Skull Session: It’s Time to Talk About Indiana, Jim Harbaugh Believes Michigan is on a “Magical Ride” and Ronnie Hickman Has Been an Unsung Hero in 2022


Chris Holtmann is more meticulous than a forensic officer.

He also signs top 10 recruiting classes like it’s nothing.

Let’s have a good Thursday, shall we?

HOOSIER DADDY. I didn’t talk about the Hoosiers in my first three Skull Sessions this week. To be fair, I didn’t really feel the need.

On Monday, there was a lot of talk about Ohio State’s performance in Evanston. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday, much of the conversation shifted to a potential top-three showdown with Michigan while glossing over the Buckeyes’ matchups with Indiana and Maryland.

But here we are now, and I should at least briefly mention the Hoosiers before the noon kickoff on Saturday. That’s pretty much all Ryan Day did earlier this week, as the Ohio State head coach was asked only one question about Indiana at his Tuesday press conference.

Ohio State is 78-12-5 all-time against Indiana and has won 51 of the last 54 since 1960, including 27 consecutive wins dating back to 1991. For the last 60 (!) years, the Hoosiers have not fought the Buckeyes for a full four quarters outside of a handful of games, most notably the 2020 contest that Ohio State won 42-35. Therefore, I am deeming Day’s first two comments as Fiction and labeling his words what they call “coachspeak.”

However, Day also spoke factually – or, as my friends say, “all fax, no printer” – in his Tuesday press conference. Ohio State and Indiana play at noon on Saturday, and the Buckeyes need to play better at the start of games, especially the early kickoffs. Both are true. Therefore, those comments are labeled as fact.

Historically, Ohio State has never struggled against Indiana, and the Buckeyes won’t struggle with the Hoosiers on Saturday. I’ll save my prediction for Saturday’s Skully, but know that it will be Bucks by a Billion.

Now that I’ve finally talked about Indiana let’s move on!

“OUR TIME IS NOW.” With only a few weeks left in the regular season, Jim Harbaugh believes his team has a legitimate shot at winning a national championship.

The Michigan head coach made that clear when speaking on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show on Tuesday, claiming the undefeated Wolverines – currently ranked No. 3 in the CFP rankings – have complete control of their destiny in the coming days.

From The News and Observer:

“Our time is now,” said Harbaugh. “Our time is not last year. It’s not next year. Our time is now, and we’re on a ride. It’s a happy ride, and it could be even a magical ride. So let’s focus on the task at hand which is , today, let’s have the best meetings possible, best practice possible. Actually, let’s make it the best one of the year — best meeting of the year, best lifting session of the year, best practice of the year. Then do that today and then come back and do the same thing tomorrow.”

Harbaugh also noted that the Michigan coaching staff and players are “well aware” that the Ohio State game is approaching quickly and understand the significance of that matchup being on the road in Columbus.

I know that it’s Indiana Week or whatever. Then it will be Maryland week or whatever. But I can’t wait for Hate Week. Only 16 more days until we see if the Buckeyes can halt the Wolverines’ so-called “magical ride.”

Oh, it would be beautifulwouldn’t it?

BEHIND THE STICKERS. Ronnie Hickman is one of the unsung heroes of Ohio State’s defense in 2022. While not on pace for the statistical success he achieved last year, he deserves some attention for his significant impact on the Buckeyes this season.

Through nine games, Hickman has recorded 39 tackles (18 solo, 21 assists), one forced fumble, four pass breakups and one interception as one of Ohio State’s three starting safeties. But it’s been in the last two weeks that the fourth-year adjuster has shined for the Buckeyes.

Against Penn State, Hickman made six tackles, forced a fumble and deflected three passes. It was a fantastic performance, but JT Tuimoloau’s record-breaking afternoon (deservedly) received more attention. In Evanston, Hickman trailed only Tommy Eichenberg (13) for the team lead in tackles with 10. After that outing, he finally received the proper platform and acknowledgment for his consistent effort at the third level for Ohio State.

Hat tips to Hickman for his continued efforts this season. May he continue to play his best football at the end of the year as the Buckeyes close out their year strong.

DEVELOPED HERE. ESPN released its NFL rookie rankings after the first nine weeks of the season, and – no surprise – Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson are at the top of the list.

This year, Olave has caught 43 passes for a rookie-best 618 yards and two touchdowns for the New Orleans Saints. He was also named the NFL Rookie of the Month for September. Meanwhile, Wilson has hauled in 42 passes for 521 yards and two scores while picking up two NFL Rookie of the Week honors after Week 2 and Week 8.

There’s no doubt that the former Ohio State wide receivers can play ball, and they are being rightfully praised for their efforts through the first half of their rookie seasons. Good on the folks at ESPN for recognizing what Buckeye Nation knew all along.

Oh, and while we’re talking about the NFL, Justin Fields won NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his record-breaking performance against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. To celebrate that accomplishment, Ohio State on BTN tweeted a few clips of Fields back when he was a Buckeye, so I am obligated to share them with you.

Fields was a baddddddd man for Ohio State. That’s for sure.

SONG OF THE DAY. “Young Blood” by Noah Kahan.

CUT TO THE CHASE. TSA: Handgun found inside raw chicken in luggage at airport… Mindfulness worked as well for anxiety as drug in study… 18-carat pink diamond reaps $28.8 million at Geneva auction… Facebook parent Meta cuts 11,000 jobs, 13% of workforce… Father-in-law of former NFL DT Domata Peko sold $2 billion Powerball ticket.

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