Skull Session: Scholarship Crunch, Beer Sales Boom in Big Moments, and B1G Basketball Wild This Year

By D.J. Byrnes on January 13, 2018 at 4:59 am
Keandre Jones throws down an Ilini defender for the January 13th 2017 Skull Session

If weather forces you inside today, check out the No. 10 women's basketball team vs. Indiana at 12 p.m. on BTN.


Word of the Day: Flivver.

 THE ANNUAL RAIN DANCE. Back in the day, Big Ten fans (author included) used to bash the SEC for its annual scholarship shenanigans, which we colloquially referred to as "oversigning."

Six years and a national championship later, we just nod our heads at the annual articles describing the local team's scholarship scrunch. 

From Tom Orr of The Ozone:

Every FBS team can have a maximum of 85 players on scholarship at the start of the season, and right now the Buckeyes stand at… (drumroll)… exactly 85 scholarship players. So what’s the problem?

Well, for one thing OSU is widely considered the favorite to land a top-100 DT recruit at some point in the next day or so. If he picks the Buckeyes, he would put them at 86 scholarship players. Ohio State is pursuing several other recruits, including 4-star DE Javontae Jean-Baptiste and 4-star OT Rasheed Walker, both of whom are scheduled to visit Columbus over the weekend of January 19th.

The coaching staff would presumably love to add a second OT to this class, along with another edge rusher. If they do, that would put them a few spots over the scholarship limit. We’ll have a better idea where the numbers stand after the deadline to file for the NFL Draft on Monday, January 15, and then again when new recruits officially join the program on Signing Day. That’s Wednesday, February 7 this year.

[For those curious, check out the 11W Scholarship Grid.]

What's wild is the numbers always work out.

If Ohio State shocks the nation and signs 10 more prospects next month, those numbers will work themselves out before September because the coaching staff already crunched the numbers before signing them. Or so we hope.

 B1G BEER. Never have I felt more vindicated about my preconceptions about humanity than when Ohio State returned our Dan Hope's FOIA request on beer sales on a game-by-game basis:

Ohio Stadium Net Alcohol Sales Revenue For Each 2017 Home Game
Game Opponent Date Result Kickoff Attendance Revenue
1 OKLAHOMA Sept. 9 L, 16-31 7:47 p.m. 109,088 $233,656
2 ARMY Sept. 16 W, 38-7 4:42 p.m. 108,414 $157,543
3 UNLV Sept. 23 W, 54-21 12:01 p.m. 106,187 $129,400
4 MARYLAND Oct. 7 W, 62-14 4:11 p.m. 107,180 $168,135
5 PENN STATE Oct. 28 W, 39-38 3:35 p.m. 109,302 $226,976
6 MICHIGAN STATE Nov. 11 W, 48-3 12:05 p.m. 107,011 $180,675
7 ILLINOIS Nov. 18 W, 52-14 3:41 p.m. 105,282 $134,925

I just love the image of Buckeye fans, in both the worst and best instances of this season, turning to their significant other and saying, "I need to calm my nerves with an overpriced beer. I'll be back in 45 minutes."

How many divorces started during interactions like those? At least one.

 HERE COMES THE BUCKS. So, you might have heard by now, the Basketbucks look froggy for the first time since 2012. While we must no doubt credit Chris Holtmann's work, we must also pay thanks to the college basketball being AN ABSOLUTE SHIT SHOW this year.

From Mark Titus of The Ringer:

This college basketball season is drunk. I know that gets said every year around this point in January, but that’s only because the sentiment always rings true. The entire sport’s landscape feels fuzzy: Unranked teams are beating top-10 teams so often that it’s no longer even surprising; all the blueblood programs are worse than expected; there were no undefeated teams left by New Year’s Day; and four teams — Arizona, Florida, Texas A&M, and Notre Dame — have fallen to unranked status after previously cracking the top five of the AP poll. The SEC and Pac-12 are shitshows, the Big East and Big 12 are bloodbaths, the ACC might be the fourth-best conference in America, and the Big Ten is a thing that also exists. Plus, Wisconsin and Iowa State stink, Auburn and Arizona State don’t, Buzz Williams has hair, and J.P. Macura doesn’t wear sleeves on the court.

Grayson Allen hasn’t tripped anyone as a senior. Brad Calipari played meaningful minutes in a competitive SEC game. Most shocking of all, Ted Valentine, a referee who once nearly kissed a furious Mick Cronin and made a name for himself by standing up to Bob Knight, reportedly contemplated retirement because the internet hurt his feelings.

If the first two months of this season are any indication of what to expect in the NCAA tournament, we all might as well give up on filling out brackets now. Instead, let’s do the only thing that makes sense in college sports and crown the UCF football team as national champions.

I thought Dan Dakich was high when he predicted Ohio State to the Final Four. "Wow," I thought, "I wish I knew the Dakich's weed dealer."

Alas, it looks like he wasn't high at all. It looks like this year ends with Dan Dakich demanding we kneel before Zod.

If it comes with a Buckeye hoops title, I can't be mad about it.

 NOT SO FAST. For two months, it looked like Arizona had a coach and quarterback to build upon. Then it turned out its coach was a serial sexual predator.

Arizona reportedly offered Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo on Friday, which instantly generated visions of Khalil Tate running the triple option.

However, he didn't seem as fond of it as fans.

College football: Where dreams are made.

 THOSE WMDs. Everything is too complicated... Drug overdoses contribute to record number of organ donations... Tonya Harding would like her apology now... Triple H: How we turned Monday Night Raw into a monster... Man hired hitman after wife planned to expose drug operation.

View 82 Comments