Skull Session: Ohio State and Notre Dame Drew Eyeballs, Harry Miller Will Deliver Keynote Address at Mental Health Fundraiser and A Fun Fact About Arkansas State

By Chase Brown on September 8, 2022 at 5:00 am
Ryan Day

Some friends asked me this week, “How do you do it?”

“Do what?” I responded.

“Write for Eleven Warriors and be a running back for the University of Illinois football team?” they said.

I told them it's not an easy life, but it's my life.

Just kidding.

But I actually share a name with an Illinois running back named Chase Brown. He’s pretty good at the football thing, and he won the Doak Walker National Running Back of the Week award Wednesday. Now every time you hear his name, you'll think of me, the man who puts together your Skull Sessions. You're welcome.

Let's have a great Thursday, shall we?

 MUST-SEE TV. Ohio State and Notre Dame was the most-watched college football game last weekend with 10.5 million viewers, surpassing second-place Florida State and LSU – which reeled in 7.55 million viewers – by almost 3 million.

ESPN also announced that the Buckeyes' battle with the Fighting Irish was the most-watched regular-season game on their family of networks in five years.

That attention should be nothing out of the ordinary for Ohio State. However, the Buckeyes drew an average audience of approximately 5 million viewers for their regular-season contests in 2021. The outlier was the Michigan game, which drew in 15 million viewers and shattered records for the most-watched game since 2019.

Still, many Americans had the top-five matchup between two of college football's tradition-rich programs as appointment viewing last weekend. Ohio State and Notre Dame delivered an entertaining game. It wasn't what everyone expected, with the Buckeyes’ defense being the main storyline of a hard-fought 21-10 win in the Horseshoe, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

Ohio State likely won't return to that ballpark number of viewers for a few weeks, with the next big game for the Buckeyes coming against Wisconsin on Sept. 24. Other regular-season games that could draw big ratings include contests against Michigan State, Penn State. The Buckeyes’ revenge game against Michigan is sure to draw massive ratings, of course, with the potential for even bigger numbers to come if the Buckeyes make the Big Ten Championship Game and the College Football Playoff.

 MILLER TAKES CENTER STAGE. Former Buckeye offensive lineman Harry Miller will be the keynote speaker at the Faces of Resilience fundraiser at Ohio Stadium's Northwest Loge Club on Sept. 20. The event will support Ohio State’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, which Miller credits for saving his life.

In an interview with Columbus Monthly, Miller said the event would offer him a chance to give back to the people who brought him through the most challenging time of his life.

“They work with a lot of big names, and a lot of cool opportunities, I think, could come out of it,” says Miller, who’d like to work with space vehicles someday.

But his ambitions extend beyond exploring the cosmos. He talks about becoming a Rhodes scholar, a dream he’s had since high school, and he’d like to publish a collection of short stories. One of his therapists, Williams, encouraged Miller to explore his feelings on the page, but instead of writing something directly autobiographical, Miller—an admirer of such literary giants as Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck—found that fiction was a better vehicle. “I think it’s easier to communicate sentiments, emotions and experiences,” he says.

The Buford, Georgia, native also plans to be a mental health advocate for the rest of his life, making it his lifelong mission regardless of his career path. That kind of advocacy requires no shortage of heroes – Miller chief among them – as mental health conditions continue to increase worldwide. However, Miller claims he's no hero. He's only spoken his truth.

“I don’t know if that’s bravery, but that’s what it felt like,” he says. “It’s like being as honest as I could be. It was a cold and broken hallelujah, and it was just what had to happen. Somebody had to say something, and I happened to be somebody.”

Cheers, once again, to Miller for his efforts. He continues to be a blessing to those in need and deserves praise for his good work.

 BUCKEYE BLOOD AT ASU. Arkansas State defensive coordinator Rob Harley has a family history with Ohio State, which you might be able to guess from his last name.

Harley is the great, great nephew of Charles Wesley “Chic” Harley, who played for the Buckeyes from 1916-19. Chic is widely considered one of the greatest Ohio State football players ever and was the first player in program history to win three All-American awards. His No. 47 is retired and hangs above Ohio Stadium's north end zone.

Rob also played for Ohio State from 2001-05 and was a member of the 2002 championship team. In his final three seasons in Columbus, the Buckeyes posted a 29-8 record, winning that national title and the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.

His accomplishments and lineage aside, I am sure Ohio State fans will feel similar to how they welcomed Marcus Freeman, James Laurinaitis and Al Washington to the Shoe last weekend, and that is Root for Harley at all (or most) times unless his team is playing the Buckeyes.

 TIME TO VISIT THE LIBRARY? Ohio State's Thompson Library will host a free exhibition titled “A Walk in Our 'Shoe: 100 Years of Ohio Stadium” to celebrate a century of the Horseshoe with history, traditions, milestones, pageantry and some lesser-known facts about the landmark.

Located at 1858 Neil Ave., the library and its exhibit include Marlene Owens' homecoming trophy, a trophy case with the accomplishments of John Wilce, Woody Hayes and Jim Tressel and a look at the student dorm rooms that once existed in the stadium's southeast tower.

The student dorm rooms in the Horseshoe are of particular interest to me. The exhibit explains that the university opened barrack-style housing in the stadium before the Great Depression. However, the economic downturn caused many people to drop out of school. In 1932, an Ohio State dean invited male students to live in the stadium in cooperative housing in exchange for their labor in the dorms.

I'm almost positive that Ohio State will never open dorms in Ohio Stadium again. But the athletic department also made a deal to call the turf Safelite Field, so anything can happen.

Could you imagine the absolute flex for students that lived there if given an opportunity? I lived in Siebert Hall during my freshman year, which was great, but it wouldn't be as good as a chance to live in the mecca of college football.

If you had the opportunity (or could have, I don't know the age demographics of Skull Session readers) to live in Ohio Stadium, would you do it? Let me know in the comments.

 SONG OF THE DAY. “Hotel California” by Eagles.

 CUT TO THE CHASE. Pat McAfee will join ESPN College GameDay as a full-time show member... TV ratings were high for Serena Williams' last US Open... Ed Orgeron speaks on his LSU departure... A newly-discovered planet could be suitable for life... The latest on the “Don't Worry Darling” movie drama before its premiere.

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