Skull Session: ESPN's Playoff Predictor Snubs Ohio State, Von Miller Wants Dwayne Haskins, and the Golden Bear Talks Tiger

By Kevin Harrish on April 18, 2019 at 4:59 am
Ryan Day hits the Bosa shrug in today's Skull Session.

Overheard yesterday: “You know Molotov cocktails actually work? It’s not just a thing in movies?”

Someone, get your son.


Word of the Day: Desideratum. 

 LOL, OKAY. I'm generally not the one to feed the tinfoil hat "ESECPN hates Ohio State!" conspiracy theorists, but this is absolutely something that needs to be addressed.

According to ESPN's "Playoff Predictor," Ohio State has less than a 1 percent chance to win the College Football Playoff this season, behind teams like Michigan, Oregon and Florida.

Here's the disclaimer before you get all riled up: this is all based on a formula they've used for years that strongly values returning production, and it usually does pretty well. It's not something they pulled out of their asses this year to make Ohio State look bad, nor is it really any person's opinion.

That said, pumping this out on social channels with no analysis or explanation provided, as if it's an exact science everyone should just accept, is a lot like this:

But here's the thing: the actual football-knowers at ESPN know that. And their analytics expert, Seth Walder, agrees that Ohio State is probably too low:

... However, it's worth noting that FPI is awfully low on Ohio State -- maybe even too low -- because it isn't explicitly aware that the Buckeyes have added via transfer an elite quarterback prospect in Justin Fields (transfer QBs are noted in FPI only when they have significant starting experience).

On the other hand, a new head coach-QB tandem does increase variance for Ohio State, and when you're at the top, variance is a bad thing...

So save your energy, folks. There are plenty of things to get worked up about online, but this ain't really one of them.

 WE WANT DWAYNE. At a time when Dwayne Haskins seems to be slipping down the draft boards, one notable American footballer offers his ringing endorsement for the former Buckeye ball-thrower.

This is the most reasonable response for anyone picking in the 10-15 range.

"Y'all really don't want him? Alright, sweet."

 GOLDEN BEAR, TIGER STAN. A decade ago, it seemed only a matter of time before Tiger Woods passed Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors, but then Tiger got caught having a lot of sex, suffered a few injuries and didn't win a major for 11 years.

Chasing arguably the greatest golfer of all time is hard enough when you don't have a decade-long drought, but Tiger finally notched another one this weekend with his Master's win. He's now just three wins away from tying the record and even though he's 43, the Golden Bear isn't ready to say his record is safe.

From Joey Kaufman of The Columbus Dispatch:

“Absolutely,” Nicklaus said. “Majors are in play.”

After Woods’ win, Nicklaus sent him a text.

“It’s great to see Tiger be happy,” Nicklaus said. “He’s had a lot of unhappy times. Some he caused, I suppose. And some that just happened. I think he’s in a good place right now, and I think he’ll continue to work at it to be in a better place.”


“It’s great for golf,” Nicklaus said. “He raises the needle for all the guys out there. What do they say, a rising tide raises all ships. He’s certainly a rising tide and he’s going to raise the level of the game, and I think that’s important for all the guys out there.”

He's probably right. The oldest-ever winner of a major was 48, and Nicklaus himself won the 1986 Masters when he was 46, so Tiger's probably got some time. And as a golfer myself, I also agree that Tiger at his best is good for the sport.

I love watching Tiger and think it's great that he's playing well again, but I do selfishly hope the Golden Bear keeps his record, because Buckeyes should have all of the good things.

 WALK SIGN IS ON TO CROSS WOODRUFF. Squarely in the category of "things I had no idea I needed in my life" is a full-length EDM track sampling the "Walk sign is on to cross Woodruff" cross walk sound.

Redditor/hero u/Jim__And__Tonic uploaded his track on SoundCloud and folks, if this doesn't win a Grammy...

I'm gonna need an entire album now. My personal request is accounting professor Marc Smith's famous "Hi everyone, welcome back."

 A NEW CHALLENGE? Y'all really thought Urban Meyer was done coaching!

At the very least, they need to let The Closer give a recruiting pitch to Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. I don't think there's anyone in the world with a better track record at convincing folks Columbus, Ohio is a pretty good place to live and play sports for a few years.

 LINK LOCKER. Baby T-Rex goes on sale on eBay, sparking paleontologists' outcry... When doctors thought "Wanderlust" was a psychological condition... Michael Jordan’s ‘90s cologne was a phenomenal failure way ahead of its time... "Rage Yoga" combines beer drinking and cursing... Undercover female soccer fans in Iran...

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