This season is a big part of why Fickell deserves the utmost respect and gratitude from Buckeye fans, even though a large portion of the fanbase doesn't want to hear it. He was left to clean up the mess that Tressel left, was given the reins after spring practice ended, was paid about 25% of what Tressel had been making, and was dealt a shorthanded team. The university had kicked out his starting QB and 5 other players were suspended for half the season. The fact that almost every loss (the only exception being @Miami) came down to the very last play is kind of remarkable under those circumstances. And then for him to agree to go back and be the DC after being the HC is a humble move that 99% of college coaches would never even consider.
There is no way Fickell was going to be offered the job unless he went undefeated.
Absolutely. He willingly took on an impossible job and did it very well. Aside from the Miami game, every other loss literally came down to the final play of the game. It is not unrealistic that the team could have won 9 or 10 games that season. If Miller doesn't get hurt the Nebraska game ends as a blowout win. Make an XP vs Purdue and we win in regulation. If Posey makes that catch at the end of The Game, that's a win too. Every single break went against OSU that season, and while you never get all the breaks, you also usually don't give them all up too. Hell event the Wisky game, we gave up a 2 score lead in the 4Q, thankfully that one didn't get away too.
I think Finebaum is a success at espn because he is willing to play the game, and more power to him if that's what he wants. Anyone who is a lifetime Tennessee fan and graduate who so easily switches on the love for Alabama clearly has no qualms about playing to the party line. He's a nerdy guy who isn't afraid to be a loudmouth, and will take calls from anyone. He artificially stirs up controversy for the sake of ratings, and that fits perfectly with espn's formula. I was actually surprised to find out he wasn't already on the radio here. I just assumed when 97.1 and 1460 split their coverage with 1460 being "espn radio" or whatever, that he was already on there.
I am certain that a lot of programs follow recruits anonymously in an attempt to determine if they act differently when they think they aren't being watched by their potential future coaches. But I really hope what Kingsbury is doing at TT is with the consent of the girls' whose likenesses they are using on those fake accounts. This is kind of a slippery slope issue and now that he has admitted doing it, I am sure the NCAA will, in their slow and methodical way, issue some kind of warning about it. But even if they do or don't it's damn creepy.
You are 100% correct that OSU self-imposed (except for the bowl ban - we did not self-impose that), which I think is the most ridiculous thing for any program to do. But, the NCAA accepted those penalties and added the bowl ban. Once the NCAA accepts them, you can't just decide to restore, without facing some kind of NCAA retribution. As far as I am concerned, vacating games is a farce and utterly ridiculous. I don't ever acknowledge that the games were vacated. We watched those game, we know what happened.
In addition, NCAA's lead investigator recently admitted that the penalties doled out to OSU were far too severe, especially when you compare what went on at Miami and UNC shortly after that. There are 2 reasons why the NCAA was so harsh with OSU #1 Tressel lied, and did so multiple times. What had been a minor offense by 5 players got blown way out of proportion due to his incompetent handling of the situation. #2 To make a statement that "big name programs" aren't immune to the NCAA hammer.
This was very similar to what happened with Jim O'Brien. Once the full story came about both coaches were terminated, yet the school still faced punishment due to their actions. In both cases the coach in question had a spotless record up to that time over a very long career in coaching, so it's not like, say the situation in Tennessee where they keep hiring guys of questionable NCAA rules. One rogue act by a coach shouldn't penalize the school quite so harshly. Thankfully OSU's overall program is strong enough to bounce back quickly - we got to the Final Four NCG 3 years after O'B left and won the CFP 3 years after Tressell left (hmmmm... that's an interesting coincidence) but still, having a Final Four, a BCS win, and a total of 3 B1G titles across both sports artificially "erased" is just a juvenile and meaningless move by the NCAA.
Yeah I went to that Marshall game and it was a total mess. Having to deal with rush hour traffic on top of game day traffic is just not a smart move. It had been 20 years since OSU had played a Thursday night game, and I think they forgot what a mess it had been. I don't expect to see another one of these again any time soon either.
I also was with a group of folks who wanted to go to Skull Session before the game. Skull Session doesn't really do anything for me, plus it was at like 5:30. In a big metal box. That had been sitting in the 100 degree blazing sun all day. With no A/C. I told them to have fun with that. Even my friends, who by then had been living in Florida for over 20 years, complained that it was way too hot in there to stay and watch. I said "Yep" :)
I went to the Sugar Bowl game, and the place was packed with Arkansas fans. I think the most frightening sound I have ever heard was the beginning of their Woo Pig Souey call. If you haven't heard it, go look it up, it's quite unsettling. Also before the game there as a VERY loud Arky fan screaming "0 and 10! 0 and 10!" in the concourse. He was giggling after each scream and was clearing amusing himself, with what he expected to happen. I just laughed and thought of the Oregon fans who were acting in a similar way the year before. When OSU took that 28-7 lead, that dude was getting harassed big time by not only the Buckeye fans near him, but the Arkansas fans who were annoyed by his pregame screaming. That game got way too tight at the end thanks to Tresselball, but at least the time ran out before they could come all the way back.
I also remember that OSU was playing a basketball game at the same time, I want to say it was vs Iowa. So I was trying to get scores on my phone and calling my dad thought the game since he was at home watching both on 2 TVs at the same time. The basketball game was supposed to be a blowout, but ended much closer than we expected, so for a while, while we were blowing Arky out, I was getting nervous about the basketball game, while I am sitting in the Superdome unable to watch. Then the damn football game got tight again. As a friend of mine often says - it is no coincidence that OSU has such a big heart hospital with everything they put the fans through :)
I tried that from one view and it didn't paste well. I think I might paste into a flat text file and add some delimiters and see if that works.
You have a lot more patience than I do!! :)
As Matt pointed out below, the link is not the best, I put a link down in my reply to him that takes you to the CFBDW, it's a much better site for browsing. stassen is good for working with data, but unfortunately it is incomplete since they only include years when schools were in a major conference, so that means there are no games for OSU prior to 1912.
Yeah, after I looked at the stassen link more I was less certain about it. The CFBDW is always my go to, and since they quoted stassen, I figured I'd go there since they sort better. There are lots of problems since for some reason they don't start OSU's games until we join the B1G.
Now that I am not as pressed for time, I see even more issues, like they had us at 5-0 vs Case, when we are actually 11-10-2. The CFBDW is more accurate, although they do not include the vacated wins (as far as I am concerned vacating is stupid and irrelevant, those games count) but they do include the score in the overall PF and PA, I just wish they had a data download option, or even a simple way to extract data into a format easily digestible into Excel.
I don't like it either and I wish we'd stop. We are getting a little closer now with only 3 OOC games, but I wish the MAC games would just get off the damn schedule for good.
The closest to Oregon's 0-9 is fellow PAC member Wazzu who is 0-8 against us. It looks like the next in line is Case with an 0-7 record. Ohio Wesleayn appears to be 0-15 against us.
Note - after closer viewing this does not start at the beginning of OSU football, it appears to start in the 1910s, as it has Cicny listed as 0-7 and I know they won a game in the 1890s. I usually use the CFBDW but their pages don't allow you to sort and I haven't found a data download. They claim to get their data from the site I linked above, but that' can't be the case. But regardless, the top 2 big name teams that are 0fer against us are P12 teams.
I was not happy about anything relating to that game. The fact that it even happened at that point in the season was annoying. The fact that it was 0-0 after 1Q was annoying. And having Pryor get a fairly severe injury in a meaningless game, that he should have been sitting out by the 2Q, was just piss icing on top of a shit sandwich.
Leading up to the Iowa game I told my dad that if we won I was taking him to the Rose Bowl. He had never been to a bowl game, and had only gone to, I think, one away game - a game at TTUN in the '50s. At first he said no, but there was no way I was taking that for an answer, so I knew I'd have to go to a higher authority and told him to put mom on the phone :) We had a great time out there, and funny enough, as we were talking to the stadium, we ran into a friend of mine who was taking her dad to the game. We sat in one of the end zones, right up against the wall to the tunnel where the teams came out. The first thing we noticed was how small Oregon's players were, especially compared to our guys. Most of our guys had to duck their heads to make it out of the tunnel, while most of the Oregon players didn't have to. We were sitting next to the father of one of the Oregon receivers - he proceeded to get very drunk during the game and my dad had fun going back and forth with him, until the player's dad left to get more beer before the end of the 3Q and never came back. He almost didn't make it back another time - I think he either got lost, or passed out, but we never saw him in the 4Q.
What surprised me leading up to the game though, was how totally bamboozled the Oregon fans were about how good their team was. Yes they were good, I think both teams were ranked something like 5 and 6 going into that game, but they believed all the espn bullshit they had been fed. When we went up 10-0 on them they were shocked. I heard one guy comment "wow they actually aren't that bad" I suggested that maybe he should watch games for himself instead of listening to corporate shills on TV. The Posey TD, the Ballard catch were all magnificent, but that game ending drive where we just chewed up the last 5 or 6 minutes was beautiful. Like many Tressel games the final score could have been much worse than it was, but it was nice to not have to sweat out a close game like I had to in the '97 Rose Bowl.
Another fun thing was introducing my dad to the bowl game experience, and having over half the stadium filled with Buckeyes. He was shocked at how many Buckeye fans there were that far from Columbus. He was also surprised how ugly LA was in general. When we went to the Buckeye Bash at Santa Monica it was a sea of scarlet and grey, and we watched the action from the pier above. I also remember Coach Cooper spoke at the Bash with some of the players from the '97 team. In typical Coop fashion he had a self-deprecating zinger to tell (which was certainly not all true). He recalled that the last time OSU was here, Gee was in his first stint as President and gave him support saying "you know we love you John, and we are behind you". Coop said, "well what if we lose the game?" Gee (again in Coop's version) said " we willl still love you, John, we'll miss ya, but we will still love you."
That happened right in front of where we were sitting. He just reached up into the dark sky and gabbed that ball like it was the moon. What an amazing catch!
I was sitting in a mixed section and it was hilarious how the Duck fans thought they were going to win just because of what they heard on espn. It was fun to watch their little hearts get ripped out play after play.
Forde has always been an asshole and nowhere near what anyone would call a journalist. I never really read much of his stuff but what I did read was repulsive and offensive (and it takes A LOT to offend me). I don't really remember anything specific about OSU, but in one article he bashed WVU fans mercilessly, using all kinds of derogatory comments that should never be used in print by someone who considers himself a journalist. The kind of things he said were things that a Pitt fan would say about them. Right then and there I started to purposefully avoid him. He eventually got fired from espn and as far as I know he is not working in any mainstream national media now.
It was very lopsided, even when it was 7-3 the game felt safe. It was obvious that M wasn't going to score at all and if I remember right it was wet a frigid and the field was almost completely frozen so the footing was terrible. Plus we ended the game in or near the red zone, and if we had wanted to it could have easily been 21-3, or worse. This was probably one of the few instances where Tresselball didn't drive me bonkers.
And one other thing about this season and '07 that I have never forgiven OSU for (and they did it again a few years later) - there is no excuse for OSU to have EVER played a 1-AA team. That was embarrassing and served no purpose whatsoever. Even Tressel admitted after the first game that it was a mistake that he would not repeat. I don't care that he coached up there before, I don't care if they needed the money to keep afloat. Not. Our. Problem. I refused to watch one single down of either of the YSU games or the game against whatever directional Florida team they brought in a few years ago. When my alumni tickets came for '07 they were for the YSU game. I returned them for a refund and have never again entered into the alumni lottery for tickets.
That Fiesta Bowl still makes me mad. That Texas receiver was CLEARLY stopped short on 4th down, and even with replay they figured out a way to fuck up the spot. As far as I am concerned we won that game. There is no way in hell that any angle could possibly show forward progress for a 1st down. Ball goes over to OSU on downs, Texas has no time outs left, take 1 knee and ballgame.
Seeing him get upset with us scoring really pissed me off. It is not our HC's job to make the other team look good. If you don't want to score, fine, take a knee. But as a coach you had better NEVER instruct your players to make forward progress but not try to score - that is when guys get injured. You know the other guys are going 100% and if you give your guys the green light to go less than that, you are risking injury.
I was there too and was a little surprised at what a dump the Coliseum was. The Rose Bowl wasn't much better in those days either, but the Coliseum was an absolute shithole. We left the game at the start of the 4Q, which is something I never do, but I was so bored and it was painfully clear that neither team was going to do a damn thing the rest of the game. Besides, the Coliseum was emptying rapidly and with it being in a very bad area of town we just wanted to get back to the rental, hope it was still there, and get on the freeway ASAP.
Tressel's teams' failures in big games is not what led to his dismissal. It was his incompetence in handling what should have been a minor offense by 5 players that should have resulted in a simple 1 or 2 game suspension, that led to his downfall. For all his "big stage failings" he was still 9-1 vs Michigan and wasn't going to go anywhere based on on-field performance.