Jim Tressel has a bucket list with one item.
Taking the reins of the Buckeye football program in 2001, Tressel flipped the script on the Ohio State vs. Michigan rivalry with a 9-1 record against the Wolverines, helping the Buckeyes mend a lopsided deficit in the all-time series.
Now, his one wish is to live long enough to see that through to completion.
Speaking at a charity event in Youngstown, Ohio this week, Tressel expressed his yearning to see Ohio State take the series lead against the Wolverines in his lifetime.
“I hope I live long enough for that day when we’re over .500. Then I can go to sleep happy.”– Jim Tressel
“I hope I live long enough for that day when we’re over .500," Tressel said. “Then I can go to sleep happy.”
Ohio State currently trails 58-51-6 all-time in the series officially. When Tressel took the job in Columbus, that gap was 56-35-6.
The Buckeyes have never led in the series. Michigan jumped off to a 13-0-2 lead in the rivalry and Ohio State has been playing catchup ever since.
Tressel did his part, kicking off two decades of dominance that Urban Meyer continued with a 7-0 record of his own. Now, it falls on Ryan Day, who's already off to a solid start with a lopsided 56-27 win in 2019.
If Ohio State remains perfect against Michigan, the Buckeyes can tie the Wolverines in 2027 and pass them in 2028. Tressel would be 75 years old.