Ah well, the dream is over. What can I say. Ohio State lost today in an overall lackluster and uninspiring performance. On the part of both teams really. Had it not been for two out of the box plays by Florida's special teams, would the score have been anything to remember? Sure, there was that last minute, last ditch drive by the Buckeyes, showcasing more what fans hope to see than what they've seen. But in a season obliterated by about as many obstacles as a program can imagine, I'm shocked we did as good as we did. It never failed that, on the eve of a major game or match-up, the NCAA would hit us with yet another bombshell. Since last year, the Buckeyes greeted almost every major match with some head-spinning revelation. Of course, that's what you get when you break the rules. Now maybe the NCAA can spend its time examining some other programs that, so far, have gotten by with the equivalent of a smack on the wrist.
But for the Buckeyes, and for the long suffering Luke Fickell, the pain has ended. The Juniors will not see another bowl game, and my oldest son will be a senior the next time we can root for the team in a BCS Bowl. Fans, after all, must also be punished. But from it, the one winner has been Fickell. Really, has there been another coach more pitied and yet more admired for what he has done, the class he has shown, and the dignity with which he carried himself and his broken team? It's nice to know he'll be back. If only so he can taste once again the victories the Buckeyes have been known for. And maybe this time it will be without the scandal, without the trade offs in lost opportunities, and without knowing no matter how good we were, we should have been much better.