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Will Ohio State’s Self Imposed Penalties Be Enough for the NCAA? 2

Posted on July 08, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Both Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor are gone from Ohio State football.

After previously throwing their head coach and star quarterback under the bus, the Ohio State administration is now throwing away the entire 2010 season in the hopes that this self-imposed action will appease the NCAA and keep the Buckeyes from losing their football future.

Depending on what side of the fence you sit on, the decision by Ohio State to vacate all of their victories from the 2010 season, including their Big Ten co-championship and their victory in the Sugar Bowl, can be seen either as a major sacrifice or simply as a desperate attempt to keep from getting hit with significantly more severe penalties by the NCAA.

It is obvious that Ohio State president Gordon Gee and athletic director Gene Smith are trying to spin these self imposed penalties as a major punishment for one of the most storied programs in college football.

According to Smith, forfeiting all their wins from 2010 is a major sacrifice not just because of the Sugar Bowl, but also because it signifies an end to their seven-year winning streak against rival Michigan.

“That’s a significant impact to those who participated, and some of them are still here today,” Smith said.

In addition to vacating their 2010 wins, the school placed the football program on two years of probation. However, it is what they didn’t do that speaks loudest about how they continue to view the NCAA and the scandal that has rocked the school since coming to light in late December.

From the very beginning, Ohio State has been in a mode of self preservation and trying to make the situation as painless as possible.

First they lobbied for the five players involved in selling memorabilia for money and tattoos to be suspended for the first five games of 2011, but to be allowed to play in the upcoming Sugar Bowl.

At the time, the argument was that no one had previously known and keeping them out of the bowl game would hurt the integrity of the product, so suspending them for the first five games of the next season was a fair punishment. Read the rest of this entry →

Will Jettisoning Jim Tressel Save Ohio State? 2

Posted on May 30, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Jim Tressel's Gatorade bath following the Sugar Bowl will be his last as head coach at Ohio State.

Given the embarrassing black eye that he has bestowed upon one of the proudest universities in big-time college football I guess it is ultimately no surprise to learn that Jim Tressel has coached his last game at Ohio State, but with the Buckeyes now squarely in the sights of NCAA investigators it is still unclear if this move will significantly reduce the inevitable penalties the school now appears to be facing.

From the president to the staff to the fans, Ohio State has long been among the national leaders in football arrogance. When the president said last fall that schools such as Boise State and TCU didn’t belong on the same field as the Buckeyes, the Buckeye Nation shook their heads in agreement.

But what made Ohio State so proud and they believed justified their cockiness wasn’t just their great record on the field, but also the pride in knowing that they accomplished their success the right way. While other programs were regularly answering NCAA inquiries, the Buckeyes ran what seemed like a clean program and were under the leadership of a coach who wrote books about integrity and doing things the right way.

But then last December the walls started to come down on this great facade.

Just days before facing Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, news came out that five players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, had violated NCAA rules by selling rings and other memorabilia for cash and reduced prices on tattoos.

At the time the story seemed very contained and only became more than a minor story when the NCAA suspended the players for the first five games of the 2011 season, but let them play in the bowl game.

Critics of Ohio State cried foul, but it was obvious the power and influence Ohio State had over the BCS and NCAA. Read the rest of this entry →

Ranking Big Ten Football’s Most Intense Coaching Rivalries in the New Alignment 7

Posted on February 23, 2011 by JA Allen

The New Big Ten Divisions for 2011.

The Big Ten expansion to twelve teams and two divisions will set the stage for more intense coaching rivalries as Division races settle into place and the terrain becomes more familiar.

The Big Ten race slid into unknown territory as the teams realigned and faced new scheduling rigors.

Obviously, greater emphasis will be placed on intra-divisional contests.

For example, it’s more important—in terms of the Big Ten race—for new coach Kevin Wilson and his Hoosiers to defeat Purdue than it does for Indiana to defeat Kirk Ferentz’s Hawkeyes since Iowa plays in another division.

How this all plays out is yet to be seen, but there will undoubtedly be familiar rivalries lighting up Saturday afternoons with new faces leading the troops on the sidelines.

It will be an exciting new beginning for all Big Ten football teams and their fans.

Legends: Teams and Head Coaches

Iowa-Kirk Ferentz; Michigan-Brady Hoke; Michigan State-Mark Dantonio; Minnesota-Jerry Kill; Nebraska-Bo Pelini; Northwestern-Pat Fitzgerald

Leaders: Teams and Head Coaches

Illinois-Ron Zook; Indiana-Kevin Wilson; Ohio State-Jim Tressel; Penn State-Joe Paterno; Purdue-Danny Hope; Wisconsin-Bret Bielema.

This is the first time since 1993 that the Big Ten has enlarged its line-up.

Each Big Ten team plays eight conference contests which includes every team in their respective division, plus three conference games outside their division called crossover contests.

In total, every Big Ten team plays twelve regular season games beginning on September 3, 2011.

Big Ten football division play concludes with the Big Ten Championship game on December 3, 2011, in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.

A true Big Ten champion will be crowned with the best in each Division vying for the title.

Read the rest of this entry →

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