Skull Session: Urban Meyer Thinks the 2012 Team Saved Ohio State Football, Big Ten Coaches Certain We'll Have Basketball, and Damon Arnette Was Mic'd Up at Practice

By Kevin Harrish on August 21, 2020 at 4:59 am
The Rivalry helmets are out in today's skull session.

If you missed this video from yesterday, it is non-optional viewing.

I cannot decide whether this video makes me want to sit in self-reflection for 30 minutes or run through a wall. The answer is probably both.

Word of the Day: Hark.

 THERE GOES MY HERO. What if I told you that the most important Ohio State football team in my lifetime didn't win anything?

They also didn't lose, at any point.

(Urban) Meyer, who was recently named Big Ten Coach of the Decade by the Big Ten Network, said there are two murals in the Ohio State football building dedicated to the 2012 team and that “you’ll have to move me to tear them down.”

“That’s how strongly I feel about that team,” Meyer said. “That team and that staff. Those kids couldn’t play for anything. In this day and age, everyone would transfer. They stuck it out.”

This goes back to the most important speech, Meyer’s to the seniors the day the bowl ban was announced. He asked them if they wanted to go out on a 6-7 season or if they wanted an experience that would make them proud to return to Ohio State later in life. He told them he’d change their lives in one year. It worked. All 21 decided to stay.


“It was going to hit,” Meyer insisted. “The script was written. Ohio State was going to be irrelevant for 10 years. And I believe that team saved the day."

He's got a point.

Whenever I look back at the best moments of Meyer's tenure, my brain's going to go to Cardale Jones hucking up deep balls to Devin Smith, Ezekiel Elliott running through and around everybody, and the Silver Bullets shutting down the three Heisman Trophy finalists in consecutive games.

But really, the best Buckeye season under Meyer was 2012, when a team that was frankly not very good at all, won every damn game, even when they were told the season didn't matter.

By the way, if you're a subscriber to The Athletic, that is a fantastic read. It's basically 4,700 words of blunt and candid anecdotes and stories about the 2012 season. 10/10, highly recommended.

 NFL READY. It's no fun think about, but there are plenty of Buckeyes that don't have to play another snap to prove that they're NFL-ready, and PFF's got the numbers to prove it.

Ohio State’s Justin Fields was outstanding in his first year as a starter, leading all draft-eligible quarterbacks in passing grade from a clean pocket, on standard dropbacks, and on throws at or beyond the sticks. The concern for Fields is ranking in the 45th percentile at avoiding negatively graded throws when compared to recent NFL prospects.


Ohio State’s Chris Olave was open on 81.6% of his single coverage targets last season, best among FBS wide receivers.


In just his first year as a starter, Ohio State’s Wyatt Davis ranks in the 64th percentile in positively graded run blocks when compared to recent NFL prospects. On true pass sets, he was just below average with a 43rd percentile rank.

Without knowing what an average number is for comparison purposes, my broken blogger's brain thinks that being open on 81.6 percent of single-coverage targets is absolutely absurd.

Basically, he beats the guy guarding him eight times out of 10. I'm not sure I can do much of anything correctly eight times out of 10. Hell, I can't even deliver y'all a typo-free article eight times out of 10. But Chris Olave is out here beating Division I, Big Ten cornerbacks more than 80 percent of the time.

And my totally unscientific estimation tells me that number's probably much closer to 95 percent against Michigan.


Also, that ball couldn't have been handed to him any better. And now I'm depressed that we might never see either of them in a Buckeye uniform again.

 “NO DOUBT.” We're shit out of luck on a fall football season and we have no idea what a spring season will even look like.

But if everything goes to hell, we can always fall back on basketball, because the Big Ten coaches are pretty damn confident we'll at least be playing that sport when 2021 rolls around.

The league’s basketball coaches are positively bullish, predicting you will be able to fill out a bracket in 2021. Of that, they are (almost) certain.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood said, “that we’re going to play in some way, shape or form.”

Said Michigan State’s Tom Izzo: “I don’t think there’s any question we are going to play. We have learned a lot from football.”

One more from Izzo: “There is no way we are not playing an NCAA Tournament.”


Izzo and Underwood were fine with being quoted. Two other Big Ten coaches spoke to the Tribune on background. All four endorsed starting the season around Thanksgiving and having their players live in the same on- or off-campus complex.

Underwood calls it a “natural bubble” and coaches know it works from watching the NBA, which moved its entire operations to the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Fla.

I'm very happy those fellows are so confident, but I've heard that sort of confidence before, and those predictions didn't age well! So I'm going to do the self-preserving thing and withhold any hope that anything is going to be good ever.

Can't ever be disappointed if you always expect everything to suck!


 ABSOLUTE LEGEND. I'm delighted to inform you that the Las Vegas Raiders did the Lord's work of micing up Damon Arnette for his first professional practice, and we are all the winners.

And it wasn't all talk, he was pretty damn good on the field, too.

And he earned himself a noteworthy fan.

It's becoming clear to me that Damon Arnette is my favorite Ohio State player of all time outside of Chic Harley, which just means my jersey collection is about to get a hell of a lot crispier.

 THE OTHER FOOTBALL. With no college football being played in Columbus this year, might I interest you in the other football?

Hey, at least one Columbus team is carrying the banner.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan.

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