It’s that time again. Time to scour Ebay for the best Buckeye stuff the universe has to offer. Don’t lift a finger, I already found the three things you’ve gotta buy right now.
1978 Gator Bowl Pin
Take a look at this beauty. Can’t you just feel the nostalgia rolling off of this 1978 Gator Bowl pin? It’s hard to say if this was cobbled together or factory made to look amazing, but my goodness it’s a gem.
The pin of course commemorates Woody Hayes’ last game as head coach. Hayes’ ’78 team opened the season with a 19-0 loss to Penn State then tied Southern Methodist two games later before losing to Purdue the following week. The Buckeyes managed to win their next five games but lost to Michigan in the regular season finale, marking the third straight year Woody’s boys lost to UM. The 7-3-1 record earned the Scarlet and Gray an invitation to play the seventh ranked Clemson Tigers in the Gator Bowl.
Maybe it was the third straight loss to Michigan, maybe it was the rain and gale-force winds that prevented Hayes from running the team’s final practice under the Gator Bowl lights or maybe it was sheer frustration regarding his freshman quarterback’s mental error, but Hayes’ Gator Bowl ended unceremoniously; simultaneously ending his career.
In a single night, this pin witnessed the end of an era. Now you have the chance to own it. No word on whether the penny is included in the deal.
1983 Oklahoma Vs. Ohio State Football Program
Next we have an authentic game program from the Buckeyes’ Sept. 17, 1983 tilt against the Oklahoma Sooners. Much was expected of the 1983 squad. Fourteen starters returned from a team that won their last seven games including a win over BYU in the Holiday Bowl.
The Scarlet and Gray opened up with an impressive 31-6 win over Oregon where quarterback, Mike Tomczak went 21-25 for 273 yards and four touchdowns. The game was a solid tune-up before heading into Norman, Oklahoma to take on the second ranked Sooners.
In front of a home crowd of over 75 thousand fans, Earle Bruce’s Buckeyes delivered a banger, leaping out to a 14-0 lead. Both touchdowns were caught by tight end, John Frank who, in observance of Yom Kippur, was coming off of a two-day fast.
The Sooners were able to muster a touchdown via a four-play 80-yard drive, to narrow the score at 14-7, but never got any closer, eventually losing 24-14. The Buckeyes ended the game with 412 total yards to the Sooners’ 347 and tallied 24 first downs to Oklahoma’s 14. The win officially bolstered the Buckeyes’ national championship hopes, but those aspirations were dashed the following week in a stunning 20-14 loss to Iowa in Kinnick Stadium.
Still, this program is a reminder of one of Ohio State’s finest non-conference victories. It’s a wonder this program is in such good condition. Most are water-logged on account of all the Sooner tears.
1998 Street & Smith’s College Football Yearbook Featuring Joe Germaine
The start of the 1998 season was a great time to be a Buckeye. For the first time since 1980, the Scarlet and Gray began play as the No. 1 team in the country. Sports annuals like this Street & Smith’s College Football Yearbook lauded the Buckeyes as potential world beaters, and it wasn’t hard to see why.
The core of a 10-3, 1997 team returned including most of the offensive line, receivers David Boston, Dee Miller and tight end John Lumpkin, as well as quarterback Joe Germaine. The offense was a high-octane operation that outscored opponents 349-170 the previous year, but it was the defense that raised eyebrows.
The secondary was absolutely stacked, with cornerbacks Ahmed Plummer and Antoine Winfield playing lock-down coverage. Behind them were safeties Gary Berry and Damon Moore. The linebacker unit was equally impressive with starters Jerry Rudzinski, Na’il Diggs and Andy Katzenmoyer leading the way. If that wasn’t enough, the D-line was incredibly deep with Ryan Pickett, Rodney Bailey, Joe Brown and Brent Johnson wreaking havoc on opposing QBs.
The Buckeyes lived up to the hype in their first game against No. 11 West Virginia, bludgeoning the Mountaineers 34-17 in front of their home-crowd. Over the next seven games the Scarlet and Gray looked every bit the part of a national championship favorite beating Toledo, Missouri, Penn State, Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern and Indiana by a combined score of 272-55.
That is, until they ran into a Michigan State buzz-saw led by one Nick Saban. Somehow a team that lost to Colorado State, Oregon, Minnesota and Purdue managed to waltz into Columbus and beat the top-ranked Buckeyes 28-24. The loss was a devastating blow to the more than 93 thousand fans in attendance, and put the brakes on a season that appeared bound for greatness. The Spartans finished the season with a 6-6 record, but played with more fire than the No. 1 Buckeyes on that fateful day in November. The loss would be the Scarlet and Gray's only L on the year, finishing the season 11-1 with a victory over Texas A&M in the Sugar Bowl.
Despite the loss, Germaine lived up to the hype. Voted the B1G's MVP, he ended the year with 3,330 yards and 25 TDs against just seven interceptions. Well done Joe, well done.