I came out strongly yesterday in favor of Luke Fickell being the next Buckeye coach. I think Fickell will get the job. We all remember how the offense got better when Hazel started getting more input. We are giving Heacock alot of credit for the defense, and he probably deserves it, but we are forgetting that Fickell was given more say in the defense after we went out on the coast and got waxed by USC. The defense became more aggressive from that point forward. I see a deep football team. I see the three toughest games as Nebraska, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Two of those are at home. What is an Ohio State coach supposed to do? An Ohio State coach is supposed to win those kinds of games. If he does that, why wait to name him head coach? As I said yesterday the naming of a new coach is so much about recruiting. The sooner we get a coach in place the better for recruiting. Fickell as a recruiter is second to none. I have faith that he will get it done. I have far less confidence that Urban Meyer will be able to take the reins.
I want to be clear. I am not anti-Urban Meyer. In fact, if we are going to wait until seasons end to name a coach I would prefer a coach who has won two national championships already. The amount of venom I have heard from Buckeye fans about Meyer leaves me scratching my head. I have yet to see a basis for it. My problem with Meyer is with the two straight years of resigning. That makes me ask why? I am not seeing enough questioning of why he resigned two years in a row. The I want Urban club could help me out greatly by at least trying to offer an explanation. Without more answers I can only jump to two possible conclusions. Either he has health problems or he burned out. Both take him off the board as far as I'm concerned. If he has health problems he could be forced to leave the job before he gets started real good. I would argue he never takes the job in the first place. If burn out is the problem we have to be concerned about that happening again. He has only been in a stressful job for about 5 years. He has only been a head coach for about ten years. He is going to burn out that quickly? I fear we will be right back here, looking for a head coach again, in about 5 years, with 10 looking like a maximum.
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.
Fans are complaining about the last couple of offers to Blake Thomas and Tyvus Powell. You know I will speak my mind even when I know fans do not want to hear it. If these were reaches I would say so. The Buckeyes got the best receiving tight end in Ohio. No doubt about that. I consider Thomas to be a steal. He is such a nice athlete that St.Ignatius splits him out at times. Soft hands. Very good athlete. Very willing and technically sound blocker. In the St. Ignatius offense he is going to come in here better prepared than most high school kids as St. Ignatius plays a pro-style offense. You will not find kids with a higher level of competition that St. Ignatius players. We are looking for all the high character kids we can find. Across the board you will find high character kids no comments
The class of 2013 leaped into the spotlight with some breakout performances at the Nike combine here in Columbus. I have seen film of a few more players like Centervilles Evan Lisle. I thought it time to update my 2013 list. Here is my early top 25.
1 - Jalin Marshall, Ath, 6-0, 190, Middletown no comments
I’m a businessman. By my own standards I consider myself an entrepreneur and a capitalist. I believe in free markets. I believe that the value of something is only determined by the utility that the individual places on it and the amount of funds they are willing to part with in order to acquire it. Being a capitalist is my ethos. I am not “me” if I am not a capitalist. You know what else defines “me”? Being a flat out, unbridled, sick to my stomach before every game, addicted to Tums & Bloody Mary’s, no holds barred, Scarlet and freakin Gray “Buckeye”. That is also my ethos.
We often attempt to define what it means to be a Buckeye. Everyone has their own prerequisites. Everyone has their own standards. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that being a “Buckeye”, and not just a fan, means that we strive to promote the prosperity of the University and the Athletics program. Agreed? Call it the “Tao” of being a Buckeye, if you will.
Following the Buckeye path is, for all intents and purposes, a simple one but does not come without responsibility. For example, I hold all Buckeyes responsible for not sabotaging the University or Athletics program. Maybe some of you don’t. Maybe you think it’s perfectly fine to call yourself a Buckeye and sabotage the program. Me? I see it differently. So it’s possible I’m the crazy one here. I could be some misguided fool who simply thought that being a Buckeye DID NOT mean that I could do whatever I want to harm the program and blame the compliance department for not being good enough to stop me. So I apologize in advance for the post if that is the case. If I’m not misguided, then why on God’s green Earth are we compromising our players, coaches, administration and basically the entire University?
Let me explain. 2011 has started off as an absolute awful year for Buckeyes. We’ve got issue with players trading things in for money and tattoos. We’ve got players being accused of getting deals on cars. We’ve got players accused of getting improper housing benefits. We’ve got players being accused of getting improper benefits for specific vacations. Let’s forget about whether or not any of these accusations are legitimate. Let’s forget about whether or not this happens anywhere else. Instead, let’s focus on the parties involved and their actions. In every single one of these instances there has been 1) an OSU athlete and 2) a business or individual. Now, the players are either getting their punishment or are about to. What about the punishments for those individuals or businesses? They aren’t breaking any laws. The NCAA has no jurisdiction over them.
I can see where casual fans can sit back and only hold the players and University accountable. But Buckeyes, I can’t see how we can accept that. These businesses and individuals know that when they are giving an improper benefit that this is exactly what is happening. They know they are compromising the player and the program. They are knowingly damaging this institution for what? For some paraphernalia or some field passes? Or maybe even something as simple as getting the occasional inside information? Who doesn’t want to be a message board hero anyway? Does the end justify the means? I’m wondering if those individuals are deliberating that right now as they see their player’s names negatively posted across headlines on a regular basis.
I, for one, am not just going to hold the University and the players accountable. I know the NCAA has that taken care of. What I care about are YOU, Buckeye Nation. I’m going to start holding you accountable. If I so much as see your dealership, tattoo parlor, car wash, shoe repair, babysitting service or even taxidermy mentioned in a media piece, you will never get my business again. Maybe the NCAA can’t hurt your wallets, but I can do my part. And I will. Because like I said, being a Buckeye is my ethos. I can understand you wanting to make a Buck. But I will not sit idly by and let you get away with single handedly compromising the integrity and future growth of our program. I’ll gladly see every single one of you burn to the ground before I watch The Ohio State University suffer.no comments
I know Jalin Marshall is talking the talk about playing where a team wants him to play but the decision to drill as a quarterback at the Combine says he wants to be a quarterback. His numbers speak volumes. He was 55 of no comments
I have been throwing a lot of names around recently. Fans are telling me to slow down and give them a list. A list of the players that they can look for coming out of camp who will appear on the radar of the Big Five. no comments
Yesterday, Dave "D-Bidds" Biddle, truly a god-like individual, posted his argument against Luke Fickell being the next head coach at Ohio State. Actually, I agree with his thinking, that you don't start your head coaching career at Ohio State. This is an extreme circumstance. That is why I think Fickell is a viable alternative. Very viable.
Fickell is going to have some experience. He will have five games to show he can handle being the man. If Fickell comes out dynamic in those five games it is going to make a statement. He can't just win. I said on Front Row Radio that this team should go 3-2 even with the captains calling the game. Fickell has to look like he can make a difference.
I have believed offensive line recruiting is hopelessly flawed for some time. We talk about decisions with the offensive line but this staff, overall quite adept when it comes to evaluating talent, has not done a great job of evaluating safeties. The Buckeyes have offered two more out of state safeties. That is a total of six offered safeties that I am aware of. Five are from out of state. I have stated before that I understand the offers to Deon Bush, Travis Blanks and Jordan Diggs. They are probably three of the top ten safeties in the country. I feel confident that Bush and Blanks are.These latest offers leave me scratching my head.
I look at the offer to Jeannette, Pennsylvania athlete Demitrious Cox and here we go again flashes through my head. I am looking at a 7:35 film and I think there were five defensive back plays. Maybe it was the decision of the person who recorded it to make it about 95% of Cox at quarterback and he does play all the time both ways but the film surely does not suggest an every down defensive player. We keep doing this. How many quarterbacks is this staff going to recruit to play safety before they accept that the strategy is not working? The history is nothing but a failed experiment. I don't know if Grant Schwartz played any safety in high school. All the film I saw of him was at quarterback. Rocco Pentello played safety but was mostly a quarterback. Dave Biddle knows all things Xenia Beavercreek. He says Zack Damicone did not play at all at safety in high school. Orhian Johnson did not play safety in high school. The only reason he was the starter is because of injuries and a lack of options.Verlon Reed was brought here to play safety. Again, if he played safety in high school I am not aware of it. Thankfully the staff saw he was a better option at receiver before time was wasted trying once again, to turn a quarterback into a safety. I understand the principle. Safety is about athleticism and reading the game. It seems like the move should work. Sitting back there and making a correct read seems like it would be so similar to reading the game at quarterback. When Orhian Johnson is the only one who can be considered even a remote success you have to say that theory does not work in the real world. We talk so much about reps, and rightfully so. It is about experience. I do not understand why that thinking does not apply with the recruiting of safeties. We see the staff continue to recruit players with little and sometimes no reps at the position. I think it would help if we would pick from the kids whose primary position is safety.
The most recent offer is to Chaz Elder. He is a safety from Georgia. He has a fine offer list. It includes Georgia, Auburn and Florida State. Jarrod Wilson and Bam Bradley are not offer talents? I don't get that. Both have impressive offer lists themselves. They have solid grades. Elder is a fine looking player but he is not any more impressive than Wilson and Bradley. The buzz is the staff does not know if Bradley is a safety or a linebacker. Elder is bigger than Bradley. What really gets to me is the reported forty time for Elder is 4.75 to 4.79. Bradley can run 4.75 to 4.79 after finishing a marathon. I have no idea why we have shown no interest whatsoever in Wilson.
In any year I would wonder why we are are not paying attention to instate safeties of this caliber. In this recruiting season we are fighting an uphill battle against a level of negative recruiting tactics like we have never seen before. Safety is a need position. The fact that six offers are currently on the board, beyond the verbal from Frank Epitropulous, says the staff is in agreement. We have offers to the kind of players who wait until signing day to choose their school. The ability of this staff to close is not one of its strengths. Coming home and getting the talent right here in our own backyard seems such a logical strategy. We just can't afford to miss.
I know some are going to say, well, I just trust the staff. Based on what? What is your measure of success? There are currently five Buckeye players on NFL rosters who were recruited by this staff. Three, Donte Whitner, Kurt Coleman and Malcolm Jenkins were recruited and started their careers as corners. Both Whitner and Coleman played as freshman at corner. Malcolm Jenkins did not move to safety until he went to the NFL. That is not a legacy of success that says we should just have faith.
Maybe we should look to the success at producing cornerbacks, so impressive that if Ohio State is not cornerback U it is certainly one of the finalists for the title, as a guideline. One thing that leaps out at me is whether the players played other positions in high school, they played cornerback.
My fellow Buckeyes, you are broken. You are beat down and you have been pummeled within an inch of your life. You are clinging on to that whisper from Woody in your ear like Mickey to Rocky telling you to get up and keep fighting. Only problem is, there is a line around the block to take turns winding up and kicking you in the junk. What’s worse, even your friends are playing along. I realize that’s how every single one of you feels. Even at times I feel like that myself. Like a cornered dog you are biting and growling and pouncing at anyone who comes near you, even with people who mean no harm, because at this point you can’t separate friend from foe anymore. You’re alone in the college football wasteland. You are cold, scared and all you want is to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
The truth my friends, there is a light. But it’s nothing like what you imagined.
Do you feel betrayed Buckeyes? I think most of you would say yes. The obvious name to throw on the table is Herbstreit. Buckeye Nation is almost unanimous in his elimination from the “friend” label. What about with other Buckeyes like Spielman, Carter, Robert Smith or Eddie George? Have they betrayed you? Every one of them has spoken critically of OSU in the past and of Tressel. While perhaps their statements are not on the same level as Herbstreit, they are certainly equally as critical. Spielman thinks Tressel won’t even be our coach this coming season. Even Herbie hasn’t said that. So should they too be persona non grata?
Today I see Buckeyes quick to lash out at any opinion that does not keep Jim Tressel coaching in Columbus for years to come. But Buckeyes, you are soon going to have to face the reality that as each day passes, this may be what you discover when you emerge through that tunnel into the light. When you emerge from Plato’s “cave” my friends, things are never what you expect or what you want. They are different and they are new. And you can never go back into the cave and be the same person you once were.
How can we as a culture of like-minded individuals grow if we cannibalize our own? All we can do is devour ourselves. Yet you can go to any message board with an unfavorable opinion of what is to transpire from our recent transgressions and can fully expect to be attacked (“flamed”), personally insulted and maybe even banned. Any writer with the stones to suggest that Jim Tressel may not keep his job from this is immediately labeled an enemy and a no talent “hack” writing a scathing piece taking a cheap shot at our program.
That’s going too far Buckeyes. Pull your heads from the sand. These things happened. Jim Tressel admitted to it. There is no going back. We have emerged from the cave and like it or not this is our new reality. It’s a reality where our coach, who we have put on a pedestal, has compromised his morals publicly. And in turn his actions have punished not only himself, but every single player and coach and fan of OSU football.
We can choose to forgive Jim Tressel. I do. We can choose to consider him a good and moral man. I do. But what does it serve us to turn on every single person who dishes out a little tough love?
Time to man up Buckeyes. Time to be adults. Time to forgive and move forward. And I’m not talking about Tressel. I’m talking about forgiving everyone, even Kirk Herbstreit. And that goes for Herbie too. I suspect he has some anger in his heart. He’s going to have to let that go. We can’t endure this alone. And I’m not just talking about the penalties. I’m talking about everything. We can’t push people away. We can be critical, but we can’t continue the status quo. In all of these years of fighting back against anyone who dared to be critical, what have we gained? We have only been hurt. And now we are reaping what we sew.
Jim Tressel’s actions pale in comparison to what USC did. Yet more and more indications coming out are suggesting that a USC type punishment is precisely what we are getting. How can that be? It's because every single person outside of Columbus wants to see us burn. Every single media outlet wants this. And why not? Because of our actions, they gain more by attacking us than by playing nice. They gain nothing from cooperating with Jim Tressel. His career has demonstrated years of refusing to cooperate with the media. So instead they are going to focus every effort on pressuring the NCAA to bring us down. And they are creating a circus along the way. They are manifesting news at every corner so they can milk this cow dry. We are the best offseason they ever had. And why not? What reason have we ever given them to do otherwise?
Buckeyes complain about the double standard in reporting on SEC schools or USC. But refuse to accept that we are the reason why we don’t enjoy any favorable journalism. We’re standing on a bomb that we built and gave the trigger to the people that we regularly spit in the face of. We might as well kick a grizzly cub in front of its mother. What’s worse is while we are doing this we actually have the audacity to consider ourselves the smart ones. Look around Buckeyes. We have no friends outside of the program. We have nobody who will help us. And the people close to the program with national influence we are pushing away. Not only that, but most of us are on the prowl looking for more people to hate. Some of you are ready to wash your hands of anyone and everyone because somehow you think you know the definition of what it means to be a real fan.
Let’s just say no more. We don’t have to ask for forgiveness because I don’t believe that’s necessary. But neither does anyone else. We just have to forgive in our hearts. Let it go. Herbstreit is a Buckeye whether we like it or not. He just sees things differently like most of us. He’s made mistakes. Like all of us do. Like Tressel did. Let’s finally be the bigger people. And maybe we can start moving forward. I would love to be able to enjoy Ohio State football without waiting for the next media attack or cheap shot. Despite what many think, we are not the enemy because we are good. Most of the nation actually believes we aren’t as good as our rankings. We are the enemy because we made it popular to demonize us. That’s our doing.no comments