Skull Session: Hypothetical College Football Trades, Best Buckeye Freshmen Seasons, and Winning Boosts Self-Esteem

By Kevin Harrish on February 21, 2019 at 4:59 am
Ryan Day is happy to have J.K. Dobbins in today's Skull Session.

If today gets dull, I implore you to spice it up with an Elmo voice. It does wonders. It even got me to listen to someone talk about baseball for 10 minutes in February.


Word of the Day: Absquatulate.

 TRADING BLOCK. Unless the rules change drastically, trades aren't allowed in college football. But allowing them to hypothetically exist leads to some great offseason content.

If Ohio State were able and willing to make some trades to bolster the roster, they'd probably look to trade some surplus talent at one position to add some much-needed offensive line help, so this proposed trade from Edward Aschoff of ESPN makes sense.

6. Ohio State sophomore DE Tyreke Smith for Georgia sophomore OL Cade Mays

Georgia needs a pass-rusher, and Ohio State needs a monster offensive lineman. Both schools have plenty of depth where the other needs help. These guys have a ton of potential and would be immediate impacts for their new teams in 2019. Smith played sparingly last season, but people around the program think he's a budding star on the outside. Mays can play multiple positions up front, and the former ESPN 300 member started seven games in 2018 and played on 75 percent of Georgia's offensive plays in SEC play.

To be honest, this makes me feel weird and I don't like it, even though it probably would help both teams. I think the really basic reason is that I don't want to give up Tyreke Smith, because I'd be completely fine just adding Cade Mays by a transfer with no trade involved.

The larger reason is that the ability to trade players away just feels horribly wrong. It works in professional leagues because they're paid and selected by draft in the first place, but college athletes pick their school, attend classes in a specific major, have friends, presumably like their school and most importantly aren't compensated. You can't just tell them to pack their stuff.

But it's hypothetical and not meant to be considered anywhere near this deeply, so I'll allow the game to be played.

One Georgia site, Dawg Nation, had a response to this that I found absolutely hilarious:

If there were a pass-rusher that Georgia might consider giving up Mays or other pieces for, it should actually be Ohio State defensive end Chase Young. Last season, Young racked up 9.5 sacks for the Buckeyes, and emerged as one of the nation’s toughest pass rushers. Georgia would probably have to give up a little bit more than just Mays to land the rising junior, but Young would actually be worth giving up a piece as valuable as Mays.

"Thanks, but we'd prefer to have their best defensive player and potential All-American who's likely a future first-round pick."

But don't worry, they'd be prepared to give up "a little bit more than just Mays" for him!

 BEST OF THE FRESHMEN. We're all stoked to see the shiny new freshmen like Garrett Wilson and Zach Harrison suit up this season, and reasonably so. Those two in particular are some of the most impressive football players I've seen coming out of high school.

But the reality is, very few players typically make much of an impact in their first year and if these guys did, they'd be in pretty rare company.

My good pal Marcus Hartman of the Dayton Daily News took a stab at ranking Ohio State's top-10 freshman performances since 1990, and I think it's a pretty solid list backed up with reasonable rationale.

From the Dayton Daily News:

  1. Maurice Clarett
  2. Andy Katzenmoyer
  3. Ted Ginn Jr.
  4. Terrelle Pryor
  5. Orlando Pace
  6. Braxton Miller
  7. J.K. Dobbins
  8. Joey Bosa
  9. David Boston
  10. Cameron Heyward

My one qualm might be Braxton Miller's ranking. Maybe he wasn't an elite passer (that's probably being too nice, he was basically a glorified running back) but I'd be terrified to see Ohio State's record if Joe Bauserman quarterbacked that entire season. He put that entire team on his back.

But regardless, those are all some big names and if Wilson, Harrison or anyone else in this year's class have a season worthy of cracking that top-10, that's probably good news for their future.

 WINNING IS GOOD FOR YOU. Next time someone complains you spend too much time watching Buckeye football, you're now free to tell them that you're actually just spending some time improving your self-image.

My old professor Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, who in full disclosure taught probably my least-favorite class in my entire college career, did some research on how big games affect mood and self-esteem.

She concluded that winning fans could see a self-esteem boost that lasts up to two days after the game while losing fans don't really see any loss in self-esteem. And in both cases, it helps to watch with friends and talk about it with a community afterwards.

From an Ohio State news release:

“Just feeling connected to others while watching the game helped sustain self-esteem,” said Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, co-author of the study and professor of communication at The Ohio State University.

“So for fans of the winning team, the social aspect of sharing the victory with each other led to a self-esteem boost. For fans of the losing team, sharing the pain may have protected them from losing self-esteem. Those who didn’t watch at all experienced a self-esteem drop – they felt completely left out,” she said

I was all aboard at first, because I would have asked out Gigi Hadid shortly after the Bucks dismembered Michigan in front of a national television audience, but then I read a little bit more about the methodology.

See, she did the study on the 2015 Michigan State game.

The big problems I have are the little bits that say "sharing the pain may have protected them from losing self-esteem," because that's really not how it worked that day. That game made me feel like I should walk directly into the Olentangy River and cuddle a cinder block. Talking about it with friends was far from cathartic.

I don't know who it was she studied, but I know it wasn't me and I'm confident it wasn't any of the folks who comment around these parts.

 SIBERT TO THE HAWKS. Jordan Sibert is getting his crack at the NBA, signing a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks.

His path follows a relatively rare trajectory of transferring from Ohio State and finding great success at his next stop, and honestly, good for him.

There aren't many players that transfer from the football or the basketball program that I sincerely and selfishly wish would have stuck around, but he's definitely one of them. The Buckeyes desperately needed a perimeter scorer that 2013-14 season, and he was it.

It sucks that he never finished his career in Columbus and it sucks even more that his team ended up eliminating Ohio State from the tournament that season, but it's still good to see him having success.

 HOW SHE GONE EAT? We got us some young entrepreneurs among the recently graduated Buckeye defensive linemen.

Tracy Sprinkle, Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes and Michael Hill have launched a clothing line based on their not-so-inside, long-running inside joke.

As a huge fan of small businesses and Buckeyes, I'm in. I'll be purchasing myself a shirt in the very near future.

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