It’s been over two years…

OSU Football…since Ohio State last lost a conference game.

On October 8, 2005, OSU lost a frustrating matchup against Penn State. The following week, the Buckeyes started a conference winning streak that has lasted until now.

A Big Ten record 20 straight conference victories. Eleven of those earned against ranked teams.

The last time Ohio State lost to a Big Ten opponent:

  • The NHL lockout was ending.
  • New Orleans was still draining water after Hurricane Katrina.
  • Ted Koppel was planning his retirement.
  • Movies like Capote, Into the Blue, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were playing in theaters.
  • Matt Leinart was on pace for what everyone assumed would be a second Heisman Trophy.
  • Mike Hart and Chad Henne were only 0-1 against the Buckeyes.
  • Chris “Beanie” Wells was in high school.

If you extend the record and include the entire 2005 season, and all the non-conference and bowl games since then, Ohio State is 32-3.

32-3.

About those three losses? 2005 Penn State, who finished ranked #3 in the country. 2005 Texas, who finished ranked #1. And 2006 Florida, also #1.

To sum up:

  • Three seasons.
  • 35 opponents (15 of them ranked!!)
  • 32 victories.
  • Only 3 losses, to two national champions and a #3 squad.

And it’s not going to end soon, folks: There are still three more games to go in the season. And depending on the number of juniors that jump to the NFL, OSU’s 2008 team figures to be even stronger than in years past.

It boggles the mind as to why some still question Ohio State’s #1 ranking.

Comments

  1. I hope you realize you just jinxed us and a loss to either Illinois or Michigan is now inevitable.

    Thanks.

  2. Ohio State has only lost to two teams to finish outside the top 25 since 2001, both in 2004. This has nothing to do with this year, however, as there are many legitimate reasons to not have us number one. I find nothing terribly wrong with a number one LSU or Oregon. I think we are the best team this year, but we have to beat Michigan before I feel ok with us number one. I will question that ranking until we beat LSU, Oregon, Ohklahoma, West Virginia, Kansas, or Missouri. We could still lose three games, don’t forget.

  3. Pretty neat rundown and Capote was a damn fine movie, too. In Cold Blood – best opening paragraph ever.

    Oh yeah back to Ohio State. We are blessed.

  4. I want to throw something out there. When OSU recovered the fumble and subsequently had their field goal blocked, did anyone else “feel” Tressel’s hesitation to “go for the jugular” when they were so close to the end zone? I sometimes have the feeling that he doesn’t want to “pile it on” but that could come back to bite him in a big game. IMHO. Anyone care to offer an opinion? Thanks.

  5. OhEssYou – I find nothing terribly wrong with a number one LSU or Oregon.

    I agree with you re: Oregon. But as for LSU… seriously? Even if OSU is way better than the team that beat LSU?

    OSU _destroyed_ Kent St., so much so that Tressel did not use a single starter for the second half of that game. Kentucky, on the other hand, was tied with Kent St. at the half, and kept its starters in until the end of the game, and even then didn’t beat them as bad as OSU did. A few weeks later, KY beats LSU, and didn’t even have their starting tailback at the time.

    I think it’s pretty easy making a case that OSU is much better than LSU (as of right now). That’s why I’m hoping for an OSU/LSU matchup for the BCS title.

  6. Oh yeah!

    20 and (hopefully) still more to come.

    I attended OSU in the mid 90’s, and have been a Buckeye fan ever since. Really miss the roar of 90++ thousand people during a home game in the ‘shoe ;)

    It’s pretty damn frustrating being halfway across the globe checking on internet updates in the wee hours of Sunday morning (local), but the last 10 Sundays have all been worth it..

    I notice that the ’07 Buckeyes are a relatively young team, so if no one leaves early, the ’08 Buckeyes will be a pretty nasty bunch.. TO EVERYONE ELSE!

    Lets all hope we can achieve what we couldn’t last year.

    Go Bucks!

  7. “It boggles the mind as to why some still question Ohio State’s #1 ranking.”

    Really? It boggles the mind to that some people can remember all the way back to January ’07, when OSU was DESTROYED by Florida?

    Last year, OSU got all the respect in the world. The media was ranking them #1 all season, tons of coverage, lots of hype. And we blew it.

    This year, OSU is met with hesitancy. This is very, very justifiable. The Bucks are now firmly in the “Prove-it” category. They have to earn that respect BACK, because they lost it in such a high-profile way. The only way to do this is to win a power game out-of-conference. Luckily for us, if we take care of business in November, we’ll have that chance again in the Title game.

    I really want to play LSU this year. What better way to rebound from last year’s humiliation at the hands of the SEC champs, than to beat THIS year’s highly-ranked SEC Champs?

  8. I’m still a bit suprised the record conference winning streak hasn’t gotten any attention. After all, they ARE the #1 team in the country…

    Then again, it’s a good thing for the #1 Bucks to have a chip on their shoulders.

    It just makes me pray even harder for a redemption shot at the SEC (LSU) in the title game just to shut those people up.

  9. I hate to admit it, but I’m with JTin. While a very strong case could be made that OSU has been the best college football program year-in and year-out for the past 3 seasons, I’m hesitant to say they’re #1 this year. The program is a model of consistency in terms of both recruiting talent and then developing that talent to a high level of refinement. That’s why OSU reloads when others rebuild.

    However, after seeing a team like Oregon or LSU get tested every single week [note here: not necessarily tested by the finest competition - i.e. LSU has beaten a lot of overrated mediocre SEC teams this year], I feel a lot better about those teams. I have a sense that, while they may not have more raw talent than this year’s Bucks, they have played tighter games and passed through the fire. Is OSU better than LSU or Oregon? I couldn’t say. As an OSU fan I feel strongly that they’re the equal of any team in the country. But what I feel and what I’ve seen are different. OSU has played a weak schedule and blown out every single opponent. Really, all that says is that OSU is better than the Akrons and Purdues that litter their schedule this year. Yeah, I know the schedule is made in advance, and I’m not knocking the schedule for being weak. I’m saying that given the lack of a top flight opponent this year and no apparent challenges on the schedule (outside of Michigan, who while being a shitty team this year IS a rivalry game), it is hard to tell just how good this year’s team is.

    In conclusion: Have the Bucks been good for past 3 years? Hell yes. Possibly the best in 1A football over that span. Are they good this year? Yes, it appears so. Are they better than LSU or Oregon THIS YEAR? Not sure. I can’t say before I see the rest of the season and bowl games to know.

  10. Thanks, guys, for all the comments. Always great to hear from you.

    Another crazy thing that wasn’t around last time OSU lost? OSU blogs. MotSaG was just a sparkle in my eye back then. I think only Keith and maybe Around the Oval can claim “they were there!”

  11. BeardGuy –

    Thanks for the insight.

    I feel a lot better about those teams. I have a sense that, while they may not have more raw talent than this year’s Bucks, they have played tighter games and passed through the fire… Really, all that says is that OSU is better than the Akrons and Purdues that litter their schedule this year.

    Those teams all have a loss to weak competition. Again, I ask: why is OSU’s dominance over weak competition a reason for question, where another team’s LOSS to weak competition “good?”

    If LSU’s loss was to Oklahoma or Oregon, then the “yeah-but-OSU’s schedule…” naysayers would have a point. But LSU’s (and OKs, and USCs, etc.) losses were to the “Akrons and Purdues” on their schedule. OSU took care of business. LSU/USC/Oregon/Oklahoma did not. They should not be rewarded for losing to weaker teams.

    My beef with the schedule arguers is twofold: (1) Don’t knock OSU’s weak schedule if you can’t even beat the weak teams on your own schedule, and (2) Grow a pair and start scheduling teams on your bye weeks, like the Big Ten does. (SEC has one bye week, the PAC 10 still has two.)

  12. SM, I absolutely agree that OSU should be ranked #1. You’re right, they have dominated weaker teams, taking care of business where other teams have fallen. And really, I have seen very few places in the national media that don’t have the Buckeyes ranked at the top. Based on their performance this year, almost everyone puts them at the top of the polls.

    But being ranked at the top is a lot different than being the best team. THAT is where the questions come in – and rightfully so, until they prove it. LSU has already proved they can beat top-tier teams this season (VTech, Florida, Auburn, Alabama). Oregan has also (destroying Michigan, USC). OSU has not – yet. Luckily for the Bucks, they have the opportunity to do just that.

    Oh, and on the “bye week” scheduling – it’s hard for me to take the Big 10’s side in that argument, when most of the other power conferences (the Pac 10 being a notable exception) play the conference championship game. That is almost certainly a tougher game than a 3rd in-state rival that OSU schedules (Kent State, anyone?)

    I don’t mean to attack this post or the Buckeyes – I’m a big fan of both. But we have to look realistically at the truth, and not just “yeah-but-OSU-gets-no-respect-their-schedule-is-really-tough”, when it’s pretty clearly the weak point of this team.

  13. SM, I totally understand. I agree that Oregon’s loss and LSU’s loss are both pretty crappy losses. Neither of the teams they lost to will win a conference, though both with go to a bowl game. When taken from that perspective, it is hard to take them seriously when compared to an unbeaten Ohio State.

    However, I just can’t point to an OSU victory over a top ten caliber team this year. I want to, but I can’t. Purdue? Nope. Penn State? Nope. Michigan State? Nope. Wisconsin? Nope. All of those teams are decent and, in my opinion, could win bowl games against middle of the pack SEC teams (your Georgias, Tennessees, Auburns, Arkansases – the very same mediocre teams that LSU has fattened up perceptions by beating). However, none of those victories jumps out at me. There is no Texas victory this year. There’s no win that really says to me, “These guys mean business.”

    I know that smacks of schedule bashing. I can’t help that, I know the schedule is made ahead of time (this year’s schedule would probably have been made around the time that The Vest came to OSU, actually). There is no conceivable way that anyone could have the prescience to compose a weak schedule to prop up the Bucks after a bad bowl loss. That’s the perception, and it’s wrong.

    As a fan, I want my Buckeyes ranked #1 and in the BCS championship game. As a sports fan, I have to ask myself who the best teams really are this year. Ohio State could be the best team (I want to believe they are), but I’m just not convinced. I can come up with a mountain of reasons against ranking anyone #1 right now (Oregon, LSU, or OSU). I have a hard time coming with reasons TO rank someone #1. And, when it boils down to it, there are fewer reasons to rank OSU #1 than LSU or Oregon. #1 shouldn’t be achieved by attrition, and that’s the thing that weighs most heavily in favor of OSU right now.

    Things may change by the end of the regular season. Who knows? I’m just giving my $0.02. Believe me, I HATE having anything nice to say about LSU and the SEC in general. I hate those illiterate gap-toothed yokels. But, this season is what it is, and that’s how I see things.

  14. BeardGuy#1 shouldn’t be achieved by attrition, and that’s the thing that weighs most heavily in favor of OSU right now.

    Very good point, sir. Well said. I see where you’re coming from now.

    JTinLSU has already proved they can beat top-tier teams this season (VTech, Florida, Auburn, Alabama). Oregan has also (destroying Michigan, USC)

    I guess there must be a sport equivalent to “ethnocentrism,” where it’s hard to see someone else’s viewpoint through the glasses created by your own culture. While I’m complaining that the OSU “naysayers” don’t see things from my perspective, sometimes I forget that I’m not seeing things from theirs. Perspective is often reality, that’s a flaw in the system for which there is no answer.

    Example: above you wrote “LSU has already proved they can beat top-tier teams this season.” VTech, Florida, Auburn, and Alabama are no more “top-tier” than Michigan, Wisconsin, or Illinois. It’s ESPN that has created and encouraged the myth that these teams are “top tier.”

    All of those teams have humiliating marks on their schedule. UM’s embarrassment. Wisconsin’s victory over the Citadel might as well have been a loss, the way everyone views it. But Alabama lost to Florida State. Auburn lost to two teams that won’t finish above .500. Etc., etc.

    To me, it doesn’t make sense to use imaginary vagaries to compare teams (“LSU’s schedule is tougher than OSU’s”), when there are legitimate, empirical ways to compare them (“OSU is better than Kentucky, vis a vis a common opponent, and Kentucky beat LSU without even having its starting tailback”).

    To an SEC fan, no amount of proof or reasoning is going to convince them of their conference’s overall mediocrity this year.

    All they remember – out of their trend toward mediocrity, bowl losses, poorer recruiting each year, exodus of coaching, and a host of other failures – is their one shining moment last January 8th, and they are desperate to convince the country that this aberrant performance represents the norm. “We have always been at war with eurasia.”

    Most people in the country are upset that ANYONE is #1 by “default.” Folks like their teams to be #1 without any questions… like the Patriots or Yankees or the WBC Heavyweight champion. I guess that’s the inherent flaw in a subjective ranking system…

  15. You put toghether a BEAUTIFUL post here SportsMonkey and all anyone wants to discuss is that very last sentence you put in there lol…… too bad it has undermined the fact that we should be celebrating what OSU has accomplished over the past 3 years.

  16. Glad we’re on the same page now. I hate to disparage OSU, because I’m a die-hard fan. I truly believe that, last year’s MNC game notwithstanding, they are easily the best college team over the past 3 years. The numbers you exposited demonstrate that very well.

    But, when I rationally examine this season, I simply don’t see a lot of reasons (outside of attrition) that OSU should be #1. I don’t like that, but it’s what I see.

    Anyway, good stuff. One of the better OSU-related articles I’ve seen in a while.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] a shame that coach Beau Bridges is on his way out in Lincoln, because with the way Tressel has been taking care of business lately, OSU would be looking to pass the Huskers in three to four years. Ballhype + YardBarker [...]

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