Perfect Buckeyes get left behind
TribLIVE Sports Videos
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jack Mewhort loves college football. Yet he likely won't go out of his way to watch a single bowl game in the coming days.
What's the point, the thoughtful, red-haired Ohio State offensive lineman says, not really seeking an answer.
“Now that the season is over, you can sit around and think to yourself a little bit,” he said. “Your mind kind of wanders. We accomplished everything we possibly could.
“But you've got to keep the demons out.”
The Buckeyes aren't allowed, because of NCAA violations committed by those no longer with the team, to play in a bowl game. They did all they could during the 2012 season, going 12-0.
So while Notre Dame and one-loss Alabama fight it out for the national championship, and while lesser teams play in sunny climes and get maximum exposure, Mewhort and the rest of the Buckeyes are left with their thoughts.
Urban Meyer is perfectly willing to move on. But that doesn't mean the Ohio State coach still doesn't have a lingering regret: What might have been.
“It's very difficult,” Meyer said. “You can't help but think about it.”
There's plenty of regret to go around at Ohio State these days. There's regret that former coach Jim Tressel, who wrote books about integrity, morals and leading a Christian life, found out in 2010 that some of his best players took money from a suspected drug dealer and yet did nothing about it. He played those players anyway and they were later ruled ineligible for taking cash and free tattoos. A 12-1 season, including a Sugar Bowl victory two years ago, was wiped off the books.
Tressel was forced out of the job in disgrace after 10 years and all of the players involved either graduated, moved on to the NFL or went elsewhere.
There's also regret that athletic director Gene Smith, who once worked on the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, didn't give up a meaningless Gator Bowl bid after the 2011 season as a pre-emptive strike to mollify the NCAA.
Smith, for one, refuses to play the blame game. He said he doesn't feel any remorse for his decision whatsoever.
“No. As I've said before, with the information we had at the time we made the decisions at the time that we felt were the best decisions,” he said.
There are other considerations, of course. The lack of a bowl game denies Ohio State weeks of practice that even a mediocre bowl-bound team with a 6-6 record gets.
Of course, the players affected the most by the bowl ban are Ohio State's seniors. They overcame doubts and questions to post just the sixth unbeaten and untied season in the program's 123 seasons. Yet, for the sins of others, they're deprived of the reward of going on a good bowl trip.
“I can't stay here and live in the past and wish and hope,” senior linebacker Etienne Sabino said. “There's nothing I can control. I try not to think about it.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Musical fundraiser carries across generations
- Pair accused of stealing bronze vases at Greenwood Memorial Park
- NK grocery store robbed
- Roundup: Housing numbers reflect broad slowdown; U.S. consumer confidence slides in September; more
- Steelers’ Tomlin does not like his coaching style to be characterized
- Penguins notebook: Malkin picture muddy
- Venezuela’s Maduro says airlines wage ‘economic war’
- Stop nets 3 men on gun, drug charges in New Kensington
- State trooper shot and killed during training exercise
- Despres is relishing his regular role on Penguins’ blue line
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: South Park’s Justin Minda, Baldwin’s Alina Stahl