Skull Session: Chris Olave's High Praise C.J. Stroud, Ohio State's Playoff Chances, and Ezekiel Elliott As a Hype Man

Today's Skull Session is on time and ready to tell you about how damn good Denzel Burke is.

Denzel Burke & Sauce Gardner = LOCKDOWN

— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 13, 2021

Remember when teams tried to pick on him by throwing in the direction of the true freshman cornerback every passing play? That seems to have stopped. I wonder why!

Word of the Day: Punctual.

 “A RARE BREED.” It would have been totally fair and understandable for Chris Olave to expect a drop in quarterback play this year with a guy who's never attempted a collegiate pass coming in after three years with two Heisman Trophy finalists and first-round picks at the helm.

But when he saw C.J. Stroud in practice, he saw no dropoff. In fact, he seems to suggest that Stroud is even better than Dwayne Haskins or Justin Fields.

Chris Olave on C.J. Stroud: He's a rare breed. I've never seen a guy throw the ball like that. Said he had a lot of faith in Stroud when he made the decision to come back for this season.

— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) October 12, 2021

The simple fact that Olave voluntarily came back this season was all the evidence I needed to earnestly believe that Stroud was the truth, so it's good to hear that almost completely confirmed by Olave saying "that's one of the reasons why I came back, to play with him."

It's also hilarious that like three weeks ago an insignificant portion of the fanbase was trying to have him benched, but to be completely fair, he was not quite playing up to what Olave describes.

I'd say he's certainly there now, but Ryan Day doesn't seem to believe he's even close to his ceiling yet, which is terrifying in the best of ways.

 PLAYOFF PREDICTOR. If I would have mentioned the College Football Playoff in a Skull Session a month ago, y'all would have collectively gone Jim Mora on my ass in the comments.

But here we are, a month after Ohio State's loss to Oregon, and the Buckeyes are legit College Football Playoff contenders again.

In fact, the stats-knowers at FiveThirtyEight are giving Ohio State the fifth-best odds to make the playoff, tied with Cincinnati, hilariously.

Skull Session: Chris Olave's High Praise C.J. Stroud, Ohio State's Playoff Chances, and Ezekiel Elliott As a Hype Man

If you're bored, FiveThirtyEight's playoff predictor is actually a fun tool. You can click through scenarios and watch teams' playoff and national title odds jump up and down.

After pushing a button, I'm pleased to report that the simplest "control your own destiny" scenario for Ohio State – winning every remaining game – would get the Buckeyes into the playoff with greater than 99% certainty.

So at the end of the day, things are really simple: just win, baby!

 BUCKEYES HELPING BUCKEYES. For those of you who may have missed the news, the world tragically lost former Ohio State linebacker De’van Bogard this week after he was killed in an apartment fire at just age 27.

As I have become way too aware these past couple of weeks, losing someone you love is the worst kind of pain. And the immediate and unexpected financial burden makes an already overwhelming situation so much worse.

There's not much we can do about that first part, but we can sure help with the second. And the Elyria High School football team (where De'van coached) has already set up a GoFundMe to help cover those costs.

My name is Rachel Boddy and I am a team rep for the Elyria High football team. Today we learned of the tragic news of Coach Bogard’s passing. Coach Bogard has been an instrumental part of our program these last 2 years with a connection to these boys like no other. He has made such an impact on them in his short time with us. We felt the need to do our part to help his family during this difficult time.

Coach Bogard first and foremost was a loving dad to his son Jaden whom he leaves behind. He took so much pride in his role as a father. The players all got to know Jaden as well as he’d come hang out from time to time. He also leaves behind his mom whom he adored and looked up to for the way she raised him. He and I had several personal conversations about his mad respect for single moms and the way they make things happen. He truly appreciated and loved her so much.

Coach Bogard was a graduate of Ginn Academy and played football for Glenville High School. He then went on to play football at Ohio State. He loved to live life and have fun, wise beyond his years.

With all that being said the least we can do since he gave so freely of himself and his time to take care of our boys and make a difference in their lives is to make sure Jaden is taken care of in his passing. Please consider donating. All expenses will be going directly to his mom to help cover funeral expenses and to help out for future expenses for Jaden. Nothing can replace the loss of her son or Jaden’s dad but we can try to ease some of the burden and allow them the resources to grieve and figure out how to proceed. Thank you.

Grief is stressful enough all on its own; let's make sure financial anxiety isn't added on top of that.

 HYPE MAN. Y'all wanna know how the USMNT was able to take care of business in Columbus last night (other than Timothy Weah playing in place of Paul Arriola)?

It's cause they had one hell of a hype man for the pregame trailer.

TONIGHT: Another big game in Columbus! @EzekielElliott knows a thing or two about those. Gotta bring it. #USAvCRC x @VW

— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) October 13, 2021

I assume I missed the call when they tried to reach out to get me to narrate the video, but no worries, I'll be happy to do the next one. Zeke is a solid consolation prize though.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Little Death" by +44.

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