Skull Session: Bet the Rent on Ohio State (-7), Behind-the-Scenes Cotton Bowl Preparation, and USC's Turf Yips

By D.J. Byrnes on December 27, 2017 at 4:59 am
Ben Victor Mosses a dude for the December 27 2017 Skull Session

Went and saw the legendary lights at historic Clifton Mill last night. Though, all I heard was the clanging of the cash register in my head. Whoever owns that operation probably never leaves the beach.


Word of the Day: Aperitif.

 YOU KNOW THE DRILL. Earlier this year, I told everyone to bet the rent on Ohio State (-29) vs. Rutgers and (-31½) vs. Maryland. The Buckeyes won those games by a combined 104 points.

And good news, folks. CBS' mystical computer formula has come back around on the Buckeyes just in time to pay your Christmas credit card bill next week. It's high on OSU, too.


We can tell you the model loves Ohio State to roll to a victory and cover against the red-hot USC Trojans in the Cotton Bowl. The Buckeyes were crowned champions of the Big Ten and will look to erase the memory of last season's embarrassing loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff. SportsLine says the Buckeyes easily cover as seven-point favorites against the Trojans and win 35-22.

Sounds 'bout right to me. Dumping USC and doubling my net worth would be a kingly start to 2018. I may even forget to watch the playoffs.

 LOAD THE TRUCK. Ohio State made it to Dallas, where it's bivouacking for the week. While Urban Meyer and his top assistants make the big bucks, it's a trip impossible without the 240 support staff that coordinate moving a team 18-22 year-olds across the country during peak holiday travel.


It’s been a busy month for Sean McNamara. The fourth-year marketing and communications student graduated from The Ohio State University last week. And he could join the Buckeyes on the field celebrating a victory in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Friday night.

McNamara is the head student manager for football team and has been part of the staff longer than he has been in school.

“I’ve worked with the team for the last four seasons. I came in my freshman year in August before school started and I was part of that 2014 team which had a great run,” he said. “I’ve worked with the team ever since and it's been an incredible experience.”

If sports boils down to an argument over laundry, it's good to know Ohio State's is in the hands of a young go-getter like McNamara. 

 TROJANS TURF CURSED. Ohio State won a national title during its last trip to the garish shrine to the obese ego that oil-soaked elf Jerry Jones. You'll probably see a clip or two of that Friday night (not that I'm complaining).

USC, however, got smoked the last time it played there. Both its losses this season came on turf, too.

From The Los Angeles Times:

AT&T Stadium has an artificial playing surface, and both of USC's losses have come on similar fields. The Trojans are 10-0 on grass.


What's worse, are the bad memories USC players have from what happened last time they played at AT&T. In their opener last season, the Trojans were crushed by Alabama, 52-6, USC's most-lopsided loss in 50 years.

"We all remember that game and we all know exactly how it felt," linebacker Cameron Smith said. "Probably the worst loss a lot of us have taken."

Sounds like USC lacks that Ohio speed. Crazy to think, because I remember when it seemed Pete Carroll and USC were never going to lose another game.

 THIS IS GOOD. The song covered here, even though I can't name it despite hearing it 200000 times, sounds like the theme song to a bowling alley that allows its customers to illegally smoke inside.

That is to say the Texas linemen did the damn thing on their cover.

Still need Missouri to tax Texas tonight in the Texas Bowl. 

 GO ON THEN, WILLIE T. Jim Leonhard made $600,000 as Wisconsin's defensive coordinator last season. 

Before Jimbo Fisher bamboozled Texas A&M into $75 million guaranteed, Florida State defensive coordinator Charles Kelly made $833,000.

That's a big difference, even before taking into account Florida doesn't tax income. It could also entice Leonhard south if new FSU coach Willie Taggart has his way.


A name I am starting to hear gain traction in Florida State’s search for a defensive coordinator is Wisconsin DC Jim Leonhard. Leonhard seemingly fits the mold of what new coach Willie Taggart is looking for in his assistants: young and energetic.

What I hear is that Taggart has been engaged in a courtship with Leonhard from the beginning stages of his tenure in Tallahassee and that Leonhard is among the top targets.

Leonhard seems like the perfect guy to replace Paul Chryst in 10 years and continue the Barry Alvarez 10-win season hustle into the the 2030s. I won't shed any tears if he leaves.

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