Into the Mystic

By Ramzy Nasrallah on November 6, 2012 at 1:00p

Last week I heard from several people accusing me of employing revisionist history to downplay the success of the Tressel Era in light of Urban Meyer's 9-0 start to his first season. This line from last Tuesday's post was thrown back at me by one emailer:

Football isn't just about integrity or championships; it's also supposed to be fun. 

That back-handed critiqueliment was not consumed quietly. RELEASE THE RHETORICAL HOUNDING QUESTIONS: So you're saying that beating Michigan nine times in a decade wasn't fun? So winning the Big Ten every year wasn't fun? So going to BCS bowls every year wasn't fun?

Nobody disputes the efficacy of Tresselball where unlocking the Big Ten's automatic and/or at-large BCS bids were concerned, and Jim Tressel's radical transformation of the Michigan Wolverines from albatross to bitch ranks with Teflon, hot dogs and vulcanized rubber among Ohio's greatest engineering achievements.

The exceptions to his methods came not after his season tallies were recorded, but during the Saturdays that defined them.

Tressel famously put his offense in shackles, expending plays to center field goals and position punts while draining the football out of football games to achieve those glorious outcomes listed above in italics. And ultimately it worked, like, a ridiculous 80% of the time.

Whether it was Meyer's Gators shredding the Buckeyes in Glendale or Tressel's Buckeyes suffocating the Oregon Ducks in Pasadena (people do still remember that this happened, right?) it's a futile argument to suggest there's only one way to win. 

That wasn't at all what I was suggesting. I just know which journey I would rather expect, root for and watch – and there's no better illustration of this philosophical dichotomy in approach to winning than the two most recent games with those floundering Illini.

Last year the Buckeyes completed one damn pass against Illinois. One.

It came in the fourth quarter in Champaign and it was Braxton Miller's fourth (!) and final (!!) attempt of the game. And yet Ohio State still won, despite telegraphing its tendencies for all 30 of the forgettable minutes that it held onto the ball.

The refugees of Tressel's final Ohio State staff correctly bet on Ron Zook blinking too many times and simply played keep-away. After 228 total yards of offense which included that one completion and a whole lot of blinking from the other sideline, the scoreboard alone told you it was okay to be happy.

Now contrast that to last Saturday, when Miller had more passing yards than Ohio State had total yards in Champaign – and he hit eight different receivers, compared to four total passing attempts. Even with all of that throwing, the Buckeyes still rushed the ball six more times than they did in last year's game – and gained 119 extra yards in the process. 

The punchline? None of that was necessary to win. None of it.

HOLD ONTO THE BALL SONSmith & Spencer: Churning butter instead of grinding clock.

Meyer could have easily played keep-away against the conference's most pitiful team and won the surest way using the exact same recipe that Tressel's refugees cooked up last season. You can kill a fly with your slipper or a cannon. Either way, the fly dies.

The scoreboard's consultation wasn't necessary on Saturday, because football in Columbus is no longer the distraction that takes place in between punts.

Watching the Buckeyes win in Champaign last year – and oftentimes under Tressel when the opponent didn't merit any fireworks – felt like a chore rather than an escape.

That's the difference in methods – and possibly the only one. Nobody disputed the efficacy of Meyer's approach to winning where unlocking the SEC's automatic and/or at-large BCS bids were concerned. He and Tressel have both earned the public's trust on Saturdays.

Ten-game winning streaks don't grow on trees. They're hard to come by against the weakest schedule, let alone Ohio State's (it's now ranked the 51st hardest and about to get tougher). Tressel notched three such streaks in his 10 seasons. 

This is Meyer's fourth. He had one at Utah during his perfect 2004 season and two at Florida. Most of the wins in those streaks can be primitively summed up as his guys scored a ton of points and the other guys didn't.

Tressel's streaks contained a few games like that, sprinkled among those infamous nail-biters against significantly weaker teams – much in the same way that Meyer's current one does.

Except that this team is still doing a second-rate impression of Meyer's philosophical approach toward winning. He's doing this with a roster of beleaguered players that had to be re-recruited just to stay in town. It's still devoid of offensive tackles and linebackers. Jordan Hall has been hurt all year – his subpar Percy Harvin impression will have to wait until next year.

This is what rebuilding looks like.

Illinois was held to just 170 total yards Saturday. That's 115 fewer than they had last year when they were shut out by the Silver Bullets until the waning minutes of the game. Sure, the weary Illini might be getting worse as the losses pile up, but after 10 wins in as many weeks the Buckeye defense has also gotten much better. 

Anyone who doesn't think there is a difference between winning ugly and winning pretty in the beauty pageant that is college football is kidding themselves. Limiting choices to only winning ugly or losing pretty is a choice better left to straw men, or to those too afraid to be critical of an otherwise impeccable coaching record.

And that's all I was saying. Ohio State at 10-0 without the threat of being forced to watch one of those famous shriveled-confidence clock-grinders is invigorating. Because football isn't just about integrity or championships; it's also supposed to be fun.

The best news is that even if you disagree, it's not going to matter anyway. You see, Meyer's track record in this area requires no revisionist history either.



gobucks5413's picture

I love it. Who woulda thought a little over a year ago, that we would have somehow ended up in BETTER shape than we were the previous 10 years? Its good to be a Buckeye....

Bucksfan's picture

"I love...touchdowns.  I love...yards."
"Brick, are you just looking at things in the stadium and saying that you love them?"
"I love...points."
"Do you really love points, or are you just saying it because you saw it?"
"I love points!  I love points!"

albinomosquito's picture

lolz..  i wish i could upvote this..

Sgt. Elias's picture

 I'll do it for you ;)

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Brick killed a guy.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

ajbosu1's picture

Well written piece. It is such a pleasantly foreign feeling to have a coach with the mentality of Meyer. Step on the oponent's neck and nand continue to do so.
The '09 USC game lef tme exasperated. We were clearly the better team but Tressel was out-coached. If Meyer had that squad we win by three scores.

Bucksfan's picture

There are 2 games on Tressel's resume that I will never get over.  That is one of them.

razrback16's picture

Absolutely. I wanted Tressel fired after that game and it was the first time I ever uttered those words. Especially after I read Chris Brown's breakdown and he further pointed out the obvious errors by the coaching staff in that game:

BTwrestle04's picture

Joe McKnight still never crossed the effing plane. That still pisses me off.

Bucksfan's picture

Actually, that was Stafon Johnson.

Did Tressel throw the flag to challenge?  No, of course not.  (This play, along with the called-TD in the game against Illinois in 2007, were the main reasons I thought it was hilarious that he got called upon by the Indianapolis Colts to be their replay guy in the booth.)
But the rundown in the article posted by Razr is well-taken.  I knew it was a bad game, I had no idea it was THAT bad.
Anyway onto better things...

CALPOPPY's picture

The call in the Illinois game was reviewed. They just didn't overturn.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

Bucksfan's picture

No, the officials didn't stop the extra point to give it another look.  Tressel should have called a T.O. to give the review more time but didn't.  He first alleged that it was a technical difficulty, but then one question later said that there was no access to any monitor playback in the first place, and somehow shifted blame on the refs not wanting them to take a T.O. for review or some shit.  And later he added an "and so forth" at which point we're all lost in the maze as to what really happened; just forget the fact that we saw plenty of other coaches outside of the Big Ten, the conference that pioneered the technology in the first place, throw a whole bunch of challenge flags in response to questionable calls...nothing to see here, apparently.
It was classic Tressel.

nickma71's picture

And with his knee down, he is falling forward and the actual spot of the ball when the knee hit would be clockwise from its current spot behind the goal line.

Maestro's picture

I thought that article was a bit overblown, but that game was incredibly frustrating nonetheless.

vacuuming sucks

avail31678's picture

And how do you NOT go for it on Fourth and 1 at the goal line?  Even if you don't convert, you force a true freshman QB to march 99 yards at an away night game in front of 105k screaming fans.  And until the 4th quarter, our D OWNED Barkley. 

scrotieMcboogerballs's picture

I was at the USC game (and the Texas home game)...I get sick to my stomach every time I think of those games. Eerily similar to that feeling you get 12-15 seconds after you are kicked in your niblets...Ramzy, we love you

"Who do you think you are?!?!...I am!!"  -Pete Weber, bowling legend and dominator of the English language

Alhan's picture

You can kill a fly with your slipper or a cannon. Either way, the fly dies.

Ramzy, I'm stealing this for my signature.

You can kill a fly with your slipper or a cannon. Either way, the fly dies. -Ramzy

bucknasty13's picture

Pretty funny line.  I stopped and re-read this in the article.

hodge's picture

"Nobody disputes the efficacy of Tresselball where unlocking the Big Ten's automatic and/or at-large BCS bids were concerned, and Jim Tressel's radical transformation of the Michigan Wolverines from albatross to bitch ranks with Teflon, hot dogs and vulcanized rubber among Ohio's greatest engineering achievements."

You also forgot the elecric engine starter, Freon, the mechanical cash register, the birth of this guy, and the airplane.

burkmon's picture

Pop can tab.  Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Erma Bombeck.
I live two blocks away from the Wright Bros. homestead- Hawthorne Hill.
Great things come from Ohio!


buckeyedude's picture

Buckeye Beer.



Ultrabuckeyehomer's picture

I was also going to point out, that the examples of ohio engineering were terribly chosen ...many, many more important examples.  When you have a Kettering, patterson, Fraze, Wright Bros. et al in Dayton alone, you can come up with many more... actually, nevermind, Dayton is where the brains have been 

Maestro's picture

Van Morrison !! What do I win?

vacuuming sucks

hodge's picture

One Moondance, coming right up.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Fan-freaking-tastic album. Love it.

BucksfanXC's picture

We were born before the wind... thanks for getting that stuck in my head, no sarcasm there. Love that song.
I guess I never hated the Tresselball. It won and I agreed with it. I hate seeing interceptions, fumbles, penalties, any mistakes really. I like seeing Woody Hayes-esque disiciplined soliders carrying out football dominance on Saturdays and New Year's Day. I'm only 28 years old mind you, but I love it. I can't find myself hating Alabama this year for this reason. I hate Nick Saban, but I like big O-line's plowing holes for bubble screens and draw plays.
Not that I mind Urban's offense. And once they stop missing tackles, I'm sure I'll like the D again too. If they do the fundamentals right first, I like watching the spread 'em out, more than just one run play, kinda offense.
I'm sure it has a lot to do with wins. I might have not liked Tressball if they lost, and the same goes for Urban/Herman-ball I would imagine. But I hope I never have to find out.

“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

sloopy88's picture

I agree, winning is fun and I never had a problem with Tresselball.  I guess I don't like having to declare one version or the other 'fun' and the other one torture.  The conservatism in Tressel's offense also carried over to being careful with the ball, avoiding mistakes, dominating defensively, and punting and kicking really really well.  That was fun for me.  Watching other quarterbacks run for their lives was fun, expecting interceptions was fun, knowing that we could score on virtually every possession because we were so good at kicking and punting was fun.  Having to worry about our punting or our tackling is just so foreign, as is leaning on the offense to make up points.  But while there's obviously different philosophies at play, I don't think the strengths of each style are mutually exclusive. 

JLP36's picture

Watching the Buckeye D kick the hell out of people never got that old to me either.  Not sure why we want to distance ourselves from what was probably the most successful decade ever.  It was great, there was a disaster, and the Buckeyes are back on track. Why diminish the great part?  Maybe others are not old enough to remember Cooper and Bruce.  There was plenty of frustration then! 
Kind of wierd to use last year's IL game as a comparison when Tressel wasn't the coach.  In 2009 the Buckeyes win easy over USC if Pryor can keep from throwing passes into the feet of open receivers in the end zone.  There was a reason they were reluctant to pass.  Also don't think this year's team has faced anyone near as good as that USC team - or maybe anyone very good at all.
The bottom line to me is that the Buckeyes were great under Tressel and made us proud often.  They look like they are going to be great under Meyer and hopefully for a long time.  Its all good.  I don't need to diminish what went before to enjoy the here and now and I will enjoy it a whole lot more if we kick the living hell out of Michigan.


The_Lurker's picture


hodge's picture

This will always be my favorite.
The passion just pours out of him and the rest of The Band...I'm listening to it right now in fact and have goosebumps crawling up my arms and seeping into my soul.
Fun fact: Van Morrison had to literally be pushed on stage that night.  And it's the only song during the whole concert that wasn't overdubbed during post-production.

Denny's picture



hodge's picture

I had a "Denny high kick reference" countdown going, and you made it in eighteen minutes.  You sir, do not disappoint.

The_Lurker's picture

Caravan and And it Stoned Me are right up there for me, just a half notch behind Into the Mystic.

WC Buckeye's picture

"I Wanna Roo You" and "You're My Woman" are pretty awesome, too, although with such a great catalogue of work it really is hard to pick favorites. LOVE "Into the Mystic" and "Tupelo Honey", as well...

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

RBuck's picture

I'll go for Wavelength as the best Morrison song with Bright Side of the Road a close second.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

Denster's picture

This is what I assumed you meant... how your meaning got lost in translation is beyond me.
Love Tress always, but love destroying or at least attempting to destroy people wayyy more.

"It's a double-barreled pistol that fires hard work and victory..."

cajunbuckeye's picture

Well played, Ramzy. You summed up the entirety of the season in a simple three letter word...F..U..N. I agree wholeheartedly!

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Whbrbl's picture

This is what rebuilding looks like.

I'll take it.

nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

People need to get over themselves. Commentary is just that. Enjoyed the post, per the usual.
As far as the Tressel era goes, agreed, great record no doubt however playing to "not lose" was maddening at times. You can get to the coast by horse drawn wagon but I'd rather employ nitrous oxcide. Meyer believes in a suffocating defense as well as a balls-to-the-wall offensive approach. Go Bucks!

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

Doc's picture

Thanks for the clarification.  I was afraid that the fun I was having watching this team was wrong and not allowed.  Urban sure has changed the landscape of OSU football.

"Say my name."

timdogdad's picture

tressel's last half as a coach in the sugar bowl was his exact game-we were backed up about every time, ran three plays and punted it back and tried to run out the clock the whole half.  and hung on at the end.  i loved how it worked against scum in 07. with the bad weather, the offense was hand it to beanie.  that was it.   a win in 07  after the game of the century in 06 was nice.     

gwalther's picture

This: "Nobody disputes the efficacy of Tresselball where unlocking the Big Ten's automatic and/or at-large BCS bids were concerned, and Jim Tressel's radical transformation of the Michigan Wolverines from albatross to bitch ranks with Teflon, hot dogs and vulcanized rubber among Ohio's greatest engineering achievements."
And this: "or Tressel's Buckeyes suffocating the Oregon Ducks in Pasadena (people do still remember that this happened, right?)"
Without a doubt, it's more fun to watch Meyer's team now.

Class of 2008

Ill_Buckeye's picture

Think I have to write in a ramzy vote today

poop's picture

Perfectly sums up my feelings. I was at the game Saturday and it was so fun to watch both the offense and defense dominate. It was entertaining! I can't tell you how many times I wanted to leave a game early during the Tressel years because his foot was off the gas by half time and another Puntapalooza was imminent. I can't say it any better than Ramzy did in the article so I'll leave it at that. Great job Ramzy!

DetroitBuckeye's picture

Is it possible to praise Meyer without destroying Tressel?  Obviously Meyer's team is more fun to watch, picking between them is apples and oranges, like deciding between Luck or RG3.

Earle's picture

Nice piece.  Not to be a Tressel apologist, but I think its a little unfair to paint last year's performance in Champaign as Tresselball.  He did not create the putrid gameplan or participate in the putrid playcalling that resulted in a single pass completion.  Yes, he bears some responsibility for the staff he left behind, and its philosophy, but I have to believe that JT would have been able to craft and execute a better offensive strategy than we saw on that day.
That said, I completely agree that Urban Meyer's Ohio State team is much more fun to watch, and if:

This is what rebuilding looks like

we are in for some kind of ride.

bodast67's picture

Obviously if Jim Tressel were coaching that day then we would have had all our key players in place because Tatgate would not have's all hypothetical .




     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

Earle's picture

No argument there. My point was not to hang that one on Tressel just because his "refugees" concocted the pile of slop that was that offensive gameplan.

yrro's picture

I'm in the minority, apparently. Winning 52-49 isn't fun to me.
If we get the defense up to snuff, maybe it will be fun again.
Best thing about this year has been the Warinner hire. Biggest "might have been" for me is Tressel's playcalling but with a real O-line coach.
Also, we've had plenty of blowouts in Columbus against bad teams even with Tressel's "boring" offense.

razrback16's picture

Yep. Can't help but wonder how much better his teams would've been if he'd hired a real offensive line coach and delegated the offensive coordination to someone who was really good at it. Tressel wasn't AWFUL as an OC, but I wouldn't call him good, either. Under Tress, we thankfully had a good enough defense to keep us in (and at times, win the game for us) most games.

Doc's picture

Winning 52-49 isn't fun to me.

If Tressel was coaching that game we would have lost.  Once we had the lead in the third quarter he would have put the offense in neutral, and we had seen in years past that getting the offense restarted was very difficult.  The flip side to that is JT's defenses wouldn't have let that happen in the first place.

"Say my name."

yrro's picture

It's a pretty big hypoetical either way. Very few teams in ten years dropped more than 40 points on Tress.
Really, it's one of those "if your *strength* is getting owned, you're losing the game" things. This team isn't going to win a lot of 10-7 type games, because it means that their offense is playing *terribly*. Tressel wasn't going to win many games where his defense gave up over 30 points.

cbusbuckeye's picture

It only happened once actually, by a team coached by one Urban F Meyer. 

Bucksfan's picture

52-49 wasn't good for business.  It wasn't good for anybody.
Now it looks like the defense is coming around, making tackles, and ruining lives for the opposing backfield in the last couple of weeks.  Still a big field to hoe, but honestly this offense is awfully rare.  Braxton Miller is not the kind of player that comes around very often.  Some guys are close...Troy Smith ca. November of 2004 for sure comes to mind.  But, Braxton, Hyde, and the O-line are destroying ankles, racking up yards, converting those yards to TDs, and furthermore breaking the spirit of defenses.
Plenty of blowouts?  No.  Certainly not "plenty," at least not from the standpoint of scoring more than 40 points.  Tressel's teams often struggled to score more than 30, let alone 40.  I broke down the numbers in the comment section of this poll question from the beginning of the year.
This year, Ohio State has broken 40 points 4 separate times...each time they broke 50.

razrback16's picture

Absolutely awesome article, thank you.

NEWBrutus's picture

Funny thing....
Look at the season numbers:  Ohio State runs he ball 64% of the time. 
On first down it is 67%, On Second Down it is 72%, on third down it is 39% and on 4th down the Buckeyes have yet to attempt a pass. 
To me this breakdown looks very "Tressel like."  In fact, If I didn't know the record, how many points we were scoring on average, and other things, I would have guessed it was Tressel running the show. 
Things are different, but in many ways they haven't changed.   Pounding the ball.  That is still the same.  Power football.  That is still the same.  An often times ugly passing offense (which is often ignored in the critiquing because we are running the ball so darned well it just slips by). Scheme is much different.  Execution (mainly up front) is better different.  Some aspects of QB play are better different, some are similarly poor.  (The QB's were a combined 2-6 passing on third down, and did not convert a third and long). 
It is more fun to watch, simply because of the different approach by Coach Meyer to let his top skill guys determine the outcome of the game. 

DetroitBuckeye's picture

Interesting you said this as I was thinking a rather similar thing.  Just because it is the spread people don't think of it as being conservative but what is the difference between running a read option 10-15 times a game or running the dave the same amount?  

Alhan's picture

The amount of yards you get on the play. :-P

Dave would be the rushing back up the middle. The read option keeps our best player involved, keeping it exciting.

You can kill a fly with your slipper or a cannon. Either way, the fly dies. -Ramzy

OSUBias's picture

The difference is that Dave has 1 option: hit the hole behind the pulling guard. The read option has, at worst, 2 options (hand off or keep), and realistically with Braxton it's more like 6 options (handoff, keep and go outside the d end, keep and follow hyde through the hole, keep and start inside then bounce outside, reverse field, juke someone out of his shoes, gain 10 yards, step out of bound, etc). Our embarrassing losses came when teams sold out to stop Dave and we couldn't do anything else. No when teams sell out to stop the run, we run anyway. With a new variant of the read (midline, IV, etc. thank you Ross). There aren't new variants of Dave. Dave is Dave.
The difference is also in production. Our current offense puts up ridiculous yardage and points, as fast as we can. Tressel's offenses never did that, because he didn't want them to and refused to let them off the leash (minus the Troy Smith senior season, and the occasional TP game). When we were up in the second half, and Tress ran dave 3 times, we knew we'd punt and play defense. If we run zone read 3 times right now? We might go 3 and out, especially in the first quarter. But we also might gain 80 yards and score. Or 45. It's not a surefire fastest way to the punt anymore. stink

DetroitBuckeye's picture

That's true but many of those runs under Tressel would break free as well.  Also something that hasn't been mentioned but I believe our former coaches strategies helped our defense out a great deal by giving them a rest.  I remember seeing many games where we were sitting on a lead and our running backs would than get big chunk plays 10-15 yards.  The passing offense was also better.  

NEWBrutus's picture

There is little difference on the surface.  However, the way we tweak the read option, utilize constraint plays, and vary alignments to gain the numbers advantage is one of the resons we aren't crying in our beer about running the ball too much.  Right now, you know we are going to run it a lot (especially on first and second down), we are out-scheming opposing defenses right now. 
Before there was little imagination (just think back to the michigan state game a year ago....One naked qb bootleg would have gone for however many yards needed to score a TD, because MSU sold out every time, and we failed miserably to make them pay for their over zealous nature!). 
I don't know that our 2011 OL was poor, but they were never placed in a position to be successful last season.  In fact, there weren't many years when they were.  Our 2012 looks infinately better.  Why? 

DetroitBuckeye's picture

Ahh...I see we are on different topics, I was talking about the tressel years not the bollman/Fickell years.  Perfect example for me, 2007 Michigan vs Ohio State at the big House Beanie Wells 39 carries 220 yards 2 tds.  Tresselball works great when you have a great back that gets yards and moves the ball forward.  My only real complaint about Tressel was his lack of ability to adjust his gameplan.  When the run wasn't working he would sometimes stick with it too long when he should have tried something else (screen, outside run, read option, zone read, pa etc.)

Denny's picture

This is what rebuilding looks like

Good to hear you're recovering from the storm, buddy.


bodast67's picture

Ha Ha great title...upvotes to all the Van Morrison references today !!!!!




     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

buckeyepastor's picture

I loved Tressel as a person and a coach, but I wasn't the least bit bothered by what you said.  To me, it boils down to Meyer's statements earlier this year about the offense being OK with not getting it done and being successful.   I think the previous administration's philosophy fed into that mindset.  Glad that it's over now.  Glad that we stuck in a late TD on Nebraska at a time when previous teams would have taken a knee, and likely even had to punt before the clock ran out.   Same with Illinois the other day.   Under Tressel, Dunn would have had a few nice runs, gotten us to the red zone, and then we'd have started taking a knee.   Under Tressel, Rod Smith might still be working to get back onto the football field after turnovers earlier this year and last year.   Insitead, he's KILLING IT for us.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

scarpenter614's picture

I was just comparing Pryor's sophomore year under Tressel with Braxton's sophomore year under Meyer.  According to sports reference dot com, Braxton (through 10 games) has 1753 yards passing and 1166 yards rushing compared to Pryor's sophomore season (including Rose Bowl) 2094 yards passing and 779 yards rushing.  Braxton will out-pass and come within 200 yards or so of double-rushing Pryor's sophomore season.  I can remember thinking "why don't we let Pryor run more, that's what he's best at."  Now I'm not a football coach, but I think that's what Urban does much better than Tressel.  Sure, it's great to develop Braxton as a passer, but let him still do what he does best, RUN!  Everyone would agree doing what you do best is the most fun, and that makes a much more fun product to watch for the fans.

JLP36's picture

Pryor did not like contact, did not like guys going after those long legs.  He was fast, but he was not a natural runner on the college level because he did not like the hits.  Seemed to like them less as time went on.  Miller, on the other hand, is one of the best natural runners you are going to see now and likely for a long time. 


DetroitBuckeye's picture

Your kidding right, Pryor used to plow right through people or use his mean stiff arm with startling regularity.  Pryor didn't run as much as Braxton does because of the offensive philosophies, while it is true that Tressel hasn't had many huge running quarterbacks. Try comparing the success of his receivers or running backs.  Gonzalez, Ginn, Holmes, Robiskie, Hartline, Jenkins against umm Harvin.

cbusbuckeye's picture

I think you've forgotten how often Pryor would run out of bounds to avoid contact instead of fighting for yards. The difference between him and Miller is the will to fight for extra yards. 

OSUBias's picture

TP had a mean stiff arm, and you're right, he could plow people when he wanted. But the perception I always had was that he never wanted to. He would do it from time to time when it was absolutely necessary, but I can't count the number of times he cruised out of bounds 1-2 yards short of the first down when he was scrambling on first or second down. Then we had to rely on Dave against 9 in the box to get the first down on 3rd and short.
TP was good at many things, but lowering his shoulder and punishing tacklers frequently was not one of them. Though he didn't miss 1-2 series per game due to injury, like Brax. Pros and Cons and all that... stink

JLP36's picture

on the way to the sideline.  he would never run between the tackles like Braxton.  Not a called run runner.  Great on the scramble - that was his best asset but he would never have been a consistent zone read - called run guy.  great speed but doesn't have the body type for inside running.


DetroitBuckeye's picture

I think this has to do more with the offensive styles more than anything else.  IMO, Pryor would have lit the world on fire with Cam Newton like results in this offense.  He put up sick numbers just on when the play breaks down scrambles, he was also great at avoiding sacks not sure the exact numbers but it just seems like he never went down where as Braxton is pretty bad at just normal scrambling and that got exposed last year.  As far as body type you clearly forgot the pryor years he was much bigger than Braxton is and could have easily taken 20-25 carries a game without injury.

JLP36's picture

big man, but long gangly legs not good for any inside running.  he hated guys going at those legs.  can't blame him, but can't see him pounding inside runs.


causeicouldntgo43's picture

Agree that football is supposed to be fun....someone should tell that to Nick Satan, I mean Saban. He always looks like he just smelled something bad. Yes - I know he wins, but man, where's the joy?
Miss you Tress - at least Tresselball was better than Walrusball..............

Bucksfan's picture

Crimson Tide joy?  That's on sale at the Tuscaloosa Wal-mart for $0.99.

OSUBias's picture

Saban right now = Meyer at Florida after '06. No joy, just perfection or bust. stink

Doc's picture

I think we all have to remember Tress' first year was not started by us going 10-0.  It took an entire year before the team embraced "Tresselball".  Granted, that second year we won the MNC.  My point is the team is still learning the system and the defense is getting better.  Next year and the years after are going to be funner.

"Say my name."

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I don't see any reason to denigrate Tress in order to elevate Urbz. They're both great coaches. It sucked when the NCAA's grotesque clown show rolled into C-Bus and last year was a mess, but it all worked out it in the end. Asking us to pick between Tress and Urbz is like asking us to pick between two of our own children.
The "older son," who'd seemed like a paragon of virtue, got into a little trouble (partly as a result of good intentions gone awry) and was forced to leave town. But we still love him.
The "younger son" is bright, ambitious, a natural born leader, and tons of fun, but we don't know for how long we'll have the pleasure of his company. When he leaves town, it'll probably be by choice. But we love him, too.  

brglr14's picture

urbz does have more of a killer instinct than tress did but you cant argue with the results. i really believe tress would of prefered to have is O like 2006 every year but talent dictates what u can do and i think he did pretty damn good. to me its urbz who has to live up to things. 1 natty title numerous bcs wins and 7 big 10 championships. doesnt matter how you get there as long as you get there. and has far as fun ohio state football is always fun.

I dont know karate but i do know crazy and i'm not afraid to use it.

German Buckeye's picture

Our momentum this year SHOULD  translate to next year.  Next year SHOULD be a fun year to watch football.  It SHOULD equate to a BIG championship.  It SHOULD result in the last BCS game we'll hope to ever see. All these "shoulds" require that certain players SHOULD return for their upperclass years.  Anyone on staff been looking at the possibility of losing a lot of NFL talent off the squad?  What will that mean for us next season? 

argyle182021's picture

The only people I could see leaving early would be Hankins and Roby.  Anyone else come to mind?

Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

You're ultimately right - Meyer's style is more fun. And he's one of a very small group of coaches better than Tressel in this era. But you wayyyyy over-reach with last year's Illinois game as exhibit A. Tressel's teams were NEVER that inept. It does prove your thesis that Bollman stole his check though (Warriner's success also shows that). 
So let's be fair to Tressel. Football doesn't necessarily have to be more than his game. It takes us spoiled Buckeye fans to insist on that. But let's also enjoy the fact that we slipped on a banana peel and fell in a pot of gold.

LouGroza's picture

The one thing that stuck in my head was in the All Access show when Urban stated "there is a culture here that it is ok to not make it" speaking of offensive plays that needed made. He seemed stunned in saying it. I always felt that way watching Tressel coached teams. They didn't seem to be completely annoyed by the fact when they couldn't make plays on offense. Because the punt was the greatest football play. Never could grasp that particular concept. Loved tressells defenses though.

JLP36's picture

Tressel should have hired Glen Mason to coach OL the day MN fired him.  (btw - MN really made a good move there.  Mason was always losing bowl games at MN.  Now MN really has it going on.) 
Power running - play action pro style football can actually be fun.  No offense is fun when the OL sucks. 


buckeyedude's picture

So I think you're saying you're a fan of Urban Meyer, Ramzy?



Brutus's picture

I'm done with all this conjecture about who is better or why we're better off now.  I'm not shy about admitting I'm a Tressel guy, but I certainly appreciate the fact that we have Meyer now.  Two different coaches with two different styles of play.  I'm not about to say one is better than the other at this point.  One guy had ten seasons to prove himself.  The other guy has just 10 games.  I'll reserve judgment until Meyer has a chance to do his thing with a team that is entirely his own. Get back to me in four years.  I think then we'll have enough info to resume this debate.  For now, just beat Michigan. I'm almost indifferent to the Wisconsin game.  Beat the hell out of Michigan and all will be right again.

JLP36's picture

Agree with about everything.  Looking for a tremendous Meyer era, love the 10 - 0 start, but we should absolutely be 10 - 0 now based on the schedule we have faced.  We should end 12 - 0.  Based on schedule only, Meyer should start 24-0.  Easier said than done, but he starts out with the better players in his first 24 or 25 games.  [26th will be a tough one, but they get it done!]
And yes, beat Michigan down so badly that a generation of recruits turn their back on Hoke.  They need a refresher course on how things work after last year.


nickma71's picture

Coach Tressel won 19 in a row, twice. 9 of 10 against Michigan. 5-3 in the BCS, including the big one. He won the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, and the Fiesta Bowl. Didn't play in the Orange, that is ok. He was embarassed twice by the SEC, but not like Oklahoma was. Speaking of which, he throttled the Big 12 champ which was very much like this years team (frauds).

JLBNYC's picture

First of all,  best Van Morrison song ever! This Dylan cover is also a favorite:
Second, another great Ramzy article!
I think the days of punting on 4th down at the opponent's 37 are over!

BuckeyeCrew's picture

Ramzy, no matter how you slice it, your comments come off as disrespectful. For example, your ridiculous attempt to paint the Illinois game from last year, as Tressel's responsibility, really illustrates your biased undertone.
As for your "followers" here.. I'm not surprised they (for the most part) come up with brainless arguments as to why UMs version of the Buckeyes is better than Tressel's.  Mostly, it comes down to the mass ADHD that many college football fans seem to have, causing them to crave emotional stimulation that comes from scoring TDs ad FGs (for them, at least). 
I am sure most of you here would have enjoyed that Baylor-WVU game that finished 70-63.  Well.. maybe not.  I am guessing that even for you folk, that would get boring.  After all, if you want to experience something like that, you can just bust out the latest version of NCAA Football and DO it.
I mean, god forbid that teams which play in a style that win NCs by having a suffocating D, and fantastic running game, provide entertainment for some of us.  (After all, who wants to execute like Alabama?)  Nevermind that a crap team like IU, or a mediocre team like Nebraska lit up the Buckeyes in the same vein that our team did to theirs.  Nevermind that if we didn't have one of the most freakish running QBs in the past decade, that this offense simply wouldn't work.  Actually, there are times it *HASN'T* worked, and Braxton has simply bailed out the team, despite it.
Oh.. and two more things for the zombies: 1) Nevermind that this year's B10 likely has too many teams that would finish in the bottom half of the MAC, and 2) Tressel's teams likely wouldn't have let these poor excuse for D1 football teams (e.g. Illinois, Purdue)  score half of what they did against us this year.  I can tell you that in my decades of watching OSU, I have never seen the B10 this weak.  Someone please correct me if in their opinion, this is not the case.
But please, don't let me interrupt the Tressel bashing, from the grotesque arm-chair QBs here, who likely have their asses imprinted in the couch, along with nacho stains and beer spots.

BeijingBucks's picture

Easy Buckeyecrew Ramzy is just speaking to the majority... The Buckeye faithful loved them some sweater vest and he is forever etched into the Buckeye Halls but to claim that a lot of games were beyond painful to watch would be disingenuous. Woody Hayes also is a legend and epitomized 3 yards and a cloud of dust. My take on Ramzy is we have shifted from a defense and kicking game winning strategy to an offensive strategy.
"Show me your TDs!"
you gotta admit it's a lot more exciting to be wondering 'how' the team is going to punch it in rather than whether or not we can hit that 54 yard FG.  Then again you may have enjoyed that Bama/LSU chship game last but I for one loathed it.
Judgement is still out till we establish a legacy of ownership over the trashtalkers from beyond our northern border but the most important thing for me personally is UFM (who I may have had a disparaging comment or two about during that whole Tebowing debaucle) has managed to polish up the tarnished Buckeye image and infuse the fan base with excitement and enthusiasm like we haven't seen in, well... a mighty long time.  



None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton