Skull Session: Rutgers Head Coach Sees No Weaknesses in Ohio State, The Buckeyes Are Still the Title Favorites, and Rutgers' Claim As the First College Football Game is a Bit Dubious

By Kevin Harrish on November 12, 2019 at 4:59 am
The Buckeyes are ready to take the field in today's skull session.

Looks like Ryan Day might have found his quarterback of the future over in California, though he's far from a finished product.


Word of the Day: Moot.

 “IF THERE'S A BETTER TEAM, I'D LIKE TO SEE IT.” Imagine you're an interim head coach of a team that's making a strong case as the worst Power Five team in history and life has dealt you a game against a team that's been so dominant that it's broken records for 20-year-old computer models.

That's Nunzio Campanile's life at the moment. But at his weekly press conference, it sounds like he's already accepted death.

Q. When you look at them, do you see any weakness at all --
NUNZIO CAMPANILE: No. Honestly they're about as complete a football team as I've seen. Really in all three phases of the game, they're pretty darned good. If there's a team out there better than them, I'd like to see it, but there's some pretty good teams out there.

But hey, at least the best player in the country probably won't be available! That's a big break that's gotta even the odds just a little, right?

Q. I know we don't really know if Chase Young is going to play. What do you see from the guys behind him? I assume it's not much of a dropoff.
NUNZIO CAMPANILE: Yeah, they're really good. Actually a couple of them are right from our backyard. I coached one of them, Javontae Jean-Baptiste. He looks great. He's doing a great job, and Tyler Friday is a local guy, too. He's doing a great job. Honestly they're pretty deep. The dropoff is not a whole lot, and that's saying a lot because he's about as good a player -- last year we went out there, Bosa played in our game and he was about as good as they come, and I don't know if there's much difference between the two of them. It's hard to say who's better.

I know that the Vegas spread is hypothetically supposed to be a number where each side has around a 50 percent chance of covering, but it's currently set at 52 and I just honestly don't think there's any combination of scholarship players on Ohio State's roster that would win this game by less than 52 points.

 ODDS AND ENDS. LSU dispatched 'Bama and Clemson is looking like Clemson again, but the Buckeyes are still the national title favorite, and their odds actually improved this week.

Meanwhile, it's beginning to look like we should just skip the formalities and have the Heisman Trophy gift wrapped and mailed to Joe Burrow's house this week.

Burrow's odds are -500 on Betonline but an absurd -1000 over on Bovada. I have never in my life seen such a heavy favorite with three or four games left. Basically, these odds suggest that if he survives the season, the Heisman Trophy is his.

 A SHAM, IMO. Rutgers claims to have been the victory in the first college football game ever, but much like today, whatever the hell they were playing did not really resemble what we know as football.

From my good pal Marcus Hartman of the Dayton Daily News:

That is a dubious designation, though, as descriptions of the action and the rules indicate the game Rutgers and Princeton played on Nov. 6,1869, was closer to what we know as soccer today.

The Scarlet Knights beat the Tigers 6-4 in a contest in which carrying the ball was illegal but swatting it forward with the hands (or feet or head or other body part) was allowed, per the London Football Association rules that were in effect.

Well, that would help explain why Rutgers is so atrocious at a sport it's been playing for literally longer than anyone else in the country. Are they aware the rules have now changed? Because if not, maybe that's the problem?

 A PROPER LEGEND. If I were to make a list of the 10 most impressive living people on Earth, Charles Csuri would almost certainly make the cut.

A quick sample of his life: He won a national title at Ohio State, left to fight in World War II the following year where he earned a Bronze Star, and then literally invented 3D animation upon his return.

Marty Smith of ESPN caught up with him for an interview for College GameDay, but you'd be shocked to learn that you cannot possibly fit all he had to say in a three-minute video.

Mr. Csuri is a legend, hero and just general badass.

 DEFENSE WINS. It's generally unwise to make too many snap observations about a team just two games into the season, but so far the basketbucks have been stout as hell on defense.

In the season-opener against Cincinnati, they somehow survived not scoring for almost eight minutes to open the game by holding the Bearcats to just five points during that same span. Then on Sunday, they held UMass Lowell to 32.8 percent shooting and Christian Lutete, who scored 51 the game before, to single digits.

From Kyle Rowland of the Toledo Blade:

Without their best defender — Andre Wesson — the 16th-ranked Buckeyes showed tremendous effort, putting a blanket over Lutete, who shot just 4 of 12 from the field. It wasn’t only his performance against Long Island that showed he could put up points — Lutete averaged 18.7 per game a year ago


Through two games, Ohio State’s opponents are shooting 33 percent, and they have more turnovers than assists. Villanova will be a different animal, providing OSU with a benchmark going forward.

“I thought our guys have had good attention to detail,” Holtmann said. “Their effort has been good. I was disappointed with our defensive rebounding [against Cincinnati]. I thought we were a little more intentional about that. I think we have to be good defensively. That’s got to be a constant for us. But I’ve been fairly pleased.”

Folks, Nova's getting dumped.

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