2007 was the year of the “Almost!!” for teams that hail from the State of Ohio.
There were eight sports teams from Ohio that either lost a championship game or had the coveted #1 ranking elude them in 2007. Never before have so many teams from a single state reached within inches of the promised land, only to fail at accomplishing the utmost feat.
The following teams from Ohio finished #2 in their respective sports in 2007:
Ohio State Buckeyes Football – BCS Title Game
On Janurary 8, 2007, one of the best OSU teams in history waltzed into the BCS title game cocky and overconfident. The Buckeyes had breezed undefeated through their schedule, including playing in two #1 vs #2 games and winning both convincingly.
History shows that the team never took its BCS opponent seriously, and after a 50-day layoff came to the stadium overweight, flat, and uninspired – and was promptly dispatched by a tough Florida team that had grown weary of hearing about its underdog status.
Ohio State Buckeyes Men’s Basketball – NCAA Title Game
In some ways, the men’s basketball team was the antithesis to their counterparts who played in the ‘Shoe. Where Tressel had a team loaded with experienced seniors and veterans, Thad Matta would have to work with a group of highly-rated young freshmen and first-year starters, including the superstar Greg Oden, who was unavailable for the first half of the season.
The Buckeyes survived a tough playoff bracket and matched up against Florida in the championship game. Despite a career game for Oden, the Buckeyes simply couldn’t match up with a Gator team full of talented, experienced veterans.
Cleveland Cavaliers – NBA Finals
In June, the Cavs made it to the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history. Down by two games in the semifinals, LeBron James led the Cavs to four straight wins and a berth in the championship series against the Spurs.
San Antonio then swept the series, 4-0.
Columbus Destroyers – ArenaBowl XXI
The Columbus Destroyers were the AFL’s Cinderella story in 2007. The Destroyers made it to the ArenaBowl with momentous upsets of Dallas and Georgia in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
They lost the championship to the San Jose Sabercats, 55-33.
Columbus Comets Football – NWFA Championship Game
What? You’ve never heard of them? Too bad. Columbus’ own women’s professional football franchise (full-contact, none of this powder-puff stuff) dominated the competition in 2007.
The women won the Southern Conference and made it to the NWFA Championship game — where they were beaten 32-0 by the Pittsburgh Passion.
Cleveland Indians – American League Championship Series
The Indians capped a fine regular season by tying Boston for the best record in baseball. Behind Cy Young winner CC Sebathia, they upset the Yankees in the AL division series in four games.
Cleveland then took a 3-1 lead against Boston in the ALCS, but then lost the pennant with three straight losses to the Red Sox.
Saint Xavier Bombers – HS Final Rankings
Cincinnati’s legendary Saint X squad made it to 15-0 and the state title, but was given the #2 spot in the final national high school composite rankings.
The Bombers came in only four points behind Northwestern of Miami Florida. The two did not play against one another.
Ohio State Buckeyes Men’s Soccer – NCAA Title Game
OSU entered the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. Playing as a five seed, they outworked their opponents though the playoffs, and met Wake Forest in the championship game.
The Buckeyes played a dominant first half, but Wake Forest came from behind late in the game on a controversial goal. The Demon Deacons went on to win.
So, what say you? Is this list an example of Ohio superiority in athletics, or weakness?
2008 starts off well, with another Ohio team competing for a championship as the football Buckeyes get a chance to redeem themselves in the Bourbon Bowl. Let’s hope that this pattern of #2 ends on January 7th.