Jim Tressel is probably the most marked man in college football these days. Invoke his name in any college football discussion, and you might be laughed right out of the room.
Most fans will point to Tressel's recent record in big games. It's obvious Ohio State could not quite live up to the hype. But since the 35-3 drubbing at the hands of USC, many on this site and in the college football world have called into question Tressel's coaching ability.
The upset in Corvallis is a little over and hour old, and once again USC, the already crowned national champions, have been upset to all but end the talks of a BCS title. The unstoppable USC offense failed to move the ball and score when it counted. The vaunted USC defense could not stop the Beavers and Jacquizz Rodgers, who time and time again ran over, through, and around the middle of the Trojan defense. Pete Carroll's squad lost to another team it was expected to crush.
It seems that there is a pattern emerging in Southern California, much like the one the college football world likes to point out in Columbus. Except while the Buckeyes are criticized for not winning the big games, maybe Pete Carroll should be called out on his record in over looking the little guy.
Since 2005, when the Trojans lost its bid for their third straight national title, Carroll's contenders have looked more like pretenders when it comes to over looking the under dog.
Let's look at the past three seasons. In 2005, Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush could not stop Vince Young and Texas, 41-38. In 2006, the Trojans were upset by Oregon St. 33-31 and lost to UCLA 13-9, with a trip to a national title on the line. Last season, the men of Troy lost to Stanford 24-23 at the Coliseum, and they took one on the chin against the Oregon Ducks 24-17. Then of course was tonight's loss again to the Beavers.
But it wasn't just the loss to Oregon State tonight. It was the Trojans very poor play on both sides of the ball. Already mentioned above was the defense's inability to stop Jacquizz Rodgers. But what about that Beaver defense? Joe McKnight ran for ten yards. Sanchez may have thrown three touchdown passes, but his costly interception and poor passing when the Trojans needed him the most, sealed USC's fate.
If the case can be made against Tressel, then one can make this case against Carroll. Both play in what many consider easy conferences. Both have had national title contenders in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. Both have not gotten the job done.
Everyone was quick to pile on Jim Tressel two weeks ago, especially those from SoCal. Maybe there is a little sour grapes involved here, but is Pete Carroll in the same boat as Tressel?
To deny this trend, is no different than us Buckeye fans denying Jim Tressel has not looked good in the big games. Each team can probably make up a litany of excuses, but at the end of the day neither team got it done. Trojan fans will point out that they beat Ohio State and beat them soundly. I am not contending that fact. But maybe Pete Carroll's achille's heel is the David's of the Pac 10. In Tressel's defense, he has rarely been upset by the teams the Buckeyes were supposed to crush. But that seems to be the theme among the most recent Trojan teams.
Neither team is definitively out of the BCS picture, but once again people have been quick to point out the flaws of Coach Tressel and his Buckeyes. But it's plausible to consider that things aren't so bright in Los Angeles either.
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