Skull Session: Ohio State is the Heavy Big Ten Favorite, Steele Chambers is Pictured With the Running Backs, and Justin Fields Talks QB Battle


Somehow, today will be the first time Kevin Warren addresses the media after making one of the most controversial decisions in the history of the conference over a year ago. It's both totally unbelievable and amazingly on-brand.

But hey, at least we get 15 bonus minutes to ask the questions he should have handled a year ago!

The Big Ten has added 15 minutes to Kevin Warren's scheduled Q&A tomorrow at B1G Media Days. Was originally scheduled for 10:30-11:00. Now 10:15-11:00.

— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) July 21, 2021

For full coverage of Big Ten Media Days, be sure you're following my good pals Dan Hope, Colin Hass-Hill and 11W newby Garrick Hodge.

You should under no circumstances follow me. In fact, I am providing a link to my account for the sole purpose of you unfollowing me.

Word of the Day: Munificent.

 SAME STUFF, DIFFERENT YEAR. There have only been two times in the past nine years that the media did not pick Ohio State to win the Big Ten, and Ohio State won the conference crown both of those years.

So, (almost) nobody's getting cute this year.

Ohio State was the near-unanimous preseason favorite in the 2021 cleveland.com Preseason Big Ten Poll. All but one of the 34 members of our voting panel picked the Buckeyes — the four-time defending champions — to win the Big Ten East and the championship game.

(NOTE: Due to a tabulation error, Ohio State was originally credited with being the unanimous choice to win the Big Ten championship game.)

The voters picked Wisconsin as the West favorite with 29 first-place votes. Second-place Iowa received the other five first-place votes. One voter picked Wisconsin to defeat the Buckeyes in the Big Ten championship game.

It is my sincerest hope that the "tabulation error" was that they simply just assumed everyone was going to pick Ohio State and didn't even bother checking the responses.

That's purely fan fiction, but I'm rolling with it.

 STEELE UNCERTAIN. Underrated offseason storyline: nobody seems to have any idea what position Steele Chambers plays these days, and any clue we're given just adds more confusion.

Rumors started swirling of a potential position switch in the spring, just before this photo showed him lined up in what appears to be a defensive position, but still wearing a scarlet offense practice jersey.

Blessed. pic.twitter.com/OjqfMcCxUr

— Evan Pryor (@evanpryor3) March 19, 2021

A few days later, Ohio State assured us that despite the rumors, he was, in fact, still a running back.

There's been some speculation about Steele Chambers moving to linebacker, but Ryan Day said Chambers is still playing running back right now.

— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) March 22, 2021

Tony Alford on the speculation that Steele Chambers could move to linebacker: I've seen some of that speculation. I don't know where that speculation's come from. It didn't come from this office. Said they haven't talked about him changing positions, and he's doing well at RB.

— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) March 23, 2021

That all seemed legit when he played the entire spring game at running back even though the Buckeyes were so thin at linebacker that long snapper Roen McCullough played extensively at the position.

But then, just last month, Chambers was seen working with the linebackers at one of Ohio State's recruiting camps.

As of this spring, Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford said the plan for Steele Chambers was to keep him at running back, but he was among the Buckeye players coaching up linebackers at today's camp (while representing his hometown Atlanta Braves). pic.twitter.com/05qcfGT86b

— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) June 17, 2021

It could have been nothing, but a couple of weeks later, he was photographed attending an outing linebackers unit, which seemed to all but confirm a position switch...

One Energy. One Mission. For the Brotherhood. #H2 #GoBuckeyes pic.twitter.com/ZOSAzHXMP7

— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) July 5, 2021

... until yesterday, when he was photographed attending a TopGolf outing with the running backs unit.

Tote Nation #GoBuckeyes pic.twitter.com/JOPmPojvBR

— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) July 22, 2021

So basically, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

At the very least, I'd say the odds of him playing at least one snap on both sides of the ball this year are substantially higher than the odds that J.T. Tuimoloau plays two sports. Take that as you will.

 QB1 TALKS QBs. Justin Fields will be yielding his throne to one of three worthy heirs in just a few weeks, he just doesn't know which one quite yet.

But the good news is, all three have his stamp of approval.

“I know coach Day is going to have a tough decision when he's choosing his starting quarterback,” Fields said. “They're all great, so it should be fun.

“C.J., he has a big body (and) strong arm. Jack, he throws a great ball. I haven't seen much of Kyle, of course, because I wasn't here with Kyle. But I've heard he's a hard worker. I've heard he's a dawg. So I'm excited for all of them.”

Day has preached the importance of the quarterbacks focusing on continuous improvement, not where they stand in the competition. Fields had similar advice.

“Just trust the process,” he said. “Control what they can and keep working. No matter who wins the starting job, anything can happen. It takes one play for them to be the guy up next.”

That was an extremely diplomatic response that gave absolutely nothing away and offered no headlines or bulletin board material, and I respect that.

HOWEVER, he did list Stroud first... Makes you think, for sure.

 PRAYING FOR CHAOS. If you were a citizen of the World Wide Web yesterday, I'm sure you saw the reports that Texas and Oklahoma are preparing to leave the Big 12 and petition to join the SEC.

#BREAKING:

SOURCES: After notifying the @Big12Conference early next week, @TexasLonghorns and @UofOklahoma will petition the @SEC for membership.

-more-

— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) July 22, 2021

#BREAKING:

Early next week, the @TexasLonghorns and @UofOklahoma will send a letter to the @Big12Conference stating that neither school will renew their media contracts when they expire in 2025.

-more-

— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) July 22, 2021

It would certainly be a fascinating move on a number of fronts, but I'm a bystander who just wants to watch the world burn, so I'm praying for the hilarious scenario where they notify the Big 12 that they're leaving, then fail to get accepted by the SEC.

And that doesn't seem out of the question!

I'm told Texas A&M and Missouri would be a hard no. Only 2 more needed to block an invitation to Texas, OU.

— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) July 21, 2021

All we need is for two schools to embrace chaos and vote against it. Who do I bribe? I'll send Arby's.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Feels Like Summer" by Childish Gambino.

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