What Is and What Could Have Been

By Kyle Rowland on November 5, 2012 at 10:00a

What if.

That’s the question that has been asked for months now, even before the season started. What if Ohio State goes undefeated? What if Ohio State had taken a bowl ban a season ago?

Should 6-6 Ohio State have played in the Gator Bowl?

The first question is two games away from being answered. The fairy-tale unbeaten season was thought to be a long shot in August. But as Ohio State enters the bye week, it sits 10-0 and ranked No. 5 in Urban Meyer’s first season as head coach. Only Wisconsin and Michigan stand in the Buckeyes’ way of a dream season.

“It’s cool, isn’t it,” Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith told Eleven Warriors. “It’s great. We couldn’t be more blessed to have Urban and his staff and the focus that they bring.”

Considering where Ohio State sat a year ago, the transformation is remarkable. The Buckeyes finished 6-7, tied for the most losses in school history. In the throes of a scandal that paralyzed the football program for a year, there was uncertainty about the short- and long-term future of Ohio State football. 

“Obviously last year wasn’t the year we wanted to have,” wide receiver Corey Brown said. “Our record is just a credit to what we did in the offseason. All that hard work is now paying off. We know we have a big week coming with Wisconsin. We will grind through this week, and then grind through the next and keep the momentum going.”

For a decade under Jim Tressel, Ohio State was the gold standard in the Big Ten, winning seven conference titles, and a national power, capturing the 2002 national championship and appearing in two other championship games.

When he was wiped out in a far-reaching scandal, along with star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, Columbus stood still. Nearly a dozen players would end up facing suspensions during the 2011 season. Interim coach Luke Fickell held the program together as best he could, but Ohio State was saddled by numerous shortcomings.

Less than a year later, the Buckeyes appear to be in better shape than before unprecedented turmoil engulfed the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. 

“It’s a great feeling to get through everything we went through and have the chance to possibly go undefeated and win a divisional championship, to take these seniors out in a big way,” Smith said. “It’s a great feeling.”

But even if Ohio State completes the redemption tour 12-0, it will be home for the holidays. That’s because once the NCAA completed its investigation into the tattoo-for-memorabilia scandal it banned Ohio State from the 2012 postseason. Fans were outraged after being told for months by confident Ohio State officials that a bowl ban was a long shot. Meyer called it a “sucker punch.”

“It’s definitely disappointing when you look at it,” said cornerback Travis Howard, who had an interception in Ohio State’s 52-22 win over Illinois on Saturday. “But, at the same time, the coaches tell us to focus on what we can control, and we can’t control that. We just have to go out there and play our hearts out and make the most of our opportunities.

“It sucks we can’t play in a bowl game, but we’re still able to go out there and continue winning games and do the best for our seniors.”

Smith believes OSU made the correct decision in 2011.

Fellow cornerback Bradley Roby said the Buckeyes had an entire offseason to get in the right mindset for 2012, knowing the postseason wasn’t going to be a possibility. But it doesn’t make the facts any easier to deal with.

The objective is to take advantage of the opportunities Ohio State has, Roby said. Two games are left on the schedule for the team to show the nation that it is among the elite in college football. The Buckeyes are ranked fifth in the Associated Press top 25, but according to Roby Ohio State is No. 1. 

“Why wouldn’t I think we are,” he said. “I feel like we can play with any team. We have the players to match up with any team. You can pull up the depth charts – every position, we have players that are better or just as good as any team in the country. Football is a team sport and when you bring teams together, that’s when you see how good a team really is. I feel like we can play with anybody.”

Meyer is more bullish on his team. He’s coached winning teams in each of his 11 seasons as a head coach, several of which have entered the top five. The 2012 Buckeyes are nearing that upper echelon, but there is still plenty of work to be done in the bye week and the final two games of the regular season until national championship aspirations become realistic.

“(Saturday’s) performance was a top five,” Meyer said. “You’d like to end it a little better instead of a fumble return for a touchdown. But in certain areas, no (we are not a top-five team), but when you can control the line of scrimmage, that's usually a top-five team.”

Ohio State’s situation isn’t as easy as those on the outside might think, however. If Ohio State had self-imposed a bowl ban on the football program a season ago, it wasn’t guaranteed to be ineligible this season. In fact, opinions on the matter are split.

The NCAA has refused to comment on the subject, saying the association doesn’t deal with hypotheticals. Experts on the inner workings of intercollegiate athletics have said it is nearly impossible to conceive how the NCAA would have ruled.

One part about the case that is often forgotten is Ohio State’s status as a repeat violator due to the violations committed under former men’s basketball coach Jim O’Brien. Combined with the severity of the football program’s violations and a look back at history – Alabama and USC both received multi-year bans – one can make the case for the NCAA giving the Buckeyes a ban in 2012 even with a self-ban in 2011. 

But Smith hasn’t second-guessed Ohio State’s decision not to self-impose a bowl ban.

“No, I don’t have any regrets,” he said. “A lot of people want to talk about that, but the reality is you make a decision based upon the information in front of you. We had a lot of smart people (involved). I didn’t make that decision on my own. You look at all the previous cases and I think we did the right thing at that particular time.

“Hindsight is always 20/20. It’s the easiest thing in life.”



tommrkr's picture

I've found it best to just think about this entire season as a practice run for 2013, working out the kinks for next year.  Since we're not playing for a B1G or national title, there's nothing for me to get too worked up about.  If we were a 3 or 4 loss team at the end of this season, I don't I'd be too fussed given the circumstances.
What I am looking forward to is that after the UM game, our staff has a good month of dedicated recruiting magic.  I usually don't follow recruiting too closely, but I can see this being an exciting off-season.

CALPOPPY's picture


I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

Jarrett's picture

Couldn't agree more, good post. Get the freshmen some experience and the underclassmen that didn't get much experience last year- it's alllll leading up to, hopefully, a fantastic run next year. I can't wait! Even if we would lose the next two games- upset? Probably, but hey- we will learn from it and hopefully those leasons would be remembered next year.

I don't see us losing the next two games- but just sayin...think you got the right attitude towards the ban and the Football Buckeyes. I'll be following recruiting more this year than any!!!
Go Bucks!

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Groucho Marx 


MediBuck's picture

Bravo. Good comment. In fact, while the entire B1G is letting the league down during bowl season, Meyer and Co. will be whispering sweet nothings into the impressionable ears of midwestern HS superstars about how they could play for an undefeated monster in a downtrodden conference which will essentially lock a BCS spot (and national championship bid) every year. As they watch the disparity between the on-screen flops the 11 dwarves and the 12-0 ideal of OSU's Snow white record, I think the choice will be easy to make.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

hodge's picture

The most upsetting thing about that bowl ban is that it was entirely based on the DiGeronimo jobs--it had nothing to do with "TatGate".  Even so, that FTM charge--even when coupled with our "Repeat Offender" status--was completely unprecedented.  The whole DiGeronimo thng was so small potatoes when compared to the dog-and-pony-show that the media made out of "TatGate" that it's obvious that the NCAA used it to exact its pound of flesh to placate the media's collective scorn.

SilverBulletNYC's picture

@Hodge: Totally agree, man. That's what got us. I still think Gene screwed up big time and should have taken a 1 year bowl ban.

The South will NOT rise again!

hodge's picture

I don't know, I like what Gordon Gee had to say after it all hit the fan:

"First of all, the NCAA — if we would have given up five bowl games, they would have imposed the sixth on us because they were going to impose a bowl ban. This was Ohio State. This was (the NCAA's) moment in time, and they were going to impose a bowl ban no matter what we did."

I think that he's right.  The NCAA had to exact that pound of flesh, because--regardless of what the talking heads in the media would have you believe--what OSU did on their own would never have been enough to placate the media's bloodlust, which in turn forced (or maybe "helped") the NCAA's hand.
Had we imposed a bowl ban last year, we'd have been laughed at by strategially taking it during an uncharacteristic down year.

BuckGnome's picture

That was nothing but Gee's piss poor attempt to save face.  Before the sanctions came down, Smith, and Gee as well, constantly reassurred us that NO bowl ban was in the cards.  They cited all kinds of precedent to support their shaky view.
Then, once the sanctions came down, and Smith and Gee had egg all over their face again, their tune suddenly changes, and they try to spin the situation saying, "well, the NCAA was going to give us an additional 1yr bowl ban regardless on any self-imposed sanctions."  What a bunch of transparent BS!!!
The thing is, had we self imposed a bowl ban last year, it could not have hurt our chances with the NCAA, that they might not have imposed a ban this year.   Of course there are no guarantees, but still.  Its the administration's job to act as stewards of the program, and they failed miserably.     There was little to nothing to lose by self imposing a bowl ban last season.  It was easy to see early on that the team was lousy, and if anything, a bowl ban last season at least punishes a group of players who got us into this mess in the first place.  There isn't anyone left on UFM's sqad who had anything to do with TatGate etc., yet they have to fall on the sword.
That might have been avoided with good leadership at the top.
Smith, Gee et al. completely mismanaged the Tatgate scandal from start to finish, and IMO, it is an unforgivable offense.  How either of these bozos still have their job after everything the did, or didn't do, boggles my mind.  I think the only thing that saved their pelts was landing UFM.  So now, its this years squad that has to pay for for the horrible leadership of the Administration.
It didn't have to be this way.

hodge's picture

1.  Gee's job prospects should never be entangled with the PR of his athletic program.  He might not always say the right thing, but he's not in charge of the OSU AD, it's an entirely separate entity.  As a university president, he's without peer.  We're just as lucky to have him as we are to have Urban as our head coach.
2.  Prior precident is (well, was) one of the only harbingers of an NCAA verdict.  Based upon that, OSU was seemingly in the clear.  Had the NCAA followed said precident (the more likely outcome), we would be lauding Gene Smith's management of the scandal and thanking God for his insider level with the NCAA.  
3.  Some users on this site (HumbleBuckeye, to name one) have mentioned that--amongst the insiders on the athletic program with whom they have access--Gene Smith actually handled TatGate without peer, and the BOT bungled the response.  Had he been allowed to do what he wanted to do in the way he wanted, it would have been different.

Denny's picture

Gee's job prospects should never be entangled with the PR of his athletic program.  He might not always say the right thing, but he's not in charge of the OSU AD, it's an entirely separate entity.  As a university president, he's without peer.  We're just as lucky to have him as we are to have Urban as our head coach.

That-is-correct dot gif


BuckGnome's picture

1.  We'll agree to disagree on that.
2.  The problem with expecting the NCAA to follow prior precedent is, well, expecting some sort of consistancy from the NCAA.   That is a fool's errand.  Gene of all people should know this.  At every step of the TatGate scandal, the Athletic Dept. led by Geno took half measures and failed to get in front this thing.  Not taking a bowl ban early in the season last year was just another boneheaded move in a long series of boneheaded moves.  The leadership provided throughout this mess was borderline incompetent.
3.  I've read Humble's take on events.  I'm sure the BoT had their hand in the mismanagement on display throughout last year.  In no way does that absolve Smith, however.  He IS the AD afterall.  Things COULD have been different, and that's what I find so maddenning about this. 
Early last fall it was clear the team was not going to be up to standards, to say the least.  As each game rolled by, and another week passed, it was absolutely clear to me that the prudent thing to do was to self-impose a bowl ban.  Punish the the group of kids that started this chain of events, and cross our fingers that would lessen the blow from the NCAA.  It didn't happen.  We looked more defiant than contrite.    The sooner we took a bowl ban, the better the odds were that the NCAA would have come down less harshly.  Even if we had waited till the Bobby D stuff dropped, a bown ban then would still have been prudent, even if transparant.
Geno was the captain of the ship, and from everything I've seen, he was the one running around reassuring everyone no bowl ban was in store.  He was dead wrong, and deserves the heat.  
Sigh.  Its a real sore spot with me.  This year's sqad is saddled with a post-season ban, and actually would have had something to play for.(besides going 12-0)  I'm thrilled with how they've handled it.  They deserved better.

Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

Not sure what you mean by "it didn't have to be this way."
I agree there was little to lose by self-imposing a bowl ban. In fact, it would have made OSU look like it was taking the charges seriously.
But I find most of the belly-aching by fans to be scapegoating. It's easier to blame Smith and Gee. The idea that the NCAA wouldn't have banned OSU this season anyway is just speculation. Smith and Gee tried to hedge their bets a little based on what happened in the past. That's not a bad tactic. It just didn't work. It happens.
Hopefully fans can move on, and enjoy this season for what it is. This is no NC championship team, but since they're out of the BCS they become the "what if" team. That's better PR than playing in most bowls because you can't lose.

brylee's picture

shoulda, coulda, woulda!!!

Matt's picture

NCAA was out for blood.  They would have imposed a two-season ban if we had imposed on the Gator Bowl.  I'm happy with the AD's ultimate decision.  The repeat violator stuff tied our hands.  All we can do is focus on 2013.  I don't see us breaking the KSU/ND/Oregon log jam for the second spot in the title game, either, even if we were eligible.

gwalther's picture

Worth noting-- I'm glad Gene Smith is still around as our AD.

Class of 2008

JLP36's picture

Curious as to your reasons for supporting Gene Smith.  My take is that he completely bungled the entire situation from day one on the Tat affair, cementing the perception that every allegation was completely true.   I know that he hired Meyer, but I don't think that any human alive would have been so incompetent as to not try to hire him.  Meyer fortunately wanted the job.  Just curious as to what you feel he does well for the $1m+ he takes away.


gwalther's picture

*I urge you to read bullet #3, which is perhaps one of the most forgotten things about the 2011 season as it relates to the bowl ban.
All good points, and I share some of your feelings.
Hindsight is 20/20. It's easy to sit here now and say, "He didn't handle it correctly." While that is true to an extent, it seemed like he didn't have all of the information, and that he was dealing with a shifting target. I don't think Gene can get full blame for the NCAA and reporters continually finding out new and different pieces of information about noncompliance in our program at the same time, or before, he did. They smelled blood and pounced.
As to Gene's response being responsible for "cementing the perception that every allegation was completely true," I have this to say:
1. TatGate happened. That allegation was true.
2. Tressel knew, and did not report it. That allegation was true.
3. Devier and some other guys were overpaid for work (nonwork?). That allegation was true.
4. TP was making mad dough from a booster for signing jerseys and pictures. That allegation was true.
All that said, Gene looked at precedent and assumed we could get through without a bowl ban. He miscalculated.. But that wasn't an easy calculation. Here are the things to consider about it:
1. He might have been right, and we may have avoided a bowl ban, and
2. The NCAA may not have liked us waving bye bye to the Gator Bowl and hit us with another year bowl ban. This outcome wouldve been even worse than the one we got stuck with.
3. We were 6-3 right before we self-imposed the sanctions, with Purdue our next game. There was a real thought before that loss at Purdue that we could actually win the Big Ten, and therefore still had a shot at going to a BCS bowl. We then dropped our last 3 games. But the point is, we self-imposed sanctions after winning 3 straight on 11/10/2011. Then we lost to Purdue on 11/12/2011. Going back at the end of the month, after dropping our next two games as well, and self-imposing a bowl ban would've looked AWFUL. And Gene had to self-impose when he did because the NCAA was in the midst of making their decision.
So, throwing out the counter-factual argument of, "We should've taken it last year and now everything would be gravy," just doesn't do it for me.
Finally, I like that we stuck with him because I don't think more turnover at the top of the athletic department was needed at the time. Let things calm down a little more and let the man who was in the middle of this lead us out of it for a little longer period, then step down. After next year, I'd be perfectly fine parting with Gene.

Class of 2008

RBuck's picture

"If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas" ~ John Cooper

Long live the southend.

Jugdish's picture

This was stated first by "Dandy Don Meredith" on Monday Night Football when he and Howard Cosell did the games.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

RBuck's picture

Yeah I remember that from the Don but Coop said it more than a few times.

Long live the southend.

Roman Brutus's picture

I'm kind of tired of hearing all the would'a could'a should'as out there. The fact of the matter is Ohio State rolled the dice with the bowl ban and came out with a one year ban. I believe among others that the universities should not self impose penalties. Leave it to the NCAA to punish and that way you get the least amount of punishment possible. The NCAA needs to feel like it is cracking down on you and will always increase the punishment...especially on high profile cases.

buckeyepastor's picture

I agree with you.   I think the NCAA was going to add on to whatever we imposed.  Now, if we'd self-imposed ourselves out of a shot at a BCS bowl, such an action might have raised eyebrows with MCAA and the media to the point where all parties would have agreed that OSU had paid enough.  But I think the country would have scoffed at a bowl ban for a 6-6 OSU team as a punishment.  With our play this year, the NCAA has certainly got its money's worth out of it.   
I know that this is always the way things play out (was the same at USC and for PSU), but I feel horrible for these guys who really had nothing to do with the violations that they are suffering for.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

That's kind of how I've felt all along. I've always thought that it came down to the timing of imposing the ban. Doing a ban before the season, when we were a preseason top 25, before anyone realized that we had a 7 loss team, would've possibly saved us from a ban this year and meant something to people. Declining an invitation to the Gator Bowl after a 6-6 regular season would not have impressed anybody.

Class of 2010.

SPreston2001's picture

I dont care if we dont have a post season, winning is ALWAYS important to me when it comes to my Bucks! I was pissed last year when we were losing (sucked) and I would be pissed this year if it were the same way. Our games still get recorded in the record books so im not sure why some say this is just a practice year. I understand we cant play for a title or BCS bowl, but this is still tOSU and winning is in our blood!!

Alhan's picture

Yes hindsight is 20/20, and in hindsight, no we shouldn't have gone to the bowl game last year.  Honestly though, if we had won against Florida, I would be singing a different tune.  Another win against an SEC team? Yes, please.  But we didn't win, and here we are.
C'est la vie

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

AC1972's picture

The strategy should always be to NOT EVER over self-impose.  You should always give yourself the benefit of the doubt - It maximizes the odds of coming away with the least penalty.
If NCAA didn't want to impose a bowl ban, the certainly would not take-away a self imposed ban.  If they believed that they needed to impose a bowl ban, then you let THEM do it.
I can assure you that, as an enforcement entity, the NCAA must feel like they are doing their job.  They WANT to impose something, and no matter what you self impose, you may be some "credit", but they are out to justify their existence.
Gene Smith and the tOSU brain trust did the right thing.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Maybe I'm in the minority, but 12-0 sans a BCS bowl game is just as satisfying in this context as any postseason. We're not the type of program that gets excited to go to a BCS bowl just so we can say that we're going (which would be the case this year). I, for one, would not like to see us matched up against Oregon or a very efficient KSU squad. If we're sitting at 12-0 come November 25th, no one will have any sour grapes after witnessing the second most improbable (after 2002) undefeated season in OSU history.

DJRoss926's picture

Since when is going to the Rose Bowl not exciting?

O-H Kee Pa's picture

When you have a team that is seriously flawed that would get beaten up pretty badly by any team ranked ahead of it. The 2013-14 versions of the Buckeyes will be closer to a legitimate Top 5 team than the 2012 version. All of that aside, I'm more than enjoying this run, and will happily live in the glow of a (potential) undefeated season all throughout the winter. 

DJRoss926's picture

Just for me personally, I'd always love a shot at beating a better team. But I wholeheartedly agree, a 12-0 season would keep me smiling all winter long too.

Alhan's picture

It's not a guarantee that they would "get beaten up pretty badly".  Would it be a tough game?  Sure!  Is that why the games get played (except this year)?  You're damn right!  I for one would love to see how we stack up this year.  What did everyone say about the 2002 Buckeye team?

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

O-H Kee Pa's picture

@Alhan: I'm a big proponent of "there's a reason why they play the games". Have crazier things happened than OSU beating the 2012 Oregon squad? Of course. While the discussion of "who from the 2012 squad would start on the 2002 squad?" has been discussed ad nauseum on 11W over the past couple of weeks, the fact is the front seven of the 2002 squad was much more talented (NFL quality). It's a hypothetical, so it's pointless. As great as this season has been, I'm glad that I don't have to look forward to spending my holidays thinking about Boren (God love him, the guy is a Buckeye in every sense of the word) chasing down Kenjon Barner.

gwalther's picture

I would've liked to see the matchup. I think we have more high-end talent on defense, despite our holes, than Wisconsin's D had last year when they played Oregon. And, similar to that Wisconsin team, I think our offense could manhandle the Ducks D.
Considering that Wisci team only lost by 7...I'm not as fearful of that matchup as you seem to be.
3 weeks ago I would've been in your camp though.

Class of 2008

Alhan's picture

I completely understand where you're coming from.  I'd still love to see how the teams actually stack up, without having to rely on hypotheticals!

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

O-H Kee Pa's picture

@Gwalther and Alhan: fair enough. You both make good points, and I don't disagree.

Alhan's picture

Group hug!

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

CALPOPPY's picture

Honestly, the Rose doesn't mean the name to me what it once did. Not saying I would not want to play Oregon, just that the BCS has ruined the tradition in my eyes. It's almost criminal that we won so many B10 titles yet we would never go to the game. So the Rose doesn't mean so much anymore to me.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

Doc's picture

I totally agree.  We are not MNC good this year.  I feel we would be exposed in a national big time game.  Rolling threw a very crappy B1G undefeated is one thing, but trying to take down a top 5 team is something else.  They are playing very good football right now, but I'm not convinced we are a national power player YET. 

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

Earle's picture

I'm tired of thinking about hypotheticals.  I prefer to just enjoy the run we're having this year and looking forward to next season where we will be in the NC discussion from Day One.

Your Noble Savage is a Straw Yeti.

osubuckeye4life's picture

I completely agree! 

txbucknut's picture

I don't think a self imposed bowl ban would have made an impact on the NCAA's decision to impose one this year. The idea of the ban is to punish the team for their actions and I think the NCAA would not have viewed a self imposed ban on a 6-6 team with nothing to gain from the win or loss in the bowl game as a punishment. 
Bottom line is despite the lack of post-season for the Buckeyes, this years team is something special, and what coaches and players learned about the team to prepare for next year, without any consequences, is going to be extremely valuable going into next season, when the Bucks will make a run at it all.

buckeyepastor's picture

I heard it mentioned in the post-game presser video that Meyer is meeting with the freshman players on Sundays.  Sounded from the way he talked about it like something that's intended to off-set the loss of those always valuable "bowl game" practices.   
First, I think that is so awesome.  Just another bit of news that makes me so thankful we have him as our coach.  Leave it to Meyer to say, "No bowl game?  No December practices?  Fine.  We'll meet more in-season."   
Second - anyone at 11W know anything more about what goes on with these Sunday meetings?  Is it "preparing for life" type stuff, going over some of the finer points of Meyer's plan to win, working on individual strengths and weaknesses?   Curious to know.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

NW Buckeye's picture

Urban is not gettting extra practices in during the season.  His practice schedule is different than some other coaches in the sense that he does practice on Sunday, and the team has Monday off.   He gave the upper classmen the day off on the Sunday after the Penn State game, saying they had earned the time off.  It may have been his intent to start that earlier in the season, but the team was not playing well enough to do that. 

Bolt's picture

The indication was that we weren't going to get a ban. Nobody thought that, not even Urban when he took the job. We had well placed sources with the NCAA that indicated that it would be unprecedented to receive a ban. The NCAA apparently decided they were going to make an example and, as many people have stated, likely would've imposed a ban for this year even if we imposed one last year. The other thing is when Smith announced there'd be no ban Ohio State was still very much in the thick of the Big Ten championship race. I don't fault Smith's thinking whatsoever. Pretty much everyone was telling him...even NCAA sources that there wasn't going to be a ban.

Maestro's picture

Keep this team hungry.  Dangling the carrot of no post-season will just make them hungrier for it in 2013.  I am ok with that.  
Feel badly for the seniors, but they did get to go to 3-4 bowl games in their careers.  Not too shabby.

vacuuming sucks

Jugdish's picture

My sentiments exactly.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Yep, those seniors did get to be a part of 2 BCS bowl wins. To send them out 3-1 vs TSUN and with an undefeated season on top of 2 Big Ten titles plus a divisional title (and probable 3rd Big Ten title sans sanctions) - that would be quite the career.

Class of 2010.

Tanner's picture

I'm one of the people who thinks we were going to get a bowl ban this year regardless of whether or not we imposed a self-ban last year.
Just seems more likely considering how connected everyone and everything is these days that the people making that decision at tOSU basically knew what was going to be handed down to them, even if they couldn't acknowledge/ discuss it publically.

Riggins's picture

Just enjoy the ride, folks.  It's a blessing in disguise that we have a bowl ban as this team would get smoked by Alabama or Oregon this year. 
Let us try to go 12-0 without regrets and without longing for more.  Let this year be the momentum builder for 2013 when we should be a national title contender.
I thank the seniors for the incredible, unforgettable year they have given us, but 2012 was not meant to be a national title year.

TMac's picture

Penn State penalties, New tiered NCAA penalty policies, tOSU wasn't going to be playing in the 2012 bowl season no mater what we had done in 2011. That we went to the Gator Bowl added a couple dollars to the B1G cofffers. 
One man's opinion

ONE Not Done!

Doc's picture

I've been one of Gene Smith's biggest naysayers recently.  But, I do believe he was in a no win situation.  We would have gotten banned this year regardless, I believe.  The ncaa had to flex some muscle.  The media would have had a field day if we banned ourselves last year.  And when the ncaa added this year the LULZ from the nation would have been tremendous.  It sucks for this years team and Seniors.  Next year will be a blast.
Just finish 12-0 fellas and let the nation talk about what should've happened.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

AC1972's picture

Yea, best part of being 12-0 with no bowl to go to?  Talking endless smack for a year regardless of if you beleive this team even has a remote shot at beating Oregon, K-State, or 'Bama.  You can't prove that the Bucks could have won it all, but no one else can prove you wrong otherwise!
Buy a "12-0 in 2012" T-shirt and Hat, and spend the next 9 to 10 months talking as much smack as you can! Love college football!  ;)

NC_Buckeye's picture

Also might want to start praying that the Mayan apocalypse thing doesn't happen. So we can get a shot at the NC in 2013.
/Anyone know which Mayan god I should be making sacrifices to? Do you think a bowl ban counts as a sacrifice?

yrro's picture

I don't really care about not going to a BCS game. I just hate that a pair of 3-loss teams are going to square up to play for *our* conference championship.

Doc's picture

Last year at this time no one would have guessed we would be on top of our division and possibly playing in the B1G CG.  Delaney and co.had to put the CG ban on us, but it still sucks.  We should still be able to play in that game and let the loser go to the Rose Bowl.  Whomever goes now is still going to get waxed in Pasadena, they may as well lose to us too.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

Ahh Saturday's picture

I'm long over the disappointment of the bowl ban, but "what if" is fun, so I'll play along.
Scenario 1) BCS Championship game: (gulp) I like our team, but don't think we've got all the horses to beat Alabama this year --and yes, Alabama is going to the NCG.
Scenario 2) Rose Bowl: If Oregon went to BCS game, I think we can take down the #2 PAC team, whoever it turns out to be.
Scenario 3) Rose Bowl: If Oregon goes to Rose Bowl the game might look less like the 2009 version and more like last Saturday's USC-Oregon game.  D is getting better, but still don't see them shutting down/slowing down Oregon this season. 
Scenario 4) Non-BCS bowl: I refuse to consider any non-BCS bowl scenario.
So, best case scenario for our ain't-gonna-happen bowl would be a win over Oregon St, Stanford, or UCLA.  I guess I can live without that.

southernstatesbuckeye's picture

Actually, I really think Texas Tech is going to shock the world by trucking Alabama in six days. Think and say what you want, but watch it happen! I also think USC is going to come out on top of Notre Dame as well. Two bold predictions that will come true.

Not a Cereal Downvoter.  But I will downvote the Serial Trolls who lurk under our bridge.

BoFuquel's picture

I vote a huge pay raise for EggerSmith for this marvelous 10 win season they have orchestrated.GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Bucksfan's picture

Even without a bowl ban, there is a strong possibility that Ohio State doesn't get to the national title game anyway because of the B1G's perception (and deservedly so, maybe).
So, let's say the Bucks go 13-0 and are relegated to the Rose Bowl as the country's 3rd or 4th-ranked team.  They won't be earning a share of the national title if the top-2 teams are undefeated.
Missing out on Pasadena on New Years Day sucks for reasons that go beyond the competition on the field.

chitown buckeye's picture

I'm actually fine not going to a bowl this year. I love the fact Urban can hop and point to rercruits across the nation saying to them "look what we did in year 1. You dont want to be apart of this program?" Michigan game will be off the charts this year which is better than any BCS Bowl outside of the MNC. The momentum we will have going into the off-season with recruiting and preparing for next year will be at a high level. I wouldnt trade that right now for a possible loss against a good BCS Bowl team. Lets take the 12-0 and enjoy every last bit of it. These seniors will be remembered forever if they run the table.

"I'm having a heart attack!"

Hockey Buck's picture

Considering the blood lust that the whole world wanted brought down on us, I am 100% convinced that even if we self imposed a bowl ban, we would have still received a ban for this year. The outrage was so inflamed that ever normal, rational writers/fans wanted unprecendented sanctions, meaning that they were not looking at the facts of the issues. The USC comparisons, which were many, were not apropos.
 Did the punishment fit the crime? No.  It was actually greater than what should have been given. That is extremely bad news for all the other schools that were busted for far greater "crimes."
Frustrating thing is that without the Jordan Hall and companies' transgressions, we do not get the "failure" charge, and would never have had a bowl ban. I love Tress and even will accept his excuse for not reporting it, but if he had, those guys get 4 games, which we probably still win, the season goes as it went and is not vacated, but we still have Tressel and . . . the walrus. 
Are we in a better place?  I go with yes. Would have arrived here on a different path, but am glad with where we are.  Go Bucks!

Akeem96's picture

I was listening to Indianapolis radio this morning and they are running adds for the B1G Championship game and stating that it will match the best team in the Leaders vs. the best in the Legends.  
I am pretty sure that is still technically possible, but with OSU and PSU sitting at the top of the Leaders division, making that statement seems a little premature.

House804's picture

Let's just beat Michigan and call it a hell of a year.  The only problem I have with the whole thing is the fact that Ohio State was not able to WIN the inaugural B1G Championship, or WIN it this year.  After dominating the B1G for a decade, then finally getting a championship game, we deserved to be a part of it.  Some people could probably care less, but I can't wait to see the Bucks play in that game.

We talkin' bout practice?!  Not the game I love...the game I die for.  Practice?!

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Sorry folks but I'm tired of the 'what if' we would have impossed a bowl ban last year discussion.  Can we move on now?  Whether the NCAA would have or wouldn't have slammed us with a bowl ban this year is an argument that solves nothing nor can it be proven - it is just an argument that goes on and on and on without end.  The NCAA ruled and that is the reality of it.  Deal with it - we can't go to a bowl game this year and move on.  Seek professional help if you're having trouble dealing with it on your own but please, for the love of humanity, and we move the discussion forward for a change!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Oyster's picture


FitzBuck is clearly the winner.  Not even close.

LouGroza's picture

The absolute best thing about going 12-0 with no bowl game is just that. The team claiming the title for that year, whoever that may be, with an undefeated OSU team out there???? The idea would be brought up that maybe OSU could beat that particular title team and it would be forever unanswered. The best of a difficult situation.

timdogdad's picture

this season is what it is. we have 12 games. lets win all 12 and go 12-0. no more no less.  still an undefeated season.  the positive i see is that we'll be 12-0, win over scum and don't have to run the risk of losing in jan and having the season tarnished. 12-0 and it's in the books.  let the perm a smile last all winter.  gotta shovel some snow, don't mind we're 12-0  

BuckeyeVet's picture

@Hodge - What pissed me off was accepting the Gator Bowl invitation, and then finding out 1 week later (timeline anyone? - relying on memory) that we got a ban. Is there not ANYWAY we could have waited for the verdict, stalled, or gotten some inside info? If we had waited for the NCAA to hand down their verdict then any of these things could have happened: 1. We get a bowl ban last year. 2. We get no bowl ban (HA!) - and go to the Gator Bowl  3. we get a 2 year ban - last year & this year - ok. 4. We get no bowl ban but are too late to accept a bowl last year - so what? 
Under any scenario I don't think we'd be in any worse shape than we are now, and potentially better. That's my main gripe with how Gene Smith played this.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The possible recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

BuckGnome's picture

That's the problem I have with the leadership Geno displayed as well.

Under any scenario I don't think we'd be in any worse shape than we are now(had we self-imposed a bowl ban last season), and potentially better. That's my main gripe with how Gene Smith played this.

hodge's picture

I don't know about that.  I think that the ship had sailed on bowl-banning ourselves during the 2011 season after our second loss.  After that, it would have been painfully apparent that we were making "this sub-par team fall on the sword" and trying to subvert the NCAA's wrath by making a bad team face the bowl ban.  In addition to the media's outcry, it would have been a PR fiasco, and might have led to more severe penalties from the NCAA, who would have seen that kind of a move as "non-cooporation".  That's what killed USC: an AD who effectively gave them the finger throughout their entire investigation.  OSU (who was praised by the NCAA for their cooperation, by the way) really had no reason to suspect a bowl ban penalty--even with their "repeat offender" status--because they'd employed a bunch of lawyers who were experts on NCAA law.  They bet on the wrong horse and lost, oh well.
Onward and upward.

BuckGnome's picture

Miami didn't self-impose a ban last season till Nov. 20th, and while that did cause a bit of a stir, its nothing compared to what they had already endured up to that point.   Sure, the earlier we took the ban, the better.
However, there was little to nothing to lose by self-imposing a ban last year.  Botton line is Smith et. al. rolled the dice last year and got burned.  That wasn't a risk worth taking IMO.
Now, lets give Douchey McDouche (a.k.a Brett Bielema) some heartburn!!! >-)

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

Under any scenario I don't think we'd be in any worse shape than we are now, and potentially better. That's my main gripe with how Gene Smith played this.

I can't say that I agree. The NCAA could have hammered us, simply because they can...multi-year bowl ban, much worse scholarship reductions, etc. I think we got a slap on the wrist. There's no telling what the NCAA will or will not do these days. The punishment doesn't necessarily have to fit the crime with these chumps.

The Ohio State University Class of 2001

BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

Tom57's picture

One part about the case that is often forgotten is Ohio State’s status as a repeat violator due to the violations committed under former men’s basketball coach Jim O’Brien. Combined with the severity of the football program’s violations and a look back at history – Alabama and USC both received multi-year bans – one can make the case for the NCAA giving the Buckeyes a ban in 2012 even with a self-ban in 2011.
Facts are that the NCAA was reacting to the media and the media wanted blood. They got itand now we move on.
The positive note is that the slate will be clean going into 2013 as the court of public opinion will be that we paid the price.
It's too bad to miss 15 practices and see the boys in the Rose Bowl, but life 'aint fair.

Jarrett's picture

The only thing that gets to me in this article, and has got my goat since the whole mess started, was that, I think good ol' Gene should have been fired along with Tress...No way he didn't know what was going on as well. And if he didn't, well, he should have-
Go Buckeyes!

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Groucho Marx 


buckeye76BHop's picture

Anyone know any administrators that like to admit they're wrong (especially to millions of people and a brand new coach)?  I personally think too many of you are looking at this from a face value type of view point.  It's not that easy...they also lied  to Meyer as well (or should I say..."misinformed" a word I've realized that Admin use...when they're wrong and lied on top of it).  Not a good start for Gene and Gordon...if you ask me.  

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

NW Buckeye's picture

Hodge - Do you, or does anyone, know how the conference bowl revenue sharing works?  I thought I read someplace that if your school is in a post season ban, whether self or NCAA imposed, that you could not share in the revenues generated by the bowl games.  If that is indeed true, we will indeed be ahead financially by having the ban this year, as silly as that sounds.  There was an analysis done on bowl revenues for the B1G.  This year's is going to fall far short of last year's.  I know that is really twisted way of looking at things, but just wondering if that is the case. 
And, for what it is worth, I really think the NCAA would have banned us this year regardless of what we did last year.  They purposely put off their decision until after we could have used their bowl ban last year, and there was no reason for that.  They knew at the beginning of Nov what they were going to impose.  They waited until they were sure we could not serve the ban last season.  Had we announced a ban earlier in the season, their ruling would have been issued by mid Nov and added another year.  Just my opinion.  And, with a 2012 ban in place earlier, would we have been able to land Urban?  If you want to play would'a, could'a, should'a, there are a lot of scenarios to toss around!!!

hodge's picture

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that you're correct on Ohio State (and Penn State, for that matter) being excluded from bowl game revenues during said bans.

theDuke's picture

What happened to UNC?... Oh, that's right...  sadface looks at $NcAA$


AeroBuckeye2001's picture

Do we have any data that supports the logic that a team can actually avoid a bowl ban by self-imposing one prior to an NCAA ruling? I have yet to see any evidence that supports this. In fact, I find it a little condescending and arrogant for a school to be able to pick and choose when it should forfeit a bowl. In Miami's case, they forfeited a shitty bowl, so who cares? Does this actually impress the NCAA, or do they just shrug their shoulders and say "whatever, we're still dropping a bowl ban on said team?" 
I can't imagine that Miami will get much sympathy from the NCAA for forfeiting a 2nd tier bowl game during a disappointing season. I'm positive that we still would have gotten a bowl ban for 2012 once the DiGeronimo stuff came out.
Personally, I'm less concerned about the bowl that we could go to than I am about the practices that we will lose. This team can certainly use an extra 15 practices to support a championship run next season.

The Ohio State University Class of 2001

BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

osubuckeye4life's picture

Damn, it feels good to be a spoiler.
Especially, a spoiler of the last two victims on the first campaign of Urban Assault.