Skull Session: Google’s New Chatbot Ranks Ohio State Quarterbacks, Andy Katz Goes to War for the Buckeyes and Taylor Mikesell Finds Her Dream Fit

By Jacob Rhee on June 7, 2023 at 5:00 am
Troy Smith
Neal C. Lauron/USA TODAY Network

Hello everyone, and welcome to Wednesday’s Skull Session.

As you may have heard, Chase and his luscious golden locks are away this week. But the show must go on, so I’ll be taking the reins for today.

We’re only a few days from the weekend. How about we all put together a nice finishing kick?

 DOES ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE KNOW BALL? Apparently, Google’s new AI chatbot Bard has thoughts on Ohio State’s five best quarterbacks of the 21st century. The list it came up with is somewhat controversial.

It’s hard to argue with the five names, though I’d personally go with C.J. Stroud over Miller. Things get messy, however, when we start discussing the order.

I honestly just want to know the criteria that Bard was using here. Ranking Haskins ahead of Barrett indicates that the AI service values a quarterback’s peak performance more than their overall resume and accomplishments. But choosing Barrett before Fields tells me the opposite is true.

In any scenario, having Fields two spots lower than Haskins is my biggest point of disagreement. Both went 1-0 against Michigan and finished third in Heisman voting. The difference is that Fields went unbeaten in regular-season play, won a playoff game and started for two years. I love Haskins just like Bard does, but the decision seems clear.

What does your list look like?

 KATZ LOVES THE BUCKEYES. Andy Katz unveiled his Big Ten men's basketball power rankings, and it ruffled plenty of feathers. Why, you might ask? Well, look who he has sitting pretty in the third spot.

I think Chris Holtmann did a solid job in the transfer portal, and I’m as excited about this incoming recruiting class as anyone. But number three in the conference is just too high. As encouraging as it was to watch Ohio State make a deep run in the Big Ten tournament, this is still a team that missed the NIT and lost its best player from last season.

Katz mentions that he’s gotten “a lot of pushback” for his ambitious outlook on the Buckeyes; it’s funny to think about how many of his opposers are Ohio State fans themselves, who had to sit through this past campaign.

Regardless of where you have the Buckeyes ranked right now, there’s no doubt their ceiling is enticing. Meanwhile, a brutal year is about to commence in Ann Arbor. Katz has Michigan 11th, and even that feels generous.

 MIDNIGHT TRAIN TO GEORGIA. After being cut by the Indiana Fever, Taylor Mikesell has found a new home in the WNBA.

Mikesell was the Fever’s first-round pick just a couple months ago, but didn’t make the roster out of training camp. Her release prompted a chorus of familiar calls to expand the league.

Forming a Buckeye backcourt tandem in Indiana with Kelsey Mitchell would have been fun, but getting waived may end up being a blessing in disguise for Mikesell. The three-point deadeye will now play for a Dream squad that likes to push the pace and win shootouts.

Atlanta’s next game is on Friday night, when a stacked New York Liberty team comes to town. We’ll see if that’s the evening Mikesell makes her long-awaited professional debut.

 LEAP YEAR. NFL analyst Peter Schrager put together a list of wide receivers that he believes are primed for a breakout season. A pair of familiar faces topped his rankings.

The term “breakout” is loose enough that just about anyone could be included as a candidate. I’d argue that Wilson and Olave have already broken out, as each kicked off their NFL career with a 1,000-yard rookie year.

But Schrager thinks both former Ohio State wideouts are ready for another jump, and who could disagree? The Jets and Saints made significant upgrades at quarterback this offseason, which certainly pleased their respective star pass catchers.

If Wilson and Olave remain healthy, we could see them post some monster numbers in 2023-24. Just wait until Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka join them in the pros.

 REINTRODUCTIONS AWAIT. Two other members of the 2019 Buckeyes are prepared to make noise, as well. Chase Young and Jordan Fuller played just three games each last year due to injuries, but both are back to full strength ahead of the new season. 

Young, the 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, spoke to the media on Tuesday, and seems to be completely locked in.

From Nick Shook of

"Since I came in the game, I was in the game to prove myself," Young told reporters on Tuesday after the start of the Commanders' mandatory minicamp. "So I'm not really thinking anything different. Going out there and playing my game."

Young was remarkably succinct in his responses with the media on Tuesday, almost as if he didn't have much interest in speaking when he knows there's plenty left to accomplish. Instead of being the favorite guy in town and a franchise cornerstone, the former No. 2 overall pick and Defensive Rookie of the Year is now a player who has money and security to earn.

Spending time talking about it isn't very productive, and Young conducted himself accordingly, telling reporters he feels "night and day" different from last year when he didn't make his season debut until Week 15 following an ACL tear in 2021.

When pressed to elaborate, Young declined.

"Watch the film from today's practice," he advised.

If you want to judge the body language and attitude for yourself, here is a video of the session.

An extra-hungry Chase Young is trouble for the rest of the league. Ohio State fans are well aware of the pure chaos that he can cause on any given play, and we’re all pulling for Young to stay on the field and wreak havoc.

Fuller, on the other hand, was quietly developing into one of the best young safeties in the sport before being sidelined by a hamstring ailment. The sixth-round pick was named a captain of the Rams in his second year, and wore the green dot as the defensive signal-caller for a Los Angeles squad that went on to win the Super Bowl.

Finally feeling good again, Fuller has looked like his usual self during OTAs.

Of Wilson, Olave, Young, and Fuller, how many make the Pro Bowl this season? I think there’s a chance it’s all four.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Purple Rain" by Prince. The late, great music icon – who happens to be my dad’s favorite artist of all time – would have been 65 years old today. Enjoy one of the best guitar solos ever.

 AT THE BUZZER. Charlie Woods is lapping the field in youth golf… The new ‘Barbie’ movie has everyone stocking up on pink paint… Luis Arraez has a chance to hit .400… Chase Herbstreit’s recruiting process is heating up… 685 people dressed as Spider-Man showed up to a mall in Malaysia… Layoffs are on the horizon at ESPN.

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