Guess Who's Not Coming Back to Dinner

By Ramzy Nasrallah on December 28, 2012 at 12:20p
Tommy Tuberville, new UC coach

There are only a few hours left in 2012, so it's okay to ask the question: What's hot for 2013?

Fashionistas have already weighed in on the look. So have restaurateurs with the food and career counselors with your endless job search. But while their predictions are mixed, we have a consensus on what's hot in college football for 2013: It's the state of Ohio.

How hot is Ohio college football? Major conference coaches are literally getting up in the middle of dinner with recruits and abandoning their non-Ohio posts in favor of stepping-stone jobs in the Buckeye state.

When Tommy Tuberville rose from the table with several recruits and at least half of his coaching staff and abruptly left the restaurant, it wasn't because he didn't like what he had ordered. It also had nothing to do with his assistants, the recruits or his position as Texas Tech's head coach.

He got up and left because Ohio college football came calling. That's all it takes these days.

Tuberville denies that he bailed on that dinner, which is funny because none of the dozen-plus who witnessed his departure have backed up his explanation. Also, it's not like he doesn't already have a track record for lying about bolting for other jobs. He doesn't need to lie. We understand why he left.

Tuberville's exit may have lacked candor, but can you blame him? Cincinnati, albeit a destination primarily for its own high school graduates to discuss and relive high school well into their golden years, is still more livable than Lubbock by a factor of whatever Big XII defenses are allowing these days. 

And it's also (technically) in Ohio, the state chartered with electing the American President on behalf of the other 49 states and the rest of the world.

Novel as his exit was from Red Raiderhood, Tuberville isn't exactly original in taking the leap from a BCS perch to the Buckeye state. If anything, he's a copycat.

Tuberville left the South because Ohio college football came calling.

Ten years ago Frank Solich orchestrated a masterful charade to escape his dead-end job at Nebraska. After a year off to recharge the batteries, he upgraded his career and life in Athens and has never been happier.

Tuberville and current Akron head coach Terry Bowden finished atop the SEC West a combined seven times while at Auburn. Following a lengthy stint in media and then three years at North Alabama coaching kids cut by Les Miles and Nick Saban, Bowden ditched the South in favor of Ohio.

It's become a very common migration path. As you're well aware, Urban Meyer faked a heart condition to escape Gainesville so he could "spend more time with his family."

"There's a taco cart OVER THERE."Terry Bowden in the Ladle of Coaches.

Does that make him Urban Liar? (OMG it rhymes!) On the contrary: After Urban quit his Florida job, he admitted that the last time coaching just felt right was when he was at BG. He just wanted to feel right again. That meant coming home – or at least as close to BG as possible.

Similarly, Darrell Hazell didn't really leave Kent State. He simply took the Purdue job to get the necessary big conference experience required to be a candidate for Urban's vacancy should he decide to retire again for good. It's a calculated risk.

Hazell's successor Paul Haynes left Ohio State for Arkansas a couple of years ago so that he could eventually take the same South-North migratory path back home. Everything went according to his plan.

Even Ohio pro football is hot, with the Bengals in the playoffs. Brian Kelly left Cincinnati for Notre Dame to get experience for the Browns job, which he'll have to pry from Nick Saban's freakishly small hands – if Jon Gruden doesn't come back home to take it first. 

Once his show cause expires, Jim Tressel could end his head coaching career back where it started, in Mother Youngstown. Or he could ride into the sunset as Akron's Fundraiser-in-Chief. Tress is already safely in the kingdom. His destiny is of his choosing.

All of these men are simply chasing what Larry Kehres has in Alliance as Mount Union's head coach: Immortality that's only possible in the state that manufactures coaches who eventually become statues.

Kehres has 11 national titles, a record of 332-24-3 and no promotion available to him. He's already at the top, and that is emblematic of why established coaches like Tuberville hastily scoot away from recruiting dinners before their entrees arrive.

So what's hot for 2013? You don't need a football blogger to tell you. Football coaches are already doing so through their actions.

In the college football's solar system the SEC is Saturn (think: rings), the Milky Way galaxy is ESPN containing and shaping it all, and the Big Ten is Uranus – large, distant and kind of assholish.

But one single state serves as the sun, with gravitational pull strong enough to pluck coaches away from the planets and keep them all revolving around it for a few billion more years.

Ohio is that fiery mass at college football's center providing warmth and light to the rest of the country. And it's burning hotter than ever in 2013.



Boxley's picture


"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

collards's picture

Well I am not sure why one would insult Cincinnati. First of all, only 1 recruit reported on Tuberville while everyone else was silent. Second of all, doesn't Urban Meyer's sister live in Cincy and works for UC. UC couldn't be all that bad since the aboved named Urban was the captain of the Bearcats football team and an alum.


Buckeye in Illini country's picture

He does speak the truth about Cincinnati and high school football.  We are crazy about it here.
Edit: Although the "'technically' part of Ohio" grinds my gears.

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

osu07asu10's picture

It is "technically" part of Ohio...


onetwentyeight's picture

I feel for you guys but it's hard to just explain away why I see widespread UK CATSSSS gear/bumper stickers/clothes everytime I go to that city. #Cintucky

NoVA Buckeye's picture

But for Ohio...

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

gwalther's picture

This article was fucking fantastic.

Class of 2008

Abe Froman's picture

It is what is expected from Ramzy. A brilliant mix of astronomy, geography and football.  I think the Solich comment was a little thin though as Frank took over a program in shambles (which is still better than when I was there in the late 80s) and got to bowl games on a regular schedule.  

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

Abe Froman's picture

Would have only been more impressed with his astronomy (use of) if he included the Oort Cloud or Kuiper belt.

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

Woodylives®'s picture

While Solich has done a masterful job in Athens, Solich hardly took over "a program in shambles", as Grobe did a good job of having Ohio be competetive almost every year in the MAC East.  (A winning record in the conference for his last 5 consecutive years)  

BED's picture

P.S., the Bobcats are up huge on UL-Monroe right now in the Independence Bowl.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

gwalther's picture

Ohio College Football - Hot in 2013

Class of 2008

bukyze's picture

Cincinnati, albeit a destination primarily for its own high school graduates to discuss and relive high school well into their golden years.
As someone who lives in Cincinnati (but did not go to highschool here), this is as true as every girl in Ann Arbor being a whore.  During normal conversations at a party, if someone asks where you went to school, you would mention the college/university you attended.  Not so in the Nati.  Whenever I ask someone where they went to school, they always state where they went to highschool.  I've lived here for 23 years, and I still can't get over it.  Where you went to highschool is EXTREMELY important down here.  And don't get me started on the Eastside/Westside thing.

Lincoln's picture

I hear you. 5 years in Cincy and I will always be an outsider becuase I did not go to school here. I live near Blue Ash and am still trying to figure out if I should side with the Eastsiders or the Westsiders.
I love to see Ramzy bag on Cincinnati  (the only place my kids know as home) a little. It makes me feel better about myself because making fun of people from here has become one of pass-times.
PS.. Facebook chatter today is: After another bowl victory against powerhouse Duke and another 10 win season it won't be long until Tubberville leads UC to championship game before he moves on.

RBuck's picture

Look at it this way: Your kids can feel the pride when they're asked "the question".

Long live the southend.

Denny's picture

And they *will* feel pride when they get asked where they "went to school" and they state their collegiate alma mater -- because they've moved the hell away from Cincinnati. 


Lincoln's picture

HA! snorted a little bit.
So true, when asked to me I say "The Ohio State". When asked to my kids they currently will have to say "The Deer Park" and they then will then be shunned from all cocktail parties they WERE invited to.

BED's picture

LOL to that.  The Bearcats were down 13 early going.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

Oakland Buckeye's picture

Side with the Eastside, the Westside will never recognize you!!

klfeck's picture

That's because even native Cincinnatians could give a crap about UC.......



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

blazers34's picture

You are certainly right.  Ive lived here my whole life and I answer with my high school when asked the question.  Not sure why.  Its a smallish place though, and it seems that everyone knows someone that you know, or whatever.  A way to relate maybe?

buckeyedude's picture

Whenever I ask someone where they went to school, they always state where they went to highschool.  

It's the same way in Toledo. I wonder if Cleveland, Akron, Dayton, and C-bus are similar? Could it be a thing unique to the whole state? I've had neighbors from Canada, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, and all have said it's weird how people here always ask, "Where did you go to (high)school?"



Denny's picture

Apparently this is the case in my home town (Sandusky) and is something that my parents (who moved to Sandusky from Pennsylvania) are quite annoyed by. I never noticed it really. Then again when I still lived there I would answer the question by stating where I went to high school -- because I was still in high school. I effectively moved away the day that I set foot on campus at OSU.


BuckeyeinExile's picture

That must only be the lame ones that went to SMCC because they can't claim Sandusky or Perkins!
I never noticed it about Sandusky growing up either

TheHannimal's picture

I too am from Toledo and can corrobarate this...
I am 31 and have not lived in Toledo since I was 18 and still answer to where I went to highschool.  It's cool though because St. John's ROOOOLZ!

buckeyedude's picture

The Whitmer Panthers! Class of '82 and 2012 Div. 1 runners up in football![showing my age :( ]



burkmon's picture

*Same in Dayton.


popeurban's picture

Not the same in dayton.  I went to The Ohio State University, period.

Rfahncke's picture

+1 trillion

"Have you earned your buckeye today?"

toad1204's picture

First off Oakely.
It never ceases to amaze me the dis-taste which the locals offer up for the Buckeyes.  The word hate is often used oft accompanied with a certain four letter word starting with F.  I like to think UC doing well is good for the state, but the fans (fairweather) always push me to rooting against with the level of disrespect.  Much like the Michigan ND game (who really cares who wins that one) If UC were to play either I'd hope both could lose.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

I disagree.  I think the anti-OSU talk is the minority in Cincinnati.
OSU class of 2010.  McNick Class of 2006

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

faux_maestro's picture

Have you listened to WLW lately?

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

btalbert25's picture

lol WLW is a joke, they are not an accurate representation of the whole city of Cincinnati. 

Doc's picture

I was born and raised in Cincy. When I go back and get asked the question,  I reply Ohio State. Even though I went to Roger Bacon and then Northern Kentucky. My biggest sense of accomplishment is not graduating Dental School, but leaving Cincy. That place is FUBARed. 

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

Ill_Buckeye's picture

I hope 2013 has more ramzy-snark

BigMoosie's picture

Honestly, the trashing and sarcastic jabs at Cincinnati and the people from there have no place on this site. Bash the hiring all you want but the part of the fan base that is from Cincinnati doesn't care for the ELITIST attitude.

Baroclinicity's picture

The fact is, wherever you are from in Ohio, you can pretty much be made fun of for some reason.  It's just a lot of lateral bashing, really.  I'm part of that "from Ohio" crowd...and damn proud of it.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Abe Froman's picture

Love the avatar.  

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

So, where'd you go to school? No - I meant *high* school.

onetakedizzle's picture

If only he hadn't groomed that ELITIST attitude while applying his trade here in the birthplace of zombie chili.  Also you've read the internet, right?  Like with its sarcasm and all.

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

Denny's picture

Your just inabling him being a ELITIST


Denny's picture

Yes you clearly have taken a poll of the entire part of the fan base that is from Cincinnati.


jestertcf's picture

Edit: Meth, it's bad

~Because we couldn't go for three~

Nick's picture

So after three years of Tuberville in Cincy, where does he take off to next?

tennbuckeye19's picture

You think he'll stay that long?

Poison nuts's picture

The heart of it all!

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

harleymanjax's picture

lol Cincinnati is the only place where high school means something...........
Anderson High School class of 91................EASTSIIIIDE!

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

Dougger's picture

Love it
Edit: The title is f'ing hilarious

I like football

painterlad's picture

I must be behind the times because I know nothing about Cincy culture. I mean, I know not to get lost in the Over The Rhine area and that spaghetti should NEVER be served with chili and that Paul Brown stadium is barely big enough to house TBDBITL let alone the 8.7 million Buckeye fans that descend upon the campus for every home game. But other than that, nothing. No east vs west stuff, no high school thing, no being confused with Kentucky. Maybe that's because Cincy has never made that much of an impression this far north.

To err is human. Really sucking requires having yellow stripes on your helmet.

btalbert25's picture

Now OTR is the place to go, and not just to buy weed or narcotics.  There are still some dangerous parts, but the riff raff has really been pushed to lower and east price hill. My wife used to teach at a school on Glenway about 7 years ago and it wasn't too bad over there, now she teaches in Lower Price Hill, and has for a few years.  In the couple of years she's been there the neighborhood, which wasn't great to begin with, has really deteriorated.

btalbert25's picture

Only thing more popular than whining about the SEC and ESPN on this site is bagging on Cincinnati.  I live in NKY and of course people ask where you went to high school all the time, but I was in San Diego and out with a local one night and she introduced me to someone and in conversation they asked me where I went to high school, so I really don't think it's unique to Cincinnati.
I never understood the Eastside/Westside stuff either.  I played baseball on a team in CRC and we had 2 guys from Anderson and the rest were Western Hills guys.  They would always carry on.  I, in the typical NKY style(because NKY people hate crossing that river), would say both sides are shit, SOUTHSIDE is where it's at. 

bukyze's picture

This is how the Eastside/Westside thing breaks down.  Westsiders are born, raised, go to high school (your high school is where it is AT on the west side), get married, and STAY on the west side.  They are very close with their families and usually have generations of family living around the same part of town.  Those are all good things.  The rub on westsiders is that they never leave the westside.  If you are new to Cincinnati, and move to the west side, it can be hard to penetrate their tight circle of friends, and is difficult to form a new group to hang out with.  Westsiders would also be categorized as blue collar, fair or not.   I would say most people moving to Cincinnati from out of town would move to central/east side of Cincinnati.  Very easy to make new friends (a lot depends on the neighborhood you move to) for the most part.  Not that one is better than the other, just different.

Oakland Buckeye's picture

This guy obviously TRULY knows Cincy. he speaketh the truth!! Born & raised in Cincy, around all the UK bball fans & ND football fans.

btalbert25's picture

I can honestly say, I've never met a person from Cincinnati who cheers for UK. 

faux_maestro's picture

I have.

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

onetwentyeight's picture

When I was growing up my family spent one year, 1995-1996, in the Nati. This was during the Pitino/antoine walker GLORY YEARS and people wearing UK crap was epidemic. I moved away from Ohio after that until my freshman year at tOSU, and when I went down to cinci to visit people UK gear was non-existant. Fast forward 4 years or so and they get Calipari, John Wall, and now whenever I drive down there it's UK stuff everywhere again. 
Just my personal experience, but yea. 

painterlad's picture

Isn't the westside known as Indiana?

To err is human. Really sucking requires having yellow stripes on your helmet.

741's picture

Top 5 Ramzy column. #technically

MediBuck's picture

This article was amazing. Ohio pride all the way!!

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

BuckNKY's picture

So - to carry the planet to conference analogy along.  Does that mean Pluto = the Big East?