Skull Session: C.J. Stroud Throws the Best Deep Ball, How COVID-19 Could Impact College Football Playoff, and Rose Bowl Ticket Prices Plummet

By Kevin Harrish on December 23, 2021 at 4:59 am
The grinch is here in today's skull session.

If you've been waiting to pull the trigger on Rose Bowl tickets, I've got some good news...

Unfortunately, the same certainly cannot be said about airline tickets. So get your mind road trip ready.

Word of the Day: Felicity.

 NO WEENIE ARMS HERE. Conventional wisdom would suggest that a first-year starter with the best receiving corps in the nation would simply get the ball into their hands as quickly and easily as possible.

But C.J. Stroud was not your conventional first-year starter.

Not only did Stroud throw the ball down the field with confidence, but he was the single most accurate deep passer in the nation. And it wasn't just because his receivers were wide open.

I don't know, it sure looked like he had a lot of space to run on that play.

Jokes aside, I can't wait to watch Stroud run this back next year.with even more confidence, more experience and more chemistry with the best wide receiver in the country. Oh, and sharing a backfield with TreVeyon Henderson will help, too.

There's a solid chance Ohio State's just going to have the best offense in the country for the foreseeable future and I'm totally cool with that.

 LET'S GET WEIRD. I thought last year, when Ohio State was missing multiple starters for a damn national title game was the weirdest year of the College Football Playoff I'd ever experience in my life, but 2021 has a chance to jump the shark.

Based on the COVID-19 policy the College Football Playoff rolled out yesterday, it's entirely possible that the national champion is simply crowned by default – or simply not at all!

Here's a full rundown of what could happen if teams can't play. Things could get uh.. a bit interesting!

  1. Fiesta and Peach Bowls – The CFP, bowl game and ESPN shall attempt to identify an alternate date for the game within one week of the scheduled date; if no date can be identified, the game would be considered no contest.
  2. Playoff Semifinals (Cotton and Orange Bowls) if one team is unavailable to play – The unavailable team shall forfeit the game and its opponent would advance to the national championship game.
  3. Playoff Semifinals (Cotton and Orange Bowls) if both teams are unavailable to play in one semifinal – The semifinal game would be declared “no contest” and the team winning the other semifinal game would be declared the CFP National Champion.
  4. Playoff Semifinals (Cotton and Orange Bowls) if three teams are unavailable to play – The semifinal game in which two teams are unable to play would be declared “no contest.” In the other semifinal game, the team unable to play shall forfeit the game and its opponent would be declared CFP National Champion.
  5.  CFP National Championship – If the team’s unavailability is determined after the Playoff Semifinals have been conducted, the national championship game in Indianapolis may be rescheduled to no later than Friday, January 14. If one team is able to play and the other is not and the game cannot be rescheduled or is rescheduled and cannot be played, then the team unable to play shall forfeit the game and the other team shall be declared CFP National Champion. If both teams are unable to play on either an original or rescheduled date, then the game shall be declared “no contest” and the CFP National Championship shall be vacated for this season.

It seems hilariously backward that there's a procedure for rescheduling the New Year's Six bowl games of absolutely no consequence but somehow not the playoff semifinals, but at this point, I'll take anything that adds a little spice to this postseason.

I'm obviously not going to root for a COVID outbreak anywhere, but personally, I cannot think of a more amazing scenario than Michigan having to forfeit the one time in the past two decades they're playing for something of consequence. That fanbase may never recover.

 CONGRATS, GRAD. It took 25 years, but Andy Katzenmoyer is officially an Ohio State grad. And he took extreme joy in proving some doubters wrong in the process.

By his own admission, getting his degree wasn’t his top priority. Helping the Buckeyes win and going to the NFL was.

When Sports Illustrated in 1998 revealed that he had taken summer classes on AIDS and golf and had a grade in another classs changed to stay academically eligible, the public image of Katzenmoyer was set.

“At the time, it bothered me because I knew that I wasn't a dumb person or unintelligent,” he said.

Yet for his entire adult life, Katzenmoyer knew many people believed the stereotype about him.

“Most people don't tell me that to my face,” he said. “But with the invention of social media, you still have these people that have never met me that like to take shots on who I am and my intelligence. It still happens.”

That provided some of the motivation for returning to school.

“A part of me really wanted to say a big f-you to everyone who called me stupid or dumb, or just negative comments about my intelligence, who've never even met me,” he said.

I feel like "most people don't tell me that to my face" should go without saying, given that his arms are still roughly the size of my torso.

In any case, big congrats to Big Kat. Going back and getting that degree for nothing but your pride is another level of admirable.

 NO MORE FORFEITS? The Big Ten wasn't really anticipating fully vaccinated teams to still be dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks causing them to cancel games, but that's where we're at.

But the good news is, it looks like the Big Ten's not going to punish teams for a situation that's pretty much completely out of their control at this point.

The Big Ten office said, "The conference is in the process of evaluating its 2021-22 forfeiture policy for conference contests, including whether a contest should automatically be considered a forfeit. The health, safety, and well-being of our student-athletes and our campus communities is our top priority."

League sources told CBS Sports that the Big Ten has "every intention of changing" the rule back. The Big Ten doesn't have as much urgency around this as other leagues because the conference doesn't resume league play until Jan. 2.

After the way things were trending with this virus, I can't say I expected to be updating the schedule page with "canceled" multiple times this season already, but I guess that's on me for having expectations in the first place.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Little Saint Nick" by The Beach Boys.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. The fall of the billionaire Gucci master... A man gets just $1 for his fence that was destroyed by a town snow plow... A woman finds that the window of her hotel room opens directly into an operating restaurant... It's okay if you don't have baby fever... He wore a wire, risked his life to expose who was in the KKK... An extinct millipede the length of a car once roamed northern England...

View 132 Comments