BCS paints a tale of two coaches

By Rusty Miller The Associated Press

GLENDALE, Ariz. – It’s not the end of the world or the end of Buckeyes football. It just seems that way.

The Buckeyes were manhandled 41-14 by second-ranked Florida on Monday night in the BCS national championship game before millions of viewers around the world.

It was Ohio State’s worst defeat in a dozen years. The Buckeyes came in averaging 410 yards a game but were limited to 82 – almost half the worst previous total by a team in a BCS championship game.

After Ted Ginn Jr.’s 93-yard kickoff return to open the game, the Buckeyes (12-1) went flatter than one of the runways at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

“Is that because we weren’t as hungry?” coach Jim Tressel asked. “I don’t know for sure if that’s the case. I guess that’s the coach’s responsibility to create the appetite.”

It was the fourth time that Ohio State was ranked No. 1 by The Associated Press going into its final game of the season and lost a shot at the national title with a loss.

The most recent came in 1979 when the Buckeyes under first-year coach Earle Bruce ran the table but dropped a 17-16 decision to No. 3 USC in the Rose Bowl. They ended up No. 4.

In 1975, the Buckeyes – led by tailback Archie Griffin who won his second Heisman Trophy that season – went 11-0. During the regular season, the Woody Hayes-coached team mauled No. 13 UCLA 41-20 on its home field. The Buckeyes lost to the Bruins 23-10 in the Rose Bowl to fall to fourth.

Much like this year’s Buckeyes who had a 19-game winning streak ended by the Gators, the 1969 team had won 22 in a row – encompassing a perfect season and national title the year before. But Ohio State was stunned 24-12 by No. 12 Michigan, coached by former Hayes lieutenant and best friend Bo Schembechler to drop to fourth.