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A Brief History of The Game (1951 to 2000)

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by LordJeffBuck, Nov 28, 2015.

By LordJeffBuck on Nov 28, 2015 at 10:47 AM
  1. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member BP Recruiting Team

    1. In 1951, Woody Hayes became the head coach of Ohio State and quickly returned the program to prominence. Hayes won three national championships in his first eleven seasons (1954, 1957, and 1961) and also produced a Heisman Trophy winner (Hopalong Cassady in 1955), an Outland Trophy winner (Jim Parker in 1956), and a Maxwell Award winner (Bob Ferguson in 1961). Perhaps more importantly, Hayes was 7-4 in The Game, including a 50-20 blowout in 1961. After Michigan scored a late touchdown to cut the Ohio State lead to 42-20, Hayes ordered his team to play on. The Buckeyes scored a touchdown of their own with 5 seconds left in the game, and Hayes elected to go for a two-point conversion. The conversion was successful, and the 50 points scored by Ohio State remains a team record in The Game.

    2. Neither team was very good from 1962 to 1967, with Ohio State posting an overall record of 35-18-1 and no Big Ten championships, and with Michigan posting an overall record of 28-28-2 and a Big Ten title in 1964. Ohio State held an edge in The Game, 4-2.

    3. With a young team in 1968, the Ohio State Buckeyes were not expected to compete for a Big Ten championship, much less a national title. However, the Super Sophs went a perfect 10-0-0, including a 50-14 victory over #4 Michigan in The Game (Hayes again went for two late in the game because he "couldn't go for three") and a 27-16 victory over #2 Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes won both the AP and coaches poll titles for 1968, the first unanimous national championship for Ohio State.

    4. In 1969, the Super Sophs were one year older and one year better. The #1 Buckeyes cruised through their first eight games by a combined score of 371 to 69 (46.4 to 8.6 on a per game basis). Then came The Game. Led by rookie head coach Bo Schembechler, the Wolverines pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in the history of the rivalry. Although the total yardage was essentially dead even (374 yards for Michigan, 373 yards for Ohio State), the Buckeyes committed seven turnovers (six interceptions and a fumble) and lost by the score of 24 to 12. The loss cost the Buckeyes a unanimous national championship. This Game marked the first installation of the Ten Year War between Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler.

    5. Ohio State rebounded in 1970 to win all nine of its regular season games, including a 20-9 victory over Michigan. The Buckeyes once again had a chance to win a major national championship but they were upset in the Rose Bowl by Stanford. The Buckeyes did win a share of the NFF (pre-bowl) national championship in 1970. The NCAA does recognize this national championship, even if many Buckeye fans do not.

    6. 1971 was a rebuilding season at Ohio State (6-4-0), but Michigan was loaded. The Wolverines went a perfect 11-0-0 during their regular season, including a 10-7 victory in The Game, but lost their national championship bid when they fell to Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

    7. Ohio State returned to form in 1972, beating Michigan, 14-11, for the Wolverines only loss of the season. The teams split the Big Ten championship, but the Buckeyes earned an invitation to the Rose Bowl, where #3 Ohio State and #1 Southern Cal played in a de facto national championship game. The Trojans won easily, 42 to 17, and took home the title.

    8. The 1973 Game was one of the most controversial in the rivalry. Both teams entered the contest with perfect records and a top-5 ranking: #1 Ohio State was 9-0-0, while #4 Michigan was 10-0-0. The Buckeyes jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, but the Wolverines tied the game in the fourth quarter and had two chances to win late. However, Michigan place kicker Mike Lantry missed a pair of field goal attempts in the final minute of the contest and The Game ended a 10-10 tie. Because of the tie, Michigan and Ohio State split the Big Ten championship. But there was no way to split the ensuing Rose Bowl bid, so the Big Ten athletic directors held a vote to see which team would represent the conference. This time Ohio State won, 6-4, and the Buckeyes validated the ADs' decision by hammering Southern Cal, 42-21. The 10-0-1 Buckeyes finished #2 in the AP poll behind 12-0-0 Notre Dame, while the 10-0-1 Wolverines finished #6.

    9. Michigan entered the 1974 Game with a perfect 10-0-0 record, while Ohio State was 10-1-0 thanks to a controversial loss to Michigan State earlier in the season. The 1974 Game was decided by field goals, four makes from Buckeye kicker Tom Klaban and two crucial fourth quarter misses by Wolverine kicker Mike Lantry. Ohio State prevailed, 12-10, and again went to the Rose Bowl. In another national championship showdown with Southern Cal, the Buckeyes lost a heartbreaker in the final minute, 18-17, and the Trojans won the 1974 coaches poll title.

    10. From 1970 to 1974, Michigan went 50-4-1, with each blemish coming in the final game of the season and probably costing the Wolverines a national championship. In 1970, 1972, and 1974, Michigan lost to Ohio State in The Game, while the 1973 Game ended in a tie; in each of those seasons, Michigan did not get to play in a bowl game. In 1971, Michigan did manage to beat Ohio State, but subsequently lost to Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

    11. In 1975, Ohio State, behind two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, rolled to a perfect 11-0-0 record during the regular season, including a 21-14 victory in The Game. However, the #1 Buckeyes lost the national championship when they fell to an unheralded UCLA team in the Rose Bowl.

    12. Woody Hayes took an early 4-2-1 record in the Ten Year War, but he lost his final three contests to Bo Schembechler (1976 to 1978) to finish at 4-5-1. Overall, Hayes was 205-61-10 at Ohio State (.761 winning percentage), with 5 national championships (3 major), and an impressive 16-11-1 in The Game. Woody's storied coaching career came to an end after the 1978 season, when he punched a Clemson player during a loss in the Gator Bowl.

    13. Earle Bruce quickly but briefly returned Ohio State to national prominence. Replacing the legendary Woody Hayes for the 1979 season, Bruce led his team to a perfect 11-0-0 record during the regular season which included an 18-15 win in The Game, with Ohio State scoring the winning touchdown on a blocked punt by Kelvin Bell. The #1 Buckeyes once again went to the Rose Bowl, where once again they lost a national championship after once again suffering a narrow 17-16 loss to Southern Cal.

    14. Earle Bruce and Bo Schembechler would square off eight more times, with the two coaches splitting those contests. During a disappointing 1987 season, Ohio State fired Earle Bruce during the week leading up to The Game but allowed him to coach in the season finale. The Buckeyes rallied around their lame duck coach, and sporting EARLE headbands defeated Michigan by the score of 23 to 20.

    15. Thus began the John Cooper Era at Ohio State. While Cooper made many improvements to the Buckeye program, both on the field and in recruiting, he will best (or worst) be remembered for his dismal 2-10-1 record in The Game (1988 to 2000).

    16. Meanwhile, the legendary Bo Schembechler resigned after the 1989 season, with an overall record of 194-48-5 (.796 winning percentage) and a record of 11-9-1 in The Game.

    17. Michigan won the 1991 Game, 31-3, thanks in part to a 93-yard punt return by Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard, which remains the second longest punt return allowed by Ohio State. The Buckeyes quarterback that day was Kirk Herbstreit. Now Howard and Herbstreit are teamed up on ESPN's College Gameday.

    18. In 1992, the teams tied, 13-13, which led Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee to sarcastically remark that "this is one of our greatest wins ever". The tie improved John Cooper's record in The Game to 0-4-1.

    19. In 1993, Michigan ruined an undefeated season for Ohio State by winning The Game, 28-0. In 1994, John Cooper got his first win in The Game, 22-6, but followed that up with a loss to Alabama in the Florida Citrus Bowl (Cooper was also a miserable 3-8 in bowl games).

    20. In 1995, #1 Ohio State entered The Game with a perfect 11-0-0 record, while #18 Michigan was 8-3-0. The Wolverines pulled the stunning upset, 31-23, thanks to 313 yards rushing from Tim Biakabutuka. Meanwhile, Ohio State's Heisman Trophy winner, Eddie George, was held to 104 yards on the ground. The loss ruined Ohio State national championship hopes, their first legitimate title run since 1979.

    21. In 1996, #2 Ohio State once again entered The Game with a perfect 10-0-0 record, and once again #21 Michigan pulled off the upset, 13-9. The only touchdown of the game came when Buckeye cornerback Shawn Springs slipped in single coverage and Wolverine wide receiver Tai Streets took a short pass 69 yards for the score. Ohio State rebounded by beating an undefeated Arizona State team in the Rose Bowl, but the 11-1-0 Buckeyes would finish #2 in both major polls behind 12-1-0 Florida.

    22. In 1997, the tables were turned, with Michigan entering The Game with a perfect 10-0-0 record and Ohio State looking for the upset to spoil a national championship season. However, Michigan won The Game, 20-14, thanks in part to a punt return for a touchdown by Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson. Michigan would complete its perfect season with a win in the Rose Bowl, and earned the AP national championship (Nebraska won the coaches poll in 1997).

    23. John Cooper got his second and last victory in The Game in 1998, but the 10-1-0 Buckeyes were already out of national title contention thanks to a mind-boggling loss to Michigan State just two weeks prior. Ohio State would beat Texas A+M in the Sugar Bowl to finish 11-1-0 and #2 in both major polls.

    24. Michigan won The Game in both 1999 and 2000, bringing their overall record in the series to 56-35-6; in Big Ten titles, 40 to 28; and in national championships, 9 to 6.

    25. In the second half of the 20th Century, Michigan's lead was just 27-23-2 in The Game, while the teams tied in Big Ten titles with 20 each, and Ohio State led in national championships, five to one.
    mendensa, brodybuck21 and OsUPhAn like this.


Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by LordJeffBuck, Nov 28, 2015.

    1. LordJeffBuck
      Bumping this....
      brodybuck21 likes this.
    2. ScriptOhio
      Ohio State's 1955 season recap video is something to behold.

      Your reading companion for that video:
      • Buckeyes went 1-2 in non-conference play and still finished No.5 in the country #B1GBIAS
      • Plenty of dazzling highlights from the Duke game...which the Buckeyes dropped 20 -14 in Columbus. Yeah, the narrator sort of skips over that part.
      • Hop Cassady won the Heisman that year after finishing third the prior season (in which the Buckeyes were undefeated national champions).
      • Hop was not a team captain. He never was. Had Ohio State carried nine of them in 1955 the way they do in 2017, he wouldn't have been denied entry to over 60 years of Captains' Breakfasts. National champion, NFL champion, AP Male Athlete of the Year, Hall of Famer, 2x Big Ten POY, Retired number in Ohio breakfasts.
      • Please bring back those argyle endzones ASAP, thanks.
      • TBDBITL's stadium spot in 1955 was the west goal line in the north end zone. Okay.
      • Ohio State QB Frank Elwood wore the 24 jersey. This is good and more QBs should do this.
      • The Full House backfield and the fake option-pitch TD out of that formation in this video: Football pornography.
      • Ohio State (No.6) at Michigan (No.9) with both teams wearing their home jerseys. Please bring that back ASAP, thanks.
      • Buckeyes shut out the Wolverines 17-0 at home, effectively canceling Michigan's Pasadena plans and giving the Buckeyes the Big Ten title again. Please bring this back in November, thanks.
      • And since Ohio State played in the Rose Bowl the previous season, Michigan State got to go instead. Those were the rules back then. Please keep this in 1955, thanks.
      Entire article:
      kujirakira, brodybuck21 and BigJim like this.
    3. ScriptOhio

      brodybuck21 likes this.
    4. ScriptOhio
      A brief history of Ohio State’s offensive innovation

      How has Ohio State’s offense progressed since the 1960s?

      Football is a constantly evolving game, in all facets. College football is nearly unrecognizable 60 years ago compared to the modern day game, in pretty much every imaginable way. Massive changes in the way programs recruit, the way coaches manage development, and even in the way the game is played on the field, have led to an entirely different game from the origins of college football.

      Athletes and coaches, thanks in large part to exercise and recruiting advancements, are bigger, faster, stronger, and smarter than ever, and in no place is that more evident than the way offense is played in modern day football.

      We’re nearly 50 years removed from the heyday of the Wishbone, and other option systems that nearly every college football team ran in the late-60s and early-70s. We’ve progressed through the west coast offense movement of the 80s, and the I-form option brought to prominence by Tom Osborne.

      Even in the past decade or so, we’ve seen the rise of the spread, RPOs, and a more diverse set of offensive schemes than college football has ever had before. Every system in college football is wildly different, and that development has led to an offensive renaissance unlike any we’ve ever seen before in the sport.

      That renaissance isn’t just true as a general statement, however, and when looking for one program to display just how wildly offense has changed since the early 60s, there aren’t many examples better than Ohio State.

      The Buckeyes have been near the cutting edge of every offensive innovation, from Woody Hayes’ three yards and a cloud of dust, option-influenced I-form sets, to Urban Meyer’s blazing fast spread attack, and everything in between.

      I’ve spent the past few days researching Ohio State’s offensive production since 1960, and plotting out the offensive changes that define Ohio State’s storied history. Let’s take a look at the last 60 years of Buckeye offense.



      Ohio State’s offense in the 60s was inconsistent, to say the least. The decade started well for its time, as Woody Hayes led the Buckeyes to solid records from 1960 to 1962 with players like Tom Matte, Bob Ferguson, Paul Warfield, and David Francis, but the Buckeyes stagnated from 1963 to 1967.

      They averaged just 14.76 points per game during this time, as players like Matt Snell, Willard Sander, Tom Barrington, Paul Hudson, Bo Rein and William Long struggled through a bit of an identity crisis. While the Buckeyes still generally managed to win games, they did it despite a wildly inconsistent offense that didn’t know if it wanted to run or pass.

      An awful 4-5 season in 1966 that saw the Buckeyes put up just 12 points a game showed Hayes that he needed to change his ways to survive. After a decent bounce back to 6-3 in 1967, the Buckeyes exploded in 1968, thanks to Buckeye legends Rex Kern and Jim Otis.

      Jack Tatum, Rex Kern, Jim Stillwagon, Tim Anderson and John Brockington, among others became known as the super sophs, on their way to a national title and a phenomenal 32.3 points per game.

      Incredibly, while they couldn’t win a title in 1969 thanks to Michigan, they managed to be even more lethal on offense, putting up 42.6 points per game, led by that same outstanding class. That output set an Ohio State record that stood until 2013.

      So, what led to that offensive explosion after five down seasons, and the bottoming out in 1967? Well, those struggles finally forced Woody Hayes to make two of the most important adjustments in his career.

      Firstly, Hayes expanded his recruiting efforts out of Ohio, in an attempt to add more talent. That talent grab worked, and led to the aforementioned freshman class of 1967, the class that would lead Ohio State to the title a year later.

      That, however, wasn’t the most important change following that 1967 season. After years of grinding out victories with the single wing and T-formation, Hayes finally made the jump to the I-formation (thanks in no small part to assistants George Chaump and Earle Bruce), though he wasn’t fully invested yet, but more on that in a bit.

      That jump was obviously worth the effort, as it helped Ohio State win the title, and ultimately, led them into the new era of offensive football, an era defined by running backs, rather than fullbacks.



      The 70s began for Ohio State pretty similarly to how the 60s ended. Led by class-of-1967 holdovers Rex Kern, John Brockington, and Leo Hayden, the Buckeyes put up 29 points per game on their way to a championship loss to Jim Plunkett and Stanford.

      After three seasons of offensive dominance with the I-form, Ohio State took a huge step back in 1971, putting up 22.4 points per game in a rebuilding season that saw the Buckeyes go 6-4 after starting 6-1.

      The bounce back in 1972, much like the return to prominence in 1968, can be attributed to a huge personnel change: the addition of Archie Griffin. Griffin was an immediate impact player, and served as a massive example of what the I-form can be with a dominant back.

      A little note on the I-form. While the I-form was created in it’s most popular form by Tom Nugent in the 50s at VMI, it wasn’t until the 60s and 70s that it really started to take over for the more traditional single wing, T-form, and the rising wishbone. The popularization can largely be attributed to USC, and head coach John McKay, who dominated the west coast in the late 60s with running backs like Mike Garrett, OJ Smipson and Clarence Davis in the I-form.

      It was that USC dominance that led directly to Ohio State’s change to the system, and made Hayes more amicable to a change from his past ways. USC was a huge problem for the Buckeyes when under McKay’s control, as the Trojans and Buckeyes faced off eight times over those 16 seasons, splitting the series, 4-4. USC antagonized Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten for much of McKay’s tenure, consistently appearing in and winning the Rose Bowl.

      The Buckeyes’ loss to that Stanford I-form team that loved to throw the ball in 1970 that kept Hayes from his second title in three years was the final straw, and with Woody and his staff fully ready to buy into the I-form, the Buckeyes finally turned the corner.

      The Buckeyes won nine games in 1972, and, with Archie and Cornelius Greene in the backfield, proceeded to rattle off 31 wins from 1973 to 1975. The Griffin-led Buckeyes put up a whopping 37.5, 36.4, and 32 points per game respectively over those three seasons, but came just short of a championship all three seasons, with just a tie with Michigan, and losses to Michigan State, USC, and UCLA keeping them from the titles.

      It’s not hard to see why those offenses were so dominant, as is evident in the gif above (big ups to Youtube user PockyCandy, who posts awesome footage from old football games). Griffin was a dominant back, and while Ohio State still rarely passed, giving the two time Heisman a lead blocker at fullback, two tight ends and a little bit of space was enough to let him absolutely destroy defenses. The I-form is at its best with a dominant back like him.

      After Griffin’s departure, the Buckeyes took a pretty big step back offensively, averaging just 25.4 points a game in 1976 on their way to a 9-2-1 finish. Ron Springs, Art Schlichter, and Jeff Logan passed the time between 1976 and 1978, as the Buckeyes struggled to get over the nine win hump.

      1979 served as the end of an era for Ohio State football, as Earle Bruce took over for a disgraced Woody Hayes and led the Buckeyes to an 11-1 finish in his first season. With Schlichter at the helm, the Buckeyes began their new era with a dominant season tempered by a disappointing loss at the end. This will become a trend.

      Despite the lack of a title, Ohio State’s offense was once again operating at full capacity under Bruce, and looked primed to carry their 32.5 points per game into the 80s.

      Entire article:
      mendensa likes this.
    5. mendensa
      always good to do a little history review. Some of those all-important stats, scores, and memorable moments get a bit blurry over the years.
    6. kujirakira
      We all know the 2pt story, but I wasn't aware it's still the record.
      I want to live to see this broken with another conversion to finish it off. Preferably while Harbaugh still has a job up there.
      mendensa likes this.
    7. mendensa
      58-49-6...... that's the one I want to see in OSU's favor before I kick the bucket.
      jakenick06 and buckeyboy like this.
    8. TS10HTW
    9. kujirakira
      It happens when it happens. Since the forward pass existed, we have it. We have it in-conference.
      If they bring it up now, it's an easy segue into the days they were padding their record as a semi-pro team playing high schools while the rest of the conference was amateur.
    10. ScriptOhio
      Here's a little bit of history on the 1971 season about a QB a lot of Buckeye fans(maybe) never heard of:

      brodybuck21 likes this.

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