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All-Time Buckeye Bye Week Breakdown

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Matt Gutridge's picture
November 8, 2019 at 11:45pm
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The piece below was written before the Chase Young news that broke this morning. Yes, bye weeks still suck.

Do You Know...

  • The number of times Ohio State has had two bye weeks in a season?
  • How many consecutive wins the Buckeyes currently have in games after a bye week?
  • What year it was the last time the Scarlet and Gray lost a game in the week following a bye?
  • How many seasons the Buckeyes have had at least one bye week?
  • The current number of consecutive home wins Ohio State has in games after a bye?

You will find the answers to the questions above in the pixels that form the words below.

Two Regular Season Bye Weeks In One Year
SEASONS WITH TWO BYE WEEKS
SEASON RECORD
2019 1–0
2014 2–0
2013 2–0
1890 0–2
TOTAL 5–2

Bye weeks have become common place in Columbus. However, two bye weeks are a rare bird. 

This year marks the fourth time in Ohio State history that the football team has two bye weeks in the same season. The other years this scenario played out were 2014, 2013 and the inaugural season of Ohio State football, 1890.

The two bye week strategy did not start off great for the Scarlet and Gray. The team lost to Denison, 0-14, and Kenyon, 0-18, after bye weeks in 1890. Since that dismal beginning, the Buckeyes went on to win all four of the games following bye weeks in 2013 and 2014. Add in this year's victory over Northwestern and Ohio State has now won five straight in this scenario. 

Bye Week Streak

The Buckeyes are in the midst of a 13-game winning streak in games following a bye week. The last loss after a regular season bye week was to No. 16 Penn State back in 2005. The Nittany Lions nipped the sixth ranked Buckeyes 17-10 in Beaver Stadium.

Ohio State is on an impressive 17-game winning streak when playing in Ohio Stadium following a bye. That's right, 1990 was the last time the Buckeyes lost a home game following a bye week. To hammer home how long ago that was, Illinois was ranked 13th and Ohio State was ranked 20th. How times have changed.

Saturday will mark the 56th time Ohio State has played a game following a regular season bye week. The program is looking for its 40th win following a regular season bye and is currently 39–15–1 (.718) in this scenario. 

If you are wondering, the Buckeyes are 28–7–1 (.792) when playing at home following a bye.

Bye, Bye-bye?

It seems hard to believe, but Ohio State football has had more seasons without a bye week (78) than with a bye week (52). Between 1890 and 1970 the team only had bye weeks in 15 seasons. The Buckeyes then had byes in 1970, '71 and '72, but did not have it's next regular season week off until 1986.

Starting in 1990, the bye became a regular occurrence for the program. In fact, Ohio State has had at least one bye week in 27 of the last 30 seasons. 2006, '07 and '09 are only years without a bye. During this span, the Buckeyes are 28–7 (.800) overall and 17–1 (.944) at home in games following a bye week.   

With the current trend, it doesn't look like the bye week is going anywhere. If the numbers stay true, it is likely we will see an increase in seasons with two bye weeks.

For those of you that like to see how it all went down.

Ohio State's Games After Bye Weeks Since 1890
SEASON OPPONENT RESULT SCORE
2019 MARYLAND    
2019 at NORTHWESTERN WIN 52-3
2018 NEBRASKA WIN 36-31
2017 No. 2 PENN STATE WIN 39-38
2016 RUTGERS WIN 58-0
2015 MINNESOTA WIN 28-14
2014 RUTGERS WIN 56-17
2014 CINCINNATI WIN 50-28
2013 at ILLINOIS WIN 60-35
2013 IOWA WIN 34-24
2012 at WISCONSIN WIN 21-14
2011 No. 15 WISCONSIN WIN 33-29
2010 PENN STATE WIN 38-14
2008 at NORTHWESTERN WIN 45-10
2005 at No. 16 PENN STATE LOSS 10-17
2004 at NORTHWESTERN LOSS 27-33
2003 at No. 23 WISCONSIN LOSS 10-17
2002 KENT STATE WIN 51-17
2001 at No. 14 UCLA LOSS 6-13
2000 at No. 22 WISCONSIN WIN 23-7
1999 No. 14 UCLA WIN 42-20
1998 No. 7 PENN STATE WIN 28-9
1997 BOWLING GREEN WIN 44-13
1996 PITTSBURGH WIN 72-0
1995 No. 18 WASHINGTON WIN 30-20
1994 at No. 25 WASHINGTON LOSS 16-25
1993 NORTHWESTERN WIN 51-3
1992 at WISCONSIN LOSS 16-20
1991 WISCONSIN WIN 31-16
1990 No. 13 ILLINOIS LOSS 20-31
1986 at No. 17 WASHINGTON LOSS 7-40
1973 TCU WIN 37-3
1972 NORTH CAROLINA WIN 29-14
1971 No. 10 COLORADO LOSS 14-20
1963 at MICHIGAN WIN 14-10
1941 PURDUE WIN 16-14
1940 at ILLINOIS WIN 14-6
1937 No. 7 NORTHWESTERN WIN 7-0
1930 WISCONSIN TIE 0-0
1922 CHICAGO LOSS 9-14
1921 at CHICAGO WIN 7-0
1920 at ILLINOIS WIN 7-0
1919 PURDUE WIN 20-0
1918 CASE WIN 56-0
1917 DENISON WIN 67-0
1916 WISCONSIN WIN 14-13
1915 INDIANA WIN 10-9
1914 at INDIANA WIN 13-3
1913 INDIANA LOSS 6-7
1906 at OBERLIN WIN 6-0
1901 MICHIGAN LOSS 0-21
1897 OHIO WESLEYAN LOSS 0-6
1894 ANTIOCH WIN 32-0
1893 WITTENBERG WIN 36-10
1890 KENYON LOSS 0-18
1890 at DENISON LOSS 0-14
  All-Time Record 39–15–1 1,448-740

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