Skull Session: The Buckeyes Rank “Third in Their Division” in a New Poll, Marvin Harrison Jr. is the Best College Receiver “Since Randy Moss” and Luke Wypler is a Comedian

By Chase Brown on May 3, 2023 at 5:00 am
Ryan Day

Welcome to the Skull Session.

We've reached the midway point of the week. It can only go up from here.

Let's have a good Wednesday, shall we?

 THIRD IN THE B1G EAST? Following Georgia's dominant win over TCU, USA TODAY's Paul Myerberg and Erick Smith released a way-too-early top 25 poll for the 2023 season, which featured Georgia, Michigan, Alabama, Florida State, Penn State and Ohio State as the top-six teams in the nation.

Many moons later, Myerberg and Smith have updated their top 25 after spring football and transfer portal additions for the sport's top teams, including Ohio State, who added Josh Simmons and Lorenzo Styles over the weekend. However, the top of the table remained the same, with the Buckeyes ranked behind the Bulldogs, Wolverines, Crimson Tide, Seminoles and Nittany Lions.

Here is what the USA TODAY writers said about the Buckeyes:

There are personnel issues, including an ongoing competition at quarterback, and there are bigger-picture concerns heading into coach Ryan Day’s fifth season. Front and center among those larger worries is the Buckeyes’ inability for the past two seasons to stop Michigan and combat the Wolverines’ physical play. Day and Ohio State can make any number of personnel changes but won’t get back to the playoff without solving what Michigan brings to the table. For now, the Buckeyes are third in their division.

It's a hard pill to swallow, but I have no quarrels with Michigan being ahead of Ohio State in the rankings. It may be a "way-too-early poll," but – *gulps* – the Wolverines deserve to hold that position right now. Michigan has won The Game and the Big Ten Championship in back-to-back seasons and reached the CFP in both years, making it the team to beat in the conference, especially as it returns several players from those winning teams in 2023.

But I have beef with Penn State. I mean, Penn State... really?

In the last decade, the Buckeyes have defeated the Nittany Lions nine of 10 times, including six consecutive victories dating back to 2017 – Ohio State's lone loss being a 32-21 upset in Happy Valley. As the programs head into 2023, what leads Myerberg and Smith to expect that trend to change?

Yes, Nick Singleton, Drew Allar and Olu Fashanu are excellent players, but Penn State lost Joey Porter Jr., Brenton Strange, Juice Scruggs, Ji'Ayir Brown and Parker Washington to the NFL draft. Therefore I ask, what do the Nittany Lions have that the Buckeyes don't? Outside of quarterback (for now), running back (debatable) and left tackle (duh), I would take Ohio State's players at every position over Penn State's players.

Also, Ohio State has the luxury of playing Penn State at home, inside Ohio Stadium, in front of 100,000 screaming fans wearing scarlet and gray – not white. The Buckeyes have won every matchup with the Nittany Lions in Columbus since 2013.

People can rank Michigan ahead of Ohio State all they want, but until Penn State proves it's not the Cooper Manning of the Buckeyes-Wolverines-Nittany Lions trio, I will have little respect for that program, at least not enough to rank them ahead of Ohio State.

 THE BEST SINCE MOSS. As 2024 mock drafts continue their dominant run in the sports news cycle, Fox Sports analyst Joel Klatt listed his top 10 players in college football ahead of the 2023 season. Marvin Harrison Jr. checked in at No. 1 in Klatt's rankings, a decision Klatt said was easy because of the performances Harrison put together last year.

"The best player next year is Marvin Harrison Jr. The dude is the best wide receiver I’ve seen in college football since Randy Moss. He does everything well. He’s like his dad in a baby Julio Jones body. He runs great routes. He catches it better than anybody. He has outstanding body control. ... The catch he made against Indiana. One, how did he not break his leg? Two, how did he come down in bounds? He jumps up, he's being contacted... It’s insanity. The space he creates, his ability to win, to be physical – he’s the best player in college football. Marvin Harrison Jr. is my No. 1 prospect for next year because he's the best player."

I don't need to add more to what Klatt said to explain Harrison's talent. You understand. You're Ohio State fans. You watched his three-touchdown performance in the 2022 Rose Bowl and then witnessed his 77 catches, 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, which included two more three-score efforts against Arkansas State and Michigan State.

But is Harrison the best wide receiver in college football since Randy Moss at Marshall?

Moss collected 96 receptions for 1,820 and 26 touchdowns in 1997 for the Herd, receiving consensus All-American recognition and winning the Biletnikoff Award. That kind of production is unprecedented in Columbus and would be hard for Harrison to achieve, considering the many mouths to feed in Ohio State's offense.

However, with Harrison listed at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, his athleticism charted at freakish levels, and the chance he could line up all three receiver spots in 2023, I won't count him out, no matter how bold the expectations and predictions are.

And even if Harrison falls short of Moss' numbers, Klatt said he is the best since Moss, not that he is better than Moss. Production similar to or better than last season could be all Harrison needs to vindicate Klatt in his claim.

 BIG FUNNY GUY. On Thursday, I watched the first round of the NFL draft on ABC, but for the rest of the rounds on Friday and Saturday, I switched to NFL Network. Incoming tangent: I found the latter network more entertaining and informative, but I am open to a debate on which channel has the better production.

Because of that switch, I missed ESPN's video package for Luke Wypler, which detailed many hidden talents the former Ohio State offensive lineman possesses, including juggling and stand-up comedy. The video also featured Wypler thanking his mother, Michele Desimone, for helping him develop his game during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In elementary school, we had a juggling club. Some people still can't believe how good my hands are and I say it's because of juggling. 'Good Morning America' had us out in Times Square. We were all about 45 of us that were in the club at the time, and we were juggling. And yeah it was a cool experience for me being there.

"Stand-up comedy kind of just came on. For about a month of two I started jotting down my little skits that I had, and I performed two shows. There wasn't a lot of people, but yeah it was a cool experience, getting in front of a mic, being able to tell jokes and make people laugh.

"My mom is a part-time nurse, full-time scout team D-tackle. She was instrumental during COVID. She was holding blocking bags for me, thugging it out behind the pads and trying to give me the best look she could. This one is for you, Mom. We're going to the NFL."

I love all of that.

Wypler was on the board much longer than expected at the NFL draft, falling from a projected third or fourth-round selection to the sixth round, where the Cleveland Browns chose him with the No. 190 overall pick. That outcome made many question his decision and express dissatisfaction that Wypler did not return for another season at Ohio State.

While it is fair to wonder what may have happened for Wypler and Ohio State had he returned to Columbus for another season, please remember that Wypler is a human like you and me. He has emotions and feelings, desires and hobbies – like juggling and stand-up comedy – and he made the decision he thought was best for him.

Like it or not, he left Ohio State and moved on to the next chapter of his life, where he will play for the Browns and represent the franchise well. Best of luck to him as he tries to make the Factory of Sadness a little less Sad.

 OH, SO IT'S LIKE THAT. Every week, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers appears on The Pat McAfee Show to speak with the show's namesake, Pat McAfee, and former Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk, one of the few people Rodgers actually likes.

This week, McAfee and Hawk asked Rodgers about his early experiences in New York after he was traded from the Green Bay Packers to the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets. One of the first items of business Rodgers covered was his impressions of former Buckeye and 2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson.

To whom did he compare Wilson? Davante Adams? You mean the six-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro? Ooooooooh, baby, this season will be full of fun in the Big Apple, as I expect Rodgers and Wilson to be a great combination and perhaps one of the best quarterback-wide receiver duos in the league. Book it.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "See The Light" by Stephen Sanchez.

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