Under the Sea

By Ramzy Nasrallah on December 5, 2011 at 2:00p
A chess match of bad ideas between two men & their four and five-star recruits.

In the end, the money always wins. In college football that means the aristocracy automatically devours the tiebreakers.

Ohio State and Florida are a couple of the college football world's one-percenters with access and opportunities that the vast majority of college football programs simply do not have. In the Gator Bowl, they are essentially paying themselves 2011 bonuses not for what they did, but for who they are.

The Buckeyes finished 6-6, struggling all season and losing their final three games. They're being rewarded with a January 2 (this season's January 1) date with the Florida Gators, returning to their bowl namesake with an identically unpalatable record.

The Big Ten produced three other 6-6 teams: Northwestern, who didn't play the Buckeyes; Illinois, which only allowed Ohio State to complete one pass yet still lost (HA HA! ZOOK MAGIC!) and Purdue, who just beat the Buckeyes three weeks ago and finished ahead of them in their division.

Those three schools' postseason destinations are the Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, respectively - bowl names that did not exist the last time Ohio State was bad enough to merit consideration as a participant. They're also all played in December.

In an equitable world, Purdue - who also beat Illinois - would not have landed in Detroit, but it did, expressly because it's Purdue. There's a distinct hierarchy among the bowls, and when the Gator's pick came up it went with our favorite mediocre patrician because TV matters, fan bases matter, storylines matter and advertisers matter.

Purdue, especially in its standard, mediocre form, provides none of these things which is why it was relegated to playing in George Perles' "gift" to his former conference. On the bright side, West Lafayette makes Detroit look like the Amalfi Coast so look for at least half of the seats between the 40s at Ford Field to be stained with tobacco juice on December 27.

This isn't a complaint about the bowl system, which has never claimed to be equitable, sensible or designed to reward programs justly for their season performances (the BCS is another matter). It's merely a reminder that as irritating as it might be to the college football fan at large, bowls are a biased perk for fans of teams like Ohio State and Florida.

If and when the bowl system is reupholstered in favor of a postseason system constructed without bias or tradition, Buckeye fans - especially those of us who survive substandard anomalies like 2011 - will not be treated so kindly. The Gator Bowl took Ohio State and Florida for no reasons related to their 2011 seasons.

And they're getting a whole canon of stories with their chosen teams: You may remember Florida as being Urban Meyer's former employer, while most of Florida's current players remember Meyer as being the coach for whom they pledged to play at Florida.

The Gators and the Buckeyes allegedly also played for the 2006 BCS title (a nasty rumor that no one can confirm actually happened) as well as the 2007 NCAA basketball tournament final.

Both programs are rich in history, teeming with fans and carrying all of the proven measurables that bowl committees salivate over when considering candidates, present resume notwithstanding. Ohio State and Florida fulfilled the minimum job requirement for consideration - six measely wins - and that was all they needed.

The one thing that Ohio State and Florida do not have, at least this year, is offense. It's the shared deficiency that essentially led to both teams losing a combined 12 games.

Stripping away all of the other details, and remembering that 11W will spend all of this month exhaustively previewing this game, let's take a look at the men who run these disappointments.

two distinct ways of doing less with more

Florida has the nation's ninth-ranked defense. Ohio State allows a mere 28 yards more per game, good enough for 24th in the country. Two top-quintile defensive units would normally demand a championship-level marquee; unfortunately for both they're paired with decidedly terrible offenses.

tale of the tape Bollman Weis
rode to success by Being Jim Tressel's friend Stealing defensive signals
offensive style Walrusball Ray Perkins on Ambien
2011 salary $300,000 $765,000
cost per point scored $997 $2,492
total offense (120) 107th 102nd
passing offense (120) 116th 87th
signature play Telegraphed slow-motion handoff Fade route
First downs/game (120) 16.83 (106th) 17.33 (103rd)
Tenure at school 11th (final year) 1st of 3 (owed $1.73MM)

Florida's "attack" is the brainchild of familiar portly foe Charlie Weis, who Buckeye fans last saw at the beginning of 2006 in Tempe after a month of ominous warnings that his offensive genius had been given too much time to prepare for the Silver Bullets.

The result of that Fiesta Bowl was a Notre Dame school record for yards allowed as Ohio State's game plan, according to Jim Tressel in the postgame press conference, was to "avoid overthrowing the deep ball, because we knew it would be there."

Weis had grown to prominence as the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator under Bill Bellichik, comandeering offenses that "seemed to know what defenses were going to do before the ball was snapped."

It turned out that was precisely the case. Post-Spygate, Weis' artificial star has fizzled considerably, though not to the point where he isn't still stealing money from his employers. His much-maligned counterpart on the Ohio State sideline in this Gator Bowl is a relative bargain.

Only "No Carbs" would've been less truthful.

Jim Bollman has been frustrating Buckeye fans who dared to look behind Tressel's curtain for years. From slow-playing in-state lineman prospects who end up flourishing at other schools to routinely offering too few scholarships, too late (Ohio State has brought in one offensive lineman in a class twice under Bollman) his recruiting apathy and line coaching philosophy have been popular topics of contention for too many years.

Between the personnel decision-making (remember Braxton Miller sitting out the entire Toledo game?) the in-game decision making (remember Joe Bauserman throwing repeatedly at Nebraska despite a 21-point lead?) and the sheer predictability of the offense in every game until the one in Ann Arbor, Bollman expanded his role of scapegoat from the Internet recruitniks to the couch tacticians in 2011, creating a previously impossible charicature of Tressel as an offensive genius.

If anything, 2011 proved that Tressel was covering up a lot more than just improper trinket sales for discounted tattoos. With Bollman now completely in charge of the Ohio State offense, the Buckeyes' production - typically in the bottom half of the FBS anyway but coming off of its best year with plenty of returning players fell off of a figurative cliff:

OSU season OSU Offensive rank
2001 65th
2002 70th
2003 93rd
2004 98th
2005 32nd
2006 26th
2007 62nd
2008 76th
2009 68th
2010 20th
2011 107th

Ohio State's offense in 2011 was essentially a three-hour seminar on how to turn a 1st and 10 into a 3rd and 17, and this Florida defense won't do Bollman any favors. At the same time, the Buckeyes shouldn't help Weis too much either: He was only slightly less bad at his job than Bollman was.

This means the punt might actually end up being the most important play of this game, which would be a fitting, if not delayed tribute to Tressel.

The most overplayed non-game element of the Gator Bowl, which will intersect with a couple of the aforementioned storylines, is that this is Ohio State's grand finale leading up to Meyer's program takeover. While Weis is only completing the first season of his three-year deal, this is going to be it for Bollman.

A more diverse attack, as was finally enjoyed with tempered frustration in Ann Arbor, would be a welcome, lame-duck development for an offense that will be completely made over in a few months.

Surely the Florida players Meyer spurned for brief retirement will be playing with a little extra malevolence. It's unclear if that will make Weis look more competent, however.

This is Bollman's final act. The Gator Bowl bought in Ohio State for the eyeballs, the cache and the money that historically comes bundled with their postseason appearances. They also wanted the storylines. Perhaps the old walrus will give them one they weren't expecting.


Comments Show All Comments

DJ Byrnes's picture

The hilarious thing is the fact these two will have a couple weeks to overthink themselves. Should be a barn-burner.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

AltaBuck's picture

The 'Walrus' vs the 'Manatee'......let's get ready to rumble.

I am Groot - Groot

BuddhaBuck's picture


Also considered?

  • Walrus v. Blue Whale
  • Walrus v. Hippo
  • Walrus v. Human Planet

Don't text while driving.

FUqUespin's picture

Weis = Manatee...


741's picture

That is an insult to manatees everywhere... that dude is FAT.

I'm thinking "Planet Cheeseburger" or "Moby Dick" are better monniker's for Weis.

awarren84's picture

The Walrus vs. The Uterus!

"Anything less than flagrant is just playing grab ass!"

onetwentyeight's picture

It's like one of those epic Sci-Fi DEEP SEA BATTLES: WALRUS VS LEVIATHAN !


Whatever, count me in for one last Megadose of WalrusBall!! Can't wait for the 3rd and 15 QB Draws, Spray n pray, and LOTS OF DAVE! (Maybe even a BAUS sighting?? Might as well go out swinging with a healthy amount of Bauserbombs!) Tell me you guys aren't excited??? 

Scott K's picture

Funny thing is, most of us with just about any previous football experience could/would have done as well as Bollman this year.  Which obviously isn't saying much.

Best way to revitalize a spent field is burn it down, and replant.  Play action on 3rd and long?

Let the burning begin!

"There's a fine line between stupid, and....clever.  David St. Hubbins/Nigel Tufnel

BTwrestle04's picture

It comes as a bit of a suprise to me that we didn't have a better Offensive Rank in 2006.

buckeyechad's picture

thought the same thing

AltaBuck's picture

Just looked at the stats from that game and it was a beat down. Over 600 yds in Total offense. Still remember the reverse by TG. That was sweet. Have we run a reverse this year?

I am Groot - Groot

741's picture

Maybe once in the first two games if my (hazy) memory serves me correctly.

yrro's picture

From what I remember, we were so dominant that we completely shut our offense down about halfway into the third quarter most games. So the end of game stats don't show the whole story.

FUqUespin's picture

Except for the 2006 Tostito's NC when we shut our offense down about halfway into the 1st quarter...

DefendOhio's picture

Hopefully Bollman comes out with a nothing to lose attitude and is agressive all game. That's a big hope however.

LABuckeye's picture

Bollman is ready...


Buckeyejason's picture

The sad thing about both of these 6-6 teams is that there is going to be about 20-30 former 5 star recruits playing in it.


Riggins's picture

The offense is always better
On somebody else's team
You dream about throwing passes
But that is just a dream
Just look at the coaches around you
Right here at The OSU
Such incompetent boobs surround you
What more could satisfy you?

Under the sea
Under the sea
Darling it's better
With an offense in fetters
Take it from me
Other teams throw passes all day
Scoring points, putting teams away
While we're lead draw'n
Divin' and and Dave'n
Under the sea

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Brilliant. And sadly accurate, but still brilliant.

LABuckeye's picture

Hidden camera footage of Bollman prepping for the big game...


Texas Buckeye's picture

+1,000,000. ^^^This is hilarious! 

It's true... We really are a bunch of nuts!
Go Bucks!

SilverBullets's picture

No one can accuse of Bollman of not participating in the punishment now......

That's awesome

phxbuck's picture


LABuckeye's picture

I have mixed emotions about Bollman leaving in sort of the same way I have had mixed emotions about the end of some presidents' terms... glad the incompetence will be over with, but will miss making fun of him.

painterlad's picture

That made me laugh for about five minutes.

To err is human. Really sucking requires having yellow stripes on your helmet.

addman1405's picture

Always good to read your stuff first thing in the morning so i dont rage quit my job after an embarrassing ohio state loss does the trick every time.


Keep it up Ramzy. 

Scott K's picture

Is it just me, or has Weiss put on like 30-40lbs since his ND days?

Makes Jim look pretty svelte...

"There's a fine line between stupid, and....clever.  David St. Hubbins/Nigel Tufnel

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

it's not just you.....and your estimate was very kind to Weiss...

Doc's picture

Chuckie Cheeseburger is wearing two shirts sown together.  What a big fat slob that man is.  I think he ate his scematic advantage.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Scott K's picture

"I think he ate his scematic advantage"

lol....that's a keeper!

He almost makes Mark Mangino look svelte...


"There's a fine line between stupid, and....clever.  David St. Hubbins/Nigel Tufnel

741's picture

He looks like he ate Mark Mangino.

Nappy's picture

In his defense, it was covered in gravy.

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

Doc's picture

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm... graaavvyy

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Nappy's picture

Big Butter Jesus didn't burn to the ground.  Charlie Weiss ate it. 

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

LABuckeye's picture

He's apparently lost weight since he went to shit during his post-firing depression. Evidence below...


Bucksfan's picture

The "Under the Sea" title is simply magical.  Well done, Ramzy, my boy...well done!

FUqUespin's picture

weis has FOP and a Gunt

LABuckeye's picture

I read somewhere that his old shirts get donated to Goodwill where they are then re-sold with poles as four-man tents.

M Man's picture

Lord, the real picture of Charley Weis looks almost as photoshopped as the phony picture!

Remember, he sued for medical malpractice after his failed gastric-bypass surgery (and lost the case).

Scott's picture

Just a heads up... It's a little buried now, but I left you some New Orleans recommendations in the Gator Bowl thread. I hope you have a blast. (Oh and the drink I was thinking of was a hand grenade, not a hurricane, but both will do the trick). Go B1G.

Class of 2008

shortbuck's picture

Just so we make it clear:

1. charlie did lose seven pounds after the surgery.  sucess!!!

2. He only sued because a surgical nurse was not accounted for and was presumed sewed up inside him.  She apparently went in while collecting surgical sponges and has never been heard from since.

LABuckeye's picture

Sounds like a horrible way to die. I would guess they stuck her missing persons ad on milk cartons, but Charlie probably ate them, carton and all.

theDuke's picture

Oh man, I remember that, "you give all that time for Charlie to draw up a game plan and he will flatten you" nonsense.  I was in Tempe for that marvelous game. ND. What a crime against college football.


SouthBayBuckeye's picture

"let's bump FUPAS!"


wait, is this not a caption contest? do I win a t-shirt?

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Is anyone else worried about being 0-10 against the SEC? I am. Call me a pessimist but I see us struggling against Florida. And Brax running for his life much like Troy did in 06.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

741's picture

The season I care about begins next spring. That said, I hope we win the Gator Bowl handily.

Poe McKnoe's picture

I expect a comedy of errors in this game.  It really is unimaginable that the Gators are AS BAD as Ohio State on offense, but their stats show it's so.


spqr2008's picture

As soon as I read this post, I can't stop thinking I want to see Bollman do "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid with Craft, Sully, and Diebler as backups.

onetwentyeight's picture



Charlie Weis as Ursula 




johnblairgobucks's picture

there may be more 3rd and 8's in this game than points scored.

Brutus's picture

Not sure i get all the doom and gloom about the offense going into the Florida game. We're coming off arguably our best offensive performance of the season. 34 points isn't exactly lighting the world on fire, but for this offense, it is. And we scored 34 points, which could easily have been 48, against a defense that statistically is not that far behind Florida and a little ahead of OSU. Florida may have a great defense, but they haven't exactly played a murderer's row of offenses in the SEC East. Don't get me wrong, I think the offense will be ugly on both sides, but I saw enough good things from the offense against scUM that I'm thinking that things are looking up, even with Bollman calling the shots. Am I the only one?

Irricoir's picture

Nope, I agree. Wont be 1st half of the Arkansas game but I don't think it will be 2011 Miami either.

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

gravey's picture

I think that was the best team of the Tressel Era.  The offense was explosive and the D was dominant.  Next year we were better known, but that team that destroyed ND was special.

johnblairgobucks's picture

TE drops TD vs Texas and OL couldn't block Tamba Hali. 2 losses by 10 total points. I would have liked to see Hawk, Schlegel and Lauriniatis chase Reggie Bush that year.  They handled Vince Young pretty well.  Almost KO'ed him in the 4th quarter.

cplunk's picture

^This. I think that OSU team was one of the best in history. If Troy had been the starter from the get go I think that was the real national championship team.

thatlillefty's picture

is Charlie Weis really that fat??? I hope that pic is photo-shopped

LABuckeye's picture

Yes he is. Do a google search for pics since he's been at Florida.