Skull Session: Urban Meyer on the 2012 Team, Ohio State is “Wide Receiver U,” and Kaleb Wesson is Good at Basketball

By Kevin Harrish on July 11, 2019 at 4:59 am
Block "O" Awaits in today's skull session.

I hope y'all got your beach vacations out of the way this year or you're going to have to swim knowing you're sharing the water with this fellow:

They say you've got a better chance of getting crushed by a television than killed by a shark, and statistically, I totally believe that. But I'll start fearing my television the second it weighs 5,000 pounds and can swallow me whole.


Word of the Day: Cloister.

 UNDEFEATED. We don’t talk about the 2012 season nearly enough.

I get that it got quickly overshadowed by an actual national title with one of the most insane storylines in sports, but we can’t just pretend the 2012 season wasn’t insane too.

I mean, that was a team that went 6-7 the previous season, had no postseason to play for, faced scholarship sanctions, had a glorified running back playing quarterback and a fullback becoming a starting linebacker in the middle of the season.

And they went undefeated.

It honestly remains one of the most incredible seasons in Buckeye football history in my mind, so I was elated when Urban Meyer got real candid about it on his podcasting debut with Tim Kight.

The whole podcast is worth the listen, but here are some highlights about that 2012 team:

  • Urban Meyer hired a researcher who worked for the NCAA to give him an idea of what the sanctions would be, and he admits he would not have taken the job if he knew they were going to be as severe as they ended up being. “I wasn’t going to take the job. If they said you were going to lose nine scholarships and a bowl game, I wasn’t going to do it because that’s usually set up for failure.”
  • Ultimately, the sanctions came: lost nine scholarships, on probation, no bowl game and any player could transfer without losing a year.
  • “I sat down, put my face in my hands and said ‘we’re done. We’re done,’” Meyer said.
  • Ultimately, he switched gears, got the seniors together, and gave them ownership of the situation.
  • “You know how many kids transferred? None. Not one.”
  • It was especially hard because the staff wasn’t complete either, and they were facing those sanctions.
  • “The first game we were losing to Miami Ohio at the end of the first quarter 7-0 and it wasn’t because we fumbled or something. We were that bad.”
  • Urban Meyer after the Cal game: “I saw what I saw on that field and I had that bad feeling in my stomach that this was a bad team we’re coaching,” he said. “At that moment I thought we had bad players – they lost 7 games the year before.”
  • Meyer said he placed blame on the players, not himself, until he saw what John Simon was willing to give to the team, and he realized he wasn't all in, but the players were.
  • “Remember now, these players could have transferred. Why did they stay? Not for the bowl game, there’s no bowl game. They stayed for love of university and love of team. I’m the head coach, I didn’t have that same love.”

Looking back, that team could have easily been a 8-4 or 7-5 team. Instead, they kicked the shit out of Nebraska, beat Wisconsin in overtime, and had one of the sweetest wins over Michigan in recent memory.

Yeah, the bowl ban was undeniably bad, but beating Michigan at home to cap off an undefeated season is a once in a lifetime feeling.

 WIDE RECEIVER U. Folks are losing their minds about the incoming Buckeye wide receivers like Ohio State wasn’t already Wide Receiver U.

Haven’t you heard?

And the Bucks are a few months away from almost inarguably the best wide receiver recruiting class in program history, a year after signing the (then) highest-rated received in program history and a kid who some have billed as Ted Ginn Jr. Jr.

Needless to say, I think we’ll be adding to this draft tally in the extremely near future.

 MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER. It’s becoming increasingly clear to me just how huge it was that Kaleb Wesson chose to return to Ohio State. Of at least, how boned they would have been without him.

Yeah, they’re adding a ton of talent, but I would have been the opposite of optimistic about losing the only consistent post presence who Andy Katz rates as a top-15 player in the country.

Kaleb’s got some vocal haters – hell, who doesn’t? – but I saw all I needed to see at the end of last season when the team (allegedly) tried to win without him, and it went about as badly as it could have.

And it’s looking like he’s in the shape of his life.

This Final Four run is going to be nuts.

 DUECES WILD. It’s a shame Ohio State is only selling jerseys of the corresponding calendar year these days (shoutout to Dallas Gant and Chris Olave).

I mean, this would be a hell of a year to sell a No. 2 Ohio State jersey that corresponds to no player in particular.

Modern poet Wale agrees.

Maybe it’s time for the Buckeye faithful to dust off those nameless No. 2 threads from the Terrelle Pryor days.

Or you could just get a brand new knockoff jersey from Ali Express with little-to-no remorse, knowing that none of the money for the jersey sale would have gone to the specific player you’re paying to support anyway.

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