By the time New Year’s Eve rolls around, most people are eager to see the dawn of a new year. I’d wager that no one was happier to see 2011 in the rear view mirror than the participants in the Ohio State University football program.
2011 was a year of embarrassments unparalleled in the history of OSU football. From the abrupt “retirement” of Jim Tressel in the face of an NCAA investigation, to the forfeiting of games, to the suspension of players for rules violations, to poor play, galling losses, and a crappy on-the-field record, and finally to the announcement of serious sanctions that include a one-year bowl ban, the Buckeyes and Buckeye Nation had to absorb a series of body blows throughout the year.
Tomorrow the Buckeyes will play the final game of the 2011 season when they take on the Florida Gators in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl. Normally I’d think about this game as an opportunity to get some payback for the whipping the Gators gave the Buckeyes in the national championship game a few years ago, or as an intriguing story line now that Urban Meyer is Ohio State’s head coach. Not so this year. I’ll watch the game, and I’ll hope that Braxton Miller can lead the Buckeyes to victory — but win or lose I’ll be happy to see the 2011 season end, never to be thought of again. I’m guessing that I’m not the only one in Buckeye Nation who feels that way.