Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel resigned from his position on Monday morning, as first reported by the Columbus Dispatch. Tressel informed his team of the decision at 8:45 a.m. in what has been described as an "emotional" team meeting.
The Dispatch reports that Tressel's decision was not entirely his. Based on all of the evidence against him and "new revelations about the culture of the program," the University reportedly acted on Tressel to make a change in leadership with the football program.
This news is not surprising when you consider how much shady stuff about the Ohio State football program had come out in the last six months, nor is it surprising when you consider Sports Illustrated is poised to drop a bomb on OSU with an investigate piece on the program. It is quite shocking to wake up to the news that Tressel resigned, though. As a Michigan fan, I never thought I would see this day, and for Tressel to resign when he did is stunning in the grand scheme of things.
Tressel's career record at Ohio State will stand at an impressive 106-22, assuming no games from 2010 are vacated, of course. Perhaps more importantly for both Michigan and Ohio State fans, Tressel's career record against Michigan was an outstanding 9-1. Aside from a loss to Michigan in 2003, Tressel's teams were always victorious against the Wolverines.
Questions about how the last six months of his tenure will affect Tressel's legacy will obviously linger, and it's a good bet that Michigan fans and the college football world will remember him as a cheater. He will be remembered for his Michigan domination as well, which is why this news is so big in Ann Arbor. The man that has had a stranglehold over the rivalry for a decade is now gone, meaning "The Game" will feature two new head coaches this November.
Michigan's Brady Hoke, who won't even refer to Ohio State as anything more than "Ohio," will go up against Luke Fickell in his first game against the Buckeyes as head coach. Fickell was set to be the interim coach for Ohio State while Tressel was suspended for five games. Because Tressel has resigned, Fickell will be the interim coach the entire season. After the 2011 season is complete, Ohio State will conduct a search for a new head coach that includes "external and internal candidates," but for 2011 Fickell will be the man leading the Buckeyes.