The name, the point of reference is John Cooper.
· He coached 13 years at Ohio State, from 1988-2000.
· He was 111-43-4
· 70.25% Winning Percentage
· 3 Big 10 Titles
· 2 Sugar Bowls and 1 Rose Bowl
· 3 Citrus Bowls and 1 Outback Bowl
· Two 10-win seasons, Three 11-win seasons, One 9-win season (He coached in an era of 11 regular season games, so nine wins is like 10 now).
· 4 of 13 seasons in which they lost 2 games or less
· 5 Top 10 finishes
· Zero National Championships
· 3-8 Bowl Record
· 2-10-1 vs. Michigan
· OSU fired him after an 8-4 season in 2000 (8-3 in regular season)
· They hired Jim Tressel and won the 2002 Natty, played for it again in 2006 and 2007. Won it again in 2014 under Meyer. Went 12-0 in 2012 under probation and 12-0 in 2013 and would have played for it again if not for a Big 10 Champ. Game loss.
That’s the hard part for me, but OSU is THE point of reference for us. Talent-rich state, great tradition, can’t beat a rival. When they hired Tressel in 2001, their last national championship had come 33 years earlier, in 1968. Cooper had been outstanding. In an era of 11 games and no conference championship games, he averaged 8.54 wins per year. With 12 regular season games, that average would be 9.13 wins per year, not counting the potential for seasons for another win in the Conference Championship game.
Cooper was a good man. He is in the College Football Hall of Fame, as well he should be. But Ohio State could be more than 9-3 every year, and they made probably the toughest coaching call in the last 30 years in the sport. When they fired Cooper in 2000, he was 3 seasons removed from an 11-1 season in which they won the Sugar Bowl and finished #2 in the nation in 1998. It wasn’t enough. As of right now, they’ve lost 1 regular season game in the last 4 years. We’ve lost 12.
John Cooper is the point of reference. Ohio State is the model.