Ohio State's 2010 Season in Perspective: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Joe CollegeCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  Head coach Jim Tressel of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on before the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the Arkansas Razorbacks at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

What kind of a year was the 2010 football season for Ohio State?  

It was a year when Ohio State finally beat an SEC team in a bowl game, claimed its sixth-straight Big Ten Title, and once again was ranked in the top ten of the final AP poll. 

These are the type of achievements that give bragging rights for those Buckeye fans who see everything in scarlet and grey.  It was a very good year indeed.

On the other hand, more mature Ohio State graduates may see the 2010 year differently. 

These fans respect Ohio State traditions, believe athletic awards should be revered for a lifetime, and demand that the integrity of the University comes before all else.  

They do not have a misplaced sense of satisfaction or a heightened sense of joy over the accomplishments of the past football campaign.

These fans are disgusted when they see the Ohio State president belittling the schedule of another university, hear about the athletic director creating sleazy backroom deals, watch the coach manipulating the media to appear above the “Tattoo Five” scandal, and witness the pampering of athletes who are consumed by greed. 

This is the real 2010 Ohio State story that will haunt the Buckeyes for years.  It won’t go away soon and will be highlighted by the media at the beginning of the 2011 campaign.

To provide greater perspective of the 2010 football year, it is broken down here by the good, the bad and the ugly.  Generally, the Good category achievements are often overstated and need a more balanced perspective while the Bad and Ugly categories speak for themselves.  


The Good

 Ohio State beat an SEC team for the first time in a bowl game to improve its record to 1-9 against the SEC.  That’s about the same record that Vanderbilt has against SEC rivals during the regular season.  Let’s face it, it was a down year in the SEC and Arkansas couldn’t have been a better comic foil for Ohio State.    The Hogs dropped six passes, couldn’t recover a fumble by two players, and were unable to run the ball in the end zone with six players in the open field after a blocked punt.  Even with Arkansas demonstrating this level of incompetence, Ohio State could win by only 5 points with five players who should have been ineligible.

Ohio State claimed a portion of the Big Ten Title for the sixth year in a row, primarily on the backs of would-be ineligible players.  The lack of competition in the Big Ten has never been greater, and it has allowed the Buckeyes to dominate the conference. This has resulted in Ohio State getting an easy path to a BCS bowl.  This year’s bowl losses by the Big Ten are further proof of how weak the conference has become.

Ohio State was ranked fifth in the final AP poll.  The Buckeyes were able to achieve this honor without a single victory over a ranked opponent during the regular season. 

Ohio State had another banner recruiting year, finishing seventh in the ESPN poll.  Unfortunately, a recruit was arrested for fondling a 15 year-old girl.  The charges were dropped despite the fact that he admitted doing the same thing to other girls, according to the police.  He will be on the Ohio State team next fall.  Considering what took place with the “Tattoo Five,” character and integrity need more emphasis in Columbus.


The Bad

 The Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee looked like a bully criticizing Boise State over its schedule in an effort to enhance the Buckeyes’ chances of being chosen for the national championship game.  He later admitted he didn’t know what he was talking about, and regretted using the term “Little Sisters of the Poor.”

Ohio State was denied playing for the national championship by losing to the only ranked team on its soft schedule.  That was the Buckeyes’ one-game season.

The Buckeyes’ broken play offense saved them in games against Arkansas and Iowa.  The offense consists of Pryor running around long enough to get receivers open or scrambling for yardage.  It’s a sandlot offense that would not win many games against the elite.

The Buckeyes continue to feed off of cupcakes and weak Big Ten brethren to get their ranking in the polls.  Hopefully, the conference will become more competitive in the future and force the Buckeyes to earn their way to a BCS bowl and ranking in the AP poll.


The Ugly

 The Ohio State President remained silent all through the debacle with the “Tattoo Five.” He failed to maintain the integrity of Ohio State by allowing the players to participate in the Sugar Bowl.  And what happened to his “zero tolerance” policy with the Tressel cover-up scandal?

The “Tattoo Five” broke NCAA rules by selling their Ohio State memorabilia for a quick buck.  These guys don’t cherish their awards and aren’t devoted to Ohio State.  It’s all about getting to the NFL.  The lack of character will be their legacy. 

The sleazy athletic director tried to justify the players’ selling of their athletic awards.  He claimed it was to provide for their families and that they didn’t know it was wrong.   How bogus.  Look how they live.  Big expensive tattoos, diamond earrings, cell phones and many other perks that make them feel above the rules.  Now, he is concocting Jim Tressel’s defense to the NCAA.

The coach wears a silly vest that makes him look saintly to the Ohio State faithful, but in reality he would sell his soul for a win.  And he was desperate for a bowl win against the SEC.  So he forced the “Tattoo Five” to promise to come back for their senior year if they played in the Sugar Bowl.  The irony is he knew they were selling their memorabilia before the season started. Tressel got it both ways, the “Tattoo Five” played in the Sugar bowl and he got them back to play next season.  Tressel may be the biggest cheater of all.


The 2010 football campaign is over.  It was supposed to be Ohio State’s year.  The schedule pointed to a Big Ten championship, a bowl win, and the national championship trophy residing in Columbus. 

The dream ended in Madison.  A darker reality set in just before the Sugar Bowl.

Outside of Columbus, the 2010 football wins will be quickly forgotten. Unfortunately, the rest of the country will remember Ohio State in 2010 as cheaters and manipulators of the college football system.