This isn't a fire Tressel article. Far from it.
I remember what Ohio State was before the sweater. Losing to Michigan. Capital One bowls. Please let me stop there before I start to drink. I am well aware of the level that Tressel has reached and stayed at. But I think the Buckeyes have reached a fork in the road.
How do we take the next, and most difficult, step?
Jim Tressel is Ohio State's head coach, playcaller and supposedly oversees the special teams. Then you have to add in recruiting, overseeing the program, speaking engagements, media requests and he even teaches a class. Sounds like quite the load doesn't it?
How can Jim Tressel be everywhere at once? How can the university help out Jim Tressel? Simple.
- Hire a special teams coach. I know that all the coaches "pitch in" and help with the special teams. That isn't cutting it. I don't need to rehash the special teams nightmare we are all living this season, but aside from a few Ray Small returns, the Buckeyes' return game has been poor since Ted Ginn left. It isn't an athlete problem. For a coaching staff that recognizes how important special teams is, I find it odd that they don't have a full time ST coach. Lord knows we need one.
- Poop can Jim Bollman. Never met Jim Bollman and he seems like a decent guy. That being said, I don't understand how he still possesses a job at Ohio State. For those unfamiliar, he is the "offensive coordinator" and offensive line coach. I put the quotations around offensive coordinator because Bollman doesn't call plays. But take a look at the offensive rankings of Ohio State going back to 2004.
Year: Total Offense/ Rushing/ Passing
- 2009: 60th/ 17th/ 100th
- 2004: 90th/ 62nd/ 88th
- 2005: 30th/ 21st/ 58th
- 2006: 29th/ 23rd/ 43rd
- 2007: 53rd/ 25th/ 84th
- 2008: 69th/ 22nd/ 103th
Doesn't look very good does it? Add in the fact that these stats include his time coaching Heisman winner Troy Smith, and the numbers look even more bleak. We are talking about a coaching staff that is handed first round wide receivers and running backs and continues to be at best a mediocre offense.
This doesn't even address my biggest qualm with Bollman. He is the offensive line coach. Every year our offensive line doesn't live up to expectations. Every year we bring in top flight offensive line recruits, and every year they don't get better. Does anyone think that Shugarts and Brewster are better than they were as freshman? I don't. What about Alex Boone? Five star recruit, yet turned into a seventh round pick that will probably never play in the NFL.
Did you know that Nick Mangold is the only offensive lineman to be selected in the first three rounds of the NFL draft? How is that possible? This is THE Ohio State University! I'm not going to say that the draft should be the measuring stick, but has Tressel produced a decent offensive lineman outside of Mangold? It isn't a coincidence that Justin Boren has been this team's best offensive lineman the past two seasons? If I was a father of a top flight offensive lineman, my child would be headed to Iowa or Wisconsin instead of Ohio State. You have no idea how much that pains me to say.