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Kevin Blackistone on Jim Tressel's Voting 'Mistake'

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Deeper_Background, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    It really doesn't matter what Jim Tressel thinks, nor his director of player development, Stan Jefferson, who explained Wednesday how it was his boss got caught in what looked like a little fib about what team he voted No.1 in the first coaches' poll of the regular season for USA Today.

    "When it came time to vote on the preseason poll, we voted Texas No. 1 and us No. 3 after talking about it as a staff," Jefferson was quoted in The News Journal in Mansfield, Ohio. "When I called in his poll [Tuesday], he did not tell me to put Ohio State No. 1. I put that down because we were No. 1 in the preseason poll. I did not have time to get with him [Tuesday] before the press conference."

    Tressel then volunteered publicly to an assembly in Columbus, Ohio, that he voted Texas No. 1, using it to underscore, no doubt, how difficult a task his Buckeyes would have pulling a win out of Austin on Saturday.

    USA Today caught wind of Tressel's pronouncement and issued a statement to the contrary. Tressel looked like he was trying to pull a fast one. Maybe he was.

    Ultimately, of course, the players will decide which vote was correct, the one cast by Tressel or the one his director of player development (didn't know a college program needed a director of player development) said he sent in on his own volition. This will all be forgotten Saturday night.

    But it is difficult to imagine that Tressel would've wanted his guys ranked ahead of Texas as they headed to Austin. So what if he played musical chairs with his quarterbacks in this match up last season and had the wrong guy in the game when it was on the line, no doubt costing his team a better chance to win? Tressel couldn't be dumb enough to provide Mack Brown's Longhorns with another reason to want to prove themselves in this game. Isn't that from Coaching 101? Isn't that the thing coaches are always on the lookout for from their youthful and less-mature charges?

    The last thing the Buckeyes need to give the Longhorns going into Saturday is any of what we call bulletin-board material to incite them. The Longhorns already have enough going for them.

    They beat the Buckeyes last season on the Buckeyes' home field in Ohio Stadium. They went on to an undefeated season and dethroned USC as national champions. They had to replace all-world quarterback Vince Young coming into this season, but the Buckeyes had to replace nine starters on defense, including three who joined Young as first-round picks in the NFL. And this rematch scheduled for Saturday is at the Longhorn's corral in Austin, Royal-Memorial Stadium, which expands every season it seems. It now squeezes in more than 85,000 Orangebloods - and a couple of visitors.

    In other words, Tressel had his Buckeyes exactly where most any coach would want his troops to be going into such a big game, staring up like underdogs.

    "[They're] the defending champions," Tressel said of the Longhorns earlier this week in explaining why he voted them No.1, or why he thought he had.

    Brown said much the same thing last year when he talked about having voted USC No. 1. After all, the last place any coach wants to be at the beginning of the season is in first place. It is like wearing a bull's eye and walking into a shooting range.

    Even worse: There is nowhere to go from there except down.

    Tressel would, however, have been in step with most of his peers had he said he thinks his Buckeyes are the top team in the country. Most coaches and most voters in the media think so. So do most directors of player development.

    "It was an honest mistake on our part," Jefferson explained of his work on his boss's behalf to the Mansfield paper. "It was not meant as a psychological ploy."

    If it was, it would've been the worst employment of reverse psychology that we've witnessed in a long time.

    Who even knew that the coaches' poll wasn't necessarily voted on by coaches? It just goes to show once again that there is nothing foolproof about poll making. It is a good thing so many in the media got out of it. We shouldn't be part of the story; we should remain reporters of the story.

    But if coaches are going to relegate the responsibility to underlings and sports information directors, maybe the coaches' poll ought to be revised, too.

    We've got a BCS poll to take care of the arranged national championship game college football continues to feed us in lieu of a playoff series. Who needs these preseason polls and in-season weekly polls anyway?
  2. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Re: Kevin Blackistone on Jim Tressel's 'Mistake'

    I love how everyone's buying the fact that some athletic department employee randomly changed Tressel's vote. When you can't take the heat, find someone else to fall on the sword for you.
  3. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Re: Kevin Blackistone on Jim Tressel's 'Mistake'

    Further proof that Tressel is a lying douchebag
  4. Montezuma's Revenge

    Montezuma's Revenge Active Member

    I don't know, but Blackistone seems incredibly naive -- or is playing too dumb for his own good --- when he writes, "Who even knew that the coaches' poll wasn't necessarily voted on by coaches?"

    Anybody with a clue in this business knows that many coaches habitually have a designated underling (SID, etc.) cast their vote for them.
  5. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    Further proof that coaches or journalists ranking college teams is a fraud
  6. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    1950s-era reply: Hogwash.

    2000s-era reply: Amen.
  7. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Montezuma missed the sarcasm font, methinks.
  8. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    I think you are right in saying that people involved in the business know coaches don't actually vote and pass that off to somebody. But I think most people reading the poll aren't aware of that.

    But the real answer is a playoff.
  9. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    I think he was definitely being sarcastic. And your playoff statement is, of course, right on the money.
  10. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    C'mon, is everyone buying the athletic-department-employee-changing-the-vote story? I hope the fellow gets a nice little check from some boosters for falling on his own petard to protect Pastor Tressel.
  11. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

  12. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    Doesn't Bobby Bowden sometimes have the grad assistants fill them out?
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