11W RoundTable: Cal

By David Sokol on September 14, 2012 at 10:00a

We're back for another RoundTable and this week's opponent: the University of California Golden Bears.

"Oh, those were the days" - Cal fanIt's been a while since ...

This week, we were able to hear from another triplet of Eleven Warriors' best and I'd like to thank Jason, Johnny and Ross for their participation.

 As Kel from Kenan and Kel—for those children of the 90's—liked to say, "Ahhh, here it goes!"

With two weeks in the books and on to an actual "BCS" opponent, what are your expectations for the Buckeyes against California this Saturday?

Johnny: My expectations are pretty much the same as they've been during the previous two games: steady improvement from the offense and a defense that puts pressure on the opponent's passing game. Last week was kind a regression in both of those areas, so I want to see basically the opposite of that. "Pro"-gress, as it were.

Ross: My hope is that we see a cleaner game, where OSU cleans up the mental mistakes they have been making on both sides of the football (running the wrong play on offense, blowing coverages on defense).  I also hope to see OSU play a full four quarters.  If they do that I think they should put in a solid showing against Cal.

Jason: I think we'll see Ohio State's best game of the young season. Players will be up to play a Pac-12 foe and the offense has had a few in-season weeks to study film and make tweaks. Defensively, Meyer is becoming more involved (see the insertion of Orhian Johnson) and I expect the secondary and coverage schemes were given a lot of love this week in practice.

Bri'onte Dunn is first on the depth chart this week with injuries to Carlos Hyde and Jordan Hall. What kind of load will the staff give Dunn? Will they trust him at the same capacity as Carlos Hyde?

Jason: Meyer's "next man up, be ready" attitude means that Dunn will likely see a similar load to what Hyde was seeing before his injury. It will be interesting to see if they attempt to run Miller less, but unless the game is a blowout, I imagine we'll see another 20 carries or so from him.

Johnny: Meyer and company seem to have different standards for trust in terms of carrying the football as Tressel did. I'm pretty sure that if Boren fumbled the ball last week with Tressel as coach, a giant red X would've popped up in Jimmy T's brainpan whenever it was suggested that Boren have another carry.

My point is, they're going to trust Dunn because he's one of the best remaining options; being young and/or inexperienced really doesn't factor into it.

Ross: Short answer—no.  My longer explanation is two-fold. First, while Dunn has shown a ton of promise carrying the football, he was responsible for many of those mental mistakes. I'm just not convinced he is ready to be a full-time starter. Second, I think that Jordan Hall will play extensively this Saturday. He was the starting tailback this spring for a reason, and is sorely missed by the Buckeyes, not only for his versatility but also his ability to carry the football in-between the tackles. As I answer this all signs are good that he is ready to go. I don't expect Hall to play all the snaps, but I do expect him to play significant minutes. As a side note, I'm not convinced that the coaching staff fully trusted Carlos Hyde to carry the football. His opportunities were fairly limited even before he was injured.

It seems like plenty of freshmen are getting a solid amount of playing time including (but not limited to) Adolphus Washington, Noah Spence, and of course Bri'onte Dunn. Which freshman or freshmen do you think will move to first on the depth chart by season's end?

Johnny: Washington and Spence are going to be fixtures on the d-line probably within the next couple of games, which is a combination of them being extremely talented and the rest of the line kind of looking like butt so far.

Ross: Well, Tommy Schutt literally started the game and was first team in the base defense, and Washington and Spence were first string in the nickel defense, so I guess I would say them, haha. I think those three are the ones that will continue to get the most time, but I think they will all play situationally because none of them are well-rounded enough yet to play every down.

Jason: That's a tough question because the defensive line platoons so often that even though Washington and Spence could be playing quite a bit by the end of the season, they may not necessarily be the ones on the depth chart. I still think we'll see Michael Thomas crack into the starting lineup before it's all said and done, whether via injury or talent/work ethic.

Braxton Miller was supposed to be limited in his carries this past weekend and Meyer has made the world aware that he needs to carry less of the load offensively. How can the staff spread the ball around the field to make Miller's life a bit easier?

Jason: We may see Meyer and Herman start to work more underneath routes, particularly to Stoneburner. It's a great way to take pressure off of Miller's legs while still moving the chains with relatively safe, easy plays. They may also work to get Corey Brown involved more with handoffs, reverses and the like.

Johnny: Tight ends, tight ends, tight ends. Popular at dance clubs and in Wisconsin offenses, I think that Meyer and company need to get those dudes more involved in the passing game. I'd almost like to see them function as ridiculously sized fullbacks, getting screens in the backfield and just plowing their way for 5-7 yards at a time.

Ross: Well (start shameless plus) I discuss some of this in my offensive breakdown this week (end shameless plug). As I said there, that number of carries is somewhat inflated by the fact that Miller had to eat the ball on 5+ broken plays. Further, I expect Miller to carry in the 15-18 range every game because that is the offense OSU is running and he is the biggest threat.  Nonetheless, I think some of those carries will be reduced by Hall's return as well as an increasingly bigger role for Corey Brown on option pitches, etc.

Through two weeks, if you could grade the defense, how would you grade the defensive line, the linebackers, and the defensive backs? Who needs the most work?

Ross: The back seven.  The pass rush problems are caused in some part by teams scheming around OSU's D-Line. While a better pass rush would help, that is not causing the primary issue, which is giving up plays of 20+ yards. That is being caused by breakdowns in the back seven in the form of blown coverages, poor pursuit angles, etc. That being said, I would say overall the defense has been a B right now. If they stop giving up those plays they can move up to an A-.

Johnny: The secondary is still out of position far too often, and the linebackers and d-line have been nothing special either. As a high school teacher, my personal grading system is a highly polished and refined calculus for assessing growth and achievement, and as such I give all three units a decided "Eh."

The DBs still need the most work. Lack of talent I can forgive, but constantly being out of position as they've been bugs the hell out of me.

Jason: The defensive line has been solid, if not spectacular -- let's call them a B+. The first two opponents featured quick drops and schemed to take away Ohio State's defensive line advantage. Not all teams will be able to do this so expect to hear some noise from them as the year progresses.

The line is looking for a spark

The linebackers have been good. Again, nothing exceptional, though. We're still waiting on Ryan Shazier to skyrocket, while Sabino has played well and Grant has been worthy of his starts in the middle. I'd give this group a B.

The secondary has been the polar opposite from what we saw under Tressel. His groups were fundamentally sound and were rarely caught out of coverage position, but they weren't exactly ball hawks. Contrast that with this group. The team is in the top 10 nationally for interceptions, yet we've seen numerous coverage breakdowns from what was expected to be a strength of this team. At this point, they probably rate a solid C.

Cal has given up 31 points in each of their last two games. If all works out well, how many points could the Buckeyes realistically score against the Golden Bears?

Johnny: If OSU is hitting on all cylinders, they should easily be able to put up 50 plus because if Southern Utah can ring up 31 then a blindfolded Kenny Guiton and a peglegged Jordan Hall should be able to equal that by their lonesome. Since things aren't THAT bad quite yet, I think the offense should put in a better performance than what we saw last week against an underrated UCF defense.

Ross: 40-50. OSU could have scored that last week but for their own mistakes. This offense can produce points quickly.

Jason: On a good day, this Buckeye team will drop 40-something on the Bears.

Who's one offensive player that you expected to have had a lot of production at this point who really hasn't met your expectations?

Ross: I don't like this question because expectations are all relative. But if I had to pick I suppose it would be Jake Stoneburner. That is not to say that Stoneburner has done anything wrong. He has caught everything thrown his way and has blocked really well on the edge.  Rather, I think the coaches are still trying to figure out where he fits. I'm not sure he's explosive enough off the line to play WR, but the problem for OSU is that they only have 1 H-Back spot, and Zach Boren needs to be on the field also. But right now Stoneburner is functioning as a solid B option rather than as a primary weapon.

Johnny: Stoneburner, easily. Maybe he's a shade slower than we thought, maybe he's suffering some poison ivy-related impairment, and maybe he's just not that good. Whatever the case is, he's not stepping up. Maybe we should've gotten the 40 times of the cops that were chasing him and tried to compare times. Really, that's our fault for not doing our due diligence.

Jason: Stoneburner would be an obvious choice. Four catches through two games? I don't think anyone anticipated that.

Bonus: Will Braxton Miller be on the Heisman short list at any point this year (I'm talking post week 8 discussion)? He currently has 7 total TDs and had 20 total last year.

Ross: No question about it simply because he will continue to compile an impressive stat line but he is nowhere near his ceiling yet, particularly as a passer.

Jason: Yes, absolutely. If he stays healthy.

Johnny: Maybe? The dude already has 300 yards rushing this year, and as Disco Stu once said, "If these trends continue... eeeyyyyy!" On the other hand, if those trends continue he'll probably be dead by midseason. My guess is, he's one of those goofy sleeper picks until the Michigan State game, where he falls back to earth a little bit and is just consistently awesome without a lot of attention for the rest of the year. Which, by the way, I'm 100% okay with.

There you have it. Another edition of the RoundTable. Stay tuned next Friday for the UAB part of the series.



LouGroza's picture

Urban Meyer is as obsessed with the team doing EVERYTHING correctly as our fanbase. It is as perfect a fit as imaginable. Yes other coaches want corrective measures but Urban double damn demands it. That makes following the team week to week such an adventure. You know that you know that the staff has pounded into the players the proposed corrections to create the desired effect. Whether they get it or not is to be seen. If they do not, more pounding is needed and will therefore be delivered. I am so happy with our new coach and really look forward to each game to see our "new" team.

johnny11's picture

Personally I have expected more out of Rod smith until this point. I have a feeling though that it may never come to pass for him. I also have expected some more down field passing from the team as a whole. Other than that I have figured the results this far would be about the same because of the time acclimating to the new system. The D also could use a little more nastiness in my opinion, but I think that to will come when we get into big ten play.

SPreston2001's picture

Yeah I know what you mean about Rod Smith. I personally was never really high on the guy during his time at OSU (simply becasue he hasnt done anything worthy) but man I had high hopes for him when I saw him play in HS! Some players for whatever reason dont play as well when the competition level rises. Some kids can eat you alive when they know theyre the biggest strongest fastest person on the field but simply crumble under when they look across the ball and see people just as good. Maybe this is the case with Rod... 

baddogmaine's picture

One of my knocks on JT (which I voiced back in the day) was that he did not often enough use "easy" games to work on what needed working on. When your team is on the way to a 46 point win the QB need never carry the ball after the third quarter except on really blown plays; and if Hyde is to be your feature back you feed him until he (and the o-line) either get it or he obviously is not the answer. He could have gotten Le'Veon Bell numbers against Miami, going under 100 was not what *I* was hoping for. Obviously his injury took him out of the UCF and Cal game plans but my point is the same - work on what needs working on when you can work on it.
UCF was a closer game, less chance to problem solve but as long as the defense was keeping points off the board the opportunities were there to do some testing. If you're not going to score in the fourth quarter anyway then try handing the ball off more and see who  busts a move. Try hitting the receivers who were talked about early but not showing the results now.
Since there will be no post-season and we can still win our B1G division we can afford to lose now - if worst case happens - without worrying about losing a BCS bowl, if doing so will help us cruise in conference. So my feeling is forget the betting line this Saturday, don't even worry obsessiviely about winning - do what needs to be done to get a working offense so when we go to East Lansing whoever is lined up behind Braxton is not "third string" or any string but a back ready to inflict pain, and players on the field know their assignments. Find out if Jake can get separation by calling his number.  In a sense the post-season ban is an opportunity - I'd like to see Urban use it.

SPreston2001's picture

No way would I ever recommend using a real game as a scrimmage. Yes we cant go to a bowl game but this team and coaching staff has too much pride to give a game away. Thats what practice is for. You work on what needs to be worked on during the week, then pound your opponent with it on Saturdays. I can understand working on things that need work during the game but only when the game is clearly out of reach and the W is secured. I never like seeing OSU lose and go into every game expecting/hoping for a win.

baddogmaine's picture

 but this team and coaching staff has too much pride to give a game away.

Of course. But just what game gets given away is not known at this time. We can beat Cal 50-15 by running Braxton over and over and over, if he gets hurt worse after that game than he was last week we may be giving away a lot of games in conference. We can discover that Cal's secondary is suspect and bomb them into submission, but long-ball is not a winning strategy over the course of a year, and if what we don't develop is a running game with the healthy players we have available defenses are going to dare Miller to win through the air (without giving up bombs) and we might be losing to, say, Purdue again.
The discussion is no longer over whether OSU is already a finely-tuned offensive machine or not - Meyer himself is expressing concern. The question is how to make the necessary adjustments that stick under the pressure of game situations. I'm not saying this absolutely is the case but if I had a choice between going 11-1 with a loss in preseason and winning the B1G, or going 11-1 and losing to Whiskey because we never did find our running game and   WIS wins the division on the head-to-head win (this isn't about what is likely, it's about what is possible, though I think WIS is a threat still to win the division) and we end up with nothing I know which I'd prefer.
In a sense this is like the debate last year over whether to self-impose a bowl ban. OSU has too much pride to not go bowling voluntarily, right? So say those convinced we were going to get banned in 2012 regardless what we did in 2011. But we should have had too much pride to risk ending with a losing record and though there can still be disagreement I think the majority opinion is that backing out of a bowl in 2011 right away would have preserved 2012. And so I say: if I have to chose between risking a loss in 2012 preseason or in conference my choice is easy.
And if we work on what we need to work on without worrying about margin of victory and beat CAL anyway we are going to be that much better.

rkylet83's picture

Johnny I loved the Disco Stu reference!  But remember "Disco Stu doesn't advertise"

sir rickithda3rd's picture

im surprised noone has mentioned tackling,  esp by barnett

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

bassplayer7770's picture

Ross mentioned tackling in his Defensive Breakdown.

kgus's picture

all I think about when I see that poster of Best. scary scary moment, even watching it again.


Crimson's picture

And he's had more concussions.  He might play football again, but who knows.  I just hope his year off gives his brain time to heal.

BucksfanXC's picture

My impressions of Meyer vs. Tressel in coaching philosophy are so far that Tressel did basic, simple stuff, but got everyone doing it well by game #1; whereas Meyer is gonna get a little more complex with schemes and plays, but it may take awhile for mistake free football. I think there is a margin for error in both, I think Meyer's way has a higher ceiling, especially with better players. With Tressel, better players meant fewer people could stop it, and really only mistakes by the Buckeyes could cause a loss even against better opponents.

“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

SPreston2001's picture

Or until we ran up against another elite program that had the athletes to defeat "Tressellball". I hated having elite athletes in a offense that put training wheels on them! Ive always wondered what TP would have done under a coach like Urb...

yrro's picture

You mean we only won about half of our games when we went up against teams ranked in the top 4 in the country? The *shame*!
I can think of very few games that we lost due to a "Tresselball" philosophy, but I can think of a few where we just got beaten. Most of the really bad drubbings were the result of our elite defense getting its butt handed to it, our offensive line failing to block, and our quarterback throwing multiple picks. That'll kill you in any system.

hodge's picture

USC, UF, and LSU were all able to tee off on our defense.  When you run Dave every first and second down, defenses are going to stack the box on the first two downs and then sit back in coverage, rushing 3 or 4 on third down.  Tresselball was exceptionally effective at beating teams that we were better than talent-wise (and yes, I count Oregon and Arkansas in said fraternities), but when we played teams of equal and superior talent (UF, LSU, USC) Tresselball wasted the playmaking ability in our skill positions.  Imagine what Troy Smith might have been able to do against UF if he was tossing bubble screens and short passes, as opposed to throwing downfield (and getting eaten alive by the Gators' d-line in the process) all game?  Imagine if Boeckman did the same against LSU when we inexplicably abdandoned the run game?
About the only team that I can say that was vastly superior to OSU, talent-wise, was Miami.  And we definitely had an advantage in Jim Tressel over Larry Coker, and especially with Mark Dantonio and the best defensive line OSU's ever had. 

SPreston2001's picture

^^^Couldnt have said it any better!

William's picture

We abandoned the run game in both title games. Pittman was averaging over 5 YPC in that game, and for whatever reason we abandoned the run game. Our only offensive touchdown in that game was a rushing TD by Pittman. The LSU game drives me crazy. We took a 10 point lead and fell apart. That FG-block was the death knell in the LSU game, and then we started chucking it, even though Chris Wells was going HAM.

BrewstersMillions's picture

If Beanie Wells carried the ball 30 plus times in that game Ohio State would have led LSU to slaughter. Nothing said will ever change my mind about that. They sent a message that they could push LSU around and no 2 defenders could tackle Beanie, then all of a sudden poof. It stopped. He would have run for Championship Game history if they kept feeding him. I'll believe that until the day I die.

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

SPreston2001's picture

Yeah I never understood that move by JT. We were killing them with the run game and then its like we forgot running the ball was a option. Its not like we Andrew Luck back there lol. Todd Boeckman never tickled my fancy...

BrewstersMillions's picture

Which is probably good-he would have underthrown your fancy anyway.

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

SPreston2001's picture

Lol im sure he would have! Underthrown by Boeckman, tossed into the third row by Bauserman! Smh...

hodge's picture

The guy did take us to a national championship game...Boeckman's problem wasn't that he Bauser-bombed like a B-52, it was that he got rattled when he faced pressure (I belive he was quoted as saying, "When a defender breaks through the line, they multiply in my head.").  When you're that suceptable to being overwhelmed in the pocket, you have no hope of accuracy.
Granted, if you gave the guy ample time, Boeckman could pick you apart...then again, so could Bauserman.  I do think that Bauserman's accuracy issues were far  worse than Boeckman's ever were.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Truth be told, from a mechanical standpoint, Todd might have been the best pure thrower JT ever had. When he was able to stand tall and throw strikes, he had some real heat and accuracy. Problem with any QB though-defensive blueprints get figured out. Once there was a book on Boeckman, he was never able to over come and adjust. The dude could totally sling the rock and had the arm and mechanics to make any throw in the book.

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

Larryp713's picture

We gave the LSU game away with really stupid penalties, and you can justify that with the fact we were playing an away game, not a neutral game. I think people undervalue the fact that this game was played in NO, and when an SEC team is slightly ahead and can pin its ears back, things tend to get ugly real quick. But I hate when people say this was a blowout... I really think tOSU was up to the task and kept shooting themselves in the foot.



Run_Fido_Run's picture

I see both sides. The Buckeye defense got schooled against FLA in 2006/7, LSU in 2007/8, and USC in 2008. But, I also agree that JT's system was not well-designed to compensate for opposing DLs wreaking havoc like, say, Boise seems to manage. Also, because the DLs in the SEC have been so high caliber, maybe the offenses in the SEC - even when they're not that good - learn to cope under heavy pressures, scrap together offense under less than ideal conditions.
In the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, the unexpected use of Krenzel as the primary ball carrier is an example of when Tress found a creative way to scrap together just enough offense against the "run of play" (defensive onslaught), but maybe this example was too much of an exception (of course, without the Buckeyes masterful defensive performance, the Krenzel sneaks wouldn't have mattered).
What's clear to me, though, without doing any injustice to JT, is that Ohio State has not had a team approach the talent level of the 2001 & 2002 Hurricanes or the USC teams under Carroll; the Buckeyes had a little less talent than 2007 LSU and maybe even 2006 FLA. If, by turning Ohio State fball into a "Freak Show," Urbz is able to assemble bad ass talent on a level that JT approached but could not quite reach, then we could be in for a real treat.

hodge's picture

I agree with almost everything you've said, Fido (as usual)--especially in the sentiment about Krenzel's rushing on that January night in Glendale.  But I'll bite and say that had Urban Meyer coached that '06 team, he could have had an all-time great there, we had more talent than the UF team that ripped us a new one.  We were out-schemed, out-coached, and out-played.
I still remember walking through the SeaTac airport in Washington in the summer of '07, naturally I was sporting some Buckeye swag.  And while getting a coffee, I hear a guy pipe up, "Man, I feel for you in that Florida game, you guys were the better team that night--don't let anyone tell you otherwise."
I don't know if we had the better team, but we certainly had better players.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Hodge, I probably should have said that Fla and Ohio State had comparable talent in 2006. Ohio State's more talented players tended to be more experienced, but Fla had some rising stars that started to jump up toward the end of that season. Yes, the Buckeyes were out-schemed, out-coached, and out-played, but I agree that Ohio State had the better team on any day that season except Jan. 8. A lot went wrong leading up to, and on, that night, which made Florida look more talented in comparison to Ohio State than they were.  

yrro's picture

So, wait, throwing downfield and ignoring the running game is now a core part of Tresselball?
I agree that we could have used better strategies in those specific games, but I don't think that has anything to do with the standard "Tresselball" of "grind it up the middle and take conservative passes".
We barely ran the ball against Florida. Boeckman had pick sixes against LSU and USC on short passes.
Arkansas and Oregon put more players in the NFL off of those teams than OSU did.
I agree that we adjusted poorly in those games, but mostly our o-line got its asses beat, Chris Leak played the game of his *life* against our short pass coverage, and Todd Boeckman got to try to pick the team on his shoulders in an away game against one of the most overloaded-with-talent USC defenses in the last decade, with one of the worst offensive lines in college football and no running game to speak of.
That speaks to very different problems than what I consider "Tresselball" - which is emphasizing execution over scheme, a strong inside running game, safe passes, and an emphasis on bend but done break defense and playing the conservative side of the numbers most of the time.

hodge's picture

The implication of downfield passing being a core tenant of Tresselball is based upon the vertical play-action pass being a central constraint to defenses selling out to stop the Dave.  If last year emphasized anything, it was our offenses over-reliance upon inside runs and slow developing passes.  The reason that we abandoned the running game in both the Florida and LSU losses was because we'd fallen behind by at least two scores relatively early (both times well before halftime).  Once the run game had been abandoned--since running 2 out of 3 plays would speed up the rest of the game, gambling that you'd score at least enough to gain a lead by the time the clock had expired and hoping that your opponent wouldn't be able to score again (which was a legit concern, seeing as their opponents had moved the ball quite well in the first half), Tressel knew those odds didn't favor him--the slow-developing vertical passing game that he and Bollman employed faltered on its own with no run play to serve as a constant constraint.  Simplified offenses (like Tressel's) cause fewer offensive mistakes, but they also become easier for defenses to figure out and offer less flexibility on in-game adjustment (long known to be one of Tressel's flaws).
Oregon and Arkansas may have more players in the NFL than the OSU teams they played, but I'd still argue that OSU had a deeper team than both.  Football's a game where the cream doesn't always rise to the top, you've got to have a solid supporting cast underneath to beat the best teams.

onetwentyeight's picture

Ahhh so much revisionist Tressel history already. 
First of all, wins against highly ranked B1G teams don't COUNT okay we've spent the last few months bemoaning how we basically play in C-USA North or MAC West or w/e. That one time Tressel beat THEN ranked PSU or w/e isn't "proof" Tresselball could work against elite teams.

All the times, especially towards the end of his tenure - 2006 onwards - when we played teams that had MORE than a week to game-plan for us, we got out coached like hell and exposed. I say exposed because in reality Tresselball is another "gimmick" system just like Oregon's offense or the GTech triple option, etc. It relied on the fact that 95% of the teams we ran up against had less pure physical talent than us, so if we just limited our mistakes to a minimum and did the same thing over and over again, it would eventually wear them down due to our superior depth and athleticism.
Against basically ALL of the B1G post-2005 and all the OOC cupcakes we faced, it worked brilliantly. But the philosophy is not that different from Chip Kelly running up the score on overmatched middle-tier PAC teams during the regular season before a dominant SEC Dline has time to game plan and overwhelm them in the post season. The same thing happened to Tressel when we played other elite teams. I don't get why people always took some type of perverse pride in the fact that we'd just "RUN DAVE" down people throats and they couldn't stop it even though they knew exactly what was coming. Yea, sure it seems badass against Akron or Toledo, but against Urban-coached UF or f*cking Pete Carroll or even GRASS EATER MILES we get annihilated. I don't buy any of the crap that oh we would've beat UF 9/10 times that year or oh if we just kept running Beanie we'd have beat LSU. That's such BS. We got outcoached in those games b/c the other teams knew what we were gonna do and had the players in the trenches to stop us. And once they did, we were left with no, oh, "PLAN B" or anything. Even that Arkansas game that never happened was WAY, WAY closer than it should've been. 

yrro's picture

So, basically, the *only* games that count in the entire last decade of Buckeye football are the two back to back national title games and the USC game. Nowhere in the entire rest of Tressel's tenure did we ever face an elite team.
Yeah, who's doing revisionist history now?

BrewstersMillions's picture

Lost me here "offense or the GTech triple option".
The Triple Option has been run about as long as 11 dudes have been lining up and hitting 11 other dudes in opposite, matching uniforms. Hard to take you serious beyond that point.
"It relied on the fact that 95% of the teams we ran up against had less pure physical talent than us, so if we just limited our mistakes to a minimum and did the same thing over and over again, it would eventually wear them down due to our superior depth and athleticism."
I'm %100 sure The Miami Hurricanes, Kansas State Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Michigan Wolverines, Texas Longhorns, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, North Carolina State Wolfpack, and Iowa Hawkeyes would disagree.
During his time, JT beat some real, REAL heavy hitters-at least at the time in which they played. Obviously Wazou and Washington have fallen on hard times but both teams, at the time, were very good football teams. OSU throttled a great Notre Dame team, crushed a KSU team who nearly kept OU out of a title game, and beat what some people were calling the best college football team of the 2000's. They dominated a Michigan team that was supposedly one of the best they ever had, and beat Ferentz's best teams each time they lined up. Where are you going here dude? I find your timeline odd. Post 2005? Why that time frame? JT's style really didn't change from one year to the next, save for the 'wide open' style we had in 2006. What won him games in 2002 against the U won him games in 2010 against Oregon.

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

hodge's picture

Well, I mean Tresselball's the spiritual descendant of Woody Hayes' famed "Robust" offense, with a little more passing.
Wishbone offenses are like the exact opposite of Airraid schemes, which allow for absolutely stupid stats on the ground .  Hell, look at Barry Switzer's Oklahoma teams, they racked up insane stats though their offense.  They still hold the record for rush yards in a game, with 768 yards (!) in 72 attempts against Kansas State in 1988.
Maybe the real truth is that all offenses are "gimmicks", each designed for a particular purpose to exploit a certain weakness.  Be it from ball-control offenses to the "Blur" employed by Oregon, to Leach, Horgolson, and Mumme's "Airraid", to Paul Johnson's Ga. Tech Flexbone, they're all designed to accomplish the same goal, they just employ vastly different means of doing it.  I mean, isn't that the idea of innovative scheming as a whole?
Brewster, you make valid points about the teams that Tresselball defeated, perhaps the problem with its offense lied in its predictability and lack of in-game adjustment?  This left it at a distinct disadvantage against other teams that could vary their offensive approach and better utilize their playmakers (who were under-utilized in our predictable scheme) against our defense?

BrewstersMillions's picture

There is a lot to be said about a guy who can win 100 plus games, multiple conference championships, multiple bowl games, and a national title with a style that says "I'm doing this, come stop it". JT won way too many games (and a ton against ranked\talented teams) and lost too few to say his style didn't work. Simple as that. The losses he did have were generally magnified because of the stage on which he lost them but to write off his style-the one that won him hundreds of games at multiple levels-as a gimmick is just wrong, and quite frankly comes off as a little bitter.
I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to football. I've always loved the theory that execution will always over come deception-meaning the same thing over and over can work if its run well. Tressel, when he did falter, did fall prey to his style doing him in. If there is anything a coach must do during the course of four quarters, he must be willing to make adjustments. Tressel didn't always do that...with that said, when he did stray from his gameplan, the results weren't great either. OSU abandoned the run game against UF too soon, but that one wasn't going our way regardless. The better coached team won the day-Coaches lose. It happens. LSU was a game we got away from 'Tresselball' and paid the price. 140 yards on 20 carries. That was Beanie's day. LSU had Craig effing Steltz in the defensive secondary. OSU should have run that ball until both safeties came up and killed them with PA over the top. That game more than any should have illustrated the values of Tressel ball. It worked until it was not being used.
I'm all for change if it works. I miss JT but have embraced Urban. I'm cool with anything that results in OSU wins. JT got a lot of those while he was here. Dismissing his accomplishments as 'gimmicky' just sticks in my craw.

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

hodge's picture

I think we've already established this point (though I do respect your opinion towards favoring more "traditional" offenses), but I see all offenses as gimmicky: because I consider every innovation in football to be centered upon at least one novel idea that is utilized to benefit the scheme that the coach employs.  Wesbster agrees:

"Gimmmick - An ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal"

The game has been played for over a hundred years now and countless innovations have been utilized.  Be it in the pursuit of clock control, exhausting a defense, featuring a passing or running concept, or a schematic advantage, all offenses are "gimmicky".  I'm not trying to be bitter toward Tress, but the hiring of Meyer--and the installation of his offense--has allowed for a more unbiased dissection of Tressel's methods.  Tresselball had its weaknesses, the same may that Meyer's spread allows itself to be crippled by multiple offensive miscues.  Yes, Tressel won a lot of games under his system, but I wonder if his record would have been quite as prolific if he were playing tougher squads, or systems that better utilized their players?  I ask this same question knowing that Tressel wouldn't have lost to Mississippi State the way that UF did back in '08, as well.  The swords always cut both ways haha.

BrewstersMillions's picture

I have issue with the word "gimmick"'s nexgative connotation. As if its not real football. That's the implication people make with the word when talking about an offense. In the purest meaning of the word, all of football is a 'gimmick'.
Tressel isn't without criticisms. I had neighbors that wondered why I flew an OSU flag out of my condo porch because all they ever heard me say was "FU TRESSEL!".

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

Akeem96's picture

'07 Fiesta would have been a lot different had UF been the favorite (i.e. Alex Boone wouldn't have been hung over).  On the same note, the '03 Fiesta would have been a lot different had OSU not been the 14pt dog.  UF played with a huge chip on their shoulders and had an edge because of it (EM3 explicitly stated in the post game).  Did it effect the actual winner/loser?  Maybe/probably not, but we will never know.  Unfortunately, that game was the catalyst that started the perceived SEC dominance (it may have been earned over the last couple seasons, but it was handed to them a little easily at the start).  
There is so much discussion about X's and O's but if the dog shows up and the fav stays home, better watch out.  As an OSU student from the early mid 90's, I've seen the Buckeyes lose few games simply because they stayed on the bus.  41-14 is pretty lopsided so it had to be more than that, right?  Well how about 35-3 to Iowa which was avenged the following year by about the same score?
A couple times this year, hubris will cost a much better team a win.  It will hurt the pride of the  team and fans of that team.  The fans and players will remember it for a long time and even want to learn from it, but the 2015, 2016 recruits will not even notice.

ih8rolltyde's picture

The '06 Troy Smith O was anything but boring and predictable. I think Tress was top shelf at maxing out talent (while minimizing the opportunity for failure.) Now Bollman......smh

****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

SPreston2001's picture

See thats where I kinda disagree. I do agree that the 06 team was full of excitement but I dont think Tres was very good at maxing out talent simply because he didnt really play to individual players strengths. Troy Smith & Co. were just an amazing group of players but just imagine Teddy playing in a offense that let him touch the ball almost every play? Lets be honest if OSU wasnt in the B1G I really dont think we would have had the same amount of success if we were in the PAC12 with USC or the SEC with all of them. I love Tres but the B1G paved a pretty easy road to alot of those BCS games...  

Dougger's picture

Johnny I love how you use Simpsons references all the time. haha Disco Stu. 
I'm a little conflicted about this Jim Tressel conversation. On one hand we have the start of something special (and hopefully the bucks open up a can on Cal tomorrow), but we're talkin about national championship games we lost? Those were good days but more are coming! But beanie wells was an absolute freak. that day he went 214 on scUM may be one of the best days ever. I had to lay down in Summit st. for a second after that performance. anywho give Brionte the rock and let the o line keep improving. Shazier get more tackles. 

I like football

schooey's picture

Jahvid Best need to tuck that ball in before someone smacks it right out of his hand. 

schooey's picture

Where is the good money to be made folks? I don't see any obvious upsets this weekend. Mass at Mich maybe? 

William's picture

Not obvious, but FSU has lost to Wake Forest 2 out of the past 3 years. 

schooey's picture

Ha, yes I was just about to post that. I'm going with that one!