Sugar Bowl Sweetness: Big Ten Redemption, Ohio State Finally Beats SEC

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jim tressel

U2 once told us “nothing changes on a New Year’s Day.” Not so this January one, as the Big Ten was absolutely slaughtered all around in the four college football bowl games they played that day. What hurt the most was the 0-3 “Big Ten/SEC Challenge” component of those four, as the face off between power conferences in one of the most crucial aspects of bowl season.

The Ohio State Buckeyes came in 0-9 all time vs. the SEC in bowl games, and it didn’t seem like they would help the Big Ten’s 2-5 record this bowl season.

But the tenth time was the charm as Ohio State improved 6-4 in BCS bowl games (more appearances than any other school) and 5-3 in BCS bowls under Jim Tressel.

• Tressel is 106-22 in his 10th year at Ohio State and 241-79-2 overall. He is the second-winningest active FBS coach behind Penn State’s Joe Paterno (401).

• Ohio State has now won at least 12 games in three different seasons under Tressel, going 14-0 in 2002 and 12-1 in both 2006 and 2010. All those critical drops by Arkansas wide receivers certainly helped! Hopefully for Mallet, it won’t hurt his NFL draft stock too much.

Cameron Heyward recorded 3.0 TFL, tying his career high. He had a huge day in the same stadium where his father, Criag “Ironhead” Heyward made a name for himself

Now let’s move on to those lovely young men you know as the suspended guys, the “Columbus five” if you will.

• With 115 yards rushing, Terrelle Pryor became Ohio State’s all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks in only three seasons, breaking Cornelius Greene’s 35-year-old record of 2,066 set from 1972-75. Pryor now has 2,164 yards, good for fourth on the Big Ten’s all-time list.

Terrelle Pryor is now 31-4 as Ohio State’s starting quarterback, tying Greene (31-3-1) for the second-most wins among Ohio State quarterbacks (Art Schlichter 36-11-1).

Terrelle Pryor set a school record with his seventh career game with 300+ yards of total offense (221 passing, 115 rushing). Pryor now holds five of the six games in Ohio State history where a QB has rushed for 100+ and passed for 200+ in the same game.

• Terrelle Pryor has 674 yards of total offense in his last two bowl games after recording 338 last year in the Rose Bowl win vs. Oregon. TPeezy2 may struggle mightily versus ranked Big Ten games, but he certainly brings it in bowl games.

• Ohio State is 28-1 when Terrelle Pryor throws at least one touchdown pass.

• Dan Herron has now scored at least one touchdown in 12 consecutive games. He finished with 87 yards on 24 carries and one TD.

DeVier Posey has caught at least one pass in 27 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the Big Ten. Posey finished with three catches for 70 yards, including a 43-yard TD catch.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

He also does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com

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