Now that the college football season has officially ended, there is time to turn your attention elsewhere. While college basketball is the obvious choice as what to watch now, we figured that we could go even deeper into the athletic department. Even though we all want to see the Buckeye basketball team win a championship, there are a number of other sports that have a great shot at winning a title.
Ohio State’s non-revenue sports might not generate money for the athletic department, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t rich in entertainment. Whether it is on the volleyball court, at the ice rink, or on the baseball diamond, Ohio State has one of the deepest athletic departments in the country. When you have a tradition like the Buckeye athletics department does, there are going to be tons of top-level athletes that want to come try and make a name for themselves at the university.
We want to know what non-revenue team that you’ll have your eyes on and rooting on to a possible championship. Meredith and Brett have a couple great choices for what they’ll be watching, and we want to know which non-revenue sport you’ll be throwing your support behind.
Today’s question: Which Ohio State non-revenue team are you rooting for to win a national championship this year?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s answer: Ohio State’s women’s ice hockey
The best hockey team in Columbus right now is the Ohio State women’s hockey team. The Columbus Blue Jackets might get most of the attention because of their NHL ties, but they have struggled of late. Ohio State’s men’s hockey team has been pretty good this year, posting a 15-6-1 record. Neither of those teams can hold a candle to the women’s hockey team, which is 17-3 and ranked second in the country.
The Ohio State women’s hockey team has really turned the corner since Nadine Muzerall was hired six years ago. Over the past five years, the Buckeyes have won at least 20 games in each of those seasons, and made two Frozen Four appearances. The most recent of those came last season, where Ohio State fell to Wisconsin in one of the national semifinals. The Badgers have been a thorn in the side of Ohio State lately, not only ending the season of the Buckeyes last year, but also handing Ohio State two of their three losses this season.
The Buckeyes do have a chance for a little revenge against Wisconsin, when they take on the Badgers two times in Columbus next month. Even though it likely will be just a tune-up for meetings in the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments, it would be great if the Buckeyes could earn a win or two against the Badgers before they move on to the games that really could matter against Wisconsin.
There are a number of things that makes Ohio State exciting to watch on the ice. Not only do the Buckeyes have an impressive collection of scorers, they also have goaltenders that resembles a brick wall. Ohio State has six skaters with at least 10 goals this year, led by Sophie Jaques, who has 14 goals so far this season. The Buckeyes also have three goaltenders that are allowing less than two goals per game this year, with Andrea Braendli seeing most of the action, playing in 12 games and allowing 1.84 goals per game.
After playing in last year’s Frozen Four in Erie, Pennsylvania, Ohio State will be trying to make a trip deeper into the heart of the Keystone State this spring. The 2022 Frozen Four will be held in State College, and it’s likely to see Ohio State as one of the teams competing, as the Buckeyes have established themselves as one of the best teams in the country. This feels like the year that Ohio State breaks through and the women finally earn a title on the ice.
Meredith’s answer: Ohio State men’s wrestling
Ever since the Ohio State wrestling team won its first title in program history in 2015, it seems like the sport all of a sudden became another thing Buckeye fans could obsess over (and one more set of vernacular for central Ohioans to learn…). It didn’t hurt that Kyle Snyder, who headlined the team, was a national personality, winning World Championships and Olympic golds at every turn.
The Buckeyes have come oh so close to winning more titles since 2015, but they’ve regularly had a tough road year in and year out in the most competitive wrestling conference in Division I. While Iowa won the title last year, Penn State won the previous four. Ohio State was the NCAA runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Note that there was no championship held in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Things look no different this year: Iowa, Penn State and Michigan are the top-three in the latest NCAA rankings. However, Ohio State is peeking in from the outside, staying just under the surface at No. 7. The Buckeyes are 5-0 on the season, most recently bringing home their first conference win of the young season against Michigan State in East Lansing. The performance was also impressive since Ohio State had had an almost four-week hiatus before facing off against the Spartans.
In that matchup. Ohio State won six of their 10 bouts, headlined by redshirt junior Sammo Sasso’s 25th-straight dual match win in the 149-pound class. Sasso, ranked second nationally in his weight class, is the wrestler to watch this season. He was a Big Ten champ and NCAA runner-up in 2021.
Three other wrestlers for Ohio State are ranked in the top-10 in their respective classes. While the lineup isn’t as stacked as it’s been in previous seasons, the team has made a run early this season.
Things don’t get easier, as the Buckeyes are set to face Michigan Friday at the Covelli Center, but maybe (just maybe) this will be the year they beat yet another tough Big Ten and bring home another title.