The Last Refuge of Failure

By Ramzy Nasrallah on January 9, 2012 at 1:58p
There heeeee goooooooes..there he gooooes agaaaaaaaaain...Bollman's journeyman career sprouted roots in Columbus.

This is not a wake. This is a celebration.

The Walrusball era at Ohio State officially passed when Urban Meyer astutely decided against retaining Jim Bollman, despite his lengthy tenure.

It was a merciful and unceremonious conclusion to his tenure, which was perpetuated only on account of his relationship with Jim Tressel. If his results mattered, Bollman would have been gone years ago.

Now that Boston College has hired the Buckeyes' ex-coordinator to be its offensive line coach, Ohio State's run of football frustration smudged by his fingerprints finally has its closure.

Bashing the Buckeye offense is not gratuitous or too played out. If anything, too many Buckeye fans do not fully realize to extent to which Bollman did everything but steal from Ohio State during his 11 years in Columbus.

Consider the following of the Buckeyes' outgoing OL coach: Since all of John Cooper's holdovers matriculated, Ohio State has finished in the bottom third of the NCAA in sacks allowed three times - and that's largely with mobile, athletic quarterbacks.

In that same period, three times the Buckeyes have been in the bottom third in allowing tackles for loss, the hallmark statistic for poor line play and telegraphed playcalling. Over those past seven seasons Ohio State's total offense has averaged a national ranking in the bottom half of all FBS schools despite recruiting classes that are the envy of 95% of those same programs.

Conservative offensive philosophies are predicated on prudent risk-taking and ball control, not going backwards. The single glaring deficiency throughout the gilded age of Tresselball was the offensive line, which was managed entirely by Bollman.

Since 2008 the Buckeye offense has required a quarterback with the athletic ability to bail out Bollman's line, whose depth has been as thin as its technique has been lacking in precision and discipline.

The hole that he leaves on Meyer's staff still has yet to be filled, and any metaphors about Bollman's successor having big shoes to fill do not apply here: The offensive line has been barefoot for the better part of the past decade.

And that's why this is a celebration: New shoes!

Unfortunately, the Buckeyes' new OL coach will also have his work cut out for him, as Bollman's parting gift to Ohio State is a roster so completely devoid of linemen that next year's depth chart will once again feature the same names twice: Once as a starter, and again - same player - as a backup elsewhere on the line.

Block O. There was no Block P. (not enough depth)Under Bollman offensive line depth, technique and discipline were lacking.

Bollman's replacement will arrive in Columbus and find that he has exactly two returning offensive tackles: Andrew Norwell, who is pretty good, and Antonio Underwood [uncomfortable silence].

Reid Fragel is moving from TE to OT, a position that he has never played, yet he is a shoe-in to be the starter opposite Norwell. Still think Bollman bashing is hyperbolic?

Corey Linsley is a solid guard and while Marcus Hall started at tackle, he does not appear to be a candidate to move back there from the outside. Brian Bobeck will be taking over at center for Michael Brewster. Jack Mewhort also returns at guard.

This is the fallout of Bollman's delinquency, where guards and tackles are interchangeable as a matter of constant, self-inflicted necessity. This your depth chart: Not even two full lines, otherwise known as the norm for Ohio State with Bollman.

Behind those guys are a couple of wholly-inexperienced players who physically appear to have adopted Bollman's "fatten 'em up and slow'em down" philosophy.

These players would not have received scholarships with Meyer running the program. As Bollman slow-played and failed to land better linemen, behind the Buckeye starters you will find former Plan C and Plan D recruits.

Aside from the dearth of warm bodies eligible to play along the line, there's the lack of development: Brewster arrived in Columbus as a pretty decent center, and that's exactly how he is leaving Ohio State.

defense wins championships
OSU Team sacks allowed total offense TFL Allowed
2011 118th 107th 104th
2010 46th 20th 43rd
2009 57th 68th 87th
2008 83rd 76th 89th
2007 29th 62nd 75th
2006 24th 26th 10th
2005 21st 32nd 7th
2004 91st 98th 60th
AVG 59th 61st 59th

Brewster's tells (head-bobbing, mostly) gave away the snap count on film; an obvious and terrible flaw that a competent coach should have noticed and fixed at some point during Brewster's 52-game career. Were it not for Terrelle Pryor's 6"6 frame and Braxton Miller's athletic ability, Brewster would be to bad snaps what his line mate JB Shugarts was to false starts.

It took a couple of seasons, but Mike Adams found his mean streak. He leaves Columbus still having fallen short of his tall expectations of developing into a poor man's Orlando Pace.

Like Alex Boone before them, both Brewster and Adams should improve immediately and significantly with competent instruction at the professional level.

What could you say about Shugarts that hasn't already been said a spit-second before the ball is snapped?

One of the great ironies of Bollman's coaching legacy at Ohio State was that while opponents regularly seemed to know the Buckeyes' snap count, Shugarts did not. He finished his Buckeye career with 25 false starts for 125 penalty yardage, an unofficial school record.

With each of the graduating members of 2008's Block O recruiting haul, there were no consequences to their failure to improve. Losing playing time was never a threat. Brewster, Adams and Shugarts had no competition for their jobs. Scandals were the biggest threat to playing time.

Those three seniors - all five-star recruits - finished their careers on the offensive line of 107th-ranked offense in the country despite having over 100 starts among them.

The first time Ohio State played Florida, the Gators' defensive linemen claimed after the game that they knew Ohio State's snap count. The second time Ohio State played Florida - five years to the week - the Gators again claimed they were ahead of the Buckeyes' play calls.

Just this season it was evident that both Michigan State and Penn State knew when Ohio State was going to snap the ball. Try and remember the amount of false start penalties the Buckeyes have had over the last decade and compare that with the number of times an Ohio State quarterback has successfully drawn the defense offside.

And that is why this is a celebration: Ohio State has always been capable of acquiring talent. With Bollman's departure after 11 years, that talent should multiply and actually begin to flourish.

As a teacher seemingly unaware of his own areas of improvement, Bollman's pupils followed his ignorance in kind. Aside from his friendship with Tressel, Troy Smith's development - courtesy of the late Joe Daniels - and Terrelle Pryor's alien athletic ability were Bollman's greatest coaching assets.

And that's to say nothing about his only year as the Buckeyes' official play caller. This is the offensive mind that routinely gave the ball to Jordan Hall between the tackles in short-yardage situations while running Carlos Hyde outside.

Success in Bollman's offense was predicated on the flawless execution of a terrible idea. "This is so stupid, the defense will never expect it."

Walrusball was a staunch believer in play-action on third and forever, which was a fairly standard assignment in his offense. Shorter passing routes were eschewed in favor of ones that took days to develop behind a line that cannot pass-block. It was perfectly-constructed failure.

Beginning in 2013 Bollman's assault on competent coaching and reasonable roster management should be a distant memory. The improvement that Meyer and his still to-be-named line coach bring will seem exaggerated by comparison.

Ohio State regularly finishing in the bottom half of the NCAA in critical offensive categories will once again seem unthinkable, rather than likely.

That's why this remembrance is a celebration. The decade-old tradition of gnashing teeth over Ohio State's line is finally concluding.

Bollman is eating into Boston College's overhead now. This is the dawn of a new era in line play that will be both competent and diverse, two elements the Buckeyes have sorely lacked for too long.

And despite this looming renaissance, it's still defense that wins championships. Bollman's departure simply means that the Silver Bullets should finally have a capable partner in that endeavor instead of an unwilling adversary.


Comments Show All Comments

flipbuckeye's picture

"If the devil were to explode, and evil was gone forever, what sort of party would you have?" - Michael Scott

Johnnycake's picture

If he is as bad as you say then why would Boston College hire him? They have produced a number of NFL OL and love to run the football. BTW I am speaking about him as an OL coach and not Offensive Coordinator. Believing that he doesn't know how to instruct or coach the OL is far fetched in my mind.



Miller's picture

I'm sorry -are you a Buckeye fan, or paid any attention whatsoever to the line play from this team? If so, have you noticed the ridiculous number of bad penalties they've received? These are 4 and 5 star guys-our line has (had) major problems; to me, that's definitely on Bollman.

Squirrel Master's picture

not to mention JB Shugarts not getting replaced or better for that matter. If you can't teach a player how to stay on the snap count, what good is he.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Irricoir's picture

Really, I know this is sedistic of me, but I wish I would have seen Shugarts play for Saban. Could you imagine Sabans head exploding? It probably would look something like Kelly, after 25 false starts in a career. I mean, I sat through games just waiting for the Shug-starts to happen. When I saw a flag, I knew exactly whose number they were calling next. I felt like this after every Shug-start.

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

Squirrel Master's picture

we practically stand up and high five everytime he false started! it was expected at least twice a game. especially at the most important time too.

but really I give him a portion of the blame. How can a coach not see that either he needs to learn a trick or something or just should not be out there. he was left out there to be the clown or scape goat!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

MediBuck's picture

Maaaaan. How am I gonna impress my non-college-football-watching friends anymore when they come over to see me watch an OSU game and I'm miraculously able to call out "False Start, Number 76" without even having watched the TV when the flag comes down?

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

NC_Buckeye's picture

It finally sank into me how bad of an o-line coach Bollman is/was during the 2008 Youngstown State game. The Penguin d-line was consistently getting into the Buckeye backfield. If it wasn't every play, it was at least every other play. Johnnycake, do you realize how much of a mismatch that should have been?

Yes, Bollman IS that bad. Good luck BC; you're going to need it.

buckeyedude's picture

I think Bollman got the job at BC solely based on his association with The Ohio State Buckeyes. I guess BC figures, "if he was good enough for Ohio State all those years, he should be good enough for us."



JLP36's picture

Gene Smith: The Bollman of ADs still is employed by The Ohio State University.  At least we got to take part in the Gator Bowl


BucksfanXC's picture

Thanks Ramzy for using the mouse-overs. But a sarcastic "thanks" for causing that song to be "racing through my brain."

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

builderofcoalitions's picture

I thought Ed Warinner was the new OL coach.

Because we couldn't go for three.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

That's the word, but he & Hinton are not official just yet.

NC_Buckeye's picture

Ramzy, any idea on what the hold-up is on Hinton and Warriner? Is it money?

bassplayer7770's picture

At this point, we'd still have to kill you if we told you...  ;-p

dlcjmc7993's picture

Outstanding article Ramzy!!! I never understood how somebody as incompetent as Jim Bollman was able to hold a job as long as he did.

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when Urban to him his services were no longer needed?

I think calling him incompetent is generous. My bad!!


Denny's picture

A wake, you say?

The cadillac stood by the house/and the Eagles were within

And the Buckeye Boys they hissed advice/'Hot-wire Dave with a pin'

We turned and shook as we had a look/In the room where the dead man lay

So big Bollman made his last trip/To the home where his career laid

Fifteen Minutes later/We had our first taste of whiskey

There were Tressels giving lectures/On ancient Buckeye histr'y

The men all started telling jokes/And the women they got frisky

At five o'clock in the evening/Every Buckeye there was piskey

Far thee well going away/There's nothing left to say

Fare the weel to Boston College Jim/To Beantown M-A

He took them out/With a poorly-run out

He was often heard to say

'I'm a free-born man of the U-S-Dave'


onetakedizzle's picture

oh man I'm so glad this happened on this thread

Send you to OSU Hospital / You'll need a buck nurse...

Tony's picture

Thanks to Ramzy, I now read the first letter of everything everyone writes.

Denny's picture



6stringSteve's picture

I think you should recieve a Pulitzer for this article.


Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Brewster would be to bad snaps what his line mate JB Shugarts was to false starts.

One of the great ironies of Bollman's coaching legacy at Ohio State was that while opponents regularly seemed to know the Buckeyes' snap count, Shugarts did not.

Success in Bollman's offense was predicated on the flawless execution of a terrible idea. "This is so stupid, the defense will never expect it."


Three of the funniest lines I've seen on this site!!! I now have to grab some towels and clean off my monitor since I was drinking coffee when I read this article.

Most excellent piece of work and I somehow feel vindicated and relieved that I was not the only other person screaming at the TV every game in the last 10 years!  This coming year will be very very strange for most of us since we will actually have an offense that is unpredictable and give defensive coordinators fits! 


The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

SPreston2001's picture

Lol I agree that was hilarious!! Im so excited to see the tired old trash being removed from Ohio State football!! Let the Meyer era begin!!

cplunk's picture

Everything here is so bang on true. Well written.

Maestro's picture

I look forward to a new page in the Buckeye offensive playbook so to speak.

vacuuming sucks

439LawDog's picture

"Gene Smith: The Bollman of ADs still is employed by The Ohio State University.  At least we got to take part in the Gator Bowl"


Just curious but if we had fallen on our sword and refused the bowl this year, would the NCAA taken away the bowl next year????


bassplayer7770's picture

We will never truly know the answer to that question.

Jdadams01's picture

The scariest thing to me is how bad would our line have been this year without three 5 star recruits? Those lineman are playing on basically the same ability that they graduated highschool with.

RBuck's picture

I knew the offensive stats listed were bad but not that bad. Sadly, the walrus will still live with us next season because he left the cupboard bare on the OL.

Long live the southend.

SPreston2001's picture

I cant get any worse than the Walrus lol. Man he sucked!! Our offense should begin to flourish now that he's gone....

Squirrel Master's picture

If I could dance a Jig I would! If I never see a DAVE again it would be too soon! Can't remember the last time OSU had at least 2 first round draft picks and that should be the norm with the talent OSU brings in.

Bollman is gone! sweet words!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

+1 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

2009: Malcolm Jenkins and Beanie Wells.

2007: Ted Ginn Jr and Anthony Gonzalez

2006: Donte Whitner, Nick Mangold, AJ Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, Santonio Holmes

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

Squirrel Master's picture

so 3 years ago and they were skill players not linemen. how about that only 2 linemen start for an NFL team, Mangold being probably the only good one.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Squirrel Master's picture

btw, just saying its not enough. should be turning out way more.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

+1 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

I understand... just giving you the actual data.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

BTwrestle04's picture

Holy shit @ 2006. That's impressive. Obligatory F#@$ Florida.

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Unless I'm wrong, those guys were drafted in 2006 and therefore didn't play Florida.  But yes I will allow the F*ck Florida anyways, haha.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

Estrada's picture

Yeah, that's more of a f*ck PSU year.  But by the bowl game, that 2005 team was a well-oiled machine.

SPreston2001's picture

Even with that talent that left in 06 we still probably wouldnt have stood a chance against Florida. Bollman and Tres refused to recruit a faster/leaner oline. They were content with having big slow beef patties which is ok but at some point you need tackles who can handle speed on the outside...

Bucksfan's picture

I tried looking into how many O-linemen Ohio State has sent to the NFL over the last couple of decades, thinking Bollman is so awful that there must have been a severe dropoff.  It turns out I don't think it's any different this decade than in previous decades.  Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.  But, I don't think Ohio State, despite having great line play over the years, has really been amazing in terms of churning out NFL linemen like we'd all like to think.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

They weren't pancake or LaCharles good save for the best NFL talent out of OSU Mangold.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Ramzy: as usual, an amusing post, in part because you like to exaggerate a wee bit, which raises the humor quotient, but sometimes skews the analyses and/or leads to contradictions.

For example, we all know Bollman was a poor OL coach, but if he were as atrocious as you suggest, then we wouldn't need to worry about 2012 OL depth.

After all, you suggested that the graduating Brewcrew members, all three former 5-star recruits, "should improve immediately and significantly with competent instruction at the professional level." Well, if Urban Meyer hires competent instruction for the 2012 OL, then we should expect the massive upgrade in instructional quality to generate immediate and significant improvement from formerly highly-rated recruits Bobek, Hall, Linsley, Mewhort, and Norwell. Moreover, we'd also expect enough immediate and significant improvement from the 3-star guys currently on the roster (Brown, Carter, Underwood) plus the incoming frosh to provide much needed depth.

We both know it's not that easy, although I do expect the 2012 OL to be better than the 2011 version.

+1 HS
Maestro's picture

Well said.  Glad that we are turning over a new leaf, but I will wait to see future results to determine how atrocious Bollman really was.

vacuuming sucks

William's picture

I'd have to look up the exact numbers but OSU attempted somewhere around 220 passes and allowed 47-50 sacks, and Notre Dame attempted around 470 passes and only allowed 17 sacks all season. Warinner is a HUGE upgrade from Bollman, but you are right in that we must wait and see how well he develops the current players

Maestro's picture

and I would put a good chunk of those sacks on the QB holding the ball for too long or not staying in the pocket.  The line can't block the entire field.  Also the shorter passing game and having Michael Floyd to bail out the QB is nothing to ignore.  Certainly I expect improvement, but I will take a wait and see approach.

vacuuming sucks

bassplayer7770's picture

So maybe we should blame Bollman AND Siciliano?  ;-p

William's picture

Agreed. A lot of those sacks can also be placed on the fact that our WRs got literally no seperation all year, forcing Miller to either hold onto the ball and hope someone gets open, or takeoff. Then again a competent QB coach would have taught him to throw away the ball, or a competent OC would have made plays that ran short routes that didn't take long to develop and were much more surefire than 15-20 yard out routes or the like.

bassplayer7770's picture

Here are the stats I've found comparing ND to tOSU:

ND had 473 pass attempts and allowed 17 sacks; OSU had 245 attempts and allowed...wait for it...46 sacks...

Defend Youngstown's picture

The fact that Ohio State has more players in the NFL than any other team, but only two offensive linemen starting (plus Jim Cordle backing up the Giants), tells you all you need to know about the Bollman era. I'm looking forward to not being sick of our march of 5 star recruits underperforming while 3 star Ohio recruits go to Wisconsin and Iowa and wind up being All-Americans.

Maestro's picture

Not sure that's accurate on the most players in the NFL thing, but there really aren't that many offensive players overall on NFL rosters from Ohio State.

vacuuming sucks

Ethos's picture

Actually I think Texas holds that mark.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

William's picture

Nope Miami does. We're second, and USC is third.

cplunk's picture

^^ This is correct- Miami, then us, then USC. It sounds strange to say because Tressel achieved a legandary amount, but his teams underperfomed compared to their talent.

Squirrel Master's picture

overall draft picks, the most is held by Notre Dame with USC second and OSU third. Since the draft was reduced to 7 rounds in 1994, OSU has the most with 105 draft picks. Info by

Miami has the most first round draft picks total!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Run_Fido_Run's picture

On current NFL rosters, 45 total players from Ohio State: 25 defense, 18 offense, 2 special teams.

There are six Buckeye OLmen on NFL rosters and one blocking TE (Hartsock) versus only five DLmen, although maybe more of the DL guys are starters (?). Only one QB (TP), but seven WRs. 

The best represented positions, given their typical numbers on the field, are CBs, safeties, LBs. The worst represented positions are OT (one) but also DT (one).

My guess is that the apparent dearth of Buckeye OLmen in the NFL is not statistically signficant. In other words, we might expect - given that Ohio State is a top 10 program - a range of something like 4 to 8 NFL OLmen (again, just guessing). The actual number (6) might fall in the expected range. USC has graduated seven current NFL OLmen; Miami FL has eight. If we look at starters, Ohio State might look worse by comparison, but keep in mind that we'd expect some "natural" fluctuations within different position groups, which would not all be attributable to college recruiting & coaching.

For example, we probably wouldn't perceive Miami, FL as being terrible at producing DTs, yet there is only one 'Canes DT on a current NFL roster. Miami also has two RBs and two DEs, but five TEs and 9 LBs.      

Maestro's picture

Solid, thanks.

vacuuming sucks

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

IMO OSU put out the best center currently playing in the NFL.

Ethos's picture

Na,na,naaaa,na.  Na,na,naaaa,na.  Hey Hey Hey, GOOD BYYEEEE


and thank god..

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Great article and explains a lot of the frustration we have seen over the last 7 years in particular. Let's be nice and offer Bolls and some of our more tat-infused seniors a few parting gifts. For Bolls, a copy of Pop Warners Offensive Football strategies first published in 1929 so that he van update his offensive philosophies. For the seniors: A piece of twine for Brewster that connects his neck to his "neather" parts so that he doesn't bob his head on the snap count - Woody would have made him use that. For JB "FalShugarts", a video on how to do Kegel exercises so you don't continue to do other things prematurely in your life. For Mike Adams, A signed Sandra Bullock DVD of "The Blind Side" to see how it's done right. For Boom Herron, some pine tar to hold on to the ball a little better. For Devier Posey, a GPS system so you can find your way through life a little better. For all the seniors who didn't stay to sing Carmen Ohio one last time with your team mates after the game, some perspective and class (thank you Nathan Williams for showing what leadership is - I believe you and Shazier were the only players who did stay and sing). Sorry for the rant fellow Buckeyes. Much like Chris Farley choking on a piece of steak during the famous "Da-Bulls" SNL skit, I had to knock my chest a few times to get this blob of meat and fat known as the 2011 OSU football season to go down the gullet and digest - slight heart attack, I'm OK now, thanks for the Heimlich Urban.There, I feel better.....


Ethos's picture

Don't forget you also got a nice shot of adrenaline from keeping Fickel and Vrabel.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

timdogdad's picture

i hope no one had a child two years ago when we ran  the ball well and named their child dave after the play.  that's like a hollywood actor sticking their child with a stupid name.  "so dave, you were named after an ohio state play that basically sucked?   ah no, i was named after my uncle dave"     

SouthernBuck's picture

The only negative I see with Bollman leaving is that my wife will no longer think I am a football genius because I could tell her what play we would run next.  She was always so amazed with my skills. "Honey, why don't you look into coaching?"  Dang!

+1 HS
phxbuck's picture

haha, good point. 

Squirrel Master's picture

lol. The Nostradamus of Bollman ball. haha

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

+1 HS
Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Kinda like being the lightest at the 1000lbs and over club

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

NYC Buckeye's picture

hah... funny stuff Southern...

phxbuck's picture

I get absolutely no pleasure knocking Tressel but this is his fault.  He was a control freak that kept inept people around him that would be happy following rather than leading.  As a Head Coach, a CEO, or a person in a leadership role you need too and should want to hire people for your team that are just as smart or smarter than you are that share the same ambition.  It is the character of a weak person to surround yourself with lemmings with no ability to challenge your tactics and philosophies.  

I do not want to take away from Tressel's success because he won a lot of games.  But what he did not do was create a situation where the program would be better off after he was gone, which should be at the top of the list especially at a program with the history and prestige as Ohio State. 

+1 HS
timdogdad's picture

this season will be completly worth it because we have purged our inept coaches and a player philsophy of entitlement, our compliance is at 100% attention, and our new head coach and staff will get the best out of the team.  everything is getting fixed. no more team that runs dave, gives up special teams td's,  has players who don't think it's wrong to take booster $$, etc.   won't it be great to be up 10 pts in the 4th qtr and not just run dave to kill 12 minutes of playing time?   the sugar bowl was a microcosm of a program that needed a purging. plenty of talent to take a big lead(with players who got in trouble and should have not have played)  running dave to kill the whole 2nd half and letting the opponent back in the game, and then almost blowing it with a special teams blunder. 

+1 HS
BrewstersMillions's picture

God that picture of Adams, Brewster, and Shug kills me. 15 total stars? All three under achieved. You book end your line with 5 stars and put a 5 star in the middle, you should run through, over, and around teams at will. Good enough players but they could have done so much more...

superbuck's picture



NYC Buckeye's picture

No easy task, you put our feelings towards Bollman into words, harsh words, actually very harsh words, maybe even too harsh...  lol   

(would be curious to get Justin Boren thoughts on Bollman, compared to whoever was coaching Michigans line before he came to Columbus)

I am MORE than glad he is gone though... 

socalbucks's picture

God help BC. Just when I feel like I might be too hard on Bollman, i remember that it has been obvious to me since the loss to Northwestern in 2004 that the guy was incompetent. And I know basically nothing about football. The man is /was grossly incompetent.  Jimmy, not sorry to see you go and only wish it had been sooner. If Tress were not so loyal, and without your "contributions" maybe he would have had his second BCS ring prior to 2010 and self-reported the memorabilia for disoucnted tats when he got that first e-mail form Mr. Cicero.  

sathey's picture

After reading this article I now hate Bollman even more! Ha!

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I didn't think that was possible but I agree!  My hatred of this man is now even larger!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

sathey's picture

I'm still at a loss as to how he kept his job! My theory is: He knew some of the crooked things Tressel was up to and was kept so he would keep his mouth shut! Along with some other incompetant coaches!

poop's picture

I thought that Jim Cordle got royally screwed by Bollman's philosophy of interchangeable linemen. I'm pretty sure he played all three positions on the line (one for every year he started) and made it work most of the time. He's holding down a spot in the NFL despite this. I can't help but think he would have been an All-American with a good line coach and 3-4 years to get better at one position. Oh well, goodbye Walrus.

argyle182021's picture

Ignorant question: What skills differentiate a quality collegaite OL guard from and OL tackle?

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Nutshell responsibilities:

Tackles - create passing pocket, down blocking/second level blocking, swinging out on screens (cue laughter track)

Guards - pulling, trapping, run-blocking at the point of attack/blowing through the hole on Dave and wiping out the interior of the DL on rushing plays.

Without getting too technical, that's what they do. Recruiting too few linemen to learn all positions dilutes the effectiveness of mastering one and having depth. Just a disastrous roster management and OL philosophy and the numbers prove it.

Abe Froman's picture

A cathartic piece Ramzy.  I read this while at work and it rang it my head like the one test in college which I took and actually aced.  Sure it was in Psychology and not electromagnetics (got B's in that one), but the assurance that I felt when I read the posting and I knew.... I knew that I was in alignment with the universe.  We all have felt this about Bollman, wondering why for Christ's sake we can't seem to find a Korey Stringer, Orlando Pace or even a LeCharles Bentley.  Sure, I'll give you Mangold and he was definitely a strong center.  But at tackle, it has been decades since we have been able to blow someone off the Line of Scrimmage.  Zone blocking?  I'll leave it.  I'll take someone driving with all of their might in one direction. 

"Try and remember the amount of false start penalties the Buckeyes have had over the last decade and compare that with the number of times an Ohio State quarterback has successfully drawn the defense offside."

This wondered about often.  I would say that over the past 3 years, we have had a total of less than 5 offsides.  Now, as I sit down and reflect on the piece, after driving home from work, stopping at Mosley's Meats for some fleshy joy, playing with the daughter and cleaning up a bit, it is time to post my Thank You.


Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

jbirmmd's picture

What an excellent article and summary of the offensive problems this team has faced in the past 10 years.  Also a pretty good explanation for why OSU is not sitting with another 1-2 NC's at this time. 

What is truly amazing is the success we were able to have despite this GLARING weakness/deficiency. 



biggy84's picture

Bollman was always so smug too! His interview after the bowl game was classic Bollman. He always thinks he is the smartest guy in the room and that he is superior. I hope he takes his cocktail napkin (playbook) with him.

BuckeyeMark's picture

someone objected to Bollman being that bad by asking why BC hired him.  ever heard of the good ol' boy network?  coaches have friends everywhere and they take care of each other.  I'm sure Bollman connects with someone at BC from somewhere.

I remember after the Debacle in the Desert it was revealed we don't even have blocking sleds to train on.  wow.  just wow.  and somehow he held his job...

SPreston2001's picture

Wow are you serious? No blocking sleds?? Wow!!! Im at a loss for words... Goodbye Walrus!!!

nickma71's picture

Good write up. I was far more pissed with the woeful line play than Tressel ball. Tressel ball as it is called now, worked for Woody Hayes. Go watch some fine video on youtube of the surge of our offensive lines past.

razrback16's picture

Great article and spot-on. I will bookmark this article so I can come back and re-read it over the next few years for comparison's sake. Bollman was by the far the worst offensive line coach and coordinator I have EVER seen. As you said toward the end, he's Boston College's problem now, thank GOD. Can't believe this inept clown made ~$300k per year. It essentially equates to theft...or rather stupidity on Ohio State's part for keeping him on the payroll past 2003/2004 when it was obvious he had no idea how to coach the offensive line and especially to recruit it.

GoBucksArchie45's picture

Dead on Ramzy--I couldn't have said it any better.