It was two years ago when LSU draft-eligible juniors Glenn Dorsey, Early Doucet, and many others held out on the 2007 NFL Draft. The school had a great core of talent, and decided to stick together to make a run at a BCS championship...which it won.
The same thing happened in men's basketball, when Kansas kept its players from the NBA Draft in 2007 and went on to win; conversely, Memphis lost star Rodney Carney in the draft two years ago and lost out on an NCAA championship.
Now it's Ohio State football's turn to make a champion out of that recipe.
The 2009 class of NFL Draft senior prospects—Malcolm Jenkins, James Laurinaitis, Marcus Freeman, Brian Robiskie, Alex Boone, and Todd Boeckman—have been a core part of an Ohio State team that has dominated the NCAA season, developed great chemistry, and lost the big one, twice. Junior Chris "Beanie" Wells has been nothing but teased into being a champion, considered a Heisman hopeful, with two championship scars in his heart with the "shoulda" and "coulda been" statements for his team.
Much like in Wells' heart, there is angst and madness among these players to regain their proclaimed respect as one of the best in the land, not one of the "worst," as they are slowly gaining on one of the most notorious reputations in the NCAA as the most "un-clutch" team in college football. It's to the point it's rivaling the Super Bowl sucker Buffalo Bills in the 1990s.
OSU's basketball team has not helped the cause while losing the big one, as well, making things worse.
In January of 2009, we'll see a BCS championship that will have former USC quarterback Carson Palmer eating his own words, as a testament to the future of the NCAA season this year, with the BCS Championship between Ohio State and USC, two great rivals.
The Ohio State core of seniors will have two great defenses headed by Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing against Beanie Wells, with Marcus Freeman and James Laurinaitis against Joe McKnight, and Mark Sanchez against Malcolm Jenkins. This will be a defensive battle as the Buckeyes will prove they are the champions, and can be considered the best team in college football in 2008.
Both of these teams play in favorable conferences to get them into a bowl game, anything not named the SEC or Big 12. The young Ohio State core of talent will win this game by a slim margin, but by an emotional margin with a history of losing and a heart full of revenge, and Palmer will cry at home as he watches those around him rise to the occasion cheering for the Buckeye faithful.
Oklahoma is a good contender for this championship, but with Missouri, Texas, Texas Tech, and Kansas in its conference, it will get tested in every possible way. With Oklahoma losing its past four bowl games, that won't look too good on the resume if the Sooners are in contention to be in the championship game.
When considering Florida and Georgia to be in the championship, they are going to get beat up in the SEC. I can't remember how many games LSU played in overtime. Even when it was the best team in bowl season, the SEC got the best of it. Though I do love Knowshon Moreno and Matthew Stafford, they have high expectations to win it all, and every team Georgia plays against will want to take a bite out of their glory.
Bow to Jim Tressel, and Beanie Wells, 2008 Heisman Trophy winner.