The Buckeyes, in Urban Meyer's first year with them, knew they weren't going to a bowl game and couldn't play for a national title because of NCAA sanctions. What they could do was win all their games. That goal was met with a 26-21 victory over Michigan. It is the sixth undefeated season for Ohio State, and only the second since 1968.
"It will go down as one of the great teams in Ohio State history," Meyer told ABC on the field after the game.
And while that may be true, it has to feel a little bittersweet.
Without the sanctions, Ohio State would be going to the Big Ten Championship Game to play Nebraska, and the Buckeyes already destroyed the Cornhuskers once this season. If Ohio State would have won that game, a 13-0 Buckeyes team would have almost definitely played for the national title. There's a chance Ohio State could be voted the national champion by the Associated Press, which isn't obligated to vote for the winner of the BCS Championship Game, but that seems unlikely. A 12-0 season will ultimately feel like it could have been more.
For now, Ohio State fans will enjoy the great way its undefeated season ended. The effort against Michigan was tremendous, especially in the second half. The Wolverines offense - which didn't get any help from offensive coordinator Al Borges, who seemed to forget he could use quarterbacks Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner on the field at the same time - was shut down the entire second half. The Buckeyes pitched a second half shutout.
When the game was finally done, Buckeyes fans flooded the field to celebrate the win against their main rival and a 12-0 season. The what ifs about this season could wait for another day.
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