If you’re like us, you probably miss watching Ohio State Football.
If you’re also like us, you probably spend a lot of time watching old Ohio State games in the off-season to pass the time.
One of the great things about being a fan of a blue blood program is that there’s no shortage of historical games to watch online. Games like the 1969 Rose Bowl, this 1988 matchup with LSU or a playlist showcasing some of the best to ever wear scarlet and gray (SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION, HIT THAT SUBSCRIBE BUTTON) are easily accessible.
Since we still have four months until the Buckeyes’ opener against Florida Atlantic, My Hangout in the Holy Land co-host Patrick Mayhorn and I thought it would be a fun off-season project to scour through the archives, and rank the top 20 re-watchable Ohio State games in podcast form, and write a bit about them here. Our only real criteria was that it actually had to be watchable somewhere online, since that’s obviously the point of this whole project. It should be noted that this isn’t a top 20 of Ohio State’s best, most exciting, or most important games, —just the ones with the most replay value— so please don’t get mad online when your favorite game doesn’t make the cut or is too low.
(We stole this idea directly from the folks at Shutdown Fullcast, so please go listen to them.)
Over the course of the next month and a half, we’ll take you through before the 2019 season kicks off. Continue below the episode to watch each game, and also read our thoughts on each. Let’s get started:
No. 20: The 3-OT win vs. NC State (2003)
Colton: This game is slept on, and it’s in our top-20 for three reasons:
- It’s the first overtime game in Ohio Stadium history
- Ohio State Tressel-balled a 24-7 lead with 9 minutes left into a nail-biting three-OT win.
- The NFL talent in this game is absurd.
Phillip Rivers was in the midst of an ACC Player of the Year senior season, and threw two touchdowns to long-time NFLer Jericho Cotchery. True freshman defensive end Mario Williams terrorized the Buckeyes’ line, flashing the early skills that would eventually make him the first pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.
Meanwhile, Ohio State had dudes by the name of Michael Jenkins, Santonio Holmes, Nick Mangold, Will Smith, AJ Hawk, and Chris Gamble leading their quest to repeat as National Champions. They also were on a 16-game winning streak. I’m a hipster for this game and wish Ohio State would play more home-and-home’s with ACC opponents. LONG LIVE OHIO STADIUM’S NATURAL GRASS!!!!!
Patrick: I actually wasn’t super privy to this game coming in. It was a little bit before my time, and I don’t think I’d ever really looked back at it as anything more than a strange overtime game against a pretty solid team. It’s, uh, way more than a strange overtime game against a pretty solid team. This is one of the most bizarre and talent packed games on our whole list, and it’s a blast to rewatch. Mario Williams is already a handful, even this early in his career, and the caliber of play is super high from both teams.
Now, it isn’t perfect, because you will have to watch Craig Krenzel throw a football, but this is a great blast from the past, and a super under-looked game in Buckeye lore.
No. 19: The 2010 Sugar Bowl vs. Arkansas
Colton: Where do you even start? TatGate was in full swing, Ohio State needed to break its streak of getting owned by the SEC in bowl games, and it was the end of the Tressel era. That doesn’t even cover how weird the game was.
Terrelle Pryor made dazzling plays, and got some help, too. Upon re-watch, my biggest takeaway was Cam Heyward’s dominance. Arkansas had one of the best offenses in the country that year, and Heyward almost single-handedly dismantled them. As for the rest of the game, you know about the punt block, and what happened next, but this was almost an all-time crumble from Tressel and co. in the fourth quarter. Thank god he didn’t go out like that.
This deserves a spot on our list for historical significance alone. Tressel’s last game, Pryor’s moment in the sun before his ludicrous exile, and the butterfly it’s had on the program to this day. It also doesn’t hurt that the game was wild. Lastly, I’m just a sucker for the 2010 team. They finished second in S&P+ (by .1 percent!), and in my opinion are the best non-national title team in school history. It’s a shame they didn’t get the chance to try again in 2011.
Patrick: We talk about it extensively in the episode, but I really can’t get over how surreal and bizarre this whole game is. With the off-the-field circumstances, it feels like Jim Tressel is a dead man on the sidelines, and the energy of both teams reflects that. Ohio State was as talented as ever in 2010, so they were able to grab a win on the back of that talent (and some baffling Arkansas mistakes), but in traditional Tressel fashion, they can never really pull away. It’s always fun to go back and watch Terrelle Pryor play quarterback, and that, paired with a good matchup, a close finish, and the absolutely strange energy of this game make it a fun watch if you’ve got the time for it.
What do you think? Would either of these games make your top-20? Would they be higher? Drop us a comment, and follow along with us on Apple Podcasts as we count down the most re-watchable games in Ohio State history!