Skull Session: Cardale Jones Likes the Transfer Portal, Athletic Directors Support Playoff Expansion and the Schottenstein Center is Not a Tough Place to Play

By Kevin Harrish on April 9, 2020 at 4:59 am
There's a helmet in today's skull session.

We're one day closer to the world opening again. Stay strong.

Song of the Day: "Breed" by Nirvana.

Word of the Day: Decussate.

 ODD MAN OUT. Cardale Jones is kind of the poster child for sticking it out despite getting buried on the depth chart and passed by somebody younger.

But even he – the fellow who won a national title as a third-string quarterback – sees the transfer portal as a solid option that he might have even used if it was around when he was in school.

One thing that is really interesting about your career is that you were behind other quarterbacks on the depth chart. It feels like, even since 2014, quarterbacks don’t do that. If you don’t win the starting job, you transfer. I feel like that trend has only grown. I wonder if it’s something you might have done if you were, say, a freshman quarterback today and didn’t win the job.

If your starter is either in the same year as you or just one year older, that’s tough. It’s tough to say, “OK, well hopefully I’ll wait my turn while this guy has a great career, and then I’ll have one year to prove myself and chase my dreams.” Or it just never happens. If the guy’s in your same class, the way you play is an injury. I do think as a freshman, that’s an easier decision to make than if you (transfer) later in your career because you’ve developed relationships not only with your coaches but the guys you go into battle with. That was one of my concerns as well. Looking at that 2014 season and the way J.T. came on — probably by the fifth or sixth game of the season he was getting talked about for the Heisman — I’m just like, “I love this team to death but I still want an opportunity to play.” He’s younger than me, and Braxton is back next year. I’m the odd man out. So yeah, if the transfer portal existed back then and you didn’t have to sit out a year, and we won a championship without J.T. getting hurt, that probably would have been my protocol the following year.

Cardale Jones' story already feels unrealistic even when I saw it unfold in person with my own eyes six years ago.

With the way college football is trending with the portal and talk of one-time transfers, it's going to sound damn close to mythology in a few years, cause something like that is never happening again.

 EXPAND IT. As we trudge through this sports desert together, I hope you can find some brief solace in the inevitability of the inevitable expansion of the playoff, because 88 percent of athletic directors are now on board.

A whopping 88 percent of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) athletic directors want an expanded College Football Playoff when the current playoff contract ends after the 2025 regular season, according to a survey conducted by Stadium.

Of those athletic directors who favor an expanded playoff, 72 percent believe eight teams should qualify. Also, 66 percent of the ADs said the highest-ranked non-Power Five team should receive an automatic bid to an expanded playoff.


“More and more fans are only concerned with the playoffs,” a Power Five AD said. “That’s sad, but true, so we should expand the playoffs when possible. Even if that impacts the bowl system. We have to figure out a way.

I'm not too keen on the prospect of waiting another five years for something everyone should have known was inevitable five years ago, but hey, it's better than nothing.

 BULLDOZE THE SCHOTT. The Schott has recently been downgraded to just the third-best basketball arena on Ohio State's campus, so it should come as no shock to you that it is uh, not nationally regarded as a particularly tough place to play.

152. Schottenstein Arena – Ohio State Buckeyes 3.43

Miles Markiewicz-Buckeye fans are some of the craziest, loudest, loving, hating, passionate fan bases in all of sports. The city seems to cry the day after a football loss, riots break out in the street after beating that team up North or taking home a National Title and the Buckeyes are the best in every sport, every time. When it comes to basketball, these fans are still here but lack the obsessive nature of the football program.

152 is far too high, in my humble opinion.

I'd like to say the fan energy isn't the problem, but then again, during my time as a student, I spent every game standing across the court from an elderly lady who spent each game literally knitting a scarf courtside. I sincerely wish I was being hyperbolic.

Still, the building itself sure isn't helping. The seats are further away from the court than even the strictest social distancing would mandate, the arena is way too big to fill on the reg, and it feels like a warehouse that still somehow has the acoustics of a padded room. You could not design a worse basketball venue if you tried.

And yet, the Buckeyes finished the regular season with the nation's best overall adjusted efficiency rating at home, meaning they were effectively the best team in the nation when playing on their home court, for some reason.

I guess maybe the silence is deafening?

 LOCK IT UP. If it wasn't a lock Chase Young top-three pick before, he probably is now, because nobody outside of those draft spots is even bothering to talk to him.

For #content purposes, I'm doing a rain dance that Joe Burrow, Chase Young and Jeff Okudah 1, 2 and 3, but I'll take whatever happens at this point. Just give me some kind of sports thing to talk about, pretty please.

 HELL YES. Today, our pals over at Homage are dropping what might be the crispiest NBA Jam-style tee of all time.

I don't know how they're going to do Mark's ratings, but I pray they work this in there somehow:

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. The mother of a slain 4-year-old says the convicted killer is innocent... A mysterious ‘stinging tentacle’ creature filmed off the coast of Australia looks like a giant ‘ocean string’... Your poop might be the key to predicting the end of the pandemic... A man attempted to set his wife on fire because he didn’t qualify for a COVID-10 relief check... Inside the circus capital of the world... Our government runs on a 60-year-old coding language, and now it's falling apart.

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