Over the past week I have heard enough excuses out of Columbus about last saturday night's debacle vs Penn State, and about how this season has gone, it could drive even the most casual of Buckeye fans crazy! I have had some many thoughts go through my head that if I could write a letter to Jim Tressel this might be what it would look like.
Dear Mr. Tressel
So it seems that once again fate has turned it's ugly head towards you and the football team at Ohio State. Don't worry at least this time it did not come in the form of hearing all the negativity from the national media for a month while waiting to play in the national title game, then playing up to what the national media and every other Buckeye hater said on game day. No Pete Carroll and the USC Trojans took care of that for everyone early on with the 35-3 drubbing in week 3 of the season.
Now that we now know that all of (or at least most) of the aspirations and goals of this team are down the drain for the remainder of this season let me see if I can help you out a little bit. I am by no means a football coach, but let me tell you how I see things in what has been a total wreck of a season
1. Get someone in that you trust to do the offensive play calling.
Yes I understand that you don't know what you would do if you were not calling the plays from the sidelines. Here is a news flash though. Not many coaches are good at managing games, or aspects of the games on their own. You proved this season by your offenses spectacular 95th ranking that you need someone that can see the game from a different angle then you. Oh by the way, if you have your doubts about this whole concept look at what Charlie Wiess did at Notre Dame when he finally brought in a defensive coordinator to call plays for him. Was' sent such a bad idea was it?
2. Put Beokmen in when you need to get the ball down field.
I am by no means an a apologist for Todd Beockmen, and while I agree that Terrell Pryor needs experience, you have to look at who the best option for what the current situation is. That is how you run a supposed two quarterback system. I liked that you tried to takes some shots down field on your last possession last week, but the fact of the matter is that Pryor has not developed the ability to have a good accurate throw down field. While Beockmen may not have the prettiest technique or delivery he can at least get the ball down field with more efficiency then Pryor. Don't believe me? Look at the film of some of the ugly looking deep balls Pryor threw that the Penn State DB's had all night to react to and make plays on.
3. Get ride of this ridicules conservative attitude
While frustrating, it's no wonder we had to witness what we did during the national title game the last two seasons. Don't be so afraid to take a chance. Look here is what it all comes down to. The difference between your team and that of a Big 12, Pac 10, or SEC team is that you sit back and worry about how you are going to keep from losing and about respect. All the other major conferences worry about how them selves, they know for a fact they will win, but the big concern is by how many points will they win by. I read a quote by James Laurnenitis about saturday about how six points should have been enough to win last week's game. What? How many times does six points win you anything in football? not very many.
When you have a team down on and frustrated keep piling it on and keep them down. I heard Evan Roster say that up until the time that Terrell Pryor fumbled Penn State was down on themselves offensively and that got them back into the game. They knew that they would most likely score and take the lead ( which they did). Of course maybe if you would have taken some shots at the endzone the possession before when you had the ball at the Penn State 30 and actually gotten a touchdown out of it, instead of running the ball three straight times and settling for a field goal, that fumble may have been a little less of a headace. We'll never know now though will we?
If you have that much respect for the other team and their coach then buy the coach dinner after the game is over. Invite him over to your house for dessert and coffee after the game. But don't put the team or a possible win, or in this case a conference championship, or even season that you are trying to salvage and make right, on the line because of respect. Urban Myer and Les Miles did not to it for you in the national title games the last two years, nor did Pete Carroll this year for that matter. Football is a war, and that you means you go out and pound the other team into submission, not fold because you worry about what the other team will do if you run the score up and pulverize them.
Having said all that at the end of the day I am still a fan and I still am on your side but your ways of running this team must change! No more Mr. nice guy. The future of this team depends on your changing your philosophy on how you run it. Until you do that, you will never even get a sniff of a national championship again!
Enjoy the rest of your week off sleep tight, and when you comeback and get ready for Northwestern let's see that you actually want to salvage this season and start doing what it will take to get into the Rose Bowl or another BCS game.