Skull Session: Ohio State Made Michigan State Look Like a JV Team, The Buckeyes Are the Best in the Country and Ryan Day Wants Toughness in All Phases

I don’t think I talk about Emeka Egbuka enough.

Through the first six games, he has a team-leading 35 receptions, 655 yards (No. 4 in FBS) and six touchdowns, including this one against Michigan State:

Yeah, I’m no expert, but I would say he’s pretty good at this football thing.

Let’s have a good Wednesday, shall we?

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN. Mel Tucker looked defeated at his weekly press conference with Michigan State football beat reporters on Monday. Rather than head straight into questions, Tucker offered an opening statement with observations from his team’s loss to Ohio State over the weekend.

I don’t know who told Tucker that, but their observation was right on the nose. Ohio State was better in every category than Michigan State, defeating the Spartans 49-20 in East Lansing. Indeed, the Buckeyes were so dominant on Saturday that Tucker, a head coach in the Big Ten (ie, the same conference in which Ohio State plays), had to choose from a handful of singular plays where his team didn’t look like JV players against a varsity squad.

Comments like Tucker’s remind me of the significant sentence between Ohio State and the other programs in the Big Ten. I don’t imagine Tucker has been the only head coach in the conference who thought his team looked like a bunch of nobody after facing the Buckeyes.

In the Big Ten, it’s Ohio State and everybody else. It’s been that way for a while, outside of a few outlier games here and there, and it doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon.

Simply put, the Buckeyes are in a league of their own.

BEST IN THE COUNTRY. As stated in earlier Skull Sessions this year, I appreciate and respect Joel Klatt’s commentary on college football, so any time I see a take that resonates with me, I will likely pass it along.

This week, Klatt called Ohio State “the best team in the country” on The Joel Klatt Show, claiming that the Buckeyes have been the only consistently dominant program in the FBS all season. And, you know, I have to agree.

If you’re saying to yourself, “Man! It sounded like he had more to say about Ohio State being the best team in the country. I wonder what he had to say!” Klatt further warrants his claim in a YouTube video that extends the clip featured in the tweet by diving into CJ Stroud’s brilliance, the Ohio State defense’s constant improvement and the tests that lie ahead for the Buckeyes.

This year, Ohio State is working to change that narrative, focusing on being fast, violent and physical in all phases of the game – especially at the line of scrimmage.

“We want to be known for having toughness, having skill, having discipline, and I think our guys have understood that and have embraced it,” Ryan Day said. “It’s for everyone on the team, but if we want to get to where we need to be, the offensive and defensive line have to be at the tip of the spear when it comes to our physicality.”

I believe wholeheartedly that the offensive line has improved in physicality and toughness under Justin Frye. He’s taken the unit to a new level in his first season as the position coach.

As for the defensive line, I’m still waiting for more production out of the unit. Mike Hall Jr. has been an animal, but others – like Javontae Jean-Baptiste and Zach Harrison – have only flashed in moments. That’s not to say the group hasn’t played well. In fact, Jim Knowles praises them often. However, I think it’s time we see more sacks and tackles for loss out of the Rushmen. Perhaps the bye week will work wonders in making that happen in the final six games.

NEVER TELL ME THE ODDS. I can already see “Rat Poison,” “One week at a time” and “Just win the next game” coming in the comments section after I include the chances for Ohio State to win the remainder of its games in my Skull Session.

Those are all good comments, and I am there with you. It should be all about Iowa for the coaches and players in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center over the next two weeks. However, I want to offer a lay of the land for fans curious about what the computers think of Ohio State’s odds of finishing undefeated and reaching the College Football Playoff.

According to the Allstate Playoff Predictor and ESPN’s College Football Power Index, the Buckeyes have the best odds to finish the regular season undefeated at 44.8% and are the most likely team to make the CFP at 81% ahead of Alabama (80%), Georgia (67.6%), Clemson (50.5%) and Michigan (37.9%).

When looking at the individual matchups remaining on the Buckeyes’ schedule, Ohio State’s most formidable opponent will be No. 5 Michigan. According to the predictor, the Buckeyes’ next toughest games will be when they hit the road to battle No. 10 Penn State and Maryland. The other three contests in the second half of the season are all above a 95% chance for Ohio State to win.

Ohio State’s Chances to Win Remaining Games



win %


Sat, Oct 22


@Penn State

Sat, Oct 29



Sat, Nov 05



Sat, Nov 12



Sat, Nov 19



Sat, Nov 26


Again, the Buckeyes need to have a next-game mentality this season. The program cannot endure another heartbreaker like Iowa in 2017, Purdue in 2018 or Oregon and Michigan in 2021. This team is too good, and its potential to win a national championship is too great.

I believe Ohio State has the correct mindset currently, and I don’t see that shifting for the rest of the year. With odds like the Buckeyes have to win out and make the CFP, historic things could be coming for the scarlet and gray in 2022.

SONG OF THE DAY. “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac.

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