Bob on 09 21, 2009
When it comes to elite college football coaches, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel’s name is usually brought up. How can a coach be so highly touted when he always loses the big one? Id’ say it’s clear Tress can’t win the big non-conference games, and if you’re not aware of this, you probably aren’t too sports savvy.
10.6 million viewers got to witness Tressel’s coaching blunders in what turned out to be the most-viewed college football game ever on ESPN. I’m not sure what percentage of these observers were the football fanatics who pick the game apart meticulously, but anyone who paid close attention to the nuances of the game can tell you that The Sweater-vest lost the game for Buckeye Nation with his horrendous offensive play-calling.
Sure, highly touted Sophomore QB and preseason Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Terrelle Pryor didn’t have his best game, but that is irrelevant in this case. Bottom line is this; the Buckeyes need to hire an offensive coordinator or make some kind of change on offense, anything but Tressel calling the plays. The game of football has evolved, Jim; no more tentative play-calling trying not to lose.
If there’s one thing I’ve observed the past few years from coaches who go with this conservative ‘playing not to lose’ strategy, it’s that they typically end up losing. Teams are going for the throat, and that’s how it should be. Pete Carroll showed he had some brass balls and it paid off, having the stones to go for it on 4th and Goal. Of course you won’t convert on every 4th down, but when you do, it can change the outcome of the game.
Additionally, Tressel’s play calling was astoundingly predictable. The Buckeyes would have been better off if I was calling plays from the comfort of my sofa. Hmm…I wonder what Ohio State is going to do? Could it be a halfback dive for a couple yards? The sweater-vest called a halfback dive on 1st and 10 nearly every possession in the 2nd half, with the same results (2-3 yards). It’s not tough to get a defensive stop when you know exactly what the opposing offense is running. I thought Tressel may have been setting USC up for a deep ball, but I was mistaken. Jim Tressel is like that poker player who only plays with the nuts; predictable and never bluffs.
In response to the critical e-mails he received after the USC game, Tressel had this to say:
“When I read some of them I feel terrible for them because there’s no way they’re happy,”…”They’ve got to be some of the most unhappy people in the world, and I feel bad because we just made them less happy, and I hate to be a part of making someone less happy. I mean, they’re already miserable.”
Wrong, Jim. Just because die-hard fans express their disappointment on your shoddy play-calling doesn’t mean they’re miserable. As a longtime OSU fan, I’d like to point out that I’m not miserable; actually, I’m quite content. So shove it, Jim! And please put down the offensive playbook!