Since its first season in 1890 when it finished 1-3, the Ohio State football team has finished with an undefeated record 10 times.
Of those 10 seasons, only four resulted in the Buckeyes being named national champions.
This season, it is quite possible that more than two teams will finish undefeated in the Football Bowl Subdivision. That means an undefeated Buckeye team, that currently sits at No. 4 in the BCS standings, will likely find itself on the outside looking in when it comes to the BCS National Championship Game.
If that happens, and OSU wins the Big Ten, they will take part in “the granddaddy of them all,” the Rose Bowl.
In years past, this level of competition would lead to an argument that the NCAA must adopt a playoff system, but they already have. While that system will not be in effect this season, the Buckeyes might just be better off with a trip to the Rose Bowl.
Anyone who follows OSU even semi-closely remembers the last two times the Buckeyes had a shot at the crystal football. I have to remind you: One of those teams finished the regular season with an unblemished record, and the other lost once and stumbled into the game.
Both times, the Buckeyes were simply dominated in the final, first by a score of 41-14 against Florida in the 2006-07 season, before losing to the Tigers from LSU, 38-24, the next year.
If an OSU fan were to argue that those results are preferable to a Rose Bowl victory, I would honestly not believe them. The Rose Bowl is one of the most significant games in the history of college football. While it may not play a role in deciding the champion, as it once did, the game holds incredible value to this day.
Take a look at the 2007 season, for instance. OSU started the year ranked No. 11 in the AP poll, before finding itself in the top spot by mid-October. The Buckeyes then dropped a shocker at home to eventual Rose Bowl runners-up Illinois Nov. 10, 2007, and found themselves, at the time, out of the BCS National Championship picture. Were it not for chaos at the top of the polls in the final weeks of the season as every team ranked ahead of OSU lost, the Buckeyes would have been on their way to Pasadena instead of New Orleans.
The smell of roses was in the air, and nobody could have been happier.
This is the Big Ten. This is OSU. While it might not crown a team the champion, the Rose Bowl still holds value in the hearts of many Buckeye fans.
The 2013 Buckeyes are favored to finish the year without a loss, even though there are four more games before the Big Ten Championship Game.
Obviously, every college football player, coach and fan hopes for his or her team to win the national championship, but I’m here to tell you that the world will not end if OSU is held out.
A Rose Bowl win would taste just as sweet, and certainly sweeter than a loss to Alabama.