In the annals of betrayal, one name looms large: Judas Iscariot, the infamous turncoat who betrayed Jesus Christ with a kiss. His name has become synonymous with treachery, forever etched in the annals of history as the ultimate act of disloyalty.

Fast forward to the present day, and another betrayal stings the hearts of loyal followers, this time not in the realm of biblical proportions, but in the hallowed grounds of college football. Tony Alford, the esteemed running backs coach at Ohio State, has announced his departure after nine seasons with the Buckeyes. But the sting cuts deeper as he leaves to join none other than their bitter rival, Michigan.

For Buckeye Nation, this is nothing short of heresy. Alford’s decision to trade scarlet and gray for maize and blue is considered an unforgivable sin in the eyes of Ohio State faithful. He was not just a coach; he was a revered figure, a symbol of loyalty and dedication. And yet, he chose to abandon ship for the enemy’s camp.

What makes this betrayal all the more galling is the history behind it. Ohio State had fended off multiple suitors for Alford’s services over the years, throwing money and prestige to keep him in Columbus. He became one of the highest-paid running backs coaches in the country, a testament to the value he held in the Buckeyes’ program. But it seems even the might of Ohio State’s coffers couldn’t withstand the allure of Michigan.

Rumors swirl that Michigan may have offered a sweeter deal, a little extra something that Ohio State was unwilling or unable to match. Whatever the case may be, the timing couldn’t be worse for Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day. Just two practices into spring practice, and now he finds himself without a full-time running backs coach.

Adding salt to the wound, Alford’s exit tweet fails to acknowledge the true nature of his departure. There’s no mention of his new allegiance to the archrival Wolverines, a glaring omission that smacks of cowardice. It’s a move that only deepens the sense of betrayal among the Buckeye faithful.

This isn’t the first time an assistant coach has left a program for the rival program. Ryan Day was able to pull both Greg Mattison and Al Washington from Ann Arbor to be a part of his first staff in 2019. Of course, the most famous departure happened when Woody Haye’s trusted assistant and good friend, Bo Schembechler, left Columbus for Oxford, Ohio to be the head coach at Miami. After six seasons, he became the head coach of the maize and blue sparking the infamous ten-year war. Alford’s betrayal doesn’t compare to the feelings Hayes had when Schembechler donned the enemies’ colors, but it stings nonetheless.

Despite Maurice Clarett throwing his name out there, there are no rumors swirling about potential replacements for Alford’s vacated position. But one thing is certain: whoever steps into those shoes will have big ones to fill, not just in terms of coaching prowess, but in loyalty and dedication to the scarlet and gray. Judas may have his place in history, but Tony Alford’s name will forever be tarnished in the halls of Ohio State football.