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Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel has earned the right to troll Michigan if he wants

For what he did for the Buckeye program, Tressel gets a free pass to say whatever he wants, in my opinion.

Terrelle Pryor Pro Day Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

“[Jim Tressel’s] Ohio State connection still runs pretty deep. Deep enough for the man of a million sweater vests to absolutely roast a Michigan fan...”

-Richard Johnson, SBNation

According to former Buckeye great James Laurinaitis, he was paired with his former coach Jim Tressel and a random Michigan fan at a golf outing earlier this week. After the Michigan man failed to reach the green on a par three, Tress reportedly said, “Typical Michigan, coming up short.”

Not only is this a perfect way for him to remind everyone that actually, the spot was good, but, as far as I’m concerned, despite whatever ill-will some might harbor towards the vested former coach due to his Tattoogate departure, dude has earned the right to say whatever he wants as we chisel his likeness into the Ohio State version of Mount Rushmore.

I know that for some of the more sensitive whipper-snappers in Buckeye Nation, this might feel like the bully kicking sand in the face of the nerd after humiliating him in front of the whole school on field day in an ‘80s movie you watched on TBS at 2 a.m. After all, dating back to Jim Tressel’s first season as Ohio State head coach in 2001, the Buckeyes have a 15-2 record against Michigan (and don’t come at me with that 2010 vacated garbage), and they’ve have won two national titles, while Michigan... hasn’t.

So, despite the intensity of the rivalry– and the extreme make-funability of Jim Harbaugh— I can understand why some of the more gentle-hearted souls in the OSU community might feel like Tressel is simply piling on the hapless Wolverines with his continued homer trollings. However, as someone who went to OSU during both the John Cooper and Tressel regimes, let me remind just how different it was in 13 year years that Cooper was in charge in Columbus.

From 1988 to 2000, Ohio State was 2-10-1 against Michigan, including four Buckeye losses in a five-year span in which they were ranked in the top-10 coming into The Game. This, of course, includes 1995 and 1996 in which OSU entered the rivalry game as the second-ranked team in the country in back-to-back years.

Cooper was an incredible recruiter; the talent that came out of Columbus during the time that he was at the helm rejuvenated the program, but he wasn’t a great Xs and Ox coach, and got out-schemed by Lloyd Carr year in and year out despite regular talent advantages.

So, on January 18, 2001, when in front of a sold-out basketball crowd at The Schott, Tressel said, “I can assure you that you will be proud of your young people in the classroom, in the community, and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan,” the new coach became a fan-favorite.

And then when his team went and delivered that November, a legend was born, and Ohio State has dominated the rivalry and Big Ten ever since. So, in my opinion, Tress earned the right to say whatever he darn (you know he doesn’t use profanity stronger than “darn”) well pleases.

So, Jim Tressel, consider this your formal permission to say whatever you want regarding That Team Up North. Remind them that they have never finished better than third in the B1G East under Harbaugh, make fun of their coach’s obsession with milk and khakis, feel free to make fun of random UM fans’ golf games, whatever you want; the trolling world is your oyster.

“Pandel Savic, who went from playing quarterback at Ohio State to running the Memorial Tournament for Jack Nicklaus, died Tuesday in Columbus.”

-Rob Oller, The columbus Dispatch

While Pandel Savic is not remembered in the pantheon of great Ohio State quarterbacks with the likes of Les Horvath, Rex Kern, Art Schlichter, and Troy Smith, his importance to the program, and to the Columbus sports’ scene at large, is undeniable.

After being born in Macedonia before immigrating to the US, serving as a Marine in World War II, beating Cal in Ohio State’s first trip to the Rose Bowl, and then helping Jack Nicklaus build Murfield Village and found the Memorial Tournament, Savic died on Tuesday at the age of 92.

Following a 7-7 tie against Michigan in 1949, thanks to a fourth-quarter touchdown pass, Savic led the Buckeyes to a 17-14 win over California in Pasadena. A three-time letter-winner, he was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

A long-time friend and neighbor of Nicklaus’, the idea to bring a PGA Tour event to Columbus was formed in Savic’s kitchen in the late ‘60s. Then, 11 years later when the Memorial Tournament began, Savic would become its chairman. The former Buckeye QB accompanied Nicklaus to Augusta, Ga. for the Masters for 36 years.

So, whether it was on the gridiron or the links, Savic is part of two of Columbus’ most lasting legacies. Godspeed.

“The University of Toledo’s trip to Ohio State for a 2022 football game will come with a hefty payday.”

-Nicholas Piotrowicz, The The Blade

So, it looks like Ohio State is going to be forking over $1.8 million for the honor of hosting the Toledo Rockets in 2022. Now, given the rate of inflation, perhaps that total won’t be as staggering in four years’ time, but by today’s standards, it’s a hefty sum. So hefty in fact, that if that same total was spread out to the 1,038 Ohio State student-athletes, they would each get $1,734.10.

Now, I understand the need to incentivize mid-majors to accept their role as cupcakes for larger programs, and I even understand the arguments against paying players. However, when the numbers being tossed around are this exorbitant, it is hard to justify the profiteering universities are engaging in at the expense of their athletes.

At least we’ve got LeBron on the case.