With Jim Tressel stepping down at Ohio State, the 2011 coaching carousel got cranked up early. Bodog has posted odds on who might be the next Buckeye coach. The favorite is Urban Meyer at 3/2. Then comes Florida State assistant Mark Stoops (5/2) and ESPN analyst Jon Gruden (3/1).
Also on the list are Nebraska's Bo Pelini (10/1) and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio (12/1).
It has been 2,717 days since Michigan beat Ohio State, but troubles surrounding Buckeye coach Jim Tressel have helped rejuvenate the Wolverine fanbase. Here's an image of a billboard that is said to be near the Wayne Road exit on Interstate 94 west between Detroit and Ann Arbor.
Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports.com reports that Buckeye officials were aware during a March 8 news conference that Jim Tressel had forwarded sensitive emails to quarterback Terrelle Pryor's mentor in Jeanette, Pa., detailing that Pryor and at least one other player had sold memorabilia to a local tattoo-parlor owner who was under federal investigation for drug trafficking.
However, Tressel said that day he had kept the information to himself to protect the confidentiality of a federal investigation into Eddie Rife.
The coach was asked during the news conference if he had forwarded the emails, but before he could answer, athletic director Gene Smith interrupted, saying the information was part of the investigation.
On March 25, the Columbus Dispatch reported that Tressel had indeed forwarded the emails to Ted Sarniak, 67, a Jeanette businessman who had been Pryor's mentor. However, it was unclear when Tressel had clicked the send button.
Not only did Ohio State defeat Arkansas, 31-26, in the Sugar Bowl, it returned to Columbus with a pocketful of cash.
Ohio State bucked the trend and earned $288,876 from its trip to New Orleans, according to Zack Meisel of the Lantern, the university's student newspaper.
That's a turnaround from the Buckeyes' appearance in the 2010 Rose Bowl, when the university reported a loss of $79,597.
Ohio State spent $702,809 on meals and lodging for the week-long trip to the Big Easy. Transportation costs were $678,924.
The next largest expense resulted from unsold tickets. The university reported 1,064 unsold tickets, which ranged in price from $140-170 apiece. The university also incurred the cost of 609 tickets that the conference failed to sell, all of which cost $120. Together, the total was $222,410.
The Buckeyes' victory over the Razorbacks ended a skid of nine consecutive postseason losses to teams from the Southeastern Conference.
Officials in the business office of Arkansas' athletic department did not return calls or emails to the Lantern.
Terrelle Pryor was made available to media covering the Sugar Bowl over the weekend and the Ohio State quarterback talked openly about the NCAA violations that earned him and five teammates suspensions to be served next fall.
"That's been the hardest thing, just hearing people say cruel things about you and trying to stay focused," he said. "You know what you did for a reason, and you take your responsibility, but at the same time, guys are still nailing you and talking bad about you."
One of those people is ESPN commentator and former Buckeye quarterback Kirk Herbstreit, who recently said that if Pryor left Ohio State after his junior season, it would be addition by subtraction.
"I don't worry about what Kirk Herbstreit says, to be honest with you," Pryor said. After a pause, he added, "Has he beat Michigan?"
Herbstreit was a Buckeye from 1988-92, when the team went 0-4-1 against the Wolverines. When asked for a response to Pryor's comments by the Columbus Dispatch, Herbstreit sent a text message: "Wish him well."