Ohio State beat Michigan 21-10 in Ann Arbor Saturday. It was the sixth straight victory over their northern rival, and Tressel's eighth in his 9 year tenure.
The Buckeyes controlled the game with 251 yards rushing, and by being the recipient of 4 Tate Forcier interceptions.
The trip to the Rose Bowl was practically sealed a week earlier, but nothing is sweeter than another victory over the Wolverines. The Seniors leave with 4 pairs of Gold Pants - awarded to every player who has beaten Michigan since 1934. The Buckeyes' Rose Bowl opponent will be decided on Dec.3rd when Oregon meets Oregon St. in the 'Civil War' at Autzen Stadium. Oregon kept their Rose Bowl dreams alive with a breathtaking 44-41 double-overtime victory @ Arizona. The two teams have a mutual foe. Purdue lost 38-36 in Eugene, but beat Ohio State in West Lafayette, 26-18. Oregon State has won 6 of their last 7, and is led by a solid signal-caller in Sean Canfield.
The 2009 Buckeyes have been all about the defense. The defense held every opponent under 370 yards, and led the country in takeaways, and in 3 and outs. Terrelle Pryor was asked to do nothing more than hold onto the football for the last 5 games. The defense did the rest. It wasn't pretty, but it sure was productive. Ohio State will play in their 8th BCS bowl game - that's more than any other school since the BCS' conception. Jim Tressel has been on the receiving-end of much scutiny(guilty), but his record cannot be denied.
Buckeye fans are the prognosticators of prognosticators(Xmas Vacation) - so let's look ahead.
This is Ohio State's best opportunity to win a Bowl in years. Whether it be Oregon or Oregon St. - It's no Fla, Texas, or LSU of years past. I figure the Ohio State defense will be a tough assignment for either team from the Oregon Territory.
Looking ahead even further - 2010 looks like a fantastic time to be a Buckeye fan. Let me think. WHo do we lose? RT Jim Cordle is gone. TE Jake Ballard is gone. Ray Small is gone. SS Kurt Coleman is gone. DT Todd Denlinger is gone. Austin Spitler is gone. That's about it. I figure Cam Heyward is a first round pick, but Cam has already stated that he intends to return for his senior campaign. I think the only early departure will be Thadeous Gibson - as Gibson has probably already reached his ceiling in the draft as a future NFL OLB. The 2010 Buckeyes will likely be pre-season top 5, and should be a National Title contender with a favorable schedule where their two toughest games(Miami,Fla and PSU) are at home in 'the shoe'. The Bucks will return 6 of their top 8 OL, 6 of their top 9 defensive lineman, 4 of their top 5 defensive backs, their top 3 quarterbacks, their top 4 runnings backs, and 5 of their top 6 Wr's. If Ohio State could add one more 5 star DT(Seantrel Henderson please oh please) - this could be the best team in the country in 2010. I already believe that Ohio State is a National Title contender for next season, but adding the #1 overall recruit in the country in a position of need - would be huge.
Let's sit back and enjoy the rest of the college football season! It will be gone before you know it.