Skull Session: Ohio State Roster Breakdown, Drue Chrisman Big Ten Player of the Week Snub, and Not Time to Panic Yet

By Kevin Harrish on November 13, 2018 at 4:59 am
Touchdown Terry.

Stan Lee has passed away, which is a sad reminder of our mortality. Happy Tuesday!


Word of the Day: Knavery.

 STATE OF THE PROGRAM. I can't remember an Ohio State season that's led to such deep analysis of the future of Buckeye football, and that's especially hilarious considering Ohio State is just two wins away from playing for a second Big Ten title in two years after replacing a ton of talent, including a starting quarterback.

Nonetheless, Doug Lesmerises of performed one of those analyses, and did a pretty stellar job looking at how the roster shakes up, where the talent lies, and how the older, veteran players have been as he says, "good but not great."

From Doug Lesmerises of

Three of the seniors are on the offensive line - guards Malcolm Pridgeon and Demetrius Knox and right tackle Isaiah Prince. No offense to them, but the Buckeyes could, and should, be better at all three of those positions next year.

The other three are receivers - Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin. They are great teammates, and no position group provides more leadership on the team. But none of them are Michael Thomas or Devin Smith or Curtis Samuel.


There are maybe five or six juniors who could think about leaving for the NFL, but only one, defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones, would leave a hole that would be difficult to fill. Another, Michael Jordan, is an excellent guard who has bene forced to play out of position at center all season. But I don’t think Mike Weber or Jordan Fuller or Kendall Sheffield or Damon Arnette are irreplaceable.


Quarterback Dwayne Haskins is the only one of the redshirt sophomores who are likely to leave. Most of the other starters are true sophomores who haven’t played at the level I anticipated - J.K. Dobbins, Jeffrey Okudah, Baron Browning, Chase Young. They are good players, but they have not done what the 2013 Ohio State class of Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Darron Lee, Vonn Bell and Eli Apple did in their second seasons in 2014. That was the comparison I made before the season, and expecting a lot from these sophomores is what led me to predict the Buckeyes to make the playoff.

For the most part, this is a great analysis of where the talent lies on the roster, but biggest beef is that Doug completely leaves coaching out of the equation when I think it should be the first thing considered.

Y'all know I'm not one to shy away from criticizing players, but I think ultimately the buck stops with the guys in charge, especially when you're arguing that entire classes have underperformed.

For example, is it really realistic to think that every one of the five-star prospects in 2017 class failed to live up to lofty expectations on their own? All of them? They're all not quite as good as expected just because the luck of the draw?

And the offensive linemen he mentioned have indeed struggled, but doesn't it reflect poorly on the coaching staff that they're the ones at the top of the depth chart right now? Either it's a failure in development or talent evaluation, or they aren't putting those players in a position to succeed, because I have a hard time believing the entire unit is filled with bad players.

I'm not saying individual players don't deserve criticism, just that if you're going to criticize the team for not living up to expectations across the board, you have to at least mention the coaches.

 STOP PANICKING. Like I just mentioned, when you take a step back, the overall fan reaction to this team is actually hilarious.

The Bucks are one win away from a 10-win season, two wins away from a Big Ten East title, and three wins away from a Big Ten championship and likely a spot in the College Football Playoff, and they control their own destiny for all of them.

Before the season started, what fan in their right mind wouldn't take that? Hell, what fan wouldn't have taken that last season?

Maybe this team isn't going to make a national title run, but it's probably not fair to treat it like it's the worst Ohio State team in decades.

 UNDESEREVED JUSTUS. Drue Chrisman downed five consecutive punts inside the six-yard line on Saturday and at one point Michigan State just voluntarily gave the Buckeyes two points and the ball because they were pinned too deep in their own territory.

I honestly didn't even know what it looked like for a punter dominate a game and carry his team, because I'd never really seen that before, but that was exactly what Chrisman did on Saturday.

Yet somehow, he wasn't the Big Ten's special teams player of the week. Indiana's kicker, who's last name is ironically "Justus," got the honor for kicking a 42-yard game winning field goal.

To be fair, Chrisman did also have literally the worst punt in Ohio State history right before his dominance began. I'm sure that probably played a role, and he seems pretty understanding about it.

Of all the conferences to turn their backs on punters, it was the Big Ten. Can you really trust anyone anymore?

 FLIP FLOPPING KATZ. I was pretty critical of Andy Katz's preseason Big Ten rankings, which had the Buckeyes 12th.

I thought it was absolutely reckless to doubt Chris Holtmann like that, and it took Katz just two games to come to the realization that Ohio State might actually not be terrible at basketball this year.

The Buckeyes weren't ranked in this week's AP Poll, but they did get votes. When they dump Creighton and almost Ohio State head coach Greg McDermott on the road later in the week, I'm sure that will push them over the edge.

 WHEN MOMMA CALLS... Jeff Brohm could be taking his undefeated record against Urban Meyer.

The guy was born in Louisville, went to high school in Louisville, attended the University of Louisville and spent the first five years of his college coaching career coaching Louisville.

Now, he's got a chance to be the head coach at Louisville. And you know what they say about momma calling...

Maybe I'm reading way too far between the lines, but to me, that quote sounds like a dude who has his bags packed and ready to go.

Can't say it's always been fun, Jeff, but you have my respect. Good luck with the Fighting Papa Johns'.

 LINK LOCKER. Boats with skeletonized bodies wash ashore in Japan... El Chapo is on trial, so business for his cartel is booming... Experts re-examine unsolved Canadian airliner bombing... A major beer battle is brewing and it could mean the end of PBR...

Would a beaver make a good pet?

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