At sporting events, streaking sometimes can connote less than pleasant images. Not here. Here, we only have good streaks.
Urban Meyer, 24 Straight Wins, 2012-2013 Season
This one made its way to Ohio State's history books as the longest streak in school history, and it probably changed more than a few Buckeye fans' minds on Urban Meyer. Before arriving in Columbus, many Buckeye fans may have had a bit of disdain for the Toledo native from the 2007 BCS National Championship game.
One undefeated season and 12 straight wins in the next season can change your reputation real quick.
The undefeated 2012 season remained a bit of a disappointment due to the lack of a bowl appearance, especially in a season when it seemed like it could have been Notre Dame vs. Ohio State in the championship, but we're not here to complain about that. We're here to focus on the nearly 43 points per game the Bucks averaged throughout that span and the new era of Buckeye football that was ushered in by Meyer's outstanding streak.
Of course, there were low points (looking at you, 29-22 overtime win over Purdue Oct. 20, 2012 and 17-16 win over Michigan State Sept. 29, 2012), but when you also add in 16 conference wins (two wins over Michigan!) and wins of 76-0 and 56-0 over Florida A&M and Purdue respectively in 2013, you've got something special.
Honorable Mention: 2014 Championship Run, 2012-Present vs. Michigan
It is really hard to go against any streak that ends in a national championship as the best in a coach's OSU tenure, but that 24 straight reigns supreme in my mind. However, as long as I can remember being an Ohio State fan (forgive my youth), I don't know if there has been anything more memorable than Cardale Jones taking the keys to Urban Meyer's offense in the Big Ten championship game, handing them off to Ezekiel Elliott as he drove through the heart of the south against Alabama and, finally, downing the Oregon Ducks for the program's first national championship since 2002.
In the same realm, Urban's prowess against That School Up North is nothing to scoff at. Having won his first five tilts with the Wolverines has shown Ohio State fans that he knows what the most important game on the schedule is each year and that he takes it very seriously. This becomes even more impressive when you realize that for the past two years, Michigan has been led by one of the best coaches in college football, even if he is a madman at times.
However, being able to sustain a winning streak for nearly two full seasons and breaking a school record that had been standing since 1969 remains a bit more impressive. For now, at least.
Jim Tressel, 2002 National Championship Season
While Meyer's best streak (to date) may not have ended in a national championship, The Vest's best moment at the helm certainly did. In perhaps the most memorable Ohio State season from most of our lives, Jim Tressel led a core Buckeye greats like Craig Krenzel, Santonio Holmes, Mike Doss, Chris Gamble and Bobby Carpenter to the program's first national championship in over 30 years.
But instead of drooling over just that game, the entire 14-game streak that culminated in Ohio State's upset over the Hurricanes deserves some attention. While many may remember Tressel's method of scheduling easier opponents during the regular season to make sure his players would be able to sustain longer in the season, this 2002 slate seems like a bit of an outlier. The Buckeyes took on a top ten team in Washington State week three and showed off their mettle with a 25-7 win over the Cougars.
That's not all though. The Buckeyes had two more top-25 opponents in Penn State and Michigan looming on the schedule, but in due time, even those Big Ten foes fell at the hands of one of the greatest Ohio State teams of all time.
Only two seasons removed from the coaching of John Cooper, many Ohio State fans hadn't yet grown comfortable with the Michigan game at the end of every season, but 2002 marked two in a row taking down That School Up North for The Vest and a huge confidence boost for Ohio State fans everywhere when it came to The Game.
Honorable Mention: 2004-2009(2010) vs. Michigan, 2005-2009(2010) Big Ten Champs
While the two wins versus That School Up North in 2001 and 2002 were certainly a breath of fresh air for Buckeye fans everywhere, it didn't cement the confidence that the fanbase still carries today when it comes to beating down on Michigan. It can be hard to remember that from 1988 to 2000, the Buckeyes only beat the Wolverines twice (tied once as well). When Tressel came to town, he made it known that he was going to change that and he followed through on it. His career 9-1 record against the Boys in Blue is highlighted by this streak that stretched across six (seven) seasons and is the longest winning streak for Ohio State in the rivalry's history. 2010 remains removed from the NCAA record books, but the win there lives on in the minds of all Buckeye fans who saw it happen. Also, Tressel was beating Michigan by an average of over 13 points for each of these wins, and that certainly doesn't hurt.
Perhaps more impressive was Jim Tressel's ability to lead teams that beat up on the entirety of the Big Ten conference, as evidenced by five consecutive Big Ten Championships, three of which were outright titles. In hindsight, there are two things stopping this from being the best streak in Tressel's Ohio State history, and they are as follows: no Big Ten championships game and the lack of a national championship win during the streak. I understand how difficult winning national championships is, but Tressel showed in 2002 that he knows what it takes and he couldn't quite get there from 2005-2009. This remains one of the most impressive streaks in Ohio State history, which is proven even more by the fact that (as far as I can tell), the five championships in a row is tied for the longest streak in Big Ten conference history. Had the 2010 season not been stricken from the record books, Ohio State would own the longest Big Ten champions streak in the conference's storied history.
There are bound to be some missing streaks, so be sure to let me know in the comments what your favorite Ohio State streak was since 2001 is.