Heading into the 2011 college football season, Ohio State was already expected to be without coach Jim Tressel -- in addition to five players including quarterback Terrelle Pryor -- for the first five games of the season.
Not only will Tressel miss those five games, but he will miss all of the team's subsequent games as well. This morning, Tressel submitted his letter of resignation to Ohio State AD Gene Smith.
Therefore, Luke Fickell, who was a former Ohio State defensive lineman, will remain the team's interim head coach throughout the entire 2011 season.
"... Recruitment for a new head coach - which is expected to include external and internal candidates - will not commence until the conclusion of the 2011-2012 season," OSU President E. Gordon Gee wrote to the school's trustees, per the Columbus Dispatch.
ESPN's Bruce Feldman identifies seven possible replacements for Tressel (and Fickell) in 2012: ESPN analyst Urban Meyer, Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, TCU coach Gary Patterson, ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops and Missouri coach Gary Pinkel.
In his ten seasons at Ohio State, Tressel compiled a 106-22 record, won a national championship (2002) and seven Big Ten titles while beating archrival Michigan nine of ten times. Tressel has led the Buckeyes to a BCS Bowl game for six consecutive seasons, which is three times the next longest active streak of two by Oregon and TCU.
While Tressel ranks third all-time in wins at Ohio State behind Woody Hayes (205) and John Cooper (111), he won a larger percentage of his games (.828) than Hayes (.761).
SI's George Dohrmann has a story coming out soon and he tweets, "... Timing of Tress [decision] will make sense after you read it" so stay tuned ...