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May 31, 2011 - Image 10

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-05-31

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Tressel's departure will rekindle rivalry in'The Game'

ile making the one-
Wijfmile or so trek from
our parking spot to The
Horseshoe, I saw plenty of Michi-
gan fans sprinkled throughout the
ocean of scarlet
and grey.
Usually one
would expect
their lives to
be threatened, P
called every
name in the '
book and TIM
berated with ROHAN
jeers and taunt-
ing - this was
the greatestrivalry in all of sports,
right?
Well, thanks to Jim Tressel, the
Michigan-Ohio State rivalry had
turned into a joke in recentyears
- when Lloyd Carr's teams lost it
was at least competitive, and then
with Rodriguez, itcgotugly.
Now, Michigan fans weren't
worth Ohio State fans' time any-
more. The Buckeyes knew they
were going to win ina few hours.
It would've taken a cruel and
sadisticperson to pile on, ontop
of the mess Rich Rodriguez had
already created for those people.
It was about everything that
produced the records, though,
when Rodriguez marched his 7-4
Wolverines into Tressel's slaugh-
terhouse last November. The truth
is: Ohio State was bigger, faster,
stronger and better prepared than
Michigan the past three years. The
Wolverines didn't stand a chance,

not with Tressel in charge.
With Tressel's resignation
coming early Monday morning,
the tides may be turning in the
Michigan-Ohio State rivalry -
those fans might not have such a
pleasant stroll to The Horseshoe in
two years. With Tressel gone, this
is Michigan's chance to make the
Michigan-Ohio State rivalry great
again.
Tressel improved to 9-1 against
Michigan that afternoon ina game
that his Buckeyes led bythree
scores athalftime. His teams out-
scored Rodriguez's squads 100-24,
and this loss allowed those Michi-
gan fans to miss the traffic and
head home early.
Tressel's teams routinely
pushed around Rodriguez's
spread-option offense and 3-3-5
defense, and even had a quarter-
back (Terrelle Pryor) better suited,
perhaps, to play in Rodriguez's
scheme. The Ohio State coach
made it clear from the start that
beating Michigan was going to be
a priority of his. Tressel was facing
a similar hill to climb than Brady
Hoke faces now - the Wolverines
were 10-2-1 in their last 13 games
against the Buckeyes before Tres-
sel took over in 2001.
The pendulum swung towards
Ann Arbor.
"I can assure you," Tressel said
at the time of his hiringin 2001,
"that you will be proud of your
young people in the classroom, in
the community, and most espe-
cially, ih 310 days in Ann Arbor,

Michigan on the football field."
He understood that the first
thing he had to do was beat Michi-
gan. Everything else he wanted to
accomplish would follow.
It was obvious Tressel was a
great coach and a better recruiter.
In his first season, 310 days after
he was hired, he beat Michigan
26-20 in the Big House. Craig
Krenzel made his first start of
his career and Ohio State entered
the game with a 4-3 record in
Big Ten play. The Buckeyes were
the underdogs against the No.11
Michigan Wolverines. But Tressel
coached Ohio State to a 23-0 half-
time lead and then held on to win.
That's whatgood coaches do: they
bring the most out of their players
and win games they're not sup-
posed to from time to time.
Although, 2004 was the only
other year under Tressel in which
the Buckeyes could have been con-
sidered decent-sized underdogs in
the rivalry.
The pendulum swung towards
Columbus.
Rodriguez's teams never
had that win-when-you're-not-
supposed-to trait. The Buckeyes
always had a chance with Tressel
there. The first step in beating
Ohio State was the changing of
the guard that took place in Janu-
ary when Brady Hoke took over.
His players break their huddles
screaming "Beat Ohio," during
spring practice, more than six
months before they playthe Buck-
eyes. He refers to the Buckeyes as

FILE PHOTO/Daily
Former Ohio State footballcoach Jim Tressel announced his resignation Monday.

"Ohio," and his feelings about the
rivalry seem genuine.
For now, the pendulum stays in
Columbus until Hoke proves he
can beat Luke Fickell's Buckeyes.
Anyone who knows the Michi-
gan-Ohio State rivalry knows it is
based on each team having a peri-
od of dominance. But had Tressel
not known about Pryor's and his
cohort's wrongdoings, then it
would've been harder for Hoke to
end Ohio State's current seven-
game winning streak in the rivalry
- the longest it has ever had.
"The head of the scarlet and
grey Demon has been cut off,"
Michigan's best defensive player,
nose tackle Mike Martin tweeted
on Monday.
With Rodriguez's failings and

the prolonged drought against
Ohio State, Michigan is desperate
for a swing in the pendulum. As
The Columbus Dispatch points out
in the upper left corner of its Ohio .
State sports page - the counter
remains even if you are reading
about the men's or women's bas-
ketball teams - that, as of Monday,
it has been 2746 days since Michi-
gan last beat Ohio State in football.
In Brady Hoke's office it is
counting down: 180 days, so-many
hours and minutes and seconds
until Nov. 26, when he gets his first
turn to beat "Ohio."
His chances got a lot better on
Monday.
- Rohan can be reached
at trohan@umich.edu.

Jim Tressel resigns amidst scandal, NCAA allegations

By STEPHENJ. NESBITT
DailySportsEditor
Ohio State announced the resig-
nation of embattled football coach
Jim Tressel on Monday.
Tressel, who posted a 106-22
record in 10 seasons in Columbus
and guided the Buckeyes to the
2002 national title, saw his job
security wane in the wake of an
ongoing NCAA investigation into
the program for multiple viola-
tions.
During his tenure, Tressel's
Buckeyes had unparalleled suc-
cess against Michigan, going 9-1,
including a current stretch of sev-
en-consecutive victories. Tressel
will be replaced by interim head
coach Luke Fickell for the 2011

season.
"After meeting with University
officials, we agreed that it is in
the best interest of Ohio State that
I resign as head football coach,"
Tressel said Monday. "The appre-
ciation that Ellen and I have for the
Buckeye Nation is immeasurable."
In March, President E. Gordon
Gee and Athletic Director Gene
Smith both voiced their support
for Tressel, who then admitted
that he withheld information con-
cerning ineligible players in 2010.
"I'm just hoping the coach
doesn't dismiss me," Gee joked at a
press conference March 8.
Initially, Tressel was given just
a two-game ban with a $250,000
fine - five of his players, includ-
ing star quarterback Terelle Pryor,

were previously given six-game
suspensions for their part in sell-
ing memorabilia to a local tattoo
parlor, as well as receiving dis-
counted tattoos - Tressel asked
that his suspension be increased
to match his players.' Tattoo-par-
lor owner Edward Rife was then
under investigation for drug traf-
ficking.
The program came under
increased heat when The Colum-
bus Dispatch reported a suspicious
connectionthat Ohio State football
players and families shared with
Columbus-area car dealers. The
Universtity's director of compli-
ance is currently investigating 50
separate car sales to Buckeye ath-
letes.
Tressel's hot seat grew hotter

and the fever pitch surrounding
Ohio State football heightened
this week when former Buckeye
wide receiver Ray Small told The
Lantern - the Ohio State student
newspaper - that he saw the sell-
ing of memorabilia and car deals
as commonplace for Buckeye ath-
letes.
"I had sold my things but it was
just for the money," Small said.
"We had four Big Ten rings. There
was enough to go around."
Finally, after more than sixth
months of investigations and
a battery of NCAA allegations
detailing that Tressel "permitted
football student-athletes to par-
ticipate in intercollegiate athlet-
ics while ineligible" and "failed to
deport himself ... (with) honesty

and integrity," Tressel has called
it quits.
He finishes as the No. 2 coach
in Big Ten history in terms of win-
ning percentage (.828).
Although the NCAA has not yet
released its penalties against Ohio
State, which are expected later this g
fall, Smith and Ohio State are try-
ing to look beyond the Jim Tressel
era, one that will be remembered
forever in Buckeye lore - for bet-
ter and for worse.
"We look forward to refocus-
ing the football program on doing 4
what we do best," Smith said. "We
look forward to supporting Luke
Fickell in his role as our football
coach. We have full confidence in
his ability to lead our football pro-
gram."

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