Former co-defensive coordinator for the Ohio State football team Luke Fickell will not be a conference foe to his alma mater.
Luke Fickell who, after playing for the Buckeyes from 1993 to 1996, was a coach on the Ohio State football team’s staff from 2002 to 2016 in addition to being the team’s interim head coach in 2011. It became official on Monday that he will not face his former team on a regular basis in the near future.
Fickell, who is the current head coach at the University of Cincinnati, was rumored for the Michigan State head coaching job this past weekend. However, it was officially announced via the UC athletic department’s Twitter that Fickell will be staying with the Bearcats.
Of course, Fickell’s decision to stay had a lot to do with his family and his Ohio ties in which he has built his entire life, being born in Columbus and attending DeSales High School in Columbus. However, one must wonder how much Ohio State’s dominance in the Big Ten played a role in his decision.
The Buckeyes have won three straight Big Ten Championships. They are also always in the conversation to make the College Football Playoff while all the other Big Ten teams show up in the conversation just every once in a while, not consistently every season. Additionally, Ohio State has led the Big Ten in recruiting nine of the last 10 years, according to 247Sports.
With sustained success on the field and in recruiting, who is really going to challenge Ohio State? Trying to do that at Michigan State would have been a very tough hill to climb for Fickell as I think the Buckeyes’ only competitors in the conference are Penn State, Michigan, and maybe Wisconsin.
It would have taken Fickell years to just make the Spartans competitive with the Buckeyes both on the field and in recruiting. It doesn’t matter how great of a coach he is.
I want Fickell to succeed really bad, so I am glad he did not take the job at MSU, and I think in the long run he will also be glad he didn’t take it. The Ohio State University, his alma mater, is just too tough to compete with and MSU is light years behind.