Bye week bad for Buckeyes

Published 1:34 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Take a bye, then kiss the next game bye-bye.

That’s been a common refrain for the Ohio State Buckeyes in recent years. In games that follow a week off, they are 1-4 since Jim Tressel took over as head coach in 2001.

‘‘We haven’t done wonderful with byes since we’ve been here,’’ Tressel said Tuesday as he reflected on not having a game last week and what’s in store this Saturday at Northwestern.

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The 12th-ranked Buckeyes have had an extra week to stew over a 13-6 loss to No. 3 Penn State on Oct. 25. They took a few days off last week, rested up and recuperated, and now have returned to a typical week of practice. It’s the same procedure they have always followed under Tressel — and which has been far less than successful.

In Tressel’s first season in Columbus, they won their opener and were ranked No. 21 before taking a one-week hiatus. They came back to lose 13-6 at UCLA.

In 2003, they were 5-0 and ranked No. 4 until resting for a week; they returned to lose at Wisconsin, 17-10.

Northwestern provided the heartbreaker in 2004. The Buckeyes opened with three wins and were No. 7 heading into an Oct. 2 game at Evanston, Ill., but the Wildcats hung a 33-27 overtime loss on them.

In 2005, Ohio State (3-1) was ranked sixth — a late 25-22 loss to No. 2 Texas marring the slate — before a week of rest. The Buckeyes returned to fall 17-10 at Penn State.