Ironically, this perception came about after the 2006 season when the Buckeyes lost by a wide margin to an Urban Meyer-coached Florida Gators team in the BCS National Championship game. They then had the same happen in the same game the next season, but this time the loss came against the LSU Tigers. The last national title won by any team in the Big Ten was by Ohio State after the 2002 season. They should be the ones getting the most respect in the conference, but unfortunately their lackluster performances against those SEC teams in the National Championship game has stripped them of that respect.
Meyer and the Buckeyes were looking to earn that respect back with a win over the Michigan State Spartans in the Big Ten Championship game and then head to the National Championship game where they would’ve met the Florida State Seminoles. Instead, they lost to the Spartans and ruined their chances of a national title while also snapping their nation’s-longest winning streak of 24 games.
The Buckeyes are now headed to the Orange Bowl on January 3. They will play the Clemson Tigers, who are looking for their own form of redemption after a disappointing two-loss season. A win over the Tigers should earn the Buckeyes some respect back, just not all of it. That will come with time as that will depend on their success and that of other Big Ten teams during the regular season and in bowl games.
A win for Michigan State in the Rose Bowl over the Stanford Cardinal will no doubt help the Big Ten gain some respect, and a win for the Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl could be a good start for the Ohio State program to begin earning some respect back.
With Meyer at the helm, the Buckeyes will earn that respect back in no time for themselves and for the conference.