Before You Fire Tressel...Look around!

Paul SalmanSenior Analyst ISeptember 23, 2009





Lately, all you hear about is how Ohio State and Jim Tressel are terrible and some are even saying Ohio State needs a change at head coach. What I find interesting, is that people turn a blind eye to other cases of coaches who are not living up to expectations, and enjoy beating up on Ohio State and the Big Ten while they are down.

I say lets look at another big time program with a big time coach who has not lived up to his end of the deal as coach of....The Oklahoma Sooners.

Bob Stoops got the name "Big Game Bob" early on after he became head coach at Oklahoma in 1999 and won the national title in 2000. However, that title is long overdue and "Big Game Bob" is more like "Doesn't Show Up To Big Games Bob."

Just like Stoops, Tressel won a national title in his second season at the helm. Both have slightly dropped off since then, key word being slightly, but Oklahoma has struggled much more under the lights and it has gone mostly un-noticed. Both set the bar very high, very early and have failed to live up to those expectations.

However, when you take a closer look, it is Bob Stoops who has dropped off more.

Take a look at the stats:

Jim Tressel 
2001Ohio State7-55-33rdL Outback

2002Ohio State14-08-0T-1stW Fiesta †11
2003Ohio State11-26-22ndW Fiesta †44
2004Ohio State8-44-45thW Alamo1920
2005Ohio State10-27-1T-1stW Fiesta †44
2006Ohio State12-18-01stL BCS NCG †22
2007Ohio State11-27-11stL BCS NCG †45
2008Ohio State10-37-1T-1stL Fiesta †119
Overall Bowl Record: 4-4 = .500
BCS Bowl Record: 3-3 = .500
Key non-conference loses in regular season: Texas 2005 ,USC 2008, USC 2009
Record against rival Michigan since 2002: 6-1

Bob Stoops 
1999Oklahoma7–55–3T–2ndL Independence

2000Oklahoma13–08–01stW Orange †11
2001Oklahoma11–26–22ndW Cotton66
2002Oklahoma12–26–2T–1stW Rose †55
2003Oklahoma12–28–01stL Sugar †33
2004Oklahoma12–18–01stL Orange †33
2005Oklahoma8–46–22ndW Holiday2222
2006Oklahoma11–37–11stL Fiesta †1111
2007Oklahoma11–36–21stL Fiesta †88
2008Oklahoma12–27–1T–1stL BCS NCG †55
Overall Bowl Record: 4-6 = .400
BCS Bowl Record 3-5 = .375; with loses to schools such as Boise State and West Virginia when Oklahoma was a heavy favorite
Key Non Conference loses in regular season: TCU 2005, UCLA 2005, Oregon 2006,
Record against Rival Texas since 2002: 5-3
Bonus loss: As a favorite - 2003 Big 12 Championship blown out by Kansas State and still played, and lost in the National Title game to LSU

Looking at this, Tressel has a better overall bowl record, better BCS bowl record and a better record against his respective schools top rival. Most importantly, which is what Tressel gets the most heat for, are his fewer key loses than Bob Stoops.

Tressel's key loses are to schools like Texas, USC, Florida and LSU. Each school either won the national title the year they beat Ohio State, or finished in the top 3.

Bob Stoops has key loses to LSU, USC, Florida and also to schools like TCU, UCLA, Oregon, Kansas State, West Virgina and Boise State. Other than LSU, USC and Florida, which are loses both programs have in common, the rest are against inferior programs to Oklahoma and were all games where The Sooners were favored.

Bob Stoops added to this list this season by losing, at home, to BYU.

If Jim Tressel is at fault for anything at Ohio State, it is for setting the bar too high, to early. He has been unable to win a national title since his second year, but outside of that he has been extremely successful. He has won every big game he was supposed to win, except for the National Title game against Florida. He has never lost to an inferior program at any point in his tenure at Ohio State, which is not something Bob Stoops can say.

Bob Stoops has lost multiple games as a favorite, along with multiple games to inferior programs.

Before college football fans, and most importantly Ohio State fans, call for Tressel's head, everyone should take a look around and compare Tressel to his peers. I am certain you will find that he is one of, if not thebest at his position.

Ohio State fans, you need to look around and think about what would happen if Tressel were to be fired. Who would replace him? Who could live up to your expectations? Are there really any coaches out there that are available and nearly as good as what you already have?

I doubt it.

Now - media, lets turn the attention on Bob Stoops and go easy on Tressel.




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