Nic Cage, Vladimir Putin and Jim Tressel: The Public's Choices for Ohio State President

By DJ Byrnes on February 12, 2014 at 11:18a

Nic Cage in the capstone of American cinematography: "Con Air"


Ultimately, Ohio State named UC Irvine's Dr. Michael Drake as its 15th president. It could have been very, very different though if some in the public had their way.

During the search, OSU trustees announced they were open to suggestions as to who the next president should be. Needless to say, John Q. Public did not disappoint.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Nic Cage, American actor. Said an anonymous student, "“This man is a leader, not a follower. His brand of Nouveau Shamanism acting is a testament to this. It is this type of innovation which will usher OSU into a new age.” I couldn't agree more. Cage was also lead actor in the greatest motion picture in the history of western civilization: ConAir.
  • Resurrected Clone of Novice Gail Fawcett, Ohio State's eighth president. This one would have been highly controversial because I'm pretty sure human cloning is illegal in the United States. Still, I'm sure Fawcett would be impressed with the digs at his own center
  • Vladmir Putin, Russian strongman. Ex-KGB and quite militaristic, Putin could have ushered in a new era of discipline among Ohio State's ranks. Unfortunately that would have probably come at the hands of a secret police force and off-the-books beatings. He also bungled the Sochi Olympics. Easy to see why he was passed over by OSU trustees, IMHO.
  • Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger, Austrian-American actor, politician, businessman, investor and former professional bodybuilder. Four people thought this Arnold was the man to lead Ohio State into the next era. With all the chemicals he's injected into his body over the years, perhaps he would have brought a unique view to his stewardship of Ohio State's budding medical center. I would not have supported his candidacy because the Arnold Classic ruins Columbus' nightlife for a week every year.
  • Dave Chappelle. Unlike E. Gordon Gee, his off-color jokes would have actually been funny. Ohio State could have done a lot worse.
  • Jim Tressel, former football coach. Now at Akron and inexplicably not coaching the Cleveland Browns, this would have been a hire to make the haters truly seasick. Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer shuttling recruits around Ohio State's expansive campus? BE STILL MY BEATING HEART.
  • Archie Griffin, the only two-time Heisman winner. Who the hell said no to Archie?
  • Urban Frank Meyer, OSU football coach. My guess? He was likely the No. 1 target but was probably too busy to seriously consider the offer. Definitely would have violated the pink contract with his family.
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy, science guy. Strong candidate. In the end, probably passed over for Michael Drake due to Drake's experience in academia.
  • Maurice Clarrett, former football player. Another strong candidate, but probably not ready to assume the reins of the largest university in the world. Will more than likely be a lead candidate when Michael Drake retires.
  • "The Common Man," 97.1 radio personality. No. 

Again, the full list can be found here.

I did not see the trustees' announcement, but if I had, there is only one man in my mind who was fit to succeed E. Gordon Gee's swagger:

The Texas Rattle Snake

Stone Cold Steve Austin, bad-ass former American wrestler. Oh hell yeah, the Texas Rattlesnake would been an absolute home-run, and undoubtedly led the most legendary introductory press conference ever. 

Imagine: the fourth quarter of a close game against the School Up North. Out of nowhere, the sound of glass shattering hits the PA system, announcing Stone Cold is on the scene. The Texas Rattlesnake would run out, kick Brady Hoke in his flabby gut, deliver an ice-cold Stunner and drink a beer over Hoke's broken body while Dom Tiberi goes ballistic like Jim Ross.




Oyster's picture

probably passed over for Michael Drake due to Drake's experience in academia.


+1 HS
OSU_ALUM_05's picture

If you're going to lead a huge organization you have to have a little bit of "badass" in you.  With that in mind, I'd nominate the following 4 badasses shown below and, at the conclusion of the tournament style death match, we'd have our new president.  Think of the efficiency in fundraising.  Current practices:  build relationships, wine and dine, host events, speaking engagements, play nice, eventually get donations for the university.  New practices with presidential winner:  show up on doorstep of person with money, take money.





+2 HS
German Buckeye's picture

Of course it would be Chuck, CHuck is legendary in everything.

Seattle Linga's picture

When Chuck donates blood ......... he breaks the bank

+5 HS
ScarletGray43157's picture

Chuck Norris doesn't do pushups...the earth moves down instead.

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

+2 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

When Chuck Norris gives his 2 cents - he always gets change back!!!!!!!!!!!

Furious George 27's picture

Looks like a solid group to me.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

DJ Byrnes's picture

Agreed. The true winner of this four-sided death match would be Ohio State.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Squirrel Master's picture

Chuck Norris wouldn't just accept the president position. He would also have to be the AD, head coach and starting QB.

Chuck Norris doesn't run a University, Chuck makes the University run away!

if Chuck Norris became the president, we wouldn't call it Ohio State anymore. It would simple be "THE Chuck U"!


I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

+4 HS
oregonianbuckeye's picture

This article made my day. Props to whoever submitted these names, and to 11W for sharing the hilarity. 

+1 HS
Jason Gruber's picture

The Common Man would be a heck of a Prez. Don't sleep on My Guy!!!

"You win with People" Woody Hayes

DJ Byrnes's picture

He blocked me on Twitter. Skin not thick enough for such a high-profile position, IMHO.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Unky Buck's picture

As it was alluded to in the comments of Johnny's article on the super fans, he should be thrown into the mix of being called an asshat...


Barnsey69's picture

I vote for Common Man, only because he could be re-united with Torg, when he hires him as Head Provost. 

If E$ecPN prevents that scenario, then I would have to lean towards Chappelle...he certainly has more experience in academia than Drake.

I am a modern-art masterpiece.

+1 HS
741's picture

Those two morons aren't qualified to be hired as presidents of an outhouse.

Barnsey69's picture

Nevermind, DJ is "my guy" way before Common Man, even with the Torg.

I am a modern-art masterpiece.

BuckToAsT's picture

Is it just me, or do all the 97.1 radio hosts sound alike? Other than Bobby or Craig, I can't tell whether I'm listening to Bishop, Rothman, Tbone, etc,  I guess I recognize the Common Man's douchey voice, but other than that. I swear it's all the same guy!

BuckeyeSki's picture

In my best southern twang:

Drop tha bunny!

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

Squirrel Master's picture

uh, I think the Senator is not at Akron but with the Detroit Lions now.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

DJ Byrnes's picture

Not to my knowledge. IIRC correctly, it was reported last month that it was "highly likely" he would join Caldwell's staff but nothing has been made official yet.

FWIW, Akron still lists him as the VP of Student Success on their website.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Squirrel Master's picture

yeah I saw the article that said the deal was close to done but it looks like it didn't happen.

I think its better that he didn't anyways. Tress has always been a college guy to me.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

GoBucks713's picture

"The Common Man," 97.1 radio personality. No.



DJ, isn't it the Stone Cold Stunner?

-The Aristocrats!

DJ Byrnes's picture

Yes, in the King's English, it is the Stone Cold Stunner. I went with ice-cold as an adjective to avoid repetition of "Stone Cold."

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

GoBucks713's picture

There can never be enough Stone Cold. The WWE is missing a truly great wrestler that can work the crown like him right now. The closest thing they had left recently in CMPunk. The braintrust needs to do something like bring back Jericho or someone that can work a mic. Cena's horrible on the mic, but can really sell a match, but he's their face. I say slap a wig on Steve and bring him back as Stunning Steve Austin.

-The Aristocrats!

+4 HS
gm3jones's picture

Wow, DJ, I love your articles! So refreshing to read... Thank you very much for your hard work and great articles and what not. This has to be one of my favorite articles to date.

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

DJ Byrnes's picture


Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

MN Buckeye's picture

Dang, so many qualified candidates.

BuckToAsT's picture

Maybe we should have "co-Presidents."

+2 HS
PittBuckeye's picture

stone cold all day long

Hovenaut's picture

If that's not a serious list of whatcouldhavebeen potential OSU presidents, then it sounds like a fine cast to the next "The Expendables" flick.

"'s what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
Doc's picture

DJ, this is brilliant!  Chappelle would have been tit-tays. He could have done pressers as some of his different characters. That would have been epic. My personal vote would have been for one Diamond David Lee Roth.  Not Dave now, mind you, but Dave of 1980.  He would have brought in the babes in droves. 

"Say my name."

+3 HS
RBuck's picture

And he wouldn't hire any chicks that have dick-holes in their underpants.

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

+1 HS

Tress as OSU prez with Meyer as head coach would've been un-freaking-believable. At least we can dream.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

toad1204's picture

Once I read Stone Cold all Ive been thinking is I could go for a beer right about now.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

+1 HS
GoBucks713's picture

Can I get a "Hell Yeah!!"?

-The Aristocrats!

+2 HS
Crumb's picture

"Buckeyes 3:16 says we just whipped *ichigan's @$$"

"Blue sucks and that's the bottom line because Stone Cold said so."

Every time hoke tries to answer a question everyone yells "What?"

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+3 HS
BuckToAsT's picture

Hear Urban passed on the job because he couldn't afford the big pay cut.


Also heard Clarette wasn't seriously considered because he didn't know how to tie a bow tie...

+1 HS
1MechEng's picture

I find it funny that Michelle Obama got more votes (2) than President Obama (1).

Art Harrell's picture

waiting for Tress,still have a sweater vest that still has some life in it-Go Bucks

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Cage was also lead actor in the greatest motion picture in the history of western civilization: ConAir.

I respectfully disagree.  The Rock >> Con Air.

"It's you, you're the Rocket Man."

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

+2 HS
Menexenus's picture

Good stuff DJ.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

youngbuck32's picture

Clayton Bigsby for OSU Prez!

Can't is the real "C" word!

osubuckeye4life's picture


The call as the new pres 'introduces' himself to Jabba the Hoke on the sidelines of 'The Game'.