Ohio State can't play in the postseason in 2012, but neither the NCAA nor their biggest rival could stop them from wrapping up one of the best seasons in school history Saturday afternoon. The Buckeyes beat Michigan 26-21 in order to finish the regular season undefeated at 12-0. This guy is happy about it:
Like so many other games this season, this victory for Ohio State was thanks in large part to quarterback Braxton Miller. The sophomore finished the afternoon completing 14 of 18 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown, in addition to 57 yards rushing as well. Running back Carlos Hyde had another strong performance with 146 yards on the ground and one rushing touchdown.
Meanwhile for Michigan, it was a bit of a disappointing regular season for a club which started the year in the Top 10. The Wolverines were eliminated from the Big Ten title chase on Friday by Nebraska’s win, and have now lost to rival Ohio State after beating them last year. In his final game in the maize and blue, Denard Robinson carried the ball 10 times for 122 yards.
Still, Michigan does have a postseason game to look forward to, which is something that Ohio State can’t say. The Buckeyes are serving a one-year postseason ban for improprieties involving former head coach Jim Tressel and will not play in a bowl game.
Ironically, Tressel was at Saturday’s game in honor of Ohio State’s 2002 National Championship team.
Box Score Hero: Like he has been so many times this season, the answer here is Braxton Miller.
The sophomore capped a truly phenomenal sophomore year completing 14 of 18 passes for 189 yards and also rushed for 57 more.
Rankings Ramifications: With the loss, it seems likely that Michigan will fall out of the Top 25.
What will be interesting to see though, is what happens with Ohio State.
The Buckeyes aren't ranked in the BCS standings because of their postseason ban, but are No. 4 in the AP Poll. Although it's unlikely, if all three teams ahead of them were to lose (Notre Dame, Alabama and Georgia), the Buckeyes could be awarded a National Championship by the AP.
But Did They Cover? Yes. Ohio State entered the game as a 4.5 point favorite.
Next Week's Schedule: This game wraps up the regular season for both teams. Michigan will next hit the field for a bowl game sometime in late December or early January, while Ohio State will not play in the postseason because of NCAA violations.