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LGHL Asks: Troy Smith is Ohio State fans’ favorite 21st Century quarterback

You ask, we answer. Sometimes we ask, others answer. And then other times, we ask, we answer.

NCAA Football - Ohio State vs Illinois - November 4, 2006 Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images

From now until preseason camp starts in August, Land-Grant Holy Land will be writing articles around a different theme every week. This week is all about taking sides in head-to-head debates. You can catch up on all of the Theme Week content here and all of our ”This or That” articles here.

While this week, LGHL was focused on Burning Questions for our theme week, last week was all about picking “This” or “That.” So, for our weekly fan survey, we put a trio of questions to Ohio State fans to gauge their thoughts on recent Buckeye football history and their preferences for what’s next on the gridiron and hardwood.

Question 1: Who is your favorite 21st Century Ohio State quarterback?

Man, I came up with this question, and even I can’t imagine picking just one. As you can see by the distribution of votes, a lot of guys got some love in this week’s survey. However, I want to call out a guy who fell into the “Other” category and that is the late, great Dwayne Haskins Jr.

Not only was Haskins an obviously gifted passer, but he ushered in a standard of quarterback play in Columbus. Obviously, he was not the first quarterback that Ryan Day worked with at Ohio State — that honor would go to J.T. Barrett in 2017 — but Simba certainly feels like the first Day Era QB, given his record-breaking performance in 2018.

He still owns the single-season marks for passing yards (4,831) and passing touchdowns (50). He also holds the single-game, regular-season record for passing yards in a game with 499 against Northwestern.

After years of Barrett’s incredibly effective — but not exactly exciting — brand of QB play, seeing a guy who could seemingly sling it anywhere on the field was eye-opening and served as an excellent introduction to what Day could do with a uniquely talented athlete under center.

Question 2: Question 2: Would you rather (football edition)

The graphic is worded a little oddly, but the options were Michigan go 4-8 or Ohio State win the Big Ten, but not make the College Football playoff. If you would have asked me this anytime over the past two decades before late November 2021, I would have probably gone with adding another trophy to the case at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

But now that the Wolverines have won two straight rivalry games, I am going with the slight majority of fans on this one. Anything to see TTUN humiliated is fine with me, and besides, I’d prefer Michigan go 4-8 AND Ohio State win the B1G and make the CFP, but that wasn’t an option.

Question 3: Question 3: Would you rather (men’s basketball edition)

The major knock against Chris Holtmann’s tenure as Ohio State’s men’s basketball coach has been his inability to get his team into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. So, we gave fans the option to pick whether they would prefer to see his squad make a run to the Final Four, but struggle for three years, or be competitive in the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament, but never reaching true title contention.

What’s interesting is that almost 23 of respondents opted for the more perennially competitive team that doesn’t reach its highest heights. I could argue that — save 2022-23 — that’s effectively what they’ve gotten since Holtmann took over. Yes, the survey prompt probably assumed a slightly better showing in conference, but Holtmann’s teams have finished 2nd, 8th, 5th, 5th, and 4th in the B1G prior to last season. That’s not too bad.

If that was 2nd, 6th, 3rd, 3rd, and 2nd, I do wonder if the perception of Holtmann’s postseason shortcomings would be different than it is today.