Luke Fickell: OSU Interim Coach Fickell Will Keep Buckeyes in Big Ten Contention
Buckeyes Interim Coach Luke Fickell Should Be Up To Challenge
With Jim Tressel’s resignation at Ohio State, Luke Fickell becomes the interim head coach for the 2011 season. Fickell was already due to coach the first five games of the year while Tressel served his suspension for lying to the NCAA.
Fickell has served as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach under Tressel since 2005. He’s an Ohio State alum who started a school-record 50 consecutive games as a nose guard from 1992-96 under Tressel’s predecessor, John Cooper.
Fickell won’t have an easy task keeping the Buckeyes relevant in 2011. The schedule features tough road games at Miami, Nebraska and Michigan, along home showdowns with Michigan State and Wisconsin.
Both Miami and Michigan State will face a depleted OSU squad while stars like QB Terrelle Pryor and WR DeVier Posey serve their suspensions for illicit memorabilia sales.
Despite all the obstacles, Fickell should be able to keep the Buckeyes in the Big Ten conversation for most or all of the season. His always-dangerous defense can carry the team while Pryor is out, and the suspended players will only miss one road game (Miami).
The Buckeyes will be in serious trouble in a couple of years when the (likely) NCAA sanctions start cutting into their scholarship totals. For 2011, though, the talent on the field will be too strong to be kept down by coaching problems off of it.
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