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Skull Session: Veteran Defense is a Strength, Tony Alford Helps Rally Buckeye Nation Around a Young Fan, and Ohio State is the Real DBU

If you missed the news, Missouri got a bowl ban because a tutor was doing coursework for student-athletes.

It sounds like Kentrell Brothers got the short end of the stick there.


Word of the Day: Taciturn.

 DEFENSE IS A STRENGTH? As long as Ryan Day’s at Ohio State, I’m never going to be worried about Ohio State’s offense.

The defense scares me a bit. Calling it “shaky” last season might be a bit of an understatement, but with the veterans returning and new coaches there’s a chance the defensive side of the ball turns into strength for the Buckeyes.

From Tom VanHaaren of ESPN:

No. 4 Ohio State: Returning defense

Ryan Day’s offense was tough for most defenses to stop, but the Ohio State defense had issues throughout the season. While Ohio State is losing defensive end Nick Bosa and defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones, most of the defense is returning next season. Bosa didn’t play much of last season anyway, and Chase Young showed a ton of promise in his place. Now, with new defensive coaches Greg Mattison and Al Washington, who came over from Michigan, along with Jeff Hafley, who is coming from the San Francisco 49ers, the defense should be in the top tier in 2019.

Some folks groan when guys they’ve seen get beat before are the same guys lining up next season and think the grass must be greener with a younger player, but here’s the crazy thing about college football: players improve!

Remember in 2014 when Gareon Conley get burned thrice in one drive against Michigan State before the coaching staff decided a gimpy Eli Apple was a better option? Two years later, he was a first-round pick.

 BUCKEYES SUPPORTING BUCKEYES. Huge Ohio State fan Schafer Reichart is battling a life-threatening infection, and the Buckeyes are battling along with him.

Reichart is a sophomore on the basketball team at Doherty High School in Colorado, which just happens to be running backs coach Tony Alford’s alma mater. Alford made sure to take a trip to visit him, and posted a special message on social media.

But that ain’t all, because y’all know if Buckeye nation does something, they do it all the way. Schafer has been showered with support from Ohio State alums from all over.

From Lindsey Smith of Gazette Preps:

Chris Holtmann, the coach of the Ohio State men’s basketball team, sent Reichart a message Wednesday morning.

“Buckeyes are tough, and we know you are too, Schafer,” Holtmann said in the video. “We know how big of a Buckeye fan you are and as you go through this battle we want to make sure you know you’re not going through it alone. We are thinking about you and pulling for you. … Go Schafer, and go Bucks.”

Josh Perry, who played for Ohio State from 2012-15 and was a linebacker for the NFL’s Chargers, Colts and Seahawks, sent Reichart a video Tuesday. Aaron Craft (OSU point guard, 2010-14 ), Shannon Scott (OSU guard, 2011-15), Sam Thompson (OSU forward, 2011-15) and Deshaun Thomas (OSU small forward, 2010-13) also sent get-well videos to Reichart.

“It speaks volumes to the type of people we have at Ohio State,” Alford said. “We talk about our fan base being the strongest in the country and we appreciate them. I think our athletes and our coaches are all on board with a responsibility to influence others and help one another and to be a service to the community.”

Alford told Schafer that once he recovers, he needs to head over to Columbus and visit, and that football tickets would be in his future.

 WILL THE REAL DBU PLEASE STAND UP? Florida State ain’t it, despite what they claim on social media.

A patriot by the name of James W. Snyder saw this Tweet – which is somehow just the second-worst Tweet to come from a Florida State account this month – and decided do a little bit of #analysis.

His conclusion was that Ohio State is the real DBU and it’s really not even as close as he expected.

From Snyder of

On the decade, the Seminoles started with Dedrick Dodge, Florida State’s first draft pick of the decade managed no stats. In 1992, Terrelle Buckley was drafted 5th overall out of Florida State, and snagged 50 interceptions, but managed 0 pro bowls. I will give Florida State credit for him. Samari Rolle had an equally impressive career. Both pretty good. Overall, 7 Seminoles were drafted in the 90s.

The Buckeyes, while their start was not great, had 10 defensive backs drafted in the 90s. Shawn Springs was the cream of that crop in college, and had an injury plagued NFL career with 33 interceptions, a pro bowl in 98 and an all pro season in 2004. Antoine Winfield is probably my favorite Buckeye ever. The slight corner back managed three pro bowls, but also accumulated over 1000 tackles on his career.

Slight edge, Buckeyes

The first decade of the 21st century saw 16 Buckeyes drafted, compared to just 9 Seminoles. Antonio Comaratie and Chris Hope were the cream of the crop for the Seminoles. Nate Clements, Chris Gamble, and Donte Whitner for the Buckeyes.

Again, edge Buckeyes.

The 2010s are yet to be decided, but both schools are off to a fantastic start. Both schools have multiple pro-bowlers, though the Buckeyes have an edge in picks yet again.

I guess we need to look to the past. Of course Florida State has Deion Sanders. Ohio State has nearly an equally famous defensive back, named Jack Tatum. One was a great cover back, the other was tough. We’ll just leave it at that. However, the 80s also saw great OSU backs like William White, Sean Gayle, and Todd Bell from Columbus.

So yeah. BIA, DBU – whatever you want to call it – it’s Ohio State, not Florida State.

 CAN HE PLAY BOTH SPORTS? Ohio State’s going hard after three-star offensive tackle Dawand Jones, but it’s looking like Chris Holtmann might be able to use him more immediately.

Here is the 6-foot-8, 360 lb. fellow doing basketball on other humans:

Honestly, the video wasn’t at all what I was expecting. The guy moves really well for his size, has good court vision and can finish around the rim even when he isn’t dunking in kids’ faces.

Are you sure you want to play football, Dawand? Cause I’m confident Holtmann would find a way to use you tomorrow.

 HOLD DEEZ WHAT, SABAN? We all know the cold, chronically angry side of Nick Saban that he publicly displays, but Alabama running back Josh Jacobs introduced us to another.

The side of him that makes “Deez Nuts” jokes at his players during practice.

From John Taylor of NBCSports and brought to light by Khadrice Rollins of

I was one of the rare lucky ones. He never really yelled at me. He used to joke with me and say a couple of things, but besides that he never … Like if I was catching a lot of passes that day, he would try to say something like, ‘Hey Josh, you keep catch all these passes, how about you hold deez?’ or something like that. Just something funny for a coach to try and translate and get to know to each player.

I want to know how he acquired that joke. Like, the dude doesn’t use social media, and I assume he spends little time online, meaning someone had to teach him. Or better yet, get him with it.

Imagine deez nutsing Nick Saban.

 LINK LOCKER. A gif of the U.S. numbered highway system in numerical order… The case for vitamin-enriched alcohol… Legos apparently have a higher rate of return than gold or stocks… Inside the experiment that could end infertility… Why some Japanese pensioners want to go to jail…

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