Evidently, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith took the time to deny an interest in taking the same position with the University of Texas. Whether that is true or if he is just saying that remains to be seen. Outside of the hiring of Urban Meyer as head coach of the Buckeyes football team (how much he had to do in that situation is not clear), Smith’s done a pretty mediocre job, especially with the handling of Jim Tressel’s situation and dealing with the NCAA, so maybe Ohio State fans should be hoping he is thinking about going to Austin.
The Ohio State Buckeyes were 12-0 last year and were unable to play in the postseason. They won the Big Ten title in spirit only, but they could not officially bring home the hardware and were unable to compete for a National Title. It is extremely unlikely they would have made the National Championship, but they would have been in a BCS bowl.
This all dates back to the situation where former head coach Jim Tressel lied to the NCAA over issues that involved playing knowingly ineligible players in games. The result was the Buckeyes lost that entire season that resulted in a Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas.
Gene Smith enters this equation when it came to how Ohio State opted to self-impose in 2011. Smith chose not to impose a bowl ban on the Buckeyes and had the team participate in the Gator Bowl against Florida. They lost 24-17 and it put them at 6-7.
It is not clear if self-imposing a bowl ban and sitting out the Gator Bowl would have been enough to convince the NCAA to allow them to be eligible for the postseason in 2012, but the recent situation with Miami(Fl) suggests they might have. The Hurricanes got significantly lighter penalties because of how much they sacrificed.
Ohio State sacrificed nothing and got a postseason ban in 2012. There are those who believe that the Buckeyes would have been screwed either way and they might as well have played the bowl in the moment. Nothing about this decision looks smart in hindsight and Smith deserves significant criticism for that situation. It might not be the worst thing in the world if Smith goes ahead and puts his hat in the ring for the Texas job.