Some scabs are gonna get ripped off real good tonight, but I'm gonna but the bullet and watch Joe Burrow put Dabo into the ground, no matter how bad it hurts.
But I know damn well the first replay review is going to trigger post-traumatic stress.
Word of the Day: Pretermit.
YES, CHASE YOUNG IS STILL GOOD AT FOOTBALL. I honestly cannot believe this even has to be addressed, but it's become apparent to me that it does: Chase Young is still good at football even though he didn't have a sack against Clemson.
That should be obvious to everyone with a brain at least slightly larger than a walnut, but for members of humanity who aren't quite so blessed (and some of those individuals have already entered my mentions on Twitter dot com), Mark Bullock of The Athletic ($) got ahold of some game film from the Fiesta Bowl to prove it.
On Friday, Ohio State pass-rusher Chase Young officially declared for the 2020 NFL Draft, where he’s expected to be selected by the Redskins with the second overall pick. I broke down his overall skill set last week, but some have questioned his performance against quality opposition. They pointed to his performance against Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal, where he had no sacks and just two tackles to his name. However, that game was a perfect example of why you can’t just go by the box score. Young’s impact on the game was hugely significant even if he didn’t get a sack himself.
Clemson’s offensive game plan revolved around protecting against Young. Its most common protection plan was to have a running back or tight end chip Young before releasing into a route.
Clearly, Young had a significant impact on the game despite not filling up the stat sheet. There’s far more to a pass-rusher’s game than just sacks, and Young forced Clemson to alter its protection schemes, rotating through different chip blockers, using cut blocks on quick throws, and incorporating plenty of play-action to try to slow down Young. But with so many of the protections dedicated to Young, it opened things up for the rest of the defense. On top of that, Young still managed to generate plenty of pressure and land a few hits on Lawrence as he delivered his throws. The fact Young didn’t come away with a sack speaks more to the talent and quick delivery of Lawrence, who was superb throughout the game. The idea that Young didn’t have an impact on this game or against quality opposition is not true
Again, this should not be a question that has to be answered about somebody who broke Ohio State's single-season sacks record in *checks notes* nine games, but here we are.
It would be like insisting J.K. Dobbins is terrible if the opponent ever put 11 men in the box on every play and Justin Fields threw for 700 yards and Dobbins finished with 20. And to be fair, there's not a doubt in my mind someone would have that #take.
In any case, Mark did a fantastic job breaking it down with videos and such. It's definitely worth the read if you're one of the money-payers.
BLOWOUTS AIN'T WORTH IT. You can blame 4K TVs, climate control, food delivery, overpriced tickets, traffic or anything else that modern life has brought us for Ohio State's attendance decline, and you'd be right to a point, but it turns out the main reason seems to be that folks are sick of watching Ohio State shell some overmatched squad.
... I head to the campus student center and a group of young people wearing OSU gear greet me with wary looks. I explain that I’m a reporter, assure them I’m not a narc—which is 100% something a narc would say—and ask if they’re going to the game tomorrow. It turns out they’re student-athletes and will get in trouble if they don’t clear this conversation with their communications director first (at least they don’t have a Risk Manager). On the condition of anonymity, they sheepishly tell me they aren’t going to the game. It's much more fun to watch in bars or at frats, they say, especially when every game is a blowout.
I wander into a small gym on campus. Senior psychology major Isaiah Swoops is working the desk, swiping students’ ID cards. He explains that the gym isn’t always this full on Friday evenings—people are taking it easy tonight because they’ll start drinking at 6 a.m. for the noon kickoff. Swoops, a senior, bought season tickets the past three years. This season, he didn’t. He hasn’t gone to a single game.
“Fortunately, we have a really competitive program,” he says. “But our opening game this year was Florida Atlantic. Do I really want to go sit through it and watch us beat down Florida Atlantic? Or do I want to watch at home or a bar with my buddies and see some of the other games going on in college football?”
“If we were to play a more competitive schedule at home, that would cause me to want to go,” Swoops continues. “There’s nothing better than going to see a good game in person.”
This might actually might be an unsolvable problem, because what the hell is it going to take for Ohio State to play a "more competitive schedule at home" when I can count the number of teams that would play Ohio State close on one hand?
This season, the Buckeyes played three home games against teams ranked in the College Football Playoff top-25 at the end of the season, two of which were ranked in the top-10, and played one more against a team that was ranked in the top-25 at the time of the game. That's a legit schedule, but Ohio State still won those games by an average of 27 points.
The weird reality is that Buckeyes are just too damn good to draw a consistent crowd. It would be like if your favorite basketball team were the Harlem Globetrotters and you (justifiably) got bored with the scripted results, except these are actual teams actually trying to win a game.
But fear not, I have the solution: points shaving. It's up to Ryan Day to make every game feel competitive without it ever actually being outside of his control. Give the people what they want.
TURNING SOME HEADS? It seems the NBA Draft evaluation process has done wonders for Kaleb Wesson because he's apparently a legitimate NBA Draft prospect this season.
Kaleb Wesson has done as good a job as any player in the country this year at incorporating the feedback he got from NBA teams into his game. Didnt think he was a legit prospect last year, and has turned himself into one. https://t.co/RqXhiWedSC https://t.co/HpXyEvgJIO— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) January 10, 2020
I remember reading the galaxy-brained comments suggesting Kaleb going through the draft process was a waste of everyone's time because everyone knew he wasn't going to get drafted, which was entirely the point.
He wasn't a draft prospect last year, but the process allows him to figure out what he needs to do to become one. He did it, and now here we are.
CHILL COMMISH. It seems times there's a bit of a changing-of-the-guard. The rigid authoritarian form leadership is dying, and it's being replaced by a more approachable and laid back approach.
We spent all offseason talking about Ryan Day's player-friendly approach and his remodeled office, and now it seems new Kevin Warren is bringing that same vibe to the Big Ten Commissioner position.
“Feel that energy?” says Diane Dietz, the Big Ten’s deputy commissioner.
There’s a less formal vibe in the office.
An example: My exit interview with Delany began in a conference room on the second floor. Warren, though, waves me up to his office on the third floor, which is designated for Big Ten employees.
He asks about my kids, taking a sincere interest. Our interview was blocked off for 30 minutes, but even after a conference official enters to remind him of his next meeting, Warren says: “Ask what you want. Don’t rush yourself.”
And after 45 minutes, he walks me to the elevator.
Like most of you, I will never interact with that man as long as I breathe (and not likely after, either), but that sure as hell ain't going to stop me from having a published opinion, and thus far I'm a fan.
REGARDING MIKE VRABEL'S PENIS. The Tennessee Titans are two wins away from a Super Bowl championship, and if Mike Vrabel were a man of his word, he might be getting a little nervous about the fate of his Little Titan.
But after Saturday's win over the Ravens, Vrabel made it clear that he will be keeping his penis even if the Titans do win the Super Bowl.
But hopefully a Super Bowl title wouldn’t come with a huge personal price for Vrabel—last July, he appeared on the Bussin’ with the Boys podcast, which Lewan co-hosts with former Titan Will Compton. When Lewan and Compton asked Vrabel if he would cut off his penis for a Super Bowl win, the coach immediately said that he would, and that his wife Jen would be okay with it (Jen even offered to help). On Saturday night, when it became clear that the Titans could go all the way, Twitter erupted with jokes about Vrabel’s wild claim.
“Oh, I meant,” Vrabel said outside the locker room before heading out for the night. “Listen, I didn’t want to disappoint Taylor and Will when I went on the podcast. I knew they were gonna ask me things that probably, if I just clammed up, [the show] wouldn't be very fun. So I tried to make it as fun as possible.”
He sure did make it fun—and he’s continuing to keep the Titans’ postseason run fun too. This team proves that when very few people believe in you, making them believe in you can be a blast.
Mike learned a lesson about online – never make promises you don't intend to keep. When I claimed that I'd raffle off my job to the commentariat if Justin Fields wasn't Ohio State's starting quarterback this year (lol, remember when people were actually questioning that?) I mean it.
However, I will forgive his Internet sin if he promises to give us Kerry Coombs when the run ends. Thank you.
NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. ABC told Burt Ward, who played Robin in Batman, to take pills to shrink his penis... A playboy tortoise had so much sex he saved his entire species... 26 bags of body parts are found in Mexico... Investigators explain how they matched DNA to a 1979 cold case... Findings from a Central Park squirrel census...