This thought came up while reading another unrelated thread, which made me wonder, what is the absolute best, most talented Ohio State team any of you have ever witnessed? Obviously, going undefeated helps, but I don't think anyone would compare last year's squad with, say, 1995's team. I'm 28 and have been madly in love with Ohio State Football since seeing Joey Galloway shred Purdue for 3 touchdowns in 1994.
Much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth has of course occurred as a result of the three undefeated seasons lost to TTUN in the 1990s, but if I had to pinpoint the absolute best of them, id have to say the 1996 Ohio State team was the best of the decade. They beat three legit top 5 teams that year, in Notre Dame, Penn State and then Arizona State. That team was absolutely loaded with talent. 1998 would be a very close second.
As far as the 2000s are concerned, no year will ever compare to 2002, but I don't think I would call them the most talented team, despite the sick amount of NFL talent it ultimately spawned. 2006 was probably the team with the most jaw-dropping talent, mostly on the offensive side of the ball. I'd also wager that post -Penn State, the 2005 team was right there with the 2006 team. I often wonder what could have been, had Tressel figured out the QB equation a bit earlier. Rarely would a 10-2 team be called "elite", but I firmly believe that at the end of the season, no team in the country could have beaten the 2005 Ohio State team.
The same can be said for 2009, as that team really hit their stride in the second half. Obviously, USC was a crippling loss, and Purdue Harbor was one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life, but that team actually played a tough schedule and ended up beating 5 10-win teams (Navy, Penn State, Iowa, Wisconsin and Oregon), and was the first team to ever accomplish such a feat.
What say you, fellow Buckeye fanatics?