Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel sees similarities between the current team and his undefeated 2002 team.
Former Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel knows a little something about being undefeated in Columbus. Tressel coached the 2002 Buckeyes to an undefeated record and a national championship, and he saw some similarities between that squad and the 2012 version that just finished its season 12-0. Cleveland.com reports:
"Maybe the biggest similarity is that both the '02 and '12 teams were coming off disappointment that drove them. We were coming off 6-6, 8-4, and 7-5 seasons," said Tressel, although only the latter, in 2001, his first season, came with him as coach.
"That 2002 team wanted to be different from that. The 2012 team had obviously gone through a very difficult, emotional, tough year, in which they didn't come up with the record they wanted, and they were determined they were going to be like the very good Ohio State teams."
The 2011 Buckeyes finished just 6-6 in the regular season and lost in the Gator Bowl. A big reason for the team's struggles were centered around Tressel's resignation and the scandal that engulfed the program. Tressel's rules violations are the reason the 2012 team is banned from the postseason and missing out on a chance to play in the Big Ten Championship Game.
The former coach feels bad for what happened on his watch:
"Obviously, you feel terrible," said Tressel. "You always feel regrets for anything that didn't go the right way, especially when you were a part of it."
Despite the bowl ban, most of the current Buckeyes do not hold any ill will toward Tressel.