Skull Session: Jim Harbaugh Calls Ohio State-Michigan Hatred “Manufactured,” Joshua Perry Rants About the Buckeyes and Joel Klatt Believes Ryan Day is “Gonna Get It Done” at Ohio State

By Chase Brown on November 29, 2023 at 5:00 am
Ryan Day

Welcome to the Skull Session.

Ohio State's defense is full of All-Big Ten talent.

Let's have a good Wednesday, shall we?

 HATRED "MANUFACTURED"? Off the heels of the Buckeyes' third consecutive loss to the Wolverines, one could argue Ohio State fans never hated Michigan more than now. "The Ten Year War," the "John Cooper Years," and now – a time where the victors were the losers (for two decades) and then the victors again.

For me, the Ohio State-Michigan hatred is real.

For Jim Harbaugh, the Ohio State-Michigan hatred is manufactured.

In a press conference on Monday, a reporter asked the Michigan Man about the "tumult" and "vitriol" shared between the Buckeyes and Wolverines before, during and after The Game. Here was Harbaugh's response:

"A lot of that seems built up from outside of the two programs. I'm not gonna go as far as to say contrived, but I mean it is hyped up to no ends. These are student-athletes. These are young kids, young adults, who are playing this game. All we ask them to do is go out there and play their very best. ... I think that is very manufactured for the TV show that people want to watch and see. But it's not healthy. It's not healthy for the student-athletes on either side when you're trying to put that much (pressure) where somebody practically thinks it's life or death. ... I would say it's not healthy."


Give me a break.

This is The Game.

Despite all his time as a player and coach – which, yes, includes three consecutive wins over Ohio State – does Harbaugh not understand what the rivalry means and what kind of tumult and vitriol the Buckeyes and Wolverines have for one another? It's far from manufactured.

I'm not sure how Michigan fans have responded to Harbaugh's claim. However, I know that if Ryan Day's name were attached to the above quote, Ohio State fans would want him fired as head football coach and arrested for treason. That's how important The Game is to the state of Ohio. It's a way of life.

That's how it is. That's how it always will be.

 GO OFF THEN, JOSHUA. There once was a time when Joshua Perry would chat with Eleven Warriors readers after Ohio State games with "Perry on Point." Eventually, Perry’s multiple television opportunities forced him to move on from 11W.


While sad (yes, very sad), Perry has established himself as a premier media member in the Big Ten as a co-host for "The Rally on Bally" and a member of "B1G College Countdown" on NBC and Peacock. That has led to some incredible moments for Perry on TV and social media, such as Monday's rant about the Buckeyes' loss to the Wolverines in Ann Arbor.

"We had a coach on the Ohio State sideline who called the game like he was trying not to lose. We had a coach on the Michigan sideline – an interim coach, by the way – who called the game as a point-spread favorite at home like he was the underdog. Explain to me a scenario where you feel like it's appropriate to wind down the clock at the end of the half and play for a 52-yard field goal when your kicker has only ever made a 47-yard field goal in game. Tell me why that makes sense. You got the ball at the 46-yard line, 4th-and-1, and you say, 'I'm gonna punt it.' Your punter had a terrible day. He averaged, like, 32 yards per punt all day long, and you punt the football away.

"There were some highlights in that game. Ohio State limited Michigan to 1.9 yards per carry in the first half of that game. Michigan's first run of the second half was with a backup quarterback and it was their second-longest run of the day because they had to spark it off. They weren't hitting deep shots on Ohio State. They threw a halfback pass as their longest pass play of the game. All of the credit to Michigan. I'm not saying any of this to discredit them because they made the adjustments and they took the chances that Ohio State wouldn't. I'm over here looking, like: Why? How?

"Two more things I gotta get off my chest and I'll be done real quick. I don't want to see none of those players dancing for TikTok before the games until you beat Michigan again. I've been seeing y'all dancing on the field. I'm sick and tired of it. I know I sound like an old dude. Stop doing that. And I do not want to hear another quarterback – C.J. Stroud said it, and Kyle McCord said it – that say 'It's just another game.' It's not. Stop saying that."

Yeah. I, uhhhhhhhhhhh, don't have much to add.

10/10, no notes.

We move.

 SQUEEZE THE MARGINS. After Ohio State fell to Michigan on Saturday, FOX commentator Joel Klatt offered a breakdown of The Game on his podcast. As he looked into how the Buckeyes can rebound from three consecutive losses to the Wolverines, Klatt discussed what's next for Ryan Day as head coach of the program.

"Unfortunately, for Ryan, he's losing the wrong games for this fan base. He's won 89 percent of his games. He's 56-7. He recruits at a high level. Yet, they haven't lost (The Game) three times in a row since the 90s. This is not setting well with them. All I can say (to Ohio State fans) is, you're gonna have to know and believe that he can fix it.

You can't change for change's sake. If you change, you have to change to be better. Who makes you better? Because you're already at the top of the spot in a lot of ways. Have you won the national championship? No. Have you won the Big Ten? No. Have you beaten Michigan? No. But you're within a breath of that. Last year, you were within a breath of basically winning the national championship. You were within a breath of winning that game on Saturday. The plays made versus the plays missed are so small. The margins are so small. For me, when the margins are that small, you don't throw it out and start over. That's crazy.

"You start chasing it, bringing people in, saying 'We're better than this.' OK, I get it. But the margins are so thin right now that you go to work and you squeeze those margins. ... They've gotten better. The Game was a lot different than in 2021. Ohio State was much more prepared to play at the line of scrimmage with Michigan than they were in each of the last two years. They did an outstanding job. Michigan did an outstanding job. Those were two great teams; one had to lose. It happened to be Ohio State. ... Ryan is gonna get it done there. He's gonna get it done.

"You cannot change for change's sake. ... Who are you getting at Ohio State that's better than Ryan Day? Kirby (Smart) and Nick (Saban) aren't walking through that door. I think Ryan will do this. I think he'll get there. He's too good of a coach. Urban (Meyer) is not coming back. Ryan is excellent."

Day is a good coach. After some self-reflection – a nice, long look in the mirror, perhaps – Day can emerge as a great coach. Like Klatt, I believe he will lead Ohio State to another win over Michigan, and I believe he will lead Ohio State to a national championship.

He's too good not to.

 HE'S JUST A COMMON MAN. On Monday, Columbus radio hosts Mike "Common Man" Ricordati and Jonathan “T-Bone” Smith wanted to wallow in their own self-pity after Ohio State's loss to Michigan. Unfortunately, they had a commercial break to adhere to.

Or did they?

As a break in the first hour of the broadcast approached, Common Man decided to continue his rant about the Buckeyes’ inability to beat the Wolverines. He never let the show go to commercial.

“I don’t want to take a break. As a matter of fact, I’m not going to take a break,” the “Common Man” said. “How much are all the ads in this commercial break if we tally them all up?”

“I’m sure thousands of dollars,” Smith responded.

“OK, I just bought ’em,” Ricordati said. “I’ll buy ’em.”

Corporate intervened.

Chaos ensued.

Ultimately, 97.1 The Fan posted to Twitter that Common Man and T-Bone would be on their show on Tuesday, which was good news for all.

Considering that this is a show known for its antics, escapades and high jinks – and that Common Man and T-Bone's boss, Matt Fishman, comes from ESPN Cleveland 850, a radio station is known for its antics, escapades and high jinks – I won't rule out the idea that this ordeal was scripted end to end. However, it was hilarious regardless.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Dust In The Wind" - Kansas.

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