Jody Victor: The Buckeyes are back in the BCS National Championship game for the second-consecutive year and will take on SEC champion LSU January 7 at the Superdome in New Orleans. This is the third BCS title game appearance for the Buckeyes overall.
But unlike a year ago when Ohio State was the undisputed No. 1 team in the land, the Buckeyes needed a little help from the rest of the country to climb back into one of the top two spots in the BCS standings.
After suffering a narrow defeat to Rose Bowl-bound Illinois on the second-to-last game of its regular-season, Ohio State's chances seemed slim. Could they climb back up the BCS rankings so late in the season after the loss dropped them from No. 1 to No. 7?
Surely anything was possible in this wild and wacky 2007 college football season, where the top spot in the BCS changed hands three times in the last four weeks, six of eight different teams ranked No. 2 lost to unranked teams, and 13 Top 5 teams lost to unranked opponents.
So with all that in mind Ohio State went about its business, capturing its third-consecutive Big Ten title with a 14-3 win at Michigan on the last day of the season, and then waited. If nothing else, the Buckeyes clinched a trip to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl Jan.1.
Standing in front of Ohio State heading into the Michigan game were West Virginia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Oregon and LSU. But after losses by Oregon and Oklahoma that weekend, followed by LSU and Kansas losses on Thanksgiving weekend, all the Buckeyes needed was for either No.1 Missouri or No. 2 West Virginia to slip up on the last day of the regular season.
The Buckeyes got their wish. And after both teams faltered and all the smoke cleared, Ohio State and LSU were No. 1 and No. 2 respectively, in the final BCS standings.
Ohio State (11-1) led the nation in total and scoring defense in 2007, allowing 222.5 yards per contest and just 10.7 points per game. They held seven different teams to single digits and limited 11 teams to two touchdowns or less.
LSU (11-2), champion of the Southeastern Conference, is making its second appearance in the BCS title game after beating Oklahoma for the national championship in 2003 – a game also played at the Superdome in New Orleans.
Go Bucks! Go Bucks!! Go bucks!!!