The Buckeyes finished their 12-0 season Saturday by beating Michigan in what might be the biggest rivalry in all of American sports. But Ohio State can’t actually do anything with that undefeated record.
Ohio State beat Michigan 26-21 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus off a strong second-half defensive performance that saw the Buckeyes blank the Wolverines. Heisman candidate and Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller had a solid but unspectacular game for the Buckeyes with 189 yards and a touchdown through the air, as well as 57 yards on 20 carries, including a 42-yard jaunt.
But Ohio State’s 2010 tattoo scandal is still affecting players and coaches who had nothing to do with the situation. Because some players got some free tattoos and some coaches averted their eyes, the 2012 Buckeyes can’t play in the inaugural Big Ten championship game, nor can they fight for a BCS national championship. The Buckeyes can still claim an AP championship, but it’s just not the same.
With Notre Dame remaining as the final undefeated team, Ohio State would have been set up perfectly for a berth in the BCS championship if they had won the Big Ten championship game. Instead, they are done for the year.
The Buckeyes might be done playing in 2012, but they can look forward to a bright future. Head coach Urban Meyer brought Ohio State from a disappointing 6-7 in 2011 to 12-0 in one year. While it’s rare for a team to go undefeated, and some people may view this year as a missed opportunity for Ohio State, the team is in good hands and could see more seasons like this one in the future.