The Impending Moral Quandry of OSU Football

By DJ Byrnes on August 3, 2011 at 1:00p
46 Comments
Will this be more than a cheap photoshop job in 2012?

If somebody were to ever doubt Ohio State is more than a football factory... all they would have to do is hit 315 north off of the 670 innerbelt. Before even leaving the on-ramp, they'd get a glimpse of a six (seven?) story building which appears to be built entirely out of glass. "The Eye and Ear Institute" it declares itself, in big, white letters on the front of the building. (Ohio State Medical's logo is fixed neatly next to the lettering, lest they forget whom the building belonged to).

But, Ohio State isn't done flexing there. If they keep traveling up 315, they'll come across the sprawling empire that E. Gordon Gee has carefully cobbled together over two tenures at the Ohio State University: the OSU medical campus.

The Ohio State Medical Center is already world renowned, and it's nowhere near complete. Driving by it today, there is construction going on everywhere, cranes, detours, et cetera. When its awesomeness is taken in through this scope and coupled with Ohio State's rising academic admission standards... it's easy to see where the elders of Ohio State view the future of the university.

This, of course, isn't news to anybody whose familiar with Ohio State or Columbus. It's also not meant to imply that the Medical Center will overrun the football program within the next decade.

What it does mean, though, is Ohio State's name won't merely depend on the success of the football team anymore. (And some within the university want it this way). As hard as it is for the average Ohio State fan to wrap their mind around (or even believe), Ohio State football doesn't hold the clout it once did within the university. (Sure, Gordon Gee joked he hoped Tressel didn't fire him--but then the gloves came off--it was Tressel who ended getting unceremoniously shoved out the door).

So what does this mean for the future of the football program? Quite simply: how much does winning mean to the University?

I truly believe, if you dig at any program which consistently competes for a national title, there's bound to be some backroom hustles afoot. It's as the 17th century philosopher and revolutionary, Allen Iverson, once so eloquently quilled, "Everybody has a little dirt under the fingernails." It's just the nature of the beast. And let's not forget--it's not just the coaches/programs hustling. Some elite athletes (and their parents) want their piece of the pie they feel they're entitled to. If anybody thinks Terrelle Pryor or Cam Newton were the first athletes to try this ruse, well, I have some ocean front property in Idaho I'd love to sell you.

So what's this to do with the Buckeyes?

Unless Luke Fickell wins a national title (and if the rumors of Joe Bauserman's impending appointment are true--that ain't happening), I just don't see how he'll be retained next year; unless Jim Tressel is mind-controlling him from Upper Arlington. (And listening to some of Luke Fickell's interviews, this scenario can't be ruled out yet).

Urban Meyer will be sitting there for the taking in 2012. His Ohio State roots are well known. If there is any college in the country which has enough gold bricks in its reservoirs to meet Meyer's demands, it's The Ohio State University. Meyer's pedigree is undeniable--he's won two national titles and has proven he has what it takes to topple the fat kingpins of the SEC currently residing over the sport. With that, though, comes Meyer's willingness to push on envelopes... in a manner which is/was less discreet than Tressel's methods. Sure, Meyer and Florida escaped any punitive damage during his tenure; but what could've happened if, say, Channing Crowder had sold a jersey to a drug dealer targeted by the Feds, and not Jacksonville businessmen?

Would these risks be something that Ohio State would be willing to endure if it meant returning Ohio State to perennial national title contendership? Would bringing boss hogg outlaws like Will Hill to campus be worth the windfall of exposure/money of winning national titles?

Before answering that, ponder: say Luke Fickell doesn't flame out, but he guides us to some meaningless win in the Outback Bowl. Sure, Ohio State fans would accept it this year, given all that's went down. But what if Ohio State, instead of bringing in a blue chip like Meyer, just rides the Luke Fickell train out, since they know they'll be insulated against more NCAA infractions? Sure, Ohio State has sold out the Horseshoe during down years before--but could OSU get away with charging $70 a ticket to watch the Buckeyes go 8-4, 7-5, or 9-3 every year? Remember, this is a group which had some of its members calling for Tressel's head LONG before the current scandals.

Would Ohio State sacrifice their spot in the upper echelons of collegiate football in order to avoid the future embarrassment more NCAA sanctions? Or would they be willing to roll the dice on a blue chip coaching candidate and let the NCAA dice fall where they do?

Does one have to bend the rulebook to compete in today's NCAA? Well, I'll let the participants of the last five national title games speak to that.

Personally, I enjoy watching colleges sell their academic souls to chase athletic glory. It's one of my favorite parts of the absurdity surrounding the collegiate athletic system we have here in America.

Remember how Notre Dame fans always played the "WELL WE'RE AN ACTUAL COLLEGE SO WE CAN'T RECRUIT ATHLETES, BECAUSE YOU KNOW, THEY'RE ALL DUMB." Well, they currently have a "pass rusher" who scored a 17 on an ACT. A 17! Now how would a kid who scored a 17 on an ACT be able to academically compete at such a prestigious university like Notre Dame without bending a few rules along the way? They were also willing to pay some blood money to get the death of a student off their coach's jacket.

I doubt they'd be doing all of this if they didn't believe he were the man to bring them back to their glory days. (Somewhere, Tyrone Willingham shakes his fist at the Gods in anger).

The quest for winning, to programs who are used to it, always seem to make previously held morals quite flexible. It has a weird way of getting people to rationalize things.

Again--I'm certainly not above this phenomenon. I'm not saying I'm going to tolerate recruits running around and burglarizing the denizens of Columbus, but I'm not really trying to watch Joe Bauserman play thirteen games a season. (Every time I did watch him last year, it ended with me consulting a shaman for spells of protection to place on Terrelle Pryor's ACLs). But, I'm not going to act like 20 year old kids selling $40 gold plated trinkets to some idiot willing to pay $1,000 for them is some heinous crime. There's nothing morally or legally wrong with it, except in regards to the NCAA's decrepit, invalid rulebook. If elite collegiate athletes are hustling these days, and it appears to be that way, then I say, "hustle on, young ones, hustle on." Just be sure to bring me back my shiny, crystalized football.

Does Ohio State agree with me? (Obviously they would never explicity agree with my bluntness, but still). Do they even need the money anymore? (No). Are all the things (good and bad) that come with being a perennial powerhouse worth the headaches to Ohio State, as they forge forth into the 21st century?

Ohio State doesn't need football like it once did, that much is clear. But, would they be willing to accept mediocrity (or, let's say, Michigan State-like success), to save the brand's name from future embarrassment? Just how much are all of the W's worth to Ohio State?

I guess we will soon have our answer.

46 Comments

Comments

biggy84's picture

Great article! Glad that you mentioned that Tressel's "crimes" are a product of an antiquated system too.

Irricoir's picture

I don't know about the University but the W's mean almost everything to me. I wouldn't want OSU to pay recruits or do anything that is so SEC like. I think the thing that endeared me to our brand of football was that we were championship caliber, and we were competitive by playing by the rules. I think that is what bothered me the most about all of this was the fact that I couldn't cling to that anymore. Now that that honor is tarnished for the next ten years, I have a greater perpensity to lean further into the W column now. I still don't want to win at all costs but would edge closer to win at most costs now. Winning was always important to me but now I feel as If it is more so. I am not saying everyone should feel this way, just that I do.

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

Denny's picture

'Man, we talkin' 'bout morals? We talkin' 'bout morals.' - Iverstotle

Taquitos.

Bucksfan's picture

Armed with the greatest college quarterback ever made during his greatest statistical season of his 4-year career, in a game played in their own backyard, Urban Meyer lost to an 8-4 Michigan team that lost its first game to Appalachian State.  Against his SEC talent-loaded defense, Chad Henne looked like Tom Brady, and Mike Hart might as well have been Adrian Peterson.

I don't know about you guys, but that's not a great resume builder if you want the head coaching job at Ohio State. 

Neither is this: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/andy_staples/08/12/fla.wil...

Do we really want our players outside 4-Kegs (don't know the name of it now) waving an AK-47 around and not getting kicked off the team for it?  Do we want the kind of kids that would actually do something like this in the first place?

Look, I'm all for winning, but jeez...there has to be others out there that can do the job who aren't complete slimebags.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

To play devil's advocate -- he won 2 MNCs between losing to that Michigan team who was finally healthy, and it was Carr's last game.  The only game I have ever rooted for Michigan, ever.  I still feel dirty.  I have also heard that part of the reason Meyer stepped away was because of the type of players he had to recruit from that area.  I'm not sure I buy into that too much, but he could pull some of the Florida speed talent and be a little more selective in the process if our other recruiting pipelines stay open.  I'm not sold that he is a slimebag, is he? I know I've heard rumors about his recruiting techniques and remember something about him suspending a player for one game who did something violent and felt like it wasn't harsh enough.  I have also heard about how much effort he puts into his players and the community.  

None of this will matter as Fickell will retain the job.

Bucksfan's picture

I'm not about to believe any heresay about why Meyer stepped down.  All I have to go on is what he told everyone, which is that he has health problems that prohibit him from coaching.  If it has to do with anything else that he didn't mention elsewhere, then he is a liar.  It's no different than a child lying about not feeling well so they don't have to go to school to take a test.  It also doesn't help that distinction if he has an incurable heart condition that "forced him out of coaching" only to come back just 1 year later at a different school.  And, technically he already did that once at Florida, so....

We just parted ways with someone who lied to the detriment of the program.  Urban Meyer will be under a microscope at Ohio State unlike anything he experienced at Florida.  Based on a lot of evidence, he'd have to actually run the program MORE tightly than Jim Tressel, AND not have a heart attack while doing it.  Tall order.  Is it worth it?

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I should have been more clear -- the "bad" kids he recruited help create his health problems.  I'm not sure which national/local pundit I heard this from.

I have never been a supporter of Meyer nor a detractor.  I'd rather a coach come in who mostly runs a pro-style offense.  I'd much rather Fickell do a fantastic job and keep it.

Irricoir's picture

I am not going to go out on the limb and say every kid born in Ohio is better than every kid born in Florida. I know both states have areas that have diversity in morale behavior and ethical beliefs. I can tell you this; the area I was raised in Ohio had a much better family culture, low to no crime, and generally more kindness than other areas I have lived in throughout my life in the United States. After coming from Ohio and moving to Bama I feel like I have fallen into Satan's ass crack. Now, to be fair, I never lived in Youngstown or other parts of Ohio that are of irreparable rapport. For the young life I lived while I was in that great state, I am thankful. I miss home. If I had a career there to bring me back I would go. I think that overall there is a drastic culture difference between the two states. That doesn't say that the kids we get from there are the better kids though I think Jim Tressel measured more than just their athletic ability when recruiting them. I am optimistic for that at least. I know Jaamal Berry had a few bumps in the road before stepping on campus but I haven’t heard anything negative about him since then. I think that we have gotten good kids from FLA.

 

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

btalbert25's picture

I agree with this.  I'm like you I have no idea what the culture in Florida is like, but the background has a lot to do with it.  

I think the background the kids come from plus how far away from that background play into it.  I have this suspicion Moe C would've got himself into trouble because he wasn't that far from home.  Jamal Berry staying in Florida may have gotten himself in trouble because he was not far from that situation.  In Columbus he's not hanging out with the same old crew doing the same old stuff. 

Certainly, a recruit from St. X in Cincinnati may have a different moral compass than a guy from Taft.  His family structure is different certainly his housing arrangement would be different.  Much like a kid from St. Thomas Aquinas is probably different than a kid from a school in not so great of an area. 

buckeyedude's picture

yeah, but the winters have to be a little nicer down there, Irricoir?

 

 

tampa buckeye's picture

Winter? Whats that.

Irricoir's picture

Yeah, they are warmer by a tad, but you know cold is cold. 20 degress feels the same to me as 0 degrees. The heat and humidity have me beat. My father tells me that it has become increasingly hot and humid in Ohio since I left in the mid 90's. So there may not be as much of a difference. I think I would notice the most in the tweener months. Spring and fall are where the big differences are between the two. Dealing wit these SEC mouth breathers who can say nothing positive about Ohio State warms me during the winter months. My hate runs deep.

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

Hoff_TBDBITL's picture

In my opinion there is a clear answer here. No. President Gee and the trustees will not settle for mediocrity, whether it pertains to the success of the Football program or the academic prestige of the Department of Greek and Latin. This is The Ohio State University, where tradition thrives along with excellence, and at The Ohio State University it is not possible to settle for one without striving for the other, in every facet of the collegiate game. The current students, the hundreds of thousands of alumni, and the millions of Buckeye fans around the world won't settle for anything less.

T-Row, The Row, The Quality Row!

gobucks1226's picture

I have the complete opposite take on this. Unless Ohio State completely underacheives this fall, Luke Fickell will be the head coach next year. There is no conclusive evidence that Urban Meyer would even be interested in the position. Sure there was the book he wrote several years ago, but that was before his health issues and retirement. Is he completely ready to coach again after one season off? My guess is that Urban Meyer will be the next coach at Texas after Mack Brown retires a few years from now.

Outside of Meyer, there are no overwhelming candidates for the position. Darrell Hazell will have exactly as much experience as Fickell, Tim Beckman at Toledo could be a darkhorse guy, and Job Gruden is going to be in the NFL again soon. 

Ohio State will definitely want to see if Urban Meyer is interested, and for good reason. But if Ohio State wins 9 or 10 games this fall, look for the interim title on Fickell's name to be stripped.

 

 

Menexenus's picture

I agree with this post.  If Fickell wins 10 games, he'll be back.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

BuckeyeSaab's picture

I find this assumption that Fickell will bad both insulting and undermining to the program.  Give the guy a chance to fail before speculating on his replacement.

I'm sorry for not being sorry.

btalbert25's picture

The problem is there are 2 schools of thought.  Those that think Fickell is just a space filler til the end of the year and who think he is legitimately going to be the coach for a long long time.  I personally think short of a BCS bowl appearance, he's gone.  In my opinon, the school wants to seperate itself from Tressel era and I have a feeling they'll part ways with Fickell.  The end of May is awfully late in the game to be scrambling to find a new head coach, so you name someone within the program the coach for a year then things will be re-evaluated.  Not to mention, there is a whale out there who left for medical reasons and may want a year off before deciding what he'll do in the future.

The other side has puzzled me too though.  Why are people so quick to align themselves with Fickel and decide he's their man no matter what?  There are a lot of people out there that feel this way.  I personally want to see him coach a down first before I decide he's the future.  That being said, I don't feel it's that bad to talk about who would be out there that could take over this program and what direction they'll take it. 

Fickel will probably win a lot of games this year just because of the talent this team still has.  Let's see how he manages it.  I think short of a BCS berth or a title, there's no way he's keeping the job so it's only logical to talk about who will be the coach of this program in 2012.

Nappy's picture

Regardless of who the head coach is next year, they would be shooting themselves in the foot if they wipe out the defensive staff.  The D has been consistently top 5-6 in the nation over the last decade and I'd hate to see that change. Thats why I have a hard time believing we will clean house to distance ourselves from Tress.  There are too many good coaches to replace on this staff just because it may look better in the eyes of the NCAA who will already have ruled on the matter when it comes time to make a HC decision.  As long as Fickell doesnt implode John L Smith style, I see him coming back next year.  <crosses fingers, without Bollman as OC>

Fan of bacon since 1981

btalbert25's picture

I really didn't mean totally gutting the whole staff, I just can't imagine they'll stick with one of his proteges to run the program.  I don't know.  Maybe they'll stick with him, I don't now.  I j ust don't see it myself. 

NW Buckeye's picture

If they get rid of Fickell and bring in a new HC, the staff will be gone.  Doesn't matter if it is Meyer, Pelini, or whoever - they will bring in their own staff.  I find it amusing that the premise cited for getting rid of Fickell is to distance tOSU from Tressel.  Just how would keeping any of the existing staff accomplish that if that indeed is the true goal.  This whole idea is just a lot of speculation and conjecture from all angles.  The bottom line is that right now it is Fickell's job to lose.  And, he does not have to go undefeated or make it to a BCS bowl to keep the job.  Those kind of requirements are absurd and preposterous for any first year coach, let alone one whose team is facing sanctions.  And, if those standards had been in place for Tressel, he would have been gone after his second year. 

You want to divide the fans into 2 camps, one that supports a HC change for next year and the other that blindly supports Fickell.  What about those of us who are realists (and I believe this is the biggest group) who understand that one year is not enough time to judge the potential of a HC?  We believe that whoever they decided on for the HC for this year deserves at least several seasons to determine whether they stay or go.  Unless, of course, the first year is an entire bust (worse than 6-6 for example). 

Irricoir's picture

Agreed.

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

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

Unless he pulls a "Rich Rod" he's safe.  

 

btalbert25's picture

I just don't want to be sitting here 4 years from now and we are Penn State.  Perennial 3rd of 4th place in the conference, and Outback or Citrus bowl, where maybe 2  years out of 10 we are good enough to actually win the conference.  I don't know what's going to happen, I'm all for seeing what the guy actually can do as a coach, I'm just not ready to say lets give the guy 4 years and see what he's really made of, unless he does something spectacular right off the bat.  Honestly, this team should only lose 3 or 4 games max and it makes no difference who is coaching the team.  There is a lot of talent out there, especially on D, and the schedule isn't that great. 

I don't believe they coach they selected deserves several years in this case, because make no mistake about it, he's an interim coach.  They may have removed the tag, but that was just to save face from a recruiting standpoint.  He's going to have to impress to earn the job for more years than that.  Especially if a coach like Meyer comes calling. 

They coudlnt' really go through a coaching search that started in June for this season so they had to name someone the coach, he was the best candidate in house.  It may not be fair or reasonable, but if he doesn't do something spectacular, I can't see the powers that be saying ya know what, we need to give this guy 5 years to really show what he's got.

elaydin's picture

This is my worry as well. 

I can't help but think of Bill Stewart.  Maybe the team rallies around Luke for a season, but the long term health of the team is at stake.

If you pretend Tressel just decided to retire and none of the violations happened, there is no way you would consider hiring Luke Fickell.  Heck, we'd be annoyed if we hired Tim Beckman, and he has a good track record as a coach.

Go all out for Meyer.  He'll be the shot in the arm we need in the new B1G.  If he quits after 4 years, so be it.  Luke will still be around somewhere, and now with some experience.

 

 

 

btalbert25's picture

That's the point I'm basically trying to make.  What if you get Meyer and he hangs around 4 or 5 years, by that time Fickell and Hazell will have some experience and can take over the program.  I have no problem with those guys down the road, I just am really concerned with becoming some of the big programs that end up fading off into obscurity for a decade or so.

NC_Buckeye's picture

First off, you guys act like Meyer is an automatic for this job. What happens if he really doesn't want to get back into coaching? Gruden? Every one keeps throwing his name out but until I hear from him that he's interested, that's when I'll believe he's an option. Pelini? Fickell has the more proven staff at this point. Who's left? See where I'm going with this. This is exactly where Michigan found itself in their last two coaching searches. Right now, we've got someone familiar with the players, has a successful staff in place, has successfully recruited talent in the state (so he already has connections established). Those are huge factors and should not be dismissed casually.

Second, are you going to hold this new coach to the same standard that you want from Fickell? Meyer went 8-5 his last year at Florida and people were speculating that it was only going to get worse because he kept losing his assistant coaches. What if Meyer went 8-5, 9-4, and 8-5 then re-realizes that he doesn't want to coach anymore. Think about the shape that Callahan left Nebraska in before Osborne rehired their interim coach, Pelini. That program would be substantially better than it is right now.

Hell, we gave John Cooper 10 years, a man who proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he could not beat Michigan or consistently win the big games. And you're unwilling to give a former player who's proven that he's a successful assistant coach even half that amount of time. I wonder if Florida is going to give Muschamp one year to prove he can lead the Gators. He also has never been an HC before.

You guys really piss me off. Speculating about Fickell's replacement before he's even coached a game is really shallow. I hope the university takes a more sensible approach to the HC position and gives Fickell a bona fide shot.

Denny's picture

'Speculating about Fickell's replacement before he's even coached a game is really shallow.'

You're forgetting that he wears ugly-ass Affliction T-shirts.

Taquitos.

NC_Buckeye's picture

Yeah but he gets a pass because they're Christmas presents from his mom. He's just being a good son.

I also hear that he draws the line at Ed Hardy apparel. That's just tooo kitschy.

Matt's picture

If Urban Meyer comes in, I bet you 500 internet points that Stan Drayton stays right where he is, and maybe gets a promotion.

Nappy's picture

I think I would agree with this if all the slander and bullshit the 4 letter network shat all over the place was proven to be true, but since the only staff member proven to have been in the know is gone, I think they're less likely to make a coaching change simply to distance themselves from Tress. 

Normally I hate uncertainty, but I think I'm more excited for this season to start because I dont know what to expect.  At least from an offensive standpoint.  I know Tresselball drove me to the brink of insanity at times and I'm hoping to see a more aggressive attack offensively and the same stout version of the Silver Bullets I've been watching forever. That said, anyone willing to put an over/under on the first offensive play of the year to be Dave?

Fan of bacon since 1981

btalbert25's picture

If Bauserman is the QB from day one, I can tell you how the Offense will be, sack, sack, INT.  Handoff, sack, incomplete.  Then handoffs the rest of the game.

NC_Buckeye's picture

Please someone tell me what "Dave" is. I've been trying to figure this out since seeing the "Run Dave" 11-W tshirt. It's not listed on the 11-W Terminology page.

btalbert25's picture

I have to choose between mediocrity with Fickell and winning with Urban, um, duh I pick winning.  If he's only here for 4 years and the team wins 2 titles then so be it.  His desire for leaving programs worries me more than anything else.  He has never stayed put for too long, but I'd much rather bring in someone like Meyer, Stoops, and others before handing the keys over to a guy who has never been a head coach.

Let's look past the players Urban recruited to Florida and look more at the guys he recruited that would've or could've been Buckeyes.  First, how many Ohio Highschool players would he land?  He may have had a shot at Hicks, probably would've landed De Priest as well, and maybe Latwaan.  Latwaan would've been the 1 trouble maker.  Who are kids from Florida that Ohio State was in the running for, lost them to Urban and subsequently they got in trouble? 

It seems to me that a lot of these problems come from the Florida kids.  They stay close to home, close to the people who they got in trouble with growing up and it leads to more trouble.  Pluck them away from Florida and insert them into Columbus and likely they don't get in trouble.  I could totally see Santonio ending up as a bad egg had he stayed in Florida.  It's not to say he would never have trouble with kids he recruits to Ohio State, if he is ultimately the coach here, it's to suggest that possibly the kids are in trouble because of the circumstances.

Colin's picture

Here's a guy that already concluded Fickell was a terrible head coach and that Urban Meyer was the dream coach before the season even started.

btalbert25's picture

Where did I ever say that?  I'm just pointing out that Fickell was the only guy they could get to fill the void Tressel left.  At the time Tress was fired, retired whatever, the program looked like it was going to get slammed.  That's when the media frenzy was it its worst and there was not much good going on.  No high profile coach or not so high profile coach would've touched this job.  Now things aren't so bleak, and Ohio State probably won't get hit that hard, it's an attractive job. 

If Fickell does a great job, sure keep him around.  If he does just ok, and someone else that is great wants this job then yes I'm all for bringing them on instead.  Fickell is the interim coach whether he has that title or not.  Interim coaches have to be pretty spectacular to get the job in the end.

Do I want a coach that Hoke and other rivals can't negatively recruit against?  Absolutely.  I've said all along lets see how Fickell does, I'm just not going to be upset if he does an average job and gets replaced. 

bcWEcouldn&#039;tGOfor3's picture

Fickell for 10 years, 10+ wins every season, 5 B1G Titles, 0 national championships

or

Meyer for 2 years, 1 national title

I'm taking Meyer.

This is Ohio State...there will always be coaches available. Meyer is the best out there right now. Take him

NW Buckeye's picture

And send the message to all recruits that they will have no clue who their coach will be in the next 2 years should they opt for tOSU.  That kind of thinking is precisely what is wrong with many businesses in this country - do everything to score the big profits right now, focus on the short term, because we don't have to worry about the long term. 

Your ID is the quote from Woody concerning the 2 point conversion against UM.  Funny, but if your logic had been applied to his time at OSU he would have been gone before 1960 (his teams fared miserably in '58 and '59). 

bcWEcouldn&#039;tGOfor3's picture

If Meyer left after two years with one national championship, Ohio State would pick up the next big coach out there and the recruits would still be knocking down the door.  Ohio State is one of the top 3 programs in the country. The recruits will come.

With your logic, we'd still have Cooper, 10-win seasons and 0 national titles in 40 years...ALL FOR THE SAKE OF THE RECRUITS. Awww lets not upset the recruits. Screw the recruits. How many recruits will be knocking down Fickell's door next year if he only wins 9 games?

If Fickell can take OSU to 11 wins, I say keep him for another 3 years to see if he's got it. If not, why wouldn't you want to bring in a coach with 2 titles and a load of experience?  It would be moronic not to.

NeARBuckeye's picture

How many times do we beat Michigan in those scenarios?

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

There are only a handful of schools that turn a profit with their athletic program.  Ohio State is one.  Combine that with the fact that Ohio State fields MORE intercollegiate athletic programs than every other school on the planet, and there is no way Ohio State can afford to let the Football program's status deflate without cutting sports.  I doubt that the BOT would allow that.  

The empire that is The Ohio State University is mammoth in all things.  That has been a strategic plan all along.  The Football program drives the athletic part of the behemoth.  I have no desire to return to 1961 and the early to mid 60s.  We already tried that.  It sucked.  Trust me.  I was there.

If alumni demand for tickets drops, they can just go back to the old system.  There was still a lottery fo0r tickets, but winners got season tickets to all the games.  If you applied for 15 consecutive years, whether you were successful every year or not, after fifteen years, you were guaranteed tickets.  The shoe will always be filled.

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

Kurt's picture

Just a thought: it seems that all evidence these days points towards the importance of the coordinators and assistants in general, how much they're paid and how well they run their units.  The SEC pays through the nose for their coordinators, and they win.  Today it seems the HC is important but at a delegator/ceo level, this is probably something to keep in mind when debating who will be the HC...do we pay so much for him that we can't afford quality coordinators?  Or do you go with a younger less proven HC to bring in talented and more highly paid coordinators?

btalbert25's picture

So, Tressel opts to take a game to overtime, a game where his strategy worked, and his team won the Big 10 and was headed to the Rose Bowl, and people Screamed for his head.  Remember there was a website devoted to it and everything.

If this team happens to love 4+ games and Meyer expresses interestest in the Ohio State job, do you really think the Majority of the fans will say, nah we have our man.  Do you think that after a 2nd season with more than 2 losses people will still be patient.  People wanted a coach with an 800 win % over 10 years fired.  There's just no way Fickell will retain the job if other suitors come calling and this team doesn't do something spectacular.

You say by the logic above, the program would've fired Woody early on, but was Woody's hiring wasn't the same situation.  Fickell wasn't neccessarily Ohio State's man, he was the only one they could turn to.  What coach would come into the situation Ohio State was facing at the end of May?  No one in their right mind.  I hope he works out, but I'm not one who is willing to give the guy 5 years just because it's fair and his feelings won't get hurt.

 

BuckPirate1981's picture

There have been a few notions set forth in this post and in the comments I would have to say I'm not in complete agreement with.  First, if there is any thought that football is a financial concern for the University, think again.  Compared to the medical center, its an afterthought.  Its cute that the football team brings in dollar signs that start with "M," but when the medical center brings in dollar signs that start with "B," I don't think tOSU is really that horribly worried if they have to charge a little less for football tickets or go to the Outback Bowl vs. a BCS game.  Remember, your net financial showing for going to the BCS games isn't always going to be positive.  The football team makes it possible for tOSU to field a water polo team (maybe, I'm assuming we have one, insert sport "X" that I don't care about in its place if we don't).  That's about it.  To maybe better paint a picture of the difference in revenue one vs. the other brings in, ask yourself when the Shoe will ever see a one billion dollar stadium addition (I'll help you on that one, never, although that would make for some pretty sweet jumbotrons).  

If anything, there may be some pressure from alumni and students, but if a university President's job was decided on a popularity contest, how'd this lady stay around as long as she did?  I think at the end of the day, Coach Tress being showed the door was the bungled product of two individuals who were caught with their pants down, said some things they shouldn't have at the onset, then had to cover their ass a bit just in case.  That Coach Fick is in the "coaching family tree" will not matter as much as the product he puts out.  There's a lot to being head coach other than X's and O's.  Heck, how much actual coaching do you think Joe Pa still does, or Bobby Bowden did at the end of his tenure?  Think Queen of England.  Figurehead.  Only with more of an emphasis on recruiting.  The head coach is the CEO of your football program, and to date I think that's one area I have been disapointed in Coach Fickell.  Whether it be swings and misses in recruiting, or somewhat less than polished interviews, the man stil needs some work.  Now don't get me wrong - I highly respect him, his love for the University, his passion for the game, and think he could do a great job.  But there's more to being a coach than even W's and L's, as any coach shown the door even after success on the field but not at the alumni gatherings will atest to.  One in particular from my undergraduate institution comes to mind.  The guy won games.  Developed some pretty decent QB's (oh this guy too I guess).  But the dude was kinda a dick.  Outside the locker room, not even the AD liked him (who you kinda want liking you).  One bad season?  Good by coach dick.  

Then there's the idea Urban Meyer will coach at OSU.  On one hand, I would say, I'll trade a guy being here for four years if that means two of them produce National Championships and all four produce wins over Coach Artie Lang (he who has been on the record stating he now calls us "Ohio" because its easier... I'll leave it at that) and M!Ch!g@n.  And to say he's going to bring in hooligans... must I really quote our dearly departed friend, he of the previous number 2 (really need to get a new away jersey now, FML), in saying that everybody lies, cheats, steals, kills people (to paraphrase)?  I love Coach Tress, and even he brought in some, shall we say, knuckleheads.  Even some otherwise good guys who made mistakes.  That's young college men for ya, no matter if they're from the right side of town with all the advantages in the world or the rough part of it.  But to be honest, I don't want Meyer to coach here, as I don't know if he'd last much longer than one year.  His health problems aren't anything top secret - he suffers from esophageal spasms as well as an arachnoid cyst.  Really that dangerous?  Meh, not really.  Something he's magically cured of?  No.  Something that if the stress of being the University of Florida head football coach is unlikely to recurr with the stress of being head football coach at the Ohio State University? Hopefully you see the point - and so does he - and how he's better off staying in the booth if it was bad enough for him to retire the first er second time around.  The man isn't one who gets an itch to move all the time, look at his record, its called progression and just moving to a better job (same could be said for Nick Saban, only of course with the addition of Saban being evil and doing what his Dark Lord commands).  Its his health I'm worried about.  Gruden on the other hand could see OSU as something more (or really less?) than a destination job, and I'm sure Hoke would love to use the "guy could leave for the NFL any day now" line on recruits.  He probably already self pleasures to the idea, a little, between donuts.  Ew.  

So that leaves us with a really long comment from me, and Coach Fick as our guy.  Who I respect, and wish nothing but the best.  But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see if someone does a good job as a head coach or not.  Its not just W's and L's people.  Its how he manages a football game.  Its how he recruits.  Its how he represents the program.  So far, he's done a good job, maybe not great.  We'll see how the year goes, how recruiting goes, how his job hire does, so on and so forth, and see what he has to say about showing us wrong when its all said and done.  Until then, he's the head football coach at Ohio State.  I just hope we don't make the mistake of asking the hot girl out to prom (to use that analogy again) and after everyone watches us be told, politely, no (now with egg on our face) end up with our third or fourth choice which would may lead to additional embarrassment and heaven forbid, leave us with a much less cool guy than what we have now as our HC, and, heaven forbid, maybe even a fat guy just because um still figuring that one out.  Like that's ever works out for anyone, those dang fat people (just kidding of course, just hating on fat M!ch!g@n coaches, I've put on a few myself, kinda, maybe around the midline, I'm no IRRICOIR that's for sure, and hey some chicks dig fat guys).  

Jdadams01's picture

Here's the thing...Fickell knows what the expectations at OSU are and that he has to produce this year or he's gone. I think he accepts that, too. I believe Fickell puts OSU ahead of himself and understands that he has this year to show the world that he can do the job and that if he doesn't, he's ok with the best man leading OSU forward. For anyone that wants to "be fair" and give him a three year contract, you have to understand that Fickell doesn't see it that way. He knows this year is his interview.

741's picture

Is it OK if I stay on the Fickell bandwagon until we see a fucking football game or two actually played? Please try to keep all replies to 5,000 words or less. Thanks!