I don't think a school has ever recovered from NCAA sanctions as smoothly as Ohio State has — or so quickly.
Seriously, Michigan has suffered more for their decision to hire Rich Rodriguez than Ohio State has for accepting tats for tees.
I mean, two years ago at this time the Buckeyes were ravaged, losing their beloved head coach (Jim Tressel), two-time BCS bowl game MVP quarterback (Terrelle Pryor), as well as suffering huge suspensions for a core of their Sugar Bowl-winning roster. They went on to finish 6-7 in 2011.
Last year at this time, the Buckeyes — coming off their worst season since the 19th century — were facing a post-season ban. However, their stay at Hotel Purgatory didn't last long. In fact, I don't think they even made it into the lobby.
They hired two-time national championship-winning head coach Urban Meyer, developed second-year quarterback Braxton Miller into one of the most dynamic players in all of college football, and went on to finish undefeated in 2012.
Now, heading into this fall, the Buckeyes are Secretariet-like favorites to win the Big Ten, Miller is on the short-list of Heisman Trophy candidates, and the probability of Ohio State going unbeaten and jetting to Pasadena for the national championship seems as likely as Lindsay Lohan going back to rehab.
So how did they do it?
Why has Ohio State — unlike the Miamis, USCs and Auburns of the world — sidestep years of mediocrity like Miller avoiding five Penn State defenders in a space of about eight feet?
Because, whether the haters want to admit it or not, Ohio State is elite. And always will be. There are lotto winners, and then there is "old rich." The Buckeyes are the latter.
Stars want to play for them. People love to talk about them. College football needs them. People just love the Buckeyes ... or love to hate them. They are an enigma. I mean, THE enigma.
And it's only going to get worse in the coming months.
Ohio State IS going to dominate the Big Ten this season, Miller IS going to put up the greatest campaign ever seen by a Buckeye signal caller, and Meyer IS going to use a month of preparation to take down his old nemesis, Nick Saban, in the 2014 BCS Championship Game on Jan. 6.
Sorry NCAA ... Sorry haters ...
The rich stay rich.