Ohio State’s football season is over but the “what if” questions are still hanging in the air.
What if OSU hadn’t played under an NCAA bowl ban this season? What if it were in the Big Ten championship game and then the Bowl Championship Series title game against Notre Dame? How big would that be?
But even after finishing the season 12-0 by beating Michigan 26-21 on Saturday, all Ohio State can do is ask “What if?”
Not surprisingly, the Buckeyes say they would do well if their season hadn’t stopped when the scoreboard hit zeroes at the end of the Michigan game.
“I’d say at this point in time, Ohio State could go and play with anybody in America,” coach Urban Meyer said after the Michigan game. “I wouldn't have said that five weeks ago.”
Meyer dismissed the “what-if” questions. “I’m not going to get into the ‘What ifs.’ You can’t control what you can’t control.”
When senior linebacker Zach Boren heard what Meyer said, he said, “I completely agree with him. I think this team would go up against anyone, any time and fight our butts off and probably come out with a win.”
This year’s Buckeyes are the sixth Ohio State football team to go undefeated and untied in a season. It is the 41st time a Big Ten football team has had a perfect season.
Wide receiver Corey Brown said, “I don’t know how many teams have gone undefeated in Ohio State history but it (this year’s team) has to be up there with one of the best teams to ever come through here.”
Brown, a junior, is among the OSU players who will come back next season to try to repeat this year’s success and get to the BCS championship game.
Meyer talked about the effect a 12-0 season will have in the future. “I’m hoping the guys get that taste and they want to do it again,” he said.
Senior defensive end Nathan Williams won’t be back but at least this season helped set OSU up for future success, he said.
“I think it’s special for everyone, even the freshmen. It sets a tone for the offseason, recruiting and everything. We accomplished a lot.”
But he also acknowledged the “what if” questions crossed his mind but there was nothing he could do to change what was in place before the season ever began.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more, other than the chance to play a couple more weeks,” Williams said. “But it is what it is. This is how the 2012 team is going to be remembered, going 12-0 and we beat Michigan at home. I really wouldn’t want to go out any other way.
“I tried to take it all in today. I think I was the last person in the locker room, just sitting there. It’s sad to say we’re done, but it’s been a great year.”
©2012 The Lima News (Lima, Ohio)
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