Skull Session: Keith Byars’ Recruitment, Notre Dame Isn’t Entitled to Special Treatment, and the Playoff Will Benefit Group of Five Teams

The Buckeyes may not know anything about the ’90s, but at least they could recognize a suave looking gentleman when they see one.

Day is, of course, referring to the “he get all the ladies” comment.

Word of the Day: Rollick.

 “THAT’S NOT A DECISION I EVER REGRETTED.” Recruiting may look a little completely different these days than it did 40 years ago, but the core of it is pretty much the same – teams doing everything they can to convince the best players to play for their school instead of somebody else’s.

And that’s pretty much what happened with Keith Byars.

The phone rang inside the Byars’ home in Dayton, Ohio, in January of 1982, just before national signing day. Keith Byars’ sister answered, then shouted that “Coach Hayes” was on the phone. Keith thought it was a joke, but when he got on the phone, he recognized the same voice he had been hearing all his life while watching Ohio State games as a child.

“He’s yelling at me because I hadn’t committed to Ohio State,” Byars said, laughing. “He said, ‘Don’t you want to be great, young man? I heard a lot of great things about you.’ I’m like, ‘You heard about me?’ He said, ‘All great players in Ohio stay in Ohio!’ So I was blown away.”

Byars was seemingly destined to go to Ohio State, a decision he still calls one of the best of his life. He raced through the record books in Columbus, and he is now the 26th former Buckeyes player to make the College Football Hall of Fame.

“My heart and my head were saying Ohio State,” Byars said. “That’s not a decision I ever regretted. From day one, I knew I chose the right college all along. So being able to play for a Hall of Fame coach in Earle Bruce was a blessing. He taught me a lot. We had a great coaching staff while I was there, too, and just a perfect storm of friends.”

The best part about this whole story is that by 1982, Woody hadn’t coached the Buckeyes in four years, but he was still out there calling and badgering kids to commit to Ohio State because « All great players in Ohio stay in Ohio! »

What a legend.

 CRY, NOTRE DAME. For as mind-numbing as the College Football Playoff has been at times, and will continue to be in the future, they did manage to get one thing hilariously correct with this new proposal:

And of course, the Gold Domes are losing their damn minds about it.

I want to clarify something, though: this is not the College Football Playoff going out of its way to shaft Notre Dame or force them to join a conference, it’s the College Football Playoff declining to give Notre Dame the special treatment they somehow feel entitled to if they choose to remain independent.

The Irish are actually getting the same treatment as everybody else here, and that’s what’s making them so mad. It’s so on brand it’s hilarious.

And frankly, it’s about damn time. I’m so sick of reading about « the Power Five and Notre Dame » like that program has been anywhere near good enough to merit any special treatment.

When you really break it down, they’re just Michigan if the Wolverines somehow backed into the College Football Playoff a couple of times by playing an ACC schedule.

 GOOD FOR THE GROUP OF FIVE. This new proposal is not good news for Notre Dame, but it is very good news for Group of Five teams, especially with this little wrinkle:

Personally, I’m all for this. If the Pac-12 champ – or any other Power Five champ, for that matter – is considerably less deserving than a Group of Five team, give the bid to the Group of Five team.

 THE BAD NEWS. An expanded playoff is new and exciting, but I’m afraid it’s only masking the worst part of the entire process, which will still be in the place: the damn selection committee.

So, we’ll still get that same total lack of transparency, complete disregard for their own criteria, and remarkable inconsistency that we’ve all love to hate. Awesome.

The good news is, you’d think that with a far bigger playoff field, there would be much less room for controversy and pissed off fanbases. Unfortunately, you’d be extremely wrong about that.

Cool cool cool. I’m sure they’ll handle this very well year after year. Can’t wait.

 SONG OF THE DAY. « Best Friend » by Harry Nilsson.

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