When Urban Meyer was hired as the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2012, he was very open about the fact that not only would his new team need to compete with the likes of Penn State, Wisconsin, and The Team Up North, but they would also need to take on the biggest dog in the college football yard, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Since then, Meyer’s Buckeyes have become one of the dominant forces in the country, but in many ways are still nipping at ‘Bama’s heels. While OSU won the inaugural College Football Playoff— beating the Tide in the semifinals— Nick Saban and company have won two of the three titles since.
That being typed, this past February, the Buckeyes bested the Tide in the composite recruiting rankings for the first time in Meyer’s tenure, and now, thanks to a tip from Ohio State’s Sports Information Director, there is another feather for the Buckeyes to stick in the cap of this intra-conference rivalry.
Ohio State has the best conference record of any team in the nation over the last six years:— Jerry Emig (@BuckeyeNotes) April 6, 2018
Best Conference Records – 2012-17
1. 47-3 - Ohio State
2. 43-5 - Alabama
3. 42-6 - Clemson
4. 45-9 - Oklahoma
5. 39-11 - Wisconsin
Meyer’s Buckeyes have the best conference record of any team in in the country during his time leading the Buckeyes. Saban’s Crimson Tide come in second, followed by Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.
In the six seasons that Meyer has been at the helm in Columbus, he has a 73-8 overall record, including a 47-3 mark in the Big Ten Conference. His three B1G losses came to No. 9 Michigan State in 2015, Penn State in 2016, and Iowa last year. In his first three years back at Ohio State, Meyer did not lose in conference, and his teams have claimed at least a share of their division title every year he’s been on the job. (RIP Leaders Division.)
Saban, however, has only had one undefeated conference season since 2012— the Tide went 8-0 in the SEC in 2016. Now, I know that some of you will argue that the Southeastern Conference is a better league than the B1G, and that might well be the case, at least over the past decade or so. But, in recent years, the Big Ten has been just as good, if not better than, any conference in the country at the top and in terms of depth; a fact that is due in no small part to Meyer’s arrival in Columbus.
So, between the recent head-to-head recruiting victory, and this impressive conference mark, could the tide be turning in OSU’s favor? We’ll find out when the teams get back on the gridiron this September.