Skull Session: Ohio State Recruiting Outpaces Big Ten, Some Stadiums Will Be Louder With No Fans, and TBTBITL Goes Virtual For Pregame

By Kevin Harrish on October 21, 2020 at 5:36 am
Welcome to today's skull session.

We're so close to game day, there's a game poster today. Get hype, y'all.

Word of the Day: Doyen.

 STARS MATTER. Ohio State is a -550 betting favorite to win its *fourth* unshared Big Ten title. Here's how that happens, in one simple graphic:

For those of you who struggle with your numbers, that's Ohio State with 14 five-star players on its roster, and the rest of the Big Ten combined with 12 five-star players.

It shouldn't really be shocking information given the on-field results, but it's hilarious to just visualize that Ohio State's recruiting efforts are outpacing the entire Big Ten conference compined.

The flip side of this is that Minnesota has itself a top-25 team with the same number of four-star prospects as Rutgers. Okay, PJ Fleck. You have my attention. But also, let's try some recruiting now?

 LOUDER WITH NO FANS? With no fans in the stands, the Big Ten is allowing teams to pump in artificial crowd noise this season, presumably to avoid the eery feeling of a completely silent stadium.

That's fine and good, except they're letting teams roll with up to 70 decibels.

It's honestly a fairly safe number – certainly not quiet, but definitely not loud enough to cause much disruption, either.

HOWEVER! There's a solid, solid chance that some stadiums will be louder with the artificial noise than they were with actual fans in the stands.

I distinctly remember my good pal Ryan Ginn taking a decibel meter down to the Maryland student section during The Great Terrepin Massacre of 2016. I couldn't seem to find the photos or the article he wrote about it (back when he had a real job like the rest of us and wasn't wasting his life in lawyer school), so I asked him.

He shared with me this video of the decibel meter in Camp Randall Stadium (a notoriously loud venue), and remembered the Maryland reading well enough.

"I can't find any videos from Maryland on the site or my phone but I know it wasn't higher than the 40s. I remember for sure that it was less than half of Wisconsin."

As you can see on the handy dandy chart, 40 decibels equates to a moderate snore and is quieter than an average conversation.

Needless to say, there's a good chance their first game with no fans in the stands will be the loudest that stadium has been in quite some time, and they probably aren't the only ones (looking at you, Rutgers).

 13 YEARS, AND STILL HAUNTED. Mark Titus has been waiting 13 years to deliver a glorious, glorious gift to Greg Oden. And after all these years, it's stuck with him – if you catch my drift.

And the reaction could not have been better (except when the uh... incident first happened).


"This the same one?"

If you've read the book, you absolutely know. If you haven't read the book, read the damn book. It's worth it, if only to understand Greg's absolutely appalled expression.

 HOW TO WATCH TBDBITL. The Best Damn Band in the Land won't be allowed to perform at the 'Shoe this season, which means no ramp entrance, no Across the Field, no Buckeye Battle Cry, and no The Incomparable.

... or does it?

I'm not going to pretend this is going to be anywhere near the same, but given the circumstances, I'll take it.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "It's a Long Way to the Top" by AC/DC.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. The tenants who evicted their landlord... The mystery of the immaculate concussion... The Italian Mafia is on Tik Tok... The pandemic showed us the genius of supermarkets... Yes, books were bound in human skin... These students figured out their tests were graded by AI — and the easy way to cheat... Inside a man's quest to taste every fruit on earth...

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