The 2005 Ohio State football team wound up the season with a glittering 10-2 record, including a Big Ten co-championship and its fourth victory in as many tries in a BCS game.
The Buckeyes closed out the year with seven consecutive wins and wound up No. 4 in the final rankings, their third top-five finish in the past four years.
Coach Jim Tressel's Buckeyes also graded a winning performance in the classroom, where a record 56 members of the team recorded a grade point average of 3.00 or better during fall quarter. As a result of that effort, the team's overall GPA now stands at 2.81.
Wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez, for one, isn't surprised by the team's success in either arena.
"There is an emphasis here on doing well in both areas," says the Cleveland native. "The coaches stress it all the time. We know we are not just football players. Doing well in the classroom gets a lot of play."
Gonzalez has enjoyed more than moderate success in both areas. In addition to hauling in a career-best 28 receptions this past year, including an acrobatic 26-yard grab at Michigan to set up the winning touchdown for the Buckeyes, he also has recorded three consecutive 4.00s in the classroom and has a 3.42 GPA in philosophy.
Gonzalez, a third-year sophomore, is being mentioned as a possible Rhodes Scholar candidate. Ironically, if he were to receive that honor, he would join another Cleveland product, Mike Lanese, in a very select academic stratosphere. Lanese, who is best remembered for a diving catch against Michigan in 1984 that up until the Gonzalez grab was the most talked about reception in series history, was a 1985 Rhodes Scholar.
"It is definitely something I am thinking about and would like to pursue," said Gonzalez. "But it is a very competitive process, so there are no guarantees. Still, I would like to try."