Matta getting his macarena on - Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
This is the curious case of Thad Matta. How much longer can Ohio State really flounder under his oppressive regime?
Rather than wait for more mainstream columnists (or us, somewhat inadvertently) to deliberately bait you into further blind Internet anger, following the lead of the mothership, we believe it's our civic duty to set the curve ourselves – and do so shamelessly. On Troll Tuesdays, we'll attempt to construct tomorrow's blatant attempt at pageviews today, building the worst inflammatory argument possible one single-spaced sentence at a time.
Sunday in the "FANPOSTS" section of popular Internet weblog Land-Grant Holy Land there was a post calling for Thad Matta to be fired. This got me thinking. And it should get you thinking too.
If you're an Ohio State fan, what are you waiting for?
Columbus, the time has come.
Ohio State could definitely use an upgrade at head coach over what Thad Matta has to offer.
Previous to Thad Matta settling in Columbus, the highest win total a Buckeye team had in a season was 27 wins in 1990-91 and 1998-99 (allegedly). Since then, teams that Matta has coached have eclipsed the 27 win total in just three different seasons, but I think it's safe to attribute that to teams playing a lot more games against bad competition.
Scheduling the likes of Northern Kentucky or Long Beach State, who couldn't win 27 games?
Long Beach isn't even a state.
During his seven seasons in Columbus, Matta has at least tied for the Big Ten regular season title five times and his teams have won the Big Ten tournament three times. That's not saying much.
Anyone that knows basketball – or sports, for that matter – knows that the Big Ten lacks athleticism and the Big Ten lacks speed.
If Gonzaga and Ohio State switched uniforms, would anybody really notice the difference?
Why would you want to fill the rafters with conference accolades when you can't win the big tournament that the best team in the country takes every single year?
And you know, with Mark Pantoni, Kerry Coombs, and the rest of the Ohio State football assistants doing work on the recruiting trail, this could free up Urban Meyer to pull double duty. Just imagine Urban raising crystal footballs in January and just a few months later cutting down the nets on a yearly basis.
Meyer was friends with Billy Donovan. You mean to tell me they didn't talk X and O's on the hardwood in their private chats?
It also doesn't sound like NBA great Phil Jackson is too busy right now. Why not call him up and throw a pile of money at him to coach the Buckeyes? If you're a power program like Ohio State professes to be, you can't take no for an answer.
Sure, the Zen Master hasn't ever coached college before, but if he can handle Kobe & Shaq how hard can it be to handle a bunch of 18-21 year olds?
Recruiting should be easy for Philip. His pitch should be "I've got more NBA title rings than I have fingers," and then drop the mic, walk out of the recruit's house, and have to wait about 3 seconds for the recruit to run out of the house pledging his undying allegiance.
The only thing you have to worry about is how soon until it comes that the Zen Master is caught doing peyote with co-eds.
In Matta's seventh season at Ohio State last year, he led the Buckeyes to their second Final Four appearance during his brutal reign. Ohio State had been to two Final Fours in the 36 years before Matta took over, although one of those didn't technically count. Since Matta started coaching at Ohio State in 2004-05, 19 schools, including Ohio State, have played in a Final Four. Of those 19 schools, 9 other schools have been to multiple Final Fours.
They are just giving Final Four berths to anyone these days.
And why celebrate making a semifinal? Don't you play to win the games?
Great Job Matta. You got 4th place. Here's a ribbon.
At The Ohio State University, they expect Champions.
The recruiting has been slipping lately under Matta when you really look at it.
The Oden/Conley/Cook class was like one big early tease.
By this point in his regime, Matta should be shuttling in All-Americans like Kentucky does, so he has numerous holes to fill each year when they bolt for the NBA. The constant roster turnover is what keeps John Calipari fresh.
By Matta targeting guys that fit his system and might be around Columbus a little longer, Thad is just sitting back and getting stale.
I mean, why would you really want players who would want to stay in Columbus for 3 or even, *gasp*, 4 years to play basketball? Obviously any player that would settle for that is definitely not thinking of themselves enough and just can't win.
Also, inexcusable from a recruiting standpoint, is that Matta and his staff didn't even try to get Trey Burke to be a Buckeye. It should have been easy since Burke attended the same high school that Jared Sullinger went to in Columbus. If Thad was serious about winning he would be running the three point-guard lineup.
Just imagine the championships a starting lineup with Aaron Craft, Shannon Scott, Burke, and Deshaun Thomas would win. I didn't even include a center in that lineup because let's face it, you could put anyone at the 5 at that point and still win.
Jordan's Bulls didn't need a center. Why should the Buckeyes?
Matta needs to bring back more of a Jim O'Brien mentality to recruiting if he is serious about coaching. They say if you're not cheating, you're not trying, and it seems like Thad isn't really trying.
Just imagine if Thad had really gone all-out to get Tony Parker from Georgia to commit in 2012. Maybe if Thad had sweetened the deal with free Chipotle or a few hundred dollar handshakes, things might have been different.
All I know is that things need to change immediately in Columbus when it comes to the basketball team, or else the Buckeyes will spend the rest of eternity spiraling in mediocrity and not posing a threat to anybody.
At The Ohio State University, the fans demand better. And Gene Smith and E. Gordon Gee should give it to them.