As the Ohio State Buckeyes’ fight song played for the last time in 2012, the undefeated Bucks celebrated at the horseshoe after completing their sixth perfect season in school history with a win over Michigan. A bittersweet ending to a season that will not end at the BCS national title game.
An injustice? In a way, yes.
Urban Meyer‘s squad has been denied an opportunity to play for the team’s first national championship since 2002, as a result of the negligence and lack of control by former head coach Jim Tressel. Though Meyer, along with Buckeye nation, knew that there would be no postseason play this season — finishing perfect makes that pill a little bit harder to swallow.
There is no question that Ohio State would have been invited to play in the National Championship game over unbeaten Notre Dame — if they were able to win the Big-10 title game — but the “what if?” scenarios are seemingly all Ohio State fans can hold on to. Or are they?
Despite a postseason ban, the Buckeyes can still be ranked in The Associated Press poll, a poll which currently has them fourth in the nation behind Notre Dame, Alabama, and Georgia. But with Bama and Georgia squaring off this weekend, the Buckeyes would presumably jump the loser of the game, moving them to No. 3 in the rankings. There could be some hope left.
If Notre Dame were to fall to the SEC champion in the national championship game it would leave only one unbeaten team remaining, Ohio State. With only one team in the country holding a perfect record for the season, voters could favor perfection over perseverance in the final AP poll of 2012.
In theory, this chain of events could make Ohio State The AP national champions without ever playing a postseason game, a nifty loophole that could leave Buckeye Nation smiling from ear to ear until 2013.
Though that exact chain of events happening is a long shot, it should give Ohio State something to cheer for. The football team deserves to be recognized for its performance on the football field, despite irresponsible actions in the past which occurred off of it. This group of young men are worthy of a chance to play for the national championship, and with Meyer leading this program you can bet their time will come.
The 2012 season will always have an asterisk next to it in the Ohio State record books, as the year they’ll never know if they were good enough to win the BCS title, but were most certainly good enough to play for it.
Photo via Facebook/Ohio State University Football