Skull Session: Bosas' Mob Boss Ancestor, Gene Smith Doesn't Believe Urban Meyer Will Return to Coaching, and Guessing Ohio State's GameDay Dates

By Kevin Harrish on May 3, 2019 at 4:59 am
Liam McCullough is pointing to today's Skull Session.

It took the Jackets eight games to lose in the postseason in regulation.

It ain't gonna happen again. Jackets in six.


Word of the Day: Wifty.

 BOSAS' BOSS TIES. We've been debating for years about which member of the Bosa bloodline is the most fearsome pass rusher, and that's still up for debate. What's not up for debate is which family member is the most terrifying human being.

See, when you've got an ancestor who was by all accounts a better, more fearsome and more effective mob boss than Al Capone ever was, he's probably going to win that title in a landslide.

That's the case for Nick and Joey's great-grandfather, Tony Accardo.

From Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated:

So it is that when Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa was taken last week in the 2019 draft, second overall by the 49ers, he become the seventh player in the family, over three generations, to join the NFL. Yet none of them could ever hope to be considered the most feared and fearsome member of the clan. Not by a long shot.


In the mid-’20s he caught the eye of the real Scarface. In John Kobler’s definitive biography Capone, the author writes that Accardo became a bodyguard “and was sometimes seen in the lobby of the Hotel Lexington with a tommy gun across his knee.” He was having lunch with his boss in 1926 when members of Chicago’s North Side Gang opened fire. According to mob lore, Accardo splayed his body over Capone to thwart the hit.

Accardo would not only take bullets for Capone, but also deliver deadly blows. By some accounts he helped plan the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, when Capone’s soldiers, dressed as police, killed seven members of Bugs Moran’s rival bootlegging gang. Days later Accardo figured prominently at a dinner that had been arranged both to celebrate Capone’s consolidation of power and to deal with two troublesome capos. In a scene later bastardized in the 1987 film The Untouchables, Accardo took the men out back before the main course was served and bashed their skulls in with a baseball bat. “Boy, this kid is a real Joey Batters,” Capone allegedly enthused about his protégé. The nickname stuck.


Under Accardo the Chicago Outfit moved from bootlegging and assorted acts of violence to more sophisticated ventures. (As Ricca once put it, “Accardo had more brains for breakfast than Al Capone had in a lifetime.”) By penetrating labor unions, expanding gambling ties and establishing a beachhead in a newly minted city of sin, Las Vegas (with an equity stake in the Stardust Hotel), the Chicago Outfit came to resemble a conventional business. And Joey Batters was the unquestioned CEO. When mob historians refer to him as perhaps the most powerful American underworld figure of the 20th century, it is not hyperbole. New York City may have had a bigger organized crime scene, but that was split among five families. In Chicago, for all intents, there was just one boss.

There are some horrifying things a defensive end could say to an offensive tackle in the trenches before the ball is snapped, but "my great-grandpa once melted a dude's face with a blowtorch" might take the cake.

I'm happy for everyone that the Bosa boys elected for career choices that are much more... lawful.

 GENE'S NOT SOLD. Folks have been calling Urban Meyer to USC since before he even coached his final game at Ohio State. That heated up a little bit this week when Reggie Bush said he and Matt Leinart would recruit Meyer to their alma mater (which, by the way, currently has a head coach).

Gene Smith hears the speculation, but he's not really convinced.

From George Schroeder of USA Today:

“I have a hard time believing that,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said – but he adds: “Is it possible? You can never say never. He’s still young.”

Meyer turns 55 in July. But Smith added that most conjecture – Meyer to USC, for example, if things don’t go well and Clay Helton is ousted – glosses over Meyer’s health.

“People disregard the health issue,” he said. “I’d ask that you keep that in mind.”

Smith also said Meyer hasn't dealt with headaches at all since his retirement, which probably tells you all you need to know about what was causing them.

Now that he's retired from coaching, he's busy, but he's not doing anything near as stressful as coaching football games with months of happiness for tens of millions of people hanging in the balance.

The TV work is essentially a side gig. Meyer is now an assistant athletic director at Ohio State, where he taught a class and is tasked with donor relations. 

“He’s great with donors, because now he can tell his stories unencumbered,” Smith said. “… He doesn’t have to worry about tomorrow because he doesn’t have to call fourth-and-1.”

Smith said Meyer also been meeting on Monday nights with team captains from sports other than football.

“He’s figured out there’s something besides football there (at Ohio State),” Smith said.


“I think he’s still trying to figure out, find his ultimate purpose,” Smith said. “He’s keeping busy doing a lot of things. (There’s) value to what he’s doing, but he’s the type of guy I think has to say, ‘This is my impact.’ I think he’s trying to figure that out.”

It's pretty clear that Meyer needs to do something with his time, and that's where the speculation starts. But there are a ton of somethings that don't include coaching football and don't turn his brain into a pressure cooker for three months of the year.

He's not the type to just sit around in retirement, but the doesn't mean he has to jump at the first opportunity to coach football again, either.

 GAMEDAY COMETH. Ohio State has hosted ESPN's College GameDay more times than any other school, and appeared the second most, behind only Alabama.

There's a very solid chance both of those numbers grow this year.

Zach Barnett of Football Scoop tried his hand at guessing GameDay's location every week of the season, and if his prognostications are correct, the Buckeyes will have a triad of GameDay appearances in 2019.

Sept. 28: Ohio State at Nebraska — Big Red opens with South Alabama, at Colorado, home against Northern Illinois and at Illinois. GameDay hasn’t been to Lincoln since 2007, when Nebraska was still in the Big 12. In Year 2 of Scott Frost, and with Nebraska likely 4-0 and in the back end of the Top 25, this feels like a good time to return.


Nov. 23: Penn State at Ohio State — The latest regular season meeting between these two Midwestern powers ever. The last three games have been decided by five points — total — with the winner going to Indianapolis as Big Ten East champion. Is this the time when James Franklin takes back control of the division, and thus the conference, does Ryan Day continue to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps?


Nov. 30: Ohio State at Michigan — The New 10-Year War never materialized, partly because Urban Meyer left after Year 4, but mostly because Jim Harbaugh never beat him in any of those four. Michigan gets Notre Dame and Michigan State at home, it returns quarterback Shea Patterson, who will run a new offense that is better suited to his talents. Michigan should be good enough to win the right to host GameDay. It should be good enough to win this game. If not...

Penn State, Michigan and a Big Ten Championship game all back-to-back-to-back should be worrisome, but honestly, bring it the hell on. It's just like the playoff starting a few weeks early.

 COACH MICK GETTING PAIDDDDD. I've always called Mickey Marotti the most underappreciated coach on Ohio State's staff, given how vital he is to the program and that the casual fan has probably never even heard his name.

That's still probably true, but Ohio State's gift of monetary appreciation should more than make up for it.

That seems like an absurd salary for a strength coach, but he's definitely not just a strength coach. Marotti is effectively Ohio State head coach 2, and the program couldn't run the way it does without him.

I'd argue Marotti, Mark Pantoni and Ryan Stamper were more crucial to Ohio State's success under Urban Meyer than Urban Meyer was, and Ryan Day gets to keep them all.

 JOEY BOSA'S BIG MOMENT. Did you see it? Did you see Joey Bosa's big cameo in Game of Thrones?

I don't blame you if you didn't, because it seems it took Joey a solid five days (and God knows how many rewatches) to find it himself.

Joey's got some damn good eyes. I could barely see the main characters in that episode, much less a specific extra in the back. But yeah, the Zlatan nose does help.

 LINK LOCKER. School cafeteria worker accused of firing BB gun at children... An awesome visualization of the elevation differences in the United States... For most people, multivitamins are a waste of money... What happens to a factory town when the factory shuts down... Elderly couple receive parcel containing $10 million worth of meth...

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