Ohio State Football: Luke Fickell Puts Career in the Hands of Wrong QB

Derek TalibContributor IIISeptember 18, 2011

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Joe Bauserman #14 of the Ohio State Buckeyes throws the ball against the Miami Hurricanes on September 17, 2011 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. The Hurricanes defeated the Buckeyes 24-6. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The long-awaited beat down from the Hurricanes has finally happened and sent notice to the Buckeyes' athletic director that coach (Luke) Fickell may not be ready for prime time.  Luke Fickell put his career and "dream job" in the hands of one of the worst quarterbacks ever to wear the scarlet and grey in recent memory.  Every snap that was wasted on Joe Bauserman should have been handed to Braxton Miller to prepare him for the season. 

There is nothing to prepare a quarterback like repetitions, and Bauserman has proven in his five years at Ohio State that he is not the option to be under center.  Ex-Buckeye head coach John Cooper used to say, "If a dog is going to bite, he is going to bite as a pup."  The old dog in Bauserman did not learn any new tricks, and the pup in Braxton Miller was only taught the "sit" and "stay" commands. All summer, Buckeye coaches kept stating that the competition is close...was it?

If the competition was close, then clearly Bauserman is not the choice.

A freshman should not be close in a quarterback competition with a five-year player and not get the starting job. If a fifth-year senior is in a close quarterback competition with an 18-year-old who has never played, then it is not close at all.

Bauserman has had five years to impress coaches and could not do it, why would one expect the light bulb to finally turn on? Braxton Miller was not prepared to play against the Hurricanes because he was splitting time with a quarterback who clearly is not the answer.  Bauserman was 2-of-14 passing, and Miller was not any better.  A quarterback needs to know more than when to throw the ball away.

Luke Fickell cannot afford to follow Jim Tressel's pattern of waiting for a loss to make quarterback switches. Bauserman needs to be the third option with Taylor Graham or Kenny Guiton becoming the second. If Luke Fickell hopes to keep his job at Ohio State, he cannot lose another game...period. If the Buckeyes would have lost a hard-fought battle with Miami, he would have more wiggle room, but the team looked unprepared and shell shocked. 

The line in the sand has been drawn and Buckeye Nation has put Fickell on notice.  The Ohio State fans do not care about sanctions, suspensions or coaching changes. They care about wins and loses and do not take being embarrassed lightly.

Luke Fickle is in a playoff competing against himself and all the coaches at Ohio State should understand they have been put on notice.

Receivers cannot drop passes, quarterbacks cannot throw inconsistently and the defense cannot wait two series to start playing. The clock is ticking on coach Fickell's coaching career at Ohio State, and the only question is if he can bring Braxton Miller up to speed in time to save his job. The Ohio State coaching job is one of the best in the country and can command elite talent like Urban Meyer. This is not a job for a young coach to get his feet wet.

Tick...tock...tick...tock, coach Fickell.