Skull Session: Urban Meyer Was “Distant” to Officials, Some Buckeyes Among the Best NFL Prospects of the Last Five Years, and Zed Key Impresses

By Kevin Harrish on February 10, 2020 at 4:59 am
The Buckeyes are shaking hands in today's skull session.

Hey, at least one Ohio State basketball team handled Wisconsin this week!

That's three-straight wins for Kevin McGuff's squad as they make a tournament push.

Word of the Day: Asunder.

 HIS OWN MAN. Retiring Big Ten referee Dan Capron was no doubt berated by many, many head coaches during his 20 years on the job.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, he specifically likened Jim Harbaugh to a fourth-grader and said that Bo Pelini was the worst coach he ever had to deal with and that it was "not even close."

But it seems Urban Meyer had a unique way of avoiding those unpleasant encounters: he just didn't talk.

He is unlike any other Big Ten coach. He is distant, uncommunicative. He had a staff member whose job it was to communicate with the officials. I’d come over at the end of the first half, as I’m obligated to do, and say, “Coach, you’re out of timeouts.” Or maybe I’d say something like, “Coach, No. 64 is on the edge (of getting a penalty); you better talk to him.” I was engaging in what we call preventive officiating.

If you don’t want to listen to what I have to say, you’re probably not doing your team any favor. I’m not expecting that coaches will be warm and fuzzy, though some of them are absolutely lovable. Coach Meyer was all about the business of coaching his team, and he wanted nothing to do with the officials or with officiating.


Any time I would approach his sideline, he would turn and go the other direction. Now, in his defense Ohio State is a pressure-packed job and he’s got a million things on his mind. The other coaches seem to be able to parse that out in such a way that they’re able to communicate with the officials. For whatever reason, that wasn’t on his radar screen. The pregame meetings were as brief as he could possibly make them … captains’ numbers, kickoff time, everybody legally equipped. Check, check, check. Good luck, Coach. Goodbye.

At first, this surprised me, but after thinking about it, it seems totally on-brand for him to want as little human interaction as possible when coaching a football game. If he needs to chat, he will. That's just how he rolls.

Regardless, that entire piece is worth the read, because Capron's got a library's worth of stories. He talks extensively about the 2016 game, essentially calls Jim Harbaugh a manbaby, and confirms that Joe Paterno shit himself in Ohio Stadium.

Dude needs to write a book.

 CAN'T MISS LIST. After five years of rating college football players, Pro Football Focus put together their all-prospects team, which is effectively a collection of guys they thought were the most NFL ready at each position coming out of college.

This is going to shock you, but the school that produced three of the last four rookies of the year is all over the list.

Chase Young, OSU; Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

Honorable mention: Nick Bosa, OSU; Joey Bosa, OSU

The Bosa brothers were both elite, elite prospects, but they didn’t have the physical tools that our first-team prospects possessed. Garrett you could see was a different breed from his freshman year when he earned a 92.1 pass-rushing grade. He’d go over 90 in every single year of his college career. Young didn’t hit the field quite as ready, but he developed into the most dominant edge prospect we’ve ever seen with a 96.5 pass-rushing grade this past season.


Jalen Ramsey, FSU; Marshon Lattimore, OSU

Honorable mention: Jeffrey Okudah, OSU; Tre’Davious White, LSU

I still don’t think we’ve seen another season quite as statistically dominant from a Power-5 corner as Lattimore’s 2016. That season he allowed only 18 catches on 40 targets with four picks and 12 forced incompletions for a passer rating of 31.9. It was really the only exposure we got to Lattimore and we were convinced. Ramsey on the other hand had multiple seasons of dominance at both safety and corner. Watching him press college wide receivers was a thing of beauty.


Malik Hooker, OSU

Honorable mention: Grant Delpit, LSU

Hooker’s highlight reel from back in 2016 was a sight to behold. While it may well have overhyped him in our eyes as he still had a small sample size with only one years as a starter, Hooker consistently displayed freaky range. He picked off seven passes that season and earned a 91.5 coverage grade. He’s been solid as a pro, but hasn’t quite been the playmaker he was in college.

So, Ohio State has 75 percent of the edge players listed, half the corners and the first-team free safety. That seems good!

 HELP IS ON THE WAY! When I watched the 11th Wisconsin three-pointer splash through the net on my mediocre television set, the thought occurred to me that maybe this just wasn't the year for the basketbucks.

Then, the Badgers hit another three, and I seriously considered changing the channel to literally anything else, but decided to tough it out to watch Justin Ahrens ruin his 13 Trillion with an off-ball foul with 3:11 on the clock.

I ain't the sugar-coating type: that was bad. This whole season has been bad. But I'm going to counter all the negativity genuine optimism for the weapons that are coming in, and that includes incoming freshman Zed Key, who drew some Jared Sullinger comparisons.

The Sullinger comp seems like a bit of stretch to me, but it's not the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. One pro for Zed is that he seems more likely to dunk the damn ball than Sullinger was at any point in his college or professional career, and I've missed big man dunks in my life.

In any case, Sully sends his best.

Same, Sully. Same.

 ANDREW WIGGINS > D'ANGELO RUSSELL? There were more than a few folks who questioned how D'Angelo Russell would fit in at Golden State, and even though the Warriors said all the right things, in hindsight, Steve Kerr admits that he was one of the doubters.

"When you already have Steph and Klay and you add a ball-dominant guard, you can rightfully question the fit," said Steve Kerr with a straight face about a trade in which he acquired Andrew Wiggins instead.

I'm not going to pretend that I thought Russell was a good fit with the Warriors either, but Kerr just traded him for a worse player that takes more shots and is acting like he's solved all his roster ailments.

 ANOTHER NO. 1 BITES THE DUST. For the second Monday in a row, the tennis Buckeyes are celebrating a weekend win over the nation's No. 1 team. Last Saturday, it was Texas who got dumped in Columbus. This Sunday, it was Texas.

Ohio State was No. 2 before this win, which means as long as they handle business until the next set of rankings come out – congrats on the top ranking.

Maybe we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves because that would mean a win over No. 7 Texas A&M, but when you dump the nation's top team twice in about a week, I think you earn the right to be a little confident.

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