Skull Session: Players Shouldn't Sit Entire Seasons to Prepare for the Draft, Ohio State's Historic Dominance, and Ticket Prices Hold Steady

By Kevin Harrish on November 20, 2019 at 4:59 am
Justin Fields is smiling in today's skull session.

Today, in "I'm Extremely Glad Ryan Day is Ohio State's head coach:

word of the Day: Troglodytic.

 WON'T SIT ENTIRE SEASONS. "He should sit out his entire junior year to avoid injury" is a #take that I've heard tossed around for years after almost any dominant sophomore season since Jadeveon Clowney.

But the reality is, that's not really smart because – and this is going to shock you – players actually get better with practice and game reps. That's why even John Bosa, of all people, wouldn't even want his sons to sit out their final seasons.

His younger son, Nick Bosa, hurt his abdominal muscle in the third game of his junior year in 2018 and left school to rehab after it was clear he wouldn’t be able to return at 100 percent. John Bosa said that Nick’s decision came down to multiple factors, most crucially the doctor telling him that playing at less than 100 percent would expose his son to a higher risk of injury of other body parts. “The decision was kind of made for us,” John Bosa said. (Nick Bosa still went No. 2 overall in the NFL draft.)

After having two sons go through high-stakes final seasons where they had inevitable draft riches ahead of them, John Bosa still doesn’t see elite players skipping their junior season. (It’s an NFL rule that essentially keeps players in college for three seasons – technically three years out of high school – that was upheld by a federal court in 2004.)

“I don’t see a kid not playing an entire year,” John Bosa said. “Here’s a perfect example. Nick played an unbelievable game against USC his sophomore year. But he was 10 times better after spring ball and fall camp going into his junior year. There’s an importance in practice and repetition and really perfecting your craft at any position. You’d have to be a pretty amazing freak to be ready and sit out a third year.”

He's right. There's a reason why these players choose to go to the schools that they go to, and it's to help prepare them for the next level. If they thought they could do that by themselves, there would be no point in ever going to the college in the first place.

Chase Young is another example of someone who was absolutely dominant last season, but still looks drastically more improved this season. Jeff Okudah, too. Had they both decided to pack it in and wait until the draft, we never would have seen the in-game dominance that we're seeing now, and they would have missed out on all of that continued development.

Would Young still have been a top-five pick if he sat out this entire season? Maybe. But if I'm an NFL GM, I'm much more keen to draft the guy who had 13.5 sacks through eight games and had folks clamoring to give him the Heisman Trophy. And I think he'll now be much, much more ready for the league than he would have been otherwise.

 HISTORICALLY DOMINANT. I've been saying this for a few weeks, but at some point I honestly think we're going to start having to treat this Ohio State team like one of the best teams of all-time instead of just one of the best teams in the nation this season.

While us humans are out here arguing about perceived strength of schedules and things like the eye test, computer model after computer model quietly telling us that secret truth we might be experiencing history with this Buckeye team.

Ohio State's current SP+ rating is plus-37.2, meaning the Buckeyes are 37.2 points better than the average FBS team at the moment. They are 4.2 points ahead of even the No. 2 team; this 37.2 rating grades out in the 99.5 percentile.

The 99.5 percentile is "elitist of the elite" territory. The 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers were at 99.5, the 1993 FSU Seminoles and 2001 Miami Hurricanes were 99.4. The Buckeyes are fourth in offensive SP+, and the defense, so justifiably maligned last season, ranks first.

And that comes after Ohio State broke all-time records in two other computer models.

Obviously I'm waiting until the golden tube is in Ryan Day's hands in a confetti storm before I start celebrating, because these computer models don't hand out trophies. But I'm also not going to bury my head in the sand. Because if this is the greatest college football team of all time, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of it while it's still on the field, not once it's all over.

 TICKET PRICE FREEZE. The bad news is, Buckeyes football tickets are too damn expensive. But Ohio State hit us with some (relatively) good news that at least they won't get even more too damn expensive next year. 

The Board of Trustees will consider ticket prices for the 2020 football season at its meetings Nov. 20-21. Since 2017, the average regular reserved single ticket price has increased $1. The cost of student tickets has remained unchanged since 2013.

According to the proposal recommended by the Ohio State Athletic Council, tickets for individual games will range from $63 to $220 for regular reserved seating, depending on the opponent. The council, made up of students, faculty, staff and alumni, helps develop policies governing intercollegiate athletics at Ohio State.

Now let's keep it at that price for a solid decade and maybe inflation will catch up and the prices will be reasonable. Because I'm still not really keen to pay $63 to watch Ohio State crucify Buffalo when I could get a better view from my couch for many fewer dollars.

 DEFENSIVE LINE YODA. At some point, every all-pro NFL defensive end is just going to be a Larry Jonson-coached player. That sounds hyperbolic, but we're trending that way.

And neither of those players are currently the best pass rusher in the league (that would be Nick Bosa), and Chase Young is absolutely expected to join these ranks next season, possibly even playing across from Sam Hubbard.

 BEST DAMN LONG SNAPPER IN THE LAND? Ohio State is so loaded, even the long snapper is up for a national award.

I"m not going to pretend to know how to evaluate a long snapper, but I do know that Liam is a A+ human being and that in his four seasons at Ohio State, nobody has ever had to say his name on a broadcast, so that's damn good news.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. How NBA executive Jeff David stole $13 million from the Sacramento Kings... A man drove his girlfriend across United States, killed her and impersonated her on social media... Teen arrested for using a remote control car to smuggle meth across the Mexico/United States border... Garbage collector finds whale vomit worth over $100,000... British man nearly dies after a parasite crawls into his penis and lays eggs... Burglars use bluetooth scanners to find laptops and phones.

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