In July of 2011 and in response to an NCAA Notice of Allegations centered on “Tat-gate” and a Vest’s lies, Ohio State self-imposed sanctions on its football program that did not include a postseason ban for the 2011 season or stripping of scholarships. At the time, we wrote the following:
Based on the message sent by the NCAA to USC around this time last year, it’s hard to fathom that the OSU football program will be permitted to skate without one or both of those sanctions being slapped on the program by the time all of the NCAA dust clears.
Not unexpectedly, that short-sighted, asinine and arrogant decision came back to bite the OSU football program square on the university’s self-serving ass when, in the wake of a 6-6 regular season that netted nothing more than a Gator Bowl appearance, the NCAA slapped the Buckeyes with harsher sanctions than were originally self-imposed, including a 2012 postseason ban. Nearly a year later, and armed with the hindsight that was fully available as foresight two summers ago, a first-year head coach and a handful of seniors continue to pay for the administration’s utter arrogance.
On the strength of a 52-22 romp over Illinois Saturday afternoon, the No. 6 Buckeyes became the first FBS team to reach the 10-win mark in 2012. Urban Meyer reached double digits in wins for the sixth time in the past nine seasons covering three different coaching stops.
In a normal season, OSU would be celebrating being undefeated this deep into a year. In a normal season, OSU would be licking its collective chops over needing just a win over Wisconsin next weekend to clinch one of the two spots in the Big Ten Championship game. In a normal season, OSU would be celebrating Notre Dame stubbing its toe and calculating how that would impact a push upward in the next set of BcS rankings.
Thanks to the aforementioned arrogance, this is not a normal season. Instead, and aside from the wins, development and shot at a trophy for winning their division, it’s a hollow one.
That’s it, given what could’ve been. No Big Ten title or BcS bowl or even a long-shot at BcS crystal.
Take a bow, Gene Smith. Buy another bow tie and celebrate, E. Gordon Gee. The best the B1G has to offer in 2012 will be on the sidelines thanks to the collective egos involved in last summer’s inexplicable decision.