Skull Session: This Quarterback Battle is Different, Urban Meyer Didn't See the National Title Coming, and Catfish Biff's Closes Shop

By Kevin Harrish on March 3, 2021 at 5:18 am
CJ Stroud could be the next man up in today's skull session.

Welcome to another day. Congratulations, you've made it.

Word of the Day: Shibboleth.

 IT'S DIFFERENT THIS TIME. We're not exactly strangers to high-profile quarterback battles here in Buckeyeland. We've had the famed #QBgeddon of 2015, and two future Heisman Trophy candidates battling it out in the spring of 2018.

But this year's race is going to be different for one big reason – none of the candidates have even ever thrown a collegiate pass.

Many times the choice comes down to the “safe” pick — usually a returning starter or veteran backup with limited skills upside — against a precocious young playmaker.

Ohio State’s 2021 quarterback competition has plenty of the latter — probably. As OSU coach Ryan Day said, you cannot truly judge a quarterback until he stares down an angry opposing defense in an actual game. The consensus reports on C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller and Kyle McCord provide reasonable certainty that the Buckeyes can find a talented starting quarterback this fall.

But the competition includes no fallback safe choice. With one possible exception, all of the Buckeyes’ most notable recent quarterback competitions had at least one contender who fit that description.

This is one hell of a snap back to reality for Ryan Day after he got to have a returning starter (who happened to also be a reigning Heisman Trophy finalist) for the first time in his life. 

 “I'LL NEVER FORGET THIS ONE.” If you thought Ohio State's season was pretty much over when Braxton Miller tore his labrum just before the season, you're not alone! Urban Meyer was right there with you.

In fact, Meyer didn't even think that team was going to be a national title contender *with* even with the best player on the roster.

“I felt OK,” he said. “I didn’t feel great. I thought we were a year away because our team was so young. Zeke wasn’t Zeke yet. Mike Thomas was unheard of (after redshirting in 2013). We knew Bosa was good. But I had no idea what was coming.”

What came next was disaster. Miller was lost for the season when he re-injured his shoulder throwing a pass during training camp.

“That was a body blow,” Meyer said. “It happened right in front of me. Our best player by far and I realize what we have behind us is some unknown quarterback from Texas (coming off) an ACL (injury) and a third-string quarterback that had his issues.

“I thought, ‘We are in major trouble.’ I almost in my mind convinced myself it would be OK if we go 7-5 and build for the next year.”

Meyer was (understandably) equally pessimistic when he saw his second starting quarterback go down in the last game of the regular season. But that just made the next few games that much more fun!

“The first one, back in ’06, I had no idea how to react,” Meyer said of his Florida Gators’ upset of the Buckeyes. “The second one, I didn’t enjoy because it was expected and you’re worried about the third one.

“I’ll never forget this one. It’s like I almost trained myself that this was all going to be about the players. Seeing those faces after they do the illogical, I enjoyed every second of it.”

There's never, ever going to be another national champion like that. Never again. It's been over six years at this point and I think I'm still in a state of disbelief.

 GOODNIGHT, SWEET PRINCE. I'm heartbroken to have to report a tragic loss to the Ohio State community today – Catfish Biff's is officially no more.

I'm searching for the right words to say here, but there truly are none.

Rest in power, delicious drunk pizza. I pray we meet again in another life.

 ON HIS WAY TO STEAL MY JOB. I share a lot of interviews from a lot of different outlets in these here Skull Sessions, but this one might be one of a kind.

Meet Recruit Zone, whose founder and CEO I totally expect to be a full-time staffer here at Eleven Warriors in about a decade. And in an amazing turn of events, his first interview is with the most fascinating Ohio State basketball player of all time.


A post shared by @recruitzone_

In all seriousness, the kid is extremely prepared and well-spoken in what turned out to be an impressively good and professional interview (once you get past the two minutes of silence at the start).

If his byline appears on the Skull Session tomorrow instead of mine, y'all will know what happened. And I couldn't blame Jason in the slightest!

 SONG OF THE DAY. "MMMMBop" by Hanson.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. Hundreds escape after a massive prison riot in Haiti, including a notorious gang leader... A rapper is charged with chopping off a British teacher’s penis to make a gory YouTube video... They're going back to prison, but they didn't commit new crimes... A deadly synthetic street drug called ‘Benzo Dope’ is on the rise... Two teenage boys sue a school for $20 million claiming a photo of them in 'blackface' which saw them 'forced out by leadership' was actually green acne medication...

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