No Regrets in Perfect Season for Buckeyes
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State football team went 12-0 this season, passing every test put before them. With their postseason ban, however, there are no more tests on the 2012 horizon. The season is done, and so is the 2012 team.
Many are lamenting what seems like an incomplete season. For them, without a postseason, this year was incomplete. In other words, they can't see this forest of wins for the trees of 'what if'.
The Buckeyes, however, did everything that they were asked to do this season, and for that reason, there is nothing incomplete about finishing 12-0.
Absolutely they would have preferred to have participated in a postseason, but considering everything else that they accomplished, and everything that they went through last year, there is nothing here to regret.
"Honestly, I don't think you could've written a book like this," Orhian Johnson explained.
"I don't think anybody could've predicted it happening like this. We've got a great leader in Coach Urban Meyer, man. He went out there and really pushed us hard in each and everything that we did, and it really paid off."
They bought in, played hard, and walked off of every field that they played on this season with a victory. In 122 seasons before this one, only five Ohio State teams had managed to do the same.
Entering this season knowing that 12 games was all this team had coming to them, Meyer repeatedly talked about how he wasn't sure how to keep this team motivated when things got tough. As it would turn out, it wasn't that difficult.
This was a self-motivated group that took Meyer's tactics and expertise and ran with it, no questions asked. It started in the offseason and only grew stronger from there. There was a need to erase last season, but not without first using it as fuel for this season.
"With it being my senior year, it's even sweeter," Johnson said.
"Just going through a situation where you don't want to be in, a 6-7 season is definitely not acceptable for the Ohio State fans and Ohio State team, period. We weren't happy where we were, so we really just tried to lock in on everything that we needed to do for this season and go out there and play hard."
It's difficult to think about 'what ifs' when your season plays out so definitively. And it's hard to be disappointed when you put in so much work and then get to see all of it come to fruition.
"We worked hard in the offseason," Jack Mewhort said.
"I think we worked a lot harder than – I dare to say – any other team in college football, and it paid off. We defeated every opponent that was put in front of us. We couldn't have done it without these seniors leading the way. It was a lot of fun. It's kind of bittersweet because it's over and it was such a fun season, but we finished on the best possible note that we could, so it's a great feeling."
Imagine building a house with your bare hands. After you are finished, are you going to stand back, look upon what you have created, and then feel some level of disappointment about the gazebo that you chose not to include? Doubtful.
This group of Buckeyes built a 12-0 house. The only reason they didn't go bigger is because the zoning laws didn't allow for it. You can't regret accomplishing everything that you were allowed to accomplish.
"We did what we were tasked to do, and that was win each game that we played on Saturdays," offensive coordinator Tom Herman said.
"Beyond that, all of the other stuff is out of our control. So to have any regrets, to have any sorrow about what's going to happen in the next month would be foolish. We knew what the end game was going to be. We knew that this was it."
Braxton Miller, the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Year summed it up simply, and perfectly.
"It's a perfect season, can't ask for anything better. Going out 12-0, especially for the seniors, I know they're grateful."
And there's no regretting that.
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