At first, I wasn’t sure if I would have anything to say about Jim Tressel’s decision to resign as the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. I mean, what could I add to the story? We can all get the news from any number of locations in any number of varied forms. Then I remembered an exchange I had with a Buckeye fan back in December after the news came out that Georgia and Ohio State had agreed to play a home-and-home series beginning in the year 2020.
In my line of work, virtually everyone has an opinion on virtually every sports related topic. I mean, it’s what we do. However, some people are better at taking off the “team-colored glasses” than others are when debating a topic that involves the squads with which they are allied.
In the wake of the home-and-home announcement back in late December, and at a time Ohio State was in the midst of its (still) ongoing investigation into wrongdoing involving the football program, I had a Buckeye fan say the following to me during a discussion about the two storied programs finally meeting in a regular season game:
Has anybody checked Georgia's record lately? At this rate they will be in the Mountain West conference or Division II by 2020. What happened, did The Little Sisters of the Poor book up early with "grudge matches" with USC and Notre Dame? Here's an interesting bet....who is still coaching OSU/GA in 2020....Tressel or Richt? Mark who??
Can you believe it? I was stunned at the time, and frankly I still am, that a fan of any team mired in the type of an institutional NCAA investigation that Ohio State was (and is) could so blatantly disparage Mark Richt and the University of Georgia.
Rest assured DAWG Nation, I proceeded to quickly and without prejudice inform this Buckeye that Tressel had a history of being shady before arriving at Ohio State, that there have been questions about Tressel and his program during his time (and championship) in Columbus and, OH BY THE WAY, the Buckeyes were right in the middle of a scandal that has now proven to be the undoing of The Sweater Vest’s tenure as the head coach at Ohio State and possibly their entire 2011 season.
Well, I guess we have the answer to that Buckeye’s question today don’t we? Granted, none of us are happy with how the last couple of seasons have played out ‘between the hedges’ in Athens and we will not be satisfied until the DAWGS are once again on top of the SEC East and playing for a conference title in Atlanta, but there is none among us that is working any harder to make that a reality than the head coach and leader of our program, Mark Richt.
It has recently come to light based on statements from the people that actually make the decisions at the University of Georgia, that for all of the belly aching and sometimes misplaced and delusional complaints from the rabid Georgia fan base, Coach Richt actually is NOT on the ridiculously speculated hot seat. That is how it should be. I would absolutely rather lose a game or two, and do not misunderstand…losing stinks, than win by taking shortcuts only to suffer the shame of those “successes” later.
I’m as excited today as I was in December when the 2020-21 games with the Buckeyes were announced. In the AJC article by Tim Tucker announcing the home-and-home series between Georgia and Ohio State, Coach Mark Richt stated that he will be looking forward to the game, too.
“Yeah, man,” Richt said. “I hope I’m here to go to Columbus.”
I agree with you on that one, Coach. I hope you’re still leading the DAWGS too. Either way, one thing is for sure…Jim Tressel won’t be there to take it all in.
I wonder what that Buckeye fan would have to say about the state of things today.