Skull Session: Nick Bosa For Heisman, TCU's Blueprint to Keep Things Close, and TCU's Gold Pants Link

By Kevin Harrish on September 14, 2018 at 4:59 am
Demario McCall GOATs his way into today's Skull Session.

© Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports


We're one game into week two and the state of Ohio is undefeated in the NFL, and one of the teams even has a win – two even!

What a time.


Word of the Day: Agelast.

 BOSA FOR HEISMAN. Nick Bosa is probably the best overall player in college football, but he has virtually no chance at the annual award given to the best player in college football. And that's extremely dumb.

From Bill Bender of

It doesn't take a campaign to see Bosa is the best player in the country right now. He has nine tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks and two fumble recoveries, one of which resulted in a touchdown. He's also a star player for No. 4 Ohio State, a team that will be in the primetime spotlight against No. 15 TCU at AT&T Stadium on Saturday. That will give Bosa a chance to flash, and perhaps a dominant performance would start a movement that would spread into the national consciousness.


Four defensive ends have been taken No. 1 in the NFL Draft since 2000. Eight quarterbacks and six defensive ends have been taken with top-five picks in the NFL Draft the last five years. The gap is not significant between the two positions, perhaps because of the rise of the spread offense in college and the acceptance of more college principles in the NFL. The Heisman Trophy isn't an NFL award, but if Bosa is the best among defensive players, then shouldn't that carry just as much weight?  

But Bosa isn't all that concerned about it. He knows that he has no real chance to take home that hardware at the end fo the year, and he isn't worried about padding stats in hopes of a December invite to the ceremony.

He just wants his team to win.

"Right off the bat with all the hype that people are making about me, I think I'll get double teams and chips and stuff like that," Bosa said. "Once Chase (Young) is coming off the edge and Dre'Mont is rushing from the other side in three-(technique) if they slide to me it will just be a sack on the other side. I'm not dying to get big numbers. I want to make plays and help my team in that way. I feel like, definitely, I'll be a big part of it. I want to see my other guys ball just as much."

So far, Bosa has managed to do that and put up numbers. He's one of the few players in the trenches it's impossible not to watch, much like older brother Joey, who was the difference-maker on defense for the 2014 national championship team and the No. 3 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. It's similar in some ways to 1996, when Ohio State tackle Orlando Pace finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

*Whispers* Orlando Pace should have won it in 1996, too.

 CENTER U, DB U. According to current NFL rosters, the Buckeyes are the defensive back and and center kings.

Not many of these shock me, but I don't think I would have pegged TCU as OTU. I guess we'll see when they face the rushmen on Saturday.

 TCU'S BLUEPRINT, FROM A BUCKEYE. The prevailing belief both in Columbus and around the nation seems to be that Saturday's showdown will be a lopsided win for the local team.

Vegas seems to lean that way too, listing Ohio State as two-touchdown favorites over Purple Baylor, but former Buckeye linebacker Bobby Carpenter isn't quite sold, and sees a blueprint for TCU to keep it close, or even win.

From Mac Engel of

“I do think the game can be good because TCU has players. They have athletes. I know they lost a lot from last year, but they do have fast, twitchy guys,” Carpenter said. “This Ohio State team is very talented, and very young. They have never done this. And there is always a chance you can lose.

“The problem is (Ohio State) is just so big. TCU needs to look at what Oregon State did and try to make plays down the field.”

In the season opener on Sept. 1, Oregon State scored 31 points. In Columbus.

(Please overlook the fact Oregon State gave up 77)

“TCU can’t expect to to be able to drive it a long time against Ohio State because their defensive line is so good,” Carpenter said. “Gary Patterson is one of the best around, and Ohio State has a young center and a young quarterback. If you can confuse them, get them in third-and-long and let their pass rushers take advantage of that, it can be a game.”

For the record, Carpenter still believes the Buckeyes should be favored, but by more like nine points instead of the current 13.5.

I think Gary Patterson is going to sell out to stop the run and throw lots of blitzes at a young Dwayne Haskins and make the Buckeyes beat them through the air. I even think that's the right move, and it's exactly what I would do.

But I'm not really convinced it will work.

 THANKS FOR THE GOLD PANTS, TCU. Ohio State once poached a legendary TCU head coach, and when he got to Columbus, he gave us those golden trinkets we now love to know.

After losing to Michigan in 1933, the Buckeyes fired Sam Willaman and looked for a replacement. Though he didn't make the original shortlist, Ohio State ultimately hired offensive guru Francis Schmidt, and he brought with him a new tradition.

From Doug Lesmerises of

In Ohio, Schmidt made it clear he knew exactly what was expected of him. In his Texas twang, he explained his approach to his new rival with a phrase heretofore known only in the Southwest. Legend has it that Schmidt unveiled the phrase to the world, and in the process put his stamp on the rivalry.

"Hell, they put their pants on one leg at a time, the same as we do," Schmidt said of the Wolverines, as quoted by The Plain Dealer and others. Seizing the theme, Ohio State adopted the tradition of awarding Gold Pants trinkets to the Buckeyes who defeat the Wolverines on the field of play. 

In another nod to the modern day, the PD editorial page wondered why everyone made such a fuss over one game, and made light of Schmidt's words.

"Schmidt, or someone, should impress upon Ohio alumni the folly in attaching so much importance to a single game," the editorial read. "As strong as Michigan has been over the years, it is folly to believe and hope that an Ohio team year after year can meet its greatest rival on even terms.

"Schmidt says something about Michigan players putting their pants on one leg at a time. His problem will be that of keeping the shirts on overzealous Ohio alumni."

Man, have times changed.

I literally cannot imagine fearing the blue north like it's home to the Night King and his army of white walkers. And Schmidt is probably a key reason why.

So thanks, TCU.

 BRINGING THE CANES TO TOLEDO. If you're looking at this week's docket of games and see "Miami at Toledo," rest assured, that is not a misprint. Toledo actually convinced Miami to play a home-and-home series.

From Dave Briggs of the Toledo Blade:

O’Brien said he put out a home-and-home feeler to Miami in 2009, same as he does all the time with marquee programs, Ahab in pursuit of his whale. “There are some schools that just aren't going to come to Toledo because of the financial loss of a home game in a large stadium,” O’Brien said. Miami appeared one of them, and, as expected, the answer was no.


“I would call to let them know we were still around,” he said. “Then in 2010, they called and said, ‘OK, let’s talk about that home and home.’”

Miami was interested. As it happens, the series was slightly less pie-in-the-sky crazy than it seemed, a closer look showing that Miami’s financial model more closely resembled that of a mid-tier power program than its name suggested. Our trip there for the Rockets’ game last year confirmed as much, the scene at Hard Rock Stadium a familiar one: half-empty stands, tickets starting at $6, the rest of the city at the beach. Miami also scheduled recent eye-opening home-and-homes against Group of Five programs Appalachian State and Arkansas State.

The door was cracked open.

“We connected on dates and they faxed the contract,” O’Brien said. “I think I may have signed it before it got off the fax.”

This would have been infinitely more insane had Miami beaten LSU and headed to The Glass City as a an undefeated, top-10 team, but the fighting Joe Burrows of LSU spoiled that.

Also, it's kind of hilarious that Toledo kept a home-and-home series with Miami but Ohio State's matchup with TCU is now a one-off, neutral site game. Makes you think.

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