Skull Session: Buckeyes Could Get Revenge Against Oregon, Eli Ricks Might Be Nation's Best, and Ohio State Generates Plenty of Social Buzz

By Kevin Harrish on December 3, 2021 at 5:10 am
We're thinking of hunting ducks in today's skull session.

Important life update: my wife convinced me to do a dance video with her online yesterday.

Critics are calling my performance "endearingly terrible," which is a solid step up from just regular terrible!

Word of the Day: Mesmeric.

 REDEMPTION ARC. Barring a meteor taking out multiple team busses between now and Sunday, Ohio State's College Football Playoff hopes are pretty much dead.

That means the Buckeyes are going to be headed to a bowl game that none of you really give a damn about (it's playoff or bust around these parts, after all). However! There's a very solid chance Ohio State could earn itself at least a little bit of postseason redemption with a chance to run it back against Oregon.

Should Oregon exact revenge on Utah in Friday’s Pac-12 Championship Game, Ohio State will likely get a shot to rectify one of its two losses in the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes can’t go back in time to right the wrong of last week’s loss to Michigan or the Sept. 11 defeat at the hands of the Ducks, but the chance to get at least one of those games back before the end of the season is essentially as close as they can get.


By the time Ohio State found its stride with several impressive batterings of Big Ten opponents over the next month-and-a-half, Day was already touting his team as a different group than the one that played Oregon in Columbus. Many felt Ohio State deserved to jump the Ducks in the CFP rankings despite that head-to-head result following the Buckeyes’ 59-31 beating of Purdue on Nov. 13, but once the Ducks suffered their second loss of the season the next week, the pecking order was sorted out.

Surely after the Buckeyes’ 56-7 win over then-No. 7 Michigan State, no one would question who the favorite should be in a theoretical rematch between Ohio State and Oregon. Even after Ohio State’s second loss of the season, it still remains three spots ahead of Oregon in the CFP rankings. In all likelihood, that rematch would no longer be hypothetical if Michigan wins over Iowa and Oregon wins against Utah in the Big Ten and Pac-12 title games this weekend.

To be clear, there is no part of me that's super optimistic that Ohio State would suddenly be able to stop Oregon this time, but I do think the Buckeyes would probably be able to turn 600 yards into more than 28 points this time. Baby steps!

 BEST IN THE NATION? Former LSU cornerback Eli Ricks is looking for a new home, and we've been aware he was one of the top corners coming out of high school and is the top transfer cornerback on the market.

But he might be more than that.

Based on his Pro Football Focus grades, Ricks might just be the best overall cornerback in the country, regardless of transfer status.


  • Transferring from: LSU
  • Recruiting: 2020 5-Star (National Rank: 14, Position Rank: 2)
  • Career Snaps: 833

Ricks is in the conversation for best cornerback in college football. Before his injury-riddled 2021 campaign, Ricks produced at an extraordinarily high level for a true freshman. In that 2020 season, Ricks was tasked with a high dose of man coverage and handled it like a pro. His man-coverage grade ranked first among all Power Five cornerbacks in 2020. He allowed just six catches on 19 targets while making seven total plays on the ball when he was tasked with single coverage.

Ricks' physicality at the line of scrimmage and poise at the catch point make him a difficult cornerback to beat outright. It’s quite clear he already has an excellent feel for the position and has Thorpe Award potential for 2022. Ricks decided to leave LSU after word got out that Coach O would not be returning in 2022. He publicly said he is eyeing four schools as a possible transfer option: Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and USC. The Buckeyes were the runner-up for Ricks in his recruiting race. If new Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley decides to retain cornerbacks coach Donte Williams, that would increase USC’s chances of landing Ricks, a Southern California native.

I don't think Ohio State's cornerbacks are anywhere near the primary concern on the defensive side of the ball at this point, but I'll tell you what, signing the best cover corner in the country would sure make everybody else a little bit better.

Ricks almost signed with the Buckeyes out of high school, Ohio State has been rumored to be his transfer destination several times over the past year before he was even in the portal, and he's extremely good friends with C.J. Stroud. Someone needs to go ahead and close this deal.

 GENERATING THAT BUZZ. Social media interaction used to just be a pretty nebulus nice sounding thing you could brag about to recruits. But in the NIL era, it means a hell of a lot more than that.

When Ryan Day's talking a prospect considering what a school can offer in terms of NIL exposure, it sure helps to be able to say "we got 1.7 million more interactions than second place, and almost double Michigan."

You'll be shocked to hear that I was never recruited by the Buckeyes to play football, but from what I understand, this was something they already brought up in recruiting even before NIL. I'm sure it's absolutely hammered home these days.

 SOUTHERN DRAWL, Y'ALL. Y'all thought Brian Kelly left his team with the quickness, wait till you see how quickly his accent went from stypical midwestern dad to Francis Underwood from House of Cards.

Give that man some squirrel gumbo loaded with Tobasco and we'll see how cajun he's really become in two days.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "LA Devotee" by Panic! At The Disco. 

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