Skull Session: J.T. Barrett Makes a Fan Smile, Michigan Has One Commit the Buckeyes Would Take, and Power Five Admins Ready to Leave NCAA

By Kevin Harrish on October 14, 2020 at 5:21 am
The flags are out in today's skull session.

Me, when I go through a case of Dr. Pepper in two days:

Word of the Day: Ukase.

 STILL A LEGEND. Two Heisman Trophy Finalists removed from his starting role, J.T. Barrett continues to be a Buckeye legend. And he's still using that platform to put smiles on people's faces.

It is an extremely J.T. Barrett move to just be ready to FaceTime a fan at a moment's notice when he has zero obligations and absolutely nothing to gain from it. What a tremendous human being.

 ONE AND DONE? The Game has always extended to recruiting as well, and right now that aspect of the rivalry looks exactly like what you see on the field every year: Ohio State takes whatever it wants and Michigan fights to get... anything.

It's like they aren't even playing the same game.

“If you are trying to beat Ohio State, you should be recruiting against Ohio State,” said a recruiting director at a Power Five school. “Michigan is getting four or five studs a year, when Ohio State is getting 20 studs a year.

”Michigan does rank No. 7 in the recruiting rankings. But the Wolverines really haven’t been competitive with Ohio State on the recruiting trail, much like on the field. Just five of Michigan’s Class of 2021 commitments even had Ohio State offers, according to, and a source told Yahoo Sports that Ohio State would have taken just one of those five.

“It’s a lot of independent contracting, and it seems like the backbone of their team is being built from the state of Massachusetts,” said another Power Five recruiting director. “They are throwing darts around the board with no identity. Where’s their recruiting area?”

Yes, you read that correctly – of Michigan's 20 current commits, Ohio State would have accepted a commitment from exactly one of them.

We spent a solid five minutes as a staff trying to figure out who that one player would be before realizing that combing through Michigan's list of commits to find *one* player that Ohio State would like to have instead is the perfect indicator of the state of the rivalry.

Perform this exercise in the other direction and then try to tell me there isn't a talent gap.

 TAKE MY BALL AND GO HOME. I'll be honest, I've always viewed the prospect of the Power Five breaking away from the NCAA as nothing more than a pipe dream.

But as usual, I could be extremely wrong! Because it would seem that a solid majority of Power Five administrators favor the move.

Three-fourths of college athletics leaders believe the NCAA governing structure needs major, immediate reform, and more than half of Power 5 college administrators support breaking away from NCAA Division I to form a fourth division solely made up of the division’s top 65 schools.

That’s according to a sweeping survey of college leaders this summer conducted by the Knight Commission, a longstanding independent group that promotes reforms that support the educational mission of college sports. The commission’s survey, conducted from June 18 to July 14, produced a 180-page report that provides a window into the thinking of NCAA leadership. 


In fact, 61% of Power 5 administrators say they are more likely to support creating a fourth division of the NCAA that includes only Power 5 programs. Just 15% of Power 5 administrators say they are against such, with 24% being neutral. All other segments of Division I—Group of Five, FCS and non–football playing members—are categorically opposed to the Power 5 breaking away, the survey found.

I love that last sentence. Basically, "everyone who benefits from the Power Five like a parasite would very much like to continue to do that."

Now, there's a big difference between supporting something happening and actually making something happen. Let's see if these Power Five administrators are about that action.

 THE PHONE AIN'T RINGING. When Washington benched Dwayne Haskins, I honestly thought it would end up working out for the best for him. I assumed he would shortly find himself on another roster with a chance to start fresh with a decidedly more competent front office and coaching staff.

But it seems nobody is willing to give him a shot.

I'm still not about to write off the guy who rewrote the Big Ten's longstanding record books in his lone season as a starter. I mean, he's played fewer games in the NFL than he even started at Ohio State. He'll be just fine, and someone's going to end up with a steal.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "way it goes" by Hippo Campus.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. Machu Picchu reopens for single tourist who's been stranded in Peru since March... An 11-year-old is in custody after an alleged joyride in a school bus... The 'Acid King' is convicted of running the biggest LSD ring in history... The true story behind the worst video game ever made...  The city where someone was bitten by a police dog every five days...

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