NFL/College Football: Can Former Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel Win a Super Bowl?

Michael ChungCorrespondent IIIJanuary 1, 2012

HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, PA - AUGUST 20:  Former Ohio State University football head coach Jim Tressel watches Terrelle Pryor's pro day with Jeannette High School head football coach Roy Hall at a practice facility on August 20, 2011 in Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Jim Tressel’s last game as a coach was ironically the spring football game. Terrelle Pryor was also in uniform but was still recovering from a foot injury sustained in the Sugar Bowl. 

On May 30, Tressel retired as head coach of the Ohio State football team.  Amidst a growing sullying of Ohio State’s reputation and the urging of "higher ups", Tressel was no longer head coach.  On top of this, the NCAA almost seven months later slapped Tressel with a five-year show-cause penalty, essentially banning him from any coaching job under the auspice of the NCAA. 

If Tressel wants to coach again, it will likely come in the NFL, and what a time to be available.  Tressel is currently employed by the Indianapolis Colts, who own one of the worst records in the NFL and are in the midst of a quasi-quarterback controversy.  Should the Colts draft Andrew Luck or should they roll the dice and hope that Peyton Manning is 100 percent healthy?

Then there are the St. Louis Rams, who have reportedly fired their head coach, Steve Spagnuolo, along with their GM, Billy Devaney.  The Minnesota Vikings have already affirmed that Leslie Frazier will return as head coach next season, but there will be a slew of other jobs that will be open, and do not be surprised if Tressel lands one of them. 

The Cleveland Browns are in the cellar of a highly competitive AFC North and there are rumblings that Pat Shurmer could be on the way out. This would be a perfect fit for Tressel.  He would remain in Ohio, and if Mel Tucker is not offered a head coaching job, could return to the Browns as his defensive coordinator.

Internet rumors already have 2 unnamed NFL teams interested in Tressel as head coach. Adam Schefter reported this morning that Tressel is "on the radar" of at least 2 NFL teams.


Tressel has already won five championships on two levels in college: four at D1-AA at Youngstown State and one at D1-A Ohio State.  When Tressel first was hired at Ohio State, there was concern that he could not win at a higher level, but Tressel won and won big while at D1-A. 

Could this success translate into NFL success?  Only two head coaches have won both a national title in college and a Super Bowl: Jimmy Johnson (the University of Miami and Dallas) and Barry Switzer (Oklahoma and Dallas), but no coach has ever won a championship at D1-AA, D1-A and the NFL. Could Tressel be the first?

Tressel already owns one coaching distinction that no one else outside his father holds. Lee and Jim Tressel are the only father-son combination to have both won a national championship as a head coach (Lee Tressel won a D-III title at Baldwin-Wallace).  Could Tressel add another coaching distinction to his resume? 

Would Tressel-ball principles of punting as the most important play in football, field position, defense and conservative offense work in the NFL?  Tressel will not be eligible to coach in the NCAA for five years so his only option to coach is the NFL.  People have stated that they believe Tressel wants to coach again; is he ready for the NFL?  Has he finally met his match? 

When I asked LeCharles Bentley on Facebook whether or not Tressel would coach the Browns, Bentley responded "I highly doubt it. Not sure if he fits into NFL culture. He would have to stop caring about his guys do much...that's not him"

We will find out in the coming weeks.