Why America Loves to Hate Jim Tressel and Ohio State

Jesse MeadeContributor IJuly 5, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 05:  Head coach Jim Tressel of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Game against the Texas Longhorns on January 5, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.   The Longhorns defeated the Buckeyes 24-21.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Recently, it has become trendy across the country to hate Ohio State Football.

Why it's as American as apple pie.

The Buckeyes are nothing but pretenders, sheep in wolves clothing.  Heck, the only reason they keep finding themselves in the big games is their weak schedule against the Big Ten right?

America's cinderella story in 2002 has now become one of its most despised programs. 

And then there's Head Coach Jim Tressel. The Vest. Can there be anything more satisfying than watching his perplexed look as another "real" program puts a hurting on his Buckeyes?

So why the hate? Well its obvious, the country has grown tired of spending their holidays watching the Buckeyes get thrashed by the SEC and Big 12.

Ohio State is a pathetic 4-7 since 2005 in nationally televised games.Three of its four wins have come against Michigan, the other against Texas.

Its easy to see why America has grown tired of Tressel and the Buckeyes: all they have seen is the Buckeyes lose. The last time the nation as a whole saw a Buckeye victory that wasn't against Michigan was in 2006.

So why are the Buckeyes so bad in prime time now? The answer has to rest with Tressel.

It's as if the man is stuck in the sixties, both in fashion choice and in coaching philosophy.  Anyone who harps that the punt is the most important play in football has got to be joking.

And that is exactly why he is adored in Ohio.

It's really too bad that most of the country has chosen to hate Tressel and his program. If they only would dig a little deeper into his story, they would see just why an entire state thinks sweater vests are cool.

Let's take a small stroll back in time to the year 2001.  The Ohio State Buckeyes had just fallen to the lowly South Carolina Gamecocks in the Outback Bowl. Head Coach John Cooper was soon to be out the door and the Bucks needed someone to resurrect the program.

Enter Coach Tressel, an already four time national champion coach at 1-AA Youngstown State. Ohio born and raised, Tressel assured the Buckeye faithful that they would have a team to be proud of once again.

Eight seasons later, the Buckeyes have won a national title and at least a share of the Big Ten title five times. Oh and they have absolutely owned the Michigan rivalry, winning seven out of eight.

The Vest has a winning percentage of .814 during those eight years, placing him third amongst Div. I head coaches since 2002, behind only Pete Carroll and Urban Meyer.

The numbers aren't the only thing that he is loved for around Ohio. Tressel's work with the The Tressel Family Fund for Cancer research has advanced his image around the state more than any team record could.

Tressel is the last of a dying breed.  A coach that plays games like a chess match. And therein is why his teams have begun to fail.

As time goes by his method of having just enough offense to get by and a ball control defense has been outdone time and time again by explosive offensive teams. 

Now is the time for Tressel and the Buckeyes to open things up.  America saw what the Ohio State is capable of in their 24-21 loss to a Texas team that many thought was worthy of playing for a national title.

Jim Tressel has the state of Ohio conquered. Now it is time that his program re-enter the big stage and regain the respect of a national audience.  It will not be easy, the Buckeyes will have no credibility until they can defeat a great non Big 10 team in prime time.

They will get their shot on September 12th, when the USC Trojans will enter The Shoe. If they win, suddenly the Buckeyes are contenders.  If they lose, well, everyone likes apple pie don't they?


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