're embarrassed.


"There's gonna be a bullseye on his back. If he goes to the National Football League and plays, any Buckeyes are gonna be after him."

Personally, I'll settle for Ohio State getting Round 3 against Mayfield in the playoffs. Long way to get that, though.

 GET DUMPED THEN, GET DUMPED THEN? Folks, "Get Dumped Then" is 36-4 since debuting against Cincinnati in September 2014.

I almost retired it after the Fiesta Bowl debacle but forged forth. I was already going to table it against Army because I'm a Troop Respecter, but that Oklahoma loss knocked my confidence in Meyer and his ability to fix offensive issues that have plagued his team since 2015.

It had a great, some may say legendary run. But all good things come to an end. So, folks, I want to know...

 THOSE WMDs. Seven days of heroin... Taxi medallions, now once a safe investment, now drag drivers into debt... Evacuate for hurricane, lose your job... A weird MIT dorm dies, and a crisis blooms at colleges... Who will save these dying Italian towns?

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