COLUMBUS - While acknowledging that the talk of moving the Ohio State-Michigan game out of its traditional slot at the end of the season has created a fire storm of reaction, and most of it has been against such a change, Jim Tressel is staying in the political middle ground.
The Buckeyes' coach said Monday that Ohio State had received "a zillion e-mails about what's going to happen in the future ... from a rivalry-game standpoint."
With the Big Ten adding a 12th member next season (Nebraska) and moving to two six-team divisions with a championship game in December, there have been a number of trial balloons floated on just where the bitter rivals Ohio State and Michigan would end up division-wise, and how their season-ending showdown would fare in the remake of the conference.
"There's debates back and forth as to what's the best thing to do, and we all have opinions and there's always debates about the pluses and minuses of championship games and all that stuff," Tressel said. "I guess my stance on all of this stuff is what I am going to be in favor of is what the group needs, and what the group decides."
Tressel said he wanted to stay locked in on preparing for his team's 2010 season opener against Marshall on Thursday night, and on making their final season at Ohio State a memorable one for his seniors. He also said he felt it was best he keep his personal views on any proposed shakeup of the Big Ten to himself, so as not to influence the tenor of the discussion.
"It probably wouldn't be fair for me to voice my opinions outside of the group, as to what's going to come ahead," Tressel said. "I don't mind voicing my opinions on maybe what went on in the past, but that's one way you could look at it."
Tressel added that when extending the season to a 12th game was first proposed, the 11 coaches in the Big Ten were unanimous in their opposition to such a move, but that they came around to support that format once the benefits of the extra income their athletic departments would receive were detailed.
"We do try to focus on the moment. What's most important to us right now are these 25 seniors and this 2010 Buckeye football team, and where we fit in the whole picture is what's important," Tressel said. "That's the way we feel. That's the way we've always felt."39.96196 -83.00298
While acknowledging that the talk of moving the Ohio State-Michigan game out of its traditional slot at the end of the season has created a fire storm of reaction, and most of it has been against such a change, Jim Tressel is staying in the political middle ground.