I never thought I'd be this ready for a November basketball game between two unranked teams, but here I am.
The Basketbucks have Creighton on deck today in a battle between the coach Ohio State really wanted, and the coach they might have settled for if he said no.
I'm riding with Chris Holtmann today. Bucks by seven, at least.
- Dwayne Haskins heads back to his home state of Maryland this week.
- Chris Olave is starting to show why he's on the field so early in his career.
- Baron Browning is out again for the Buckeyes this week.
- Mid-week notebook.
- Maryland game poster.
Word of the Day: Inveterate.
ALMOST OSU HEAD COACH GREG MCDERMOTT? For a solid three days, I thought Greg McDermott was Ohio State's new men's basketball coach.
See, I was in France during the entire head coaching transition fiasco (also, Eric was in Mexico and DJ was in Canada. Tim, if you're reading this, I'm still so sorry). My news came in spurts, whenever I was able to get WiFi at a gas station or supermarket. So I heard Ohio State offered Greg McDermott, and then nothing else for about 72 hours.
I spent three days trying to make peace with Ohio State head coach Greg McDermott, but couldn't. So I was absolutely delighted to learn the Buckeyes actually hired Chris Holtmann instead.
And it turns out, they weren't as close to hiring him as it seemed – they were just waiting on the guy they actually wanted to change his mind.
From Bill Landis of The Athletic ($):
It also raises the question: Just how close was Ohio State to having McDermott, and not Holtmann, on its bench for this game?
To answer that, we first need to answer this: Did Smith ever actually offer McDermott the job?
“No, I did not,” Smith told The Athletic. “No one ever asked me that question. No, I didn’t.”
“He’s a good coach, a very good teacher, you see why they do so well,” Smith said of McDermott. “It’s not just him, it’s what they do around basketball there (at Creighton), because he talked a lot about that. It was a great conversation. I enjoyed it.”
But Smith maintains that he only ever offered the job to one person.
“I didn’t offer the job to anybody but Chris,” Smith said. “Chris was my target from the beginning.”
Needless to say, I'm pleased with how it all turned out. Regardless of how tonight goes, Holtmann is the better choice. But I'd be very happy to see Holtmann drop 100 on the Bluejays in Omaha tonight.
DWAYNE HASKINS COMING BACK? I've shared no fewer than 12 mock drafts in these Skull Sessions, but I'm sharing another one. This time though, it's more about who's absent from the list, not who's on it.
Dwayne Haskins did not Bleacher Report's Matt Miller's list of the top 32 overall players or top-10 quarterbacks in the 2019 class, and here was his rationale:
“Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins is not listed, as school sources do not believe he will enter the 2019 NFL draft.”
That is certainly some news.
Obviously, a lot can change between now and April, but if Dwayne Haskins is already planning to return to school, that certainly doesn't sound like a bad thing.
Oh, and Miller still has Nick Bosa listed as the No. 1 player in the draft, but that just seems like a given at this point.
JUST WIN, BABY. There's been a lot of talk about the Bucks missing out on the playoff even if they win out. I'm happy to report that according to FiveThirtyEight's 2018 College Football Predictions, that result would be statistically unlikely.
As it stands, Ohio State is given just a 30 percent chance to make the playoff, but if the Buckeyes win all their remaining games, that number jumps all the way up to 84 percent.
It's not all good news though, because the model also suggests that Ohio State needs just a little help. If Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Washington State and LSU all win out (which, to be fair, is a gigantic "if" – there's just a 1.2 percent chance of that happening), Ohio State's playoff chances are just 48 percent if the Buckeyes win out.
If Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma all win out (still unlikely, but a much more reasonable 9 percent chance), Ohio State has just a 57 percent chance to make the playoffs.
So the official course of action is to "just win, baby," while also rooting for some losses. A Notre Dame loss to Syracuse would give the Buckeyes a 93 percent chance to make the playoff if they win out.
Let's start there?
You can play around with all of these scenarios with FiveThirtyEight's remarkably user-friendly tool.
BIG BEAR BACK AT PRACTICE. Quarterbacks beware, the return of Joey Bosa is at hand.
Big news from the #Chargers: Coach Anthony Lynn says star pass-rusher Joey Bosa is going to practice today in a limited capacity. He may need some time to get in football shape. But very positive news.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 14, 2018
The world has been quite deprived of Bosa quarterback bludgeonings this season. I'll be glad to see Joey back on the field.
EMOTIONAL, BUT. This week, Ed Warinner fielded a question about his return to Ohio Stadium in a little under two weeks.
He didn't say much, but he said enough with how he said it.
Warinner says it will be emotional at OSU but...... pic.twitter.com/OB3y6iUAaU
— angelique (@chengelis) November 14, 2018
By the look on his face, "emotional" doesn't mean the pleasant kind. That's fine, we can handle that.
LINK LOCKER. Ohio couple's engagement shoot photobombed by Dave Chappelle... The radical confidence of Patrick Mahomes... "Super Earth" discovered in orbit around a nearby star... Impact crater 19 miles wide found beneath Greenland glacier...
Would a squirrel make a good pet?