Skull Session: C.J. Stroud Has All the Preseason Hype, Big Ten Could Go Divisionless, and Comparing Ohio State's Transfer Portal Use

By Kevin Harrish on May 11, 2022 at 5:45 am
C.J. Stroud is smiling in today's skull session.

Happy Hump Day to all!

It's no "Friday" by Rebecca Black, but hopefully, this glorious commercial will help you celebrate the middle of the week accordingly.

Word of the Day: Blazon.

 ALL THE HYPE. When you take a step back, it's almost unbelievable how quickly C.J. Stroud lit the college football world on fire.

I mean, at this time last year, Stroud was nowhere close to even being named Ohio State's starter. Shit, in August, my good pal Colin wrote an article seriously suggesting that Quinn Ewers could earn the starting job.

And after he did win the job and the season started, you had a solid month of folks calling for him to be benched, then another month of people complaining that he didn't run enough.

Then, all of the sudden, he was magically the Heisman frontrunner until the Michigan game, closed out the season with the single most impressive passing performance in program history, and is now the consensus QB1 in next year's draft class with folks saying stuff like this about him leading up to the season:

College football is a fickel beast. But at least the hype is a hell of a lot more fun – provided he can live up to it.

 GOODBYE, DIVISIONS? The Big Ten has been reportedly looking into moving from divisions to round robin play, and it looks like we're one step closer to that actually being a possibility.

Fans who miss seeing old rivals play or dislike seeing the same few teams repeatedly appear in conference championships have reason for excitement. College football is a step closer to seeing some conferences scrap divisions and form new formats to determine who plays in the conference championship game.

Currently, a conference must play a full round-robin schedule to hold a championship game if it does not have two divisions, as the Big 12 has done since 2017. (The American Athletic Conference has operated for the last two years with an exemption waiver.)

But on April 28, the NCAA Football Oversight Committee recommended the Division I Council remove the requirements to hold a conference championship game and exempt it from the maximum number of games. This recommendation, which is not official but expected to be approved by the Council later this month, would allow conferences freedom to determine who competes in the conference championship game.

Personally, I love this, because it's going to automatically make the Big Ten title game more competitive, and you won't have a situation like in 2016 (or last year, for that matter) where the third or fourth-best team in the conference is playing in the championship game.

Although, I will miss that annual resume-padder against Wisconsin. We'll always have our Badger pals to thank for slingshotting the Buckeyes to that 2014 national title.

 PORTAL PROGRAMS. You won't really find many college football graphs or charts where Ohio State is decidedly average, but when it comes to the transfer portal, that's exactly where the Buckeyes are.

This lines up pretty perfectly Ryan Day's "meh" approach to portal – “If the fit’s right, we’ll do it, but we’re going to focus on the guys on our team first.”

I respect that approach, but I have to admit that it pains me to see Alabama looking good on pretty much every one of those graphs. That'll happen when you take in the top three transfer players in the country every year without even blinking.

 FALLEN BUCKEYE. The Ohio State community has suffered a loss as former Ohio State soccer captain Amy Graeff Van Culin lost her battle with lymphoma last week at just 35 years old.

Amy was a four-year letter winner from 2005-08 and served as a team captain in 2008. She played in 44 games with 14 starts. She was a four-time OSU Scholar-Athlete who earned her degree in psychology as well as minors in women’s studies and legal foundations.

“It was my honor to be Amy’s coach and play a part in her development,” said head coach Lori Walker-Hock. “Amy was the model of hard work, personal growth and the commitment to excellence in her four years as a Buckeye. Amy was a fighter with the strongest character. She was both loved and respected by all her teammates. We are all in shock by the loss of such a beautiful young mother, wife, daughter, friend, lawyer, captain and forever Buckeye. We all love and miss you, Amy!”

Following her time as a Buckeye, Amy earned her law degree from Capital University and practiced law in the Columbus area. Her and her husband Todd have two beautiful young children, Kylie and David.

Prayers up to Amy's friends and family. 

I did not know her, but I got an uncanny number of emails in my inbox yesterday letting me know just how great of a mother, friend and human being she was. It would seem that the world is a little less bright now.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Just Like Heaven" by The Cure.

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