The Last of the Tresselites

ziplock007's picture
May 30, 2014 at 2:18a

In high school my devoted sophomore history teacher was set to retire.  His biggest fear was becoming a member of "The Who."  For years he saw teachers devote over 30 years as a teacher, coach, mentor, and leader; yet, when he'd mention their name 2 years after their retirements, the newcomers would all say, "Who?"

Jim Tressel was an institution during my days in Columbus.  Students would dress up for game day in Sweater Vests, make parade floats of his likeness, & drink to his greatness.  Minus the sweatervests, the same holds true for Urban Meyer.

Being a student during the during Tressel's "National Championship and Troy Smith" Golden Era, I thought Tressel's might would grip central Ohio for a quarter century.  Yet, his culture has all but been replaced.  Do you know the significance of the following players: Rod Smith (RB), J.T. Moore (TE), Daryl Baldwin (OL), & Russell Doup (S)?  They are the last men who ever sat in a Jim Tressel Locker room (and they all red shirted 2010).  To be fair, Joel Hale & Eric Kramer enrolled in the spring of 2011, so they were present for Tressel's last spring game (which was so thin on OL, they couldn't form two offensive sets).

Funny thing about Tressel, while he won lots of B1G titles, a national title, won 90% of his Michigan games, and, sans Tat-Gate would've been favored for a 2010 title... we really don't miss him.  Utah & Florida miss Urban Meyer, Michigan still misses Lloyd Carr, Stanford misses J. Harbaugh, Arkansas misses Bobby Petrino, Rutgers misses Greg Schiano, Oregon misses Chip Kelly, & USC still misses Pete Carroll.  Funny how winning eases the transition of replacing an icon (I'm looking at you Urban Meyer).  OSU struck coaching gold twice in a row (excluding Fickell's no win situation); a rare feat in college football.

A year from now, ask any Buckeye player their thoughts on 'JT,' and they will respond "Who?."


Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

Nobody associated with Ohio State football, when asked about Jim Tressel, should ever say "Who?" 

That goes for now, 1 year from now, 5, 10, 50 years from now. Ditto Woody Hayes. Even if JT or WH wasn't their coach --- gotta respect the men, the legacy, the history.

And I'm as happy as anybody that we have Urban Meyer as head coach, and I know it's only been two seasons so far, but let's not forget: Tressel DID win it all for OSU, Urban has not...yet.

We're blessed to have these elite coaches.


+9 HS
Oyster's picture

... we really don't miss him.

Speak for yourself.

+13 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I think he's speaking for M*chigan fans with that.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+3 HS
Oyster's picture

Well that makes total sense then...

+2 HS
buckguyfan1's picture

Nope, he will always be known as Coach Tressel...  One of the Best Damn Coaches in the Land.


+13 HS
mtrotb's picture

Who is Russell Doup, a team manager?


+2 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

I believe he is a kicker 

+2 HS
chicagobuckeye's picture

Personally I think shaw and helfrich have done well that standford and Oregon don't miss their coaches, but I agree about the others.  

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

Shaw yes. Helfrich hasn't accomplished anything yet. 

yrro's picture

I still miss Tressel.

My perfect coach would be some golden mean hybrid between Meyer and Tress. Or maybe just Tressel with Meyer's offensive staff...

+4 HS
Gametime's picture

Yea, I can't say that any of those teams with success really miss their old head coaches. It's easier to say that about the teams who are failing now (Utah was still pretty good immediately after Urban left, having some epic battles with TCU); Florida, Michigan, Arkansas, Rutgers, & USC have all been losing at a rate they're not used to (well save for Arkansas & Rutgers).

President Jim Tressel will very likely have a statue some day here on campus. The Vest is largely thought of as #2 only to Woody, with squads dethroning an All-Time, World Beating, Miami Hurricanes team, owning That Team Up North, and finally ending the slide against the SEC. Had Tressel just gotten a few more breaks on the field, there's a realistic chance he could've won 5 national titles during his tenure (I think the '05 team could've taken USC, & the Tat-Gate scandal ruined a potential title run). 

May James Patrick Tressel live long and prosper. 

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

+7 HS
1MechEng's picture

Tressel won't become a "who" for the simple fact he will be associated with winning the 2002 National Championship. If you are an Ohio State fan, you just don't forget that sort of thing.

+5 HS
BroJim's picture

I disagree, Jimmy T is a legend! You need a Sandlot refresher:


I season my simple food with hunger

+2 HS
Flyermike's picture

Zip, thanks for sharing.  While I don't agree with the premise, it was a well constructed piece of writing.  

That title game is my favorite football game of all time (granted I was born in the 80's).  Mike Doss was a boss; Michael Jenkins with the amazing catch on fourth and 13 for a 1st down in OT; Clarrett with a strip after the INT in Miami's end zone; our molecular genetics major qb taking two Miami LBs head on inside the red zone, and getting up; Matt Wilhelm planting that little bitch Ken Dorsey, and he didn't get up; Will Allen obliterating Willis McGahee's knee.  Probably the best part was JT after the game.  That look on his face when he raised the crystal football was awesome, and then he said something I'll never forget.  "We've always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn TEAM in the land!"

+2 HS
BroJim's picture

I agree the game was great but I could have done without the whole knee thing; it was not great. 

I season my simple food with hunger

Flyermike's picture

I was actually in high school at the time.  I had major reconstructive surgery on my knee over Christmas break due to a basketball injury about a week before the title game.  I almost threw up when they showed it in slow motion, but hey, at least it wasn't Clarrett!

Chief B1G Dump's picture


I am a macho man through and through, and I shed tears of joy that night.  Perhaps it was just some of the alcohol trying to escape from my eyes..but some sort of liquid definitely came out of my tear ducts.

+3 HS
OSUBias's picture

This is an interesting post. I agree and disagree.

It's not that "we don't really miss him." It's the passage of time and the constant of winning football that has possibly made us forget what endeared him to us in the first place. And that was a massive culture change from the Cooper era. One that involved embracing the TTUN rivalry and not acting like "little brother." One that embraced Ohio's quality HS football above all else. One that was calm, collected, and consistent in it's approach to football.

The culture shift between the Tressel and Urban era is dramatic in approach, but similar in results (sans national championship, for now). The shift from Cooper to Tressel was getting the team, the staff, and the fan base to accept that we belong at the top and play that way for a whole season, and then to expect us to be there and win. We went from expecting to lose every TTUN game, to being shocked/outraged at ANY loss.I think that aspect gets forgotten fairly easily, especially for the younger folks who didn't suffer annually through the TTUN losses of the Cooper era.

So if someone says "Who?" to a mention of JT, it's an easy answer "the guy who brought us back to the top."

Shitter's full

+1 HS
Earle's picture

"Who" was the last person to coach Ohio State to a football National Championship?

Gone, but never forgotten.

Italics are for emphasis.

+2 HS
Adambob's picture

There's still a lot of guys on the team that Tressel recruited. I think Eli Apple was the last.

Chief B1G Dump's picture

No way players dont know who Tress is, they walk past tons of pictures, trophies, videos, lore, etc in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center of JT's dominance every day.  You dont forget where that National Championship crystal came from.

I too was a student in 02 and will certainly never forget that season, the roller coaster ride seemingly every week, and the unbelievable title triumph.

The man abruptly changed the tide in the rivalry in our favor, cleaned up the program Cooper had going on, and dominated the B1G for a decade - owning BCS invites.  If you have to ask who JT is/was, I would have to ask that you not act like a Buckeye fan.

We have indeed moved on as a program but Tress will always hold a special place.

+1 HS
B1G_Deal's picture

Thinking ziolock was May be late nite drunk when he constructed this ,, or he had too many cheerios in him 

I don't see what the point  this was , maybe Im wrong ,, was it to bash Tressel

+1 HS
OSUBias's picture

Are you drunk now?

Shitter's full

+2 HS
CTBuckeyeFan's picture

No true Buckeye fan would ever respond "Who?" when asked about Tressel, I don't care if its 50 years from now.  No one forgot Woody, nor will they.  Legends never die.

+1 HS
sb97's picture

The OP was not bashing Tressel.  He specifically stated that OSU stuck coaching gold twice in a row (Not counting Fickell's brief stint).  I disagree with the idea that people are forgetting about him but beyond that I do agree that hiring a guy like Meyer made the post Tressel transition much easier for us than many of the other schools he mentioned experienced.

+1 HS
AGAB's picture


I along with many OSU football fans still miss Jim Tressel. What Meyer did in the past is just that, the past. Year 2 under JT we had  a National Championship. All we have under UFM is a B1G division title. What is even worse is the BCS loss to Clemson. Has everyone forgotten that OSU had the best BCS bowl record of all schools in the BCS era ? Remember JT's last game, that exciting BCS bowl VICTORY against a Bobby Petrino coached SEC team in the Sugar Bowl? Now we cannot even beat a team coached by a yahoo named Dabo. Pretty sad folks ! Everyone is caught up in the UFM hype. This is a defining year for him, unless we win the B1G  AND make the playoffs this year,  I am certain even more OSU fans will start to miss "The Senator" and the Golden Era of "The Vest". By the way, I doubt that Stanford misses Jim Harbaugh- his four year record was 29-21 and his PAC 12 record was 21-15. Three years under Shaw has produced a overall record of 34-7 and a PAC 12 record of 23-4. Shaw is just like Tress, quiet but ever so effective. Harbaugh and UFM, have way too much hype.