Return of the Alpha Males

By Matt Finkes on March 20, 2012 at 4:00p

I had the chance to take in a workout a couple weeks ago and could not be happier by what is transpiring at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Without getting too political, I think we have all seen the days of personal accountability pass us by for the entitlement attitude. One could argue all the issues the team had last year were a direct result of an entitlement attitude among coaches and players alike. But fear not Buckeye fans, times they are a changin'.

In my days at OSU, the "Iron Sharpens Iron" principle was prevalent. Vrabel and I were better because we went against Korey Stringer and Orlando Pace everyday in practice drills. Shawn Springs was better because he went against Terry Glenn in one-on-ones. That competition is embraced by the high level and passionate players who make a difference on your team and, quite frankly, separates the men from the boys.

That type of competition had been scarce recently, but no more. It is a "step into the ring or you are not a man" mentality that is crucial in football, and Urban Meyer is bringing it back. You attend a workout session now and it is pure Darwinism, and it shows no signs of letting up.

There have already been discussions of how things will work this spring with more competition in practice and rewards for winners with a stigma being placed on losers: lavender jerseys, no Gatorade, bad grub, etc. Rightfully so. There should be shame and disgrace in losing and not performing up to your potential.

I and many others gave everything we had to Ohio State in our four years. I pushed myself to exhaustion and collapsed in off-season workouts. I fought and clawed and scratched for every inch in practice and in games. We, as program alumni, expect each member of the current team to do the same.

I absolutely love the edge to the new staff. I'm sure there is a more eloquent way to put this but I am a novice writer so here you go: It is a staff of alpha males. They are young and hungry and there is no dead weight.

There is a feeling, I believe, that it is no longer an "old boys network" to getting a job at Ohio State. We can demand the best and if you're not cutting it, someone else will.

There is a competition and rivalry again between the offensive and defensive staffs and it is intense and relentless. Believe me when I say that mentality transfers down to the players. Fred Pagac was one of my favorite coaches and he exuded this. He would yell and nearly come to blows with offensive staff members during competitions. You could tell he would put pads on and get in there if he could (some of the current staff certainly can) and it made you want to succeed. When players and coaches train like gladiators, you are not just creating a team mentality but a losing will not be tolerated culture.

There is a level of intensity that is palpable at the Woody, and it is great to have that feeling again from everyone. Let's face it, last year was embarrassing. The new staff is dead-set on not allowing something like that to happen again and Urban and his coaches have made it clear to the football alumni that the pride and tradition of The Ohio State University football program will be restored, sooner rather than later.

Matt Finkes, an All-American defensive end for Ohio State from 1993-1996, is an Eleven Warriors contributor.


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BuckeyeJim's picture

Very nice article. Thanks for the inside information Matt. This is the kind of thing that gets me fired up about the upcoming season and for years to come. With the talent that tOSU recruits, the expectations are going to be off the charts for fans, players, and coaches.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Mr. Finkes, don't sell yourself short. You're a very good writer. Your post was fun to read and got me fired up about football two days before the Buckeyes bballers play in the Sweet 16.

Okay, who am I kidding? It's not that hard for me to get fired up about football in March, but this post was inspiring nonetheless.

Ohio1St81's picture

Great perspective, you really provide an insight we just don't see as fans. I'm so happy with the new culture growing with the team. 

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BrewstersMillions's picture

There are a lot of teams who won't be happy with this new culture. Let the fake bravado go on all you want, dudes in Madison and Ann Arbor and East Lansing. OSU is coming for you. They are going to pillage your teams, burn the stadiums to the ground, salt the earth behind them, and rape the horses and ride off on the women.

Ok maybe not that much but what OSU is going to be under this regime will totally revolutionize the B1G out of sheer necessity. Teams will either step their game up to match OSU's or watch helplessly each year and beg to whatever god they believe in for Meyer and Co. to take their foot off the accelerator. Teams will be made acutely aware of their inferiority to OSU. Teams will know exactly how many points worse they are than OSU and we as Buckeye fans need to embrace a level of hatred even the longest-in-the-tooth of us are unaccustomed to. You think things are bad now? Wait for the outcry when Meyer hangs 60 on Indiana and gets heat from people about it, then follows that up by hanging 50 on some other unsuspecting group of buffoons. We will be faster, meaner, and hungrier under Meyer than anything any of our opponents have ever seen. He's going to mix the best of the B1G with the best of the SEC and the resulting cocktail will terrify the rest of the conference.



klfeck's picture

"rape the horses and ride off on the women"

LMFAO-much safer to do it this way in Madison



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

Johnny Ginter's picture

i'm a high school teacher, and in the reality of my situation, a darwinist philosophy is completely terrible. my job is to make it so that all kids can find success, and if one kid fails then i feel pretty terrible about myself.

BUT OSU football isn't a freaking history class, it's a premier college football team. there should be no favors because you're a good dude or extra time to finish a task because you've got other stuff on your plate.

academically, personally, sure: mentor a kid, help them make the right choices, make sure they go to class. but on the practice field and in the weight room? either they do it or they don't. the best ones play, everyone else sits the bench. the end.

Jason Priestas's picture

Beat it, pinko.

buckeye76BHop's picture

Wow...I'm a H.S. teacher too...but I know how to use capital letters...hope you're not an English teacher.  You obviously didn't play football's all about competition with your peers...otherwise they'd call it soccer.  Please please get fired up if you're a Buckeye's the best thing for your soul.  Did Johnny get fired, quit or something...?  Unreal how much of a Debby downer or captain bring down and the buzz killers he is if he didn't...The End.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

William's picture

You may want to take a look at the commenting policy. Also Johnny never said anything that in essence disagrees with your viewpoint, try and work on your reading comprehension. As for your dig at soccer, try and educate yourself on a sport before you go and make ridiculous statements like you just did. 

buckeyefanatic's picture

For a high school teacher, you sure don't know how to read!  Try it again, this time don't rush to making comments that will make you look foolish.

How many batteries does it take to beat Michigan football?   1AA
Want to beat Michigan? There's an App for that.

Poison nuts's picture


"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

ThirdLegLouie's picture

If I could down vote that post, I would- obvious that you didn't even take the time to read Johnny's post, but rather, rushed to share your "witty" comment with everyone. Fail. 

If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target

Jason Priestas's picture

Johnny didn't get fired. I just hope he doesn't fire me!


Denny's picture

You may know how to use capital letters, but your ellipses usage isn't quite on-point.


acBuckeye's picture

A H.S. teacher with a pic of a kid flipping the bird for everyone to see. Classy.

Rooster Buckburn's picture

As a fellow teacher I must say that there isn't a whole lot teachers can do when they have students, and worse-parents, who don't give a rats whisker about their child's academics. That's why judging teachers by test scores is one of the poorest ways to evaluate them, but alas. . .

btalbert25's picture

I hear you, my wife teaches in an inner city district in one of Ohio's biggest cities, and some of the stuff she tells me just floors me.  Kids coming into kindergarten that can't count to 10, have no idea how to identify colors, can't identify the letters in their names, and on and on.  Then the parents only send them to school a couple of days a week.  It's sad,

Rooster Buckburn's picture

Exactly, when you have some kids who can't even hold a pencil and you realize your livelihood may rest on them even passing a test...yikes. I've come up with the idea that ties the parents property tax to their child's progress in school - the better the child does in school, the better the property tax discount. It would work similar to the discounts that auto insurance companies give to honor students. This could possibly incentivize some of these worthless parents to actually get involved at least a little bit with their child's school life (at least). God forbid they'd get their fat behinds off the couch and be a parent. Rant over.

yrro's picture

Hah, we've been doing things backwards all along with the attempts to incentivize work by paying students. Freakonomics needs to be paying parents!

Johnny Ginter's picture

by far the saddest and most frustrating aspect of my job is watching some potentially great kids get completely and utterly screwed by their horrible parents. like, 90% of the time i can't even get mad at the stuff they do because i know the adults in their lives are some of the worst role models imaginable

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Thanks Matt.    I love hearing that kind of stuff being said about the program especially from former players.  You, Vrable and Fickell were absolutle beasts and certainly know whats up, so to hear it from almost feel bad for the poor souls who line up against us....I can't wait to watch our Buckeyes kick the living $H1T out of everyone!!!!!

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

btalbert25's picture

Every time I read stuff about the staff, and just things Urban says it makes me want to strap on pads and go hit someone!  I never even played football!  I've never been so excited about Buckeye football.  I don't know if it was the bad year we just experienced on and off the field, or just frustration over the years of this team failing to put teams away, but I'm jacked about the Meyer era starting.  For once, I'll be happy to have a football team that gives people reasons to hate Ohio State!  Can't wait to see 60 and 70 point scores.

Woody4's picture

I completely understand...   Iron Sharpens Iron;  its as true in life, as is in the gym, or on the field.  These boys are becoming men.   They're obviously hungry for it,  & I'm heartened to see our staff lead these future men in the right direction.  Only good came come from this!

Btw, Matt... I thought it was a great read.  Thank you.

Matt Finkes's picture

One of the things I liked best about Coop was that he would hang 50 pts on you and if you had a problem with it at the post game hand were the a$$hole.  It has frustrated me since Tress took over.  The Lou Holtz "aw schucks", we'll squeak this one out against a very good (3-8) Navy squad killed me every time!  Or when we have a 7 pt lead with 12 min to go in the 3rd, it was time to shut the offense down.  Joe Pa had no problem hanging 63 on us in '94.  I know the mentality on that team now will be "when we get you down we are gonna stand on your neck till you stop twitching".  That's how it should be. 

btalbert25's picture

That attitude is what wins championships.  The SEC teams that have won titles the last 6 years all have it.  Tressel's teams never did.  Granted it was successful and did bring a title to Columbus, but they could've been much much better over that time.

I like Meyer because I seem him as a combination of Tressel and Cooper.  He'll make sure he wins the games that matter like Michigan and bowl games, but he'll be relentless in recruiting and like you said, beat you be 50 and in the post game handshake make you look like the jerk.  He's not concerned with gentleman's agreements and rubbing people the wrong way, and I like it.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Feel free to tackle someone anytime you don't want 50 hung on you. No one is forcing the defense to stop playing either.

NC_Buckeye's picture

As long as we hang 60 on Gravy Hoke and knock out Nard's teeth for that cereal-eating bullshit then I'll be one happy Buckeye.

phxbuck's picture

Great article, this is getting me more and more pumped for this year.  I have slowly stopped caring about the bowl ban and started getting just as excited for the opportunity to piss in everyones cheerios.  I can only imagine how great it would be to beat mitchagain and spoil their shot at going to a BCS game or a National Championship. 


SaintTressel's picture

"There should be shame and disgrace in losing and not performing up to your potential."

There should be shame and disgrace in failing to give maximum effort, not in defeat.

Doc's picture


Thank you so much for your insight.  I can not wait for this season to get started.  I've had my tickets for the Spring Game since they went on sale.  This year is definetely going to be different.  I can not wait to see what carnage is to come.  Hanging 50-60-70 points on a team was what was fun about the Cooper years.  Show no mercy, and give no quarter.  I've been so inspired by the new staff and off season workouts I personally have dropped 15 pounds.  No more fatsos on or off the field. ;)  Great article and nicely written.  I'm looking forward to your next one.

Go Bucks!


CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

buckz4evr's picture

Doc: "I've been so inspired by the new staff and off season workouts I personally have dropped 15 pounds.  No more fatsos on or off the field. ;) "

Good one!!


FortMeyer's picture

Thanks for writing this Matt. Hope to see alot more in the future. Your insight helps to shape things for us in a way that takes all us fanatics inside the loop. Anything you can give us will be soaked up like a sponge. We all love it. You're absolutely spot on Tressel letting up with a seven point lead. Drove my dad and I nuts! Screaming (not violently, controllably screaming if such a thing exists) at the TV for them to run something offensively that would move the ball. And the punt.....oh the punt! The greatest play in football? I appreciated what Tress gave us but I LOVE what we have now. And we have Matt Finkes to bring us into the fold! Thanks again for the great article.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Matt - I had a feeling that would be the new attitude when Urban came to town and I harkened back to the days of Woody's ass kicking practices and toughness!  I cannot wait to see this team come out and devour whatever poor slob dare stands in the way or OSU goals!!!

One a side note - I LOVED when you, Vrabel and Fickell were crushing offenses!!!  Great great great team!!!

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

Irricoir's picture

Now this is my type of attitude. Nice read and nice mentality. When the dust settles the alpha male prevails. No hiding behind a keyboard or whitty remarks, no "speak my mind with no thought to how it makes the recipient feel", no more weakness. This is football baby! It gets settled on the field!

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

buckeye76BHop's picture

I don't know about many others here who read this...but I felt like putting pads back on and running someone over!  Thanks for the inside info Matt and this makes me VERY EXCITED to see the spring game.  I'm glad it's an us against them with the Off. and Defense.  It makes competition better between players as opposed to just getting it due to seniority and it will show on the field.  Not to mention...I guarantee they'll be in MUCH better shape.   GO BUCKS!

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Steve Earle Bruce Springsteen's picture

Alpha males, baby!


Damn beta males, only winning 81% of their games. 

The North remembers.

pcon258's picture

and now im imagining every single member of the osu coaching staff as brucie, and it makes me really want to sit in on some practices this spring


ARMYBUCK's picture

Great article Matt.  I remember watching You, Vrabel and Fickel like it was yesterday.  One of my favorite defenses of all time.  I love the attitude that is sweeping through the WHAC and it truly seems to me its in all Facets from recruiting to the weight room. Im absolutely pumped to see this product on the field!


@ BREWSTERSMILLIONS,  While I try not to say anything unless its positive, I just cant help myself this time.  Your first paragraph had me grimacing and shaking my head.  A little over the top, for sure, joking or not. 

buckeyedude's picture

Grimacing @ BREWSTERSMILLIONS? LOL. Grow a couple.

I thought it was funny as shit.



BrewstersMillions's picture

My apologies Army, I was just stressing the idea that Meyer doesn't want to simply win, he wants to leave teams lifeless. Also, I guess the Three Amigos reference went over your head. Again, sorry.

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

I can't wait for this season. Any word on Nathan Williams? Hope he gets healthy. 

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

guypersonguy's picture


sounds like barwis is runnin that joint

BuckeyeChris's picture

Well done, Matt. You continue to make us Piquads proud.

You hit the nail on the had with the "shutting down the offense... " reference. I wish I had the time to do it, but looking back at the Sugar Bowl win against Arkansas, I would just love to know how many times (back to BGSU) an Urban Meyer-led team blew an 18 point lead at the half. 

I look forward to never again seeing DAVE run over-and-over again, in a needlessly close game. 


Hoody Wayes's picture

For you guys who were not around to experience "The Ten-Year War", Urban Meyer is like Woody Hayes.

pcon258's picture

godamnit i dont think i could love urban meyer any more. i was curious as to how this mentality was different from other teams, and i guess now i know. urban renewal is well underway

bucknut24's picture

I can't wait to hear the whining from the other coaches and fans when they are destroyed on the field.  Urban ain't takin no prisoners and I love it.

BuckeyeVet's picture

Hoody Wayes - Exactly my thinking. The rebirth of Hayes' nasty attitude. If he wasn't beating Northwestern, Indiana, etc.. by 42 - 0 he was NOT happy. Look at a typical set of scores for that era - no taking the foot off the gas & no mercy!

1973-Ohio State

9/15 vs. *Minnesota (7-4) W 56 7
9/29 vs. Texas Christian (3-8) W 37 3
10/6 vs. Washington State (5-6) W 27 3
10/13 @ *Wisconsin (4-7) W 24 0
10/20 @ *Indiana (2-9) W 37 7
10/27 vs. *Northwestern (4-7) W 60 0
11/3 @ *Illinois (5-6) W 30 0
11/10 vs. *Michigan State (5-6) W 35 0
11/17 vs. *Iowa (0-11) W 55 13
11/24 @ *Michigan (10-0-1) T 10 10
1/1 vs. Southern California (9-2-1) W 42 21 @ Pasadena, CA Rose Bowl
   Record 10-0-1
   Cummulative pts OSU - 413 Opponents - 64

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

Brutus's picture

Nice work Matt, but as I was reading this all I could keep thinking is that there was a time when we had guys like Vrabel, Finkes, Fickell, and Springs on one side of the ball and Stringer, Pace, and Glenn on the other. Man, Cooper could recruit. I was actually sorry to see him go. It needed to be done and it couldn't have turned out better for us, but I loved Coop.

buckeyedude's picture

Finkes and Vrabel...two of the best ever, in my humble opinion.

And for the record Matt, these are the kind of behind the scenes stories I dig more than X's and O's, that only a former player could understand.





osubuckeye4life's picture


Thanks for your article! This just gets me pumped up for the Spring game and beyond! It makes me want to suit up myself.

I loved all the great things that Jim Tressel brought to OSU. However, many fans like myself nearly passed away during the "heartattackeyes" undefeated season in 01-02. Seriously, that season took at least 10 years off my life. 

I first started to question Tressel a little after the Texas loss in '05. However, seeing that Texas team was basically one of destiny and won the championship didn't hurt too bad. I thought "well, we barely lost against the best team in college football there is no shame in that".

After the Florida curbstomping in the National Championship I started to like Tressel's style less and less. The following season did little change this when I witnessed another disappointment on the national stage in the championship. It always seemed anytime OSU was in a major non conference game they would lose. 

After tat gate and the emails I knew it was only a matter of time before Tressel left. It was a shock when it offically happened. 

I wanted Luke to succeed however, I knew after the Miami game that he's completely in over his head. The Wisky win at home was the one bright spot in an otherwise dismal season. 

After TTUN beat us for the first time since '03 I was quite upset.

However, after months of speculation Urban Meyer was hired as head coach.

He didn't waste anytime and hit the ground running. Assistants were hired left and right that relentlessly pursued future players along with the head coach.

An amazing recruiting class was completed in only two months since he was hired.

Now, after March Madness all eyes will be focused on April 21st.

The first day the public and the nation will witness the new regime. 



yrro's picture

Are we just going to erase the down to the wire finish against Texas and the wins in the Rose Bowl and the Sugar bowl?

We went through a stretch with two very bad horrible games (Florida and USC) and a couple of close losses against very good out of conference teams... which we then followed up with solid wins against similarly very good out of conference teams...

Remember that Florida, with His Tebowness, may have won two national championships - but they also went 9-4 with a loss to the wolverines, and didn't even win their conference his senior year. College football has ups and downs, even with the best of the best coaching.

I'm excited to see what Meyer can do, too... but if we're honest with ourselves, even he is going to have a hard time matching Tressel's success here.

nickma71's picture

I myself am amused at the Michigan stories on yahoo's rival pages lately. Am I the only one that thinks they are the worst 11 win team in history? How can you say that? Easy. Sort of like typical Duke NCAA bracket. I called 5 losses for UM last year. OSU was in termoil, and Luke Fickel wasn't getting it done. Do I love the guy? Hell yes, he was put in an impossible spot. And Michigan didn't play Wisconsin, and had OSU, Nebraska, and Notre Dame at home. And played another terrible team from the ACC. I full expect a thorough beat down. Even with the good class the fat man brought in. They will probably starve because he steals their food.

biggy84's picture

Tressel's style won a lot of games, including against tsun. If bringing alpha back means getting beaten by tsun every year, i don't want it. I would much rather have AJ Hawk and his multiple gold pants.

hammond1998's picture

Nice article Matt as a life long Buckeye fan I respect all former players opinions.

However other than Tressel's mistake in march of 2010 and covering it up. I really don't get the animosity the Cooper era Players have with Tressel. You state you like the winners additude shown by the current staff and compared it to the cooper era. that being the case

none is bigger than the record against THAT SCHOOL UP NORTH and with all do respect Tressel was 9-1 against them while the cooper teams were 2-10-1. entitled or not Idon't recall a Tressel Team giving 314 yards to a weaselville running back or tressel team allowing a kickoff return for a touchdown and having the punt retuner strike the Heisman Pose. Far more embarrassing than an Aw shucks additude of barely beating navy. I am in full agreement Urban will right the ship from last season. I just think you could have made the the same point without taking the jab at Tressel.

defending Ohio from behind enemy lines since 1977

schooey's picture

Tressel could have done better given the talent. I think the jab is dead-on. 

hammond1998's picture

Then what was Coopers excuse? 2-10-1 enough said.

defending Ohio from behind enemy lines since 1977

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

The killer instinct has entered the building.  Can't wait to build on a very good Tressel era with the one thing that was missing from it.  It's going to be BOOTS TO ASSES! 

Class of 2010.

schooey's picture

As good as Tressel's record was, every year I felt that talent was wasted. Could the NC have been won without Clarett? Personally I don't think so, but it should have been so. 

That is to say, I never thought Tressel was the best but could not say that during his tenure. It is hard to argue with success but the talent was there for more than one NC and Tressel's leadership was too conservative to accomplish it. Just a look at all the pros produced under Tressel indicates that his teams should have done even better. Tressel lacked the killer instinct. If Meyer has it, then I don't see how OSU can be stopped, if the talent in Ohio is still as good as it always has been. 

Hearing Mr. Finkes' take on the situation is heartening. I would rather hear from players than pundits any day, no matter the writing skill, and obviously Finkes can write just fine. A true bruiser makes you want to bruise someone yourself!


Poison nuts's picture

First - Thanks so much for the article Matt. It's nice to hear from a Buckeye great with an inside view of what's happening. Your level of excitement and description of what's taking place right now got me sparked! I can't say I can predict us hanging 50 - 70 on anyone - I'm happy if we win the games by one point each. On the other hand - knowing that this coach will not back off & the offense will play all 4 quarters will be good for my blood pressure & sanity come Saturday.

Second - I want to say - I loved Tressel. Although he might be the polar opposite of the current coach - the man won a LOT of games. He won the NC, Bowl games, and the record against MU is a thing of sheer beauty. He was also 100% Buckeye right down to his bones. Yes - he came up short twice when it mattered, but I have nothing but respect & gratitude for what he did for the school and team I love dearly... However - it is a new day at tOSU & I can truly say that I have never been this excited about Ohio State football in my lifetime! From my perspective - I love what I've seen from Urban Meyer so far. He gets it. Looks to me like coaching at Ohio State is what the man was put on this earth to do. What you describe happening is what I've always thought about the game of football...You acheive great things with brutally hard work and competitive motivation. I think we will all be happy the brand of football that's coming our way. Thanks again Matt, it was a nice to be treated to a story about how things are progressing from your vantage point.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Buckeye06's picture

I don't like any of the jabs at the last coaching staff.  That staff won us a NC and more BCS bowls than any other team in the country aside from USC.  We played in a huge game every year in bowl season and those don't always go your way. 

If this staff can win more, great, but I won't automatically assume it's going to happen since they'd basically have to win 90% and 2 national titles in 10 years.  I hope it happens just like everyone else, but those are hard standards

poop's picture

I think this coaching staff will get it done. Tressel teams were always talented but seemed held back by something. I'm not going to minimize what Tressel achieved at OSU but I feel like Meyer and Co. will do better. The only way I think they don't is if the B1G gets much better somehow. Although I'm grateful for what Tressel and his staff did for our football program, I'm ready for a more aggressive and cerebral approach to the game.

Rooster Buckburn's picture

Competition is a beautiful thing-makes things better on the field and in the marketplace.

bassplayer7770's picture

Matt, thanks for your insight, and I look forward to seeing this renewed team on the field. 

It's difficult to argue with Tressel's success.  He had a great record against that TTUN, but I think we should also remember 3 seasons of that were the Rich Rod era.  I'm just sayin'...

Poison nuts's picture

Thats true about Rich Rod - but people forget that Tress ran Lloyd Carr out of town because of his success against MU...It was Lloyds inability to beat tOSU that brought Rich Rod there in the first place. I'm not trying to stir any shit btw, just saying that JTs success against ttun was totally valid regardless of who was coaching up there.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

bassplayer7770's picture

My main point was Rich Rod had a hard time beating anybody during his scUM tenure.  I admit I enjoyed the Tressel years, but I am very excited about the current direction of the team.

Poison nuts's picture

I hear you & know that was the point. We're actually right on the same page here. I tend to defend against Tressel being marginalized & I realize that wasn't your intention. My point - Rich Rod sucked & wouldn't coached at MU if not for Tressel. Anyway - like you & like most - more excited than ever to see what's happening...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

hammond1998's picture

7 were against LLLLLOYD CARR who owned COOPER JUST SAYIN"


defending Ohio from behind enemy lines since 1977

Bish45's picture


You are a tremendous Buckeye and while I do not know you personally, I might suspect a man and person as well.

Thank you for the years as a Buckeye in uniform and now giving a perspective that the average fan seldom gets; a true insight to what is going on behind the scenes.  Your story brought on some adrenaline, sharpened my old arse competitive sword, and made me that much more ready for some Buckeye Football.

Spring Game in 1 Month y'all!

Great piece!  Thank you

BuckeyeRef's picture

Uh Matt...your record vs scUM was...????

Tressel's was 9-1

You're backhanded slap is exactly that.

Go Bucks!!!!

bassplayer7770's picture

I suspect Coach Meyer understands the rivalry a bit better than Coop did.  I still really enjoy getting this perspective from a former player, and I'm glad Matt is contributing to 11W.

yrro's picture

I'll agree with this. I disagree with some of the digs against the previous coaching staff, but I still *love* hearing the insider perspective and look forward to reading more of Matt's work. Welcome to 11W, Matt!

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Damn it - this article has me totally fired up for Buckeye football to begin!!!  I cannot wait until fat Flounder Hoke and AACC roll into the Shoe!!! You know FULL WELL there is going to be some incredibly angry and aggressive Buckeyes ready to thoroughly destroy them.  There is NO WAY Urban is losing in his first entrance into The Game - especially at home!  I really doubt Denard survives the entire game and the margin of victory is less than 20!

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

Matt Finkes's picture

I don't feel I'm taking a jab at Tressel or his record, just stating some facts as everyone could see.  I think it would be hard to find someone to argue that JB and NS were not "dead weight" in the offensive scheme.  It was Tress's offense and he ran it and ran the QB position.  JT's record is impressive and but as fans we need to not pretend that the B1G was a dominant conference over the past decade.  When we got on the big stage (where we belong) more times than not we were not up to the task. Check out the B1G record in bowl games and non-conference games over the past decade and I don't think it will light your fire.

 Maybe its my attitude, but I don't see losing to anyone by a close margin as admirable and Tress's style of keep it close and hope the bounces go our way in the end just wasn't for me personally. That said I think he was and is a good coach and a good person.

Thanks for all the support and I will try to give more insight when I can!

Johnny Ginter's picture

sometimes i'm amazed that tressel won nearly as much as he did, even given a weak big ten. he had an incredibly simple and predictable offensive scheme, players who were often not in the greatest shape, an offensive coordinator who had ISO tattooed on his lower back, and no more than 2 or 3 legit playmakers on offense in a given year, MAX. he was a calm, composed, unemotional guy for the most part, and pretty much the antithesis of everything that a football coach is supposed to be.

granted, he had consistently brilliant defenses to work with, but man, i'm growing increasingly convinced that jim tressel was some kind of witch

yrro's picture

Funny thing is, as basic as Tressel's offenses were, they were at least moderately productive, and they served their purpose - to score enough points, and to not screw over your defense. The Steelers have been winning super bowls with the same formula for years.

I definitely think they could have been better (and am I ever sad that we never got to see what Beanie Wells could have done with a real O-line) - but I just think it underscores how important it is to look at a football game holistically. His offensive style helped make his defenses so unbeatable. It's not about yards taken or given up, or how many numbers you put up - it just matters who has more points at the end of the game.

The Vest-er's picture


Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.

poop's picture

JT's record is impressive and but as fans we need to not pretend that the B1G was a dominant conference over the past decade.  When we got on the big stage (where we belong) more times than not we were not up to the task. Check out the B1G record in bowl games and non-conference games over the past decade and I don't think it will light your fire.

So much this!

biggy84's picture

We also need not pretend that the Cooper years are the standard for excellence. I don't see losing to tsun, with superior talent, every year as admirable. Tressel never got throttled by 48 points at Penn St either. The Cooper years were a standard for underachieving. Ask any tsun fan who they would prefer their team go against.

hammond1998's picture


defending Ohio from behind enemy lines since 1977

hammond1998's picture

Matt at Least Tressel Got to the Big Stage and He did win 2002 National Title against the so called greatest team in college football history. what did 13 years of Cooper get us?

No one has to sell me on Urban He won me over in the 2007 Game against our defense

with score 14-7 and he opened up THE WOODY HAYES Playbook PAGE 1 Play 1  and he stuffed the foot right down Luke's and Heacock's thorat and the route was on.

defending Ohio from behind enemy lines since 1977

juventas's picture

A breath of fresh air.

moopdawg's picture

Glad to read the supportive comments for Coach Tressel.  I agree that Tress coached a conservative game once we had the lead, and he was far from perfect in making game decisions and adjustments.  But, here is the bottom line -- he won lots of games, and he won big games. 

Under Tressel's leadership, I have never been more proud to be a Buckeye in my life.  I don't deny that he made some bad choices for himself and for the program.  However, I have always appreciated reading and hearing news about our Buckeye football players doing hours of community service, team grade point averages and graduation rates increasing, and charitable acts performed by Coach Tress and his staff. 

Like most Buckeye fans out there, I anxiously await the first time our Buckeyes will take the field under Coach Meyer's leadership.  However, I will remain loyal to Tressel and will always appreciate what he has accomplished for The Ohio State University.  And one other thing: I will never forget what the old Tressel coaching staff gave to me as a Buckeye fan -- a dominant record against the school up north and a National Championship.  Obviously, Coach Tressel and his guys were doing something right.  Thanks, Coach Tress!!

bassplayer7770's picture

You mentioned service and charitable acts, so this seemed like a good place to provide this link...

moopdawg's picture

Thanks for posting.  Besides winning on the field, it makes me proud to be represented in the community by these young men.  GO BUCKS!!