2002 and 2014,
Became a fan in 2002 watching every game as I was just getting into CFB, what an amazing ride, I remember being pumped beyond believe all christmas break waiting for the game. For those that watched 24 that moment you'd get pumped up in the early seasons was me leading up to that game vs Miami!
2014, Was at the Michigan game, loved the MSU beatdown and we were playing with house money. I was bouncing that night and couldn't believe when i looked at my phone to see 38-0 at halftime, to get the 4th seed and the whole Bama game was nuts. I'll admitI was worried when 2 red-zone opportunities lead to FG's and it was 21-6 I was like it's the fiesta bowl all over..THEN IT ALL CHANGED!
Wish I was old enough to remember 2002. I remember the Title game, but nothing before that.
Elliott dots the eye, on this national championship win.
Most games were super close and stressful,
Mike Nugent was MVP and was a miracle worker helping us stay in games
Clarette was amazing but would leave almost every game with some sort of stinger or injury.
I lost about 10 years from my life watching every game that season... and then 5 more years watching the NC game.
Same seasons for me as well.
2002 was near indescribable...a mix of surprise, thrill-a-minute action, and a race against overcoming past disappointments.
2014 was just a roller coaster. From losing Braxton at the near start of the season, to the uncertainties of a young team, to seeing the team come together against such adversity, the loss of Kosta Karageorge, and then finding themselves atop the mountain at the end...in the face of all the naysayers.
Plus it was damn cool to be a part of this community for all of it.
Honorable mention for the 1993 season. I was deployed for all of it except the Holiday Bowl win over BYU (The Quiet Storm going HAM on the Cougars).
I would get scores via fax, posted early Sunday mornings outside my ship's CIC. I couldn't believe how great the Buckeyes did almost every week...best season I never really got to watch.
Raymond got over 200, that night
it was the Sneak Peak at the next 7 years of John Cooper's Hayday at OSU. Would out talent you, but never made defensive adjustments to bury the good teams they played.
Speaking of The Quiet Storm, sometimes I miss the I Formation offense, when blocked.well it was fun to watch.
I would have to go with 2002 as well. I remember watching the Texas Tech game at Damons (anybody remember those?) when Clarett made his debut. I remember playing a hockey game and afterwards my dad and I scrambling to find a place to catch the Purdue game and after 3 or 4 places that would not put it on for us, we finally made our way to Damons again and walking as the holy buckeye was in the air. And then I remember Christmas morning opening a box with tickets to the Fiesta Bowl inside and it took a few minutes to register because I could not believe that I was actually going to that game. That was probably the most enjoyable season of my lifetime.
2002...so much suspense and so many close games. Beer helped a lot during that season.
OSU c/o 2004
I think I aged 12 years during the '02 season. Tresselball to perfection.
1968. Super Sophs! 'Nuff said
2002. That team just found ways to win. Perhaps the most resilient Buckeye team I have ever seen. Glad it was before social media, LOL.
2014: December was magical
1998: Except the Sparty loss
Nut, you & I must be about the same age (me 62). I was getting ready to put down the exact same list in the same order till I read yours
Xerox that, Nut.
I am not very smart, but I recognize that I'm not very smart. --- W.W. Hayes
“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden
Great list Nut. Same age group, same list.
1968 added; Those Super Soph's also beat the unbeatable USC Trojans and O.J. Simpson.
2002 added; Holy Buckeye will live forever in Buckeye lore.
2014 added; Beating Bama the way they did and no drop off against Oregon.
I'm not trying to win a popularity contest. I'm trying to win football games-- Woody Hayes
Agree with Nut and Sunny!
Great list, but I’m a bit surprised you and the others of our approximate age and stage didn’t include 1973 and 2012. Undefeated speaks volumes to me—plus 1973 ended with that wonderful Rose Bowl revenge rout of USC++and a perfect season has been so rare in Ohio State history (plus 2012 was such a turnaround season in terms of the record and a come-from-behind victory over Michigan to preserve the perfect season).
Good call, 47. Yes, we are all about the same age -- 62! I thought about some of those teams in the 70's right after I submitted my post - so good catch. Those teams were worthy for sure!
I here ya 47.....for me I think it's the Chip thing. Also the 68 team had, in my opinion, the best player to ever don a football uniform. # 32 Jack Tatum
That 10-10 tie with TTUN in 1973 tarnished that season in my opinion. I still remember Woody Hayes and his bull headed insistence on running Archie Griffen over and over again with basically the same plays. Cornelius Greene, the QB, said later if they had called just a few sweeps, passes or misdirection plays michigan would have been caught flat footed. They literally stacked the line on every play, knowing Archie would get the ball.
That game cost us a national championship. Beating USC was great but that michigan game was not exactly one of Woody's finest moments.
Sunny, I hear you. The flip side of that coin is that the tie still spoiled a perfect season for Michigan and prevented them from going to the Rose Bowl. But yes Woody, like Bo, could be very stubborn about wanting to cram it down the middle.
1968 was great. But very little was shown on TV.
Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.
2002 for sure.
It was my freshman year at tOSU and it was a pretty good all around first 3 and half months of college.
I want a fall Saturday in Ohio Stadium..
2002...and while there have been plenty of other great and enjoyable seasons: nothing compares. It was an excruciating cocktail of anxiety and triumph. Just magical.
And on fourth and one... would you believe?
2002. Every game was ripe with drama, it was a team that shouldn't have won 14 games but did and was the perfect combination of sheer force of will and talent.
2014-Early drama, late tragedy, but after that Va Tech loss that team was possessed. For my money, that was the most laser-focused football team I have ever seen. Frankly, the success in 2014 made a repeat run in 2015 impossible. 2014 was fueled by anger and hatred and embraced the role of hunter. Those same players (largely) couldn't play the role of hunted as well. 2014 was OSU's best team ever and I'm not sure its close.
2018. Weird season, dumb players, stupid mistakes, a bad fall loss, but a Big Ten and Rose Bowl? I'll take that in a down year.
Proudly dispensing unbridled arrogance since 1983.
You might be the first fan I've seen that enjoyed 2018. I like the end results, obviously, but the week to week was more maddening than enjoyable a lot of the time.
It was probably the chaos of it all and truthfully, I'm probably taking the end result and looking backward to be fair. With that said, the chaos of the entire thing made for compelling TV. Plus, you got to watch Dwayne mature week over week and few things are more enjoyable to me than elite level QB play.
With the defense they had, the 02' squad most certainly should have won 14 games. They physically beat down the Canes in the NC game-a very rare occurrence in championship level football-85' Bears or 00' Ravens type defense.
Will Smith, Simon Frasier, Matt Wilhelm, Donnie Nicki, Mike Doss, Darion Scott, Kenny Peterson, Dustin Fox, Tim Anderson, Chris Gamble.....yeah that defense was awsome.....imagine the matchup of that defense vs the 2014 offense (their December run)
I guess my point is that they bucked trends. You play in that many tight games and let that many teams hang around, sometimes a bounce doesn't go your way and you lose. They didn't. Football is a weird game and weird stuff happens in tight contests but the Bucks always came out on top. Now that isn't to say they were just lucky, they weren't. That was a damn good team. But with so little offensive punch, banking on defense and special teams every week CAN result in a loss and it just never happened.
Thanks for the Braxton highlight link. Clearly he was a much better passer before his shoulder issues, he hit a ton of guys deep and in stride. The other thing that jumped out was how much I miss Jake Stoneburner, man what a weapon he was. Insert "will they finally use the tight end more this year" comment here.....
Such a tough call between 2002 & 2014. I'd say 2014 was the funner team to watch just cause they became unstoppable by season's end whereas 2002 was heart attack inducing almost every week.
1968 and 2001.
1968 as that season resulted in a national championship during my first year as an OSU student and Stadium Dorm resident. I was living within the story book season.
2001 though was the most satisfying season. The improbability of it all.
Too much time spent at the North Heidelberg rather than the classroom. SSD 68-72
2001 though was the most satisfying season. The improbability of it all.
I assume you mean 2002?
Favorite is probably 2014. I'm 31 so the 2002 when I was 14 has some great memories but recency bias leap frogs '14 ahead of it. I was fortunate enough to go to both of those National Championship games and '02 was the better game, but watching our team beat Bama then completely dominate Oregon after all the talk about us not slowing them down was just so sweet.
To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
2002 was an insane ride, and not losing is always nice.
2014 was so up and down, the emotions from high to low were just crazy.
2013 was great up until the post season.
2012 was great too.
Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.
2006 (pre-bowl game). It was fun being the juggernaut and being #1 for like the whole season, and anticipating the massive Game everyone knew was coming.
2014's post-season was obviously fun but the regular season was more fun in retrospect than it was at the moment (was filled with dread after the VT game for instance, and couldn't really enjoy the Michigan win).
GREAT point about the UM game. I remember just being pissed off after that game. Took every sense of joy away from that win. I had just bought tickets to the BIG Title game as well, and considered selling them. I was that pissed. HOW COULD THIS BE HAPPENING TO US?? If only I knew what was about to come.
Easily 2014 for me. I've been a fan since the 1980s but that season was extra special. I watched the Michigan State game back home with my brother just days after my mom died. We watched the CFP selection show in her house as we boxed her stuff. The joy that came from the Michigan, Wisconsin, and --especially-- the Alabama game blew away a lot of gloom. Plus, I knew my mom would have loved it, too.
2012 was fun but the defensive deficiencies were glaring. 2014 is it for me by a mile. You'll never see that play out again - Heisman hopeful QB goes down with injury, backup steps in and leads team to conference title game, 3rd string takes them to the promised land. Just unbelievable and can't wait for the documentary on it.
2002 just because of how nerve-wracking it was and where it all ended up. It was as storybook a season as you could get. 2014 was great but I didn't really start to appreciate that year until the final 3 games (I spent most of the season thinking we were done for after the Va Tech loss).
I enjoyed the qb battle during the VA Tech loss.
2002. Nothing else is even close. I actually attended 6 of the 8 home games-missed San Jose St. and Minnesota (was actually offered a ticket for that game). The excitement of the entire state/community as the season wound down, especially after Holy Buckeye was something I have never seen before or since. Plus, my mom went to her first tOSU game against Wazzu, when Clarett went crazy in the 2nd half, so that was cool as well.
My reaction and freaking out when tOSU clinched the NC in 02' was about 500 times what it was in 14'. 02' was about tOSU showing they were back to the days of Woody-it had been a long time. In 14', we had the best team-and it was cool.
2014 hands down.. and I was at the 2002 title game. The ups and downs of 2014 were just incredible, and if it didn't actually happen no one would believe it would be possible. The quarterbacks going down, the early loss to Virginia Tech, the death of a beloved teammate and how they came together and dominated the last three games of the season to win the title.
2002 was extremely satisfying though, especially considerinf how smugly every single sports reporter in the nation dismissed our chances.. I remember some even saying they might not watch. But the infamous PI call gave Miami (and everyone else) something to bitch about and call it all into question.. in 2014 there was zero question
2002 for me was the most enjoyable by far. All of the thrilling finishes, culminating in winning one of the greatest national championship games of all time... a game that virtually nobody gave OSU a chance of winning...everyone said they'd get blown out. I even had my doubts about that game. Watching that team scratch and claw and scrap its way to victory that night against a Miami team that was more talented than them...unforgettable.
2014 obviously comes in second...obviously overcoming the VT loss and the QB injuries...Zeke having the best 3 game stretch I've ever seen a RB have...getting to knock off Alabama, even though I was extremely confident that they would (unlike 2002 when I pretty much hoped that OSU would avoid getting blown out), and then finishing it with a relatively comfortable national title win over Oregon (would have been a lot more lopsided without the turnovers). Those were great times...but my goodness was 2002 a wild ride.
Class of 2010.
1968 and 2002 for sure. Undefeated. 2006 until Florida was right there.
Mahalo. 2006 was in deed one heck of a season.
The post-season bowl was another matter.
At the risk of downvotes, obviously with the exception of the end of the season and a stupid blocked field goal, I really enjoyed 2016.
Marquee wins against Oklahoma and Wisconsin and that insane win against Michigan to end the year. Really great memories of those games.
"Medicine is not a science" - Leo Spaceman
2016 ended so negatively but that team was so much fun to watch. It may have been the best regular season team Ohio State has had in some ways. The team was a beast start to finish and lost that one PSU game on a complete fluke. Of course that led to to no Big 10 title. Then the drubbing against Clemson.
I know JT got a lot of flack for that game but I watched it with another OSU fan and we were stunned at how poor the offensive gameplan was out of the gate. Seemed like Beck and Warriner wanted to get cute and fool a Clemson defense that had some issues during the season instead of trusting the Buckeye players to run their typical gameplan to beat Clemson. I still get fired up about how poor that offensive gameplan was. Gave JT, the RBs, and thus the D no chance out of the gate.
The '02 and '14 seasons are obvious choices. I'll pick some that don't get enough credit.
2005: Despite losing the heartbreakers to Texas and Penn State, the second half of that season was awesome. From the infamous John L. Smith meltdown after the blocked field goal against Sparty to the Gonzo catch against Michigan, and of course the bowl game against Notre Dame. I know the '06 team had a better year, but the '05 team, in my opinion, was the most talented this century.
2009: Much like 2005, they had a heartbreaker against USC, then a complete meltdown against Purdue. But after the Purdue loss, all seemed smooth. From exacting vengeance on the Nittany Lions, to the OT win against Iowa to clinch the Rose Bowl, and the win in Ann Arbor. Then to top it all off, they end the three-year winless bowl drought by beating an Oregon team that was supposedly too fast for them. Add on that Terrelle Pryor looked like a legitimate Heisman contender for the upcoming 2010 season, and there were several reasons to be optimistic.
2010: Yeah, all the tattoo and selling memorabilia crap happened, but that team still went 12-1 (fuck off NCAA, I watched every game with my own eyes. They happened), blew out Penn State and Michigan, vanquished Iowa and their pink locker rooms in dramatic fashion, and finally beat an SEC team in a bowl game. None of us knew it at the time, but it was Tressel's last year. In hindsight, you enjoy it more than you did in the moment.
Tom Brady lost to John Cooper. Never forget.
The rebuilding of the 2014 season with the qb drama, the routing of the Ducks and beating not just the SEC but THE team in the SEC.
2002. Beating Miami at their height, and man handling them in the process, sacking the shit out of Dorsey...the Sugar Bowl win over Alabama rates almost as high. I never get tired of seeing Cardale Jones truck Landon Collins. And Collins is a fine NFL player.
2002. Watched every game with my dad and brothers. Sometimes through the window because I couldn’t bare watching in the living room from the stress. Went to the Kent state game. My first time at the shoe. We as a family watched the fiesta bowl more than 50 times on vhs. That year was the year that cemented my love for the buckeyes like no other. I think it also ruined me from all the stress the senators coaching style inflicted!!! I can remember where I was for holy buckeye. I remember my dad talking all about Maurice. I remember so much. I remember yelling and running in circles outside our house on base when Dorsey’s pass fell incomplete. That year was the year. Nothing like it for me ever since but 2014 came close. If not for going through a nasty nasty split up I think 2014 would have been closer. Being at the shoe for the scUM game and tailgating with the coaches families is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. My dad raised his sons right
i love the buckeyes
2 main ones for me. 97/98 only because, as a kid, I was fortunate enough to have intimate access to the team & all activities. For a youngin' pretty awesome.
2002, hands down. Catharsis for a lot of people who waited a long while. And just, what a ride. The improbabilities became the sure thing. The odds against the team making it to the NC & winning it are just nuts.
I enjoyed the 2014 regular season overall more than I did the 2002 regular season but I enjoyed the national championship game more in the 2002-03 season than I did 2014-15. I think the long title drought for OSU ending and all the frustration of the Cooper years made the title more sweeter but DAMN I loved that entire 2014 season. Except the VT loss of course LOL. There were parts of the 2002 season that made me go gray. Holy Buckeye and the Illinois games examples 1 and 2.
"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine
1942. George Lynn was amazing.
Fuck eSECpn and fuck Mythigan.
2002 was a huge rollercoaster with an incredible win on the championship. 2014 was a postseason for the ages. I also got to go to the championship game with my boys. Both were incredible.
2002 looking back, but at the time, so many of the games could have gone either way. Loved when we discovered Chris Gamble was a shut down corner in addition to a heck of a WR. He was the unsung hero of the 2002 Bucks. (With Mike Doss being a close second for unsung hero).
Bucks fans in Mass
2014: Hands down. Lost early and the pressure was off. Watched them get better every game after that. Next thing ya know I'm screaming in the parking lot after we won the National Title.
1996: My first season watching the Buckeyes. Fell in love with OSU and CFB. Agony over loss to Michigan still haunts me. But that Rose Bowl Game sent me through the roof with happiness.
2002: Would be number one for me but the games were so stressful. Watched the game in Clarksville Tennessee with my buddy from Ohio who was a Miami fan. But a great ending and National Champions.
1998: Team was loaded. Cooper found a way to lose again. I knew after that season we would never win a National Title or beat Michigan until he was gone.
"Woody is a God-fearing man. It's good to know that he's afraid of somebody."
1996? Interesting choice for most fun season.
I was always yelling to take Stanley Jackson out and put Joe Germaine in. Stanley and his 2 interceptions were the main cause for losing the Michigan game. But Coach Cooper couldn't buck the racial divide. Until he was forced to play the passer Germaine in the closing minutes of the Rose Bowl.
The prior year 1995 had the same team with Bobby Hoying as QB. And also Heisman winner Eddie George at RB.
just to be different ill say 2016
ended up pretty poorly and the offense was atrocious at times but the D was really fun to watch and the amount of top 10 opponents we faced that year was crazy. 6 total i think. also was really cool at the time to see the committee put us in the playoff despite not winning the conference
"I feel ready for whatever awaits me on the other side. I don’t fear adversity. I don’t fear the spotlight. I don’t fear success. And I don’t fear failure." - Braxton Miller
honorable mention: 2002, 2006
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." - Archie Griffin
2002 probably. It had been so long since we'd been national champions. Miami was supposed to wipe the floor with us. When we won I did a belly-flop on my hardwood floor, partied all night and nearly lost my girlfriend because I slept through until Sunday.
2014 was a magical season too, with the team coming together after the death of a player, rallying around a 3rd string quarterback, blanking Wisconsin 59-0, beating Alabama, etc. But the national title was an afterthought. I knew we would be too much for Oregon.
"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer
Everyone's choices are spot on. Obviously 2002, 2006 and 2014 are winners but I am going to throw two other seasons in here that no one else has mentioned. 2005 was probably one of my favorites even though we lost to Texas in a game we shouldn't have. We also found a way to lose to Penn State. The talent on that team with Hawk, Carpenter, Holmes, Smith, Gonzo and so much more was probably almost as talented as some of Urban Meyer's best classes. The way we dismantled Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl was the cherry on top. It also had a competitive victory over Michigan.
Another season that I will always remember was tarnished by tatgate, but 2010 really sticks out for being Pryor's final year. We looked good for a lot of the season. We beat Miami if I am remembering it correctly and put an end to the SEC dominance over Ohio State before the victory was stripped from us by tatgate. Living in the south and constantly hearing how we didn't stack up to the SEC had me cheering for a Buckeye victory like never before.
2002. I'm 55, so there have been multiple seasons that were joyful for 99% of the ride... and then ended in disaster. 1972, 73, 74, 75, and 79 were all near national title misses. OSU could have easily won five additional titles in the 1970s, and the 75 Buckeyes, imo, was the greatest Ohio State football team ever assembled... but they didn't finish. 1993, 95, 96, and 98 were more of the same... arguably the most talented teams in the country that didn't finish, or stumbled along the way (MSU), and narrowly missed four more titles as a result. 2006 was another 'what could have been' season that teased national title until the second quarter of the final game... and then suffered yet another blundered finish. When Tressel and his team won the championship in 2002, and I had the privilege of sitting in SunDevil stadium and watching it, it was almost overwhelming. That they beat Miami to win it, the program I hate above all others aside from *ichigan, made it all the sweeter.
When I die, sprinkle my ashes over the 70's
Add 1969 and 1970 to your list of near misses. Sigh. The near misses you listed is what made 2002 so special. A lot of us waited a very long time for 2002.
2002, it was a surprise. Since then we’re supposed to be in the mix. The Nuge helped out in so many close games. People gave Maurice Clarrett a lot of crap after this year, but that kid played to win every time he touched the football. I was 26 and loved Ohio State football but didn’t always watch every game. I caught the end of the Cincinnati game on the radio. Which for a second the announcers thought Cincinnati won, then they said he dropped the pass. I haven’t missed a game since then. I remember the way the whole bar erupted after the “Holy Buckeye” play, strangers hugging each other a lot of shots. Got to watch the National Championship with my extended family mostly Buckeyes about 5 Up Northers (who were all pouting and watching the game on a smaller tv upstairs). It was the greatest feeling I’ve ever had after watching a sporting event and to be there with a bunch of cousins and Uncles who had all been super fans their entire lives and finally Win it. After all the great teams in the nineties that couldn’t do it, I thought it couldn’t happen. The one year we go undefeated we have to play a super team that’s never lost? I loved it. I loved watching Ken Dorsey get spun around like a rag doll and just try to throw the ball in the right direction.
2012 would have been nice if we would’ve banned ourselves the year before. It would have made 2014 so much sweeter. We would have had Bama fans claiming if we had the playoff they could have beat OSU or ND. That’s all they would have talked about for two years until we played them as the four seed.
When does it get mentioned that 15% of players randomly tested for PEDs at Clemson failed? Including Dexter Lawrence. Family members getting houses at LSU?
I ❤️ Harbaugh
One main reason I put 2002 over 2014 was that we beat the super team both years, but in 2014 it was like the miracle on ice, we still had another game. I don’t know any fans that were all that worried about Oregon, we had just run all over Bama, teams didn’t and haven’t done that to them since. Both great seasons.
Like others have said, definitely 2002. Was my freshman year... can't beat it! So many close games, Holy Buckeye, beating Michigan and rushing the field, the Championship. What an amazing whirlwind of a season!
2002- Many close games and a tough team that played together.....
Enjoying daily the 62-39 ttun beatdown.
2014 - Devastated when Miller went down in preseason, then VaTech was sobering. Expected a 9-4 type season after that, but got one of the best rollercoaster rides ever. It happening in the first year of the playoffs made it even more special.
2005 - This one is a bit bittersweet, as that team should've played for a national title, but there were some great wins that year - Iowa, TSUN, ND - and a lot of star power and players that will always rank among my favorites.
I'll add the 1998 season was a dream until the Sparty Game. It was also fun watching us destroy TTUN and Texas A&M. But that Sparty loss really sucked the life out of that season.
2002 for all of the reasons mentioned above.
"In America, anyone can become president. That's the problem." George Carlin
68 Super Sophs - nobody made a ball fake like Rex Kern.
John M Digity
Considering the fact that I've been a Buckeye football fan for 67 years, that's a little tough to sort out.
On reflection, I'll have to go with the undefeated 1954 Nat'l Champs (AP). Bucks beat USC in the Rose Bowl. The biggest game of the year was vs #2 Wisconsin. Hop Cassady intercepted a pass and returned it 88 yds for a TD...and I got to see it. I was 8 yrs old and my Grandpa had taken me to the game.
That season might have saved Woody's job. His first 3 yrs were less than sparkling: 4-3-2, 6-3, 6-3. The 10-0 finish was the first in Ohio State history.
It was the first NC in my lifetime.
1968 was magical...Super Sophs
Of course when you look at this the age of the posters becomes apparent.
Texas Tech comes in, and Mo Clarett runs all over them and leads us to an easy victory.
Washington State comes in, and the same thing happens. Now you're getting really excited for the season.
Then the injuries start to pile up, and the games start to get a little too close for comfort. Cincinnati gives us all we can handle (what the heck?), but this Craig Krenzel kid finds a way to win.
The defense starts dominating, keeping us in games even when the offense just can't get anything going.
Holy Buckeye! Then the OT game against Illinois.
Then the big one: Michigan. It's only Tressel's 2nd year, and sure, he got the upset the previous season, but this is still Michigan and they always ruin our hopes. Not this time.
And of course, Miami is unbeatable. They're loaded with NFL players. They've got the win streak. Ohio State doesn't stand a chance.
OSU comes out and is in control of the game throughout. They're not just hanging in, they're winning. Clarett makes a miracle play to bail out a turnover. The refs blow some late calls at the end, and an overtime period that never should have happened begins. 4th down and the game. Nooooo - it's over. But wait, there's a flag! Cie Grant closes it out.
Best Season? Easy! Excluding the post-season with Michigan and Tennessee, it was...
Open the envelope, please... 1995.
With Heisman RB Eddie George, FL Terry Glenn and LT Orlando Pace on offense.
And Fickel, Finkes and Vrabel on the defensive line with Shawn Springs at the corner.
And a notable supporting offensive cast of: QB Bobby Hoying, TE Dudley, WRs Buster Tillman, Dee Miller and Demetrius Stanley, FB Sualua., and RT Gohlstin,
And a supporting cast on defense of: CB Ty Howard, Safeties Rob Kelly and Damon Moore, and LBs Bellisari and Rudzinski.
Highlighted with a 45-26 victory over ranked Notre Dame, after a 60-year hiatus, topped off with Terry Glenn's 80-yard "bolt of lightning".
And also blowing out Mark May's Pitt Panthers 54-14, and beating 4 other ranked teams:
#18 Washington 30-20
#12 Penn State 28-25
#21 Wisconsin 27-16
#25 Iowa 56-35 (Terry Glenn knocked the safety Damien out cold)
Illinois 41-3 (Eddie George ran for a record 314 yards.)
I'll be darned but I can't recall the name of the coach right off hand, but it was one heck of a season in 1995!!
Maybe I'm just old and it's nostalgic now, but 1995-1998 (despite an annual bitter pill or two every season) was just such a fun time to be a fan of college and Buckeye football. I love the position we are in now, running the Big Ten for the better of two straight decades, and though I definitely wouldn't trade our run to have it back, the seemingly annual 3-way race between Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State in the 90s made for some highly anticipated matchups! The hits were harder. I think there was a word called "slobberknocker" they'd use to describe it when a Buckeye defender baptized someone and Katzenmoyer and company had their share. There were these positions called fullbacks and tight ends, who were athletic enough to make a play but big enough to move a LB. And most of all, gameday felt like a mix of partiers with Lane Avenue closed to traffic and Hineygate in full swing and families tailgating in the lots surrounding the Horseshoe. Today it feels so much more corporate. It will be interesting to see where this sport goes - maybe two-hand touch with 79-68 scores for games between players making up to $500k, playing on the American Eagle field inside Nationwide Insurance Ohio Stadium. Hopefully not, but either way, I loved Buckeye football in the 90s.
End of season results aside:
1. 2002. This season was utterly amazing start to finish in its own right, but what puts it light years ahead is that it made up for 1996 and 1998 by getting that awful monkey off our back.
2. 1998. That MSU game aside, this was the most complete season of Buckeye football I've ever witnessed. That team was head and shoulders better than the competition. Arguably the most talented team in Ohio State history, and unlike the sputtering offense in 2015, these guys looked amazing for 11.7 out of 12 games that year.
3. 1995. Wins over ND and PSU programs that genuinely thought they were better programs than us a that time? Yes, please. Add on 5 wins over ranked teams in the first 6 games and it was an amazing year until that awful day in Ann Arbor.
4. 1996. 70+ points in the first two games followed by top 5 wins over ND and PSU. Couldn't ask for a better start. Unfortunately the offense began sputtering down the stretch and our struggles at IU resulted in one of the most miserable defeats I can recall. The Rose Bowl was excellent if you look at it in a vacuum, but the loss in November tarnished even that accomplishment.
5. 2006. Win at #2 Texas and an offense that was steam-rolling teams. 1 vs. 2 Michigan game with a win was outstanding. We know the rest and in retrospect, Michigan's 39 points should have raised more concern than it did.
6. 2014. The result was the best possible, but starting 1-1 leaves a month-long sour taste of a ruined season. Late in that PSU game, the season felt all but over. The MSU win was spectacular. Then the JT injury left the season feeling lost again. What happened those next 3 games is almost indescribable and the Alabama win was utterly outstanding. That all said, this didn't feel like anything close to a National Championship season until our TD right before halftime against Alabama and for most of the season was riding tracks towards a 1997 or 2005, 2-loss type year.
7. 2016. Another where the result wasn't great, but the win at OU, the OT escape at Camp Randall, and the 2-OT win over Michigan were awesome! PSU seemed like a fluke, so it wasn't as awful as losses in other seasons - especially with a 4-team playoff at the end.
8. 2005. A year earlier, people were calling for Tress's head right up until the second score of the Michigan game. The talent and defense was evident and this was a team that was a bounce or two (cough, Hamby) from being right in the NC hunt. The PSU game was tough but another where getting a bounce to go our way results in a win. In all honesty, we could be living in a world where the 2002 team loses two games and the 2005 team ran the table. One of our more under-rated squads IMO. Great finish with wins over TTUN and ND.
9. 1997. Another team who I think deserves a bit more credit than they get. This team lost a nail-biter at #2 PSU and very well could have won at top-ranked TTUN had Stanley Jackson taken a sack instead of flinging the ball into the air while going down. That game was a dog-fight. Even had the Bucks lost at PSU as they did, had they won at Michigan, we would have been likely looking at a 12-1 Rose Bowl championship season. Instead we got 10-3 and a beatdown from FSU's d-line, but much of the season was fun.
10. 2010. For being close to having a shot at the NC, it just always felt out of reach after the Wisconsin loss. Otherwise a fun season, though the scandal puts a damper on it.
Of course you can't argue that 02 and 14 because of the drama mixed with the results.
For me personally, the 98 season was the one. I was in my mid twenties and probably at the height on my ridiculous fanaticism. That was hands down the best team in the country and perhaps played all season like a well oiled machine. Then the MSU game ripped my heart out!!! That was to me the one that got away. No question, we would have destroyed Tenn or FSU that year!!
15 was clearly disappointing but BC we limped along and never seemed to get the engine running on all cylinders it didn't have the same same heart wrenching result as 98 did. That said when the light when on and the engine got running against Mich and ND it made me scratch my head
#1 - 2002
I was in my 3rd year at OSU. Knew guys on the team, was at every home game, and it was so much fun.
#2 - 2014
I was at the Alabama game. Along with an amazing season, and partying on Bourbon St. on NYE, the Bama game and after party is something I will never forget.
#3 - 1995
EDDIE EDDIE EDDIE
2002 and 2014. It's funny though, the things that made 2002 so great were what made 2015 frustrating as hell. All the close games, lackluster offense, etc. It was kind of expected out of Tresselball, but Urban not being able to figure it out with all that talent made it so frustrating. 2014 was frustrating like that too, in fact, we kind of forget that season started out rough too, but that three game run at the end will never be surpassed IMO.
Couldn't agree more with your whole post! Weird that as good as Urban was during his time here I don't feel like we ever saw the the full potential of his teams for more than stints here and there. The the 2018 offense was probably the most consistent we saw under his tenure but that still wasn't without its flaws (that may be a bit over critical on my part though).
I was 14 in 2002. I was "raised" a Buckeye fan, but I never really watched much as a kid. I was much more interested in tearing my radio apart and putting it back together than watch sports. I played football however since I was 7/8. Anyway, that year I hadn't watched any of the games at all. I didn't even know they were playing for the NC until I was at my great aunt and uncles and I just happened upon the game in the first quarter. I watched every second, completely and utterly enthralled in the action. Ever since that game, I was hooked, like a light switch flipped. I'm a bit ashamed because the circumstances kind of make me seem like a fair-weather fan. I always wonder, had we lost, would I have maintained the same level of interest?
Anyway, for me, since 2002 wasn't the actual season, I guess I can't pick that one. In which case, I would have to pick...
2014 (so unoriginal) ... but that team man, was fucking magic. Even when we went down 21-6 I wasn't even worried. You could tell that we were dominating that game, and it was just some stupid circumstances that caused us to get down like that. Spencer to Thomas... wooooh, that's probably my all time favorite play. Just the way Mike stuck the foot and how the ball just had to be perfectly thrown on every level... and the fact that it was a fucking WR who threw that ball. Everything... just magic.
Honorable mention, 2006... the year I graduated high school and the Game the of the century. The only thing I can remember about that night in Columbus, is how much I can't remember about that night.
A gentle reminder to BE NICE. Plays guitar and makes iced tea in the winter.
2002 was by far the most stressful, barely squeaking out game after game. 2014 was probably the most satisfying, especially after losing to VT then rolling the rest of the way.