t didn't feel bittersweet. It didn't feel bitter at all -- not on the Ohio Stadium field, where thousands of OSU students gathered after the game. It didn't feel bitter in a tunnel leading out of the stadium, where OSU fans heading for the exits were delighted to see E. Gordon Gee coming the other way, an attention-loving salmon swimming upstream. OSU fans reached out to touch him, and Gee was beaming and thanking them as if this was one of his finest moments.
Gee is the Ohio State school president who oversaw the Jim Tressel scandal and its botched aftermath. Had the school done the right thing a year ago and self-imposed a bowl ban on its 6-6 team of 2011, the NCAA's eventual one-year postseason penalty would have been served last season.
Instead Gee and OSU athletic director Gene Smith rolled the dice and lost, participating in a 2011 bowl game -- anyone remember which bowl? -- but losing out on this one. Forever, Ohio State fans will remember which bowl game was missed from the 2012 season:
The BCS title game.