Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We're going to need you, buddy.

Meet Jim Heacock
Jim Heacock, Defensive Coordinator of the Ohio State Buckeyes, is in one weird situation.

As the verifiable leader of the Buckeye defense he has led a squad that has put the pain to 99% of the teams they have faced. They have been Top 5 in total defense almost every year since Heacock's transition from the Defensive Line (though, they were before too). In fact, the 2007 (ehhhh) Silver Bullets finished the season ranked #1 in both Scoring and Yardage, including the #1 pass ranked defense. Heacock was named Coordinator of the Year and got a trophy.

So Poe, you said weird situation.

Well yes, I did. The Buckeye defense is also responsible for yielding 41 and 38 points in back to back National Championship games. Oops. The first could have been more and second should have been less. That's 79 points. 70/2 is 39.5 points per game. Shit, Jim. Shit, Jims. Jim Tressel, Jim Bollman, and Jim Heacock.

How does Ohio State play in one of the most memorable NC games of all time in 2002 and can barely muster a presence in the next two? Guess what the score of the 2002 game was after 4 quarters...17-17. That's more like it.

Now I won't blame one coordinator, player, or play for either loss. But I'm just stating the facts. And they aren't pretty. The 2002 Miami team was arguably one of the most talented teams of all time. Ken Dorsey was one hell of a college QB, and Chris Leak and Matt Flynn were not. Doesn't matter, because Ohio State made them look like Heisman winners. Welcome, boys!

What Ohio State really needed was a break. 2007 wasn't supposed to be a NC game season, but maybe it would have been better to have WV vs Missouri. Hindsight is 20/20, but at this point it doesn't look like a whole lot is standing in between Ohio State and a 3rd straight appearance, for better or for worse.

Who do I blame? It has to be the Big 10. It'd be nice if every team played Ohio State the way Wisconsin did last season, even if it was semi-manufactured by Jim Tressel. Ohio State can't afford to tie one hand behind its back to play conference foes, such as by stashing the playbook or resting Beanie Wells an entire first half.

Or maybe the team just needs to play balls out when it needs to...

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