The 11W Heart of It All Classic: Let's Crown the Greatest Ohioan

By Jason Priestas on March 16, 2014 at 1:57p

It's time to crown the greatest Ohioan.

You don't need me to tell you that Ohio is an awesome state. Perhaps the perfect state, even.

And the sons and daughters of Ohio have left their marks on the rich history of this country in the fields of business, science, the arts, sports, politics, the military and anything else in which man or woman excels.

VOTE: Business & Science | The Arts | Sports | Politics & Military

In the spirit of March Madness, we've assembled 64 entrants for The 11W Heart of It All Classic, and we're going to settle the debate of which Ohioan was the greatest, once and for all.

Entrants were required to satisfy one of these conditions for eligibility: 1) they were born in Ohio 2) they graduated high school in Ohio or 3) they spent the majority of their adult life in Ohio.

While this provides a strong field – the top seeds are Thomas Edison, Bob Hope, Jesse Owens and Ulysses S. Grant – it does exclude some that are claimed by the state. For instance, Harriet Beecher Stowe spent only 18 years of her adult life in Ohio, so she doesn't qualify. Besides, she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin while living in Connecticut.

With that said, here are the seeds in each region:

1 Thomas Edisonw Bob Hopew Jesse Owensw Ulysses S. Grantw
2 John D. Rockefellerw Steven Spielbergw Jack Nicklausw William Shermanw
3 The Wright Bros.w Paul Newmanw Paul Brownw John Glennw
4 Neil Armstrongw Dean Martinw Woody Hayesw Tecumsehw
5 Les Wexnerw Clark Gablew Pete Rosew Clarence Darroww
6 Ted Turnerw Dave Chappellew LeBron Jamesw Eddie Rickenbackerw
7 Dave Thomasw Roy Rogersw Cy Youngw George Custerw
8 Jack Warnerw Halle Berryw Jerry Lucasw William Howard Taftw
9 Charles Martin Hallw Woody Harrelsonw Ken Griffey Jr.w Salmon P. Chasew
10 Harvey Firestonew Randy Savagew Bobby Knightw Curtis LeMayw
11 William Procterw Drew Careyw Archie Griffinw William McKinleyw
12 Charles Ketteringw James Thurberw Jim Tresselw Warren G. Hardingw
13 George Steinbrennerw Wes Cravenw Roger Staubachw John Brownw
14 Roger Ailesw Bootsy Collinsw Don Shulaw Victoria Woodhullw
15 Larry Flyntw Annie Oakleyw Buster Douglasw John Rankinw
16 Jack Hannaw R.L. Stinew Branch Rickeyw Paul Tibbetsw

We'll kick things off Monday, Mar. 17 with voting in the Business + Science and The Arts regions. On Tuesday, we'll open up Sports and Politics + Military.

On Saturday, we'll open up the second round of voting and then start each successive round with the corresponding round of the NCAA Tournament.

Here's the bracket (click for a printable version):

The 11W Heart of It All Classic

Some of those first-round matchups will be fun to watch, like LeBron James vs. Archie Griffin. On any other site in the world, LeBron likely crushes Archie. But on 11W? And does there really have to be a loser when Paul Newman faces Bootsy Collins?

Remember to stop by to vote early and often, beginning tomorrow morning. You'll want to be able to tell your grandchildren about your role in this.

A quick note about Urban Meyer: Meyer would have qualified for this field in the Sports region, but we decided to keep him out of the tournament. You know, so it would be fair to the other 63 entrants.

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