Austin Owens / Lantern photographer
Four Big Ten titles. Four bowl game appearances. Four pairs of gold pants.
And that’s just for some of the Ohio State senior players. Others, such as linebacker Ross Homan, have grabbed those accolades five times.
“The most important one is never losing to Michigan as a Buckeye,” Homan said after the Buckeyes’ 37-7 win over the Wolverines on Saturday. “It’s incredible. And to have five rings, Big Ten championships, is just another accolade that I’m so blessed to be with these seniors … it’s a dream come true.”
Homan said that before the game he was nervous because he didn’t want to be a part of the senior class that turned around the rivalry; OSU went into the game with six straight wins against Michigan.
“But I’ve never lost to Michigan in my career. It’s pretty crazy,” he said, no longer nervous after helping to improve OSU’s run to 7-0 in “The Game” with eight tackles and a forced fumble.
Coach Jim Tressel, who greeted all 24 seniors on the field before the game in recognition of their last game in Ohio Stadium, seemed equally as proud of the group’s accomplishments.
“They’re just first-class. They do things the way they are supposed to do them,” Tressel said. “They’re unselfish. They don’t care if they have the spotlight and all they want to do is help Ohio State.”
But he warned that all of the rings and gold pants wouldn’t do anything for the team come bowl season.
“What our guys enjoy, and what our staff enjoys … is the journey,” Tressel said. “It’s the thrill of the challenge, and it’s hard to do.”
A crucial member of the team in accomplishing this year’s goals is senior captain Cameron Heyward.
“It’s just been a fun ride,” Heyward said. “I can truly say that I’ve enjoyed my four years to the fullest. I’ve just been blessed in so many different ways, but I’m looking forward to the future.”
For Heyward and crew, there certainly are a few more goals to achieve. If the Buckeyes win a bowl game, the 2010 seniors will tie last year’s seniors as the winningest class in OSU history.
“It would be crazy to get … that and to match us with those guys,” Homan said. “But we’re looking forward to see where we are headed and looking forward to the next challenge.”