COLUMBUS, Ohio — Braxton Miller collected his Big Ten offensive player of the year trophy in Indianapolis on the day of the league championship game last December. Since he took part in a halftime ceremony, Miller stuck around to watch Wisconsin whip Nebraska, 70-31, to clinch a Rose Bowl berth.
Of course, the Ohio State quarterback couldn’t help but think about how his team had beaten both Big Ten title game participants.
“I got kind of upset watching it, because it was a different type of game than what I was expecting,” Miller told ESPN.com. “I thought it would have been a different type of story if we were there.”
Linebacker Ryan Shazier, like a lot of other Buckeyes, had similar feelings as he watched the BCS championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama about a month later.
“To be honest, I was feeling sick,” Shazier said. “Because I felt like we had a great team and we should have been in the game. I feel like if everybody who had to watch that game can keep that in their head this year, it’s going to push us to another level.”
Ohio State completed just the sixth undefeated season in school history in 2012, and there are reminders all around the team’s football complex about the achievement. There’s a huge “Undefeated” sign in the main entrance, a banner for the 2012 season hanging in the indoor practice facility next to ones celebrating national championships, and signs proclaiming Lane Avenue near campus as “12-0″ row. Players and coaches from last year’s team received rings fit for a champion last week.
Of course, the Buckeyes couldn’t play for a Big Ten championship or go to a bowl because of NCAA probation. And they say that’s a big reason why they’re not dwelling on their accomplishments but rather looking forward this offseason.
“Yeah, we went 12-0, but it didn’t really mean much,” receiver Corey “Philly” Brown said. “It’s not like we won anything. I feel like none of our team got a taste of what it feels like to be playing for a national championship. That makes us more hungry to get there.”
Continue reading this article: Ohio State hungry for more than just 12-0