Editor: Chaos and opportunity can be two sides of the same coin if there is optimism combined with energy.

Editor: Chaos and opportunity can be two sides of the same coin if there is optimism combined with energy.

Case in point: the Ohio State Buckeyes, who prepare for their opening game Saturday. Chaos certainly describes the proverbial roof that has fallen on the team's heads. But the good news, if there is such a thing, is that the chaos has been defined, dealt with and is manageable.

Coach Jim Tressel's scandalous behavior has been thoroughly aired, and he is gone. (Four) key players have been suspended for the first five games but will return. Last season's record has been vacated, and the proceeds from the Sugar Bowl will be donated to charities. And Ohio State has a new, energetic young coach in Luke Fickell who is eager to demonstrate that he should keep the job.

All of this is behind the team. The players and coaches can live with it, and the fans should be able to do so as well. Ahead lies a brand-new season in which a largely veteran team should perform well.

When the ball is kicked off and glints against a late-summer sun before settling into a receiver's arms, a new season full of promise will be under way. No more gnashing of teeth. With fans generating a "Go Bucks" spirit, the chaos will gradually recede and the focus will be on a fresh start, where it should be.

- Howard Byer, Gahanna

Howard: I have no doubt that the return of actual football will be welcomed in our fair city more than at any other time in memory. That said, I still don't have a handle on this team. At this moment, I could see it finishing as well as 11-1 (there is talent) or limping home at 6-6 (there are distractions). We shall see.

Editor: At the risk of being lynched in this town, can I say something nice about Terrelle Pryor? I thought it was amazing what he could do, and it was such a pleasure watching him run - like a gazelle on the plains.

I harbor no grudges; he's what, 21 years old? We fans tend to forget these are still kids who make mistakes. I wish him well with Oakland and hope to see him coming to Sunday-afternoon TV soon.

- L. Michael Howard, Westerville

Michael: No harm in wishing the young man well, I suppose, but it's likewise hard to argue that he left a spectacular mess in the kitchen yet pretty much got off scot-free.

Ray: Terrelle (Pryor) to the Raiders! Have you ever seen a better fit?

He goes to a team with a history of problem players and bad quarterbacks. Other than the two or three good years Rich Gannon had around the turn of the century, the Raiders have not had a good QB in over 20 years.

In fairness, Terrelle may end up a receiver based on the speed he displayed during his recent workout. I guess time will tell, and I'm betting even the Raiders don't know what to do with him at this point in time.

One thing is for sure: If Terrelle does end up playing QB, he will only be the second-worst quarterback in Raiders history, no matter how poorly he plays. No one will ever top JaMarcus Russell for ineptness.

- Rick Higgins, Columbus

Rick: As soon as Pryor ran sub-4.4 in the 40 on his pro day, the even money was on the Raiders taking him; Al Davis can't help himself when speed is involved. But I'm still not sure how speed helps TP become a quarterback.

Editor: I have to respond to Becky Moser (Mailbox, last Sunday), who wrote attacking Jim Tressel. I have one thing to say to her: Stuff it, Becky!

I am so tired of people being mean and then publishing their nasty comments in the paper. Give it a rest, Becky! Can this man do anything right in people's eyes? Has he not paid enough for the mistakes he and his team made? Must everyone still talk about him like he killed a few Buckeyes and then lied to the NCAA?

If you don't like what Coach Tressel says, keep it to yourself. Ohio Buckeye fans happen to like the man, and they don't want to hear any more bad things about him. Zip it, Becky!

- Carol Kipfer, Powell

Carol: In my book, the problem doesn't seem to be that Tressel can't do anything right; it's more that too many people fail to realize or even acknowledge that he did something wrong. Doesn't make him a bad man, of course, but he earned his punishment.

Ray: Chris Sturgill (Mailbox, last Sunday) denigrates Bungals owner Mike Brown. Is he crazy? Does he want to destroy our unique Bungalism?

What other NFL team has 206 years of total ineptitude? (OK, I exaggerate by a few years.) What other team would draft Akili Smith in the first round and then keep him for four years? What other team, not content with one "look-at-me grandstander," would hire another one?

What other team jumps offside with such consistency in critical situations? Have you seen any other team take itself out of field-goal range with back-to-back delay-of-game penalties? How about a delay penalty on the first play of a new season, after having an entire year to decide which play to run?

We did all of the above.

If you want good football, watch the Colts, Patriots, Steelers, whomever. Otherwise, shut up and rejoice as we descend ever deeper into the unplumbed depths of Bungalism.

- Mike Locke, Canal Winchester

Mike: That's beautiful. Celebrate the incompetence rather than hide from it. Most Bengals fans take the opposite approach - wondering aloud to Browns fans how many Super Bowls they've been to, or asking Terry Bradshaw to spell cat. Your approach seems healthier: If you stub a toe, stick out your other foot.

Write me at 34 S. 3rd St., Columbus, 43215, or e-mail sports@dispatch.com. Please include your hometown and telephone number, which will not be published.

Ray Stein is sports editor of The Dispatch.

rstein@dispatch.com