Skull Session: Jim Tressel Won't Watch Saturday's Game, Jarvis Landry Rubs off on Brian Hartline, and Urban Meyer Interviews Ryan Day

By Kevin Harrish on September 5, 2019 at 4:59 am
Justin Fields is listening to some tunes in today's skull session.

Ezekiel Elliott got his Scrooge McDuck contract yesterday morning, becoming the highest-paid running back in the NFL.

That would have been a fantastic game plan against Michigan State in 2015, in my humblest of opinions. But to be fair, they also had the highest-paid wide receiver in NFL history in that same offense, so they probably just threw it him every down instead.


Word of the Day: Snivel.

 FOR THE STATE OF OHIO. Jim Tressel has perhaps the biggest stake in both sides of Saturday's matchup than anyone else on the planet with his protege matched up against his beloved Buckeyes.

His solution: avert his eyes and check the score later.

From Justin Williams of The Athletic ($):

Jim Tressel is hoping to be otherwise preoccupied come noon on Saturday, when the Cincinnati Bearcats and Ohio State Buckeyes take the field.

“You know, I’m not a very good spectator,” Tressel said.

Youngstown State, where Tressel serves as president, has a football game of its own at 2 p.m. that day. He admitted the regular pregame ballyhoo of meeting with faculty and students and glad-handing donors can be exhausting at times, but with some combatting allegiances facing off in Columbus, the former title-winning head coach at Ohio State and friend and mentor to Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell is looking forward to the distraction.

“I’ll probably do my best not to watch the game,” Tressel said. “Hopefully, I’ll be all tied up and won’t have to pay attention, and then I can just find out what happened later.”

Personally, I was hoping we'd see a half-and-half sweater vest split down the middle between Ohio State and Cincinnati, like the jersey Laura Hawk (A.J. Hawk's wife/Brady Quinn's sister) wore to the 2006 Fiesta Bowl.

But I guess the senator knows best. 

As for how the game plays out, according to Tressel, he's going to miss an absolute banger of a game.

Do the Bearcats have a shot in Columbus?

"Are you kidding me? Of course they do. They’re a good football team. Every time a good football team lines up against another good football team, it’s only about what happens those three hours, and they absolutely can do it. They know what they have to do, what they’re up against, and Ohio State knows what they have to do. I’m sure it will be a great game for the state of Ohio."

The Vest l did not offer a score projection or predict a winner, so I'll harken back to my Jim Tressel's Least Favorite Play days and give his prediction on his behalf:

Ohio State: 12 Cincinnati: 5

 “TELL ME TO BE GREAT.” It seems Ohio State's wide receivers room is being influenced second-hand by an unlikely modern philosopher: Juice Landry.

From Doug Lesmerises of

Before games, Miami coach Joe Philbin used to walk around the locker room and wish players good luck. (Brian) Hartline remembers watching (Jarvis) Landry go along with it for a game. And then the rookie spoke up.

“He said, ‘Coach, I don’t need luck. Stop wishing me good luck. Tell me to be great. The luck’s been gone,’” Hartline said. “So ever since then, I don’t wish luck. I agree with him. Don’t tell me to be lucky. Tell me to be great. I put the work in. So that was an ‘aha’ moment for me.

“You’re right. We worked our tails off. Go be great.”

In Cleveland and Columbus, that’s what two old Miami teammates are getting their rooms to do.

First off, that's an A+ way to look at things. If I'm competing, I don't want to be lucky, I want to be better than you.

Second, this piece made me realize how young and fresh out of the NFL Brian Hartline actually is if shared a locker room with someone who's just a year older than me and then played another year after that. 

Hartline played for the Browns in 2015, which means there are 13 players on Ohio State's current roster – including two wide receivers – that were in college and on the team when he was still in the league.

The whole "I know about the NFL and can get you there" thing ain't so hypothetical when you were there yourself in recent memory. That can't hurt recruiting.

 A COUPLE OF MENSCHES. There's nobody better to have a preseason sit down with Ryan Day than the coach who passed him the sticks at the beginning of the year, and no better interview room than the concourse of the concrete cathedral by the Olentangy.

Fox delivered us those goods back on Saturday, but for those of you who missed it, here's the segment in its entirety for your viewing enjoyment.

Nothing in here is particularly groundbreaking, but I'll never tire of listening to Ryan Day talk about how he plans to continue grinding Michigan into dust every season (respectfully, of course).

Also, R.J. Day berating a kid for wearing blue on his first day of school in Columbus is exactly what I imagined from the future two-time Ohio State national championship quarterback.

 ROOTING AGAINST YOUR BEST MAN. Count Mike Vrabel as another member of team Internal Conflict for Saturday's game.

This has been a pretty consistent theme all week, but I don't think there will be anyone more conflicted this weekend than Fickell himself.

Fickell spent almost his entire adult life at Ohio State either playing or coaching in the 'Shoe. He's won national titles while on the Buckeyes' coaching staff, worked under three different head coaches and is one of just three Ohio State head coaches to also play for the Buckeyes.

Fickell is as Buckeye as it gets, and you don't just turn that off, no matter how hard he's going to try. He just wants to get in and out of this game as quickly as possible – however it turns out.

 FACTORY OF SADCAST. If any Browns fans are looking to start the Super Bowl celebration a little early, I come bearing news – my father, my brownish uncle, and the first (only?) guy to ever edit my online words have started a podcast.

If you do choose to embark on this journey with that cast of individuals, send a screenshot of you downloading it to @CatulloMeats and get A DISCOUNT ON BACON.

I offer no advice, just information.

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