The Ohio State Buckeyes are thankful for their undefeated record as they play the Michigan Wolverines in their annual classic rivalry game, but they could have had much more to be thankful for today. With a win against Michigan, Ohio State could finish the 2012 college football season undefeated with a record of 12-0 and a spot in the BCS Championship Game.
That is, had they forfeited the chance to play in a bowl game last season following NCAA rules violations under former head football coach, Jim Tressel. But that did not happen, so this game against Michigan today is not for a spot in the BCS Championship Game or the Rose Bowl or any other bowl of any kind. It may still be for a lot of pride, especially for the current players and coaches who had nothing to do with the improprieties, but it could have been for a lot more.
Ohio State may have been the No. 2 team in the BCS Standings behind only the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Then again, they may not have been. Withe the Big 10 conference down a bit this season, the voters may not have ranked Ohio State ahead of the Alabama Crimson Tide, who have a more impressive resume. Wins against the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Wisconsin Badgers are nice, but they do not stack up to teams who have gone through the SEC, Big 12 or Pac 12 conference this year, nor do they compare to the wins of the Irish as an Independent.
Before we look any further into this situation, take a look at the complete results of the latest results from the Discover Fan Loyalty Poll. College football fans were asked who they were most thankful for on their favorite team, as well as with whom they would prefer to sit down to Thanksgiving Dinner. Check out the infograph below for the complete results.
As you can see, most college football fans are most thankful for their head coaches, although that may vary depending on what their team’s record is this season. They are next most thankful for the offensive players, as fans prefer high scoring shoot outs to low scoring defensive battles.
The poll results also show that fans would rather sit down to dinner with the players more so than anyone else, including the cheerleaders, mascot, band or referees. No surprise with that one, although those results may still vary depending on records. If your favorite team is Notre Dame, then sitting down with the players would be great. If your team has not won a game all season long, you may as well opt to sit down to Thanksgiving Dinner with the cheerleaders or the band.
As for Ohio State, while they have much to be thankful for this season, including a new head coach in Urban Meyer and a Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Braxton Miller, the Buckeyes could be thankful for much more had they been eligible for postseason play.
In the long run, letting players such as Terrelle Pryor play in a Sugar Bowl game and allowing last year’s players to go to the Gator Bowl last season may have seemed alright at first glance, but had those decisions been made differently, Ohio State may very well be playing against Michigan today with a spot in the BCS Championship Game on the line with one more win.
I guess that is why they say hindsight is 20/20. The 2012 Buckeyes can surely attest to that saying.
As always, stay tuned to The Pigskin Report each and every day throughout the 2012 college football season for all of the latest results from the Discover Fan Loyalty Poll, as well as the most in depth and entertaining coverage of the Heisman Trophy and the BCS Championship. Also, make sure to Like Discover on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!
* The 15-week Discover Fan Loyalty Poll is conducted by Rasmussen Reports, a nationally recognized leader in polling, who gathers sentiment by phone from 800 college football fans who follow games at least once per week on television, radio, in person or online.
Discover launched the Fan Loyalty Poll to give die-hard fans a platform to showcase their dedication and love for their favorite college football team leading up to the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game and 2013 Discover Orange Bowl. Each week the poll will offer new questions about what college football fans are thinking this season.
Beyond title sponsorship of the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game and 2013 Discover Orange Bowl, Discover’s commitment to college football includes relationships with ESPN and Notre Dame Football on NBC.