OSU sports: Jim Tressel vs. Thad Matta

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Ohio State's football and men's basketball coaches have been in the news lately - Thad Matta for leading the basketball Buckeyes to a dominant Big Ten season and a disappointing NCAA Tournament, and Jim Tressel for his increasingly sketchy role in covering up the football program's NCAA violations. Now seems like a good time to compare the coaches' tenures.


Tressel: 10 seasons (2001-present)

Matta: 7 seasons (2004-present)

Both coaches have kept their jobs for quite a while thanks to massive success.

Big Ten Championships

Tressel: 7 (3 outright)

Matta: 4 (3 outright)

Tressel's teams have earned at least a share of the Big Ten title for the past six seasons, a feat never before accomplished at Ohio State. Matta's teams have won back-to-back titles - perhaps the beginning of a similar streak?

Signature swag

Tressel: Sweater vest

Matta: Striped necktie

OK, neither guy is exactly GQ material.

Mastery over rivals

Tressel: Demolishes Michigan every year

Matta: Demolished Wisconsin this season

Both guys are pretty in tune with fan expectations here. Tressel made beating Michigan a priority from the beginning and has followed through. With fans eagerly anticipating the season-ending rematch with Wisconsin, Matta got his players jacked up to throttle the Badgers for sweet revenge's sake even though the Buckeyes had already wrapped up the Big Ten title.

Crushing disappointments

Tressel: Any loss is crushing when fans demand perfection, but we'll limit this list to Tressel's defeats in consecutive national championship games versus Florida (2006) and LSU (2007).

Matta: Two of Matta's teams have been No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Neither one won the title.

Seems like these guys both specialize in raising fan expectations only to let them down hard

National Championships

Tressel: 1

Matta: 0

except that one night in Arizona when Tressel's guys won it all.

Scandalous behavior:

Tressel: Let several star players continue to play knowing full well they sold memorabilia and accepted illegal benefits, then lied about it to investigators.

Matta: Squeaky clean, as far as we know.

Tressel is technically more successful than Matta, but as information about this scandal continues to trickle out, he's losing ground in the integrity department daily.