Skull Session: Hunger in Ryan Day's Eyes, Parris Campbell Shows Out in Indianapolis, and Ohio State vs. Michigan is Still College Football's Best Rivalry

By Kevin Harrish on July 29, 2019 at 4:59 am
Brutus is giving a big hug in today's skull session.

The rumors are true, it is Monday. However, to start off the week, I offer you yet another sign our long national nightmare is over.

My mind is ready for the next iteration of McCullough-ception.


Word of the Day: Afflatus.

 HUNGRY EYES. The early consensus about Ryan Day seems to be that he isn't as intense as guys like Urban Meyer or Jim Harbaugh (though to be fair, that's an extremely high bar).

But the thing is, you don't get to be as successful as Ryan Day without a bit of fire. We might not see it, but his players sure do.

From my buddy Marcus Hartman of the Dayton Daily News:

Day has so far been all smiles in public, but Hill saw something different in him last year in the third and biggest game of Day’s time as acting head coach. 

“People was doubting us because we didn’t have coach Meyer, but I could see the hunger in his eyes,” Hill said of a game against TCU in which the Buckeyes trailed 14-13 at the half before rallying to win 40-28. “He’s hungry and he fed it to the team. He don’t gotta say nothing. He knows people are doubting him.” 

While I agree he seems quite a bit more reserved than Meyer from what we see, I don't think it's really fair to judge his intensity from a few interviews in a suit.

Personally, I'm gonna hold by the testimony from a player who's already been with him in the storm. If he's ready to follow him into battle, I'd say he's plenty intense enough.

 PARRIS GOT NEXT. Colts receivers Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton have combined for 18 Pro Bowl appearances, four first-ream All-Pro selections, a Super Bowl victory, and a Hall of Fame induction.

It's one hell of a chain of receivers, and Parris Campbell is the next link.

From Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star:

“When I got there, the first thing I told Marv was, I said, ‘How you doing, Marvin Harrison? No. 88. I’m Reggie Wayne, and I’m doing everything I can to get this double coverage off of you,'” Wayne said at the NFL Combine this year. “He looked at me like I was the dude to pick up his trash on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

Wayne had to prove himself, had to earn Harrison’s respect.

When Harrison saw the way the brash young rookie worked, saw the way Wayne fought to be the kind of receiver who could give him some help, he took him under his wing. Harrison taught Wayne the tricks of the trade needed to become a star in his own right, to eventually take over Harrison’s mantle as the top receiver in Indianapolis.

After that partnership, building a relationship has never been hard; Wayne called Hilton when the Colts picked him in 2012.

The first time Campbell met Hilton in the Colts locker room, he was so star-struck — both by Hilton and Andrew Luck, players he’d watched since high school — that he kept his introduction short.

“It was just kind of a, ‘Hey, what’s up?’” Campbell said. “I’m the rookie. I don’t want to be too annoying.”

He hasn’t been shy since that day.

“He’s always in my head, always asking me questions,” Hilton said. “I love that about him, because I did it to Reggie.”

T.Y. must be giving some damn good answers because his rookie season hasn't even started yet and Parris is already ruining four-year vets in the end zone.

That route reminds me of my flag football days over at Fred Beekman park. 2017 intramural champs, baby!

 STILL THE KING. I clicked on a subjective list this weekend mentally preparing myself to incinerate the writer with my online words in the event that his list was wrong.

But it wasn't. It was a fine list, actually.

Despite the folks up north holding a 2-16 head-to-head record the past 18 seasons, The Game apparently hasn't lost its luster in the nation's eye, as Austin Nivison of 247Sports ranks the Ohio State/Michigan rivalry in its proper spot: No. 1.

It’s tough to find two teams in any sport that hate each other more than Michigan and Ohio State. During the week leading up to this game, city officials in the two towns don’t even like to use the main letter of the opposing school in press releases. One of the most heated rivalries in college football, the Wolverines and the Buckeyes began kindling this blaze all the way back in 1897. Back then, the stadiums were a little smaller. Michigan Stadium and Ohio Stadium are now two of the largest stadiums in the country, and that makes for an atmosphere that could burst your eardrums in each location.

The bookends of this series have been fairly lopsided. In the beginning, Michigan got the best of Ohio State for quite some time. On the flip side, Ohio State has largely been in control of this rivalry since 2000. It’ll be up to Michigan to change that this fall.

Narrator from the future: “They didn't change that this fall.”

The only downside to Ohio State dumping Michigan every year is that every time that happens, it gives more evidence to the folks suggesting it's not the best rivalry in college football (though that talk seems to have calmed down with Alabama handling LSU and Auburn of late).

But honestly, if it ever gets to the point where that becomes the mainstream thought, it will be 100 percent Michigan's fault and Ohio State will probably have the all-time lead in the series. I can live with that.

But what we have now is basically the perfect scenario: Michigan is undeniably good for about 90 percent of the regular season, culminating in one epic debacle to bring it all down in flames.

May Jim Harbaugh live forever.

 KIERRE CLEARED. I'm always down to see former Buckeyes ball out elsewhere, especially if it's for a program in the Great State of Ohio coached by Bo Pelini at a university led by Jim Tressel.

Needless to say, I'm pretty stoked that former Ohio State tight end Kierre Hawkins will be suiting up for the mighty Penguins this year.

Hawkins, if your memory is failing you, was part of that 2016 class where the coaching staff made the *extremely* optimistic decision to bring in three tight ends in the same recruiting class.

That's not to say those players weren't/aren't good, but when you bring in four players in three years at a position that's notoriously underutilized, there's just no way that's going to work out for everyone. 

I mean, we churn out at least an article a year questioning whether this is the season Ohio State starts using the tight end in the offense, and it never is. That recruiting class felt like the staff's multi-year version of that article.

Anyway, I have no doubts he's going to ball out at Youngstown State, and he's going to be doing while wearing a single-digit jersey number (#4) as a tight end, which absolutely rules.

 HOW DESPERATE ARE YOU REALLY? I know you're all dying for football, and I'm right there with you, but would you say you're desperate enough to watch a simulated game of EA Sports' NCAA14 with updated rosters?

Because that's an option more than 75,000 people have taken.

I'm not going to spoil the ending for anyone wanting to give it a go (let's be honest, you've done worse things to steal your boss' time), but folks, it's a thriller.

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