The Anxiety of Next

By Chris Lauderback on June 1, 2011 at 6:00a

I remember when Tressel was hired as plain as day. I remember watching the presser and admittedly not being 100% comfortable with whether or not I felt like Geiger had really hit a home run. Obviously, Geiger hit a grand slam but at the time I wasn't so sure.

Then, as any scarlet blooded Buckeye would do, I jumped on board completely after a couple hours and that decision was only reinforced a few days later when Corey and I sat in the rafters at the Schott as Tressel made his famous " 310 days" speech to roaring approval.

Still, as I reflected on Tressel's resignation throughout a long holiday, my mind kept thinking back on the anxiety that gripped me and my closest friends as we dealt with the unknown that is a national coaching search. The 15 days it took to find John Cooper's replacement were filled with a wide range of emotions from agony to frustration to excitement to fear. All of them churning like a blender in my soul.

Funny how a statement like that really doesn't feel like overdoing it. The school we all pour our heart and soul into has a chance to make or break the program we hold most dear with the hiring of one man. Throw in the fact I'm one of those guys that has a tendency to dwell what could be the worst case scenario and things get a little dicey inside the noggin.

I remember the process starting on a high note with Bob Stoops' name being one of the first thrown out there. I was pumped. He had just won the national title and his ties to Ohio were attractive after watching Cooper struggle to truly get "it" when it came to The Game in addition to his country sayings that, while I love them now, I wasn't such a fan back then.

"Dont show your hole card." "You wanna bet but with my chips." "If a dog's gonna bite he's gonna bite as a pup." All had their folksiness sapped by repeated failures in The Game despite some of the best collective talent Ohio State had witnessed in decades.

Then, I became intrigued by Walt Harris despite the fact Glen Mason's name was picking up steam and Stoops was still lingering. The Harris infatuation lasted but seconds as Pitt refused to let him speak to OSU.

Walt Harris was once in the mix for head coach at Ohio StateWalt Harris: Chilling in Akron these days

Somewhere in there, rumors began to circulate that Mike Bellotti was a candidate and I was freaking out wondering why we'd go further away from Ohio than we already did to get ourselves into this mess. Thankfully, soon after, it appeared OSU was back to looking more intently within the family as the next round of reports had Fred Pagac entering the mix along with Tressel and Chris Spielman.

The talk of Spielman was particularly conflicting because while he was/is my favorite Buckeye ever, just like Geiger, I was not a fan of bringing in a guy with no coaching experience. I was still meh on Tressel and Mason just wasn't sexy enough. He was the safe choice which made me nervous that's exactly what Geiger would do. Somewhere in that mix, Tyrone Willingham's name came about and he interviewed the same day as Mason and Tressel, who interviewed one day after Pagac. Spielman interviewed the following day and while not all of this was known as fact, it seemed fairly clear who was going to speak with Geiger and who was on the outside looking in.

Ten days after Cooper's ouster, things were still muddy until names started dropping off the list. Stoops says he's staying at Oklahoma and I started to worry we were gonna be stuck with someone who wasn't even in the school's top three. The next day Willingham says he's staying at Stanford. Relief. That feeling doesn't last long as Bellotti tours campus the following day. What?! It can't be! That's right, it can't. Bellotti takes himself out of the race the next day. Phew.

Dodged a bullet there but dammit, Gruden also says he's not interested. He was my sleeper candidate probably only because he seemed like a badass and I was young and impressionable. That's all it could be because I wanted someone with Ohio ties.

I got my wish, sort of, as Tressel was announced as OSU's man the following day. After all the drama, we hired the guy I'm least familiar with but at least he's a Buckeye and he's won titles, albeit at a level I didn't have much respect for, again probably due to my younger age. I watched the presser and called every Buckeye fan I knew so we could all make ourselves feel great about the hire, putting the butterflies to rest. I'm curious as we reflect on the Tressel Era, how did it start for you? Were you satisfied with the search and hire? Did you develop ulcers in those 15 days? Who was your favored candidate?

Fast forward to today and that anxious feeling is starting all over again. It may be slighty tempered knowing the school is a long way from hiring Tressel's successor (can't bring myself to type "replacement" yet) but that is somewhat offset by realizing the worst case scenario that our rival just suffered through can easily be reality if the wrong guy is given the keys the the Chrysler 300C Dodge Charger kingdom. Oh, and there's the notion that while an official search won't be underway for some time, that doesn't mean the media, myself and all of you won't be creating our own little wish lists.

Interestingly enough, I started this in an attempt to caspule coaches that will likely appear on OSU's radar when it is time to get down to business but I just didn't feel like going there yet, at least not in that manner. You know the names and their credentials anyway. Instead, I want to suggest that we not even worry about that for now and instead focus all our energy on supporting Luke Fickell because the bottom line is that it's improbable any big name coach is going to throw their hat in the ring until there's some idea as to what type of penalties will be placed at their feet and, just as importantly, Fickell has every intention of earning this job for the long haul.

Mike Bellotti, AnchormanThe photo Bellotti submitted with his resume

One thing is for sure, we're going to find out what kind of leadership skills he brings to the table in the face of adversity. My bet is we're going to be more than pleased. We already know he was a rising, respected star on the recruiting and assistant coach fronts and I love the fact he's from Columbus, started 50 games for the Buckeyes and by all accounts relates extremely well to the players. He feels like a scarlet and gray version of Fitzgerald. I love that.

It's also a good bet he studied what he liked about Tressel so he could incorporate into his own skill set. Typically, all this wouldn't be enough if the guy had no previous head coaching experience but I'm intrigued by the fact he gets a full season to test drive his skills for all to evaluate. If he can't handle it, fine. But if he can, I'd like to think we've found our guy. Before Tressel was hired, I was one of those guys that felt like we needed to make splash. Now, I've realized you don't need a big name to win at Ohio State. The facilities, history, tradition, track record of putting guys in the NFL and the city of Columbus do a lot of that heavy lifting for you. What you really need is a guy genuinely passionate about the school he represents that can seal the deal with top talent. Surround that guy with legit assistant coaches at a place like OSU and great things will happen.

Maybe it's partly because I'm dying for something to believe in but I believe Fickell can be the guy that takes all the anxiety out of next. What about you?


Comments Show All Comments

Bucknut-in-the-South's picture

I am with you on this one, Chris.  Fickell has all of the qualities necessary to lead the Buckeyes out of the wilderness, without the baggage that any of the other, "big-name" candidates would drag along with them.  He is young, energetic, smart, and - most importantly - fully invested in Buckeye Nation.  Now, it only remains to be seen what the depth of the wilderness will be, and how he responds to the challenge of navigating its twisting paths.

OHIOST1087's picture

This morning the C-bus Dispatch has a read on how Fickell has already prevented one of our 2012 recruits from de-committing.

slippy's picture

I believe in Fickell.  I believe in Heacock.  I believe in Bollman.  I believe in the players.


I'm not going to blindly call them the best coaches ever and I can't say I won't have my doubts.


But they're our coaches and our team, so I believe in them.  As fans, the least we can do is believe.  Is show our support.  Is cheer our asses of on gameday.


Whether or not you agreed with what went down, it's over.  And every day spent moping and dwelling on the past is one day Michigan et. all is spending getting better than us.

RoweTrain's picture

I agree with this whole-heartedly.  What's done, is done.  No matter if new violations come up or not, it's in the past and we'll be dealt with.  The Ohio State University will always be the team I cheer for and nothing will change that.  I don't care if these sanctions cause us to have a few down years or a decade worth.  I will be cheering for them with everything I've got on Saturdays.  And so will you.  So will the next Buckeye fan.  That's what I love about Buckeye Nation.

The players are already setting out to prove the world wrong.  I'm sure the coaches are feeling the same way.  I, for one, hope they are fickle with their choosing of a new head coach.  I also can't wait to see some unsuspecting team get Fickell'd 50-0!

Go Bucks!!!

"Just bow up and go out and play." ~ D. Lee

"As it stands right now, I know I am the best athlete in college football." ~ B. Miller

Buckeye in Athens's picture

Absolutely. I, for one, welcome our new Luke Fickell overlord.

I also really like fitzgerald and he's probably a good comparison. Besides, this avoids the awful situation where OSU is interested in a guy, rumors start to fly, and then the coach says he's not interested (i.e. TSUN, with les miles and harbaugh). Fickell appears to be a guy who wants the job, sanctions or not, and that's the kind of guy we need. I really think this team can rally behind tressel's resignation, behind the outside adversity, and really make this a special season.

cal3713's picture

Well, the season wil definitely be special, but that whole part where we lose ~90% of our offensive production from a year ago might hurt our win total...

Denny's picture

There are so many unknowns about this coming season that I think it takes a bit of pressure off of Fickell. There were ew players (particularly on defense) that were implicated in the SI piece. What if they're suspended? We'll start the season with Bauserman at QB, most likely. Or a true freshman. The team *could* be a one-loss juggernaut. It also could be a five-loss nightmare.

If Fickell can hold the team together, he'll make himself a highly regarded candidate for the gig.


collisionbend's picture

No team gets to where the Buckeyes are without the absolute dedication and skill of the assistant coaches, and Fickell is no exception. I have a funny feeling that Fickell will run the board in the B1G Ten this year. 


"There's a fine line between perception and reality." -- Luke Fickell

Hoody Wayes's picture

The fact the NCAA's net widened to include Pryor and was announced the day after Tressel's resignation, suggests much more will be heard in August or that the hearing might be post-poned, because the investigation has uncovered much more than we know, now.

The SI piece is a road map the NCAA will likely use to investigate more active players. If so, how can Ohio State do less than Georgia did during last year's A.J. Greene investigation by not sitting all of those players, pending the results of the investigation?

How can the NCAA not scrutinize the coaching staff, as well? It is reasonable to do so given its members' relationships to the head coach and in light of the head coach's sudden resignation and the publishing of that damning article, only hours later.

On top of that, the suspended players will, most likely, petition for the NFL's supplemental draft.

Now, let's talk Ohio State football, in 2011. 

OHIOinME's picture

Does anyone actually know anything about what coach is going to be the next Demigod of Buckeye Nation?  I think OSU is going to let Fickell fill the void for now or at least until the NCAA ruling.  I feel the program will not attract the coach we all want until everyone knows to what extent the problem is and what the punishment will be.  Who would want to walk into this situation blindly.  (I don't' think the kids are all doing bad things but which one are and what will be the punishment against the program?)  Shoot, Fickell might just do an awesome job and keep the Head Coaching position.  If the Northwestern Coach can step it up at age 31, Fickle has a shot. 

At this point who knows what happens.  What if the investigation comes to a close and nothing new comes to light.  What if the car issues were found to be nothing, the SI story was proven to be a fill in the blank essay and the raffles were found to be rigged by the "source" who was fired if  even rigged at all.  What if we find out that OSU over reacted to the bad PR.  What then?  Hire Tressel back? Probably not but it would be cool.  Boycott ESPN, SI, FOXsports, CBSsports, etc.?  Probably not but that would be pretty cool too and we probably should have been doing that a long time ago.

What about the opposite, what if the investigation ends and Tressel knew more about the shenanigans than we all thought.  What if the SI story was just the beginning?  What if Gee gets pissed and pulls a Vandy on tOUS Athletics?  

Natty Light's picture

IMO there's a chance OSU can be better off.  JT was great, but definately not the best coach in the land. 

JT was a good program builder and player developer, but after last year I don't see him ever winning another NC.  he beat up on michigan and the big 10 when those teams were in a rut.  he squeaked out a NC with Cooper's leftovers and has come close with his own a few times.  he didn't have what a lot of top recruits were looking for, despite OSU being at the top in terms of fan support, athletic facilities, national exposure, and recruiting location - the only real top tier school in the north/midwest with the demise of michigan.  if any other B10 schools had elite coaches over this timeframe, JT's record would be different. 


also sasying this as an alumni who does not enjoy this being the 1st thing when they hear where you went to school.  I went to a top25 program in my field, and would like it to be known for the education and not scandals. 

Matt's picture

Hiring Stan Drayton in the offseason seems all the more critical now; we lost Tressel and Hazell, two of our best recruiters.  Because of those losses and the fact that Fick's attention will be focused elsewhere, I think Drayton's performance on the recruiting trail is going to be very important in the coming year.  Although Fick needs to show that he can win games during the upcoming adveristy, he also needs to pull in a good recruiting class during the ongoing turmoil to retain the HC spot, and Drayton could be the key player in achieving the latter goal.

Silver Shotgun's picture

I wish Fickell nothing but the best, and I hope the team performs well under him.  I just hope none of Tress's corrupt stench clings to him.  I wouldn't like to find out that, as a top assistant, he was complicit in the underhanded dealings which brought down the Senator.

BuckeyeTrack10's picture

Here's to hoping there's a bright future ahead for Coach Fickell.

AltaBuck's picture

I would like to see Mike Vrabel as the DC after Heacock moves on or retires which I think will happen after the 2011 season. I've watched him play a lot of games for the patriots and chiefs. The guy is a coach on the field. They were teammates back in the 90s so they obviously know each other and went to war together.

My only concern with Coach Fickell is recruiting at a national level but winning will change that and I believe that is exactly what he'll do.  Plus, didn't he lead the recruiting effort for Curtis Grant? Sounds like the guy can close.


I am Groot - Groot

WC Buckeye's picture

Or how about Spiels as DC? I don't have any doubt he could kill it in that role.

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

741's picture

You mean the Chris Spielman whose sum total of coaching experience was his 2-15 record coaching the Columbus Destroyers, right?

I'm just saying...

Colin's picture

I heard him say on the radio yesterday that he wouldn't exactly want to get into coaching again but he would pretty much do anything for Fickell if asked. I think Chris has just too much going on in his life right now with trying to take care of his kids by himself and all that...I don't think he wants to have his life taken over by football again.

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

If he coaches again, I think in the near future it will be the D-Line at Upper Arlington. ;)  Just sayin'

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

NeARBuckeye's picture

My thoughts exactly. However, I wouldn't be quick to dismiss him as a position coach either with the linebackers or offensive/defensive line. He knows the game, and may not be able to manage an entire team, but his enthusiasm is contagious... That and I remember the game against Ohio when he almost lost his shit on ESPN and was probably within an inch of calling the offensive line a bunch of pussies. Spiels would definitely get guys motivated.

LeeNorthbrook's picture

Luke is in a tough spot. He probably cannot make any meaningful changes in his staff at this point. Who wants to work for a guy who may only be there one year? So I'm not sure how much he can alter the current schemes.  The other thing is we may have more guys suspended or even some of those already suspended not available for the whole season.

It is going to be an interesting season. Hopefully not as in the old chinese curse: May you lead an interesting life. I have confidence in Luke and think he will make a great head coach but it seems the deck is stacked against him right now.

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

I just hope Fickell adopts some of the similar character buiding stuff into his time as HC.  I dont care what anyone says to the contrary--JT was a quality man and the muddying of he character is no less than an assassination.

I feel that if Fick brings some of those things with him--reading a book each season and writing about it, the off-field charity and encouraging players to be good ambassadors, ect then the real legacy of Jim Tressel lives on.

Oh, and one more thing:

There is no better example of the state of society when people who have zero ties to C-bus and/or have never met/played/known/seen Jim Tressel call those of us who have blind homers.  With every breath I use to defend JT, there are 15 flaming dragons to tell me I see the world thru Scarlet and Grey glasses (I unfortunately live in the south).  What hypocrisy. 

Its like reading the Enquirer for updates on NASA.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

Irricoir's picture

You must know the same people I know.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

NC_Buckeye's picture

I live in ACC country. They only care a little bit about football. Now if this were Matta in the outhouse then my life would be hell.

NeARBuckeye's picture

I live in Arkansas. All I get is talk about how dirty our program and coach is and how they got cheated at the Sugar Bowl. Oh and that chant. That stupid freaking chant.

scrappled's picture

Not intending to troll here, but an assassination?  You mean suicide, right?

Look, your guys got caught -- collectively.  You can say "it goes on everywhere" (it doesn't), or "Jim Tressel loves his players" (surely true, but irrelevant).  Doesn't change what happened.  They may have done some great things in the community, as most coaches and programs do, but Tressel was chronically and willfully ignorant (at a minimum) of a wide range of violations.  Then he lied about it.  That's as self-inflicted as it gets.  And it's not over yet.


AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture


How many cover stories were done on Pete Carroll when the Reggie Bush stuff came out?  I guess he didnt KNOW what was going on.  Funny, dont really recall too many people asking him. Guess they forgot to ask about the SUV McKnight was driving too.

Let me ask you this, if Tressel has really been systematically cheating for the last decade (and before) DONT YOU THINK HE WOULD BE A LITTLE BIT BETTER AT IT????????

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

Maestro's picture

Carroll was blasted pretty hard by Bill Plaschke.

vacuuming sucks

NeARBuckeye's picture

Tressel is getting blasted pretty hard by everyone.

I wish the NFL lockout would end. Espn needs something else to talk about.

William's picture

Can't stand Plaschke though. He attacked OSU as an academic institution when the tatgate scandal broke. Sent him a very civil email about that, and how he could question OSU's academic stature when he himself attended Baylor. Of course he never responded, also have emailed Mark May quite often, and never received a response. Point is, Plaschke is a tool, but never knew he blasted Carroll. Of course I doubt Cowherd ever did.

btalbert25's picture

Pete Carrol turned tail and ran.  Had the university stood by their man, had he stuck around, much much more would've been made of it.  Plus, EVERYONE knew USC was cheating.  For goodness sake look at the level of talent the hauled in during his tenure.  Scrappled is correct though, everything that is happening now is a result of Jim Tressel's actions.  He'd admit that as well.  If Jim Tressel is upfront about that info last April.  The Tat 5 probably lose 3 or 4 games of last season, and none of this other stuff comes out.  The penalty for the crime is never as severe as the penalty for lying about and covering up the crime.  Tressel knew what he was supposed to do with the info and he chose to not do the right thing.  ESPN, the Dispatch, SI, and the Tat 5 had NOTHING to do with that.  That was all Jim Tressel.   I love the coach.  I think he's a great man.  However, he monumentally Effed up.  It's a huge deal, it's going to get coverage.

The SI article does nothing to prove anything.  There is no proof of any other time that the coach has lied, cheated, or sat on information.  Maybe he was woefully ignorant to what was going on, but that's what you have to be as a coach at a Major D1 school.  Scrappled was right about some of that.  He's wrong too.  Every school has shady boosters, loaded handshakes, and stuff that is not Kosher going on for recruits and players.  Maybe every school doesn't have a coach who finds out about it and lies to cover it up though.  Scrappled, as much as you would love to believe your boys, I'm assuming Penn State, all chose to come there because they love the Nittany Lions and it's an honor to be on that team, it's j ust not true.  Improper benefits can be found at any school if one looks hard enough.  It may be at different levels than others but c'mon it happens everywhere.

It's not an NCAA infraction to be ignorant.  John Calipari has certainly used that defense every school he has coached at.  It is an infraction to lie and cover up a situation, then use inelligible players.  It doesn't matter what his reasoning was for doing it, it was a MAJOR VIOLATION and he knew the consequences of his actions.  There's no doubt he's a great man, but that is irrelevant.  Any damage to the team, university, and Jim Tressel was done by Jim Tressel.  I know we aren't happy about it, but let's be rational here, no one is out there trying to take the man down, he did that himself, they are just reporting the story.  

scrappled's picture

Every school has shady boosters, loaded handshakes, and stuff that is not Kosher going on for recruits and players.  Maybe every school doesn't have a coach who finds out about it and lies to cover it up though.  Scrappled, as much as you would love to believe your boys, I'm assuming Penn State, all chose to come there because they love the Nittany Lions and it's an honor to be on that team, it's j ust not true.  Improper benefits can be found at any school if one looks hard enough.  It may be at different levels than others but c'mon it happens everywhere.

Okay, but here's the thing -- when people say "it goes on everywhere", it's a pure cop out because they neglect to define "it".  You want to believe that this stuff goes on everywhere and you want to believe that everyone else is doing the exact same shady stuff as you.  Without any actual proof, it's nothing more than a wish to drag everyone down to your level.  Until then, the vast majority of your fanbase is essentially reacting to getting caught on the turnpike going 115mph and saying, "well, everyone drives a few miles per hour over the speed limit, officer!".  It's a lame, lazy excuse for blatant misconduct.

Incidentally, people have been trying to bust Penn State for decades.  And I've always said, if PSU is found to be cheating, I'll be the first to criticize them because they've made a whole marketing campaign out of never being NCAA violators.

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

We dont say 'everyone is doing it' as an excuse to get us out of trouble.  We do it to point out that what the NCAA has decided in this instance to enforce is something they could find at any other school.

Tressel lied.  It cost him is job, but it should not cost him his legacy.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

m1ek's picture

And when YOU say "everyone is doing it", you're lying, too, because they aren't, for reasonable values of "it". Thing is that you guys don't have the NCAA to eventually call you to account on your lies.

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

Wrong again.

'It' is receiving impermissible benefits.  Your players never accepted a drink? A free pizza? Free cover at the ho-down?  ALL ARE IMPERMISSIBLE BENEFITS.

Thats the point azzclown.  Not that we didnt do anything wrong or that we shouldnt be punished, but the infractions themselves (the selling of your OWN memorabilia) are the problem.

Maybe if you didint view everything through your inferiority complex, you could see that.


Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

m1ek's picture

Receiving a free pizza is not a reasonable value of "it".

I saw PSU players walking around campus for the most part. The one time I ever saw one driving, he was driving a vehicle more embarassing than mine.

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

Can you show me the NCAA bbylaw where they quantify impermissible benefits?

Is there some sort of 'reasonable value' clause the rest of us dont know anything about?


Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

m1ek's picture

Yeah, but I think it's in Tom Osborne's old filing cabinet.

Doesn't matter; Paterno kicked asses when he heard his players might be getting coupons for free Frostys at Wendy's. I'm just being nice with the "reasonable" qualifier for your sake because I want you to have achievable goals to shoot for.

Kurt's picture

Ask Boise St. They had recruits/players (?) crash on the couch or air mattress of current player's apartments and got busted for providing room and board. Costs that were like $20 a night...crazy...

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

Dont go mentioning that to this clown, he might suddenly get the urge to educate you.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

The troll is right about one thing.  EVERYONE is not doing it.  Only the teams that go to BCS games every year are doing it.  Penn St. is not cheating (just lots of pot and arrests) because only a handful of their players would be worth giving things to.  Not a lot of hundred dollar handshakes for Citrus Bowl dwellers.

m1ek's picture

Don't be so hard on yourselves. I'm sure some of the times you guys beat us you could have done it without cheating.

btalbert25's picture

I'm not denying that they've never been caught by the NCAA for violations.  I'm just not naive enough to believe that a program the stature of Penn State doesn't have boosters greasing some palms.  I'm sure they have businesses and people around State College hooking up players.  It's impossible for the coach to police it all, but it goes on everywhere, there's no doubt in my mind.  You are absolutely correct, I have zero proof. 

For what it's worth I'm not saying OH everyone cheats.  I'm saying oh improper benefits, sanctioned by the coach/school or not, happen everywhere.  It's policing those problems that matter.  When you find out a rule of the NCAA has been broken it has to be policed, you can't lie and cover it up.  Everyone does NOT do that.  Jim Tressel did. 

btalbert25's picture

But if it makes you feel better, I'll take out the term everyone and just say there are probably at least oh, 30 programs I can think of the last few years where some sort of information about some sort of improper benefits or NCAA violation have taken place.  So I guess, Ohio State, Auburn, Oregon, USC, Michigan, Alabama, LSU, Tennesse, North Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma State, and many others that have either had examples of improper benefits, and NCAA "major" violations are definitely the only ones.  Also, you can look at the laundry list of schools who commit "minor" infractions which are self reported every year.  That list is really long.

matti's picture

does anyone know if dick tressel will leave as rb coach now?

Matt's picture

Any sense of whether Powell will commit to OSU at 1PM? Would be nice to get a bit of good news.

BacknBlack's picture

At the spring game I had a conversation w/ a former player who confirmed Urban had purchased Herbies house. What has transpired in the last week has been known to some for a while. 

TheSweaterVest's picture

Your former player should learn how to look up houses on real estate sites, because Herbie's house is still for sale.  His last name wasn't Cicero, was it?

BacknBlack's picture

No, Coleman. Thanks for the good info.

Matt's picture

Tyvis Powell committed.  Good for him to stick with the Buckeyes.  May he be the first of many to come play for Team Fick.

Kurt's picture

There are surely equations out there which would explain which coach to hire.  I'd love to see some ideas on such a method...

Anyway, I think we need several attributes in our next coach, and whoever possess those attributes should be the one. 

I think now in this age of football you can't survive with a coach that has his hands in a little of everything.  The coach becomes spread far to thinly and that's when oversights and mistakes occur.  We need a coach that can delegate responsibilities better than Tressel.  Ultimately I think this is what did him in (both in violations and in not winning another NC), he tried to do too much on his own.  The next HC should not call the plays, but can influence coord's on gameplans, schemes etc.  Speaking of, I feel the next HC should be very open minded about progressive schemes both offensively and defensively.  I'm certain that Tress/Bolls/Heacock held both sides of the ball back with out-dated philosophies.  The defensive improved drastically as Fickell was promoted (pretty much took over for Heacock) and brought new ideas to that side of the ball. 

Don't interpret this as that I loathed Tressel's existence.  I loved the guy and I think it's a tragedy what's happened to him.  These comments are obviously about looking forward...

BornBuckeye's picture

Fickell will get it done.  The current players respect him, great recruiter, worn the jersey, understands the importance of THE GAME - what's not to like about him succeeding Tressel?  The no HC coach experience is overrated.  For years we have worried he would jump to another program as HC, now we have the opportunity to keep him in Columbus. 

When Coop was fired and the anxiety was about who would replace him and consumed everyone.  The resignation of Tressel brings anxiety in the form of what type of sanctions the NCAA hit us with - the fact that Fickell is steering the ship this year actually calms that anxiety somewhat.

M Man's picture

I have long been a very great admirer of Andy Geiger.  The best Big Ten AD of his (post-Don Canham) generation, and quite probably the best AD in the country during the years of his tenure.

An honest, open-ended question for 11W; does anyone wonder, if none of this would have happened, if Andy Geiger had not retired as AD?

NoVA Buckeye's picture

no, it still would've happened...

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

NW Buckeye's picture

I disagree.  Gene Smith is too busy particpating in NCAA business and other such things that I do think he does not have the hands on approach that Geiger had.  Not saying that the initial letter would have gotten immediate treatment, but it could all have been sorted out before the season began last year under Geiger's system. 

NW Buckeye's picture

M Man,  Here is a good read with Geiger on The OZone -

And thanks for your comments.  I do appreciate a knowledgeable blogger. 

cal3713's picture

Yep, good read.

M Man's picture

Thank you.  That was a great read.  Of all the people to ask about the subject of Jim Tressel (everybody from Kirk Herbstreit to Chris Spielman to Ray Small to Jay Leno and Charlie Sheen and Kirk Herbstreit's dog), I'd think that the first person to ask would be Andy Geiger.

And with all due respect, while Andy Geiger is a man of flawless integrity (whose thoughts about Jim Tressel I agree with), he did not preside over a period of flawless NCAA compliance at OSU -- Andy Geiger had to help work through the Clarett situation.  And the only worthy reason for bringing that up (very much unlike SI's George Dohrmann) is that I think that an exceptionally smart guy like Geiger would surely have learned something from Clarett, knowing that it must not happen again.

NW Buckeye's picture

Again, you are right on with your comments.

NeARBuckeye's picture

This one is pretty good too, though not as well written as the Geiger piece. 

A lot of comments and arguments that I've been hearing against Tressel's conduct is that if he was really protecting the players and mentoring them, why is it he didn't turn them into the NCAA? If he trying to be like a father to these kids, why not act like a responsible parent? 

Well here's a situation that a lot of parents find themselves in, and bear with me because I think it's a decent analogy. What if you found drugs and alcohol in your kid's room? Do you call the police and have him hauled away for possession and underage drinking, or do you handle things in house and try to correct that behavior?

By calling the police and having them haul your kid away, you end up exposing yourself, whether you deserved it or not, to criticism about whether or not you're a good parent. Your kid on the other hand ends up with a permanent black eye (let's forget the juevenile records can be expunged dealio) that colleges and/or potential employees will now see. However if you can solve the situation quietly at home, neither of those issues will come up. No one questions your ability as a parent, and your kid doesn't face additional scrutiny as he grows up (y'know with a criminal record and all). But then there's the off chance that your really uptight, nosy neighbor (I imagine the NCAA as a really obnoxious stereotype of older jewish women) has peeked over the fence once or twice, seen your kid smoking a joint, and calls the cops. The next thing you know the cops come over, where in the best case scenario would just make for a very embarassing scene in front of all your neighbors. Or in the worst case they search your house, find your kid's drugs, haul him away, accuse you of being an unfit parent, and to top it all off they find out you didn't pay a parking ticket (lol rafflegate).

The way that Tress approached coaching isn't much of a departure for how parents are supposed to raise their kids. If they do something bad, suspend them (grounding) for undisclosed violations of team rules. If they start doing heroin and start kicking puppies, kick them off the team. If they do something good, acknowledge their hard work, give them a sticker, and make sure that they realize they've still got room for improvement. 

We as Buckeye fans are always quick to point out how Tress never oversigns, and awards scholarships to walk ons that he feels has earned it. At that same time we're raising hell about how guys like Nick Saban have pulled scholarships from players who have already enrolled early, simply because a higher profile recruit suddenly decided he wanted to go to Alabama. That's because Jim Tressel cares about his players from the perspective of a parent, which is honestly why I think he did what he did.

I'll always admire and respect Jim Tressel, but the honeymoon's over. I just hope this mistake turns into something daddy can be proud of, rather than the reason daddy drinks every night.

btalbert25's picture

I have to say, I'm growing tired of people defending Tressel by saying he was protecting the kids. I think at this point in time that's been proven untrue.  He could've gone to Gene Smith with the information and said what do I do here.  He could've went strait to the NCAA and it would've resulted in only a couple of games suspension for the kids.  They were in no danger personally.  Plus, he didn't have to go and talk to Pryor's mentor/sugardaddy/agent with the information. 

Fact is, Tressel royally screwed the pooch.  He knew what he had to do, what he was supposed to do, and he chose not to do it.  It was pretty clear from the half-assed press conference in March, that the protecting the kids excuse was a bologna.  It was the only defense they could come up with.  Then when the question came up, did you give anyone the info, and Tressel shook his head yes, and Gene Smith had to jump in, that defense was blown.  He wasn't trying to protect anything but a chance to win a national title.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

ESPN will probably question his "bling".

JakeBuckeye's picture

Seriously. I was just saying this. Sully is by far my favorite current Buckeye athlete.

gwalther's picture

Pryor's not your favorite anymore? Might wanna update your 11W profile on that..

Class of 2008

JakeBuckeye's picture

LOL, Sully has been my favorite for a while now (since around tatgate and Sully's emergence.) Guess I'm just not too concerned with my 11W profile.

gwalther's picture

I hear you on that. What a weekend man. Wasn't expecting this bomb while I was on vacation.

Class of 2008's picture

Damn happy with Fick. I want a "Fick U" t-shirt. 

yrro's picture

+1. It works on so many levels.