Skull Session: The Buckeyes Flying Under the Radar, Ohio State Makes Case to Be Wide Receiver University, and It’s Only Getting Colder in Columbus

It was a busy Tuesday in Buckeye Nation.

For the second week in a row, Ohio State was considered the No. 2 seed in the country by the College Football Playoff committee.

A few hours after these rankings were released, That The Ohio State University women’s basketball beat No. 5 Tennessee, 87-75, in the Buckeyes’ first regular season game of 2022-23.

Jacy Sheldon led the way for Ohio State with 14 points, seven assists and eight steals. Meanwhile, Taylor Mikesell scored 25, Rebeka Mikulasikova added 17 and Cotie McMahon and Taylor Thierry each scored 10. As a team, the Buckeyes forced the Volunteers into 29 turnovers and that made all the difference as Ohio State claimed a top-five win to start the year.

Phew. What a Tuesday. But, we move on! Let’s have a good Wednesday, shall we?

UNDER THE RADAR. In partnership with ESPN, FiveThirtyEight is a site that uses data and analytics as the primary resource for its writing. In fact, much of their work does not use citations or external sources. It’s good old fashioned numbers explained through an online article.

On Tuesday, FiveThirtyEight contributor Josh Planos asked readers, “Why is the college football world sleeping on Ohio State?”

Planos explained that the Buckeyes have been one of the most dominant teams in the nation this season, according to ESPN’s efficiency ratings, and are playing some of the best football the program has seen since 2014. However, he believes Ohio State is not receiving proper attention from college -football experts and fans.

At this point in the season, Planos claims, Ohio State has only looked this good once, and that was in 2019. The Buckeyes are also seven points of efficiency higher than the 2014 national championship team.

OHIO STATE EFFECTIVENESS RATINGS

Season

Crime

Defense

Question Team

Total

2014 87.3 69.8 55.7 85.6

2015

58.7

81.5

67.0

78.5

2016

77.5

87.1

52.5

87.8

2017

83.9

77.1

49.9

86.0

2018

77.4

55.4

66.9

74.6

2019 96.1 92.5 58.3 97.9

2020

95.0

71.2

35.6

91.1

2021

89.1

65.5

61.2

85.6

2022 93.3 83.5 39.6 92.9

So Ohio State is one of four undefeated teams, one of the most talented and efficient teams in the FBS. Why aren’t the Buckeyes getting their due? Planos writes:

Arguably, the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs have intermittently looked like a title favorite again, with the season opener by Oregon and last weekend’s excellent defensive effort against Tennessee sticking out for the voters. A year after winning it all, Georgia will likely maintain the top spot in every poll moving forward unless it loses. But this is also a team that very nearly suffered an upset by an unranked Missouri team with a losing record.

Ohio State doesn’t have the strength of record that Georgia does, nor does it measure up as well in ESPN’s Football Power Index (or our Elo model). But the Buckeyes have also never been in danger of losing and are the only team with a top-five offense and defense. They have produced more points per game (45.78) in more yards per game (7.3) than any team in the country — essentially doing it without (Jaxon) Smith-Njigba, a receiver who broke a 20-year conference record last year. received record and was favored to win the Biletnikoff Award. And yet they received a single first-place vote in the latest AP poll.

“Disrespect” is subjective, relative, and maybe even a touch strong for what Ohio State has experienced in 2022. Maybe “overlooked” is a better way to put it, or “taken for granted.” But the Buckeyes should be comfortable being in that spot. Amazingly, it’s been seven years since they were last ranked first in the AP poll. That’s right: They weren’t even No. 1 when they had two top-15 road wins in mid-October in 2016, nor when they won two top-15 games at the end of September in 2018. nor when they bulldozed the regular season with a playoff-best average margin of victory of 33.1 points in 2019.

Will that change this season in Columbus? Maybe — provided the Buckeyes keep winning enough to grab the attention of the voters and the playoffs. But so far, one of college football’s powerhouse programs has flown strangely under the radar all season.

Now, I’ll admit that the premise of the No. 2 team in the country “flying under the radar” feels a little silly, but maybe Planos is on to something. All season — really leading up to the Northwestern game — Ohio State felt like the most complete team in the country. Then the Fighting Fitzgeralds played the Buckeyes to a 14-point game in inclement weather.

Perhaps recent bias caused the college football world to forget just how talented and efficient Ohio State really is. At the end of the day, I guess we’ll find out what this team is made of over the next three weeks, with the final exam coming up on Nov. 26 against Michigan.

OSU IS WRU. If Ohio State isn’t already the Wide Receiver University of college football, it soon will be.

Michael Thomas, Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell, Curtis Samuel, Noah Brown, Binjimen Victor, CJ Saunders and rookies Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave are all former Buckeyes currently on NFL teams.

Ohio State not only has a number of players, but the quality is also remarkable. From “WOW!” plays like Samuel’s 49-yard catch in triple coverage Sunday to silky smooth route running and releasing Wilson and Olave, the Buckeyes bolster their resume with both numbers and talent.

Of course, we have to consider Alabama and LSU in the conversation for WRU. The Tide have Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and Jameson Williams (who played two years at Ohio State). At the same time, the Tigers claim Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr., Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase.

While those schools may be ahead now, Nick Saban and Brian Kelly don’t have the talent at receiver as Ohio State this fall outside of Kayshon Boutte at LSU.

The Buckeyes have Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Marvin Harrison Jr. as NFL locks — the former as a projected first-round pick and the latter making a solid case to be the first receiver taken in 2024. Additionally, Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming continue to maximize both possess traits that will entice pro teams in the drafting process.

And why stop there? With plenty of depth behind them in Jayden Ballard, Kaleb Brown, Kyion Grayes, Caleb Burton and Kojo Antwi, and a loaded 2023 recruiting class of Brandon Inniss, Noah Rogers, Carnell Tate and Bryson Rogers coming to Columbus next year, Ohio State- the receiver room will only continue to produce top talent. Time to sit back and watch it all unfold before our eyes.

ONLY GETTING COLDER. Ohio State men’s basketball guard Isaac “Ice” Likekele’s hometown in Arlington, Texas, and he played his first four years of college hoops in Stillwater, Oklahoma, for the Cowboys.

After just a few months as a Buckeye, Likekele might reconsider his decision to transfer to Ohio State — just a little bit. Not because of anything on the field, but because it gets too cold in Columbus.

I regret to inform Mr. Ice that temperatures in central Ohio will only continue to drop in the coming weeks, so he’ll probably have to keep that winter jacket in the outfit rotation.

Those frantically checking the weather after Ohio State’s performance against Northwestern last weekend probably already know this. Still, the weather in Columbus will be in the 60s for the rest of the week, topping out at 70 degrees on Thursday. Sounds good, right?

But there is more…

When the football team hosts Indiana on Saturday, the low will be 30 degrees and the high will be 42 degrees with winds around 10-15 mph, so it looks like we’ll see how the Buckeyes fare in colder weather sooner rather than later.

MOK DRAFT SZN. If you love mock drafts or have always wanted to see how good you would be as a general manager of your favorite NFL franchise, Pro Football Focus has a tool for you that could be pretty fun.

This week, PFF updated its Mock Draft Simulator for the 2023 NFL draft, which allows you to place players like Stroud, Smith-Njigba, Paris Johnson Jr., Dawand Jones, Cade Stover and other Buckeyes on pro teams.

I spent an extended amount of time using the feature on Tuesday and would recommend playing with it for some free time. And if you choose to use it at work, make sure you have a separate tab to click away to if your boss walks by. If your boss catches you, tell them it was my fault. I’ll take the heat!

SONG OF THE DAY. “The Cave” by Mumford & Sons.

GET TO THE POINT. T rex skull unearthed in South Dakota to be auctioned in NY… NASA moon rocket launch delayed again by tropical weather… Photos of the total lunar eclipse in North America, East Asia… Chris Evans named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine… Ancient bronze statues found in good condition in Italy.

DO NOT FORGET: Vote for Ohio State ice hockey defenseman Sophie Jaques to win the AAU James E. Sullivan Award (Click Here). Today is the last day you can vote!

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