Well if you have not heard, Jim Tressel is no longer the football coach at Ohio State. It was a matter of time, I have been saying this on my blog for months, that I did not believe that he could withstand this. Of the 11 or 12 coaches who have been indicted on this charge by the NCAA, all but one have been canned or resigned. A Sports Illustrated article came out late last night, around 9pm; it is very ugly, feel free to read it at your leisure at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/magazine/05/30/jim.tressel/index.html there were 2 or 3 thoughts that ran through my head upon learning about his resignation.
The first thing is that it does seem like there is a pattern and trail in college football. Cheating and NCAA baggage seem to follow dominate programs. For example, the University of Washington – great in the early 90’s were then wacked by the NCAA. Alabama – very dominate was also wacked by the NCAA. Miami Hurricanes – dominate, were national champions, and were then wacked by the NCAA. USC, played for the national title and had that impressive run of 34 straight wins, they too got wacked by the NCAA. My beloved Ohio State are about to get wacked by the NCAA. Auburn and Oregon played in this year’s national championship – they are under heavy scrutiny by the NCAA as well.
The reality is, if you want elite players – those guys have options and some of them are poor and money talks to a lot of those players. The SEC, Big 12, PAC-10 and Big 10 – though SEC country may be laughing today, I wouldn’t laugh too hard! Those who mock are later mocked. I’ll admit, my Ohio State, 2 years ago, mocking Rich Rodriguez as we called him sleazy and unethical; they’re now getting big laughs at Ohio States’ expense today. You cannot, in my opinion, compete for national titles along with getting the best players in the country and be 100% squeaky clean. Even if your athletic department is, there are too many boosters who want to be close to the program. Nobody is doing it with 85 players another 20 walk-on’s, these are gigantic businesses, I would be very reticent to laugh at your rival (as I’ve personally come to terms with)
Ohio State spent the last 2 years mocking Michigan and now it looks like Ohio State could quite possibly get an even uglier sanction than what USC got – 2 years, no bowl games and 30 scholarships taken away. Be very careful for the players you wish for – Terrelle Pryor, the most acclaimed recruit in Ohio State history has been nothing but headaches, no national titles and he’s at the center of this mess. Be very careful who you put a baseball cap on, turn the television on for recruiting day and celebrate. That’s the first thing that jumps out to me.
As far as Jim Tressel, I was getting a lot of funny emails, texts and tweets “it’s the Vest of times and the worst of times! hasta la Vesta baby! Vest in peace…” Again, be very careful who you mock. As for Tressel, he’s not a very robust television personality, nobody objectively considers him NFL material such as a Nick Saben or an Urban Meyers or a Bob Stoops. He’s a college ball coach, there’s a very Frank Solich feeling to the rest of Jim Tressel’s coaching career, in my opinion.
As far as the next coach at Ohio State, Urban Meyer is the guy that everybody is talking about – and rightfully so. He met his wife in Ohio; they have great respect for the Big 10 and Midwest football. There have been a lot of silly rumors that he bought a house in Columbus. The reality is though, Urban Meyers has a career in the NFL if he wants, in television if he wants, and he can make millions of dollars a year and wait for the perfect job. Why in the world he take over Ohio State, when they could get 4 years of sanctions? It’s hard enough to win at the top of college football, that’s agonizing. He doesn’t need Ohio State…they need him! I can assure you Luke Fickell is not a permanent solution. Nice guy, good coach – that’s not going to be, if they have it their way, the final dude to replace Jim Tressel.
As far as Ohio State’s football program, will it survive? Well Alabama won a national title coming off sanctions! USC’s recruiting hasn’t been hurt whatsoever. Last 2 classes have been Top 5 in the country. Lane Kiffin – an elite recruiter is doing just fine. Over time, their depth will be a major concern, but not for now. In fact Phil Steele, who is the best in the country at predicting college football – and I mean there is nobody in Vegas who is close, has USC winning the PAC-10 South this year.
I’m not shocked today, I’m not surprised today, and it was honestly a matter of time. I think it’s bigger than a football coach resigning. If feels like one of those conservative sanctimonious politicians who gets caught cheating on the wife because you preach, you tell us how to live, you lectured us on the ethics and were the one saying “I’m this” and “I’m that” and your none of it! I’ve always been suspicious, somewhat cynical of moralist. I don’t buy books preaching on how to live, never have and never will. But this feels a lot like that!
Tressel basically sold us “I’m different, I’m clean, I’m the Vest, I’m the Senator” and it turns out that man, he really is like all the other Senators. So there you go! It’s the lead story today; it broke out about 9am Monday morning. Jim Tressel resigns at Ohio State. It was a holiday everywhere except in Columbus, Ohio.
So you’ve got Tressel gone, you’ve got an interim, you’ve got a pretty workable schedule for Ohio State – but it’s tough early: @ Nebraska, @ Miami, @ Michigan State – probably the 2nd biggest Big 10 team next year, so that’s going to be bumpy because remember, before today, Tressel could coach all week at practice – he just couldn’t go to the games. All those suspended players, they could practice all week as well, and they just couldn’t go to the games. Tressel’s out but I wouldn’t be shocked if another coach or two eventually leaves the program. You know that the good young coaches will probably bolt to better places – that’s just the reality of NCAA sanctions!