The numbers back up what you might already expect: Ohio State’s sports teams were successful more often than they weren’t in 2019-20.
Aside from the dance team, which took first place in the jazz category at the UDA national championships in January, Ohio State’s sports teams didn’t win any other team national titles this year. That’s in part because winter sports (looking at you, synchronized swimming) and spring sports didn’t even have the opportunity to compete for national championships, as the NCAA canceled all of their championships due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Before everyone’s seasons came to an end, though, the majority of Ohio State teams had winning records and either competed or were on track to compete in national postseason championships this year. The Buckeyes outperformed their rivals to the north in a multitude of sports, and in addition to the team wins that many Ohio State teams racked up, many individual Ohio State athletes put up milestone numbers of their own to put their stamp on their respective program’s record books.
We dig into some of the numbers that demonstrate how Ohio State’s athletic department and how some of its standout teams and athletes performed on the field of play during the 2019-20 academic year.
Combined Head-to-Head Record: 318-177-17
|WOMEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING||6-2||.750|
|MEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING||4-3||.571|
In head-to-head competition, Ohio State’s sports teams combined to win more than 60 percent of the time in 2019-20, accumulating more than 300 total victories even though the year was cut short.
Among 26 Ohio State teams who regularly participate in head-to-head competitions, 18 finished the year with winning records while only six finished with losing records.
That doesn’t include the cross country, track and field and golf teams, who typically only participate in competitions that include several teams at once, nor does it include events like the Big Ten track and field and swimming and diving championships – both events where Ohio State’s women’s teams won team titles – where a multitude of teams are all simultaneously competing against each other. The men’s golf team did participate in two match play events in which it finished with a combined record of 2-3-1, while the women’s cross country, women’s track and field and men’s swimming and diving teams also each picked up an additional win in invitational competitions.
Ohio State’s most dominant teams in 2019-20 included the pistol (15-0) and synchronized swimming (8-0) teams, which both went undefeated before their seasons were cut short, and the football team, which went 13-1. Other Buckeye teams that won more than 70 percent of their head-to-head competitions included women’s fencing (32-7), men’s fencing (29-9), women's hockey (24-8-6) men’s lacrosse (5-2), women’s swimming and diving (6-2), men’s tennis (14-3), women’s tennis (9-3) and wrestling (10-4).
Six Conference Championships
Ohio State finished with a total of six conference championships this year among fall and winter sports teams who reached that point in their respective seasons.
Ryan Day led the football Buckeyes to their first straight Big Ten championship in his first season as head coach as they won all nine of their regular-season conference games, then earned a 34-21 win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.
The Ohio State women’s hockey won its first-ever conference championship in 2020. The Buckeyes went 13-6-5 in regular-season conference games to earn a place in the WCHA’s four-team Final Faceoff, then earned back-to-back overtime wins over Minnesota and Wisconsin to take the WCHA title for the first time since the program began play in 1999-2000.
Ohio State’s women’s swimming and diving team also broke a lengthy conference championship drought, taking top honors at the Big Ten meet for the first time since 1986, while the women’s track and field team won its second straight indoor title and third consecutive conference title overall.
Ohio State’s men’s and women’s fencing teams were both victorious at the Midwest Fencing Conference championship – which awarded separate titles by gender instead of a joint title in 2020 – after they combined to win the team trophy for the previous six years.
A Winning Record Against the Rivals: 12-10
Ohio State’s dominance against Michigan on the football field is well-documented, but the Buckeyes beat their northern rivals in many other sports in 2019-20 as well. The men’s and women’s basketball teams both went 2-0 against the team up north, as did the men’s fencing team, while women’s fencing and men’s golf (Big Ten match play) each also earned a head-to-head win over the Wolverines. Men’s hockey won three of its four games against the maize and blue.
Michigan earned its share of wins against Ohio State in several Olympic sports, including two wins in women’s volleyball and one win each in field hockey, men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s swimming. But thanks to the Buckeyes’ dominance over their rivals on the football field, on the basketball court, on the ice and with the sword, Ohio State finished the academic year with a two-win advantage over Michigan in head-to-head competition.
Now that we’ve looked at some of the overall team numbers for this year in Ohio State sports, we complete our By the Numbers by taking a look at some of the top individual numbers posted by Buckeyes this past season.
The number of rushing yards accumulated by J.K. Dobbins during the 2019 football season, breaking Ohio State’s school record for rushing yards in a single season.
The number of sacks Chase Young racked up in 2019, which broke Ohio State’s school record for sacks in a single season and were the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
41, 10 and 3
The number of passing touchdowns, rushing touchdowns and interceptions for Justin Fields in his first season as Ohio State’s starting quarterback. His 41-to-3 ratio as a passer was the best in all of college football, and he became the first player in Big Ten history to throw for 40 touchdowns and rush for 10 touchdowns in a single season.
Number of wins for Ryan Day in his first season as Ohio State’s head coach, tied for the most ever by an FBS coach in his first year, and the most ever without winning a bowl game.
Kollin Moore’s record on the wrestling mat this season, marking just the fourth time an Ohio State wrestler has won at least 27 matches without a single loss all year.
The number of points scored this season by Emma Maltais, the most ever in a single season for an Ohio State women’s hockey player. Her 40 points for the 2019-20 season are also a program record.
Anavia Battle’s winning time in the 200-meter dash at the Tiger Paw Invitational, which broke her own school record and ranks as the second-fastest indoor 200 time by any woman in the world in 2020.
Andrew Loy’s winning time in the 200-yard freestyle at the Big Ten men’s swimming and diving championships, which broke his own school record.
Kathrin Demler’s winning time in the 500-yard freestyle at the Big Ten women’s swimming and diving championships, which set a new school record.
Molly Kowal’s time in the 1,650-yard freestyle at the Big Ten women’s swimming and diving championships, which set a record for the conference championship meet and broke her own school record.