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This Year's Ohio State-Michigan Game Brings A Sobering Reality For Buckeye Fans

Tressel's steady hand is something to be thankful for this season.

I will be the first to admit it. Sometimes Jim Tressel drives me nuts. I like Tressel, I really do. Sometimes, I just don't think he is aggressive enough. He is behind the wheel of a Ferrari, but he drives it like sedan.

We don't blitz enough. We don't attack enough on offense. We don't go for it on fourth down enough. Tressel lacks a killer instinct. I'm not shy about it either. Don't label me a bad guy. You have done it too. Don't lie.

Then I see the Univserity of Michigan. When Michigan hired Rich Rodriguez, I was more than a little skeptical. His offense always seemed to run great, but would it work against Big10 defenses week in, week out? How long would Rodriguez have to recruit "his players"? 

To my satisfaction, the first thing RichRod did was scare off an All-American guard (Justin Boren) and All-American level quarterback (Ryan Mallet). As a Buckeye fan, that worked out great for us. But Rodriguez had a history of creating programs in unique situations (Tulane, West Virginia), how scary would it be if he got everything going at a place like Michigan?

Fast forward to present day. I see a defense that can't stop a stiff breeze. An offense that goes up and down the field at will, but seems to rely on Denard Robinson's feet and Tate Forcier's arm and struggles against elite teams.

As for the lifeblood of college football, recruiting, it doesn't get much better for the Wolverines. UM had a good class in 2010, but have struggled this season. While Ohio State has brought in, according to ESPN.com, a top 6 class this season with Braxton Miller and company, Michigan fails to crack the top 25. With another middling season under his belt, how will Rodriguez try and bring in more talent?

This all brings me back to Jim Tressel. He is never sexy. But year in and year out the Bucks are in contention for the Big10 title and, usually, the National title. Not many schools can say that. Florida and USC are having down seasons, something that Tressel has only done once. Tressel and Ohio State continues to march along. Faces change, players leave for the NFL. But the only face that has been the same throughout has been Jim Tressel.

So the next time he kicks a field goal on 4th and goal from the 1 inch line, I will tell myself, "At least we're not Michigan".

That is something we can all agree on.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.