Knocking at Tressel's Door

BG BrewContributor ISeptember 10, 2009

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 25: Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressell instructs his quarterback Terrell Pryor #2 during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 25, 2008 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

This weekends game at the "Horse Shoe" has some significant implications.  Ohio States' poor performances in nationally televised big games will certainly be addressed by the mainstream media if they lose, by any margin.  Up to now, coach Tressel has quite frankly been given a pass.  Although the Buckeyes, as a team, have been criticized for not showing up against the likes of LSU and Florida, the coach has not recieved his fair share of the blame.  Everything from team speed to lack of talent at key positions (match-ups) have been thrown about. 

Coach Tressel like the former OSU Coach Cooper is a very good person and a great recruiter but lets be realistic about this.  Recruiting for a storied program is two thirds a give me, while the other third is selling the system with an opportunity to get real playing time and showcase the recruits' talent for the pros. 

The problem that I see most with the coach is that his in-game strategy and ability to adjust are not very consistant.  Look, when you're OSU and every year you recruit one of the better classes, you'll win games.  It really is that simple. Get the top players in the nation, you will compete, just check the poll histories versus the recuiting classes.  Now there will be odd balls like Air Force or BYU and thats when you take a close look at the coach, his system and his leadership style. 

After watching the game against Navy, I noticed a couple of things...

  • I don't beleive he utilized Terrell Pryors skill set to the max.  Pryor rolled out too much and he simply didn't call enough designed running plays for him. He is the best running back on the team until Sain and Boom prove me wrong (I want to see the frosh Berry). 
  • Pulled Pryor out in the second quarter with a 13 point lead was a poor decision.  The Bucks and Pryor had good momentum and rythm at that point, defense included. 
  • Also, Tressel never really found an answer for Navy's pass rush or running attack. There were no adjustments and they seemed to play race the clock. The OSU team was fortunate for two things on that day. The obvious interception for two points and Kurt Coleman came to play. 

Judgment by the mainstream media is knocking at Tressels' door and if his team doesn't show up, Terrell Pryor, team speed or matchups shouldn't have to answer it.  To many coaches get a pass for their teams not succeeding but guess what, Tressel shouldn't have a choice.  Oh by the way, there just happens to be room in line at the same door behind a certain Notre Dame coach that has been answering that door since his tenure in South Bend.