What happened in 2012
The Buckeyes had a perfect season and didn’t play in a bowl game. They watched two teams they beat play for the Big Ten championship in Indianapolis.
Ohio State will always wonder what might have been. Had the school self-imposed a bowl ban for the 2011 team that finished 6-6, perhaps the NCAA wouldn’t have imposed a bowl ban in 2012 and the 12-0 team would have played in the BCS. Maybe for the national title. Had the Buckeyes won the Big Ten and finished No. 2 in the BCS standings, they would have faced a beatable Notre Dame team for the title (Alabama was second in the BCS standings at the end of the regular season). And there’s a good chance it would have done just that had the school not decided to let the 2011 team go lose its seventh game of the season to Florida in the Gator Bowl. That has to be haunting.
The big picture, however, is that Ohio State proved in Urban Meyer’s first year with the Buckeyes that the Big Ten should be very worried going forward, especially after Meyer just landed by far the best recruiting class in the conference. Last season, without a roster full of his players or a ton of time to get the players fully on board with his schemes, Ohio State went undefeated. Quarterback Braxton Miller turned into an ankle-breaking star. The Buckeyes got some breaks, winning a pair of overtime games and having a 3-0 record in games decided by less than a touchdown in regulation, but perfect is perfect.
Even if there was unfinished business at the end.
What makes them interesting in 2013
The bowl ban is lifted, and the scary part is a 12-0 team returns a lot of pieces. The coaching staff returns intact. There are 51 letterwinners back. Nine offensive starters return from a crew that led the Big Ten with 37.2 points per game. Included is Miller, who randomly found himself on a Sports Illustrated cover last month and is a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Continue Reading: Spring football 25: Ohio State Buckeyes (Dr. Saturday)