I've finally started to recover.
After September 12, I have to admit my faith was shaken. I walked out of the stadium with feelings that I never thought I had. I listened to the unrepeatable comments of people I've never met as I walked by. I witnessed two Buckeye fans nose-to-nose about to fight.
It was a terrible ending to a promising day.
Ever since, I've had a lot of radical thoughts regarding the future of Ohio State Football, and I really needed to wait and cool off for awhile.
As fate would have it, I was scheduled to go on a retreat with my school the week after, and 10 days later my thoughts and feelings have finally returned to a rational level.
But just because I'm rational, does not mean I think things are fine the way they are.
Ohio State could and should have beaten USC so many ways (yes, I'm still bitter), but one thing stood out above all.
This was the coaching, or as I should say, the head coaching.
Don't get me wrong, I love Jim Tressel, but as I said in my article, Jim Tressel: The Grace Period is Over, Jim Tressel cannot get a free pass anymore. It's time that we, as fans, hold him accountable when he messes up.
And yes, he did mess up.
There are a lot of things we can question, but one decision above all stuck out. And that was not kicking the field goal, but maybe not for the reasons you think.
It wasn't that it was a 53-yard field goal and Pettrey had kicked a 52-yarder the week before that would have been good from 60.
It wasn't that the field goal would have insured overtime at the very minimum.
And it wasn't that the defense was due to break.
No, it was all about the actions of Aaron Pettrey. I don't know if it was on TV, but I saw it as clear as day. When Tressel was deciding what to do, Pettrey was out on the field practicing kick after kick right in front of Tressel.
It was his way of saying, "Put me in, Coach. Give me a shot. I've been training for this my whole life. I'm ready."
And by putting in the punt team, Tressel said to his senior leader, "Nope. I'd rather play field position. Maybe next time."
Pettrey was ready and Tressel didn't even give him the chance.
This was just one of a bundle of errors, and in the midst of all my anger one thing became apparent.
Jim Tressel has taken Ohio State as far as he can take them. He's reached his peak, but unfortunately, even though our peak is high, Ohio State is still looking up at the peaks of USC, Florida, Texas, etc.
If Ohio State wants to catch up quick, a few things have to be done:
1. Jim Tressel must remain the head coach
Ohio State is still an elite program and Tressel has been an instrumental part in building that. Bringing in a new coach could have disastrous consequences and chances are, he wouldn't be better than Tressel.
2. Bring in an OC
Ohio State ran 17 first down plays against USC. There were six (low percentage) passes in which two were completed. There was one reverse to Lamaar Thomas that gained seven yards. And there were 11 runs straight up the middle with Boom Herron in which he averaged less than two yards per carry. There's no excuse for this lack of creativity. When things needed to be changed, Tressel kept on doing what wasn't working.
Not only this, but Tressel takes an extraordinary amount of time to get the play calls in. This leaves an inexperienced quarterback little time to read the defense.
I could go on and on, but bringing in an OC who could call plays from the booth would be beneficial. If I can call tell what plays Tressel is going to run, then you better believe the other coach can. Plus, it wouldn't hurt to have a coach that could better tailor an offense to their personal.
Bringing in a new OC would not cause a major disruption in the program and at the very worst could provide another educated perspective.
3. Let Tressel do what Tressel does best
Tressel is a very good coach in almost all facets, but he excels in two areas.
Special teams and recruiting.
His favorite play is the punt. What does that tell you?
The guy loves special teams!
Why put him in charge of the special teams instead of the offense?
Then let him put a little bit more emphasis on the already stellar recruiting.
I don't see any downside to this.
If Ohio State can do all of this, I have no doubt that they will be at the very top of the college football world.
Trouble is, I don't see it happening.