Great point - interesting perspective - but then you could argue, in retrospect, that Cooper had done his job - completed his role - by about 1997.
With that in mind . . . Here is a crazy alternate history scenario that never would have happened . . . What if Ohio State had replaced Cooper after the ‘97 season with the rising star Mack Brown (who was hired by Texas after the ‘97 season)? You could argue that Ohio State would have won the ‘98 national championship with Brown at the helm, but would have been worse off over the long run (I.e., no Tressel).