The Buckeyes needed that win.
The national media and fans outside the midwest did not respect the team and many in Buckeye nation had questions of their own.
Yes, Ohio State had lost three consecutive BCS bowls in as many years, but they were heavy underdogs in two and clearly outmatched in the 2006 national championship game.
This has been magnified even more with conservative play calling and a second-consecutive regular season loss to USC prompting fans to start questioning Jim Tressel's ability to lead this team. How often do you see someone with an 82 percent career winning percentage (84 percent with five BCS bowl appearances the last five years) come under such fire?
Also taking heat was Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the highly-touted sophomor who has struggled running the offense more than expected, though he's just a sophomore.
An additional slap in the face to the Buckeyes have been questions over who the best college team in Ohio is this season with the Bearcats navigating the Big East with an unblemished record in 2009.
All that was put aside Friday as Tressel opened the playbook, Pryor grew up and the Buckeyes proved they could play with the big boys. They defeated the Pac 10's best team, one of the nation's hottest, on the West coast.
As much as Ohio State was in need of the victory, the Big Ten Conference needed it twice as much.
The conference had lost its last six BCS games going into this season's contests, falling by an average of more than 17 points per contest. The Big Ten had not fared much better overall in bowls in recent years, going 15-28 in bowls since 2002, its last winning bowl season.
But as Ohio State walked off the field in Pasadena, the Big Ten improved to 3-2 in bowls this year with Michigan State (Alamo vs. Texas Tech) and Iowa (Orange vs. Georgia Tech) still to play. The Buckeyes are the conference's first Rose Bowl winner since 2000.
Adding to the nation's frustration is the fact that this year marks the fifth consecutive season that the conference has had two teams selected to play in BCS bowls.
While Ohio State's victory over Oregon does not cure all of the things that have ailed the conference for nearly a decade, it's a step in the right direction at a very important time.
The Big Ten announced in December that it would again open a search to add a 12th team to the conference which already includes 11 schools. Having a football conference championship game (and the revenue it generates) is one important factor going into this look at expansion, and a strong football school is likely what the Big Ten desires.
Having a successful year in the bowls could be just what the conference needs to convince a team they target to join in the coming years. Notre Dame was the team Big Ten officials contacted about joining in 1999. Will the Fighting Irish's poor performance since then combined with the Big Ten's recent successes be enough to convince the long-time independent football team to sign on? Will the conference look elsewhere?
The developments of the next year or two will be interesting to follow and a good bowl showing couldn't hurt the conference in its search.