Celebrating Perfection

By Kyle Rowland on December 7, 2012 at 2:19p

PERFECTION - Photo by Tim Jessberger

Not even a bowl ban could diminish Friday night’s season-ending pep rally billed as ‘A Celebration of Perfection.’

A crowd of roughly 7,500 fans in historic St. John Arena wasn’t interested in the lack of a national championship – they were still partying like it was 2002. 

12-0 Row. Coming to a street near you.

Ohio State capped off a 12-0 season 13 days ago across the street in Ohio Stadium by serving archrival Michigan its ninth loss in the past 11 games of the series. But a postseason ban prevented the Buckeyes from securing the program’s eighth national championship.

That doesn’t mean the 2012 team has an asterisk next to its season. This group will be remembered for years to come. They are only the sixth team in school history to finish the season with an unblemished record. The current group of Buckeyes stuck with Ohio State in tough times and helped the program rebound at a time when it reached an unprecedented depth. The senior class, in particular, deserves a lofty spot in Ohio State lore.

“This will go down as one of the great senior classes in Ohio State University history,” head coach Urban Meyer exclaimed to the scarlet-and-gray-clad fans in attendance.

He then introduced each senior with the boisterous crowd reaching a crescendo when John Simon was announced. The senior captain – the “heart and soul” of the Buckeyes, according to Meyer – was an integral part of the team for four seasons and was popular with coaches due to his relentless work ethic.

After tying a school record with four sacks at Wisconsin, Simon missed the Michigan game due to an injury he suffered against the Badgers. His absence weighed heavy on Meyer, the coaching staff and the players. But they presented Simon with the game ball following the 26-21 win over Michigan.

“That game ball was a team award,” Simon said.

Said Meyer: “If you say, what’s the face of Ohio State football – John Simon is who this football team was.”

The prize for 2012. 

In 2006, that person was Troy Smith. Now an athletic department employee, Smith presented the team with its Leaders Division championship trophy. Columbus mayor Michael Coleman made sure the team won't soon be forgotten, immortalizing them by renaming a yet-to-be-determined Columbus street 12-0 Row.

For now, the on-field momentum Ohio State enjoyed will come to a standstill – no bowl game also means no practices. The Buckeyes’ crop of assistant coaches have compensated for that by traveling across the country in search of blue chip recruits. While other high profile schools get geared up for bowl games, Ohio State is getting more access to future stars. The Buckeyes already have a top-10 class for 2013.

And they added one more today.

Massillon athlete Gareon Conley, who committed to Michigan over the summer, pledged his allegiance to Meyer and the Buckeyes Friday afternoon. He becomes the 18th member of the impressive class.

This weekend is one of the biggest on-campus visit periods between now and Signing Day, and a number of those prospective recruits – Conley, Mike Mtchell, Donovan Munger, and Tommy Sanders included – were on hand Friday night.

What they saw was Meyer talk about the solid foundation Ohio State has poured. The future in Columbus, which looked so bleak on Memorial Day 2011, is now on a path to national championships.

“Year two is a definitive year,” Meyer said this season. “There used to be a time where you could go build a program, and that really doesn't exist anymore. You’ve got to win.”

With nearly every significant piece of the offense returning, including quarterback Braxton Miller, Ohio State is considered a title contender for 2013. Historically, as Meyer alluded to, the second year is when he has taken schools to new heights, and that is the goal once more at Ohio State.

“A team with purpose and talent, that’s when magical things happen,” Meyer said.

It’s been Meyer’s template since 2001 at Bowling Green. When Ohio State takes the field Aug. 31 to take on Buffalo, it will once again be the ingredient for a title winner.


Comments Show All Comments

toad1204's picture

266 days until kick off.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

BuckeyeUte's picture

We are going to kick a** next year!!!! Cannot wait for August to get here!!!!

biggy84's picture

I would have gone, but thought it was sold out. Shame there were empty seats.

Menexenus's picture

I agree!  I had heard that all 13,000 tickets were given away.  From the pictures, it looks like half of those people didn't show up.  That sucks!  Like Biggy said, I would have gone if I had known that there would be space available.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Only 5,000 showed up? That's a lot less than the reported number of free tickets that were supposedly distributed. I mean, it's better than only 500 showing up, but I expected more from Buckeye Nation.

Matthew's picture

The crappy weather (cold and raining the whole day) probably cut a good number out of probable attendeees.

Class of 2010

bukyze's picture

I thought the 12,000 seats were sold out.!?

JollyFatMan's picture

They were. I figured the weather would have something to do with it.. but was quite surprised with so many empty seats.

How firm thy friendship..

pcon258's picture

I think it did technically "sell-out" (although tickets were free), but it wasn't made clear if students could still show up, even without a voucher. Also, the weather, combined with finals, probably kept alot of students from attending (thats my excuse haha)

Devin1024's picture

This was a very cool celebration for this years team. I was lucky enough to get there and I'm glad I made it. I thought that having Troy Smith present the Leaders division trophy was a very nice touch.  12-0 Row is a horrible name for a street though, something like Undefeated Ave would be better…

pjtobin's picture

Neat to have a street named after this team. What ever it is. So glad to hear our seniors got treated with so much respect. That's awesome. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

tennbuckeye19's picture

Something tells me Urban is probably a fan of this film:


jkrk's picture

I love this group of seniors even more because of what a stark contrast to last year's (mostly) selfish group. Nothing personal against Brewster, but between all of the tattoo guys thinking they could do whatever they wanted and Shugarts thinking he could start the play whenever he wanted, the 2012 seniors' accomplishments are that much more amazing.

216ToThe614's picture

Woohoo I made my first 11w story picture!! :D

Pick up your feet, turn your corners square! And DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!!!

buckz4evr's picture

Did anyone else notice Nathan Williams wasn't there? Was it because he already graduated?  For whatever reason, I found it a bit odd.

Matthew's picture

I did notice that. It made me question my belief that he was a senior as he wasn't there.
Urban specifically mentioned that Dominicone had already graduated and he was there.

Class of 2010

Philly White's picture

I might be wrong and I'm certainly biased, but I don't think there are a lot of other communities that have the love for their flagship school like Columbus and Ohio have for Ohio State.
-- Weeks after leading an obsessive football culture to a 6-7 season, Luke Fickell is given a hero's welcome at a pep rally not for what he accomplished, but for the burden he shouldered.
-- A season after he failed to stop a massive scandal (at least in the eyes of ESPN and others) that caused a bowl ban and the offseason from hell, Tressel is the recipient of the most rousing applause at a *Michigan* game. What might've a hangable offense at an SEC school was forgiven because of the man he was 99% of the time.
-- Tonight. No grumbling about what bowl game we deserved or chairs left empty by cynicism, only an appreciation for players--and especially seniors--who played for pride alone, and the coach who brought it out of them.
I don't know how many major schools could do the same. True, of course, is that Urban Meyer was the elixir that made all of these easier to swallow in some way, but as I've said, Buckeye football for the sake of Buckeye football is a beautiful thing and this is fan base that didn't get enough credit for that this year.

Phillips.449's picture

There is one thing that makes me sad about this season.  I am waiving my right to  take off work to watch bowl games during the 1st week in January for the 1st time in 5 years.  I am doing my small part to boycott this year's bowl season.  Instead I plan to blow that entire week of vacation in November of 2013 before the game against the a$$holes up north rather than taking my normal Friday off to get prepared to pummel them (for the 10th time in 11 years).  At that point in time we will be celebrating 23 consecutive wins and preparing to beat "Brady the Hut" once again. 
Twinkies, Ho Hos, Sno Balls, Cup Cakes, Donettes, and Fruit Pies will only exist because a yet to be determined company will purchase the recipes knowing that Hoke will spend most of his salary drowning his 0-2 record against UFM sorrows in fluffy creamy filling.

Doc's picture

Kyle thanks for the write up.  It sounds like they did the team proud.  Naming a street after them is a nice gesture. Here's to hoping that Urban brings so many championships to Cbus that most of the roads will be named for Buckeye teams.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

osubuckeye4life's picture

This team is the foundation of many great things to come. 
Thank you seniors and Big Hank!
Let's see some gray boxes!!!!!!!!!

dagger66's picture

A renaming is in order ... EASY STREET or BIG EASY.  The nation is shaking their heads just like when the BIG named the divisions as Leaders and Legends.  The Buckeyes went 12-0 against a schedule of softies ranked 60th in difficulty per the Sagarin rankings.  They played four out of conference teams from power houses like UAB, UCF, Miami Ohio, and a weak (3-9) Cal team .... ALL COLUMBUS home games.  They played no AP Top 15 teams.  They played no out of conference AP Top 25 teams.  They were ineligible to play for the BIG championship or any bowl games.  Next year their schedule is even easier than last year.  There is nothing to brag about here except being undefeated in a weak conference with exceptionally weak out of conference foes.  Buckeyes need to Man-Up and schedule some OOC foes that will give them a good fight and get off the easy street of inflated records.

Straight Talk