Skull Session: Some Kerry Coombs Hype, the Buckeyes Are Somehow a Bubble Team, and Bowl Ticket Sales Plummet

By Kevin Harrish on January 21, 2020 at 4:59 am
Kerry Coombs could also be the quarterbacks coach in today's skull session.

The Buckeyes are no longer without a defensive coordinator. Rejoice!

Word of the Day: Effervescent.

 #KERRYCOOMBSISBACKINCOLUMBUSANDIAMEXCITED. As a noted and vocal Jeff Hafley lover, there weren't too many defensive coordinators that were going to get me excessively excited to have instead of the guy who I think is the best Buckeye defensive coordinator in my lifetime.

But Kerry Coombs, he'll do it. And Ohio State rolled out an absolutely amped hype video to celebrate, because why the hell not?

I've seen and heard folks expressing reservations about hiring Coombs, and I get it. He doesn't have a ton of experience as a coordinator. But at the end of the day, the guy has coached five first-round picks and landed Shaun Wade and Jeff Okudah in the same class.

Can he coordinate and run a defense? I don't know, I'm a blogger for a free website. What I do know is that he's more in-tune with Michigan's playcalling than Michigan is.

If Tyvis Powell thinks Coach Coombs, is a genius, then Coach Coombs is a genius.

(Also, shoutout to young Dan Hope and his glorious facial hair which he should absolutely bring back.)

 TITANS LOVE COOMBS. I often wonder if a guy like Kerry Coombs ever encounters people who dislike him. I've yet to see it in Columbus, and it's not looking likely that it happened in Tennessee, either.

Normally, I look at quotes from former players to try to get an idea of what the coach is like, but in this case, it's just confirming what I already knew.

 ON THE BUBBLE, SOMEHOW. Less than a month ago, I was contemplating Ohio State's Final Four run and pondering how many out-of-town guests I can fit in my metro Atlanta abode.

While I understand my excitement was recklessly premature, I at least thought the Buckeyes would be comfortably in the damn tournament, but now it's looking like there may somehow be some drama on that front, as Ohio State is currently getting projected as an 8-seed.

I've never witnessed an Ohio State team as dominant as they were before Christmas, and I'm not sure I've seen one as frustrating to watch as they've been after Christmas. That's one hell of a way to average out mediocre.

 PLAYOFF OR BUST? People aren't watching New Year's Six bowl games live anymore, and bowl executives are passing the blame to the College Football Playoff for creating a system where folks don't care about their games anymore.

Attendance for the seven games run by the College Football Playoff dropped to an all-time low this postseason, halfway through the CFP's initial contract that created the New Year's Six games and the CFP National Championship. The attendance at those seven games were down a cumulative 42,500 fans or 8 percent from a playoff-era high in 2015.

That's an average decline of 6,069 fans per game across the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Peach Bowl, Sugar Bowl and CFP National Championship. A sellout crowd of 76,885 Monday watched LSU defeat Clemson at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the title game. That brought the CFP attendance total to 492,220, down 3 percent from the previous season.

For the fourth consecutive year, four of the seven CFP games decreased in attendance from the previous season.

"It's exactly what Nick Saban has been saying," said Wright Waters, outgoing Football Bowl Association executive director. "We've created a group of schools that their goal is to be in the playoff."

I'm not buying it's the primary reason for an attendance drop, because it seems like a convenient way to deflect blame from other issues (ticket prices), but he's right that there's a group of schools whose sole focus is getting to the playoff. And I definitely think interest wanes when they don't, and end up in a consolation New Year's Six game against some Group of Five school instead. 

The playoff didn't invent that phenomenon, because it existed even in the BCS era, but it has become more prevalent with the playoff, probably because "top-4 or bust" seems a lot more realistic and consistently attainable than "top-2 or bust."

The solution to this probably to just expend the playoff so that all the New Year's Six bowl games are encompassed in the playoff and they get their attendance, too (while absolutely screwing over the next tier of bowls even more, but they don't give a damn about that).

Then again, there are few things in life I care less about than a bowl executive's paycheck. If I were college football despot, I'd cut these plutocrats out of the equation completely and just play the opening round of an eight-team playoff at campus sites.

The semifinal and final can be bid on by individual cities, so everyone gets a fair shot. Enough gifting teams home-field advantages in the national postseason because of antiquated bowl games.

 A PORTAL CLOSES. This didn't ever really materialize into anything serious (mostly because Ohio State didn't have any immediate scholarships available, from what I gather) but potential transfer portal target defensive end Quincy Roche won't be a Buckeye.

With this and graduate transfer D'Eriq King, Miami is out here winning the transfer portal national title for the second year in a row. Maybe this time the results will be better than a 6-7 season culminating in a shutout loss to Louisiana Tech.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. A Russian healing cat goes on sale for $350,000... A professor is accused of spending $185,000 in grant funds on strip clubs (and iTunes purchases)... Why do so many US workers fall to their deaths?... A father is charged after tackling his son's opponent at a wrestling match... Spotify launches playlists for dogs left home alone... How to make sense of an undrowned town.

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