Skull Session: J.K. Dobbins Flies Under the Radar, A Woody and Bo Switcheroo, and Greg Oden is a Good Dude

By Kevin Harrish on July 12, 2019 at 4:59 am
The bleachers are empty in today's Skull Session.

The bad news: this will be a slightly abbreviated Skull Session as I am currently in Nashvegas for an extended weekend stay.

The good news: If you follow my Twitter account (against your better judgement), you will almost surely see a video of my cocky ass being violently thrown from a mechanical bull at some point this weekend.

Word of the Day: Foolhardy.

 UNDER THE RADAR. Remember when J.K. Dobbins was the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy before last season?

This year, he's flying extremely under the radar.

From Connor O'Gara of Saturday Down South:

8. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

Man, I was ready for Dobbins to explode last year. After watching how much fun he was in space, I was ready for the 1,500-yard, 20-touchdown season. Instead, he had a somewhat disappointing year sharing the workload with Mike Weber in Ryan Day’s offense. Dobbins actually got more work, but the overall production was down 350 yards (7.2 yards per carry as a freshman, 4.6 as a sophomore).

With Weber off to the the NFL, Dobbins should be on the field more, which will help his production even if his 230 carries doesn’t see a significant jump. The Ohio State junior might not be getting the preseason Heisman love that he did last year, but he’s a good candidate to work his way into that conversation if he returns to the guy who came out blazing as a true freshman.

I not going to pretend to know the whole reason why he dropped off last season, but I know a year before that he could do this cool thing where he made defenders spontaneously shatter.

pick up yer jock

I'm fine with him being underrated. It worked out fine last time.

 WHAT IF... I'm having tons of fun with this What If... series over at The Ozone, and this one is probably the most ridiculous, elaborate and butterfly effecty of them all.

For those that aren't Buckeye football historians, the legendary Paul Brown left Ohio State after the 1943 season to serve in World War II with the expectation that he'd return to coach the Buckeyes after the war. But that never actually happened, because he was offered an absurd amount of money to start the Cleveland Browns instead.

But what if he did come back to Ohio State? For starters, he would have owned the 1940s and had Ohio State riding high entering the '50s. Which means...

From Tony Gerdeman of The Ozone:

With Ohio State not in the market for a new head coach around 1950, that means Woody Hayes never ends up at OSU.

Instead, Northwestern gives him a call and offers him the job in late 1950. Bob Voigts was the head coach of the Wildcats at the time, and despite a strong early start to his career, he was never able to recapture his early success and the administration had grown tired of the struggles.

Woody accepts.

Ohio State humiliates Northwestern in 1951 by a score of 45-0. The outcome drives Hayes and the Wildcats mad for the next calendar year, and with the Buckeyes coming to town in 1952, Woody’s boys exact a semblance of revenge on Ohio State with a 13-13 tie.

A rivalry had been born.

Hayes takes the 1951 Northwestern Wildcats to a 6-3 mark overall. The 1952 team does even better, going 7-1-1.

Hayes impressed many of the nation’s top programs. He also caught the eye of one particular program that had come upon some difficult times of late.

The University of Michigan was tired of constantly losing to Paul Brown and his Buckeyes, so they set out to find the perfect foil. Having successfully shamed Bennie Oosterbaan into stepping down, the UM administration offered the job to Hayes.

If you're already exclaiming "nope, nope, nope!" it gets even more hilarious. In Gerd's alternate reality, Brown would have to retire eventually, and there would have been a natural heir to the Ohio State football throne: Ohioan Bo Schembechler.

Again, this is one of those situations where I'm fine accepting reality exactly how it is, even if it means sacrificing a few natties in the 1940s.

 GOLFING BUCKS. If you're looking for something to watch on the 'ole television set this weekend, you could always tune in to watch A.J. Hawk and Mike Vrabel drill some golf balls.

Both former Buckeye footballers (can we take that word from soccer, please?) will be competing in this year's American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports throughout the weekend.

Urban Meyer has competed in this event in the past, but is presumably sitting out this year. But hey, take what you can get.

 GREG ODEN, GOOD GUY? This is one of the strangest news releases I've read in quite a while, but I guess the good news is, Greg Oden got a shoutout in a good way.

That list could probably just say "everyone we aren't kicking out of the league" but hey, I'll take it. At the very least, it means they aren't holding Oden's apparent battery of Brian Scalabrine against him, which is delightful news.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. The inside story of Taser Ball, the world's most insane extreme sport... Instagrammers swarm to a beautiful turquoise lake that's actually a toxic dump... The tow truck turf war and the driver left for dead...

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