OSU, Fickell Did Themselves No Favors

Ohio State's loss to Purdue could be seen as a seminal moment in the 2011 season for more reasons than one. We'll explain along with some musings about the Buckeyes' bowl destination (if there is one), OSU-Penn State Tidbits, news and notes from Around The Country, This Week In College Football History and the Fearless Forecast.

Just by looking at the place, you would never mistake Ross-Ade Stadium for a house of horrors.

Located at the very northeastern tip of the Purdue campus in West Lafayette and named for a couple of long-dead guys who had very little to do with the university football program, the quaint, little bowl-type structure is the place where a late-season Ohio State winning streak died in 2004 and the site of an inexplicable 2009 loss by a Buckeye squad on its way to the Rose Bowl.

Ross-Ade Stadium added to its list of OSU victims Nov. 12 with a 26-23 overtime victory, for all intents and purposes ending the Buckeyes' record-tying streak of consecutive Big Ten championships at six.

As hurtful as that outcome was, it may yet claim one more victim – Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell.

Through no fault of his own, the first-year head coach was already the subject of conjecture and rumor regarding his job security. The university had seen to that after Jim Tressel's forced retirement May 30, signing Fickell to a one-year contract and making it clear a nationwide search for a new coach would commence following the 2011 season.

Even before the Buckeyes' loss at Purdue, some believed that search had already been completed and that only contract formalities were left to iron out between Ohio State and former Florida head coach Urban Meyer.

There were a handful, though – me included – who believed the university would not and could not show Fickell the door if he somehow got the Buckeyes to the inaugural Big Ten championship game and the Rose Bowl.

Of course, appearances in Indianapolis and Pasadena seem extremely unlikely now. So many dominoes would have to fall precisely Ohio State's way that even the most optimistic of fans would have to admit the Buckeyes' streak of conference titles and BCS game appearances has reached its end.

Additionally, the loss to Purdue was perhaps the final piece of evidence Fickell's detractors needed in their argument that the former OSU player and longtime assistant is not yet ready to run his own big-time program.

Read the rest by clicking on this link: Rea's Day Blog: Nov. 18.


Buckeye Sports Top Stories