2002. A successful national championship season for the Ohio State Buckeyes led by Mr. Conservative himself, Jim Tressel and his trusty accomplice, Jim “Walrusball” Bollman. Both Jim’s had the same goals as any coach would – score more points than the other team and do not lose that lead. I know, real John Madden insight there but the processes involved as we all know are not the same for each coaching staff. Neither were known for taking chances offensively so when the team did take the lead, it became absolutely maddening to watch because a new playbook appeared that put the team on cruise control instead of their foot on the opponents throat. The team clearly had a lot of offensive talent. While Craig Krenzel was not exactly a top-tier quarterback, the demand for him to be was not pressing when he had surrounding talent such as Maurice Clarett, Santonio Holmes, Michael Jenkins and Chris Gamble. The team was more than capable of putting up 30+ points each game and with the incredible defense they had, winning games by a comfortable margin should seem somewhat effortless.
Yet, when you look at their schedule you find this: a 4-point win against a terrible Cincinnati team; a 5-point win against a poor Wisconsin team; an overtime win against a weak Illinois team and finally another 4-point win over Purdue that took exactly 8-years off my life (I did the math). This same team, loaded with ugly wins, won the national championship.
Was there an identifiable theme throughout all of this madness? There sure was – winning. [Read more...]