A lot of time in sports, we focus too much on the now rather than looking at things in perspective and appreciating the great feats that athletes and teams have accomplished over the years.
After losing to the Miami Hurricanes Saturday, the Ohio State Buckeyes football team not only dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25, but they also ended a streak of appearing in those rankings that began in 2004.
And with that, they probably ended an era of college football dominance that won’t be matched anytime soon.
Since being outside of the Top 25 on Nov. 20, 2004, the Buckeyes have managed to make 103 straight appearances in those rankings up until that streak snapped Sunday when the new rankings came out.
After Sunday, no one is even remotely close to that number. Alabama is currently the new streak holder at 53.
For as many setbacks that the Buckeye football program has had this year, it’s hard to dwell on the positives.
But the average college football fan has to appreciate the fact that Ohio State has remained one of the sport’s 25 best teams for 103 straight weeks.
From the 2005 to 2010 seasons, the Buckeyes have also appeared in six straight Bowl Championship Series games, winning three of them. They have produced a Vince Lombardi Award winner, a Bronco Nagurski Award winner, a Dick Butkus Award winner, a Jim Thorpe Award winner and a Heisman Memorial Trophy winner in that time span as well. Additionally, the Buckeyes have produced the most NFL Draft picks since 2000 with 73 until the 2011 draft, according to a Rivals.com article. The University of Southern California was next at 69.
In that same time span, they have either shared or won an outright Big Ten Championship for six straight years. A good portion of the criticism that former coach Jim Tressel received this year is fair, but to disregard or ignore what the guy accomplished during his Buckeye tenure is just the opposite.
Under Tressel, the Buckeyes only failed to win 10 games once during a season in his 10-year career from 2001-10. Before sanctions were handed down by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Tressel amassed a 106-22 record at Ohio State.
The Buckeye community may never forgive what Tressel and the suspended players did to the reputation and image of the football program as it tries to move on, but they must appreciate an era that was considered one of the best in the Ohio State’s long history.