Marvin Harrison Jr.

Skull Session: Marvin Harrison Jr. deserved the Biletnikoff, a look at Ohio State’s Heisman candidates since 2018 and Columbus is a college town

The Buckeye Nation rejoiced Thursday as Tanner Holden sank a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to defeat Rutgers and give Ohio State a victory in its Big Ten opener.

The play unfolded as Chris Holtmann drew it.

Sweet, sweet victory.

Let’s have a good Friday, okay?

WAIT WHAT? Thursday night, while watching the ESPN College Football Awards broadcast, I clenched my fist, looked up at the sky — more specifically, the ceiling of my apartment — and shouted in a loud voice: “Why ?”

Of course, this was in response to the announcement of Jalin Hyatt of Tennessee as the winner of this year’s Biletnikoff Award. Indeed, according to voters for the top passer honor in college football, Hyatt had a better and more impactful season than Marvin Harrison Jr.

I understand that Hyatt had more yards, touchdowns and yards per strike than Harrison this season, but it’s not like he blew Harrison out of the water statistically. Take a look at their side-by-side contributions to Tennessee and Ohio State this year, including advanced metrics from Pro Football Focus:


Jalin Hyatt









































To note: ADOT = average target depth

Yes, the stats favor Hyatt (but again, not by much). But what about the eye test? Maybe I have my rose-colored glasses (or scarlet glasses?) on when I watch Harrison perform every week. Still, I’m pretty confident that no other receiver in college football, including Hyatt, has pulled off some of the spectacular catches Harrison did during the regular season.

I mean, seriously. He has the nickname Super Marv for a reason. No one but Harrison was doing things like this in 2022:

In my opinion, Biletnikoff voters missed this one. And I know Harrison still has a year to win the award, but it looks like he should be looking for back-to-back Biletnikoffs instead of playing for his first.

I’ve said it for the past few weeks, and I’ll say it again today, Marvin Harrison Jr. is the best receiver in America. Period. Point blank. May he prove it once again on December 31, when Ohio State takes on Georgia in the Peach Bowl, and then can he earn another opportunity to prove it in the nine-day national championship later.

Isn’t that fascinating? Congratulations to the media team for such a creation. I have no idea how long something like that takes, but I imagine it was quite long.

The photo reminds me of how talented Ohio State teams have been over the past five seasons and how Haskins, Fields, Stroud and Young were the most talented on their respective teams during those years. It reveals how special they all were (and are, in Stroud’s case) while wearing scarlet and gray.

Oh, and that reminds me of something. If you have visited the Eleven Warriors On Thursday, we asked which of these players had the best season when they were individually nominated as Heisman Trophy finalists. Here’s how that poll turned out:

  1. Justin Fields, 2019: 44% (votes)

  2. Dwayne Haskins, 2018: 26%

  3. Chase Young, 2019: 25%

  4. JC Stroud, 2021: 5%

  5. CJ Stroud, 2022: 1%

Of course, Stroud is the only player who can still win the award and hopes to do so this weekend. The Heisman Trophy ceremony is scheduled for Saturday at 8 p.m. in New York City and will be broadcast on ESPN.

Stroud was the favorite to win the honor for most of the season before Ohio State’s loss to Michigan. He was usurped by USC’s Caleb Williams, who is still the favorite heading into Saturday despite the Trojans losing to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship game, according to most sportsbooks.

But who knows? Maybe Heisman voters will surprise us on Saturday night.

COLUMBUS IS A COLLEGE CITY. Although Columbus is home to two major league sports franchises and a minor league baseball team, the state capital of Ohio is and always will be a college town. You know. I know that. This town belongs to the Buckeyes.

The Columbus Blue Jackets made that clear on Wednesday when they announced they would move the start time of their Dec. 31 game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationwide Arena from 7 p.m. to 1 p.m. so as not to overlap. the 8 p.m. kickoff for the Peach Bowl between Ohio State and Georgia.

From a Blue Jackets press release:

“New Year’s Eve is going to be a special day for Ohio sports fans and moving our game to the afternoon will ensure our fans won’t miss a minute of Blue Jackets hockey or the excitement of watching the college football playoffs that night,” Kathryn said. Dobbs, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the Blue Jackets.

Yes, it’s true. The Columbus Blue Jackets, a hockey team in the NHL – a professional league representing one of the four major sports in the United States – bowed to the will of the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Now, let’s be clear: the Blue Jackets are hot garbage this season, mostly due to injuries on every line and a non-existent defense, but they are still a professional sports team. It should really be the CBJ who has the power to do whatever he wants, not the amateurs dressed in scarlet and gray.

But that’s how it’s always been in Columbus. The State of Ohio runs this city. And with the Buckeyes playing in the college football playoffs, there was no choice for the Blue Jackets but to play second fiddle.

However, if you are a fan of jackets, this may be good news. Now you have plans for New Year’s afternoon, and you can see them fade away at 1 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. and not miss any of the Buckeyes’ matchups with the Bulldogs. I see this as a huge victory!

OLYMPIC VILLAGE. My friends, Ohio State has talented women’s teams. Really talented female teams. But we only have room to talk about two of them to wrap up this Skully.

Let’s start with women’s basketball, which beat The Fighting Ryan Days of New Hampshire, 92-36, on Thursday. If you looked at this score and thought, “Wow! It looks like an eruption!” then you’d be spot on. But the final score doesn’t tell the whole story.

Aaaaaaaaaaah, Yes. Ohio State was only up 39-29 at halftime, but beat the Wildcats (and that’s their real nickname) 53-7 in the second half, including a 30- 4 in third and a 23-3 run in fourth, to win by 56 points. Cotie McMahon led the team with 20 points, followed by Taylor Mikesell with 19 and Taylor Theirry with 14. Defensively, the Buckeyes forced 27 turnovers and blocked four shots.

I would say it’s a good day for the women’s basketball team.

Let’s move on to the women’s volleyball team. Man oh man, Emily Londot was an unstoppable force, On Thursday, he collected a career-high 29 eliminations.

Londot’s performance, along with those of Mac Podraza, Rylee Rader, Kylie Murr and Jenaisya Moore, pushed Ohio State past Minnesota and into the Elite Eight for the first time since 2004.

These players made it incredibly difficult to finalize the match recap yesterday afternoon as they continued to rack up more and more stats at the end of the final set. But it’s a good thing they did because Ohio State needed every possible point to defeat the boogeyman who was the program’s Sweet 16.

Kudos to Coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg for what she has done in her three seasons with the programs. Let’s end this year with a nice Volleybucks.

SONG OF THE DAY. “I Feel Good” by James Brown.

CUT TO HUNTING. Columbus’ sober bar, Dry Mill, is closing… LeBron James congratulates Glenville football team on their state championship… Officials grant California girl’s request to keep unicorn… Meet college football’s first million-dollar strength coach… The Year of the Year Slap: Pop Culture Moments of 2022.

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