Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Ohio State's impressive effort Monday night came up short, and a forgettable 2008 Big Ten season is over. Today's links have a Scarlet and Gray tinge to them.
After two blowout losses in the national title game, Ohio State's narrow defeat Monday is easier to swallow, Bob Hunter writes in The Columbus Dispatch.
"The Buckeyes badly needed to play well in this one. Their national reputation was in tatters. Against a Texas team that many think belonged in the national championship game, few considered the possibility of an Ohio State win.
It didn't happen, but it at least restores some lost respect. The Buckeyes' high-profile failures no longer seem so conclusive; instead, they blend back into a wider range of big games under [Jim] Tressel that show the Buckeyes both winning and losing their share."
No one likes the prevent defense, but Ohio State's decision to keep the pedal down might have cost it against Texas, Doug Lesmerises writes in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
"On the final touchdown, linebacker James Laurinaitis blitzed, linebacker Marcus Freeman stepped to the line like he was blitzing then dropped into coverage, but not far enough to help on [Quan] Cosby, and then [safety Anderson] Russell was alone. Cosby caught the ball only 6 yards past the line of scrimmage, but that was enough."
Running back Dan "Boom" Herron scored the apparent game-winning touchdown Monday and is ready to step in if and when Chris "Beanie" Wells bolts for the NFL, Tim May writes in The Columbus Dispatch.
Illinois offensive line coach Eric Wolford is leaving for South Carolina, where he will coach the line and coordinate the run game, Bob Asmussen writes in The (Champaign) News-Gazette.
With Shonn Greene gone, Iowa's offense will be the hands of quarterback Ricky Stanzi, The Gazette's Marc Morehouse writes in his blog.