As sure as the leaves change colors and fall from the trees in autumn, some Ohio State football fans will always call for Jim Tressel to be fired after the Buckeyes lose a game.
Saturday night’s 31-18 letdown at Camp Randall has brought the Tressel doubters out of the woodwork once again. It certainly isn’t everybody calling for Tressel’s walking papers, but the chorus is growing a little bit louder with each disappointing loss and season that passes without another BCS National Championship.
I’ll start by appeasing the Tressel doubters by saying that he did a poor coaching job in the loss to Wisconsin. I already outlined some of his missteps in this article: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/494055-who-is-to-blame-for-the-ohio-state-buckeyes-loss-on-saturday.
Great coaches have bad games and The Vest has faltered in a number of games over the past five seasons.
Back-to-back losses in the BCS National Championship game to Florida and LSU and the loss to USC in 2009 stick out as the worst of the bunch for OSU fans—it’s hard to even call it a “bunch” considering he has only lost 22 games and is now in his 10th season.
It’s also worth acknowledging that it’s not always the coaches’ fault—as well as OSU has done in recruiting, they have run into some teams like LSU and Florida that simply had more athleticism and speed than they could handle.
What is the measure of a successful D-1 football coach?
Regular season wins, post-season wins, BCS wins, recruiting and winning the conference are the key factors. Also, keeping athletes out of trouble and in good academic standing is important, because if you can't do that, it can hurt your football program in sanctions and recruiting.
Jim Tressel has done all of these things as well or better than anyone in college football.
And while Ohio State is a big name, Tressel is not only competing with Michigan and others for recruits but trying to keep a cold-weather college as a must-be destination. Ohio State is one of the few true cold-weather powers remaining.
Tressel has to convince players to choose OSU over Florida, Texas, USC and other power programs where they can be in warm weather with tons of hot chicks.
There are plenty of hot chicks at OSU, but have you ever seen a USC chick? Wow! Anyway, he also has gotten some kids to move from warm weather to play at OSU, which is crucial.
The main issue, and it is a big one, has been Tressel’s struggles in BCS games and against top five teams.
While that is a valid point, and he has been out-coached in a couple of those games, he has been to three national title games and won one. His teams have played in more BCS games than anyone and are tied for most BCS wins.
He's 8-1 vs. Michigan (the measure of success at OSU) and has won six straight in the series. He has won five straight Big Ten titles and six overall. Tressel also just reached 100 wins faster than any coach in Buckeye history.
I ask you, Buckeye fans, could any Division 1 coach recruit this well and win at this school to the same degree? My answer is no right now. If it ever becomes yes, then I will march down High Street in Columbus alongside the Tressel doubters.