Ohio State was banned from postseason play due to prior NCAA violations in 2012, meaning the Buckeyes' undefeated season didn't receive the usual amount of hype. Rings received by the team for going 12-0 will make sure the season doesn't get forgotten.
Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the shiny new pieces of jewelry, which head coach Urban Meyer said the team would get for the accomplishment, finally arrived. They sure do make a statement.
Wide receivers coach Zach Smith posted a picture to show it off on Twitter:
UPDATE: Friday, April 12 at 10:25 a.m. ET by Tim Daniels
It turns out that making rings isn't the only thing Ohio State is doing to commemorate the 2012 team. Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports passes along a picture from the Wexler Football Complex, which showcases the undefeated season.
Probation can't take away undefeated at tOSU. Wexler Football Complex twitter.com/dennisdoddcbs/…— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) April 12, 2013
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It's safe to say the rings were worth the wait. Even though the Buckeyes were unable to play for the Big Ten title or a national championship, they still had a tremendous season in Meyer's first campaign at the school.
The team's journey last fall included three victories over ranked opponents, two instances where they survived overtime to keep the undefeated season alive and a win against rival Michigan to complete the 12-game run.
Ohio State's Jerry Emig posted another look at the ring:
The deeds of the 2012 Buckeyes are memorialized in the "Woody." Going unbeaten became memorialized personally today. twitter.com/BuckeyeNotes/s…— Jerry Emig (@BuckeyeNotes) April 11, 2013
In most years, that unbeaten streak would have resulted in a trip to a high-profile bowl game and constant media attention. That never really developed for the Buckeyes because everybody knew they weren't eligible to compete beyond the regular season.
At the same time, the lack of attention put the undefeated run in danger of being lost in the shuffle. By rewarding the team with attention-grabbing rings, Ohio State ensures what the 2012 team was able to accomplish did mean something, even without a postseason title.
Now they have the hardware to prove it.