Ohio State University head football coach Tressel speaks during a news conference in Columbus

Tressel asks for, receives same five-game suspension as players


We were one of the many, many people who were very, very vehement in their opinions that the two-game suspension given to Jim Tressel by his Ohio State amounted to nothing more than a feathery slap on the wrist.

Apparently the head coach agrees as he’s asked the school to hit him harder.  And they’ve obliged.

Shortly after it was officially confirmed by the NCAA that the five Buckeyes found to have received impermissible benefits had their appeal on a five-game suspension denied, Tressel announced that he had asked for, and received the same five-game suspension as his players.

“Throughout this entire situation my players and I have committed ourselves to facing our mistakes and growing from them; we can only successfully do that together,” Tressel said in a statement. “I spoke with Athletics Director Smith, and our student‐athletes involved, and told them that my mistakes need to share the same game sanctions. Like my players, I am very sorry for the mistakes I made. I request of the university that my sanctions now include five games so that the players and I can handle this adversity together.”

The PR maneuver news of Tressel upping his own punishment was first reported by the Columbus Dispatch.

Tressel was suspended for two games by the school earlier this month after emails were discovered January 2011 which showed the coach knew in April of 2010 that at least two of his players — quarterback Terrelle Pryor and wide receiver DeVier Posey — had likely received impermissible benefits.  Tressel, as revealed in the school’s letter to the NCAA announcing his suspension and $250,000 fine, had at least three opportunities between April of last year and January of this year to forward the information he received from a former OSU player/current attorney to school authorities.  Instead, he squatted on the information based on a limp confidentiality defense and, in at least one instance, lied to the NCAA based on his signature on a compliance form.

Still to be determined is whether what’s now a five-game suspension will be the end of the sanctions Tressel faces, or whether the NCAA will tack on additional time away from the game-day sideline.

As it stands now, Tressel and the Buckeye Five will miss games against Akron, Toledo, Miami (Fla), Colorado and Michigan State.  Only the game against the Hurricanes is on the road.

Expect Oregon’s quarterback rotation to continue for the next two weeks

AP Photo

Oregon touched the ball 15 times in its 41-24 win over Colorado on Saturday night. Jeff Lockie played seven of them, including the first. Taylor Alie played eight.

As long as Vernon Adams nurses his broken finger, this appears to be the plan for the Ducks.

“They’d both done enough good things in practice last week to merit playing,” head coach Mark Helfrich told the Oregonian. “We just felt looking at the game plan we could parcel out aspects with each.”

“Of course you want to get into a better rhythm but that’s how it goes,” Lockie said. “We’re just going to play the best we can and as long as we’re winning games, there’s no problem with me.”

Lockie completed 8-of-11 throws for 54 yards with an interception while rushing five times for 18 yards. Alie connected on 4-of-9 throws for 83 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on five carries. Not quite Marcus Mariota numbers from either signal caller.

“It’ll just depend on the game plan,” Helfrich said of Alie and Lockie. “I think those guys they have differences. There are some strengths and weaknesses to different areas of their game and so we’ll think about that going forward of just how the Washington State game plan comes out.”

With Oregon playing Washington and Washington State (combined Pac-12 wins thus far: zero) before a tough closing stretch, Helfrich and company have time to alternate signal callers.

SEC shut out of AP top five for first time in half a decade

Stephen F. Austin visits Amon G. Carter Stadium to play the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs.
AP Photo

The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.

Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.

And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.

That group breaks down as follows:

  1. Ohio State
  2. TCU
  3. Baylor
  4. Michigan State
  5. Utah

An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:

  1. Ohio State
  2. Oregon
  3. Boise State
  4. TCU
  5. Nebraska

Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.

None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.