Skull Session: Ohio State Makes Incredible Football Hires, the Hoops Team Gets Early Hype, and Zach Harrison Gets the Mic

The good news is, Ohio State was featured in this year’s One Shining Moment video.

The bad news is, this was the lone appearance:

Better luck next year!

Never a good sign!

Word of the Day: Oppugnant.

 KEEP ON ROLLING. Ohio State’s sat atop the Big Ten like an angry despot for about two decades now. But hat doesn’t just happen by magic; it takes finding the perfect person to lead the program. And in Ohio State’s case, doing it thrice.

The Athletic ranked the best coaching hires in the Big Ten since 1999, and the list was every bit as Buckeye-heavy as you’d expect.

1. Urban Meyer, Ohio State

No Big Ten coach in the last 40 years has altered the league in more ways than Meyer. When he took over at Ohio State in 2012, he criticized the league’s recruiting tactics. He won no friends from fellow coaches, but Meyer ushered the old-school, crossed-legs-and-coffee league into the modern era. From an electrifying offense to collecting talent on an unprecedented scale, Meyer’s Buckeyes towered over the Big Ten with a 55-4 record and three titles in seven seasons. His crowning achievement came in 2014 when Ohio State beat Alabama and Oregon to claim the inaugural College Football Playoff. Neither the Big Ten — nor college football — has remained the same.

2. Jim Tressel

Tressel stood in front of an Ohio State basketball crowd on Jan. 18, 2001 and told the Buckeye faithful they’d be proud of his team in numerous ways. Then he added “especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Mich.” Over his 10-year tenure, Tressel had flipped the rivalry and beat Michigan nine times. That’s an anecdote to the big picture but telling in importance for a coach who won seven Big Ten championships, competed in three BCS title games and won the BCS title in 2002. Tressel’s offenses adapted frequently to the personnel and his defenses stayed true to Ohio State’s powerful pedigree. The only blemish to an otherwise Hall of Fame resume was his resignation in 2011 amid an NCAA scandal and coverup.

8. Ryan Day

Two seasons, two College Football Playoff berths, two Big Ten titles, zero Big Ten losses. Day’s Ohio State debut is impressive any way you evaluate it. His first squad was a machine in shredding through the Big Ten with the best offense (46.9 points/529.9 yards per game) and defense (13.7 points/259.7 per game). In 2020, Day held the Buckeyes together through multiple COVID-19 interruptions and led them to the College Football Playoff title game. It might not take long before Day joins his Ohio State predecessors higher on this list.

(Arrogance Warning – I’m about to complain about a list where Ohio State is represented in three of the top-8.)

I’m not sure how you can write that first sentence about Ryan Day and still think No. 8 is the correct ranking, but I guess he still has something to prove? Somehow? I’m cool if you don’t want to give him that No. 3 spot just yet, but ranking him below James Franklin and Paul Chryst is just criminal.

And yet, that’s not even the most egregious oversight on this list because somehow, there are three guys ranked lower than the coach who led a program that killed a player.

 ALL THE HYPE. With last night’s title game, college basketball season officially comes to a close, which just means that it’s time to get the hype train rolling for next year, because folks across the country seem to expect the Buckeyes to be national title contenders next year.

Noted hoops knower Jeff Goodman even has Ohio State at No. 2 in his way-too-early top-25.

2. Ohio State
Transferring: G Musa Jallow (RS Jr., 2.9 ppg)
Seniors: G *CJ Walker (9.5 ppg), F *Kyle Young (8.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg), G Jimmy Sotos (1.7 ppg)
Likely Back: G *Duane Washington Jr. (Jr., 16.4 ppg), PF *E.J. Liddell (Soph., 16.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg)
Back: F *Justice Sueing (RS Jr., 10.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg), F Justin Ahrens (Jr., 5.7 ppg), F Zed Key (Fr., 5.2 ppg), F Seth Towns (Grad), G Meechie Johnson Jr. (Fr.), G Eugene Brown III (Fr.)
Add: SG Malaki Branham (No. 29), PF Kalen Etzler

As long as Liddell and Washington return to Columbus, this is a group that should be among the preseason favorites. Chris Holtmann will need to find a replacement for Walker, but he’s hoping maybe Johnson can fill that role. He also has no shortage of veterans that were a part of a team that earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tourney.

And it seems Vegas is high on the Buckeyes, too.

The best part is, there’s a solid chance the Buckeyes aren’t even done adding talent. And it could even come in the form of a five-star big man.

I guess we can just go ahead and hang the banner now?

 MIC’D UP. I remember when Ohio State was recruiting Zach Harrison, I was convinced he was the shyest and most reserved kid on the planet based on the “interviews” he did with reporters.

Turns out, he actually just really hated the recruiting process and thought it was incredibly stupid that so many people cared so much where he went to college – which is actually incredibly reasonable when you break it down!

In reality, he’s got enough personality to get that Mic’d Up treatment.

I’m ready to see his final form. But I know Big Ten quarterbacks sure ain’t.

 THAT QUICK RELEASE, THOUGH. It’s probably not good practice to make snap judgments about any player at any position based on one single practice rep, especially a quarterback.

That said, I’m not sure I’m going to stop drooling about this jarringly quick release from C.J. Stroud anytime soon.

I’m sold. I don’t need to see anything else.

 SONG OF THE DAY. “Have You Seen” by Sharon Van Etten.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. A woman who was catfished 25 times in a single year writes a tell-all book… He was a powerful executive at some of the best-known companies in the world, and then he started robbing banks… The Soviet TV version of Lord of the Rings rediscovered after 30 years… Google Maps captures two freshly buried bodies in their graves in a chilling shot… Ancient coins may solve the mystery of a murderous 1600s pirate…

Yung A. Elizabeth

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