Over the past week, if you were to pick up a paper (and really, who does that anymore, with the exception of my dad and his buddies at the assisted living home?) or cruise the Internet to read about Ohio State, just about every author who doesn't cover OSU on a regular basis seems to be pushing the meme that Ohio State and their fans should be some combination of angry, bittersweet, or downright miffed that they aren't going to see the Buckeyes in the BCS this season.
But strangely, I really don't get that feeling from Ohio State fans. Maybe it's because we knew over a year ago they weren't going to be able to see Ohio State go bowling this year, and came to terms with it long ago. That's the case for me anyways. My anger about no bowl came when the bowl ban was first announced, and I realized that Gene Smith had been almost too clever by half. But honestly, people who read this that aren't Ohio State fans, I quit being pissed about the bowl ban, because I asked myself this question:
Would I trade 2011 and all the crap that came with it – scandal, sanctions, Tressel fired, Walrusball, losing to Michigan and a bowl ban...for Urban Meyer?
Yeah, I'd make that trade 11 times out of 10.
SO Y U MAD? I AIN'T EVEN MAD, BRO.
But...should we be angry that we won't see Ohio State back in what has become an almost annual BCS game? Let's look at the pros and cons of not bowling this year.
Pro: The coaching staff gets an extra month head start to recruit. Do you guys remember last year when Meyer got hired and was assembling his staff? They got approval to have a split staff from the NCAA, which is perfectly legal. That allowed Luke Fickell's guys to prepare for the Shitfest Bowl without having to recruit, Urban Meyer was loosed upon the recruiting trail, and Michigan AD Dave Brandon's butt immediately hurt. He didn't say a peep when Tim Beckman was granted the same waiver when he took over for Illinois, but whatever. Also, Tim Beckman.
But why would Dave Brandon kick up such a fuss over OSU's coach? Because Urban Meyer cleaned up, and Ohio State closed like a hungry lion on a clueless gazelle. Meyer nabbed eight...EIGHT...four or five star guys from late November to National Signing Day, and propelled that recruiting class from an okay to decent mid 20's class to the #3 overall class in the country (all rankings taken from the Scout.com website). And this year, second verse, same as the first. Ohio State doesn't have as many scholarships available this year as last, but it seems that every four or five star guy that Meyer wants, he'll have a better than even shot at. The latest example: 4 star CB and Massilon CB Gareon Conley decommitted from Michigan and, if Internet rumor mongering is to be believed, he is on the verge of switching to OSU.
Con: No bowl or Big Ten Championship Game. Yeah, that's the obvious one. OSU would be playing for a B1G title on Saturday, and win or lose, they'd be going to the BCS (if OSU were to face Nebraska in a championship game, I'd find it hard to believe a one loss Buckeye team would get shut out of the BCS). They'd be either playing in the Rose Bowl, or quite possibly the BCS Championship Game against Notre Dame. Either one would be fun, wouldn't it?
Pro: 12-0 is better than 12-1, though. All that stuff about a BCS game aside, though...this was a really, really flawed OSU team. It's nice to wax poetic about comparing this team to the 2002 team, and the 10 year split is a nice touch, and very convenient to roll into those comparisons. But that 2002 team was LOADED with NFL talent on both sides of the ball, and the 2012 edition simply wasn't. Almost every one of the starting 22 in 2002 played in the NFL, where as I don't think that OSU could beat Alabama right now. Stanford or UCLA? Yeah. Notre Dame? I think so.
But we'll never know...and I'm perfectly happy with 12-0. And maybe part of that still stems from the pain I feel whenever I think about 2006. One game completely changed the perception of what was truly a great OSU team, and I'm glad that can't happen to this team. Ironic, isn't it? That 12-0 is a forever thing, and that's pretty cool.
Con: No extra month of practice. This one hurts a bit more. But then I remember Meyer installed a brand new offense, kept the same defense, and went 12-0. Every bit of practice helps, but I'm not as worried about this as I would've been had this been any other coach.
Pro: Coaching staff probably stays intact. Meyer has a knack for picking great assistants (Dan Mullen, Charlie Strong, et al) who do a few years as a coordinator and then move on to success as a head coach in charge of their own program. That probably would've been accelerated had Ohio State gone to a BCS game and won it. And to be honest, I want offensive gurus Tom Herman and Ed Warriner to hang around for at least one more year. They've both done wonders for the offense, especially with Warriner on the line, and I would love to see them stay another year or two and further develop some of these young players.
Con: Football season is over for us. It's admittedly weird not having Ohio State going to a bowl, but like I said earlier, I'm not really mad or depressed about it. I came to terms with it shortly after it happened, so I'm at peace with OSU not playing one more game. But I can be kind of bummed about it though, can't I? I mean, it was fun to watch this team grow a little bit each week, and it would be interesting to see they would stack up against a top 5 team.
But as it is, we'll wait until next year to watch our Buckeyes play.
And we're okay with it.