After a brief hiatus, the Holy Land Pod Boys™ have returned, and we’re continuing our list of the 20 most re-watchable games in Ohio State football history today with numbers 18 and 17. If you want to read our thoughts on the first two games that made our list, go here, and keep up with us on Apple Podcasts, and also on Spotify.
As a reminder, these aren’t necessarily the best games in Ohio State history, but rather the ones that we think have the most replay value, namely to help you get through another hellish off-season. Let us know what you think of our list so far in the comments below, and let’s get to this week’s games.
No. 18: The 1997 Rose Bowl win over Arizona State
Colton: First off, can we get some love for the big-ass shoulder pad era? This game was smack dab in the middle of it, and by god do I miss seeing linebackers that looked like they had turrets attached to their shoulders. These are inarguably Ohio State’s best uniforms ever. As for the game itself, Ohio State not only won their first Rose Bowl in 20-plus years in dramatic fashion, but kept ASU —of all teams— from winning the National Championship. This is probably the high-point of the Cooper era. This game is worth watching for Orlando Pace alone; he just absolutely obliterates everyone in his path, including this poor linebacker:
Spoiler: This is also the oldest game on our list, so if you’re waiting for something from the Woody era, you’re gonna have to break out the VCR instead.
Patrick: We mention it on the episode, but I think the talent of the John Cooper era really goes underappreciated at times, and it was on full display in this game. Orlando Pace is a great rewatch anytime, David Boston was one of the most physically dominant receivers to come through Ohio State, and that Buckeye defense was just excellent. This certainly isn’t the most explosive game on the list, but it’s a good rewatch if you want to watch some really great players, or if the last four seasons of excellent talent and less than excellent coaching wasn’t enough for you.
No. 17: The 14-9 win over Michigan in 2002
Colton: I campaigned against this one, and still don’t think it should be on the list, but it’s hard to argue against its significance. Even 17 years later, you can still feel the Ohio Stadium crowd almost waiting for John Cooper to show up and lose. The nervous energy is next level, and of course this Ohio State team dragged it out literally to the last second. If you want to make your case that Maurice Clarett was the most valuable player to his team in 2002, this is exhibit A. He’s operating at about 60 percent, and still rushes for over 110 yards, with four or five emotionally charged game-changing plays. They probably get shut out if he doesn’t play. This game is ugly as hell, and I never want to watch it in full again, but the drama is top notch.
Patrick: God, Mo C was so good. As Colton mentions, he wasn’t full strength for basically the second half of the 2002 season, and he was still, even with that, easily the best player on the field in this, the biggest game of the regular season. This certainly isn’t pretty, but the significance, and the nervous energy of every fan there is just too much to leave off the list.
What do you think of our list so far? Would you have anything different? Let us know here in the comments, and send us a Tweet @HolyLandPod!