Skull Session: QB Competition Stresses Stanley Jackson and Kirk Herbstreit, Elyria Supports Tracy Sprinkle, and Jeremy Pruitt Rips Team and Fans

By D.J. Byrnes on April 23, 2018 at 4:59 am
The Best Damn Band in the Land serenades the April 23 2018 Skull Session

Blue Jackets better get back in the win column tonight in Columbus against the Capitals. 


Word of the Day: Mondegreen.

 IT GETS WORSE. It's another day awaiting official word from Urban Meyer on who will start at quarterback against Oregon State. We may not know until the fall, as wars will be waged in comment sections across Buckeye blogs.

Some opinions, however, hold more weight than others—like those of former quarterbacks who weathered similar battles. Enter Stanley Jackson.

From Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch:

“It’s very tough, it’s nerve-wracking,” said Jackson, an analyst locally for WXZX radio and for the Big Ten Network. “There’s a lot of pressure because everything you do is being highly scrutinized.

“The reality is, those guys don’t realize that once you’re named starting quarterback it gets worse. But it is a difficult position to be in, especially when the other guy can play, and you want to be honest about yourself and your position.”

"Once you're named starting quarterback it gets worse," is a helluva sentence to read on a Monday morning. And the words ring true upon reflection of the 2015 season. The debates got worse as the stakes rose.

Kirk Herbstreit notes the game has changed in the era of transfers.

“The first sign of, ‘We’re going to go with this guy instead of you,’ in the old days guys just dug in a little harder,” Herbstreit said. “It didn’t cross your mind to transfer. ... But the last 10 years, this position, and the way recruiting services have changed the game with the notoriety, these guys look at it like college is a pit stop to the NFL. ‘If I’m not gonna start, I’m going somewhere where I can start.’

Well, it's not like any coach in need of a quarterback would turn down Joe Burrow or Dwayne Haskins if they sought to transfer there. There is more at work here than feckless youth and the convenient recruiting services bogeyman.

Herbstreit admits no inside knowledge but suspects Meyer is trying to prolong the race as long as possible in hopes of keeping both men in the fold. If that's the case, he may need to have a chat with Jackson about the perils of a quarterback looking over his shoulder. 

 ELYRIA SUPPORTS TRACY SPRINKLE. The NFL Draft starts Thursday, which means I need to get my living will in order in the event the Cleveland Browns draft Wyoming's Josh Allen No. 1 overall. 

Tracy Sprinkle isn't in discussion to go No. 1 overall, though that won't stop his hometown of Elyria from supporting him.


“The support in Elyria, Ohio, has always been there for me,” Sprinkle said. “I’ve been raised here and my whole life I’ve been playing football here. To see these guys come out and support me has been great.”

Where Sprinkle winds up playing professionally is anyone’s guess, but there’s a chance he could land with his hometown team. The Browns have nine selections — more than most teams — and Sprinkle said they were one of two teams he worked out for, the second being the Houston Texans.

He’s said earlier that representatives from the Eagles, Colts and Broncos had been in contact with him. Everything will come into focus after the draft, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday.

The effect Sprinkle could have on youth by making the NFL isn't to be understated, either. Former Penn State and Miami Dolphins wide receiver and Marionaire O.J. McDuffie once signed a card for me at Wal-Mart in the City of Kings. I spent the next two weeks thinking I was going to the NFL.

There are kids in Elyria more talented than me. If Sprinkle can make it, so can others.

 TENNESSEE COACH NOT IMPRESSED. A clown cabal of Knoxville media unilaterally decided Greg Schiano was not good enough to coach Tennessee. Their beloved Volunteers ultimately decided on a less experienced and possibly more surly version of Schiano in former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

Let's see how the spring game went for Rocky Top's new chief.


"I don't know how many fans we had. What was it? Anybody know the number?" Pruitt asked.

When told it was 65,000, he said, "To me, it's kind of like our football team for the fans. The ones who were here, I'm proud they were here. They're fired up. They're ready to get going. Then there were some people who weren't here that had legitimate reasons. They couldn't be here. And then there were some people that (weren't) here ... why (weren't) they here?

"It's kind of like our football team. I think we all need to look in the mirror and see who we want to be."

Pruitt didn't have anything to do with Tennessee slipping into mediocrity. Still, the Vols haven't won 10 games in over a decade, and it's not like he's Nick Saban or Urban Meyer yet.

Coaches can only get away with trash fans if they win (see: Nick Saban ripping Alabama fans for leaving early). Otherwise things can get dicy quick.

 OK, THAT'S IMPRESSIVE. It seems Mount Union knows a thing or two about championships...

They also may have the coolest nickname in sports with "The Purple Raiders."

 SANDLOT REMIXED. The softball team remixed The Sandlot in honor of the film's 25th anniversary, with a cameo from the football team:

Then they walked it off against Michigan State, 6-5:

 THOSE WMDs. The rise of Kerrygold Irish Butter... 30 of the most majestic libraries in the world... The humble potato is exulted in the mountains of Peru... The delay... Night moves.

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