It's been my experience that there are few fan bases that have fans as committed and as thoroughly excellent as Ohio State fans. They are a dedicated bunch indeed, supportive of the program through the ups and downs and always willing to show up and cheer on their eleven warriors, brave and bold.
It is that commitment to the Buckeyes that no doubt drives their refusal to settle for any hint of mediocrity within the school's large – and often in charge – athletic department. Coaches with historical winning percentages, responsible for rebuilding and maintaining the nation's elite sports programs, are often discarded and replaced by the "next" great coach, and so on and so forth.
For Buckeye fans, it's been a fairly pleasant ride the last 15 years or so. The football program has remained in the national spotlight – albeit with a few bumps in the road – and the lure of playing football at Ohio State has not worn off for most of Ohio's best and a good number of the country's finest athletes who recognize a chance to play at Ohio State as rare and special.
CAN YOU WIN WITH MEDIOCRE RECRUITING?
From 2002–11, Ohio State – despite a historic 10-year stretch that saw a 105-25 record – struggled (for the most part) to land nationally lauded recruiting classes.
In fact, during that 10-year run, only three times did Jim Tressel put together a Rivals.com Top 10 recruiting class at Ohio State. His average finish? Just 14.4, and only three classes (2002, 2008, and 2009) finished in the top 10 of Rivals rankings.
One area that saw the Buckeyes struggle mightily in recruiting was the offensive line, an area that Tressel seemed to allow his offensive line coach, Jim Bollman, to recruit as he saw fit. The normally hands-on and micromanaging Tressel must've turned a blind eye to Bollman's recruiting, because there's no other explanation for how it could have produced such lackluster results.