OSU invested millions in a massive stadium back when they couldn't fill it. typically until Paul Brown got here and started us winning national titles and being nationally a true power, Ohio Stadium regularly hosted 20-30,000 people per game,,,but the board and the school determined to make the program a national player invested in a massive stadium to move us into the big time,,
they then after a few false starts with coaches like Sam Willamon etc, they hired Francis Schmidt away from TCU with OSU's first multi year contract, making him one of the highest paid head coaches at the time and started us on the right path with the "Gold Pants" tradition etc,,
after that they hired Brown, (btw, OSU paid Schmidt more in 1934 than they paid Brown in 1941).
OSU administration also started the political hot potato of integration as far back as 1929.
etc, so I would say that the university and the fan base made the investment into the team to make it what it later became..
as far as the #2 jersey debate, certainly had Pryor gone somewhere else #2 jersey sales would have suffered, but some other player would have been the OSU hype guy and hence sales of that number would have climbed..Like When Beanie was here, or Troy was here #28 and #10 were hot,,or when JL was here and his number sold more..
and if TP had chosen to go somewhere else, then OSU would have been a top candidate for someone else, maybe not a QB of his caliber, but maybe a top RB to replace Beanie and we go back to power football and win that way..how the recruiting landscape changes based on TP's decision is unknowable, but to assume we would not have gone to BCS bowls, simply because he committed somewhere else?? maybe Andrew Luck becomes a target and we get him instead,,,who knows for sure..and had he come here and worn say #12, those jersey's ejersey's would have flown off the wall instead or #2,,,
Had Todd B been able to beat LSU in 2007 and hence TP was riding the pine for most of 2008, then His number would have sold more than TP's,,,the guys are interchangeable,,,that is now disparagement of their talent or contribution to programs success, but the fact that some people where #7 for TGII and others for Gamble, while still more for Hines shows exactly what I mean,,,the players are a commodity, while the brand is what is valued...
Players don't come to Ohio State because Columbus is a great place to live, or because OSU as an academic institution is head and shoulders better than say Michigan St..
they come to OSU because they have a 100K+ stadium that is packed for the spring game as well as regular season, the come because OSU has massive TV exposure, the come because they hire coaches like Jim Tressel and Woody Hayes, the come because OSU has to WHAC,,they come for the traditions, for the exposure and the coaching and very rarely for any particular academic or metro area reason,,and those things, Fan Support, Stadium, Facilities and coaching staff are all due to the investment the university and the local/regional fan base has generated,,not due to the fact that Rex Kern came here in 1967 or Les Horvath back in his day, or TP in 2008..