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Which team from the last 20 years would win an OSU fantasy four-team football playoff?



lamplighter's picture

All tremendous teams, but the 96 team was likely the best I saw in the past 20 years.  Just one little hiccup with ttun (after all, it was November and it was Coop)

Hovenaut's picture

96 also...just the one game out of sync. Showed guts in the Rose Bowl. Pace, Springs, Vrabel....that team was loaded.

And they squeaked by a really tough Pitt team that year if I recall.....

We have filled the Braxton Miller position.

Hovenaut's picture

This one time, I'll do it....downvote for a team you likely cheered for?

Come on man.

We have filled the Braxton Miller position.

Oyster's picture

Arizona fan is my best guess.

3M hoards the KoolAid like Elaine hoards sponges.

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

German Buckeye's picture

Why the down vote?  Unreal. 

NoVA Buckeye's picture

The 2010 team that never existed would've won it all.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

lcrumley89's picture

The 2002 team might not have been the most talented team on the list but they also found a way to win and would probably do the same against the other three.

“There are some people addicted to alcohol, some people are addicted to gambling,” Luginbill said. “Urban Meyer is addicted to football, and he’s addicted to winning.”

gwalther's picture

A little blown away 2002 isn't running away with this. If you can be "a little" blown away. 

Class of 2008

JYBUCKEYE's picture

I took 2006.  I was real close to taking 1998, but I would take Tress over Coop anyday of the week!!!!

slicksickle's picture

The '06 team was pretty much flawless. The '02 team didn't have the talent, but was a grinder. I would have taken the '96 team except I expect Coop would slow play that game, too and lose it. I also would love to see the '06 team with Smith go against TPeezy and the '10 team...

cplunk's picture

The funny thing is, despite its ridiculously good defense, the 2002 team is in my opinion third, possibly fourth. If end of year 2005 team was on the list, the 2002 would definitely be fourth.
Don't get my wrong, I love the 2002 team. That defense was maybe the best in the history of college football. The offense, though, was just not consistently at the championship level, even though it would sometimes get there.
To me, the 2002/1996/1998/2005/2006 comparison is a perfect example of how timing and non-football factors can be as important as talent. 
To me its 1996, 1998, 2005, 2006, 2002 in order. Part of why I love the 2002 team so much is that they brought home the championship despite not being the best Ohio State team in recent times. Same reason I love last year's team so much. 

Jack Fu's picture

I agree with pretty much all of this. I would flip-flop '98 & '96, and '06 & '02. I would also probably put 2010 between '05 and '02. So my list would be '98, '96, '05, '10, '02, '06. The '02 and '06 teams just had more weaknesses (for '02 it was offense; for '06 it was defense) than the other teams.

cplunk's picture

You could be right on 96 and 98 flipping. Those were both great team and definitely should have won national titles.
You make a good point about 2010. I tend to forget them because of how the year ended, but except for an inexplicable loss to Wisconsin (that game still angers me) that team was impressive.
It is funny- my favorite player all-time is Craig Krenzel, who QB'ed what I acknowledge as the weakest of the offenses that we're discussing. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I still don't get the glorification of the 2005 team. They were very talented, but it took them 10.8 games to figure out how to win.
In addition to letting Texas off the hook, they got manhandled by PSU, and got a good break going into the half against MSU. They were all set to lose to a so-so Michigan team (down 21-12 with 12 minutes left in the game), when Troy Smith finally said "enough is enough" and willed the team to victory. Otherwise, they would have finished the regular season 8-3. 
Everyone remembers the big play bonanza in the Fiesta Bowl, but that was just a decent ND team - very good offense with an un-athletic Charlie Weiss defense.

cplunk's picture

I think you kind of answered your own question.
1) They only lost to the national champion on a last second play. They could certainly have beaten either Texas in a rematch or the USC team Texas beat.
2) They lost to the Orange Bowl winner in Penn State by one touchdown, a touchdown that could have been recouped if not for a Troy Smith fumble in the final minute. I wouldn't say they were manhandled. I think that game was winnable.
Effectively they lost their only two losses very late in the game to great teams.
I, and many others, believe that if Troy Smith had been the started going into the season and not suspended from various team activities throughout the Spring, the team would have been clicking early. I don't think they would have lost either of those games.
Obviously that's just opinion- we'll never know and it's all the what-could-have-happened game.
I do think the 2005 team was superior to the 2006 team, particularly at wide receiver with Santonio Holmes. Not that the 2006 receiver corps wasn't great, just that Holmes was a game breaker who tends to be underestimated because Ginn was a "once in a lifetime speed" kind of gamebreaker at the same time.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Good points, but we could do similar woulda, couldas in the opposite direction.
In the MSU game, they got out-first downed 27 - 13 and outgained 456 to 386 yards. If MSU didn't botch the FG attempt, they're down either 17-7 or 20-7 at HT. Maybe they would have come back in the 2H, anyway, because they played much better ball after the break, but the FG botch as a big momentum swing.
They were in deep trouble against Michigan, but thankfully Troy laid down the gauntlet.
It seems to me that the 2005 boosters tend emphasize the sum of the parts (NFL draftees) and not the overall product (which sometimes, a la 2002, can be greater than the sum of the parts). On paper, the 2005 team was awesome, but in reality they underachieved for much of the season.

Gametime's picture

I have come to the conclusion that the 2005 team cost my man FIDO some money that season - LOL. 

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

cplunk's picture

Ha, maybe true, but Fido has good points (he always does)

Doc's picture

I picked '98.  Other than the blunder against Sparty that team was unstoppable.  2006 would be a good choice as well.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I agree. Ohio State was ahead something like 24-9 in the MSU game and unfortunately pulled their feet off the gas pedal. 

HighBallAce's picture

The 98 team by far was the best team! I love the 06 team as well. They were really fun to watch but I think ultimatly the 98 team by far was the best!

Kurt's picture

I had to go with 'Other' for the 2005 team.  By the end of that season I don't think anyone could've touched us.

gravey's picture

Beat me to it.  Those guys by bowl time were the most dominant team we've had.  The list of superstars on that team was amazing; ;and nobody had discovered In-N-Out yet!

AJBor41's picture

I recall watching 3 of those options lose a football game.  Every argument on here is a great one, but I've got to stick with the team that was perfect.

thatlillefty's picture

2006 hands down... that natl title loss still hurts.

sb97's picture

I am going with 2002. 
The 02 DLine shreds the 06 O Line. 
The 02 Coach > the 96/98 coach.

gunni070's picture

Can I have the 98 team with Urban at the helm?

MotownBuck's picture

That sir, would be the greatest team in the history of Buckeyeland

Trotwood-Madison. Once a Ram, Always a Ram.

Earle's picture

I cannot conceive of picking a John Cooper team over a Jim Tressel team, so it boils down 2002 vs. 2006.  I'm going with the team that actually won it over the one that may have been the most talented.  Great leadership on that 2002 team.

Your Noble Savage is a Straw Yeti.

Buckeye80's picture

This playoff's outcome really depends on who's coaching the team. 

cplunk's picture

True, and I loved me some Tress but please don't make me watch a game where Bollman is both offensive coordinators.

MotownBuck's picture

Indeed. Imagine that 98 team with Coop or Tress at the helm. My God...

Trotwood-Madison. Once a Ram, Always a Ram.

MediBuck's picture

I voted 2002, not because they actually won a championship, but because it was the gutsiest unit I've seen given its talent relative to say the 2006 squad. With doubters breathing down their backs every week, they just got the job done. I like that scrappy, hungry attitude to win a playoff :)

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

Gametime's picture

If we could pick any team in any ERA & Mix and Match the coaches as well - I'd take URBAN F MEYER as the coach with the 2005 OSU team
You give Urban Troy Smith settled & starting, an offense with the rock solid Pittman at RB, with Gonzo, Ginn, & Holmes??? Could you guys imagine what Ted Ginn Jr. could've done in the Pivot position (Percy Harvin role?)
Not to mention we have an All current NFL left side of the offensive line in Boone, Sims, & the great Nick Mangold. Solid special teams with Josh Huston & AJ Trepasso.
Then our 8th ranked D with AJ Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, the underrated Schleagal, with Donte Whitner, Ashton Youboty, Nate Salley, Malcolm Jenkins, Quinn Pitcock, Mike Kudla, etc. 
I'd wager they had the perfect balance of offense & defense explosiveness & versatility, probably the best overall LB & OL group but it's tough for me to argue with the 1998 team (which is the team I picked on the poll.)

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

hodge's picture

I wasn't following football as closely in '98 (I was nine), so I went with the '06 team.  Between Troy Smith's heroics, Gonzo and Ginn's receiving, Pittman's underrated rushing attack, and the Silver Bullets' unstoppable defense, I think that they'd kill everyone on that list.
Granted, that's a little misleading, considering that the game's changed so much since '96--but I think that the '06 team has a massive built in advantage there.  In terms of ranking the squads, I'd say it's '06, '98, '96, '02.

rkylet83's picture

I thought the 2005 team was the best team of the Coach Tressel era as far as talent and ability.  They just weren't consistent enough early on, but once they got rolling late in the year the only thing that could stop them was themselves.    
I voted 1998, because I think that was the best Ohio State team since 1973; or post Woody era.  Offensive and defensively they were dominant in every stat.    

Jason Priestas's picture

Going through and banning anyone that didn't vote 1998...

AJBor41's picture

Probably the best talent we've assembled on the field, at least in my lifetime, but I just couldn't take them over a team that didn't lose to anyone. 

hodge's picture

I'd put $100 on the '06 team.  In '98, the "Multiple" offense wasn't anywhere near as utilized in big time collegiate football, and Troy Smith's utilization of the spread would've given that '98 team fits--they simply weren't used to facing teams that ran that style of offense.  The game's evolution over those eight years was pretty prolific, and that places that '98 team at a severe disadvantage, even if their aggregate talent was superior.

Bucksfan's picture

'98 was easily the most complete team to play in the Horseshoe, at least in the 30 years prior, but maybe ever given Woody's conservative style.  I'm surprised the vote is this close amongst between '98, '02 and '06, and that the '96 team is actually in last place.  It may reflect the age of 11W users.  That '96 team was stacked top to bottom on both sides of the ball, and they played like it in all but 1 game.
If you wanted to take a team and say, "go beat the Pac-10's best, the sec's best, and/or the big xii's best" the 98 team would give you the best shot, followed by the 96 team in my limited opinion.  The 02 Bucks, I love them, did not instill you with much confidence to beat anyone in a given week, even though they did, and the 06 Bucks showed that they might not even show up for the post season.
All that said, who's jacked we're talkin' 'bout PLAYOFFS?!

741's picture

It's really hard not to vote for 1998, but I had to go with 2002.
If you posed this question to a population of voters outside of our Buckeye bubble I think 80% of them would pick the 2002 Miami Hurricanes to beat all four of these Buckeye squads. But that 2002 Buckeyes team went out and kicked the Hurricanes right in the teeth from the get go and battled through adversity for the win. #RESPECT

gwalther's picture

Agreed. I think you could say the 98, 05, and 06 teams all had more talent, but I would still take the 2002 team over each of them because of their backbone and proven ability to be winners. That may sound like some sort of intangible bullcrap, but it's true.
There's a reason the 2002 squad sealed the deal when the other teams, from 98, 05, and 06, all failed.

Class of 2008

drumsontheside's picture

Maurice Clarett was pretty good. 


robert goulet's picture

It cannot be between anyone else other than 1998 (pure talent) or 2002 (talent &moxie). I laugh at anyone pushing 2006 as the biggest weakness on that team, the one that was exploited against Florida, would feed right into the strengths of 98 and 02. The front 7 from either of those teams against only one serviceable lineman(Boone)?  Sign me up. 

Powers's picture

I know this is still a touchy subject but if tatgate doesn't happen... 2011 would have been a great year with Pryor and Boom playing all year as seniors.
End of '05 though was stupendous with the speed at WR along with the ultimate silver bullets and defensive backfield.

IBleedSandG's picture

I choose the '06 team b/c of the overwhelming amount of talent on offense. A Heisman winning QB, top 4 WRs on the depth chart all played or are still playing in the NFL and a nice 1-2 w/ Pitt and Beanie in the backfield. The defense had some talent as well, but that offense was so awesome to watch.


BuckChi's picture

Kind of surprised the 1995 team isn't getting love on here. Eddie's Heisman, Terry Glenn wins the Bilentnikoff, Orlando Pace wins the Lombardi. Defense is pretty much the same guys from the 1996 team.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Short answer for why '95 left mixed-memories: Tim Biakabatuka + cleatgate in the Citrus Bowl.
Shorter answer: Coop being Coop.  

Hovenaut's picture

I swear I had panic biakabattacks for weeks after that debacle.

We have filled the Braxton Miller position.

DetroitBuckeye's picture

The 2002 team, I honestly don't think that it is really close.  We were severely underrated just because of the close games that we had but I think that team has a lot more talent than most people realize.

luckynutz's picture

The fact that we can have this discussion just goes to show the embarassment of riches we as buckeye fans have been treated to over the last 20 years. All four teams had one common theme...they were heavily loaded with talent. The qb play was steady, running backs were great. The receivers were solid. And the defenses were downright nasty. What sets the 98 team apart for me was the balance. Joe germaine was about as solid as it got in the pocket. And that secondary was ridiculous. the lbs were stacked as well. The only thing that tripped them up was coopers inability to coach against teams from that godforsaken state up north. If not for that epic collapse in the second half against sparty...they were on a collision course with a national title.

Poison nuts's picture

98. My heart still aches over that MSU game. However, the 2002 team beat what some folks were calling the "the greatest college football team ever" at the time. They won all their games including the last one....and their still second on my list. 

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

Buckeyevstheworld's picture


"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

buckskin's picture

Hard to pick but gotta go with the 02 team for a couple of reasons. 
Best defense of them all (give me another OSU stud corner to replace Fox and maybe best OSU defense of all time).  I'll take a great D over a flashy O any day of the week (that pains me to say when I think of Smith, Ginn, Gonzo........).
Though you cannot measure this dynamic like you can a 40 time, I think the '02 team played more as a "team" than the others.  We all saw what happens when a team comes together as OSU did this past year against Michigan State on the road. 
They found a way to win, often extremely ugly.   Every team has a close game when the chips are down, but just like we did against Purdue this past year (you are forever remembered Kenny G.), they always pulled it off.
Of course, all of my points could be total crap because of the bias I developed in watching them beat down mouthy, cocky, "fast", Criminal Tech.  I wonder if "the u" got paid any money for that game.
Agreed Detriot Buckeye on the perceived lack of talent.  It'd be cool to see a breakdown and comparison of NFL players from each of those 4 rosters just for fun.

buckskin's picture

I have also heard the 02 Miami team referred to as the greatest college football of all time.  I would like to change that and say possibly the greatest assembly of talent on the field at once.  Team? no.

Jack Fu's picture

I am shocked at how many people have voted for the 2006 team. That defense was extremely shaky, and it was just camouflaged because the offense jumped on top of teams so fast that most opponents abandoned the run relatively early, playing into the '06 defense's one actual strength: rushing the passer. They played two teams that were able to credibly threaten them with both the run and the pass, and they got shredded both times. And I was at the Northwestern game the week before the Michigan game, and NW marched up and down the field in the first half. I remember that game making me really nervous for Michigan, because NW put up like 240 yards in the first half, but no one noticed because OSU was killing them largely thanks to NW's four first-half turnovers.
I mean, if nothing else, none of the other teams on the list got BLOWN THE HELL OUT. The 2006 team did.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Good points. The 2006 team did have the shakiest defense of the four teams - 1996, 1998, 2002, and 2006.
For me, it has to come down to 1998 v. 2002.
The 1996 defense was very good, but the offense stagnated a bit down the stretch against Indy, Michigan, and Arizona State. 
The 2002 team also was not a powerhouse offensively, but they just found ways to win, and the defense was even better than the 1996 unit.