Skull Session: C.J. Stroud is the Frontrunner for the Heisman, the Buckeyes and Wolverines Are On a Collision Course and Ryan Watts Still Won't Say the Word “Michigan”

By Chase Brown on November 8, 2022 at 5:00 am
C.J. Stroud

The Ohio State University men's basketball team is off to a great start.

The Buckeyes defeated Robert Morris, 91-53, on Monday in their season opener and are still in the running to go undefeated.

Let's have a good Tuesday, shall we?

 STROUD FOR HEISMAN. One of the positive storylines to emerge from a weekend of sluggish football for Ohio State is that C.J. Stroud has reclaimed the top odds to win the Heisman Trophy at most sportsbooks across the United States.

Indeed, it was a wild weekend of college football, especially for the Heisman conversation.

Hendon Hooker could have become the runaway favorite for the award with a dynamic performance in a Tennessee win over Georgia in Athens, but the Bulldogs had other plans. Bryce Young looked to keep his hopes alive with a top-10 victory over LSU but lost because of the power of Brian Kelly's fahmuly, and Blake Corum is a running back and not a quarterback, so does he even have a chance anyway?

Meanwhile, Stroud put together his worst throwing numbers in his 22 games as Ohio State's starting quarterback, completing only 10 of 26 passes for 76 yards. However, he did run for a career-high 79 yards on six carries. Stroud reclaimed the top spot for Heisman odds at most sportsbooks, including BetJACK (-125), Tipico (+170), DraftKings (+180), FanDuel (+180) and BetMGM (+175).

The primary reason for Stroud's ascension is likely a potential top-three matchup between Ohio State and Michigan in Columbus on Nov. 26. If Stroud can lead the Buckeyes to a win with a few “Heisman Moments” along the way, we could see him become the first Ohio State player to lift the historic trophy since Troy Smith in 2006.

Oh, and here's something to think about when considering Stroud and Smith:

Will history repeat itself this year?

 TIME TO DISCUSS. The Skull Session reached an unbelievable number of comments on Monday – 276 and counting as I write the Tuesday Skully. 

Most readers commented on Ohio State's performance against Northwestern over the weekend. The primary focus of the discussion was that it didn't provide much confidence for the Buckeyes’ chances to beat Michigan, reach the College Football Playoff and win a national championship.

Joel Klatt discussed The Game on his podcast this week, offering insight into the Buckeyes and Wolverines, claiming the former has a higher ceiling while the latter has a higher floor.

 THE RIVALRY NEVER ENDS. Ryan Watts was a four-star prospect when he committed to Ohio State in the class of 2020. But after two years with the program in which he only played in six games, recording 11 tackles and an interception, the Little Elm, Texas, native transferred back to his home state to play for the Longhorns.

However, that doesn't mean that Watts isn't a Buckeye for life. In fact, there's still a lot of Buckeye left in him as the third-year cornerback is in the middle of a breakout year for Texas – so much so that Watts won't use the word "Michigan" even after his time with Ohio State has long been over.

It's simple: The Game means more, and the rivalry runs deep. It doesn't matter if you've been a Buckeye for one day or 50 years. You know that you must hate Michigan with all your mind, body and spirit. Watts knows that, and he proved it on Monday.

 BUCKEYES GIVING BACK. To whom much is given, much will be required. That line of wisdom reminds us that to be blessed with talent, skill, knowledge, time and more is expected that we use those gifts to benefit others.

George Reese, a former men's basketball player for Ohio State from 1998-2000, understands this to the fullest extent. Reese played for the Buckeyes when they reached the Final Four in 1999 and averaged 5.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 0.5 assists in his career. As a senior, he earned third-team All-Big Ten honors with 13.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists per contest.

After 12 professional seasons in the United States and worldwide, Reese has spent his time pouring back into the Columbus community where he grew up. He recently launched a mentorship program called ACE for freshman boys at his alma mater Independence High School on the city's southwest side. When Reese introduced the program last week, he brought a few familiar faces, including Seth Towns, Zed Key and Isaac “Ice” Likekele.

 BONUS BLURB (!). The Ohio State women's soccer team qualified for the NCAA Tournament on Monday, and that deserves some attention.

From the Big Ten’s press release:

Ohio State (10-5-3) captured the 16th NCAA Tournament berth in school history and seventh in the past eight years. The Buckeyes, who tied for fourth place in the Big Ten Conference standings, are seeded sixth in the Tallahassee (Fla.) Regional and entertain Bucknell in their NCAA Tournament opener at 6 p.m. (ET) Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. A victory would propel the Buckeyes in a second-round match against either No. 3 seed Arkansas or Missouri State. Ohio State is also one of four Big Ten programs to reach the NCAA College Cup, doing so in 2010.

It's time for the Buckeyes to start dancin’.

 CUT TO THE CHASE. There was a total lunar eclipse on Monday night / Tuesday morning... Time to study up: 35 gardening terms everyone should know... Judge, Ohtani among 3 finalists for AL MVP award next week... At 20 inches tall, Pumuckel the pony is vying for the title of world's smallest horse... The truth about how often you should wash your hair.

DON'T FORGET: Vote for Ohio State women's ice hockey defenseman Sophie Jaques to win the AAU James E. Sullivan Award (Click here).

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