Jody Victor : Big Game, Big Team, Big Honors

Jody Victor: Ohio State is 12-0 on the year and has won 19 straight games, including 14 consecutive Big Ten Starts. The Buckeyes captured the outright Big Ten title with an 8-0 mark. It is Ohio States's third conference crown in the past six seasons with Jim Tressel as the head coach. This is just the second Ohio State team to start the season with a 12-0 mark. The 2002 Buckeyes were 14-0 and national champions.

The Title Game – This is Ohio State's second appearance in the BCS title game. The Buckeyes defeated the Miami Hurricanes in January 2003, 31-24, in double overtime to cap off a 14-0 season. To get here this year, Ohio State had to defeat No. 2 texas, No.13 Iowa and No. 2 Michigan.

Ohio State is 4-0 in BCS games, including a 1-0 mark in the National Championship game. The Buckeyes previous BCS appearances were against Texas A&M in the 1999 Sugar Bowl, Miami in the 2003 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Kansas State in the 2004 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and Notre Dame in the 2006 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

The Team – Ohio State began the season ranked No 1 in both the USA Today Coaches and the Associated Press preseason polls. The Buckeyes also topped the first Harris Interactive poll and were No. 1 in the initial Bowl Championship Series rankings. The 2006 Buckeyes are attempting to become the first OSU squad ever to go wire-to-wire as No. 1. This is the seventh Buckeye squad to open the season No. 1.

There are 19 seniors, 18 of whom are in their fifth year, on this year's roster. During the past four years, this class has a combined record of 40-8, will have played in four bowl games, including three BCS games, and has two Big Ten titles to its credit. Add in the 2002 campaign and this class is 54-8 with one national title and three Big Ten crowns.

The Honors – Quarterback Troy Smith earned Ohio State's seventh Heisman Trophy and also picked up the Walter Camp and Davey O'Brien awards to join teammates James Laurinaitis (Bednarik) and Joel Penton (Wuerffel) in picking up major individual postseason awards in 2006. Split end Anthony Gonzalez and fullback Stan White were voted to first-team berths on the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team and linebacker James Laurinaitis was a second-team choice. Additionally, center Doug Datish was named to a first-team berth on the all-district team and defensive tackle Joel Penton and split end Brian Robisikie were second-team picks.

Antonio Smith, Jay Richardson, Joel Penton, Roy Hall and Justin Zwick have been invited to play in the Hula Bowl Jan. 14, Brandon Mitchell and T.J. Downing in the East-West Shrine Game Jan.20 and Troy Smith, Doug Datish, Quinn Pitcock and David Patterson in the Senior bowl Jan. 27.

Troy Smith, Quinn Pitcock and James Laurinaitis received first-team All-America honors in 2006, giving the Buckeyes 170 first-team selections in their history.

Go Bucks!

Jody Victor