Skull Session: Chase Young’s Wisconsin Game is an All-Time Great Performance, College Football Considering Having Fans, and Urban Meyer Thinks Players Could Skip A Spring Season


Quarantine or not, Ohio State’s specialists are doing specialist things online.

When the whole name/image/likeness deal is finalized, the specialists are my dark horse for Ohio State’s most marketable unit. I mean, Drue Chrisman could get a water sponsorship tomorrow, if that’s a thing that exists.

Song of the Day: “What a Time” by Julia Michaels.

Word of the Day: Stalwart.

 SPRING AIN’T GONNA WORK. I’ve been holding pretty firmly to the belief that we should just play the football season whenever we can, even if it’s in the winter or spring.

I was wrong. Spring is decidedly a no go.

Basically, if we play in the spring, Ohio State could potentially move from a national title contender to a team with a true freshman quarterback and not a corner on the roster who’s ever started a game.

Meanwhile, Michigan fans should be doing a rain dance to will this into existence, because this would be their best chance at any sort of title in about two decades – and the future ain’t looking any more optimistic.

 BEST HE EVER SAW. Chase Young’s performance against Wisconsin this season was so good, describing it to someone sounds like a folktale. But rest assured, it was very real, and it was one the single best sports performance ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg has ever witnessed in his entire sportswriting career.

Adam Rittenberg: Before the 2019 football season, I wrote a long story looking back at Ndamukong Suh’s 2009 season at Nebraska, a chunk of which spotlighted his transcendent performance against Texas in the Big 12 championship game. I didn’t witness that game, but I was fortunate to see a defensive performance that rivaled it from Ohio State’s Chase Young against Wisconsin.

Young recorded four sacks, five tackles for loss and two forced fumbles in Ohio State’s 38-7 win. He tied Ohio State’s single-game records for sacks and tackles for loss. And he did it against a Wisconsin team that prides itself on offensive line play but had no answers for No. 2. I’ll never forget seeing defensive line coach Larry Johnson walking off the field with his family afterward. Johnson, who has coached first-round picks at Penn State and Ohio State, called it the best individual performance he had seen from a defensive lineman.

That performance was the closest I’ve ever seen in real life to someone playing Madden in “Rookie” mode. You could convince me that Chase Young spent more time in Wisconsin’s backfield in three quarters than Jonathan Taylor did that entire game.

I want to know Rittenberg’s runner-up, because there’s a strong chance it was Young’s next game, where he was almost equally unstoppable against another top-10 team, finishing with three sacks, four tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

Buddy had nine tackles for loss, seven sacks and four forced fumbles against Wisconsin and Penn State. He did that in two games. Those are all better numbers than any other Ohio State lineman put up the entire season.

I don’t know what was more unfair, Chase Young’s junior season or Kyle Snyder’s senior season. All I know is neither of them should have been competing with college kids, but I’m sure glad they did.

 *WITH* FANS? I’d long written off the idea of seeing fans in stadiums for any athletic event this year, but it seems the actual decision-makers are a hell of a lot more optimistic than I am.

I have no idea how they plan to do this or even if this is a good idea – that ain’t my area of expertise. But I am well-versed in rabid Buckeye fandom, and I can assure you there will be plenty of pilgrims eager to put asses in seats if they decide to open the concrete cathedral this fall.

You can bet your ass Buck-I-Guy’s going to be in those stands one way or another – with a ticket or a trespass citation.

 STAY TWEETING. Efficiency’s not just for the football field – social media folks have metrics too, and LSU’s winning the whole damn thing on Twitter, too.

Meanwhile, North Carolina is basically that guy we’ve all run across who has 74,000 Tweets but only 6 followers – four of which are spam accounts and the other two family members who haven’t sent a Tweet since 2016.

 BULLISH, BUT UNCERTAIN. These days, it feels like life fundamentally changes every few weeks, so it’s tough to tell what the future has in store. But Gov. Mike DeWine is confident – yet non-commital – that said future includes sports in the nearish future.

“Professional sports are going to be obviously to a great extent dictated by the leagues, but it would not surprise me again to see some professional sports come back in Ohio, maybe with no spectators,” DeWine said. “That’s certainly a possibility.”  

“I could see all kinds of sports occurring – without spectators,” he said. “I think that’s a middle ground. It allows for professional sports, those of us who like baseball, seeing it on TV would be a great thing. Or listening to a game on the radio. We’d like to see it in person, but we can’t do that. That’s obviously something in professional sports, the leagues have got to figure that out. That’s above my pay grade. They’ve got to come up with whatever their proposal is.” 

As for a college football season in the fall, DeWine again deferred to the leaders of the two Division I conferences in the state and the uncertainty created by the coronavirus. 

“The Big Ten’s got to figure out what they’re gonna do,” he said. “The MAC has to figure out what they are going to do and every other league, and a lot is gonna depend, where are we in August? I don’t think anybody can predict where we are with this virus in August. I know people want certainty, but this virus does not provide certainty.” 

That sound in the distance is the University of Cincinnati in an uproar that the governor did not specifically mention their C+ athletic conference.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. An Airbnb given for free to a nurse on the frontlines is being used as a party house… Missouri’s attorney general is fighting for the right to keep an innocent man in prison… Who invented the wheel and how did they do it?… Inside the bizarre case of a killer striking twice 23 years apart, murdering a mother and daughter… New York City is shut down, but its black market weed is still booming…





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