While the Texas game is right in front of us, there was a critical development today for our marquee non-conference opponent next season that could have a significant impact. The Ohio St. Buckeyes are going to be playing next season with nothing to play for.
The NCAA today stunned Ohio State University’s football program by banning it from postseason play after the 2012 season, multiple sources told The Dispatch.
The penalty means Ohio State automatically is out of the running for any bowl, or a Big Ten or national championship next year, just as newly appointed head coach Urban Meyer is wooing recruits to the Buckeyes.
In its ruling to be made public this afternoon, the NCAA Committee of Infractions will levy the bowl ban and two other penalties on top of the ones the university already imposed on itself, the sources said. The NCAA will:
* Strip four more football scholarships over the next three years on top of Ohio State’s prior forfeiture of five scholarships over that span.
* Add an additional year of probation to OSU’s self-imposed two-year probation for the football program, meaning any violations through the 2013 season could draw harsher-than-normal penalties.
I imagine our friends at Heritage Hall aren't quite so happy with this punishment, but there it is.
More discussion about the punishment and how it affects our chances.
This could be good for us. If the situation is similar to USC and transfer rules are dropped, some seniors might try to transfer out of the program and play their final season at another Division I programs. If it isn't, they'll probably be returning, but I'd guess players will be a little bit demotivated to start the season since they won't be able to compete for a national championship or any sort of BCS bowl. Remember how sloppy USC was to start their postseason ban? They won their games, but they looked horrid doing it. (Of course, then they played us.)
Additionally, Ohio State was starting to kill it on the recruiting trail with Urban Meyer; now you might see some top recruits reconsider their decision with the scholarship reductions. While they're not likely to make an impact next season, the 2013 game could be a very important contest for both programs, and it's important to keep pace with the relentless football factory in Columbus.
Nevertheless, it is Meyer, and it is Ohio State, and it is the Horseshoe. This is a tough go regardless of the punishment, and he could use it to motivate the team (like Lane Kiffin did this season with the Trojans). We won't really know until we get to Columbus.