Congratulations to the 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes for a thorough and dominating performance against That Team Up North. Heading into this game against their rival, with so many doubts about the team’s collective psyche, it would be fair to say that the Buckeyes were facing their moment of truth in Michigan Stadium. Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer, the coaching staff, and the players all truly rose to the occasion in the 42-13 victory.
Also, congratulations to all of the players who were honored by inclusion on The B1G conference teams. Defensive lineman Joey Bosa, linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Joshua Perry, and safety Vonn Bell were named first team All-B1G defense, while defensive tackle Adolphus Washington, cornerback Eli Apple, linebacker Darron Lee, and punter Cameron Johnston were named to the second team. Running back Ezekiel Elliott, offensive tackle Taylor Decker, and guard Pat Elflein were named first-team All-B1G offense. Wide receiver Michael Thomas, center Jacoby Boren, and guard Billy Price were named to the third team. Congratulations to Taylor Decker for being named the B1G offensive lineman of the year, Joey Bosa for being named the B1G defensive lineman of the year, and to Ezekiel Elliott for being named both the B1G running back of the year, as well as the B1G offensive player of the year.
Above all, congratulations to the Buckeyes for winning their fourth straight pair of Gold Pants. Back to the main point, and that is savoring the dominant victory over That Team Up North. After Ohio State won over That Team Up North, it got me thinking ~ where does this victory rank, when I think of the wins over That Team Up North in Ann Arbor?
5. 2013 Ohio State 42, That Team Up North 41: Ohio State should have won this game in far easier fashion, but the defensive lapses that plagued the Buckeyes all season allowed the Wolverines to stay into this game until the final seconds. A win is a win, but this was far too close for my liking…
4. 1987 Ohio State 23, That Team Up North 20: Perhaps I am going too far back into the archives for some of the readers here, but the way the Buckeyes were able to win the final game for fired Ohio State Head Coach Earle Bruce is very memorable to me. Watch the clip below, and tell me Coach Bruce wasn’t fired up for this one. And who knew how dreadful the next thirteen years against That Team Up North were going to be?!?
3. 2015 Ohio State 42, That Team Up North 13: The most dominant performance by the Buckeyes over That Team Up North in Ann Arbor with the 29 point victory since Ohio State won 50-20 in 1961. Ohio State Head Coach Woody Hayes had an assistant on his staff that year – some fellow named Bo Schembechler.
2. 2005 Ohio State 25, That Team Up North 21: Yes, I am still mesmerized by Troy Smith’s poise and footwork with only seconds remaining. As former Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel said about Troy Smith, “There will be a lot of No. 10 jerseys and a lot of kids on Thanksgiving weekend trying to make those moves in a pile of leaves…”. Yes, I still get excited watching Anthony Gonzalez make a clutch catch to put Ohio State into scoring position. Yes, Antonio Pittman should get more credit for the winning touchdown run that sealed the win. Here is why I rank this game so high on my list ~ Ohio State was down 21-12 midway through the fourth quarter, and the Buckeyes rallied to victory in this thriller.
1. 2001 Ohio State 26, That Team Up North 20: “You will be proud of our young people in the classroom, in the community, and most especially, in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the football field…”. After so many disappointing losses in Ann Arbor from 1989-1999, I will forever savor this one. To top it off, Ohio State knocked That Team Up North from The Rose Bowl by virtue of this defeat, so it was like pouring salt into the wound.
There is an old saying about “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. When I behold this list, and think of the dominance Ohio State has had over That Team Up North these past several years, I truly believe I am looking at a thing of beauty.