Mayor honors unbeaten Ohio State team
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Thousands of fans gathered at St. John Arena on Friday to honor No. 3 Ohio State for its perfect season, waving signs that read ``12-OH'' and chanting for coach Urban Meyer.
Following a performance by the Ohio State marching band, the players and coaches joined the celebration and received a standing ovation from the estimated crowd of 7,000.
Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said the 12-0 season deserves special recognition, and then unveiled a sign that read ``12-0 Row'' to be put at an undetermined street in the city.
``This team faced the greatest challenge ever imagined,'' Ohio State President Gordon Gee said.
The Buckeyes won every game in Meyer's first season in Columbus, but were unable to play in a bowl due to NCAA violations under former coach Jim Tressel. It was the sixth unbeaten and untied season in the 123 years of the program.
When it was Meyer's turn to speak, the crowd broke into a chant of ``Urban, Urban'' before he expressed his appreciation for the team's seniors.
``This will go down as one of the great senior classes in Ohio State University history,'' Meyer said.
Former Ohio State quarterback and 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith also presented the team with the Big Ten Leaders Division trophy.