Possible Lies and Soap Opera-like Dialogue

Aesculus.'s picture
January 15, 2014 at 1:22p

It occupies a lot of my time. It's a big hire. We have to hit a home run with this next hire.” -Urban Meyer

I've been back and forth on Ash.  He hasn't really done much in terms of producing an elite defense but he has produced very good ones.  I was bummed to hear Georgia got FSU's NC Defensive Coordinator on the same day as we got Ash.  I would have liked to had the #1 guy, no doubt. But if Meyer's going to stick with Fickell, he's not going to be able to bring in a high profile guy because he's paying Luke too much.  So it wasn't going to happen.  But why the hell stick with Luke?

It seems that Meyer really has a lot of respect for Fickell.  He even went out of his way to say that before the Orange bowl.  That struck me as very strange.  Why would Meyer respect someone so much while the defense just ruined a perfect season?  I imagine there was a conversation following the B1G championship that went a bit like this.

Meyer:  "You're not going to be calling the plays next year at Ohio State.  I'm bringing in a new defensive coordinator to replace Everett.  He will be the new #1 coach on defense.  I understand if you'd like to seek another position outside our team."

Fickell: "Yes, I understand Coach.  I think that's what is best for the team.  We didn't perform as a unit as I expected and I completely agree with your decision.  However, I am a Buckeye though and though and if there is any chance to stay and be a part of this great team, I will take it."

Meyer:  "So you are going to pass up a head coaching job and basically get demoted, just to stay here, and be the linebackers' coach?"

Fickell:  "Yes, Sir."

It's obvious that Luke wants to stay in Columbus and isn't looking for a head coaching job.  I think his year as head coach traumatized him because he wasn't ready to take the reigns.  Now, he knows his place.  He's done everything Meyer has asked him and that's where he gets his respect.  He failed at putting a decent defense on the field but he knows that, and he's taking a back seat to Ash. 

Besides, the linebackers were held together with duct tape and crazy glue this year and still performed above expectations.  All the while, Luke sends an average Florida kid to the first round and recruits one of the finest LB classes in the history of Buckeye football.  He's a damn good linebackers' coach.  He's just not ready to call the defense or be a head coach.  It's a shame we had to learn about the defense part this year.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Fickell take a pay cut and keep the co-title.  Meyer already has great recruiters on the staff, he needed a play caller.  Enter Chris Ash.  He comes highly recommended by Tom Herman.  He's really only had a couple seasons calling plays with Wisconsin and one blunder with BERT at Arkansas.  He's young, and he's never had the keys to the Ferrari.  Well Mr. Ash, it's your time.  

My opinion on this soap opera will be decided by the results.  There is no use talking about Fickell anymore because he's irrelevant.  You can now focus your attention to our new defensive leader.  This will be the B1G question for the next 2 years.  Will Chris Ash be able to salvage the defense?  He better.

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BED's picture

Not sure why the downvotes are coming out.  I think it's an interesting take.

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

Aesculus.'s picture

Thanks BED.  I think the topic is naturally polarizing.  Oh well.

osu07asu10's picture

No DV from this guy, UV for a well thought out post. 
I know Birm said he believes Ash is going to be the guy calling plays.  I am just curious, was this confirmed? It will be really interesting to see how this all plays out.
I believe that both Withers and Fickell were on the sidelines both of the past 2 years. If Ash is in the pressbox, no doubt he is the guy calling the plays. If they both remain on the sidelines, we may enter into a gray area without clear confirmation from Coach Meyer who is truly calling the shots.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

Aesculus.'s picture

Thanks OSU07! Ash was the sole DC at Arkansas and made about 500,000 large.  I'm thinking in order for him to make a move, Urban had to make him an offer he couldn't refuse.  A hundred thousand?(idk) more and call the plays at a winning school?  I think that's what it would take.  I know working for BERT was bad but I doubt he would move back down to a co-title voluntarily.  That's my hunch, I'm stickin to it.

Statutoryglory's picture

Is Bed your name? Initials? Aspirational place?  I am so intrigued by this name.

carence's picture

I don't usually downvote but I will admit I did this one. My reasons:
The title is "Possible Lies and Soap Opera-like Dialogue", what are the possible lies? The soap opera-like dialogue is a dialogue that was made up.
What is wrong with Meyer saying he has alot of respect for Fickell? Maybe it's because he sympathizes with what went down with Fickell over the last few years and he's coming to his coaches aid.
I think as fans, we tend to think our beloved sports programs owe us an explanation of the moves they make. They don't! Just because he didn't hire the people we really wanted and we may be bummed that we didn't get "the guy", we really shouldn't lose any sleep.
 I've said it before and I will say it again, this is pure entertainment. If OSU loses, I will still have to go to work the next day, if they win, I still have bills to pay.

Aesculus.'s picture

U ask Why? Because I'm speculating about all of this.  It could all be untrue or ...lies.  And, all soap opera dialogue is made up...no?
I don't think there's anything wrong with Meyer having respect for Fickell.  I'm not judging the situation, just offering a possible scenario.  In either case the D coordinator better do better.  That should be easy considering the circumstances.  

doodah_man's picture

...Inspired by actual events....

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

Whoa Nellie's picture

No, actually.  Untrue speculations are not lies.  Lies are deliberate untruths.  Your title was poorly chosen, as it implied that one of the characters in your soap opera was lying.
No DV from me, though.  You speculations were interesting to me.

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

AndyVance's picture

Agreed, Nell - horrible title for a great post.

Aesculus.'s picture

Woah, sorry you didn't like the title guys.  And thanks for not DV Nellie, up vote for you!  But, the verb lies can be used in more than one form.  It's true the common way is to show intent but the second interpretation is a bit more loose. 
2.  to create a false or misleading impression   -Websters
When people say "I might be lying to you."  They are executing the second interpretation.
Thanks for the feedback on your end, I'll learn and move on.

AndyVance's picture

Don't take it too hard - I've been writing for years, and I suck at headlines. There are multiple reasons reporters rarely get to write their own headlines :)

Aesculus.'s picture

Thanks for some more feedback Andy.  You can't expect everyone to like everything, so I get it.  I was going for a racy title.  Trying to lure some of the new folk here on 11W away from the GIF threads to something with a little more....substance?

AndyVance's picture

You revolutionary! As long as we don't get rid of all of the gif threads :)

TilstheHun3's picture

"Trying to lure some of the new folk here on 11W away from the GIF threads to something with a little more....substance?"

GIFs lack substance? What??? GIFs forever.


What is this? A center for ants?!? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building?

tennbuckeye19's picture

I think Meyer's respect for Fickell could be from a combination of things. He sees Luke every day and knows what kind of person he is and how he prepares and works at his job. Luke is also extremely loyal and seems like he would do anything for Ohio State. As fans we only see the product on the field, which we all know hasn't been the greatest . But I don't think it's a stretch for Meyer to be genuine in his respect for Fickell. 

smith5568's picture

Interesting take, but wrong IMO. I have read that Fickell wanted to leave for a HC position and Urban asked him to stay. I think Urban truly wants Fickell around and believes in his coaching abilities, but knew that Withers and Fickell did not mesh well. Urban asked Withers to leave to find a replacement whose philosophies gel better with Fickell. 
Regardless, we are all just speculating and very few people really know what happens behind closed doors at the WHAC. 

TomD's picture

This team has lots of talent on the defensive side of the ball . . . and more is coming.  Ohio State fans deserve the best . . . and that includes coaching.  Overall, the play on the defensive side of the ball last year was unacceptable, especially the last three games.  It seems like the defensive play never really developed or improved over the year, especially considering the importance of the final three games, the season's big rivalry game: Michigan, B1G championship: Michigan State, Orange Bowl: Clemson.  Ultimately, this falls on the coaches.
I have confidence that Coach Meyer knows what he is doing and will fix things, ultimately making the right football moves, even in the face of the challenges of personal relationships.

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

Toilrt Paper's picture

Some average players on the defensive side of the balll.
The "Peter Principle."

BUCK-I-FAN's picture

something I read somewhere recently said it all. why coach 4 and 5 star players with 2 star coaches!

flabucknut1's picture

Must have heard in in a bar.   Great conversationalists. Definitely pro coaches!,, right?

Jim Rhoads

Jonnferrell's picture

Both the secondary and linebackers had some serious injuries, personnel that left for other places, etc. this past year.  I don't think I can remember the last time our defense was ravaged in this way.  I enjoyed this post very much although I personally don't think the conversation between Fickell and UFM went quite the way it was presented.  It is a possibility, but what is more interesting are the great possibilities that we have for this next year.  I believe that this staff, led by Meyer, with Luke Fickell solidly as an intricate part of that staff is working together to bring a National Championship to the Ohio State University.  If Urban did not think that the coaches he has retained from last year were able to achieve that goal, you can wager that he would have made any changes that he felt were necessary.  Another conversation that could be conjectured is one between Everett Withers and UFM--perhaps saying, "Everett, thanks for your hard work this year.  I think you should probably take that head coaching job and lose a few hundred thousand dollars.  It would be a great stepping stone for you, and we will continue to move forward." This next year should be very interesting indeed.

"I miss Brady Hoke."

achillesx's picture

I liked what I was reading about Ash until I came across this video. After watching the first 10 minutes, I became astonished by this guy's knowledge of defense, and immediately became a fan of Ash. I've read many different posts about how he "likes to play the receivers 7-10 yds off of the WRs" and "never blitz", but after watching this video, my conclusion is that he had to do that based on personnel. One can only imagine what he'll be able to do with tOSU's athletes. Good stuff, and IMO a great hire.

buckz4evr's picture

I just don't see FickelL cowering to Urban in that way.  I honestly believe Urban has tremendous respect for Fickell and is keeping him onboard because he believes in his ability to coach.  When Tressel was here, we loved Fickell because of the great linebackers we had. He did not forget how to coach, folks.  Things are going on in the background that we are not privy to. 

Jonnferrell's picture

I agree.

"I miss Brady Hoke."

Gray Box's picture

Great post AESCULUS. (and nice new icon)! Fickell is a Buckeye through and through. He has been there through some of the roughest times in the program and hasn't bailed. He's a good recruiter and I think can be a good linebacker couch. With those points, I think you nailed it! He's done enough for the program to keep the title and even the salary, but limit his responsibilities to what he does best right now. 

flabucknut1's picture

Thank God that you guys don't discuss this at the dinner table!!! You wives would have you sleeping in the dog House and it's very cold out side, even in Fla. chill out and let's see what the hell happens and when you take your Ambien , you can get in the car and drool in the windows of WHAC and dream of what's to come... And then the cities finest can shake you you till you awake and explain your dilemma to them and have a good conversation to them on your way to the pokey. Chill the hell out and let's see what happens. You can't change it and the staff could care less what your opinion is!!
GO BUCKEYES AND THE HELL WITH THE DOUBTERS. the job was open, you should have applied!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jim Rhoads

Qujo's picture

So we all agree the our head coach admires Luke Fickell. To me that signals it is a good time to move on from this polarizing issue.
I like UFM and if he wants Luke around, it's good enough for me. If he wanted Fick fired he would have fired him. He had all the ammunition to do so. But he didn't. Therefore all other explanations to the contrary are both tiring and more importantly irrelevant. 

Our arch rivals.... 11 National Championships, 10 before 1949 - eight of eleven shared. Trying to respect them... trying.... Ugh!

bleedscarlet's picture

Would love to see an analysis showing how often the wrong D was called vs players just not getting it done. In the CCG we got to see Brown slide under a receiver to go for a pick only to have the ball sail over his hand for an easy MSU TD. We also got to see Barnett bite up on God only knows what just to have the TE run right behind him to a wide open spot in the endzone. Neither of those were Fickells fault, that was on the players. My guess is Meyer knows the blame lies on Withers, Coombs and the secondary's terrible play. Ash not getting the DC tag is probably a good indicator that the play calling duties will remain with Fickell.

Slingin' swag since 1970