Upgrade U

By Ramzy Nasrallah on April 10, 2012 at 2:00p
All the single ladies! (all the single ladies) All the single ladies! (all the single ladies)                                                                                              Comedy is acting out optimism. - Robin Williams

Football monarchies are toppled every single year. Ohio State's rulers tend to reign with enviable longevity, so when there's a regime change it's a pretty big deal.

And as is the case with our kings, ousted Buckeye head coaches typically cease ruling activities permanently once their time is up in Columbus. It's not necessarily the rule of law; that's just the way coaching graveyards like Ohio State operate.

It didn't take long after Urban Meyer's hiring documents were notarized for his predecessor's legacy to begin reshaping itself: Despite a decade-long run on conference championships, Wolverine pelts, a BCS birthright and annual national title contention, there sure seems to be a lot of program elements that require fixing.

That little encapsulation of the Tressel Era conveniently ignores last season's catastrophe that occurred in his absentia. Losing to Michigan and a middling SEC team in a second-tier bowl en route to a sub-.500 campaign was unlike any other year of his reign, which begs the question: Was it all falling apart, or was Tressel just that good at keeping everything together?

His departure seemed to expose the program as an organization that required his presence in order to operate proficiently. Tressel designed it to suit his own preferences and his engineering failed magnificently without him there to keep everything together.

Meyer's hiring then triggered a very predictable sequence of events, all of which are infused with rational optimism: Players are now destined to get faster. Schemes are scheduled to be reupholstered, modernized or accelerated in their execution.

As a result, Ohio State's standard of required athleticism has been elevated. These developments have been readily welcomed, especially because they aren't radical changes that violate sacred Buckeye football traditions (it's not as though Meyer called the Horseshoe "Buckeye Stadium" or jumped into Coop's hot tub to start collecting endorsements at the expense of a heritage he's still trying to understand).

So the answer to the question of whether 2011's demise was because of Tressel's absence or on account of the roster being in decline is being answered through actions: Right or wrong, Meyer is addressing Ohio State football as though the problem was the latter.

If your memory is failing you, here's another reminder about the perception of the Tressel Era: It was a boring, unimaginative process that still somehow won 83%* of its games with him on the sideline. It was a paradox we reluctantly embraced for years.

Meyer runs a much different type of ship, one that - at least from the outset - addresses some of the cosmetic frustrations that fans had with Tressel.

There's an obviously greater emphasis on team speed. Meyer doesn't have a stubborn, lazy and permanently-tenured crony keeping the offensive line mediocre. He hired an actual QB coach instead of a convenient puppet through whom he could (effectively) micromanage.

Even the way he communicates to the media and releases information is jarring; Meyer actually gives updates and responds to questions with meaningful answers. Tressel responded to even the most primitive questions in lengthy, meandering circles.

Shiny New Toy syndrome transcends the tangible gifts of winning on the field. It's occurring right now at Ohio State, where conference championships and BCS wins are both expected and already customary.

This is what's known as the honeymoon. In this category of monarchy rule, the inaugural ball lasts the entire offseason.

The most recent and comparable ivory tower reupholstering occurred in Ann Arbor when Rich Rodriguez arrived at Michigan to sell and run the program the same way that he did at West Virginia.

As convenient as it might be to try and create a parallel here (ooh, shiny spread offenses!) there isn't nearly as much overlap as has been suggested, except with regard to player development.

Rodriguez was never a cultural fit for Michigan. He was rejected from the outset and overly contributed to his own undoing, primarily through his hiring and retention of Greg Robinson, who commandeered historically awful defenses.

To see the real similarity between the WHAC in 2012 and Schembechler Hall in 2008, look no further than that rational optimism that infected the Michigan fan base unaffected by the cultural mismatch between Rodriguez and Ann Arbor: Strength and conditioning. Recall the once-feared boogeyman and Rodriguez henchman Mike Barwis.

Barwis was the man who would bring a new attitude to Michigan football, which had grown complacent and overly satisfied with its position in college football's aristocracy. His methods would address the caricature of big, slow Big Ten football players.

SIMON SAYS: PEE YOUR PANTSTry to weed him out with early workouts (photo: Winslow)

His hiring coincided with already-scheduled and long-overdue upgrades to Michigan's facilities. The historiography that took place here was the nature of Lloyd Carr's recruiting efforts in the twilight of his tenure. His apathy would be coming home to roost just in time to welcome picnic table Rodriguez to the land of white tablecloths.

The Wolverines lost Ryan Mallett, their quarterback of the future (and a classically-trained academic scholar) as collateral damage to the incoming offensive scheme ill-fitting of his abilities. With no suitable replacement or experienced backup Rodriguez' success was in peril before a single game had been played.

But Barwis still succeeded in transforming Michigan football players into faster receivers, leaner lineman, higher jumpers and quicker sprinters. While that was obscured to some degree by the failings of the staff, the rational exuberance over Barwis' hiring combined with facility upgrades was with merit. 

That's where Ohio State football is right now. Mickey Marotti is transforming Ohio State's football players with a combination of diet and exercise "never before seen" around the WHAC. In lieu of actual football games, the biggest winner in any new coaching staff is the strength and conditioning coach.

How unprecedented is this kind of strength and conditioning porn in a new regime? It's not. It's practically required.

Marotti left Florida to come to Ohio State. Florida won't skip a beat hyping the guy it hired to replace him. Penn State players are already talking up their new S&C program post-Paterno.

And get ready for Kansas to add strength and conditioning superiority to its decided schematic advantage under Charlie Weis, whose ample chassis immediately comes to mind when you hear "strength and conditioning."

Arizona State? Check. Sun Devil fans have been griping about their S&C program for years. Literally anyone new would have been welcomed as a savior.

Back when Coop arrived in Columbus he publicly addressed his roster's "too many slow white guys." When Tressel replaced Cooper as well as handsomely-compensated Dave Kennedy with his own guy. And now Marotti replaces Eric Lichter.

And the fans rejoice, because new must also mean improved - just as Meyer is destined to outperform Tressel's 83% winning percentage. That's his baseline for failure. Don't think for a second he won't be reminded of that.

The state in which Tressel left things and the exuberance around Meyer's expected and perceived upgrades are mutually exclusive. Tressel obviously did things his way with great success. If you think Meyer is any different at a macro level then I'd like to refer you to what happened to Florida immediately following his departure.

It begs the question: Was it all falling apart, or was Meyer just that good at keeping everything together?

As long as he sticks around to commandeer what he is now re-engineering, Ohio State should be okay, which in part means we'll never learn just how bad things really were. And it's probably okay that we never find out, since Ohio State's rulers tend to reign with enviable longevity anyway.

Let this inaugural ball continue in earnest. Long live the king.



BrewstersMillions's picture

I'm just gonna say it. Buck-I-Guy and the Big Nut have worn their welcomes out with me. We get it dudes you like Ohio State.

Solid work Ramzy. Of course if you ask Matt Hayes, Urbs was a football coach's version of John Gotti sending his goons out on collection runs and paying them in Marijuana....

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would be more obvious.

Ethos's picture

I like the black guy with the texas hat though.  

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

Buckeyeneer's picture

Ugh, he is the worst of the bunch, Ethos. Nothing but an attention whore. There was a thread in the forumn a while ago that was talking about this guy wanting money for autographs.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

cbusbuckeye's picture

Agreed. Mr Big Nut is actually a cool guy. He brought some kind of snack to the students waiting in line for basketball games every game this season.

Ethos's picture

Also I talked ot buck-I-guy a couple time when I was there and he seemed like a good guy.  A little odd, but a good guy.  Plus I think his outfit is attention grabbing, but unique.  The other two are just fat dudes with nuts.

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

3cent's picture

The black guy with the texas hat is Buck-I-Guy

BrewstersMillions's picture

Correction. Sort of. I don't like either dude in the picture or Buck I Guy. I know Buck I Guy as Chubs. When I was at OSU he could be found every Friday night at Varsity Club and if you needed tickets to the game, he was your man.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would be more obvious.

Maestro's picture

What is a "texas hat"?

vacuuming sucks

BuckeyeSki's picture

I believe it is an old, old wooden ship from the civil war era

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

dbit's picture

I think they're referring to what I call a "cowboy" hat

Ethos's picture

yeah cowboy hat escaped me at the time I was writing that.  Shush.

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

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

I had the same reaction.  How sad that my very first thought was "jesus, these 2 d-bags again?" and I almost didn't read the article out of spite.   But then I saw Ramzy wrote it and knew I had no choice, his stuff is always must read.

btalbert25's picture

I don't know if Tressel would of lost 7 games last year, but with the suspensions of players and ultimately what would of been his suspension as well, it's not likely Ohio State was a 10 win team with Tressel.

Tressel with TP, Boom, Adams, and Posey for a full season would of been wildly successful.  Tressel thrown into the Fickell situation, not so much.  He was good at coaching sure, but his actions led to last seasons horrendous football.  He had a lot to do with the team falling apart, and I believe only a fraction of it was his absence.

btalbert25's picture

Personally, I could care less if Urban's win % is 83%.  If he's here 5 years and 2 titles come from it, that's success.  If he's here 10 and they win 4, He could go 6-6 every other year for all I care.

Doc's picture

Let's not get crazy here BT.  6-6 is not a good year.  I'll give ya 9-3, but not 6-6.  i don't give a rats rear end what his winning% is either.  I just want to be successful in the B1G and nationally and beat AACC like a red headed stepchild.  The team has a gimme season this year.  They should have some growing pains, but bye the end of the season we should be clicking well enough to be able to fillet Flounder.

"Say my name."

btalbert25's picture

lol, 6-6 may be a bit much, I just think our sites need to be on something greater than B1G titles and dominating the B1G.  Urban is here to win titles, if he wins a couple or several, I don't much care what the winning percentage is.  I'd take the couple of "off" seasons he had in the SEC if it means multiple BCS titles.  Plus his 4 loss teams in SEC play are probably realistically 1 loss or 2 loss max in the Big 10.

hodge's picture

You read my damned mind, BT.  Not playing the likes of Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas on an annual basis does have its advantages.

Doc's picture

Ramzy, you never answered your question about Tress.  Was the cupboard bare or was JT a genius that he alone could only hold together?  Much like Dick Rod at AACC Fickell lost his quarterback of the right now when TP was shown the door.  Having TP under center last year would have won us the MSU and Neb games if not AACC as well.  I don't think the cupboard is/was as bare as Urbz likes to bemoan.  I think he is trying to temper our enthusiasm as fans, and light a fire under the asses of the current roster. 

Comparing RR and his corn pone ways from West Verginny to UFM and his two MNC's and SEC titles is a stretch.  Both stressed S&C, but after that the comparison stops.  I do remember reading quite a few articles about Barwis and chocolate milk.

"Say my name."

btalbert25's picture

I'm not in Urban's head so I don't know what he's thinking exactly, but I think when he says the cupboard is bare or there aren't playmakers on this team, he means to win the national championship.  Yes, B1G titles will be needed to get him there, but he's looking much bigger picture than just boy I hope we win the B1G.

Tressel was able to recruit Ohio hard.  All those guys that Hoke is grabbing up that Tressel would've horded, well those are the kinds of players that were good enough to win the B1G.  Meyer is going to take the cream of the crop in Ohio plus nail down the best from other states.  He has 1 thing in mind and it's a football shaped trophy made out of crystal. 

He's right, there aren't enough playmakers and there's not enough team speed on the current roster to achieve the goals he wants to achieve.  That's what we need to look at here.  Urban is not satisfied with just winning games in the B1G.  80 percent of those games will be won just by having superior talent than the rest.  He wants the kind of talent that is going to leave a path of destruction in it's wake, and can go to whatever bowl or playoff will be in place and blow the doors off of LSU, Bama, or whoever else it may be we're facing. Ohio State does not have that level of talent....yet.

Doc's picture

I'm wit ya here BT.  I know he doesn't have SEC elite talent yet, but he is working on it.  Winning the B1G is a given. That should be the #1 goal every single year including this one. ;)  The crystal football should be the ultimate goal and the real one they strive for.  The B1G sucks, but a necessary trophy to get to the big one.

"Say my name."

btalbert25's picture

That's what I'm saying, set your goal for the national title and the B1G trophy has to happen.  I just get tired of people saying I want to win the Big 10.  To me B1G titles are going to happen with Urban and that shouldn't be what satisfies the coach, players, or fans.

Doc's picture

Right you win the MNC, you have already won the B1G.  Being B1G Champs is a goal and it is attainable, but to me winning the B1G when it is down is like watching my 8yo son beat his 5yo brother in hoops.  Yeah you won, but it doesn't mean jack.  National Championship or Bust, I says.

"Say my name."

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Comparing RR and his corn pone ways from West Verginny to UFM and his two MNC's and SEC titles is a stretch. Both stressed S&C, but after that the comparison stops.

That was the whole point of addressing the RR comparison. The common ground is scant.

Last year no roster in the country could obscure Ohio State's disastrous OC or a freshman QB being mentored by a pretend football coach. Tressel still in place hides both of those failings, which were of his own doing.

Doc's picture

Tressel wouldn't have been able to salvage much better than what we got last year.  Miller getting injured at Nebraska lost us that game.  He was one completed pass away from beating AACC as well.  If Tress coached last year do we get back TP and the other Tat5 as well?  If so then those failings would be hidden.  The staff and team were in disarray and, as you said, those were JT's doing.

I will differ with you on the "no roster in the country" part.  I think having our senior QB back we could have been 9-3.  Neb, MSU, AACC would have been wins, no matter the play calling. 

To be honest I'm tired of talking/reading about Jim Tressel.  I'm still a fan of his, but to me it is time to move forward.  I'm hoping the shelves aren't as empty as Coach Meyer says they are and we can come out guns ablazin' in September.

"Say my name."

ArTbkward's picture

The mouseovers should come with a warning.  Water almost flew out of my nose when I read "All the single ladies".

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...

(Also, I'm not a dude)

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

I stole the title from a Beyonce song. That mouseover was just a hat-tip to her.

Maestro's picture

I am realistic about things.  All I am expecting is an AP National Championship next season. 12-0 baby !!

vacuuming sucks

Maestro's picture

Question about fashion here.

Should a person place tattoos on his/her extra chins?

vacuuming sucks

Denny's picture

Really was wondering the same thing on this. My thoughts: if a child reaches up and places the tattoos there, it's no bigs. They're too specifically-placed and lined up for a child to do that though.

I suppose if you're going to have that extra billboard room, you might as well use it.

Similar/tangential: how does one decide that the face has ended and the neck begins, when no clear line of demarcation is present?


Maestro's picture

Might have something to do with the "golden ratio" of facial beauty.  I am sure he has looked into said ratio.

vacuuming sucks

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Would that be the 'fack' or the 'nace'?

Maestro's picture

I think it is called a hyperlipidemic gullet.

vacuuming sucks

Denny's picture

Ya spelled 'goiter' wrong.


Denny's picture



ArTbkward's picture

It's like you read my mind.

Since it was apparently his only visible skin that day, logic dictates that something should be placed there.  Buck-I-Guy thinks visible skin is a rookie mistake.

Edit:  Is Buck-I-Guy wearing a Buckeye earring? Do my eyes deceive me?  Suddenly, the double chin tattoos are not my least favorite part of his getup.

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...

(Also, I'm not a dude)

Maestro's picture

How could he resist?  Life is about the little details.

vacuuming sucks

Bucksfan's picture

Urban is going to win a lot of games, but he's still coaching in the Big Ten.  Just ask USC how hard it was for their presence to be cordially requested at the national title game when they had as few as 1 loss, because that loss usually came in the form of a road game in Pac-10 play.  I have no doubt that they would have shredded pretty much every SEC team from 2003 through 2008.  But it didn't matter, because Carroll couldn't get his all-time assemblage of talent to show up to play Stanford or Oregon State.

Similarly, I have no doubt that an Urban-coached team can beat anyone on any given day.  But he's going to have to go undefeated here (something he never did at Florida).  That's simply where we are with Big Ten football.  It would do all of us a lot of good if we could manage our expectations.  Going undefeated is tough to do.  Urban Meyer is the best coach we could have gotten.  But nothing is guaranteed.  That 2011 Ohio State team had to be one of the best teams we've ever seen in scarlet and gray.  They were pasting teams by 30 points or more at halftime.  They lost to Wisconsin, and didn't even get the Rose Bowl bid.  But I would have liked their chances against either Auburn or Oregon.  Losing to the Mississippi or Auburn equivalent in the Big Ten is going to knock you out of national championship discussion.

hodge's picture

The Big Ten is definitely not up to the standard of the SEC in terms of talent and toughness, and it's worth noting that Meyer posted three 13-1 seasons there--in six seasons (by comparison, Saban's best three seasons, 13-1 at LSU and 14-0 and 12-1 at 'Bama took ten seasons to accrue).  He also managed an undefeated campaign at Utah, and while the Mountain West is nowhere near as tough as the Big Ten, it's not like Meyer's pedigree doesn't warrant his lofty expectations.

That being said, I totally understand your point and am certainly trying to manage my expecations accordingly, but you can't not expect exceptional things from this man--he's an exceptional coach who's achieved exceptional accomplishments everywhere he's coached.  I only hope that his collective hype doesn't become his proverbial noose.

Bucksfan's picture

I only hope that his collective hype doesn't become his proverbial noose.

I agree.  Pete Fiutak at collegefootballnews.com claims this is an inevitability.  He has written numerous times that if Urban Meyer doesn't win 2 championships at Ohio State in the next 5 years, Buckeye fans are going to lose their minds.  I'm just don't see Ohio State fans calling into radio shows calling for the ouster of Urban Meyer after year 3 if he hasn't taken us to the national championship yet, particularly if he beats the hell out of Michigan.

btalbert25's picture

One thing that also helped the SEC teams with one loss getting there is the fact that they had one more game against a top tier opponent in the form of a conference title game.  If an Ohio State team makes it through with 1 loss, but beats a 1 loss team in the conference title game, it should give them a bump.  Same with those USC teams.  Had they played a PAC12 title game they would of gotten a nod.  I realize pretty much all the conferences have that now, but the potential for an elite matchup is better for the B1G than it is the Big 12, ACC, Big East, and maybe the PAC12.  This year could be the exception.  USC will be tough in their division, but once all the schollies start getting docked, that will change.

Plus, and I know it's hard to go undefeated, but Urban coaches really intense teams.  His teams aren't all about screwing off, and I think Pete Carol has great as  his teams were, had a major problem staying focused.  Seemed like they were busy screwing around and enjoying the public eye, and putting on pink thongs and "faking" suicide attempts by Lendale white by throwing a dummy off of a roof.  They were better than any team in America but all that screwing off hurt them I think.  Urban won't stand for that kind of stuff.  It's not to say they'll always go undefeated with him, but it's a much shorter task going undefeated in the B1G, than it is to go undefeated in the SEC.  He's not likely to get upset by Illinois or Northwestern. 

Doc's picture

Carol was a lot more loosey goosey at SC.  He seemed to have fun and get his players to play great in the big name game, but they would usually let a "lesser" team bite them in the azz.  Urban doesn't seem loosey or goosey.  He'll have the team focused every game.  Will there be the occasional scare or loss, sure, but it won't be the norm.

"Say my name."

buckeyechad's picture

I'm honestly just not expecting championships, there's just too much luck involved and any number of bad breaks that could happen. My new mindset is be happy with winning the big10 and if we win more its a bonus. Also related, next year I'll be happy with 9 wins.

BuckeyeVet's picture

Buckeyechad - I agree with you and would add a caveat - I will only be happy if we kick the stuffing out of the Weasels up north in any given season. To me, that's the be all and end all. Born of a hatred germinated in the sixties and iron-cast in the 70's. 

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

"Intercourse M*chigan" - Buckeyevet


NYC Buckeye's picture

eh... the difference in the two endings is Florida started falling apart WITH Meyer at the helm, Tressel was pushed out from a Sugar Bowl winning team... you can even make the case that Tressel guided us through the inevitable talent drop in 2004 (second year after NC)...

 thats the one thing I can't get over with Meyer,  he seemed to abandon Florida when they fell on hard times, (by hard times I mean no Tebow/Harvin and Saban starting to kick his ass)...   I can only hope Meyer does not abandon us in the near future, or sorry, I mean I hope he stays "healthy"...

btalbert25's picture

I think something legit was going on with Urban. Whether it was strictly health or if it was anxiety, or if was family related, it wasn't all a cloud of BS.  Something outside of football was taking a large amount of his energy and focus.  He left, then came back to the program, then left again.  Something in the man's life was off.  It wasn't simply Florida lost good players, then some games, and Urban took off. 

NYC Buckeye's picture

I may be coming off a little hard on him, Im sure you are right, I do believe health did play a large role...

a small part of me feels another factor was him taking the year off to plan and scout the rest of college football , using that job with ESPN as the means...

btalbert25's picture

i get what you are saying and I can certainly see it from a Florida fan's perspective as well.  We'd all be salty as hell if he left Ohio State and a year later takes a jobs somewhere else, but at the same time he brought 2 titles to Florida, Tebow mania, another BCS win on top of that and a lot of talent.  He really didn't owe them anything else.  He owed himself a chance to get healthy, get his life strait, and find a balance in his life. 

I totally agree with you about the ESPN gig and on the first game of the season when he was covering the Ohio State game I knew he would end up here.  He kept talking about the SEC type talent Ohio State has, and he definitively said Braxton Miller should start, he was the best player in high school football last year.  I knew Ohio State would be irresistable to him from that moment on.

O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

The guy worked 24/7 to elevate UofF above the southern-fried stupor that is the SEC, but one person can only swim against the cheating tide for so long.


SonOfBuckeye's picture

It begs the question: Was it all falling apart...

Raises the question, not begs the question.

Sorry for the grammar nazism, but I love this phrase and wince a little when I see it used as above.

BuckeyeVet's picture

SONOFBUCKEYE: Your grammar nazism cracked me up and made me go look this up. Sorry if this is off topic, class, but I couldn't resist. LMAO about the use of "consenting" adults in the last paragraph. The bold lettering is my addition.

"This is one of those rare phrases in which the meaning is more debated than the origin.

The usage which has become common in recent years has a meaning something along the lines of 'prompt/raise the question', that is, 'beg that the question be asked'. This is usually seen in circumstances where something is described and then an explanation is sought.
This usage is understandable and has presumably come about by interpreting the 'beg' of 'beg the question' as 'request' or 'humbly submit'. This is the meaning of the word in the similar phrase 'beg to differ'.The original meaning was quite different though. To 'beg the question' was coined as a rather over-literal translation of the Latin phrase 'petitio principii'. The Latin version was itself a translation of Greek text 'en archei aiteisthai' taken from Aristotle's Prior Analytics. The phrase was known in English by at least 1581, at which date it was recorded by William Clarke:"Ffiij, I say this is still to begge the question."

The logical constructs that Aristotle was describing were statements which assume the truth that one is attempting to prove. Those might be questions which have an assertion smuggled into them, like 'Why has England fewer trees per acre than any other country in Europe?'. Or, more commonly, the fallacious reasoning that we now usually call a 'circular argument'; for example, 'He must be speaking the truth because he never lies'. The 'truth' being assumed in advance isn't always so blatant. René Descartes' famous 'I think, therefore I am' can be said to be begging the question as he must exist before he can think - it is hardly a proof of anything to state 'I exist, therefore I am'.

If things weren't obscure enough with this phrase there was a version of the meaning that emerged between the two given above. That was its use to mean 'avoid the question'. This presumably also came from a misreading of 'beg' to follow the meaning of 'beggar description' or 'beggar belief'. That meaning of beggar, which seems to have been coined by Shakespeare in Anthony and Cleopatra, 1606, is 'exceed the resources of; go beyond':

"For her owne person It beggerd all discription."

Most authorities now view the current 'raise the question' meaning as acceptable, even if that is a somewhat grudging recognition that the weight of numbers of those who use it that way is overwhelming. It is also suggested by some that the minority who know and understand the original version should avoid using it, unless they are amongst CONSENTING adults, as they aren't likely to be understood. That would be an unfortunate route to take. Whatever we might prefer, it is very likely that the percentage of the population that knows, or cares, that they are using the phrase incorrectly will continue to decline."


From - Phrasefinder

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

"Intercourse M*chigan" - Buckeyevet


buckeye76BHop's picture

Love this article...it gives great insight to why OSU as well as FL struggled last year. There's no shit being drudged up like I've seen on other websites (ie Bleacher Report or Sporting News). I agree with your point on Urban having big shoes to fill despite his success. I like reading intelligent thoughts/views rather than half-whits with no reliable/creditable sources! Go Bucks!

Edit: I take that back...the Tuesday Skull Session discuses that BS article that has absolutely NO creditability!  

"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 

D-Day0043's picture

4-star recruit from Cali RT @GregBiggins: According to the father of Marcus Baugh, the Riverside TE just committed to #OhioState
25 minutes ago from TweetDeck


I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Just a little stat for you: From the start of 2002 through his final game as coach, Tressel NEVER lost a game where he had at least a 4 point lead at halftime. During that stretch, he only lost TWO games holding any sort of lead at halftime (2005 Texas and 2009 Fiesta Bowl against Texas... both were three point leads at halftime).

Tressel was the king of the close game. The Buckeyes lost five games by 7 points or less last season. No way Tressel loses all five of those. With Tressel as coach, I think we win @Nebraska, @Purdue, and @ Michigan. Michigan State and Penn State are tossups. It really depends how much better QB play and playcalling would have been under Tress (they couldn't have been worse). Either way, winning three of those games would have given us a 6-2 record and we'd have beaten Wisconsin in the tiebreaker. Thus, the Penn State game would have been played with a shot at going to Indy on the line, and I don't think Penn State escapes Ohio Stadium with a W if Tress is coaching that game with those implications.

So, in the end, I don't think it's unfathomable to think that the Bucks very well could have been 10-2 and gone to Indy last year if Tress was coach. 9-3 was probably more likely, which would have probably put us in the Cap One Bowl against a South Carolina team with whom we would have matched up very well with.

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Good article. Our culture is fascinated with the concept of the new, the upgrade, and of course that applies to S&C coaches and head coaches as well. We all like to think we are getting something better, or could get something better. Why do men like the idea of a TV remote so much? because something better could be on that next channel and we don't want to miss it.

Regarding one Urban Meyer, I do feel we are getting "an upgrade". I loved Tress and the annual SCUM beatings, but things were getting a bit stale. Meyer seems to be that rare type of individual who really learns from his past experiences, and makes changes for the better. I read the book "Urbans Way" and you can see how he has done that at every coaching stop he has been at. He's always cared a lot for his players, and gave them chances to make amends after they screwed up, because he knew some of them came from pretty lousy circumstances, single or no parents, no mentors, smoking weed. He thought he could rehabilitate them and didn't want to give up on them. Maybe he now realizes you just can't do that on a large scale. Maybe it's better to really pick your battles, recruit guys who aren't all going to be a "project".

The book doesn't really cover what happened at the very end at Florida, and whatever mistakes might have been made, it is safe to assume that Meyer learned from it. Did the Champions Club philosophy get out of hand? Maybe, so it might need better monitoring. Did he play favorites with Harvin and allow him too much slack? Who knows - but we know what happened when Tress gave too much slack to TP. 

I'd like to look at it as this: all of Meyer's cumulative experience has brought him to the pinnacle of his coaching career, with tOSU as the prime beneficiary of all that collective knowledge, right here, right now. He's got the recruiting base, the national exposure, the ability to try fresh approaches (no huddle w/Hermann), a keen eye for coaching and player talent, the awesome resources, history, and tradition of tOSU, and the experience of all those stops along the way. Who knows what will happen, but one thing is sure - it will be a very fun ride!

741's picture

For a second there I thought you had an embedded link to the actual Sunbubble commercial c. 1987 - alas, it was just a link to an old 11W Coop article.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

I looked high and low. :(

Hoody Wayes's picture

Buckeye fans have always had the greatest expectations.

When have Buckeye fans ever had more proof, for great expectations? There's a relentless momentum in math. 

schooey's picture

Good article. I was never a big fan of Tressel, but you cannot argue with success. So, I do expect of Meyer the improvements over Tressel. I think Tressel wasted a lot of talent. Later I have learned that he was not bringing in great talent either... Compared to what meyer is doing. So, yes I expect a great improvement over Tressel. 

schooey's picture

Don't be lulled into mediocrity. Tressel wasted talent. He could have and should have won more. Meyer is the upgrade OSU needs. There will be rumblings as Meyer wears out the talent, but it will not be wasted. All the haters will be bitter because after only one season OSU got twice as good. 

baddogmaine's picture

A year ago at this time it had been almost impossible to criticize Tres for anything - he was not just the greatest coach in OSU history but (maybe) the greatest coach in college football. What has changed is a losing season - even as it was unfolding to speak harshly was to invite abuse by 11W contributors - and the hiring of a replacement whose every word is received as absolute truth. If Meyer is right many of the criticisms of Tressell had been valid, but it took a changing of the guard to make it possible to say so.

Football will be what it will be for the near future. The interesting issue to me is that our baskeball coach is being treated almost exactly the same way our football coach had been. Matta wins. A  lot. But it should not be difficult to look at his program and find problems. Many who do so are just "haters," but many are die-hard Buckeye fans who want us to be better still and call it as we see it. For which we are subject to the same abuse that was piled on those who dared criticize the now in-the-doghouse Tressel. I have never said that I think Matta should be replaced and I'm not saying it now. I do think that just as our football offense hurt us as much as it helped us Matta's recruiting leaving us with never a decent bench; his inability to change game plans;  are but two weaknesses that we should be able to talk about before our hoops program deteriorates as football did. Why should winning the B1G and nothing more be not enough for football but a cause for celebration for baskeball?

Football and men's basketball are treated much differently by 11W readership (and it should be a cause of great embarassment that women's basketball is not treated at all - do they not wear scarlett and gray also?). Football should have been a cautionary tale for basketball, but will lnot be unless the way Meyer is examining and describing the football cupboard  is applied to basketball as well. We can not change what Matta does, but it should be OK to suggest what changes he should make without being ridiculed. Because if we can expect and demand that our football team win national championships we should be able to say that consistently losing to lower seeds in March (and squandering a 9 point halftime lead against an equal) is not good enough for OSU men's basketball (and, I will say, for women's basketball either).

VestedInterest's picture

My eyes are rolling hard enough in my head I can actually see my medulla oblongata quivering...

I have never said that I think Matta should be replaced and I'm not saying it now. I do think that just as our football offense hurt us as much as it helped us Matta's recruiting leaving us with never a decent bench; his inability to change game plans;  are but two weaknesses that we should be able to talk about before our hoops program deteriorates as football did. Why should winning the B1G and nothing more be not enough for football but a cause for celebration for baskeball?

Kurt's picture

I argued for a long time for Tressel to give up control of the offense and bring in someone to install a power spread offense attack.  That's not calling for Tress's head, that's calling for a change.  So from this standpoint I might sort of understand what you're saying...  Is what you're always suggesting is that Matta needs a new assistant or two!?!? 

(it does seem like Foster should go or get some serious help on the women's side, team flops every single year in the tournament)

baddogmaine's picture

What I've been suggesting is that Matta may have raised the ceiling for men's basketball but there seems to still be a ceiling above which we will not pass. There are no guarantees that if Matta makes some changes we will go further in March, but it does seem certain that if Matta does not change the way he coaches our boys will continue to die before their time. I'm not sure that assistants are the answer because Thad will retain control. I think Matta needs to recognize that going only six deep is NOT building a team for a six game stretch against increasingly more athletic better coached oppenents - the margin for error is too thin. That letting your under-sized center continue to try to prove his manliness is not likely to succeed against a foe with solid interior defense. Matta sees a lot but he seems to have blind spots, and just as friends don't let friends drive drunk friends don't let the OSU men's basketball coach fail to reach the heights he's capable of without speaking out.

It is also worth pointing out that we will have no 2012 recruiting class to speak of because roster spots are filled with players who do not seem to be able to contribute at a high level. We'll see what a summer does for our DNPs but the prospects seem to be not great when we are hoping that the unhappy ones actually do transfer.  Matta has done a great job of bringing in the superstars, not so much the role players who make a team stronger. (He didn't even try for Burke, scUMs star.  Did he even make a play for Behanan from Cincinnati, who was so valuable to Louisville?)

(Tressel also had problems coaching kick-off return defense. Our offense was hurt not just by philosophy but by an o-line not up to the task. There were problems under Tressell, but it was not OK to say so.)

thorvath22's picture

Maybe you should read 'Around the Oval' articles.

baddogmaine's picture

That's exactly my point!!! Men's hoops gets headlines and full articles in 11W - women's is relegated to mentions in  occasional summaries of all other Buckeye sports. Who are the recruits for the women's team? We know who the third point guard is for the men's team, but no depth analysis of women is ever given in 11W, and if the replacement for Prahalis (who?) is mentioned at all it's buried. (Oval? Last I heard women's basketball was played on a rectangle.)

buckeyedude's picture

I once had a job where the management came in and said, "We're implementing a 'new pay program.'" Essentially they were saying, "the old program sucked." 

But they weren't saying that when the old program was in effect. They were telling us how great it was. Beware of these types of companies. 



JJB's picture

Are those dog tags around Simon's neck? Does he have family in the military?

BuckeyeNation's picture

I hate reading your articles Ramzy. With your witty mouseovers and your clever little innuendos... not to mention every fifth B1G word you write i have to look up in the dictionary! Damn you man... damn you for making me smarter, lmao!


Great read brother... keep up the great work! 

Go Bucks !!!