Skull Session: Ohio State's Best Teams Among the All-Time Best, Justin Fields and Joe Burrow Lead in Completion Percentage, and Paris Johnson Jr.'s Orlando Pace Montage

By Kevin Harrish on September 11, 2019 at 4:59 am
We're all business in today's skull session.

Hug your family extra today, and make some time to re-read one of my favorite, sobering pieces from Ramzy.


Word of the Day: Portentous.

 ALL-TIME TEAMS. College football is 150 years old, and ESPN's celebrating by tossing us a list to be furious about.

A panel of 150 former college football coaches and players along with a collection of writers (including Ohio State beat royalty, Tim May), broadcasters, administrators and sports information directors concocted a list of the 150 greatest teams in college football history.

From ESPN:

13. 1968 Ohio State (10-0)

Coach: Woody Hayes

A precocious group of sophomores (remember, freshmen weren't yet eligible) matured over the course of the season into Hayes' third national champion. The young players learned as they went. They won at unranked Illinois and at unranked Iowa by less than a touchdown. But the Buckeyes also beat three top-four teams by double digits. They closed the season with a 50-14 rout of No. 4 Michigan (Hayes famously went for two to reach 50) and, in the Rose Bowl, a 27-16 defeat of No. 2 USC. Only offensive lineman Dave Foley made the All-America team, but among the sophomores were future College Football Hall of Famers Rex Kern at quarterback and Jack Tatum at defensive back, 1970 Outland/Lombardi winner Jim Stillwagon and running back John Brockington. Five would be taken in the first round of the 1971 NFL draft.


34. 2002 Ohio State (14-0)

Titles: BCS

Coach: Jim Tressel

Led by: RB Maurice Clarett, WR Michael Jenkins, S Mike Doss

What to know: The Buckeyes defeated five ranked teams, including No. 1 Miami in two overtimes in the Fiesta Bowl to win the school's first national championship since 1968. OSU won several close games over Cincinnati (23-19), Wisconsin (19-14), Penn State (13-7), Purdue (10-6), Illinois (23-16 in overtime) and Michigan (14-9) to finish unbeaten in the regular season.


61. 1954 Ohio State (10-0)

Titles: AP (UCLA won UPI, FWAA)

Coach: Woody Hayes

Led by: RB Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, end Dean Dugger, guard Jim Reichenbach, QB Dave Leggett

What to know: The Buckeyes rolled with six of 10 wins against ranked opponents by an average of 14 points to win their first national title under coach Woody Hayes. Ohio State beat Michigan 21-7 and scored a 20-7 win over USC in the Rose Bowl.

Those were the only two teams to crack the top-100, which will undoubtably have y'all reaching for your pitchforks on this fine Wednesday morning.

Three more Buckeye teams filled out the top-150 though:

  • #118 2014 Ohio State (14-1)
  • #137 1973 Ohio State (10-0-1)
  • #150 1944 Ohio State (9-0)

Maybe it's the "I attended the national title game" in me talking, but I think that 2014 squad is criminally underrated based on the way they were playing at the end of the season.

Also, if we're just going with "best" and not necessarily most accomplished, you could make a strong argument that both Ohio State's '95 and '15 teams on here.

But I'm not keen to get too spicy about a subjective list in the middle of football season. We'll save that for mid June.

 WELL, WELL, WELL... Through two weeks, the two most accurate passers in college football are Ohio State's current quarterback and a former Ohio State quarterback, in that order.

For those unfamiliar, adjusted completion percentage removes dropped passes and throwaways (Ryan Day's favorite play in football) from consideration.

So here's where we're at – Ohio State let the guy who is currently the second most-accurate passer in the country walk last year and they somehow have zero regrets because the guys they rolled out instead turned out to be the the most prolific passer in Big Ten history and the current first most-accurate passer in the country (as only a true sophomore who also runs a 4.4 second 40-yard dash).

Related, remember when people were trashing Justin Fields' throwing ability after watching a few reps of a fake football game three months after he arrived on campus?

 HELL OF A START. I'm not about crowning quarterbacks two games into the season (otherwise Denard Robinson would have two Heisman Trophies), but I'm also not about to ignore a guy that's accounted for 560 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions in two starts.

From Rich Exner of

Obviously, two games is not enough to judge any quarterback for where they will end up, but a quick look does offer a snapshot of how Fields has started vs. those before him.

Among the last six Buckeye regulars going back to Terrelle Pryor in 2008, for their first two starts Fields is:

  • Third for passing yards (458), behind Haskins (546) and Cardale Jones (500).
  • Second for TD passes (six), behind Haskins (nine).
  • Second for passer rating (192.5), behind Haskins (218.1).
  • First for fewest interceptions (zero).
  • Third for rushing yards (103), behind J.T. Barrett (120) and Pryor (163).
  • First for running touchdowns (three).
  • Tied for first with Haskins for total touchdowns (nine).
  • Tied for second in total yards with Haskins (561), behind Barrett (565)

I've always thought of Justin Fields as a Haskins-Miller-Barrett-Pryor Frankenstein monster in the best of ways. It's hilarious to see that totally represented in the stat sheet through two games.

 BLUE SHADE. Quarterbacks trainer Quincy Avery is sending a little shade up north.

I'll admit, I was extremely skeptical about Quincy Avery when I first heard about Dwayne Haskins working with him.

I'm still not going to pretend to know exactly what he does, necessarily, but the dude's worked with Deshaun Watson, Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields and they keep coming back to him, so he's clearly not ruining anyone. And it turns out, he's a huge Ryan Day fan, so they've gotta have some common beliefs.

As for Michigan's cold relationship with him, I just don't think a program that's produced *checks notes* John O'Korn, Jake Rudock, and Wilton Speight has any room to be snobby and elitist about their quarterback development

Then again, it's not like a lack of evidence and justification has ever stopped Michigan from being unreasonably arrogant before, why would it now?

 LEGALIZED ASSAULT. Paris Johnson Jr. might actually be Orlando Pace 2.


survival of the fittest..

A post shared by Paris Johnson Jr. (@parisjohnsonjr) on

You honestly could have replaced the intentionally hyperbolized football scenes in The Blind Side with that tape and I would barely notice a difference.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. The 9/11 tribute lights are endangering 160,000 birds a year... Robot priests can bless you, advise you, and even perform your funeral... The last day of the dinosaurs' reign captured in stunning detail... The Canadian beer that was banned for being too cheap... A man spends £30,000 fighting a £100 speeding fine... The new iPhone will have a pet photo mode...

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