Skull Session: The Basketball Team is Undefeated Against Top-10 Teams, Cardale Jones Loses As a Starter for the First Time in Almost a Decade, and the Big Ten is Sticking With Nine Games

By Kevin Harrish on February 24, 2020 at 4:59 am
The backboard is glowing in today's skull session.

Don't worry everybody, esterday's shooting performance from Luther Muhammad was E.T. approved.

Song of the Day: "My Generation" by The Who

Word of the Day: Oleaginous.

 BEST AGAINST THE BEST. I think we've unlocked the secret to getting the Buckeyes to play well consistently: stick a top-10 ranking in front of their opponent.

After Sunday afternoon's turtle turning, Ohio State is now a perfect 4-0 against teams ranked in the top-10 at the time they played the Buckeyes – the most top-10 wins of any team in the country – with no game closer than six points and an average margin of victory of almost 16 points.

So basically, we just need to make sure Ohio State has the most difficult NCAA Tournament path imaginable and then we can print the tee shirts.

 SANCTIONED ASSAULT. Hello, would you like to see Malik Harrison toss around two NFL-bound offensive linemen like they're ragdolls? Great.

I go back and forth about whether Harrison, Damon Arnette or DaVon Hamilton are the most underrated Buckeyes in the draft, and I think I'm leaning towards "yes."

All eyes are on Chase Young and Jeff Okudah, but if you're one of the teams outside of the top-three, these fine fellows will make your football team better for quite some time.

 HE BLEEDS AFTERALL. After almost a decade of undefeated starts, King Cardale Jones looked extremely mortal on Sunday night, throwing four picks in his first loss since high school.

To put that in perspective, it had been a year longer since Cardale Jones lost a game as a starter than it had since Ohio State lost Michigan.

That probably explains why he never lost confidence despite his team getting railed in the first half. (Also, whoever was supposed to be censoring this audio must have fallen asleep at the wheel).

Maybe Dolo wasn't at his best because the game was on FS1 instead of ABC. Everyone knows he's at his best on the biggest stages.

 STICKING WITH NINE GAMES. Since moving to a nine-game conference schedule, it seems he Big Ten has routinely gotten the shaft from the College Football Playoff Committee, but it isn't going to cause new Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren to make any changes on that front.

The number of league games remains of interest within Big Ten country. Nine of the 14 schools played at least 10 Power 5 opponents last year. In 2018, 11 met or exceeded 10 games against that level of competition. The Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conferences, however, play an eight-game league schedule. None of the SEC teams faced more than nine Power 5 opponents during the 2018 regular season and only three did last year. Likewise, only five ACC teams played 10 or more Power 5 opponents in each of the last two seasons.

The imbalance has drawn concerns that perhaps the Big Ten should drop its league schedule to eight games, especially because the extra criteria has not given the league its desired CFP perception boost. The extra cross-divisional games have potentially kept a few teams from the postseason entirely and others from making New Year’s Six bowl appearances. With Delany retired, new commissioner Kevin Warren has heard those concerns. For now, he has no plans to alter the schedule.

“That’s something that has come up a lot,” Warren said during a visit to the University of Iowa on Friday. “I’m very comfortable with the nine-game schedule in football right now in our conference. And the reason why is that, one thing about it, we have very tough, physical teams who have done well during the season, who have done well in the playoff. I’m also one of those people that doesn’t make determinations based upon four-to-five-to-six years of a snapshot, because whether that’s the stock market or businesses, if you take a snapshot of a five- or six-year period, sometimes those results in that period can mislead you.”

“... we have very tough, physical teams who have done well during the season, who have done well in the playoff.”

That's an interesting point to try to make, because Ohio State is the only Big Ten team that's ever even won a playoff game, and it happened in 2014, before the nine-game conference schedule began.

I'm definitely not a hater of the nine-game conference slate (I think every conference should play nine games), but "everything is fine, actually" is not the approach I'd like to see Warren take.

It's not fine. It's chickenshit that the Big Ten plays nine conference games and the ACC and SEC play eight plus a dessert game, and it's even more chickenshit that the imbalance has only seemed to *help* the other conferences.

I agree that the Big Ten shouldn't be the one adjusting its scheduling practices, because nobody wants more meaningless games than we already have, but the imbalance needs to be addressed with more than just confidence that a nine-game slate is the correct move.

 “DO BETER.” Ohio State dumped a top-10 team yesterday, and I now know who to thank for the big win.

Firm, yet fair. That's a reminder all of us need sometimes.

In my mind, Pedon took the letter to the team and read it aloud for inspiration just before the game and it directly led to Luther Muhammad's 22 points and five rebounds on Sunday.

"'Shit, I've never considered that," — Luther Muhammad upon hearing the letter, probably.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. The defector who brought a North-South Korean romance to life... Marijuana burglars hit a Florida weed dispensary at 4:20 a.m... Pizza shops are fined for not reporting the murders of their delivery drivers... A California street is shut down after 40,000 bees swarm from a hotel... A mysterious cult is at the center of a surge of coronavirus cases in South Korea... Fake products on Amazon are getting out of hand.

View 69 Comments