Buckeye Nation had a pretty good final run. - Shutterstock
Well, if the world ends today, at least the last seasons for both the football and basketball Buckeyes were some of the best in the history of both programs. What are some of the most underrated memories that made up 2012?
If you're reading this, the end of the world according to the Mayans probably hasn't happened yet. Or maybe you just don't realize it's happened. Either way, we might as well go out in style and listen to the crooning of Ol' Blue Eyes himself.
Truth is, the title of this song really applies to how this year went for Buckeye fans in general – at least, the last four months. It started not with a bang but a whimper in the Gator Bowl loss on January 2nd, but just got better from there. We saw opposing Big Ten coaches get embarrassed in recruiting battles with Urban Meyer, an epic Final Four run from the men's basketball team, and this undefeated season from the Silver Bullets – albeit up and down with near misses against Cal and Purdue. But still, undefeated is undefeated. The true tragedy of the world ending today is that Notre Dame is also undefeated – but they went to overtime with Pitt. Doesn't count.
Let's recap some of our favorite, but underrated memories of our final year here on earth:
The best Buckeye basketball game of the year was no doubt the Elite Eight victory over Syracuse, but this one may have been the most exciting moment of the 2011-2012 hoops season. OSU's had big shot after big shot go in lately (Evan Turner's buzzer beater to beat Michigan in 2010, Sullinger's layup against Northwestern) and this one against Michigan State was just the most recent in a long line. Buford had an up-and-down year at best, but this shot helped end the Big Ten season on a high note and gave the Buckeyes momentum for their Final Four run. Not a bad way to go out.
This was a much, much needed panacea for Ohio State fans. It felt good for us to see some intensity and some hitting, even if it involved the superstar quarterback. It showed the fans that Urban Meyer wasn't going to be afraid to take some chances this season. It showed off the team's readiness to hit and that they would be many things in the football team's final season – raw, young, talented, but never tentative. This moment was really the precise launching point where the true excitement over the 2012 season that would culminate in being undefeated began.
Quick Cals were a new tradition (kind of oxymoronic, no?) instituted by Urban Meyer and Mick Marotti to get the student section involved before games. We're still getting used to it, but the ones from the Cal (no pun intended) game were the first Quick Cals to be recognizable for what they were, and the first ones where the OSU students really started taking it seriously and really getting into it. Give this one a couple of years and it may just turn into the next "Seven Nation Army" or "Jump Around", but for now it's just a small part of a big sea change that's got Buckeye Nation excited for years that, of course, aren't going to happen. Awkward.
It's really too bad that the world has to end this way, with the last Buckeye bowl game an ugly loss and with Notre Dame the lone other unbeaten team. But while everyone else remembers the big moments of 2012 like Kenny G's big come from behind win, Ryan Shazier's strip of Montee Ball, and the entire fourth quarter of the Michigan game, you, dear readers, can listen to some Ol' Blue Eyes and reminisce on the little things that made 2012 one of the best Buckeye sports years in recent memory. Two of the most successful teams ever in Buckeye history got to ply their trade on the hardwood and gridiron, and quite frankly that's not a bad way for us all to go out.