Ohio State Buckeyes Football: The Top 10 Long-Term Replacements for Jim Tressel
Despite all the allegations and what not, the Ohio State Buckeyes can still remain atop the Big Ten.
Pending how they play the hand they're dealt.
This season will obviously be a question of character and potential rebuilding, as well as whether interim head coach Luke Fickell is the answer.
Regardless of how 2011 pans out, unless Fickell runs a pretty good table, Ohio State will be shopping for a new HC.
Some of the names on the list may come as a surprise, whereas others are already being discussed.
Let's take a look at No. 10.
10. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
Current Mississippi State Head Coach
Career Record of 14-11
1-0 in Bowl Games
18 Years Coaching Experience
Although he's only been a head coach for two years, Dan Mullen has Mississippi State competing very well.
Not to mention they're in the cream of the crop of the SEC, the SEC West, where five of the six teams finished 2010 ranked in the Top 20.
It's a long shot, but Mullen would be a solid choice in Columbus.
9. Luke Fickell, Ohio State
Current Ohio State Interim Head Coach
2010 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year
11 Years Coaching Experience
Already the short-term answer for Ohio State, Luke Fickell could be set in stone after 2011.
He was most definitely the right choice as the interim HC, so this is his chance to prove himself.
And, even if Ohio State does go in a different direction after this season, Fickell should have solidified himself in position for an HC position elsewhere.
In any event, he will be an HC for the 2012 season.
8. Bill Parcells, NFL
Former New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys Head Coach
Two-Time Super Bowl Champion (XXI, XXV)
Three-Time NFL Coach of the Year (1986, 1994, 1996)
Career Record of 183-138-1 (Includes Playoffs)
This may come as a surprise to most, especially since there's been no discussion of it until this slide.
Well, let a little history lesson be of persuasion.
In 1988, Bill Walsh retired from the NFL coaching after leading the San Francisco 49ers to three Super Bowl victories.
Well, from 1992-94 he took over as the HC for the Stanford Cardinal.
This man, Bill Parcells, has one run left in him. And, if the Buckeyes pursue him, it should be greatly supported.
7. George O'Leary, UCF
Current Central Florida Head Coach
Two-Time Conference USA Champion (2007, 2010)
1998 SEC Champion
Two-Time ACC Coach of the Year (1998, 2000)
Career Record of 97-77, 3-5 in Bowl Games
More known as the man who was hired and then fired from Notre Dame for lying, George O'Leary is still a solid head coach.
He's led UCF to their only conference championships, as well as their only bowl win.
Also, in his final five seasons with Georgia Tech, O'Leary led them to five straight bowl games, and a No. 9 ranking in the 1998 AP poll.
6. Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin
Current Wisconsin Athletic Director
Three-Time Big Ten Champion (1993, 1998-99)
1993 AFCA Coach of the Year
Career Record of 118-73-4, 8-3 in Bowl Games
2010 College Football Hall of Fame Inductee
Although he's been the face of Wisconsin football since 1990, Barry Alvarez could easily be a legitimate HC for Ohio State.
Now, obviously that would mean departing Madison, but it would also mean an increased shot at a national championship.
Ohio State consistently attracts top-notch recruits, and if College Football Hall of Famer Barry Alvarez were to make the move, the Buckeyes would hit the ground running.
5. Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee
Tennessee Head Coach 1992-2008
1998 National Champion
1997-98 SEC Champion
1998 AFCA Coach of the Year
Career Record of 152-52, 8-7 in Bowl Games
He's been out of coaching since 2008, and is a Tennessee Volunteer through and through.
However, if the Buckeyes were to call him up, Phillip Fulmer would at least humor them.
That being said, he's an outstanding recruiter and could easily keep Ohio State's consistency going from the Tressel era.
Don't be surprised if his name comes up.
4. Jerry Moore, Appalachian State
Current Appalachian State Head Coach
Three-Time FCS National Champion (2005-07)
Three-TIme AFCA FCS Coach of the Year (2005-07)
Career Record of 226-127-2, 22-13 in FCS Playoffs
The last time the university of Ohio State hired a new HC from the NCAA Division I-AA/FCS level, he won them seven Big Ten titles and one national championship.
Oh wait, that was Jim Tressel from Youngstown State.
Well, look no further than Appalachian State's Jerry Moore, who has dominated the FCS level.
Oh yeah, and he was the mastermind behind the Mountaineers' 34-32 vwin over Michigan IN the Big House.
Buckeye fans would love this hire.
3. Tony Dungy, NFL
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts Head Coach
Two-Time Super Bowl Champion (XIII, XLI)
Career Record of 148-79 (Includes Playoffs)
Tony Dungy has been in numerous discussions when a team (whether college or pro), is looking for a new head coach.
So, it should come as no surprise when talking about Ohio State's vacancy as well.
He's been around the game for a very long time, and even won a Super Bowl with the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers (Super Bowl XIII).
But, don't be surprised if he says "no," because he seems to like being an NFL analyst.
2. Jon Gruden, NFL
Former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach
Super Bowl XXXVII Champion
Career Record of 95-81, 5-4 Playoffs
23 Years Coaching Experience
This should not come as a shock, because anyone who wants an upgrade or needing to fill the HC gap would welcome Chucky, I mean Jon Gruden.
The best part would be his ability to get the players' attention from the start.
The year his Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl, they were also one of pro football's greatest single-season defenses.
He can coach anyone at any position, so if Gruden puts the headset back on, Ohio State would be an excellent choice.
1. Urban Meyer, Florida
Florida Gators Head Coach 2005-2010
Two-Time National Champion (2006, 2008)
Two-Time SEC Champion (2006, 2008)
Three-Time Coach of the Year (2001, 2003, 2004)
Career Record of 104-23, 7-1 in Bowl Games
Easily the No. 1 guy on the list, Ohio State fans would be thanking the football gods for Urban Meyer.
He destroyed them 41-14 in the national championship, and began this trend of BCS busters.
For those that don't know, in 2004 Meyer led the Utah Utes of the Mountain West Conference to an 11-0 record.
They became the first non-BCS school to crash the party, and did it by thrashing the Pittsburgh Panthers 35-7 in the Fiesta Bowl to finish 12-0 and ranked No. 5.
If Ohio State wants to hire a guy who we all know is aching to get back in the game, Urban Meyer is that guy.