Skull Session: Slobs Step Up, Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins Lobby for Carries, and the U Isn't Back Yet

By D.J. Byrnes on November 13, 2017 at 4:59 am
Mike Weber out races a Spartan for the November 13 2017 Skull Session

It's a shame the bitter wing of the Buckeye fanbase can't shake their finger in our face at lunch today. Guess they'll have to settle for so there's literally no chance at the playoffs banter while everyone contemplates how to get away with murder.

Speaking of murder, I didn't expect a first-drive killshot in the first quarter. After Mike Weber took a casual stroll to the corner store, I immediately regretted not betting $10,000 on Ohio State (-17½).

when your mom says the pizza rolls are ready

Weber hitting two home-run shots against a venerable running defense is quite the development as Ohio State will undoubtedly lean on Weber and J.K. Dobbins as it looks to sew up the Big Ten title next week against Illinois (with a little help from Wisconsin).

Given the Dubgate's record, we should schedule one every year. This year was the best yet despite a noon kickoff and 23-degree temperatures.

Drinking four glasses of famous Ohio tap water with God's tribe and eating catered meat and drinking shots of Bulleit out of plastic cups with Ramzy in a parking lot was a nice change of pace from my usual Saturdays spent half naked and stooped over a laptop in my living room surrounded by 10,000 candles and three feral cats. Special thanks to all attendees, vendors, and donors.

I usually tell time by the position of the sun in the sky, but even I have Nov. 3, 2018, saved for Dubgate VIII. Main event of Urban Meyer humbling first-year Nebraska coach Scott Frost.


Word of the Day: Abstemious

 SLOBS ANSWER THE DOOR. Bad week for the Ohio State fans that were dying to tell you the sun had finally set on Urban Meyer's tenure, a great yet somehow still underachieving era. They spent the entire last week formulating 800-word Facebook diatribes. 

I don't watch sports like that, and I will never understand those who do—unless they get paid to be "objective" as a reporter.

So yeah, you're damn right I'm talking playoffs after the embalming of Jim Tressel's dark apprentice on his old stomping grounds. The Buckeyes are well within striking distance, with two weeks and championship weekend ahead. 

As always with Meyer's best teams, the onus lies on the offensive line. Against Michigan State, it morphed into Slob mode.


“We had to prove something,” [Jamarco] Jones said of the line, the thought of a 55-24 loss at Iowa the week before still lingering. “They (the coaches) told us they were going to lean on us and we executed. ... And to be able to go out there and perform against a team like that just shows what we can do when we have the opportunity.”

Much like the 2015 team got back to the running game in a dominant win over Michigan a week after a crushing, offense-less loss to Michigan State, this team did the same. The resolve, Dobbins said, started forming soon after the Iowa game.

“Like the first day of practice,” Dobbins said. “We told ourselves that we needed to be more physical, come out and run the ball. So that’s what we did.”

Glad the Battle for the Illibuck is in Columbus this year. As we saw last week, going to the Central Time Zone (the Midwest's Bermuda Triangle) following a big win at hat can be a dicey proposition.

And I know Urban Meyer strives for balance and it's not like Ohio State will run the Wing-T, but Ohio State is at its best with the tempo power run and building off that. 

 GOOD PLAYERS WANT BALL. Turns out Dobbins and Weber are just like us: They wanted to touch the ball more.

From Alex Roux of BTN:

Kudos to Weber for having the temerity to admit overlooking Iowa. It's a good thing the Big Ten carries national respect, because it'd be a travesty if Kirk Ferentz and his large adult son smothered Buckeye title hopes in an Iowa cornfield. 

There are certainly worse deaths, though.

 IS THAT THE 7TH FLOOR CREW'S MUSIC? You would think my Saturday peaked with drinking liquor in a parking lot at 10 a.m., but you'd be wrong. Almost as glorious as the Michigan State conquest was watching Miami ravage Notre Dame on national television.

Miami hasn't been the same since they tried to disrespect El Chaleco on that fateful night in the Arizona desert. But they haven't been respectable in so long, it's almost refreshing to find the Hurricanes relevant again.

I said earlier this year "undefeated Miami" would eventually remind of us of those two weeks the 2014 national championship ran through the Egg Bowl. Unfortunately, the swagger of the turnover chain swooned me before the end of the first quarter.

From Pete Thamel of

Before the start of the season, Diaz came up with a goofy gimmick to attempt to incentivize his team to force more turnovers. His idea of a “Turnover Chain” to coronate the defender who delivers a takeaway unintentionally spawned a 36-inch, five-pound emblem of Miami’s resurgence. “I saw something tonight I’ve never seen before,” he said, pausing for a moment. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crowd react to a turnover like that, at any game I’ve ever been to.”

On the second play of No. 7 Miami’s 41-8 blowout of No. 3 Notre Dame, a tipped Brandon Wimbush pass wobbled in the air in the Miami secondary. As it hung, an inhale of collective anticipation enveloped the stadium – the possibility of a turnover putting the entire crowd of 65,303 on the precipice of eruption. The ball landed on the ground to an exhale of disappointment.

But that moment foreshadowed a night that may well become a hallmark of this Miami revival, as Miami’s four turnovers prompted louder, lengthier and more elaborate serenades of cheers from the fans than any of Miami’s four offensive touchdowns. Aside from the turnovers, the box score details of Miami’s blowout are mostly inconsequential. This will be remembered as the night Miami’s Turnover Chain went form a viral sensation to a visceral feeling, the link between Miami’s swaggery past and precocious present. “I know! I know!” Diaz said when asked about the veracity of the turnover celebrations. “That’s the part we never could have imagined. What we didn’t predict was the connection between that and the community. How people could relate to that is beyond our expectations.”

I'd love to see the turnover chain win the Heisman. That thing is awesome. But don't start with this "Miami is back!" talk.

It's going to take more than dumping a Brian Kelly-coached team in November to restore the U to past glory. The only thing that can truly do that is a national championship.

And while I'm nostalgic for the U to be relevant ("college football is better when the Canes are good!"), I know that will switch as soon as Miami makes the playoffs and its fanbase wakes from a 15 year coma.

 WHO HAS IT WORSE THAN US? Haters don't recognize Ohio State as the No. 1 team in America right now, which is fine because it's not coronation season. Also, other teams have it way worse than ours.

We start with Tennessee, where university elders finally executed transitioned Butch Jones after the Vols got whooped in Missouri. 

Jones did what anybody who had just gotten paid millions of dollars not to work would do: By taking a torch to the assets of his former employer.

Apparently talented #teens were dead set on playing for Jones for some reason:

Are you done laughing at the misery of these Volunteer goofs? Because I haven't even told you the punchline, which is their new interim coach:

Yes! Ohio State legend Brady Hoke is back at it again. Our state's legendary sleeper agent agent has once seized control of a foreign outpost and will undoubtedly drive it further into the Earth's crusts. Dayton needs to build this guy a statue.

Down in Louisiana, LSU and Arkansas kicked off at 11 a.m. The Tigers dusted the Razorbacks, 33-10, a week after covering against Alabama.

Arkansas' QB rinsed off the loss by getting drunk and hopping behind a wheel:

Hard to envision any other program taking a chance on Bert as a head coach. Same can't be said about Jim Harbaugh, who wouldn't lack for NFL suitors if he would be interested (after falling to 0-3 against Urban Meyer and missing the playoffs, especially).

From Jason La Canfora of

The Browns have continued to sink since, though sources said Haslam remains enamored with the head coach -- who has a history of developing quarterbacks -- and with the Browns headed to a possible first overall pick and possibly two picks in the top 10, the job could be more attractive to Harbaugh come this winter should he be open to the opportunity.

Other coaches and executives have noted as well that the Browns could be the only -- or one of very few -- situations this offseason where an individual could possibly gain full football authority to rework the coaching staff and football operations staff as he sees fit, with Haslam in a desperate situation.


Regardless, he is hardly off the NFL radar since returning to college coaching, and some close to the coach believe a return to the NFL at some point is inevitable.

Harbaugh to the Browns would be hilarious. While I'd have some reservations about turning the keys to the asylum over to the bull goose loony, there's no way Harbaugh could be worse than Hue Jackson.

That's all without mentioning the Michigan Man meltdown, which would rival Pompeii by the time the ash settled.

I now want this to happen. Browns should trade for Andrew Luck, just to sweeten the pot.

 TRUE FOOTBALL GUY. Allow Chip Kelly to show you why he'll use Tennessee to grease an extra 20% from his eventual employer:

 THOSE WMDs. Tackling America's infrastructure maintenance crisis, from Mobile, Alabama...  Spain's fight against the mob revealed Russian power networks... Grove City-made Horton ambulances in demand countrywide... Security breach shakes NSA to core... Ohio National Guard unit finds rewards of relief work both ways... Hot dog sandwich of New Orleans.

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