The 11W Heart of It All Classic: Sports Region Semifinals

By Jason Priestas on March 28, 2014 at 8:30a

The Sports region of the 11W Heart of It All Classic features three legends and the lowest remaining seed in the tournament, a legend in his own right.

No. 1 seed Jesse Owens and No. 2 seed Jack Nicklaus will be tough outs – indeed, Owens scored the most lopsided win in the second round – but this is an Ohio State site, so don't rule out their opponents, No. 4 Woody Hayes and No. 11 Archie Griffin, respectively.

SWEET 16 VOTING: Business & Science | The Arts

Your full bracket is here (PDF), while the vote totals for round two can be found here.

#1 Jesse Owens vs. #4 Woody Hayes

Jesse Owens: In high school, Jesse Owens tied the national record for the 100, won a record eight individual NCAA championships – four each in 1935 and '36 – and then topped that by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin.

He was Usain Bolt, but with more distance between himself and his peers.

In the opening round, Owens collected 98% of the vote against No. 16 Branch Rickey and then followed that up by collecting 95% of the vote in a second round win over No. 8 Jerry Lucas.

Woody Hayes: More than 30 years after coaching his final game, Wayne Woodrow Hayes is still the face of Ohio State football for many.

In his 29 seasons in Columbus, Hayes' teams went 205-61-10, winning national championships in 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968 and 1970. Following decades of winning with people, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

No. 13 Roger Staubach was no match for Hayes in the first round, with Hayes pulling in 98% of the vote. No. 5 Jim Tressel faired better against Hayes in the second round, but Woody still collected 84% of the vote in a matchup of the two most popular coaches in Ohio State history.

#2 Jack Nicklaus vs. #11 Archie Griffin

Jack Nicklaus: Sports Illustrated's Male Athlete of the 20th Century, the "Golden Bear" won the first of five straight Ohio State Junior titles at the age of 12 and then, for the next four decades of his life, he kept winning and winning.

Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur twice, an NCAA Championship and 18 majors – including six Green Jackets.

Nicklaus mowed down No. 15 Buster Douglas in the first round, getting 97% of the vote before rolling over No. 7 Cy Young with 85% of the vote in round two.

Archie Griffin: The only two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy, Archie Griffin was born and grew up in Columbus before making his way to Ohio State.

When his four years were up, Griffin held the NCAA record with 5,589 rushing yards and along the way become the first (and one of only two to this date) player to start in four Rose Bowl games.

Archie's service to the state of Ohio didn't end with his playing career. He served in the athletic department for nearly 20 years before accepting the role of president and CEO of the Ohio State Alumni Association in 2004.

Griffin upset No. 6 LeBron James in the first round, taking 77% of the vote. He earned a bid to the Sweet 16 upsetting No. 3 Paul Brown in the second round with 61% of the vote.


Comments Show All Comments

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Man it's painful voting against one of my heroes (Woody).

+7 HS
davidmac2003's picture

Agreed - Woody is awesome, but Jesse Owens?  Guy f**ked up Hitler.  Gotta say, that wins.

+16 HS
Young_Turk's picture

Very Tough call but I disagree.  Think about all the lives Woody had a major, direct impact on.  Teaching countless boys what it takes to be a man.  Think about the ramifications of these young men paying it forward.  

What Jessie did, and I don't mean to belittle it in any way... was an inspiration for the time, but for me it lacks tangibility, or directness.  


+3 HS
droessl's picture

perhaps this will lend some tangibility and directness


+23 HS
Young_Turk's picture

Yes, that's a very potent symbol.  Is something that is symbolic tangible?  Here's my point.  A 10 second race does not define the worth of a man, or a race of men.  Yet we, as much as Hitler (think about that), derive meaning from this race far beyond what it was intended to be about.  This is what makes the Olympics so silly, yet we all fall into  the trap.  Crying at our chosen countries national anthem because our (pick your silly sport) is faster, more precise, jumps higher, thows a stone farther, etc.

Jessie ran track for reasons he chose.  I'm pretty sure it had nothing to do with destroying Hitlers  plans.  So what he achieved was his dream (running a 10 second race really fast).  We co-opted the result to mean all this stuff that it really doesn't mean.




-1 HS
Knarcisi's picture

The man ran, took the crown, and stood tall in Berlin, in front of Hitler and Nazi Germany. It's a little more than 10 seconds and a man who ran track.  That's tangible courage. 

+2 HS
saltybuck61's picture

You make an interesting point about a 10 second race not defining what a man or a race is worth. I agree with this. However, it is essential to understand that Hitler didn't believe the African American race (or any non-Aryan race) could possibly compete with "the master race." Not only did Jesse Owens compete, he beat everybody by a landslide. I understand that he probably wasn't out to defeat Hitler, but he not only became an American hero, he became a global hero for his performance.

While it doesn't seems important after what the world went through with WWII, it still holds weight today. Winning in the Olympics and proving Hitler wrong may not be the greatest accomplishment of all time, however, I personally believe that in a sports category, it is the greatest accomplishment. I could not think of a sporting accomplishment that could top it.

jeremytwoface's picture

Totally disagree.

Yes, Woody taught and mentored a lot of young men, but Jesse Owens is an inspiration for a whole race of people. How not sure what you mean about it lacking tangibility. Him going to that Olympics during the rise of Nazism and winning 4 (four!!) gold medals was a defining moment in the fight against racism.


I love Woody as much as the next Buckeye fan, but what Owens did affected the whole entire planet.

And when we win the game, we'll buy a keg of boooooooooze!! And we'll drink to old Ohio 'till we wobble in our shoes.

+10 HS
FitzBuck's picture

"but Jesse Owens is an inspiration for (ALL) people"

fixed that for you.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+14 HS
d1145fresh's picture

Jack allowed his grandson to go to FSU. For that I'm voting Archie. 


P.S.  Jack... My vote can be swayed if you let me play Murfield. 

+15 HS
OSUStu's picture

I love Archie.  But I had to vote for the guy that was the greatest ever to play his sport.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+9 HS
Kyle Rowland's picture

Haha, I've played there twice. Great course. Can score there, too, because everything is so true/pure. 

BucksfanXC's picture

I used to like you Kyle.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

+10 HS
BuckFly's picture

Regarding today's Skull Session throwback picture of Woody dotting the "i" (to thunderous applause in Ohio Stadium), is DJ trying to exert undue influence in the voting process?

+2 HS
BroJim's picture

Damn, Ohio is the greatest state in the Union!

I season my simple food with hunger

+5 HS
dcbucks's picture

Both of these aren't even close in my opinion. College stars vs international stars. Landslide victory for both the favorites.

+1 HS
BuckeyeDale's picture

Yes, but we're talking about SPORTS, and GOLF...which is only about two steps above tiddilly winks.


+1 HS
HouseHarleyBuilt's picture

You ever play 4 rounds of 18-hole golf in 4 days? Even with a cart, its physically exhausting. And, I mess up constantly by myself from the pressure to hit the ball straight...I can't imagine doing that with millions of eyes on me. Even if there is no contact, we're talking about a tremendous amount of self-control.

Treat every opponent as if they are capable of beating you, because guess what? They are.

Angry Panda's picture

It's getting tough now....It makes me mildly curious who some other states would be have in their bracket.

BroJim you're right, Ohio is the best. End of discussion.

+3 HS
BucksfanXC's picture

Jesse Owens is so underrated in history. I ran track in school and still can't believe some of the things he accomplished. One WR is amazing. 4 in one day is next level super-human.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

+8 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Not just 4 in one day.

Four world records in 45 minutes.

One of which stood for 28 years.

+6 HS
spqr2008's picture

And in the hellhole we call Ann Arbor!

+4 HS
M Man's picture

We erected a monument and a plaque honoring Jesse Owens' 4-world record day in 1935 on the spot.  It is the only memorial of its kind, for any athlete, on campus.  I take all of my OSU friends there.  And Michigan won that '35 Big Ten track meet.


+3 HS
niblick's picture

Jesse vs Jack is just wrong, so wrong.  Don't think I'll be able to bring myself to vote.

FitzBuck's picture

Agreed.  The winner should be decided by less than 10 votes.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

RedStorm45's picture

Owens competed in more events than Bolt.

+2 HS
2morrow's picture

A four-way tie for first? That was hard and the next will be harder yet.

OSU2002Grad's picture

Voted for Archie due to services rendered to his alma mater. True ambassador for the State of Ohio and its primary university. Jack is usually out for Jack - sorry to say.

+1 HS
faux_maestro's picture

You know that Jack renovated/refurbished/redesigned the OSU Scarlet golf course for $1, right?

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

+8 HS
Devin1024's picture

This round is brutal.

+2 HS
bigDbuck's picture

Just couldn't do it, Jesse is all time and all...but Woody got my vote.

bucked up's picture

Theres some serious Buckeye on Buckeye "crime" in this round. Just brutal. I want to vote for all of them

+3 HS
rekincaid's picture

As a taxpayer in the land of the Golden Bear, I have to say that Nicklaus was definitely the better professional athlete, but Archie is a spokesperson for Ohio and will always be the first 2-time Heisman Winner.  He seems to be the most genuinely nice guy on the planet and is practically an institution in the state.

+4 HS
DoubleB's picture

The voting is getting tough! Had to go with Owens because F Hitler.


+1 HS
GOOMBAY's picture

Jesse Owens. Internet. Work day shot.

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

Dear Archie & Woody: I love you both dearly. Archie, you were my very first hero! Woody, you're...Woody!! But alas, I must say goodbye as Jesse Owens & the Golden Bear have just done too damn much to overlook. Now, who will I choose between those 2??? A real live dilemma is coming up...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+4 HS

Woody all day, everyday!

Pay It Forward!

Johnny Ginter's picture

jesse owens was an insane athlete and a black man in a horribly segregated america, who made hitler's aryan race ideals look like the giant turds that they were right in front of his stupid face. he fought racism simply by being awesome, and it's really really sad that he never got his due when he came back home. (the story of hitler snubbing him is a myth. owens later said "Hitler didn't snub me – it was FDR who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram." that's some BS)

also messed up is that jesse owens didn't even get a scholarship from OSU. so i dunno, i love woody and think he was the man, but if there's one guy who can beat coach hayes, it's owens. FOUR WORLD RECORDS IN 45 MINUTES JEEESSSUUUUSSS

jamesrbrown322's picture

Owens-Nicklaus, what a classic! Looks like the Golden Bear will hold onto his record for majors too...

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

PittBuckeye's picture

Both great match-ups, neither one of them hard votes for me though. Jack is a great representative for the Buckeyes, one of if not the greatest golfer ever, and he brings a lot of money into Columbus through events and golf tournaments. And he's just flat out a good human being.

And Jesse Owens is Jesse Owens, really doesn't need much of an explanation there he's a top notch athlete as well as being a lasting symbol of the 1936 olympics where purely by competing and doing what he did flipped the bird to Hitler.

brandonbauer87's picture

I think the results thus far speak volumes of the readers at this site. Pretty impressive that  the two most respected Buckeyes (arguably anyway) are losing. Kudos fellas. 

+1 HS
Crumb's picture

Don't forget Woody kicked fascisms @$$ too, he was in the Navy during WWII.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+4 HS
Go1Bucks's picture

I got Jack, Woody! Who set this bracket?!

Go Bucks!

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Wow ... voting against the two greatest OSU football icons of all time ... this is killing me.  Jesse Owens is one of the all time greats in all of sports history for what he accomplished and The Golden Bear still has the record for most Grand Slam wins in history. had to give them the nod.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

Eph97's picture

Jesse Owens is considered the greatest athlete in US Track and Field history. He is the greatest athlete that OSU has ever produced. The man is in a league of his own.

+2 HS
Knarcisi's picture

I just voted against Woody ... And admitted it. 

+3 HS
johnblairgobucks's picture

Woody stood on the foundation that Owens helped lay, vote goes to Owens.

 Archie wins the other matchup, because Archie is "the Man".


johnblairgobucks's picture

Btw, Jack is a GREAT golfer,  but golf, IMO, is a game, not a sport.  Race car drivers, jockeys, pool sharks, pro Bass fisherman, golfers, bowlers and dart throwers are not great athletes.  They possess a skill and unique hand eye coordination, but in a game not changed by direct physical contact by the competitor, they are often pedestrian level athletic.


Seattle Linga's picture

Going with favorites here - getting tougher to watch the good ones fall

+1 HS