Skull Session: Talks of an Eight-Team Playoff, Justin Fields' Lack of Concern About Awards, and the Buckeye Basketball Team's Argument for the No. 1 Ranking

By Kevin Harrish on December 12, 2019 at 4:59 am
Justin Fields is warming up in today's skull session.

If you needed proof that Joe Burrow is still highly regarded in Columbus...

Gotta keep him humble.

Word of the Day: Befitting.

 OH HELL YES. Christmas came early – it seems an eight-team playoff model is actually in the works.

I've long been an eight-team skepticist, but I'm extremely down with this.

My lone complaint with just expanding the current playoff system to eight teams is that I wanted conference championships to matter, and eight at-large bids wouldn't really do it. But this sure will, while still allowing some wiggle room for clearly deserving teams.

Now, let's talk about playing that opening round on campus...

 NOT WORRIED ABOUT AWARDS. Justin Fields is currently in Atlanta as a finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award and then he'll head to New York this weekend as a Heisman Trophy finalist. And that's after he's already been named the Big Ten's quarterback of the year and offensive player of the year.

But there's not really much concern about him getting a big head or losing focus during the awards circuit, because he sincerely gives no damns about the accolades. Not to the media, not to his teammates, and not even to his father.

“He sent me a fist bump back,” Pablo Fields said Tuesday.

That’s all. And then they moved on to more pressing things.

“We talked about what he’s getting his sisters for Christmas,” Pablo said. “That’s it. That’s how he is. It would sound like we’re not close, but that’s how Justin is, especially with awards. Justin is a different animal.”

Last week when they talked, Pablo said, Fields neglected to tell him that he’d been named Big Ten offensive player of the year. Pablo was stunned to learn the news on Big Ten Network.

After the Big Ten championship game victory Saturday over Wisconsin, Fields was asked about the Heisman.

“I’m not really worried about the Heisman right now,” he said. “I’m just worried about a win in these next two (College Football Playoff) games.”

Don't misinterpret this – he is competitive as hell and absolutely wants to be the best. But he's way more concerned about getting better and worrying about the next challenge than he is about recognition and looking back at his achievements.

When I talked to him in Atlanta last night, he wanted nothing to do with questions about his stats or accomplishments, but you better believe his face lit up when I mentioned the chance to compete against Trevor Lawrence in a few weeks.

And after he carves up Clemson, he won't want to talk about that anymore, either. But he'll gladly talk about the next unfortunate secondary.

 DO IT, COWARDS. As unbelievable as it may seem, the Ohio State basketball team probably has a more legitimate claim to the No. 1 spot in the rankings than the football team does.

The AP Poll still isn't giving the Buckeyes that respect, but at least CBS Sports (and pretty much every computer ranking system) is.

The new No. 1 is Ohio State.

As I explained in Monday's Poll Attacks column, Ohio State is 9-0 with eight double-digit victories -- among them a 25-point win over Villanova, a 25-point win over North Carolina and a 32-point win over the Penn State team that beat Maryland on Tuesday night. So that's three wins by at least 25 points over schools currently ranked in the top 25 at KenPom. At the time those games were played, Villanova and UNC were in the top 10 of the Associated Press Top 25 poll -- which means Ohio State is just the fourth team in AP poll history to own two wins over top-10 teams by at least 25 points in the same season.

The three teams that previously did it each won a national title.

So that's a great sign.

Combine all that with the fact that Ohio State is now No. 1 at KenPom, KPI and Torvik, and I really don't understand the argument for anybody else being No. 1. The Buckeyes are one of just five remaining unbeaten teams -- and they have better, and more convincing, wins than everybody else. So they were the only team under consideration for the top spot in Wednesday morning's updated Top 25 And 1.

This team has been so damn fun and good that it's convinced some of the most rabid football fans in the country to share their attention with the basketball team amidst a national title run.

Folks, it looks like Ohio State is a basketball school now, too.

 SLOB LOVE. My blogger brain is nowhere near smart or fast enough to have any idea what the hell is going on with the offensive line in real-time, but it's my absolute favorite unit to go back and watch on replay, especially if someone is kind enough to slice up some highlights for me.

And it looks like Mike Golic Jr. is our hero of the week.

One of my favorite offseason traditions is Ohio State fans irrationally expecting a unit to somehow improve after massive personnel losses, because most of the time, it happens!

This year's offensive line is a prime example. There's literally one returning starter from last season's opening-day starting offensive line and this year's slobs are putting together murder montages like that while earning a nomination for a national award.

As an aside: big shoutout to Jonah Jackson, who very much excels at violently moving extremely large humans against their will. It ain't really fair that one of the most loaded rosters in college football added him and Justin Fields, but I'll sure take it!

 JUST RAMS HIRING DUDES. Colorado State has its new head coach, and it's not a Buckeye.

Tony Alford and Kevin Wilson had both been whispered as candidates, but Ohio State's staff remains intact. For now.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. A church is closed after a meth lab was found in the basement... A man whose farts "can kill mosquitoes six meters away" is hired to create a new repellent... Your brain tricks you into loving cheesy hallmark Chrismas movies... Stop believing the lie of free shipping... A man registers a swarm of bees as emotional support animals.

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