Today is the 10 year anniversary of
Beanie OSU beating UM in Ann Arbor, which would start the most chaotic CFB season finale in recent memory. We all know how that season ended, and the chaos that played out to allow OSU into the BCS National Championship. But on this day, I wanted to look into the 2007 Buckeyes a little deeper, because honestly, for a team that played for a Title, they are often forgot about.
Sandwiched between two Buckeye great QB's, Todd Boeckman was handed the reigns of an OSU offense that really had no expectations. The only thing us Buckeyes knew going into the season was that Beanie was going to be great. Everyone else was unproven. The Buckeyes returned only 7 starters, none of these being in the skill positions. Troy Smith, Antonio Pittman (case for being one of most underrated Buckeyes ever), Teddy Ginn, Gonzo, Doug Datish, Roy Hall, 3 D-lineman, and most importantly, Justin Zwick were gone.
In essence, this 2007 Buckeye team had all of the makings to be a mirror image of the 2004 team, a team that had immense talent, but needed time to grow. But this was not the case. Beanie Wells was just as advertised. Todd Boeckman (5th year Junior) exceeded expectations, and while he did have a turnover issue, still managed to throw 25 touchdowns at nearly 200 YPG and was named All-Big Ten 1st Team.
Vernon Gholston, James Laurinaitus, and Malcolm Jenkins held opposing teams to a NCAA best 12.8 Points per game. And the offense, lacking any key returning starters, led by Boeckman, Beanie, Robiske, and Hartline, actually gained more yards per game than the 2006 squad.
This season in many ways was Tressel's finest season. Sure, he won a National Title in 2002, and two Fiesta Bowls in 2003 and 2005. But this team showed that Tressel could turn any team into a title contender. This was the definition of "We don't rebuild, we reload". 2004 was a rebuilding year. 2007 was a reloading year.
The really interesting part of this season, was the lack of heart attack causing moments. Ohio State played only 2 games decided by one score. A 24-17 win over MSU, and the 28-21 defeat to a man named after a morning drink. And even then, the MSU game was 17-0 at one point, and never really in doubt. Tressel, a man who's coaching tactics have been scientifically proven to have caused 90% of Ohio's population to have heart disease, coached a relatively stress free season. This included going into Happy Valley in the first "Full Stadium White Out" (Remember that dreaded 2005 game was mainly just the student section), and absolutely smoking them.
The 2007 season is often referred to as being the most unpredictable season in College Football History. And you could say the exact same thing about this 2007 team. Who could have predicted that a Buckeye team, who lost several players who are etched into Buckeye history, would go 11-1 before a loss in the Championship game? We have been talking about JT a lot this week, as we should. We have been comparing him to Troy, and Pryor. And while they were all better QB's than Boeckman, lets take a moment to realize the season that he led.