The All-Jim Tressel Team vs. the All-Urban Meyer Team: If Each Coach Built Their Dream Buckeye Teams, Who'd Win?

By David Regimbal on July 25, 2019 at 10:30 am
Jim Tressel vs. Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel faced off against each other exactly one time during their coaching careers, and the result was a three-and-a-half hour horror movie we will not revisit today.

Rather, today we'll entertain a hypothetical matchup. Imagine if Jim Tressel could assemble a team of his best players as they were in the prime of their Buckeye careers. Then imagine if Urban Meyer was able to do the same.

If those two Buckeye squads faced off against each other, who'd win?

With the help of the heroes that comprise this Eleven Warriors staff, these teams have been built. Just a few things to note:

  • There are John Cooper-recruited players on Tressel's team. There are Tressel-recruited players who emerged late and appear on Meyer's team. 
  • We did not assemble the complete coaching staffs, but important members will be called out here. Tressel's staff is highlighted by Mark Dantonio as defensive coordinator, Mel Tucker as cornerbacks coach, Luke Fickell as linebackers coach and Jim Heacock as defensive line coach (appropriate reaction here). Meyer's staff includes Tom Herman and Ryan Day as co-offensive coordinators, Chris Ash and Mike Vrabel co-leading the defense, and Greg Schiano, Bill Davis and Zach Smith serving as nothing but a night terror we can laugh about in the morning.

With that established, let's take a look at the rosters.

The All-Jim Tressel Team (2001-2010)

Tressel Team: Offense
Position Player
Quarterback Troy Smith
Running Back Beanie Wells
Wide Receiver Michael Jenkins
Wide Receiver Ted Ginn Jr.
Wide Receiver Santonio Holmes
Tight End Ben Hartsock
Left Tackle Alex Boone
Left Guard Alex Stepanovich
Center LeCharles Bentley
Right Guard Nick Mangold
Right Tackle Rob Sims
Tressel Team: Defense / Special Teams
Position Player
Defensive End Will Smith
Defensive Tackle Cameron Heyward
Defensive Tackle Quinn Pitcock
Defensive End Vernon Gholston
Outside Linebacker A.J. Hawk
Middle Linebacker Matt Wilhelm
Outside Linebacker James Laurinaitis
Cornerback Chris Gamble
Safety Mike Doss
Safety Will Allen
Cornerback Malcolm Jenkins
Kicker Mike Nugent
Punter Andy Groom
Returner Ted Ginn Jr.

Some tough decisions had to be made for Tressel's team, particularly on defense. Leaving John Simon and Jonathan Hankins off made me feel dirty all over, but it's hard to argue against a defensive line that includes Will Smith, Cam Heyward, Quinn Pitcock (who is easily forgotten as an All-American in 2006) and college cheat code Vernon Gholston.

Linebackers were difficult to hash out as well because there were so many good ones under Tressel. My first draft of this roster included Brian Rolle (stop laughing, I had my reason which will be laid out as soon as this parenthetical novel ends) because I felt the need to get more mid-level speed on the field against Meyer's offense (which is so dangerous it's capable of creating nuclear energy out of thin air).

The offense is pretty straightforward and reunites my favorite one-two wide receiver punch I've ever witnessed live in Santonio Holmes and Ted Ginn Jr.

And now, here's a look at the All-Meyer team.

The All-Urban Meyer Team (2012-2018)

Meyer Team: Offense
Position Player
Quarterback Dwayne Haskins
Running Back Ezekiel Elliott
Wide Receiver Michael Thomas
Wide Receiver Devin Smith
Wide Receiver Parris Campbell
Tight End Jeff Heuerman
Left Tackle Taylor Decker
Left Guard Billy Price
Center Pat Elflein
Right Guard Jack Mewhort
Right Tackle Jamarco Jones
Meyer Team: Defense / Special Teams
Position Player
Defensive End Joey Bosa
Defensive Tackle Adolphus Washington
Defensive Tackle Dre'Mont Jones
Defensive End Nick Bosa
Outside Linebacker Ryan Shazier
Middle Linebacker Raekwon McMillan
Outside Linebacker Darron Lee
Cornerback Denzel Ward
Safety Vonn Bell
Safety Malik Hooker
Cornerback Marshon Lattimore
Kicker Sean Nuernberger
Punter Cameron Johnston
Returner Curtis Samuel

Mortals wouldn't be able to get within a mile of this offense without wearing a hazmat suit. Getting Michael Thomas and Ezekiel Elliott back together with Dwayne Haskins behind center is a thought that just made Nick Saban glitch and reboot (because he's a robot). 

Ohio State fans would get the amazing chance of seeing both Bosa brothers on the field at the same time with a linebackers corps of Raekwon McMillan, Darron Lee and Ryan Shazier behind them. And a secondary of Denzel Ward, Malik Hooker, Vonn Bell and Marshawn Lattimore could ground Air Force l if it wanted to.

So who has the edge?

The Breakdown
All-Tressel Team Position Group All-Meyer Team
  Quarterback  ✓
  Running Back  ✓
Push Receivers/Tight End Push
Push Offensive Line Push
Push Defensive Line  Push
  Linebackers   ✓
Push Secondary Push
 ✓ Special Teams  

As far as I see it, Meyer's team has the edge at key spots offensively at quarterback and running back, while the speed at linebacker would be the difference defensively.

If the two teams squared off, I see Meyer's team pulling away with a 38-27 win. 

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