Skull Session: Ohio State–Penn State the Game of 2017, Big Nut's Big Buckeye Bucks, and How to Snub Nittany Lions

By D.J. Byrnes on October 19, 2017 at 4:59 am
J.K. Dobbins embraces the greatest Ohio State football player for the October 19 2017 Skull Session.


Word of the Day: Gelignite.

 A REAL ONE. Ohio State tattooed its last five opponents. They all have fire-breathing Brutii inked on their foreheads forever.

That's all fun and good. But like how a game with no challenge quickly grows boring, we don't watch the local team for blowouts every week. And at least one prominent player agrees:

And they don't get much realer in late October than Penn State–Ohio State. While every game is an affair when the Buckeyes play, Ohio State's next game will be the biggest of the season so far.


Alabama vs. Florida State, Michigan vs. Florida, Oklahoma at Ohio State, Auburn at Clemson, Stanford at USC, Georgia at Notre Dame, TCU at Oklahoma State, USC at Washington State, Clemson at Virginia Tech, Oklahoma at Texas, and Auburn at LSU are just a bunch that come to mind.

But there may be no bigger game to date, and possibly all season, than the one that will take place at Ohio Stadium on October 28, between the Buckeyes and Penn State.

As things stand now, that contest will see a number-six ranked Ohio State team take on the second-ranked Nittany Lions in what will not only be a classic top 10 match-up between two blue blood programs, but what could be a game that determines the Big Ten East, Big Ten title, and possibly a spot in the College Football Playoff.

As a big "J" Journalist, I'm not heartbroken the Buckeyes don't play this Saturday. You might disagree, but I don't think there's a better spot for an off week, especially with Michigan and Penn State bludgeoning each other under the lights in Happy Valley the week prior.

I'm pulling for the Nittany Lions to win but for Michigan to look respectful. That way the Wolverines can be as high as ranked as possible when Ohio State rolls into Ann Arbor.

I have a feeling Michigan is going to fall behind early and the wheels are going to come off, because that offense couldn't come back from a 14-point lead on a MAC team right now.

 BIG NUT'S BIG NUTS. Some Ohio State fans hate so-called "super fans" and degrade them as attention-seeking chumps that debase the #brand. Others say, no, that's not the case. Actually, super fans are good.

Who's right? .... It's tough to say. 

There may be no more divisive figure in Buckeye Kingdom than the Big Nut. Even if you're asking, "Who in the blue blazes is Big Nut?" You know Big Nut.


But Big Nut does more than acquire tickets to seats with unobstructed views for cameras.

While some accuse him of being more interested in being on TV, the Big Nut recently donated $51K to Ohio State's endowment fund.


With his donation of $51,000, which he collected through various fundraisers, Peters plans to assist three students who apply for scholarships to OSU starting in the fall of 2018.

Wiping tears away as he signed documents recently at Impact Credit Union in Clyde, Peters took care of the paperwork required to set up the Ohio State University scholarship endowment fund.

"It's always been about the kids," Peters said. "I hope everyone will donate to the scholarship and I hope to give money each year to see it build up."

We will be checking donation receipts from libelous commenters. You must have donated more than $51K to cyber bully Big Nut.

 OH YEAH, I CAN DIG IT. As mentioned above, if Penn State dumps Michigan, the rumble in Columbus next week will basically be the de facto Big Ten East championship game.

If Penn State loses, it could present a scenario where a single loss would once again prevent them from the playoffs.


Penn State finishes with one loss but is snubbed again

The Nittany Lions won the Big Ten last year but were left out because they had two losses. What if this year, Penn State's only loss is on the road to Ohio State? That's exactly what ESPN's FPI forecasts. If that happens, PSU probably wouldn't win the Big Ten because it would need Ohio State to lose twice, which is unlikely. The Buckeyes are favored by FPI to win out, but they face Michigan in Ann Arbor to end the regular season. It's very possible PSU has a better season but ends with the same CFP result.

I'll take all of that to go, please. I want to spend the next 10 days meditating that into existence.

 CATCHING UP WITH ROD GERALD. Former Ohio State quarterback Rod Gerald recently sat down with esteemed 12th Warrior GoBucks2204 to discuss his legacy in Columbus and quest for redemption.

From Nick Jackson of

Rod returned to a divided locker room.  Knowing how much pain he was having, Rod welcomed Art starting. The seniors who loved Rod, however, felt like they were doing him wrong by starting the freshman Schlichter. As a compromise, Woody moved Rod to wide receiver which led to one of his favorite moments as a Buckeye versus Penn State, “Both Art and I went on the field at the same time and the stadium went nuts, and that was just great.”

In 1986, a writer for the Columbus Dispatch wrote an expose on drug use at OSU. Rod agreed to speak with the writer of the Dispatch under the pretense that they would use his comments to help other Buckeyes to not make the same mistakes he had made.

The article ended up on the front page and included damning quotes from highly respected people like Dr. Bob Murphy and Woody Hayes about Gerald’s drug use while at Ohio State. Gerald quickly went from beloved Buckeye to a pariah in the eyes of Buckeye nation. Over 40 years have passed and some of the pain still lingers, “Buckeye nation, they’ve forgiven me, but the diehards, I don’t think they’ll ever forgive me for that.”

In the following summer, Rod felt so bad he was willing to stay in Texas, “I felt it was justified that I would be punished, I needed to be punished. I never thought I would be back in Ohio. I was willing to sacrifice because of what I had done.” Suffering the depression from his public shame and self-medicating his pain, Rod received a phone call that would take his life in a better direction.

Gerald just underwent his third back surgery on Oct. 12th. If you enjoyed watching him play and are in the position to donate, you can help the old Buckeye with medical bills.

 PAPA IN THE HOUSE. Imagine waking up to news a pizza tycoon helped oust Gene Smith. Such is the waking Hell of Louisville fans:

"Papa John votes to terminate Tom Jurich," I could type that 100 times and it would still be hilarious. 

Rick Pitino, for his part, denies all knowledge of wrongdoing. He took a lie detector and he did very well, thank you very much.


Pitino referred to the lie detector test on multiple occasions, telling Bilas that "one of the toughest things you have to do -- and I hope you never do it -- is take a lie detector test."

"I was asked two questions," Pitino said. "And I said, 'I want you to ask me if any other recruits in my tenure were ever given anything.' And he [the polygraph examiner] said, 'That's not what we're here for. We're here for: Did you have any knowledge of the Bowen family getting any money? Did you have any knowledge of an Adidas transaction?'

"I answered 'absolutely not' on both questions and passed the lie detector test. So I had no knowledge of any of this."

Hey, it's not a lie if you believe it.

 THOSE WMDs. A samurai sword turned Chris Taylor into a postseason hero... Long Beach brunch spot unabashedly serves reheated Popeye's chicken... The Mississippi State fan that took his revenge on Mississippi and the football press... Drug companies make eyedrops too big... Travis Kelce living a very Travis Kelce life... George Saunders wins 2017 Man Booker prize.

View 108 Comments