Jim Tressel Resigns: 5 Schools That Will Benefit the Most
Amid swirling NCAA allegations, Jim Tressel decided to resign from his coaching post with the Ohio State Buckeyes after 10 seasons in Columbus.
Tressel, who was 106-22 during his 10 successful seasons with the Buckeyes and held a winning record against every Big Ten school besides Wisconsin, will be replaced by co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell on an interim basis for 2011.
While Fickell has some experience around this Buckeyes team, he still has to deal with suspensions to key players and the aftermath of the Jim Tressel whirlwind this season.
Make no doubt about it, there will be an adjustment period for the perennial Big Ten contenders and in the meantime, several teams will have a chance to step up and assume the role of Big Ten powerhouse.
Here are the five teams that will benefit most from the loss of Jim Tressel:
5. Penn State Nittany Lions
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Penn State is 1-8 in their last nine road games against Jim Tressel's Ohio State Buckeyes.
Joe Paterno will be looking to change that trend in 2011 as the Buckeyes look to make the tough adjustment to an inexperienced head coach in Luke Fickell.
With the Nittany Lions looking to rebound off a disappointing 2010 campaign, the game with the Buckeyes before the final game of the year against Wisconsin will surely be a big matchup.
While Luke Fickell's bunch will surely be more in tune with each other by the end of the year, the suspensions of key Buckeye players combined with the aftermath of the Jim Tressel situation will be a big obstacle to overcome.
Penn State is one of the teams that will look to use the uncertainty in Columbus to their advantage and find their way back to the top of the newly-aligned Big Ten conference.
4. Iowa Hawkeyes
David Purdy/Getty Images
Jim Tressel held a 6-1 record against Kirk Ferentz's Iowa Hawkeyes during his tenure at Ohio State.
Ferentz is surely relieved as Tressel will no longer be there to give his Hawkeyes problems in Big Ten conference play.
The Hawkeyes have been a team that is able to hang around with the big boys in the Big Ten but has failed to get over the hump at times.
The resignation of Tressel could change the Hawkeyes' fortunes against the Big Ten titans and perhaps give Kirk Ferentz a chance to move up the ladder of prestigious Big Ten coaches.
Without a doubt, Ferentz will have his players primed and ready to turn over a new leaf against the Buckeyes, but will have to wait until 2013 until they play again.
3. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
While Nebraska Cornhusker's head coach Bo Pelini is listed as a possible replacement by Bruce Feldman of espn.com, the former Ohio State safety will look to take advantage of the resignation in his team's new conference for the time being.
As Nebraska moves from the Big XII to the Big Ten, the timing of Tressel's resignation could not have had better timing for a team looking to get a foothold among the titans of the conference.
In order for Nebraska to do so, beating Ohio State at home on October 8th would be a major step in the right direction in their inaugural Big Ten season.
Getting Ohio State toward the beginning of the conference slate could be an advantage for the Cornhuskers, as Terrelle Pryor and co. will be in uniform for the first time after their suspensions in 2011.
2. Wisconsin Badgers
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
The Wisconsin Badgers are the only Big Ten team that Jim Tressel did not have winning record against, standing at 4-4 against the Badgers during his 10 years at Ohio State.
With Tressel now out in Columbus, the Badgers have a chance to make that record even better and become the Big Ten powerhouse that Ohio State has become accustomed to being.
While the Buckeyes are still obviously talented, the Badgers run game is always a nightmare for opposing defenses and will be no different in 2011 with the return of Montee Ball and James White in the Badger backfield.
The time for a new Big Ten powerhouse could be now and do not be surprised if the Badgers are the team to seize that opportunity.
1. Michigan Wolverines
Leon Halip/Getty Images
After leaving the San Diego State Aztecs in favor of the Michigan Wolverines head coaching position, Brady Hoke expected to improve on Michigan's 1-9 record against Jim Tressel in 2011.
However, in light of recent events, Hoke has a chance to start his Wolverine career off with a bang by beating the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 26th, in The Big House.
The expectation for any coach at Michigan is the ability to beat the Buckeyes, and if you cannot accomplish that, then do not expect to be around all that long in Ann Arbor.
Brady Hoke benefits from Tressel's resignation as much as anyone. He now has the benefit of facing Luke Fickell as a head coach, and while Fickell has experience with the heated rivalry itself, he has no experience as a head coach in the rivalry.
Tressel's resignation may even the playing field at least from a mental standpoint as the Wolverines look to change their fortunes against their biggest rival.