Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
You won't find Jim Tressel's name among the 16 players and two coaches elected to the College Football Hall of Fame earlier today in New York. The Ohio State head coach wasn't even on the ballot this year.
But Sporting News columnist Dave Curtis thinks Tressel deserves as plaque in South Bend right now, and it's hard to argue with him.
College football recently amended its policy of having no active coaches in the Hall of Fame to allow active coaches 75 years or older to be inducted. Obviously, the rule-makers had Penn State's Joe Paterno and Florida State's Bobby Bowden in mind, and the two legends have been enshrined.
Curtis contends that Tressel, 56, who doesn't seem like the type to coach into his seventies and eighties, deserves a spot right now.
Tressel belongs with the greats in coaching. He deserves a place next to Bowden and Paterno and his father, Lee Tressel, who won 155 games in 23 seasons at Division III Baldwin-Wallace. Put him with Woody Hayes, Earle Bruce and (gulp) John Cooper, his predecessors at OSU. Given his accomplishments, there's no need to wait longer.
Need more than the wins and the championships at two levels? The guy has taken the Midwest's flagship program to four straight BCS bowl games, the second-longest active streak in America. He's 83-19 with the Buckeyes, including 7-1 against archrival Michigan. And despite brushes with players-taking-cash scandals at Youngstown State and Ohio State, it seems Tressel boasts 100 advocates for every critic.
It would be nice to see the College Football Hall of Fame follow basketball's lead and honor some of the game's top coaches while they're still working (and presumably in decent health).
I don't want to see younger, prodigy-types like Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops just yet, but I'd have no problem with coaches 55 or older like Tressel, Texas' Mack Brown, Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer and USC's Pete Carroll getting into the Hall right now.