Since today is Cinco de Mayo, what better way to celebrate than by looking at some of the best fives in Ohio State history. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to be only players that have worn the No. 5 while at Ohio State, it could also be a ranking, number of titles, or really any way that the number five can be shoehorned into anything Ohio State.
If there are any important fives at Ohio State that you feel we have forgot about, hit us up on the Twitter machine at @Landgrant33 or drop your fabulous five tie-ins in the comments.
During his first three years at Ohio State, Braxton Miller wore No. 5 for the Buckeyes. Miller threw for over 5,000 yards and 52 touchdowns, while also running for over 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns while playing quarterback. Miller was a force when Urban Meyer arrived in Columbus in 2012, winning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013. After missing 2014 due to shoulder surgery, Miller would not only shift to wide receiver, but he would also trade in his No. 5 jersey for the No. 1 jersey.
For any Ohio State fan that had a No. 5 jersey heading into the 2014 season, Raekwon McMillan made sure that number was put to good use with Miller on the shelf. McMillan made a splash as a freshman for the Buckeyes, totaling 54 tackles in Ohio State’s championship season. The linebacker would go on to even better numbers over the next two years, registering over 100 tackles as a sophomore and junior. McMillan is one of the best defenders over the last decade at Ohio State, and is the last great linebacker the Buckeyes have produced.
The latest No. 5 to star for Ohio State was recently a first round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Garrett Wilson is one of the newest members of the New York Jets after being taken with the 10th overall pick in last week’s draft. While at Ohio State, Wilson caught 143 passes for 2,213 yards and 23 touchdowns. In 2020, Wilson became just the second Buckeye to record four-straight games with at least 100 receiving yards.
Title game appearances this century
Between the BCS and CFP, Ohio State has appeared in five title games since 2000. The first came in 2002, when the underdog Buckeyes were able to defeat Miami in overtime in Arizona to shock the college football world. The next two championship game appearances aren’t quite as fun to look back on, with Florida and LSU beating the Buckeyes in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
The next moment of glory for Ohio State came in the first CFP Championship Game in 2014. The Buckeyes not only shocked Alabama in the semifinal to earn a spot in the title game, Cardale Jones and Ezekiel Elliott powered Ohio State to an easy win over the Ducks. Alabama would get their revenge in 2020, blowing out the Buckeyes in the championship game in a year that was marred by COVID-19.
End of year ranking
Ohio State has finished fifth in the AP rankings on six different occasions. The last time Ohio State was ranked in that spot in the final poll came in 2017 after a Cotton Bowl win over USC. Prior to that, five was a popular spot for Ohio State under Jim Tressel, as the Buckeyes finished the season there in 2007, 2009, and 2010, with the last two seasons ending in BCS bowl game wins. The other two finishes in the fifth spot in the AP Poll came back in 1955 and 1970. Ohio State didn’t play in a bowl game in 1955, and the fell to Stanford 27-17 in the Rose Bowl at the end of the 1970 season.
It didn’t take Hondo long to leave his mark at Ohio State, as he was part of the 1959-60 team that went on to win the national championship. Havlicek averaged 12.2 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game during that season. The forward would see his numbers increase over the next two years, averaging 17 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game by the time he left Columbus.
Havlicek would go on to be drafted by the Boston Celtics with the seventh pick in the 1962 NBA Draft, winning eight NBA titles, and making the All-Star team 13 times during his legendary NBA career. Ohio State went on to retire Havlicek’s No. 5, making him one of five Buckeye basketball players to have their jersey retired. The 11 of Jerry Lucas, Evan Turner’s 21, Jim Jackson’s number 22, and Gary Bradds’ 35 are the other numbers of Ohio State men’s basketball players hanging in the rafters at Value City Arena.
The five-seed hasn’t been very kind the Ohio State men’s and women’s basketball programs over the years in the NCAA Tournament. The men’s basketball team has only been a five-seed once in the NCAA Tournament. Back in 2018, Ohio State beat South Dakota State 81-73 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Gonzaga 90-84 in their next game.
The Ohio State women’s team has been tagged with the five-seed three times in the NCAA Tournament, and each time gone a little farther in the Big Dance than their previous appearance as the five-seed. In 1984, Ohio State fell to Ole Miss 77-55. It would be 31 years until the Buckeyes would make their next trip to the tournament as a five-seed, beating James Madison in the first round in 2015 before dropping a heartbreaker to North Carolina 86-84. Then two years later, Ohio State would beat Western Kentucky and Kentucky before getting smoked by Notre Dame in the Sweet Sixteen.