Skull Session: Kamryn Babb Says Goodbye to Ohio State, Sam Hubbard Was Mic'd Up on Sunday and the Buckeyes Rank Second All-Time in the AP Poll Era

By Chase Brown on January 18, 2023 at 5:00 am
Kamryn Babb
Brooke LaValley / The Columbus Dispatch

Welcome to the Skull Session.

The Jack Skullington, Skulliver's Travels, Skulliver Twist, Kong: Skull Session Island, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Session – whatever you want to call it. Welcome. I'm happy you're here.

This has nothing to do with Ohio State, but I was mesmerized by this video on Tuesday. I thought I would pass it along. Is anyone a fan of the PGA Tour?

Let's have a good Wednesday, shall we?

 O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! Kamryn Babb said goodbye to Ohio State football on Tuesday, announcing via Twitter that he is "excited to start the next chapter that God has for me" now that his time with the Buckeyes has ended.

Babb, a top-100 recruit in the class of 2018, suffered several ACL tears as a Buckeye, missing three complete seasons (2018, 2019 and 2021) and playing sparingly in two others (2020 and 2022). However, that's not to say Babb didn't significantly impact the Ohio State program while he wore the scarlet and gray.

In fact, an argument can be made that he had the biggest impact of any Ohio State player over the past five seasons. Despite his ailments, Babb was a mental and spiritual leader for the Buckeyes from his first time in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to his last. He was a two-time captain and by all accounts, a beacon of light.

There's no argument necessary to determine Ohio State's most impactful and inspiring moment of the 2022 season – an 8-yard touchdown pass from C.J. Stroud to Babb late in the fourth quarter of the Indiana game. It was Babb's first career catch and touchdown, and it proved to be his last.

Onions. Every time.

While I would have loved to have Babb around the program for another year, he is a man who lives a purpose-driven life, which offers me tremendous confidence that the direction he is heading is one in which he will continue to have a positive impact on those around him and make the world a better place.

Cheers to you, Mr. Babb. A Buckeye Nation will always and forever stand behind you wherever you end up.

 THE CINCINNATI KID. Sam Hubbard is good at football. Ohio State fans have known that since 2014. Bengals fans have known that since 2018. NFL fans have known that since Sunday, as "the Cincinnati Kid" returned a fumble an NFL Playoff record 98 yards for a touchdown to help the Bengals defeat the Ravens, 24-17, in the Wildcard Round.

Hubbard's moment in the spotlight is well-deserved.

According to Field Yates of ESPN, the former Buckeye has the second-most sacks in the 2018 draft class with 30.5 across five years in the league. What makes that fact even more impressive is that Hubbard was the 77th pick and fifth defensive end selected in the 2018 draft behind Bradley Chubb (No. 4 overall), Marcus Davenport (No. 14), Kemoko Turay (No. 52), Tyquan Lewis (No. 64) and Chad Thomas (No. 67).

In 76 games (with 60 starts) for the Bengals, Hubbard has also racked up 303 tackles, 45 tackles for loss, 72 quarterback hits, six fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, 14 pass deflections, two interceptions and two touchdowns. And, yes, that second touchdown came on Sunday in the matchup with the Ravens.

Which, by the way, did I mention he was mic'd up for? The NFL released audio of Hubbard from his game-winning touchdown and the celebration that followed on Tuesday. Hubbard's excitement after the play of his career will certainly bring a smile to your face.

As a Browns fan coping with the reality that I root for a cursed franchise, I must admit that the "Bungals" – as my dad called them during my childhood – are becoming more likable and easy to root for every season.

Joe Burrow is an All-American kid with roots in Athens and at Ohio State, while Hubbard, Eli Apple, Vonn Bell and Drue Chrisman are all former Buckeyes. So while it goes against every fiber of my being, I will cheer for them the rest of the way in the playoffs. The Bengals are just too dang fun!

Who Dey, amiright?

 IF YOU AIN'T FIRST. The Associated Press Top 25 Poll has been the most consistent and reliable rankings system for college football teams since 1936, which makes it the perfect source of information to gauge how programs have performed year to year for almost 90 seasons.

This week, College Football News collected each of the final rankings the AP has produced in that span and ranked the greatest programs of all time based on a scoring system of where teams finished in the polls (25 points for champions, 24 points for second, 23 for third, 22 for fourth and so on).

After several years of Oklahoma as the clear-cut No. 1 team, Alabama has finally usurped the Sooners for the top spot. However, that's not where OU's descent stopped, as Ohio State has now established itself as the second-best program in the AP poll era, only nine points behind the Crimson Tide. Here are the top-10 teams in the rankings:

  1.  Alabama, 1150
  2.  Ohio State, 1141
  3.  Oklahoma, 1136
  4.  Michigan, 1039
  5.  Notre Dame, 1036
  6.  USC, 851
  7.  Nebraska, 798
  8.  Texas, 798
  9.  Penn State, 721
  10.  Tennessee, 706

While it is good that the Buckeyes are one of the best programs in the sport's rich history, when I look at that list, I can't help but think of "Talladega Nights" and the wonderful phrase, "If you ain't first, you're last." 

If Ohio State starts meeting the expectation Buckeye Nation has for the team to win consistent championships, it will only be a matter of time before the men in the scarlet and gray get to where they belong – atop the list of the greatest college football programs of all time. Let's hope that happens sooner rather than later.

 ZACH HARRISON, EVERYONE. After four years as a Buckeye, Zach Harrison leaves Ohio State with a complicated legacy. No, he wasn't Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa or Chase Young, but he had a noteworthy career that deserves praise from fans of the program.

According to Pro Football Focus, Harrison's stat sheet doesn't tell the entire story of his impact as a Buckeye, as the defensive end consistently graded out as one of the best at his position annually despite a lack of statistical production that many expected from the five-star recruit. Because of that, PFF has Harrison as one of the most underrated prospects in the upcoming 2023 NFL draft.

Marcus Mosher writes:

Harrison was a big-time recruit coming out of high school but never quite put together one dominant statistical season. Despite playing four seasons at Ohio State, he totaled just 11 sacks. However, that just makes him even more underrated.

Despite low sack totals, Harrison has three-straight seasons with 82.0-plus grades. His ability to win in obvious passing situations helps him stand out in this year's class, finishing the 2022 season with a 91.1 pass-rush grade against true pass sets — the sixth-highest in the country. Harrison also graded out very well against the run (78.4), showing he can do it all.

With freaky size and athleticism (6-foot-6, 272 pounds), Harrison still has an incredibly high ceiling. If he can join the right team with the right coaching staff, he could be a disruptive defensive end from Day 1.

While I certainly would have loved to see Harrison be more disruptive and produce more sacks, tackles for loss and all that jazz as a Buckeye, I will gladly accept the chance to watch him collect all of those statistics in the NFL, keeping Ohio State's #DevelopedHere motto alive and well for years to come.

While he was not a Bosa brother or The Predator, Harrison became seasoned over time at Ohio State and turned into a budding star. Seeing as not many prospects come along that are a Bosa or Young, Harrison's career arc in college and the pros may be the best recruiting pitch Larry Johnson and company have after this season. Hopefully, that pitch works wonders.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "I Will Wait" by Mumford & Sons.

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