Skull Session: Urban Meyer Loves Winning Above All, Jim Tressel is Proud of His Heir, and Ohio State Dishes Out Money For Assistants

By Kevin Harrish on December 6, 2018 at 4:59 am
Mike Weber runs away from em in today's skull session.

Folks, we have ourselves a mini Buckeye sports hiatus as the football boys don't play until Jan. 1 and the Basketbucks are off for nearly a week.

Get some rest, everyone. You've earned it.


Word of the Day: Supercilious.

 WINNING IS URBAN MEYER'S FAVORITE. The guy who won 90 percent of his games, 92 percent of his conference games, 75 percent of his games against top-five opponents, and literally every game against his team's arch rival is delighted to report that the thing he will miss most about coaching is winning.

From Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports:

For all the Packers fans tweeting about Meyer going there, don’t bother. He said he could never work in the NFL, as his extreme tendencies wouldn’t mesh with a job where losing four times a season is celebrated as a success. Meyer went 54-4 in Big Ten play during his seven seasons at Ohio State.

“I could never work at a place … I see some of these guys’ records because the NFL is so even,” he said. “Some of these guys, their record is 74-58. I could never do that.”

That’s because there’s been one singular Meyer motivator. When asked what he’ll miss most aside from his players, Meyer answered without hesitation: “Winning.” His tone hinted at the question being insulting. “I could say the preparation. Yeah! Sitting in there 12 hours a day and trying to figure out a way to gain four yards,” he said. “Yeah, sure. I could say traveling all over the country and eating chicken sandwiches recruiting. Sure! That’s part of the process. For what? The ultimate prize for all that work is winning.”

What a badass response to that question. Not "the competition," not "the daily grind," no – he'll just miss winning.

I also get the impression that as much as he loved winning, he hated losing infinitely, infinitely more, to the point that he admitted an overtime loss to Maryland would have ruined his and his families lives for the next seven (!!!) months.

Great news, Urban. It's impossible to lose to Maryland when you're just drinking one (1) alcohol and watching the game on the tube television you still have in your basement. Enjoy retirement, buddy. If you ever feel like you need work to keep you busy, I'm sure we could hook you up with an internship here.

 BIG MONEY ASSISTANTS. We have no idea what this staff will look like in a month, but as of now, Ohio State is spending more money than anyone else in the country on its assistant coaching salaries – and that's even after a $400,000 drop from Zach Smith to Brian Hartline.

USA Today released its assistant coach salary database for 2018 and Greg Schiano, Ryan Day and Alex Grinch each cracked the top-15 highest paid coaches. Ohio State's assistants – particularly Schiano – also took home a hefty sum of cash in end-of-the-season bonuses.

From Steve Berkowitz of USA Today:

Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano is in line for $446,250 in bonuses this season, and Ohio State offensive coordinator Ryan Day, Alabama coordinators Mike Locksley and Tosh Lupoi are all set for amounts of at least $198,000, according to the terms of their contracts. On Tuesday, Locksley was named Maryland's head coach.

As a group, Ohio State’s 10 on-field assistant coaches and strength coach Mickey Marotti are due nearly $2.3 million in bonuses. Alabama’s group is currently due more than $1.2 million, but that total could grow by another $270,000 if the Crimson Tide wins the College Football Playoff championship.


Schiano’s bonus haul is greater than the total annual compensation this season for any assistant coach at a Group of Five public school except Cincinnati offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock, who is making $460,000.

Had Ohio State advanced to the CFP semifinals, Schiano’s bowl amount would have been 21.25% of his total compensation and had the Buckeyes made the national title game, it would have been 25.5%.

Day’s bonus also is based on total annual compensation, which is $1 million, so he’s set for $297,500. The bonuses for Ohio State’s other assistants and Marotti are based on their base salaries, and those range up to $800,000 for Alex Grinch and Kevin Wilson.

Those numbers are getting in the range of becoming too big for my brain to even comprehend, but it seems like a flaw in this system if a dude gets nearly half a million dollars in bonus money after arguably the worst performance of his career as a coordinator.

Maybe work out a plan to adjust his compensation based on the number of games and injuries it took for him to find a starting safety? I don't know, I'm just a dude with a laptop spitballing here.

I am fascinated to see what happens to this staff in the future. With Day making $3 million less than Urban Meyer, that's hypothetically $3 million more to spend on assistants. And with a few assistants presumably moving elsewhere, that could open up some more cash.

 URBAN MADE THE VEST PROUD. In the midst of Jim Tressel's 10-year reign as Archduke of Ann Arbor, it seemed impossible that someone would ever match his level of dominance over that school to the north.

But Urban Meyer didn't just match it, he topped it, beating Michigan every. single. time.

And that – along with all the rest of the dominance – made Jim Tressel mighty, mighty proud.

From  Chase Evans of of

"This was a very difficult year and when you take all the various things in consideration with his health situation and so forth... it's just a hard job to be the head coach at Ohio State," Tressel said.

Although he has not yet talked with Meyer, Tressel said he hopes to have that chance someday. He said being the head coach at OSU puts you in a select family.

"I haven't had a chance to tell him what a great job he did. He took it to the next level. So proud of what he did, especially in those games against the Wolverines. Hopefully, he and Shelley will enjoy some time. He's earned it, he deserves it and I'm sure the next chapter of his life will be an exciting one. I can tell you from personal experience, life goes on and you can go on and do some great things," he said.

"Elite company" is right. Even after George H.W. Bush's death last week, there are still more living United States presidents than there are living non-interim Ohio State football coaches.

Tressel and John Cooper are the only people on this planet who can relate to Meyer in that sense, so it's great to see the Vest throwing some love Urban's way. Those two especially have a lot in common – they owned Michigan.

Meyer and Tressel went a combined 16-1 against Michigan – borderline unrealistic. Every other Ohio State coach is a combined 35-58-5 against that team. Those two dudes single-handedly brought the Buckeyes within striking distance of the all-time series lead.

Ryan Day, you've got next.

 URBAN MEYER, TEACHER'S ASSISTANT. Imagine walking into a classroom as a college student and learning Mike Leach is your professor and Urban Meyer is your TA.

That's essentially what Leach – who Meyer joined all of us in calling his "absolute hero” – is proposing.

Folks, if that's actually a class, you can bet your ass I'm writing off "Washington State University Tuition" as a business expense on my taxes to bring y'all the most premium of content because there's absolutely no way I'm missing that.

I've already gotten an A in one class taught by Urban Meyer, let's go for the double kill.

The title of the course Leach proposed last week was “Leadership Lessons in Insurgent Warfare & Football Strategy.”

Yeah, sign me the hell up.

 BACON VENDING MACHINE. Kids these days are spoiled.

Back in my day, when I was hungry, I had to turn Cheez-Its, Reese's Cups and a Powerade into a three-course meal to hold me over until my evening Wendy's.

Now there's a literal bacon vending machine on campus.

Honestly, it's every bit as cool as it sounds.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

At the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences there is now a vending machine filled with bacon.

Yes, you read that right: bacon. It’s cooked and shelf stable, and probably delicious because it’s, well, bacon. Or maybe it’s BACON.

The Ohio Pork Council, a trade group for the state’s pork producers, is sponsoring the vending wonder and received bacon donations from the biggest names in pork belly: Smithfield, Hormel and Sugardale. There are strips and bacon bits (each $1) in the machine, which will be stocked by students in Ohio State’s meat science program, which will receive the proceeds of the vending machine sales.

Peep the Twitter account tomorrow. I might have to make the pilgrimage to acquire the delectable vending machine bacon. I can't just let this exist without trying it. I wouldn't be doing my job.

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