30 May 2011
Alot of Tressel supporters like to point to the overall record as head coach of the Buckeyes, 106-22, when coach Tressel was under some fire. I never was that impressed with the overall record. 80% of those 106 wins were due to the Buckeyes out-athleting the team on the other side of the ball.
A national championship, two other appearances in the national championship game, a Rose Bowl win, a Sugar Bowl win, and two Fiesta Bowl wins in ten years. That is where this coaches legacy lies as far as I'm concerned. Beating up on teams that don't match-up is overrated. Winning bowl games like that is the measure of this coach. I don't think the coach deserved to be done in by what has been reported so far. That he was not done in to this point says that is likely the thinking of the people who make decisions. The Sports Illustrated story that is about to come out, which an advanced copy was put in the hands of higher ups at Ohio State on Friday, is likely to be why the decision was made.
Yes, it was a decision by the decision makers. Jim Tressel resigned but his other option was to be fired. He was out. Make no mistake about that. We had a great run. Jim Tressel righted the ship. I absolutely believe he did things as clean as can be done in this day and age. We are now hearing the NCAA talking about putting a few dollars in the players pockets. They should call it the Jim Tressel rule as I think the NCAA has to be thinking that if this can get a guy like Jim Tressel, a gentleman and one of the cleanest guys out there, we need to do something. It is time to move on. At least it is for me.
I understand if you need to vent some more but I am more concerned about the future of the program just now. Luke Fickell has been named interim head coach. I hope he sees that the interim is now officially in his cross hairs. I have been talking about Fickell as a candidate to be the next head coach since all of this started. I think he could have set the stage in those first five games to be the next head coach. In fact, being impressive in those first five games could have been what forced Jim Tressel out come seasons end. I think he could not just win the first five games. I think he had to be impressive in those wins and look like a man in command. I thought he would have put his stamp on those first five games but within reason. He did not want to deviate too much from what Jim Tressel was going to go back to when he returned.
Now Fickell can change things to his way because he has nobody looking over his shoulder. If the powers that be decide to go in another direction after the season then it has no impact on him. I can't see him staying under any circumstances should he not be hired as the head coach. He can go out there now and coach the way he wants to coach. That means a more aggressive defense. Yes, even more aggressive than we have been in the last few years. Remember, this is a guy who learned to play the game as a Silver Bullet under Fred Pugac. He is going to get after on an entirely different level. I will not hazard a guess as to what is going to happen with the offense. Hazel is gone. That was a topic that I was going to leave until closer to the season. With Hazel gone, who calls the plays?
I only hope that Fickell does not fall back on Jim Bollman. If his college experience is any influence I think we will see a more diversified offense. John Cooper ran a pro style offense. That means more passes to the tight ends and the backs. We might even see a trick play or two. Speaking of Bollman, that is the one good thing that will come out of this. I can't see head coach Luke Fickell keeping Bollman. That would be a massve surprise. I think the chances Bollman is back in 2012 are zero with any other coach. We know that his friendship with Jim Tressel is the only thing that kept him in the job this long. I think we will be looking at a new defensive coordinator too as jim Heacock has had to be put in a head lock for the last few years to keep him around.
I would not be surprised if Dick Tressel leaves right now. Blood is thicker than water. Even if he sticks around for the year for the good of the program he will not be back. John Peterson is another who I could see needing to update his resume. This is now Luke Fickells job to lose. That decision should be made as early as possible for recruiting. That is now my primary concern. This is an instate class that is the benchmark for Ohio. I only hope we see a class as deep as this one again. I can't wrap my mind around a defensive line class as good as this one, let alone better. It is so much better than any I have seen in this state the odds we see its like again are slim to none,..... and ol' Slim is out of town. Name Fickell, one of the great recruiting assistants in the entire country, as the head coach and we can get back on track. I would hope we target the Nebraska game as the report card point. That is halfway through the season and we will have played two of arguably the three toughest games on our schedule. Name him the head coach at that point and we have a great shot at getting enough of this elite crop that Ohio State will not have missed a beat.
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