Skull Session: Men's Basketball Remains Undefeated in Big Ten, Austin Mack Tabbed for Breakout Year, and Mike Vrabel Introduced in Tennessee

By D.J. Byrnes on January 23, 2018 at 4:59 am
Scoonie Penn applauds the January 23rd 2017 Skull Session

Blessed to see another day as a member of the worldwide Buckeye syndicate. Other false flag fans that think they know community are sadly mistaken.


Word of the Day: Prevaricate.

 BUCKEYES TAKING IT TO THE HOOP. Ohio State played in "Chicago" and New York City last week and came back to Columbus to face Nebraska last night. The Buckeyes prevailed over the Huskers, 64-59, in a gritty game that testified to the recent tread on OSU's tires.

Keita Bates-Diop continued to show why he'll earn millions of dollars overseas (at worst).

From Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors:

The No. 13-ranked Buckeyes shot just 44 percent from the floor, never led by more than single digits and had only five scorers for the entire game, but were still able to battle past Nebraska, 64-59, to improve to 18-4 on the season and 9-0 against Big Ten opponents.

Keita Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes with 20 points – with 14 of those 20 coming in the second half – while Jae'Sean Tate scored 17 and Kaleb Wesson and C.J. Jackson each scored 12.

Andre Wesson, with a lone three-pointer, was the only other Buckeye to put the ball through the basket in Monday's game.

Nebraska's James Palmer Jr. led all scorers with 34 points in defeat.

The tilt moved the Basketbucks to 9-0 in the Big Ten play and will help boost their new No. 13 ranking should they continue their winning ways against Penn State on Thursday (BTN, 8 p.m.).

The crowd was loud but noticeably sparse. My take is it's too expensive and too much of a hassle to schlepp to the Schott for an 8 p.m. Monday tipoff when the American worker has to be up early the next morning to fuel this country forward. Especially when you can watch from the comfort of your own home for free.

 BREAKOUT STAR? Ohio State hasn't had a superstar wide receiver since Michael Thomas, and he was underutilized as he never broke 800 receiving yards in a single season.

A lot of that has to do with Ohio State's offense, which relies on equal distribution. Then again, no recent Zone-6 exports have torn up the NFL like Thomas.

So who is a potential dominant receiver? Austin Mack, a man you might remember for heroics against Michigan.


Talent-wise, it’s easy to make the case that all of Ohio State’s receivers are above-replacement relative to the rest of the country, but no single receiver has stood out relative to the others in Ohio State’s rotation. Ohio State’s top six receivers last year all had total receiving yards within 241 yards of each other, target rates within 8.6 percent of each other, and five of the six had average yards per catch within 5.4 yards of each other. Essentially, everyone in the rotation was targeted roughly the same amount, caught roughly the same percentage of their targets, and then did roughly the same thing with the ball in their hands. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing — after all, the passing game was fourth overall in passing S&P+ last season. But sometimes a dominant, go-to receiver is needed.

Austin Mack seems like a strong candidate to be that kind of player, but he had just the sixth-most targets on the team last season. Mack had the highest success rate of all receivers besides Parris Campbell (who was targeted repeatedly on mesh routes that functioned as extended hand-offs), with 57.9 percent of his targets resulting in a successful play. It’s also highly possible that a different above-replacement receiver or two emerges just because of the quarterback change and Kevin Wilson entering year two in charge of the offense.

Dwayne Haskins and Mack roomed together, and as anyone can attest, you share a special bond with roommates for the right of your life (for better or worse). Should Haskins win the starting job (and he will), it would be a big boon for Mack.

K.J. Hill is the other receiver I tab to most benefit from Haskins' arm.

 STAY FROSTY, VRABEL. The Tennessee Titans introduced new head coach Mike Vrabel yesterday. His press conference was basically a 40-minute ad for Skoal tobacco.

He remains a proper football man.

However, he probably wishes for another swing of the bat on this question:

I'm unaware of the NFL paying Nick Saban or Urban Meyer a dime, but Vrabel's overall point stands. The NFL doesn't want him saying that part out loud, though. People might start to ask why the richest sports league in the world skates without a minor league system.

After all, amateurism in baseball is nowhere near as controversial or corrupted as it is in football. Taking a route like that would solve 90% of the disagreement around the issue.

 PAY IT FORWARD. Corey Linsley signed a $25.5 million contract earlier this month. If that were me, I would take a hammer to my knee, go on the PUP list, and never be heard from again.

But Linsley and his wife Anna are using their platform to advocated for children affected by abuse or neglect.

With Linsley, Pat Elflein, and Billy Price... Ohio State will have a stable of center talent in the NFL for the forseable future.

 EDDIE GEORGE: STILL BALLIN'. It's 2018, and yes, Eddie George is still better at life than the rest of us. I would resent him for it; he's just so damn gracious and smooth.

Plus, he dumped Notre Dame's sorry ass. 


“What are you doing that your competition isn’t doing? How are you going to make yourself different than the other artists out there?” George asked.

A few of the students performed monologues for George. Faith Bean, a student from Lakeview Junior High School, performed a passage from “MacBeth.”

“I was nervous and excited and a bunch of different emotions that I just bottled up,” she said. “But then I ended up being cool and calm.”

Cool and calm... such is the aura of one of Ohio State's most iconic legends.

 THOSE WMDs. Infant Social Security numbers for sale on the dark web... No passport or ticket: How a woman evaded security and flew to London... The sushi boom is fueling the tapeworm epidemic... Video: Dog and man have special bond... Why do we write?

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