The internet was and still is abuzz about the abrupt resignation of Ohio State football head coach Jim Tressel yesterday. And now a Sports Illustrated article posted online last night details how much shady business was really going on behind the scenes at the Ohio State program. The firing of Tressel could only be the tip of the iceberg in Columbus; the new details in this SI story show that the Buckeyes could be facing NCAA sanctions in the near future.
Ohio St. QB Terrelle Pryor is also being investigated for potential misconduct relating to the numerous cars he's had in his time in Columbus. His career as a Buckeye could be over. Jeff Potrykus at the Journal-Sentinel thinks that Ohio St. AD Gene Smith also could be on the way out soon as well.
The Buckeyes don't look to be as scary an opponent for the Badgers in Columbus on October 29th of this year. And if they get handed down, NCAA sanctions could be incredibly debilitating to Ohio State for the next couple of seasons. These developments are very relevant to the future of Wisconsin Football. The Buckeyes are in the same football division and will be a yearly opponent for UW. If they are forced to take a major step back, that's one less contender for the Badgers to worry about in the Leaders Division. (More after the jump.)
Let's not forget that Wisconsin is tapping into Ohio for recruits nowadays. It might now be a little easier to lure an Ohio high school football player away from the Buckeye State to Madison. Clean-run programs like Wisconsin (fingers crossed!) benefit from this news as recruits don't want to risk wasting their college years on teams that aren't eligible for postseason play.
Ohio State is a big enough college football brand to stay relevant even if placed on probation. If they can't go to bowl games, the Michigan game will become Ohio State's de-facto bowl game. But Wisconsin and Penn State fans have to be feeling good about their team's chances of winning a division title in the next few years.
On a final note, it's very easy to make fun of Ohio State and Tressel, but at the end of the day nobody at Ohio State did anything illegal. They just didn't follow NCAA rules. There are much more terrible things happening in the world then some 20 year olds getting discounted tattoos. Sometimes it's hard to keep that in perspective. But over the past decade under Tressel, the Buckeye football program has employed tactics that made the playing field less than fair for all of the other Big Ten teams.
Is it September 1st yet? Sadly, no. But our friends over at Mountain West Connection have a preview up of this year's edition of UNLV/Wisconsin. They predict a closer game then last season's 41-21 Badger victory in Vegas.
Tressel was 4-4 in his career against Wisconsin. He lost to the Badgers more times than any other Big Ten team! Potrykus recaps all eight games. O'BrienSchofieldIsMyHero also put up his recap of the first Tressel/Wisconsin matchup in 2001.
'Tis a rare occurence to have no Badgers compete in the Stanley Cup Finals. Alas, this is the first time since 1999 that a Badger will not be involved.
Brian McLaughlin at The Sporting News lauds Wisconsin's solid 2012 recruiting class so far.