Welcome to the Skull Session.
C.J. Stroud looks good in a Texans uniform.
7— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) May 16, 2023
@CJ7STROUD | #DevelopedHere pic.twitter.com/XHD6rlctGi
Let's have a good Wednesday, shall we?
A CHANGING OF THE GUARD. With C.J. Stroud off to the NFL as the No. 2 overall pick of the Houston Texans, Ryan Day has held a quarterback competition between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown this offseason. The winner will lead the Ohio State offense in 2023 as the Buckeyes look to win their first championship since 2014.
Regardless of who wins that competition, however, Ohio State fans must face the reality that neither McCord nor Brown possesses the same talent as Stroud – at least not yet.
ESPN college football writer David Hale wrote about that mindset this week as he placed the Buckeyes' 2023 quarterback situation in his third tier behind the likes of USC's Caleb Williams and North Carolina's Drake Maye, Washington's Michael Penix Jr. and Michigan's J.J. McCarthy, among others. Here is how Hale ranked each of the top quarterbacks and what he wrote about Ohio State's QBs:
- Tier 1a: Williams and Maye
- Tier 1b: Florida State's Jordan Travis, Oregon's Bo Nix, Utah's Cam Rising and Penix
- Tier 2: Arkansas' KJ Jefferson, Kansas' Jalon Daniels, McCarthy and UTSA's Frank Harris
- Tier 3: Alabama's Tyler Buchner, Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson, Clemson's Cade Klubnik, Georgia's Carson Beck (or Brock Vandagriff), McCord (or Brown), Penn State's Drew Allar (or Beau Pribula) and Tennessee's Joe Milton (or Nico Iamaleava)
Since Urban Meyer's first season in Columbus in 2012, Ohio State has had a QB1 with a Total QBR better than 70 in every season, and one with a Total QBR better than 80 in all but three seasons. How impressive is that? Last year, just 13 players had a Total QBR of 80 or better. One won a national title, two were drafted with the first two picks in the NFL draft and two others were drafted.
So, at Ohio State, it's the system, right?
"I don't think that's fair to the guys who've played there," one Big Ten coach said. "They've had really talented quarterbacks. Just look at the Georgia game last year. Half that defense is playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, and they couldn't stop [Stroud]."
The coach noted the sudden decline at Clemson after a trio of elite QBs and suggested the same thing could happen anywhere.
"When you don't have a guy, you realize how important it is to have a guy when you did," the coach said.
A counterpoint: Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka, Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson are still on this offense. A QB running Iowa's offense could still throw for 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns with that cast.
Honestly, the last point Hale makes is the most important one here. With Ohio State's supporting cast of running backs and wide receivers, it feels like a quarterback with a Joe Bauserman-level passing chart could still succeed. I will add one caveat to that point, however. McCord or Brown will need time to throw the football in 2023, so Day needs to pick the correct quarterback to lead the offense and the correct five offensive linemen.
If Day chooses the right men in both position rooms, then Ohio State can let its exceptionally talented skill players thrive and power the offense. Should that happen, the Buckeyes' quarterback will be ranked higher on Hale's list by the end of the season.
THE GOLDEN BEAR HAS SPOKEN. Jack Nicklaus is one of those rare people in pop culture that, when they speak, you listen. This week, The Golden Bear talked to The New York Times before the 60th anniversary of his first P.G.A. Championship victory. In 2023, the event returns to Oak Hill, where Nicklaus won the 17th of his 18 career majors.
Let's listen (or read, rather).
Jack Nicklauss fifth and final PGA Championship win came in 1980 at Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y., where the tournament will be played again beginning on Thursday. https://t.co/HJeQ0iXSXj— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) May 16, 2023
New York Times writer Alan Blinder conducted two interviews with Nicklaus – one at Augusta National Golf Club during The Masters and one over the telephone – to create a Q&A article with 14 questions and answers from the legendary golfer.
Although there is no mention of Ohio State in the article, Blinder does reflect on Nicklaus' experience as a golfer from Upper Arlington, Ohio, recalling Nicklaus' attendance at the 1950 P.G.A. Championship at Scioto Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio, where a 10-year-old Nicklaus wandered the grounds in search of autographs from the sport's best players.
In 1950, when the P.G.A. Championship came to Scioto Golf Club, a 10-year-old boy wandered the grounds near Columbus, Ohio, searching for autographs. He had just started playing golf that year, and the likes of Sam Snead and Lloyd Mangrum were populating his home course.
The boy was Jack Nicklaus.
The spectacle, he recalled this spring, was among the earliest inspirations for a golfing career whose brilliance became abundantly clear 60 years ago. Nicklaus had won his first major title by then, but 1963 brought the 23-year-old player his first Masters Tournament victory and his inaugural triumph at a P.G.A. Championship.
Nicklaus’s fifth and final P.G.A. Championship win came in 1980 at Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y., where the tournament will be played beginning on Thursday.
From that point forward, Nicklaus knew golf was his future. From ages 10-18, he won five Ohio State Junior titles, the Ohio Open and the Tri-State High School Championship between Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. After that, Nicklaus attend Ohio State, winning the U.S. Amateur twice (1959, 1961) and the Big Ten Championship and NCAA Championship once (1961) en route to becoming the most successful golfer in school history.
Nicklaus' professional accomplishments are that of legend: Six Masters wins, five P.G.A. Championship wins, four U.S. Open wins and three The Open Championships wins to combine for 18 majors. Across all tournaments, Nicklaus claimed 117 overall victories, including 73 on the PGA Tour, nine on the European Tour, three on the PGA Tour of Australia, 10 on the PGA Tour Champions and 31 other wins.
Shall I continue? I certainly could, but you probably understand by now that Nicklaus is one of the greatest golfers – if not the greatest golfer – of all time. While some accomplishments came at Ohio State, all came as a Buckeye. I recommend reviewing his comments about the current state of golf, the upcoming Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, and several other topics with The New York Times. It's well worth the read.
GOT BANDS? The former home of Ohio State football standouts, Justin, Zach and Jacoby Boren in Pickerington, Ohio, is officially on the market. To purchase it, you will only need $2.8 million... anybody interested?
OLYMPIC VILLAGE. Earlier this week, I mentioned that Ohio State women's basketball forward and 2023 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Cotie McMahon was headed to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to compete for a spot on the United States U19 Women's National Team that will compete this summer at the FIBA World Cup.
As if there was any doubt, McMahon made the roster. For the second consecutive year, the Centerville, Ohio, native will wear red, white and blue and represent America on the international stage and look to claim the second gold medal of her young career.
Putting on for her country@cotiemcmahon23 has officially earned a spot on USA Basketball's U19 Women's National Team!#GoBucks x @usabasketball pic.twitter.com/vjTNcsgXSX— Ohio State WBB (@OhioStateWBB) May 16, 2023
The FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup will be played in Madrid, Spain, from July 15-23. Team USA is featured in Group B with Chinese Taipei, Germany and Mali. The United States is quite familiar with Mali, collecting a 4-0 record all-time against the nation. Meanwhile, the Americans have defeated Germany once (on the basketball court but also in world wars) and have never faced Chinese Taipei.
Blessed #Chasingoldpt2 https://t.co/vN7E80jLUD— cotie (@cotiemcmahon23) May 16, 2023
McMahon is one of 12 players on the Team USA roster, which also includes – in order from the tweet shown above – Madison Booker (Texas), Aaliyah Del Rosario (LSU), Jadyn Donovan (Duke), Joyce Edwards, Hannah Hidalgo (Notre Dame), Londynn Jones (UCLA), Chloe Kitts (South Carolina), Talana Lepolo (Stanford), Kiki Rice (UCLA), Grace VanSlooten (Oregon) and Allie Ziebell (UConn commit).
Last summer, as a member of the U18 National Team, McMahon helped lead the United States to a gold medal at the 2022 FIBA Americas Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She averaged 14.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for the Americans and turned in a 22-point effort in the championship game against Canada.
As one of women's basketball's brightest young stars, I fully expect McMahon to have similar contributions for the United States this summer and build upon that momentum before her sophomore season in Columbus in 2023-24.
SONG OF THE DAY. "Northern Attitude (Live Acoustic)" by Noah Kahan.
CUT TO THE CHASE. A rare, endangered seal named Yulia basks on Tel Aviv beach... In "Still," Michael J. Fox movingly tells his story... CTE cases in soccer players raise fresh questions about safety of heading the ball... 76 days and counting underwater, Florida professor breaks world record, for science... Skin patch shows promise in toddlers with peanut allergies... Hippo meat nearly became an American food staple.