Starting with their very first in 1916, Ohio State has won 36 Big Ten football championships in school history, and unless the NCAA forces their hand, they don’t readily throw them back.
You see, Big Ten Championships are keepers, and when you can land one, it’s a pretty good year.
So when Buckeye players and coaches are asked about the disappointment of missing out on the college football playoffs following a win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, there is certainly a disappointment, but Urban Meyer doesn’t want that to ever cloud what this Ohio State football team was able to accomplish.
“That’s it right there, and you can never take that out of here,” Meyer said recently.
Speaking to a room full of reporters, the Buckeye head coach saw senior linebacker Chris Worley sitting in the back of the room, and directed his words as much to his player as the reporters.
“I’m going to make sure. Some of you maybe don’t get an opportunity, but around this facility I’m kind of bizarre about this. I want to make sure guys like Worley when he brings back little Worley someday, and I want him to see pictures on the wall of what those guys have done. And so there will be a wall for this team.”
Meyer’s belief is that the value of a Big Ten title should never fluctuate because of what happens after it or before it. That has never been the case before the playoffs and shouldn’t be the case now.
Each conference championship should be enough to stand on its own.
Michigan hasn’t won a conference title since 2004. Ohio State has won seven since Michigan’s last.
If that doesn’t mean something to you, then that is something Meyer and his coaches and his team just cannot relate to.
“This is a special group. And Big Ten Championship, that will never change,” Meyer said. “Look at 1916, it was the first one. And that’s always going to be special. How do you measure a team’s success? Sure, national titles, but so often that’s out of our control, which you saw. So just get to Indianapolis and find a way to win the Big Ten Championship.”
That’s exactly what the Buckeyes did, and Urban Meyer is going to make sure this team is remembered because of it.