Kind of a weird blog headline after a blowout victory last night, huh? Well, for the Matta defenders out there, you can relax; it was sarcasm (surprise, surprise). Now, for any of you that have actually uttered this phrase, please go back to your message boards, your World of Warcraft friends, or just yell your angry anti-Matta rants to the plethora of cats in your mom’s basement. I do not want to hear them. I mean, you can’t be serious…YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!
Lynn St. John coached at for 8 seasons at Ohio State from 1911 to 1919. Name sound familiar? Well, it should. OSU named the former basketball arena after him. St. John won 54% of his games as the head coach for The Ohio State University, and had just 1 winning record in Big Ten play…and we named an arena after him.
Harold Olsen helped turn the Buckeyes into a regular contender in the Big Ten from 1922 to 1947, but even in his 25 years of coaching, he made it to 1 Championship Game (a loss to Oregon in 1939) and 3 other Final Fours. By the way, only 8 teams were involved in the tournament back then, so a Final Four meant that his OSU team won 1 tournament game. Matta has accomplished a runner-up and won at least 1 tournament game 3 other times already in his 7 years in Columbus.
The legend himself, Fred Taylor, won roughly 65% of his games as the Buckeyes’ coach from 1958 to 1976. Taylor was inarguably Ohio State’s most famous and respected coach, and took his teams to 1 championship, 2 runner-ups, a Final Four, and an Elite Eight. And yet, his winning percentage pales in comparison to Thad’s 77% and 70% in Big Ten play. Taylor had 20+ wins in 6 of his 18 seasons, and could well have reached that number in half if they played the extra 6-8 games that today’s teams play, but Matta’s teams have hit that mark every year.
Sure, a couple of games have gone poorly, by the standards that Thad has brought to this program, but this team is still a top team and will compete in the tournament next month with a very good chance at making a deep run. Try looking at the glass half full approach occasionally and you’ll see that we’re currently 23-5 with a chance to finish atop the toughest conference in the country, and all this a year after losing the Big Ten’s all-time leader in 3 point shooting (Jon Diebler) and a team leader and defensive guru (David Lighty).
In other words, to the Debbie Downers and overly dramatic people looking for heads to roll every time the Buckeyes stumble… RELAX!