Happy Tuesday everyone, and welcome to your morning Skull Session. The big news of the day yesterday was of course the announcement of Luke Fickell as the head coach for the Ohio State University football team, and it was immediately evident that if anything, press conferences at least are going to be a lot different than they were under Jim Tressel.
There was very little senatorial coach speak, questions were answered directly and succinctly, and if any of you were participating in an "...and so forth" drinking game, unfortunately you were very, very sober by the end of everything. I'll get into my general impressions of Luke Fickell's performance in the first item of the day, but one thing is absolutely clear: of the last three or so press conferences conducted by Ohio State, this was by far the least cringe inducing. It's just too bad this particular press conference had to happen now, instead of about five years in the future.
Doug Breaks It Down You can find about 50 different reactions to the Fickell press conference by doing a google search for his name and then clicking on "news," but for the sake of brevity, let's stick with what Doug Lesmerises had to say about the presser:
[Referring to Fickell not being able to talk to Pryor about Terrelle leaving the team, Lesmerises writes that] If you're trying to hold on to the old QB, you find time to return his text or his call. But that one decision with Pryor showed what Fickell has to do in his only sure season as the head coach of the Buckeyes. He has to get out from under a Tressel Era that he, in many ways, clearly appreciated and admired.
I agree with this 100%. He isn't Jim Tressel, and as a head coach he can't make it his mission to try to be. Not taking time to seek out Pryor might be a bit callous, but it was also probably the right decision. Fickell can't be tethered to the past, and TP is firmly in the rearview mirror now.
Doug also seems to imply that perhaps Fickell wasn't as clear about how the program was going to approach the issue of compliance as maybe he should've been, and I agree with this point as well. Part of what Fickell needs to do is establish that he is a different coach from Jim Tressel, in terms of both X's and O's and compliance. Logistically it's extremely premature to expect Fickell to lay out a clear plan for how he was going to instruct his players in compliance, but he still needs to make a concerted effort to show the public what will and won't be tolerated.
It'll be interesting to see what Fickell the head coach decides to do as far as wielding his newfound power; he more or less made it clear that Bollman is El Capitan on offense (which will continue to play toward its strengths), and it remains to be seen how much involvement he'll have on the defensive side of the ball.
The Internet Moves At The Speed Of Scandal Hey, remember CoachTressel.com? Type that into your handy dandy address bar and hit enter. Pretty crazy that the powers that be were able to get something like that up so fast, which might account for the two completely ridiculous pictures that they decided to use for the banner. Thanks to Adam Jardy for pointing this out, and thanks to me for taking the time to write up a paragraph about it and then include links in said paragraph.
Oh, and this site? Still up.
This Is More Than A Little Hilarious In case you didn't know, there's going to be an opening at the University of Tennessee for their Athletic Director position, and the one and only Phillip Fulmer has decided to throw his hat into the ring. Keep in mind that this is the same man who was fired (by the outgoing AD) for a poor coaching record and had a general blatant disregard for both actual and NCAA rules, so much so that the legendary Fulmer Cup is named for him.
Let me put it this way: let's say that the next coaching hire after Fickell is, oh, I don't know, Pete Carroll. Pete goes on to commit a trillion violations before bolting back to the NFL, leaving OSU in the lurch. Then Gene Smith retires. Then Jim Tressel decides to apply for the AD job, and it STILL isn't as ridiculous as what's happening at Tennessee right now because our mascot doesn't poop on the sidelines.
NCAA ’12 Team Ratings Revealed Tradition Sports Online has apparently hacked into the Cray-powered EA Sports servers and found out the various unit ratings for NCAA '12. Ohio State, in case you're interested, scores (for now) an overall A rating and an as of now pretty hilarious A+ on offense. It should actually be pretty interesting to see what EA does with the pretty extreme changes in the makeup of the current Ohio State football team; it also speaks to the fact that the transitory nature of sports in general can make it hell on programmers who attempt to churn out a new game in a series every year.