Skull Session: Kirk Herbstreit Thinks Ohio State's QB Competition Could Continue Into the Season, the Buckeyes Will Always Be Title Contenders and a Good Boy Needs a New Home

By Chase Brown on June 2, 2023 at 5:00 am
McCord / Brown

Welcome to the Skull Session.

Congrats. You've made it to another weekend.

Before you take the next two days off (if that's how your schedule works), let's have a good Friday, shall we?

 DECISIONS IN BLOOMINGTON? According to Ohio State quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis, the competition between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown for QB1 remains as of Tuesday. As for when it will end, Dennis was unsure, which leaves media and fans in the dark about who will be under center in Bloomington, Indiana, on Sept. 2.

However, just because we are in the dark doesn't mean we can't theorize how the battle will shake out before the Buckeyes battle the Hoosiers in Week 1. Former Ohio State quarterback and current football broadcaster Kirk Herbstreit did that this week, explaining that Ryan Day could wait until after the season to select a definitive starter.

From Andrew Graham of On3:

“I don’t think [Day and Dennis] even know. I really don’t. I think you’ve got two guys that are more than capable. Ohio State’s been pretty spoiled at that spot with their receivers since Ryan Day’s taken over. They’re going to find a way to put a lot of points on the board, regardless of which guy wins it,” Herbstreit told On3’s J.D. PicKell at the On3 NIL Elite Series in Nashville.


The talent is there and the Ohio State schedule sets up for the quarterback competition to bleed into the season, a la what Jim Harbaugh did at Michigan last season, Herbstreit said. The notable difference for Ohio State is one of the quarterbacks isn’t a returning starter.

The Buckeyes have an early test, traveling to play Indiana in the opener, but should be able to win on the running game and defense so long as the quarterbacks are competent. Then a pair of home games against Youngstown State and Western Kentucky could set the table for a decision on the full-time job ahead of a rematch with Notre Dame in South Bend on Sept. 23.

“I think he’ll go into summer camp, they’ll have those scrimmages. And then I wouldn’t be shocked if they used the first two or three games to let these guys play it out. It’s hard to make a big decision like that from a scrimmage in the summer. It’s only fair. Like what Jim Harbaugh did last year. Give a guy a half or a game, give the other guy the same thing,” Herbstreit said. “Then I think it’s easier to make the decision.”

I have to disagree with Herbstreit on this.

While I understand there are positives to allowing both McCord and Brown to have early-season opportunities against lesser opponents, I have watched that exact scenario play out at Ohio State between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett in 2015.

Jones and Barrett's competition went all the way to the Virginia Tech season opener, where it has been said the team didn't know who the starter was until Urban Meyer called Jones into the huddle before the first possession. Barrett also took first-team reps against the Hokies and the Buckeyes' next six opponents, and Ohio State's offense suffered because of it. After seven weeks, Meyer benched Jones and named Barrett the starter outright.

Similarly to 2015, Ohio State will have an uber-talented roster in 2023. There is no need to risk the maximization of that roster's potential with a competition that rides into the regular season. Day and Dennis need to identify McCord or Brown early in fall camp, announce either one as the starter in the days leading up to Week 1 and move on. Cool? Cool.

 THE OHIO STATE HYPE. I've recently included a lot of Josh Pate in my Skull Sessions. That's been a plus for some and a minus for others. If you are in the former camp, fantastic because here's more Late Kick content. If you are in the latter camp, I'm sorry because here's more Late Kick content.

Pate received a fan question from (a presumed Ohio State hater) Chris in Dearborn, Michigan, that asked: Why do people assume Ohio State can win a national title every year? Here is Pate's response:

"My answer is because they can win a national title every year. ... In May, June, July and August – before they've kicked off – I like to operate under the philosophy that I will err on the side of caution. My field will always be 10 or 15 teams, and it's because I will not ignore raw talent. Now, raw talent alone does nothing and come November we will have learned that, but we don't know that in August. We don't know whose talent will be cultivated and developed and put in the right place and utilized properly. We don't know. That's why God has us play the games instead of getting to August and then hitting the fast-forward button for us to December.

"With Ohio State, what do I know every year about Ohio State? They will be supremely talented every year. I know that they have a really talented receiver room every year. I know that they outclass roster-wise everyone in the Big Ten. ...Why I think of them as a national championship contender is because I compare their players to other teams' players. I don't compare them to past Ohio State teams or anything like that. There are several points of vulnerability here, not the least of which is at quarterback and to shore up the offensive tackle spot. There are points of concern potentially defensively, especially if they reach the playoff or national title. It would help greatly if you didn't let Georgia hang 40 plus on you. You're playing a time the caliber of Georgia even if it's not Georgia.

"But if you're gonna come at me and say a team of that caliber is not even in consideration to win a title, I don't know about that."

I didn't transcribe all the words that Pate used to describe Ohio State as a perennial national championship contender, mainly because you already know much of what he said to be true.

You also know this: Ohio State is a national title contender every year because they are The World Famous Ohio State Buckeyes. Nothing more needs to be said. The Buckeyes have always been and will always be worthy of consideration to win it all. The program has been elite for 50 years. It will be for 50 more.

 GOOD DOGGO. Do you love the Buckeyes, dogs and rescues? If so, I have the perfect opportunity for you. An Ohio State-loving canine named Artie at the Franklin County Dog Shelter needs a new home. You could be the one to adopt him.

Erin Hamill, the shelter's marketing and community relations manager, said Artie is a "free-spirited" pit bull mix who loves to play fetch and explore the outdoors. However, those activities can occur only when Artie proudly wears Ohio State merchandise.

“He’s not perfected all the skills quite yet, but he’s super smart,” Hamill told NBC4's Mark Feuerborn this week. "Once he knows what’s expected of him, and what you’re looking for, he kind of follows suit really nicely. ... He is just a really, overall great dog, he loves everybody, and I think he would fit in well in any home."

Hamill said Artie will wear Buckeye attire at the Franklin Country Dog Shelter's "Fur the Love of Football" event on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 4340 Tamarack Blvd. in Columbus. His dress will undoubtedly match well with Ohio State linebacker Steele Chambers, who will attend the event to support the shelter as it works to find "forever homes" for adopted animals.

Fur the Love of Football will feature food trucks, ice cream vendors and special adoption rates from the shelter. Perhaps you, Skull Session reader, will be the one to travel home with Artie while he puts his head outside the back window and smiles as the wind crashes against his face.

Even if you don't adopt Artie, many other dogs could use a new home, too. You could give one to them! That's all I'm sayin'!


 IT'S... BEAUTIFUL. This week, a tweet came across my timeline that featured a screenshot of the top 10 teams in the BCS standings in Week 7 of the 2007 college football season. In the poll, Ohio State was the No. 1 team, followed by Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Clemson, USC, Notre Dame — wait.

That's what I would have expected to see. However, that is far from what the top 10 looked like after the first seven weeks of 2007:

Ohio State, South Florida, Boston College, LSU, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Kentucky, Arizona State, West Virginia and Oregon. It's... beautiful.

That kind of top 10 was only possible in the era of computers – that is, machines without bias. Could you imagine an undefeated Group of Five team as the No. 2 team in an AP or CFP Poll in 2023? How about the idea of Boston College, South Carolina, Kentucky and Arizona State as dominant forces in their conferences this fall?

Oh, how the times have changed. Except for Ohio State, I should say. The Buckeyes are still on top here and now. One would think their incredible consistency will result in another championship sooner or later – and hopefully it is sooner rather than later.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Crank That" by Soulja Boy (a 2007 classic and homage to former Skull Session writer Kevin Harrish).

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