We'll have coach Tressel here in just a few minutes! Send in those questions!
Just got word that they're on their way over!
I've heard you've used various forms of The Winners Manual throughout the years. Is that true?
We started making The Winners Manual in 1986 at Youngstown. Every year we've edited it; a lot of players and coaches have contributed. At times we've rearranged sections. There are some general fundamentals that have stayed the same. It's grown from 65 to 400 pages.
How were you able to piece together this book?
We started with a format. Back at Youngstown State, it was led by the Wheel of Life. Now at OSU, it's the Block O of life. It's bascially six parts of our players' lives that we want to help them increase their excellence. The bulk of the Manual is a large section with 18 fundamentals for winners that we use as a resource to help as we seek to increase our excellence.
Coach, I saw you on First Take, but no sweater vest? What gives? How many vests do you own?
Well, it's nearly 90 degrees here in Bristol. Had I known it was going to be 60 degress on set, I would have worn one. But I did kind of vacillate of whether I should break out the vest. We have two kinds, the Nike Scarlet and the Nike Gray. I wear the scarlet when we're wearing white and gray when we're wearing red so the players can see this little body on the sidelines.
With Florida and LSU winning the last two national titles, do you think the SEC needs to read The Winners Manual?
You know I think it would help them, the Manual is more than just about football. I think it's helpful for anyone that's involved with athletics or not. But they certainly don't need any help with their teams.
How do you coach a big time college football program, go on the road recruiting and still find time for family?
Probably one of the most difficult challenges that we have as coaches is the passion we have for all of those young people and the time it takes, the passion we have to seek out the X's and O's and then go out and recruit those people, and still do an adequate job at home. Like most people that love their job and have endless tasks, we have to control the situation, keep perspective, communicate well and in football coaches cases, be married to the right woman. It's a sacrifice for wives in what we do.
Playoffs or current BCS system? You've won a national championship with both. Which do you prefer?
For the moment, in Division I-A, or I guess Bowl Subdivision, what we have now is the best thing. As we seek to find a better situation, the thing I hope we don't do is move further into January. I think that puts more pressure on seniors who are preparing for their biggest job interview with preparing for the combine. Adding the 12th game has made this a more difficult problem to solve. The season is so long, the ability to keep our bowl culture, for those bowl cities and committees is critical. As we've made our season longer, there aren't more gaps in there. I think a full blown playoff scenario would be fatal for the bowl system.
Is it true you're a woodworker? If so, did you make that desk in your office? Go Bucks!
It's true that I enjoy good woodworking and do have a good workshop. My son Zak is an excellent wood worker. I am not. He made a pool table. No, I did not make the desk in my office. That was not my workmanship. One of the things I'd like to do when my coaching career is over, is perhaps trying to get that skill of being a woodworker.
Hey Coach, I was just wondering what's the plan for Terrelle Pryor this season?
Well, from what I gather, he's been working hard in the weight room. In the summer, we're not permitted to coach him. In preseason, we'll give him the opportunity to show how he can internalize our system and build on his strengths. Perhaps with his ability and work ethic he can make a difference in 2008.
Coach, I have to say thanks for making the sweater vest cool again. When I used to wear them, people would give me odd looks. How did you decide the vest would be your game day outfit?
That began way back at Youngstown State. I don't know if I was given one or whatever, but I always found it to be comfortable. It became a part of my gameday wardrobe. Then it became an expectation. So it continued.
How have you been preparing for the game against USC this September? Is there a particular game film that you have been studying like the Stanford game last year? Thanks!
We have had a film exchange with USC for all 13 games from last year. Our preparation this summer has been in the weight room and conditioning. But the week of that game, we'll be studying that Pac-10 list of films and obviously their bowl game this past year with Illinois.
As a coach, how do you deal with tough situations like that of Maurice Clarett?
I think keeping the young person and their needs in mind has to take center stage. Sometimes it's easy to get angry and go do something that makes you feel better, but every move we make has to have that young person in mind as well as the rest of the team and a little of the feeling of the history of that person up to that point. Unfortunately not all of the decisions you make are objective, some are subjective but all are made with the team in mind.
Who's the early season favorite to win it all, in your opinion? Other than OSU, of course.
Well, with the people that they have returning, Southern Cal should be given notice. You can't overlook LSU. Many people are talking about Georgia and Florida. I don't think you can ever discount Oklahoma and Texas. And we think there are a lot of Big Ten teams that will have their say before it's over.
Coach...is it still fun?
Absolutely. My biggest problem is that work is more fun than fun. I have to guard against wanting to be at work too much. We have great young people. There's nothing like Buckeye fans. When you have expectations like ours, you get excited to go to work.
How is the book signing tour going so far? I know you are going to be in Columbus very soon?
We'll be in Columbus in three locations on Wednesday. It's been exciting being in New York and Connecticut, having a chance to share with the national audience The Winners Manual. I'm excited to see how it can benefit the people. And I'm also excited to get back to work for the 2008 season.
It's great to be a Buckeye!