Who will take over Ohio jobs?

Within the last month, Ohio State and the Cleveland Browns both fired their head coaches.

John Cooper should have seen it coming.

Chris Palmer should be Cooper’s bowl game and Michigan records during his tenure speak for themselves.

They are unacceptable for a program as strong as Ohio State’s and I believe the Buckeyes front office and athletic department finally realized that after giving Cooper one more chance after one more chance.

The internal problems throughout the season, injuries, lack of control and the lack of development of starting quarterback Steve Bellisari are all factors that most likely contributed to the decision.

Palmer, on the other hand, had a tough situation. He inherited an expansion team and this season, was dealt with injury after injury.

Starting quarterback Ty Detmer went down very early in the season and franchise player Tim Couch followed him a few weeks later.

The Browns struggled their first two seasons and they should not have been expected to reap the early success the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers earned in their first two years in the NFL.

After the season ended, the front office of the Browns stated they had total faith in Palmer, despite his 5-27 record over two years, and that his job was not at all in jeopardy. Then, they canned him.

For guys like Carmen Policy and Dwight Clark, who have been associated with the game for along time and are respected businessmen, this move was cheap and slimy.

Why defend your head coach to the press then turn around a week later and let him go? Low blow guys, low blow.

Now the search is on to fill two of the most important coaching jobs in the state of Ohio.

But who wants to do it?

Who wants to inherit these troubled programs, despite their brighter pasts?

Bob Stoops, the most sought after coach in the nation, has been mentioned in lists for both jobs. But an ESPN highlight showed Stoops, an Ohio native, and his National Champion Sooners addressing a home basketball crowd and stating he plans on staying at Oklahoma for a long time.

He’s out so who is left?

Minnesota coach Glen Mason, Youngstown State coach Jim Tressell, former Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman, Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham, longtime Ohio State assistant coach Fred Pagac and possibly, Pittsburgh’s Walt Harris are all being considered for the job.

During the 1984-85 season at Ohio State under Earle Bruce, Mason was the offensive coordinator, Tressell was the quarterbacks and receivers coach and Pagac coached the outside linebackers.

Mason and Pagac both lettered for the Buckeyes under legendary coach Woody Hayes.

In my opinion, Spielman should not be considered because of lack of experience but would have a hell of an assistant coach due of his knowledge of the Ohio State system and the linebacking position, where he was a two time All-American for the Buckeyes. Tressell has won several national championships with the Division II Penguins but would he be able to transfer that power to Division I? Mason has a good feel for the Big Ten and his ties to Ohio State could make him the top man but Pagac’s loyalty to the Buckeyes and years of experience in Columbus makes him a name to not scratch off the list.

Willingham and Harris have both had success at their respective schools but I feel someone with strong Ohio State roots, who pledges to kick ass and solve the internal problems, will get the job.

For the Browns, Denver’s offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, New York Giants offensive coordinator Sean Payton, New Orleans offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy and Browns’ defensive coordinator Romeo Cremmel are possible candidates.

I feel the Browns need an offensive minded leader, so Cremmel is out, and hiring an Denver assistant in Cleveland might end up with Policy and Clark waking up with horses heads in their beds. The Giants and Saints both saw upgraded offenses this season but don’t rule out a last minute name. These NFL guys are tricky.

Both teams need work and their new head coaches will promise to make changes and stir things up. We shall see, won’t we?