Skull Session: Bucks Host Nitts, Chris Holtmann Receives Alma Mater Support, and Replacing Jamarco Jones

By D.J. Byrnes on January 25, 2018 at 4:59 am
Damon Arnette tackles the January 25th 2018 Skull Session

Mike Vrabel switched from good to bad yesterday when he poached Kerry Coombs from Ohio State. How am I supposed to cheer for the Tennessee Titans? Not even Titans fans cheer for the Titans.

Purportedly, there's no love lost between Vrabel and Urban Meyer, two fiery guys set in their ways. I don't think Vrabel is vindictive enough for spite to motivate him, but I do think it would be an added bonus.

If I had to pick, though, I'd rather lose Coombs. It makes me feel dirty, regardless. Sophie's choice isn't part of a well-balanced breakfast.


Word of the Day: Dilettante.

 NITTS BACK FOR ANOTHER WHOOPING. The Nittany Lion basketball team is in Columbus tonight, which is less intimidating than the football team, which isn't even that intimidating, being in town. The tilt tips off at 8 p.m. on BTN.

The Buckeyes want to maintain their perfect conference record while on track for a showdown against Purdue in West Lafayette on Feb. 7th.

From James Grega of Eleven Warriors:

Ohio State is undefeated in Big Ten play and 18-4 overall, already having surpassed last year's win total in both win-loss columns. Following the Buckeyes' most recent win, Holtmann said he wanted to make sure he appreciated the run his team was on, acknowledging that a 9-0 start to league play is not something that happens often. 

"I don't want to take this for granted," Holtmann said following a hard-fought 64-59 win over Nebraska. "I've never been a part of anything like this, and I don't know that I ever will again. You don't just start 9-0 in conference play, and I don't want to take that for granted. It's been an amazing run, and hopefully we continue it."

In order to continue it, Holtmann said striking a balance between appreciation and preparation will be critical moving forward. 

Holtmann is taking a different route than me. I'd be in there after every game like, "9-0 really ain't shit. Can I cut a net down over a 9-0 record? What do I look like, Tom Crean? Then what are we even talking about here?"

This is also probably why Chris Holtmann will be a Big Ten Coach of the Year and I would've been fragged by my own men in jungles of Vietnam.

 REPLACING A ROCK. I know I'm reaching the end of my blogging career because I'm witnessing entire Ohio State careers. Wasn't it like, two weeks ago, we freaked out because Jamarco Jones took a pre-Signing Day trip to East Lansing? 

Now we're freaking out about how to replace him. Thankfully, there are plenty of big boys to throw at the void.


Left tackle
Starter: Isaiah Prince, senior, 6-foot-7, 310 pounds
Backup: Joshua Alabi, redshirt junior, 6-foot-5, 300 pounds

Breakdown: There are a lot of options at left tackle. Starting left guard Michael Jordan could slide here. Branden Bowen, a natural tackle who won a starting guard job last season, could be the man. But we're going with Prince, the starting right tackle the last two seasons, to slide to the other side.

Prince is a future draft pick, and he could have declared for the NFL now if he wanted to. After trial by fire as a sophomore starter, he made a big jump and played well as a junior. He has the size and experience to be the guy, and like Taylor Decker once did, sliding from right tackle starter to left tackle starter would be a natural move.

Alabi backed up Jamarco Jones at left tackle last year and makes sense as the veteran second-teamer.

I'm all aboard the Isaiah Prince at left tackle bandwagon. If he takes a similar leap as he did last offseason (or even half of that), he'll be fine. 

It'd also make a helluva story. You can almost hear the soft music of an ESPN draft day promo as Tom Rinaldi narrates Prince's path of redemption from a freshman nightmare in Happy Valley.

I think Bowen will be the right tackle.

 TAYLOR TROJANS SUPPORT BUCKEYES. Taylor University is a Christian liberal arts school in Upland, Indiana (population: 3,845). Famous alumni include Rollin L. Ford(???), Jackie Walorski(!?!) and Chris Holtmann.

Tonight, nearly 500 Trojans will make the three hour hajj to Columbus to support the Buckeye coach.


When one of Chris Holtmann’s collegiate classmates wanted to put together a night of appreciation for the Ohio State coach, he set a modest goal. With a rented bus, Mike Falder, the executive director of development for Taylor University, hoped to bring 100 fans to see the Buckeyes host Penn State this Thursday night.

Then he had to change the goal. And again. And now, Falder and 429 other Trojans representatives will be scattered throughout Value City Arena to see one of their own coaching the No. 13 Division-I team in the nation past the midpoint of the Big Ten season.

It’s the biggest off-campus alumni event in Taylor history.

“When we started this we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could have 100 people show up? Let’s work towards that end,’ ” Falder told The Dispatch. “It just exploded.”

If the Buckeyes win tonight, we're spending spring break in Upland, folks. Please familiarize yourself with its TripAdvisor page before we leave in two months.

 GIL BRANDT SMOKES GOV'T WEED. Last week, I about fell out of my chair when I read Lane Kiffin hired a 24-year-old offensive coordinator. I'm glad I didn't concuss myself, however, because football is a breeding ground of nepotism and that 24-year-old turned out to be Charlie Weis Jr.

According to one former Cowboys vice president who definitely isn't stoned off his ass, Weis Jr. is the next Bill Belichick.


Listen to Gil Brandt, legendary NFL personnel man, tell the story of when he first knew, in 2011, that Weis Jr. was different from any young coach he had ever seen:

"I'm sitting down with Charlie Weis, his dad, and Charlie Jr. at Florida when Charlie was the offensive coordinator for the Gators," Brandt says. "I had talked at length with his son, who was in his first year of school there. He was 18. All he ever wanted to be in life is a football coach. An unbelievably meticulous, organized, bright football mind."

Brandt stops here for emphasis, because the enormity of what he's going to say doesn't roll off the tongue without hesitation.

"So Charlie Jr. leaves, and Charlie asked me, 'So what do you think of him?'" Brandt continues. "I told him, 'I've met two people in my life where I knew, without a doubt, he would be a successful coach. One was Bill Belichick.' Then Charlie asks me, 'Who was the other?' I said, 'He just got up and walked away.'"

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Weis Jr. will go on to be one of the most prolific coaches of all time. Maybe the schematic advantage of growing up under an offensive guru like his father will set him above his peers.

I still can't wait to hate on him every step of the way because my fragile psyche can't tolerate anybody younger than me being more successful. 

 HEEEEERM. We can't say for certain Herm Edwards was a disaster of a hire until we see the shitshow he produces next fall. However, we can be 99% certain it will be a shitshow:

Somehow that quote gets even more insane the more I read it. Look away, Sun Devil fans, look away. This is about to hurt.

 THOSE WMDs. First monkey clones created in Chinese laboratory... Why men can't stop injuring themselves working out... Land-Grant Brewing's ties to Ohio State a major part of its brand, identity... The lost Nabokov novel that was almost burned... HQ battles killing Subway.

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