[Note: The following is a transcript from a Press Conference that will be held January 12, 2009]
Jim Tressel: "I'd just like to thank all of you for showing up for this—I know it was last minute, but I can't wait any longer to make some announcements, I'm just too excited. As all of you know, we just got back from our little trip to Miami, and upon finally winning a National Title, I have a couple of things to say.
"First of all, I'd like to thank all of the loyal Buckeye fans out there who have stuck with us for the last few years. I know it's been tough, watching us lose those two National Championships, and I'm sure after the USC game this September things got tough as well. Well, it took us six years, but here we are again, BCS Champions!"
(Scattered applause through media)
"Thank you, thank you. Well anyway, after the big game the other day, I started talking to some of the seniors, thanking them for sticking with the program and all. The conversations were going well, and then we got thinking about something really special.
"Out of nowhere, Alex—Boone, that is—well, he looked me in the eyes and said, 'Hey Coach, guess what I was just thinking about? We just won won our third consecutive national championship!'
"So I sat him down, put my arm on his shoulder, and said, 'What do you mean, Alex? We made the title game three years now...but, well, we lost the first two. This is the first one we've won.' I thought, you know, he's really happy about the win and all, he just got a little excited.
"But then he looked me in the eyes, and I knew he wasn't kidding. He said to me, 'Coach, come on. This is our first BCS National Championship win, yeah. But think about it, man. Last year, where did we finish after the regular season? We finished number one. Two years ago, where did we finish after the regular season? We finished number one, man! Coach Tress, we just won three National Championships right there!'
"Some of the other guys got pretty excited when he said all this, but I had to calm 'em down. I tried to explain that it didn't work like that, but Alex just kept going. He said, 'Coach, USC claims two national titles—and they've got all the Reggie Bush stuff going on. Les Miles says a loss in overtime should count as a tie, so why should we be punished for losing in the overtime of the regular season? Coach, we looking at three National Titles right there.'
"I know it sounds crazy, ladies and gentlemen, but I thought about it—and you know what? Alex Boone hit the nail on the head. So this is why I've called this press conference. I have a couple of announcements to make.
"First of all, I am pleased to announce that Ohio State, with permission from President Gordon Gee and Athletic Director Gene Smith, has officially bought the phrase 'Three-Peat' in celebration of our three consecutive National Championships. In addition, we have arranged for the Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe to make two replicate National Championship trophies so we can display all three of our trophies in our Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
"In addition to this exciting news, I am also pleased to announce the purchase of another phrase: 'Team of the Millennium.' With our fourth national title, Ohio State now has accomplished the most during this 21st century, and we feel we are very accurate in saying we are indeed the 'Team of the Millennium.' Again, let me mention how proud we are to now own these phrases, and I look forward to hearing them used as soon as possible—this is a very exciting time for our football team indeed.
"Before I continue, I have a little anecdote—a little story—I'd like to tell. To be honest, it wasn't mine or Gene's or Gordon's idea to purchase 'Team of the Millennium.' It was actually Todd's, as funny as that may seem.
"As a player who spent more than half this current millennium on the football team, it was Todd who came up to me and said, 'Hey Coach—we're the Team of the Millennium, think about that.' So, you know, I thought about it, and he was right.
"So when we told this to the team—let me tell you guys, we've got such a great group of young men on this team, really fine young gentlemen—the response was overwhelmingly positive.
I had Chris—Beanie, that is—come up to me and say, 'Coach, I love what we're doing here, but I just got one more thing in mind. You know as much as me that we're not really the darlings of America right now. But what I was thinking,' —this is what he said to me—'what I was thinking is that no other team has sparked such a universal response from the entire nation quite like we have. So, if it's all good with you and stuff, I was thinking maybe we can just call ourselves 'America's team?' How do you think that would fly?'
"Personally, I thought Beanie's idea...well, I thought it was brilliant. So my final announcement today is that we will no longer go by THE Ohio State University, but rather simply America's Team. Again, I repeat, Gene and Gordon have given us the the okay, the thumbs-up, so this is a very exciting time for all of us.
"I will now take questions. Fire away."