Saturday, July 05, 2008

Breaking news - Ohio State football existed before 2001

Browsing through my fellow Big Ten blogs, I came across a new article at Buckeye Commentary entitled "Ohio State's Greatest Games".

It's one of the finest blogs I have ever written, but this article just irks me to no end. Amongst it's awards include "Greatest Regular Season Game", "Greatest Bowl Game", "Greatest Comeback", and a few other prizes. Unfortunately, NONE of the awards are given to a single game prior to Jim Tressel's head coaching debut. **Update below**

In my honest opinion, this is insulting. It's insulting to Woody Hayes, to Earle Bruce, and even to John Cooper. It's insulting to every player who donned a uniform in the 20th century, and it's insulting to me, a fan of the Ohio State University.

I commented on the thread, and I took umbrage with "Greatest Comeback" being given to the 2005 Michigan game. We came back from 9 points down with 8 minutes left....yeah, cool. But greatest ever? No, not even close.

Here's what I wrote in my comment.....

I'm sorry, but I can't agree AT ALL with the "greatest comeback" award going to the '05 Michigan game.

Take two other examples, and tell me I'm wrong here.....

1) Ohio State vs. LSU - September 24, 1988 - Ohio Stadium

LSU leads the Buckeyes 33-20 with just over two minutes to play. Greg Frey leads the team down the field, and Carlos Snow bursts into the end zone from five yards out. The extra point closes the deficit to 33-27.

Rather than try an onside kick, the Buckeyes kick it deep and try to pin back the Tigers. With only two timeouts left, this is risky. But it works out. Two negative-yardage plays and an incomplete pass force LSU to punt after having possession for only 17 seconds. Rather than punt the ball away, LSU takes the safety on the punt, and Ohio State trails 33-29 with just over 90 seconds left.

On the free kick, freshman walk-on Bobby Olive (who had fumbled away a punt earlier in the game) raced down the middle of the field and cut left at the perfect time, taking the kick all the way back to LSU's 33-yard line. Four plays later, Olive was on the receiving end of a Frey TD pass that gave the Buckeyes the lead for good. Ohio Stadium went into pandemonium, and LSU didn't know what hit them. The Buckeyes led 36-33 with less than 30 seconds left.

The Tigers had one final drive, as Ohio State had scored 16 points almost TOO fast. But four failed plays came and went, and Ohio State held on for the improbable victory.

2) October 28, 1989 - Ohio State vs. Minnesota - The Metrodome

Minnesota led 31-0 on a cavalcade of Buckeye errors. A TD (and 2-point conversion) by Carlos Snow near halftime made it 31-8 at intermission, but nobody could have believed that it would lead to victory for Ohio State on that day.

Everything the Bucks did wrong in the first half, they turned around in the second. But it didn't look like it would be enough, as Minny still led 37-26 with just over 5 minutes left. With three minutes to go, Ohio State failed on a 3rd-and-18 play deep in Gopher territory. John Cooper went for it, and Frey scored on an option (seriously) on 4th-and-short. Another 2-pointer, and Ohio State trailed 37-34 with two minutes left.

When Ohio State got the ball back, there was very little time left. Starting at their own 27 yard line, Frey went to work. 18 yards to Snow. 19 yards to Brian Stablein. a 14-yard sack hurt a bit, but then Jim Palmer grabbed a pass and raced down the sideline for 35 yards to Minnesota's 15. On the next play, Jeff Graham was so wide open, he could have eaten a sandwich before the defender found him. Ohio State scored and led 41-37 with seconds left.

Again, the defense held strong and Minnesota could not score the necessary TD to seal what once was a 31-point lead. Final score, Ohio State 41, Minnesota 37.

There is no way 2005 Michigan tops either of those games.
I'm really hoping this was a minor oversight by BC. Even they should know that better games were played before Tressel, and that every category cannot be answered by repeating the Senator's name.

UPDATE - As my first two commenters have noted, the post at BC does say they expanded on the Big Ten Network's idea, and instead "looked at the entire Tressel era". This does create room for forgiveness, and it does create the need for an apology from me. However, I do hope that BC adds to their list and includes other games from the past.


Anonymous said...

I could be wrong on this, as I barely lived in Ohio and followed much of Cooper until 1998 after I started living in Ohio at age 12, but I think Buckeye Commentary was just discussing the greatest games in the Tressel era and I believe they mention that in the post and allude to it several times. I remember when he discusses greatest first and second half games the post mentions that within the Tressel era specifically we rarely played from behind. I could be wrong but I think the site is hopefully looking at the entire history and will highlight Woody, Bruce's and Cooper's eras later. However, if not it is a tad sad to wax poetically in so recent an era.

Anonymous said...

The post said it was for the Tressel era only.