Jim Tressel: Big Game Choke Artist

Aerion DearContributor IJuly 5, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 05:  Head coach Jim Tressel of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Game against the Texas Longhorns on January 5, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.   The Longhorns defeated the Buckeyes 24-21.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

If Jim Tressel and The Ohio State Buckeyes do not beat Southern California this year, I officially dub him the name of "Big Game Choke Artist." I know I'm not the only Buckeye fan who feels this way. Last year in the USC-Ohio State game, I saw Terrelle Pryor show the skills and leadership to make the game at least a little closer.

Instead of starting the super freshman, Jim Tressel chose to start a flat-footed pedestrian senior named Todd Boeckman who looked like a deer in a headlights. I couldn't help but to boil with frustration.

After the blowout, Pryor was named the starter and many fans believed he should have been the obvious choice to begin with. The main reason why I feel that Pryor should have started the game is because Chris Wells was hurt.

From a coaching standpoint, why would you play from a power-I formation without a power back? Daniel "Boom" Herron and Brandon" No Vision" Saine are not power backs. So the obvious choice is to use a spread formation to take advantage of a quarterback's running ability, and to also use your speed backs ability to get to the corner.

Many buckeye fans have squirmed through situations like these in the past, like the LSU game, and also in the game against the Florida Gators. In Jim Tressel's defense, to be completely honest, Ohio State doesn't have the most talented team year in and year out. However if you're not putting your best players on the field, you're not giving yourself the best chance to win. Some also criticize Jim Tressel of being extremely predictable (i.e On first down run, second down run again, third down a desperate pass).

Buckeye fans may also blame the "big game loses" on Tressel for his ultra-conservative play call style.  To get over the hump, Tressel needs to expand the horizon on his play call and also utilize his players to the best of their abilities. I hope to see Jamaal Berry running out of the spread and Carlos Hyde out of the Power-I this coming season. If not, I feel that the people of Columbus will be pulling for another coach. Victories over a sub-par Michigan team will not make up for back-to-back losses to USC, Texas, LSU, and Florida.