Another tough loss for the Buckeyes. They limp into Nebraska with an offensive line that stops advancements about as well as the French in World War II and quite possibly the worst aerial attack since the advent of the forward pass.
At the end of the month, they play the best team in the Big Ten: Wisconsin. The Badgers are going to be on this Ohio State team like Ivan Drago on Appollo Creed in Rocky IV.
In the middle of that, they travel to a decent Illinois team, and play at Michigan at the end of the season.
It looks bleak.
The people who dislike Ohio State football are loving every minute of the train wreck that is this season.
But why? If the people who hate Ohio State would take the big picture into consideration, you would have been rooting for Fickell to have a 9-3 season. 9-3 would have been below Ohio State’s standards, but it would have made him a strong candidate for receiving a contract extension.
The season will end, perhaps Fickell will even be offered an interview; but he’s not going to be coaching next year.
You could have had someone whose inexperienced, but you wanted to get all of the losses in this year, and Fickell is going to be sent packing.
The speculation about Urban Meyer being the next coach has been rampant since May when Tressel resigned. As much as this team has struggled and will continue to struggle, they could be good next year. They already have a solid defense and they are going to return a lot of starters. Meyer has a history of making quick turnarounds and has won everywhere he’s coached.
Maybe Meyer will never coach Ohio State; I don’t know the future, but Meyer isn’t coaching anywhere right now, and with him on the market – if you dislike Ohio State – is the potential for him becoming head football coach something you really want?
It became obvious to me at the game this weekend that Fickell was done. It’s not because of any one particular thing. It’s the entire situation. Joe Bauserman was the quarterback and he didn’t get the job done and was replaced by Braxton Miller in game 4. Part of the reason why it was justified to favor Miller over Bauserman was due to Miller’s speed, but that didn’t do any good against Michigan State. Bauserman comes back into the fold because he can see the field better as a passer.
This is Fickell’s problem.
It doesn’t matter who he chooses, because either quarterback is going to struggle because of a weak offensive line, an inexperienced group of receivers, and due to both quarterback’s own shortcomings as passers.
“Put Miller in, and at least focus on the future.” I can understand that sentiment, but Fickell has to coach like there is no tomorrow. He needs to show that he’s worthy of being the coach now. Not next year. I’ve heard the same arguments today with the announcement that Dan Herron and DeVier Posey will not be eligible for the Nebraska game this weekend because of rules violations exceeding “tattoo gate.”
Like many Ohio State fans, my reaction is, “Just throw them off the team. They knew better. They didn’t just make one mistake, they did it again.” But, out of principle, can Fickell afford to sit experienced players if and when they become eligible? He has to win now.
I have nothing against Fickell. He came into a dream job in horrible circumstances, but he will not get the benefit of the doubt for that. This team is nearly half way through the season, and they’re not very good.
Some Buckeye fans remain in a state of denial. It’s like they think this team has just played poorly, but can still put things together. I disagree. They are a step below what we’re used to seeing. I think it’s a very real possibility that this will end up being the worst Ohio State team since 1999.
Like I have already said, those who dislike Ohio State are shortsighted with this situation. It’s what I would expect from such individuals. If they were smarter, they would be Buckeye fans.