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Ohio State Buckeyes football

Ohio State Buckeyes football
2024 Ohio State Buckeyes football team
First season1890 (133 years ago)
Athletic directorGene Smith
Head coachRyan Day
5th season, 56–8 (.875)
StadiumOhio Stadium
(capacity: 102,780)
FieldSafelite Field
Year built1922
Field surfaceFieldTurf
LocationColumbus, Ohio
NCAA divisionDivision I FBS
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
Past conferencesIndependent
Ohio Athletic Conference
All-time record964–333–52 (.734)
Bowl record26–29 (.473)
Playoff appearances5 (2014, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2022)
Playoff record3–4 (.429)
Claimed national titles8 (1942, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970, 2002, 2014)
Unclaimed national titles8 (1933, 1944, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1975, 2006)
National finalist5 (2002, 2006, 2007, 2014, 2020)
Conference titles41 (2 OAC, 39 Big Ten)
Division titles10 (2 Leaders, 8 East)
RivalriesSee § Rivalries:
Michigan (rivalry)
Illinois (rivalry)
Penn State (rivalry)
Heisman winnersLes Horvath – 1944
Vic Janowicz – 1950
Howard Cassady – 1955
Archie Griffin – 1974
Archie Griffin – 1975
Eddie George – 1995
Troy Smith – 2006
Consensus All-Americans93
Current uniform
ColorsScarlet, Gray, White, and Black
       
Fight songAcross the Field and Buckeye Battle Cry
MascotBrutus Buckeye
Marching bandOhio State University Marching Band
OutfitterNike
Websiteohiostatebuckeyes.com

The Ohio State Buckeyes football team competes as part of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, representing the Ohio State University in the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State has played its home games at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, since 1922.[1]

The Buckeyes are recognized by the university and NCAA as having won eight national championships,[2] including six from the major wire-service selectors: AP Poll and/or Coaches' Poll. The program has also captured 41 conference championships (2 OAC and 39 Big Ten), 10 division championships, and has compiled 10 undefeated seasons, including six perfect seasons (no losses or ties). Seven players have received the Heisman Trophy (second all-time), with the program holding the distinction of having the only two-time winner (Archie Griffin) of the award.

As of 2017, the football program is valued at $1.5–2 billion,[3][4] the highest valuation of any such program in the country. NCAA's first millioniare student-athlete (Quinn Ewers) became such using NIL while in the program.

History

Early history (1890–1950)

The first Ohio State football team of 1890

After early attempts at forming a team in 1886 (led by future Nebraska governor Chester Hardy Aldrich) and 1887, football was ultimately established at the university in 1890.[5] On the site of the first OSU game, on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, on May 3, 1890, the Delaware County Historical Society has set an historical marker.[6] Some histories of Ohio State football credit George Cole, an undergraduate, and Alexander S. Lilley with introducing the sport to the campus. More recent research has challenged that claim, stating that George Cole persuaded Lilley to coach the football team during its first full season that fall.[6] OSU's first home game took place at 2:30 p.m. on November 1, 1890. They played the University of Wooster on the site that was then called Recreation Park. Just east of historic German Village, the park occupied the north side of Schiller (now Whittier), between Ebner and Jaeger, in what is now Schumacher Place. OSU lost the game, 64–0. Over the next eight years, under a number of coaches, the team played to a cumulative record of 31 wins, 39 losses, and 2 ties. The first game against the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, was a 34–0 loss in 1897, a year that saw the low point in Buckeye football history with a 1–7–1 record. Jack Ryder was Ohio State's first paid coach, earning $150 per season, and lost his first game, against Oberlin College and John Heisman, on October 15, 1892.[7] In 1899 the university hired John Eckstorm to bring professional coaching skills to the program and immediately went undefeated.[8] In 1901, however, center John Sigrist was fatally injured in a game against Western Reserve University and the continuation of football at Ohio State was in serious question. Although the school's athletic board let the team decide its future, Eckstorm resigned.[9] In 1912, football underwent a number of developments that included joining the Western Conference, making football as part of a new Department of Athletics, and hiring Lynn W. St. John to be athletic director.

Chic Harley attended East High in Columbus and was regarded as one of the greatest players to attend an Ohio high school. A well-rounded player, Harley came to Ohio State in 1916 and instantly became a fan favorite. Harley and the Buckeyes won the first Big Ten championship in school history in 1916, finishing 7–0. The team would repeat in 1917 finishing 8–0–1. In 1918, Harley left to be a pilot in the Air Force during World War I. With Harley's return in 1919, the Buckeyes would only lose one game, to Illinois. Harley left OSU with a career record of 22–1–1. At the time, OSU played at the small Ohio Field and Harley brought such record crowds it became necessary to open Ohio Stadium in 1922. The stadium was built entirely on fan donations and several stadium drives around the city where Harley would often appear. In 1951, when the College Football Hall of Fame opened, Harley was inducted as an inaugural member. Ohio State's very first rival was Kenyon College, a small liberal arts college in Gambier, roughly 50 miles to the northeast. The Buckeyes first played them in their first season in 1890 on Nov 27, Kenyon won the first two meetings; however, Ohio State won 15 in a row and the rivalry diminished. Kenyon made it their season goal to defeat OSU. After the Bucks joined the Big Ten they stopped playing Kenyon. The all-time record stands at 17–6, OSU.[10] In hiring Francis Schmidt in March 1934 to coach its football team, Ohio State moved its program to a "big-time" level of competition. Schmidt was a well-established coach and an acknowledged offensive innovator. His offensive schemes were a "wide-open" style called "razzle-dazzle" and led him to be the first Buckeye football coach granted a multi-year contract. Schmidt's first four seasons saw victories over archrival Michigan, all by shut-out. The 1935 squad went 7–1, its sole loss was to Notre Dame, 18–13, in the first contest between the programs. However Schmidt's remaining seasons were less successful, except in 1939 when the Buckeyes won the Big Ten championship, and his popularity faded for a number of reasons.[11] On December 17, 1940, he resigned.

Paul Brown era (1941–1943)

Paul Brown (shown here as head coach of the Cleveland Browns) led the Buckeyes to their first national championship in 1942.

Ohio State hired the coach of Massillon Washington High School football team, Paul Brown, to succeed Schmidt.[12][13] Brown's Tigers had just won their sixth straight state championship. Brown immediately changed Ohio State's style of offense, planned and organized his program in great detail, and delegated to his assistant coaches using highly structured practices.

In 1942, Ohio State lost 22 veteran players to military service as the United States joined World War II, and with a team of mostly sophomores went on to lose only once in winning its first national championship. Brown accepted a commission in the United States Navy in 1944, ending his coaching run prior to the season.

Team in flux (1944–1950)

Former Buckeyes QB/HB, 1942 National Champion, and 1944 Heisman Trophy winner Les Horvath

When Brown went into the Navy, he directed his assistant Carroll Widdoes to head the team in his absence. The 1944 team fielded 31 freshmen but went undefeated and untied, including a victory over Paul Brown's Great Lakes Navy team. Ohio State finished second in the national rankings behind Army and Les Horvath became the first Buckeye to be awarded the Heisman Trophy. Also prominent on the 1942–44 teams was the first Buckeye African American star, Bill Willis. Brown chose not to return to Ohio State after the war, going into professional football instead.

Widdoes, despite having the highest two-year winning percentage of any Buckeye coach, asked to return to an assistant's position. Offensive coordinator Paul Bixler and Widdoes switched positions, and Bixler endured a mediocre 4–3–2 season. Bixler resigned and talk of Ohio State being a "graveyard of coaches" became commonplace, a reputation that lingered for decades.[14]

Wes Fesler became head coach in 1947 but finished last in the Big Ten for the only time in team history. Ohio State improved greatly in 1948, winning 6 and losing 3, then in 1949 enjoyed a successful season due to the play of sophomore Vic Janowicz. Ohio State received the Rose Bowl invitation, where they came from behind to defeat California.

In 1950, Fesler, rumored to be resigning because of pressures associated with the position and abuse of his family by anonymous critics, returned to coach the Buckeyes, who won six games in a row to move into the top ranking in the AP poll. However, the season fell apart as the Buckeyes lost to Michigan during a blizzard, a game that came to be known as the "Snow Bowl". Two weeks later, citing concerns about his health and family, Fesler resigned.

Woody Hayes era (1951–1978)

Woody Hayes, who won 205 games, five National Championships, and 13 Big Ten Championships - all team records - in 28 seasons (1951-1978) as head coach of the Buckeyes.

Early days

Wayne Woodrow "Woody" Hayes beat out Paul Brown,[15] among others, to be named head coach on February 18, 1951. He instituted a demanding practice regimen and was both aggressive and vocal in enforcing it, alienating many players accustomed to Fesler's laid-back style. The 1951 Buckeyes won 4, lost 3, and tied 2, leaving many to question the ability of the new coach. In 1952, the team improved to 6–3 and recorded their first victory over Michigan in eight years, but after a 1953 loss to Michigan, critics called for the replacement of Hayes. In 1954, the Buckeyes were picked to finish no higher than 10th in the Big Ten. Hayes, however, had the talents of Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, and a historic goal-line stand against Michigan propelled Ohio State to a perfect season. Hayes led the powerhouse Buckeyes to a shared national championship (his first and the team's second). In 1955 the team again won the Big Ten, set an attendance record, and won in Ann Arbor for the first time in 18  years, while Hopalong Cassady was securing the Heisman Trophy. Ohio State passed only three times against Michigan (the sole reception was the only completion in the final three games of the year), leading to the characterization of Hayes' style of offensive play as "three yards and a cloud of dust". In a 1955 article in Sports Illustrated, Hayes admitted to making small personal loans to financially needy players.[16] The article resulted in a furor over possible violations of NCAA rules, and the faculty council, followed by the Big Ten and NCAA, conducted lengthy investigations. Big Ten Commissioner Kenneth "Tug" Wilson found Hayes and the program guilty of violations and placed it on a year's probation in 1956.

Championship glory

In 1957, Ohio State won all of its remaining games after an opening loss to claim the Big Ten championship, then won the Rose Bowl over Oregon, and shared a national title with Auburn, for which Hayes was named Coach of the Year.

Former Buckeyes running back/receiver, 1954 National Champion, and 1955 Heisman Trophy winner Howard "Hopalong" Cassady

In 1961, the team went undefeated to be named national champions by the FWAA but a growing conflict between academics and athletics over Ohio State's reputation as a "football school" resulted in a faculty council vote to decline an invitation to the Rose Bowl, resulting in much public protest and debate.[17] Over the next 6 seasons, Ohio State finished no higher than 2nd and had a losing season in 1966, and public speculation that Hayes would be replaced as a coach grew to its highest point since 1953. In 1968, Ohio State defeated the number one-ranked Purdue Boilermakers and continued to an undefeated season including a 50–14 rout of Michigan and a Rose Bowl victory over the USC Trojans that resulted in the national championship. The Class of 1970 became known as the "super sophomores" in 1968 and might have gone on to three consecutive national championships except for what may have been the most bitter loss in Buckeye history. The winning streak reached 22 games as Ohio State traveled to Michigan. The Buckeyes were 17-point favorites but directed by first-year coach Bo Schembechler, Michigan shocked the Buckeyes in a 24–12 upset. The 1969 loss to Michigan initiated what came to be known as "The Ten Year War", in which the rivalry, which pitted some of OSU's and UM's strongest teams ever, rose to the uppermost level of all sports and the competition between Schembechler and Hayes became legendary.[18] Four times between 1970 and 1975, Ohio State and Michigan were both ranked in the top five of the AP Poll before their matchup. The Wolverines entered every game during those years undefeated and won only once, a 10–7 victory in Ann Arbor on November 20, 1971. Both teams used the annual game as motivation for entire seasons and after the initial win by Michigan, played dead even at four wins and a tie apiece. Hayes had the upper hand during the first part of the war, in which Ohio State won the conference championship and went to the Rose Bowl four straight years, while Michigan won the final three. It was also an era in which through television Ohio State football again came to the forefront of national attention.

Hayes set the tone in spring practice in 1970, placing a rug at the entrance to the Buckeye dressing room emblazoned with the words: "1969 MICH 24 OSU 12 — 1970 MICH:__ OSU:__" as a constant reminder of their objective.[19] The "super sophomores", now seniors, used a strong fullback-oriented offense to smash their way through the season undefeated, struggling only with Purdue the week before the Michigan game. The return match in Columbus found both teams undefeated and untied, a "first" in the history of the rivalry, with Michigan, ranked fourth and Ohio State fifth. Ohio State combined a powerful defense that held Michigan to only 37  yards rushing, a rushing offense employing two tight ends as blockers, and a 26-yard touchdown pass from Kern to Bruce Jankowski to win 20–9. The Buckeyes returned to the Rose Bowl to be upset by Stanford 27–17. The "super sophomores" had garnered a record of 27–2, the best winning percentage of any three-year period in team history, and won or shared the Big Ten title all three years. The National Football Foundation named Ohio State as a national co-champion, along with Texas, for 1970 and awarded the teams joint possession of the MacArthur Bowl. 1971 was less successful than the preceding seasons, but the middle four years of the 10-year war saw the greatest success for Hayes against Michigan, although the teams fell short of repeating their 1968 national championship. Archie Griffin began his college football career in 1972, taking advantage of new NCAA eligibility rules that allowed freshmen to compete at the varsity level. In his second game, sent in against North Carolina late in the first quarter, Griffin set a new Buckeye rushing record with 239 yards and led the team in rushing for the season with 867.

Former Buckeyes RB Archie Griffin, the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner in college football history (1974–75)

The following season, Hayes installed an I-formation attack with Griffin at tailback and fellow sophomore Cornelius Greene at quarterback. The Buckeyes went undefeated with a powerful offense and impenetrable defense, achieving an average margin of victory of 31 points a game. The only blemish on their record was a 10–10 tie with Michigan after both teams had entered the game unbeaten. (The tie was more galling for the Wolverines, however, as the Big Ten selected Ohio State to represent the conference in the Rose Bowl.) Despite soundly defeating defending national champion USC, however, the tie with Michigan resulted in the Buckeyes finishing second to Notre Dame in the final AP rankings. Griffin, Randy Gradishar, Van DeCree, and John Hicks were named All-Americans; Hicks, an offensive tackle, not only won both the Outland and Lombardi Trophies but placed second in the Heisman Trophy competition. 1974 and 1975 were seasons of both elation and frustration. The Buckeyes twice more defeated Michigan, and went to two Rose Bowls, but lost both. The 1974 team seemed bound for another national championship when it was derailed by a loss to unranked Michigan State (Ohio State lost only twice in the regular season during Griffin's four-year career, both to the Spartans), and the next year, the No. 1-ranked Bucks lost 23–10 to 11th-ranked UCLA in the 1976 Rose Bowl. In all, the Buckeyes were 40–5–1 from 1972 to 1975, winning the Big Ten all four years and never losing to Michigan, but it was the losses and ties that proved important to Ohio State missing out on achieving a national championship. At any rate, Archie Griffin rushed for 5,589 yards combined in his four seasons at Ohio State while winning the Heisman Trophy in 1974 (1,695 yards rushed) and 1975 (1,450 yards).[20]

Downfall

The falloff in the success of Hayes' last three years was not great. His teams forged records of 9–2–1, 9–3, and 7–4–1, and made bowl appearances in all three years (the rules had changed to allow appearances in other than the Rose Bowl). However, frustrations in losing three straight years to Michigan, and other factors, resulted in growing criticism of Hayes and his methods, particularly his on-the-field fits of temper. Even so, his downfall was sudden and shocking when near the end of the nationally televised Gator Bowl, Hayes punched Clemson middle guard Charlie Bauman after Bauman intercepted a pass to kill Ohio State's last chance to win.[21] Hayes was fired after the game by Ohio State president Harold Enarson and athletic director Hugh Hindman.[22]

Earle Bruce era (1979–1987)

Hayes was replaced by a former protégé, Iowa State head coach Earle Bruce.[23] Bruce inherited a strong team led by sophomore quarterback Art Schlichter but that had also lost 11 starters, and the 1979 squad exceeded pre-season expectations, ending the 3-year loss drought against Michigan and going to the Rose Bowl with an opportunity once again to be national champions. The Buckeyes lost both by a single point, 17–16, but Bruce was named Coach of the Year. His success was hailed by those in the media who saw it as a rebuke of Hayes and the start of a "new era".[24] 1980, however, saw the start of a trend that eventually brought criticism to Bruce, when Ohio State finished with a 9–3 record, the first of six consecutive years at 9–3. Though each of these seasons, and the 10–3 season that followed them, culminated in a bowl game, Ohio State did not appear to be any closer to a national championship than during the end of the Hayes era. Bruce's teams were not without impact players, however. All-Americans and future National Football League stars included Keith Byars, Cris Carter, Chris Spielman, John Frank, Jim Lachey, Tom Tupa, Marcus Marek, and Pepper Johnson. His program was also known for the number of notable assistant coaches on staff, including Jim Tressel, Glen Mason, Pete Carroll, Nick Saban, Urban Meyer and Dom Capers. For the first time since 1922, the Buckeyes lost three in a row in Ohio Stadium in 1982, including rematches with Stanford and Florida State, and for the second year in a row to Wisconsin, but then won seven straight, the last over BYU in the Holiday Bowl. Sophomore running back Keith Byars had a stand-out season in 1983, rushing for 1,199 yards, and Ohio State defeated the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, but three losses in conference meant a 4th-place finish. 1984 witnessed what Bruce called "the greatest comeback after the worst start" when Ohio State fell behind Illinois 24–0 at home but roared back on 274 yards rushing and five touchdowns by Byars to win 45–38. Ohio State also defeated Michigan to win an outright Big Ten championship. Byars led the nation in rushing and scoring but finished second in Heisman balloting.

Downfall

In 1986, Bruce received a 3-year contract, the first for the modern program but the team opened with two losses, which had not occurred in over 90 years. The Buckeyes then won 9 in a row before Michigan took a close game when kicker Matt Frantz missed a field goal with a minute to play. After the season Bruce was offered the position of head coach at the University of Arizona with a 5-year contract but was persuaded to stay at his alma mater by Athletic Director Rick Bay. Hopes for a standout season in 1987 suffered a serious setback when All-American wide receiver Cris Carter was dropped from the team for signing with an agent. Indiana defeated Ohio State for the first time since 1951, 31–10, in a game that came to be known as the "darkest day",[25] and Ohio State lost three conference games in a row going into the Michigan game. On the Monday of Michigan week, after a weekend of rumors and speculation, Ohio State President Edward Jennings fired Bruce but tried to keep the dismissal secret until after the end of the season. Bay, who had been instrumental in keeping Bruce at Ohio State, disregarded Jennings' orders and announced the firing and his own resignation in protest. Jennings made his own situation worse by refusing to give a reason for the firing and the circumstances have been the subject of controversy since.[26] The Buckeyes enjoyed an emotional come-from-behind victory over Michigan in Ann Arbor after the entire team wore headbands bearing the word "EARLE", then declined an invitation to play in the Sun Bowl.

John Cooper era (1988–2000)

Early days

John Cooper was hired as the 21st football head coach at Ohio State before the end of 1987 and before he had coached his last game at Arizona State University.[27] Cooper's coaching record at ASU and at Tulsa prior to that stood out among his credentials, as did a victory over Michigan in the 1987 Rose Bowl.[28]

Cooper's 13 years as the Buckeye head coach are largely remembered in the litany of negative statistics associated with him: a notorious 2–10–1 record against Michigan, a 3–8 record in bowl games, a 5-year losing streak to Illinois to start his term and a 6–7 record overall, and blowing a 15-point 3rd quarter lead in a 28–24 loss to unranked Michigan State when the Buckeyes were the top-ranked team in the nation and en route to a national championship. However, his record also has many positives: back-to-back victories over Notre Dame, two finishes second-ranked in the polls, and three Big Ten championships (albeit shared). Cooper also recruited 15 players who were first-round draft picks in the National Football League.[29]

Both 1988 and 1989 began identically: a season-opening win followed by an embarrassing loss to a highly regarded team (Pitt and USC); a rebound win against two other highly regarded programs (LSU and Boston College) followed by a loss to Illinois in the conference opener. However, 1988 saw Ohio State lose its first three conference games and a close game at home against Michigan for a 4–6–1 record, its first losing season in 22 years. In 1989 the Buckeyes won 6 consecutive Big Ten games before losing its last two to go 8–4. The most noteworthy victory occurred in Minneapolis when Ohio State overcame a 31–0 deficit to Minnesota to win 41–37. 1990 continued the pattern with a 2-win 2-loss start and an overall 7–4–1 record that included an embarrassing loss to Air Force in the Liberty Bowl. 1991 was 8–4, notable primarily as the season that sophomore running back Robert Smith quit the team. 1992, with senior Kirk Herbstreit at quarterback, and Smith back on the team was 8–3–1, but the losing string to Michigan was broken with a 13–13 tie. Persistent rumors that Cooper would resign or be fired were laid to rest when University President Gordon Gee announced he would be back in 1993.[30]

Former Buckeyes RB Eddie George, who won the 1995 Heisman Trophy.

Failures against Michigan

The next six seasons were very successful, winning 10 or more games in five out of six, and sharing the conference championship in three. Eddie George won the Heisman Trophy in 1995 after a tremendous senior season, Ohio State defeated Notre Dame in 1995 and 1996, and won half its bowl games. But in three seasons (1993, 1995, and 1996) the Buckeyes entered the Michigan game undefeated, with the possibility of a national championship in at least one, and lost all three to underdog Wolverine teams. Ohio State had won 62 games and lost only 12, but a third of those were to Michigan. After renewing his contract and becoming a member of the "million dollar coaching club",[31] Cooper started sophomore Austin Moherman against the Miami Hurricanes in the nationally televised Kickoff Classic and was soundly beaten. That presaged a mediocre season in which the Buckeyes finished 6–6, ending their successful 90's run. The 2000 team was more successful, going 8–4, but criticism of Cooper among fans had risen to a clamor again and touched on many areas of the program beyond specific game records. The negative publicity rose to a peak in the days leading up to Ohio State's matchup with South Carolina in the Outback Bowl, when wide receiver Reggie Germany was suspended for having a 0.0 GPA, team captain Matt Wilhelm publicly criticized fellow player Ken-Yon Rambo, and one Buckeye lineman sued another.[32]

Downfall

On January 3, 2001, Cooper was fired.[33] His loss in the Outback Bowl to a team that had not even won a single game the year before was a factor in his subsequent firing, as was negative publicity regarding player behavior before and during the game. Other contributing factors included the record against Michigan (which was actually considered by most people to be the biggest reason for his firing), a reputation of inability to win "big games", the lack of a national championship, the perception of him as an outsider by many alumni, the poor bowl game record, and finally a perceived lack of discipline on the team.

Jim Tressel era (2001–2010)

Former head coach Jim Tressel, who led the Buckeyes to the 2002 National Championship, and six Big Ten titles.

Early days

Ohio State quickly sought a replacement for Cooper and after a nationwide search hired Jim Tressel.[34] With four NCAA Division I-AA National Championships at Youngstown State University, Tressel, formerly an assistant coach for Earle Bruce, was an Ohioan who was considered to be appreciative of Buckeye football traditions. Although there were some doubts as to whether or not Tressel could repeat his earlier success at the Division 1A level, most fans and alumni met the coaching change with enthusiasm. On the day of his hiring, Jim Tressel, speaking to fans and students at a Buckeye basketball game, made a prophetic implication that he would lead the Buckeyes to beat Michigan in Ann Arbor the following November.[35] Tressel's first season was difficult as the Buckeyes finished 7–5 (all but one loss was by a touchdown or less), but he made good on his promise, beating Michigan in Ann Arbor.

National Championship

While its fans were optimistic about the chance for success of the 2002 team, most observers were surprised by Ohio State's National Championship.[36][37] Ohio State used strong defense, ball-control play-calling, and field position tactics to win numerous close games, a style of play characterized as "Tresselball",[38] and disparaged by detractors as "the Luckeyes".[39]

Later years

The 2006 and 2007 regular seasons ended with just one combined loss and consecutive appearances in the national championship game. The Buckeyes lost both by wide margins. On January 1, 2010, the Buckeyes defeated the Oregon Ducks in The Rose Bowl Game by a score of 26–17. This ended a 3-game BCS losing streak for Ohio State, having lost 2 national championships and one Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Terrelle Pryor was named MVP of the contest with 2 touchdown passes for a career-high 266 passing yards. In addition, he had more total yards than the entire Oregon Ducks team.

"Tattoogate"

Former Buckeyes QB Troy Smith (shown as a member of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens), the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner

In December 2010, it was announced that five student-athletes on the football team would be suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for NCAA violations. The punishments stemmed from an incident when some of the Buckeye players received tattoos for their autographs, according to news reports. Other violations committed by the players included the selling of several items given to them by the university, such as Big Ten championship rings.[40]

On December 22, 2010, the NCAA announced that five players would be suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season due to receiving improper benefits. Mike Adams, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Solomon Thomas, and quarterback Terrelle Pryor were found to have signed autographs in return for tattoos, as well as selling memorabilia given to them by the university.[41] In addition, Jordan Whiting was suspended for the season opener for his involvement. The scandal originated at Fine Line Tattoos and Piercings in Columbus, whose owner, Edward Rife, was being investigated for felony drug trafficking. On January 4, 2011, with all the players allowed to participate by the NCAA, the Buckeyes defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Sugar Bowl by a margin of 31–26.[42] The win, along with every other one from the 2010 season, would later be vacated due to the scandal. The Buckeyes finished the season 12–1, with their only official game being a loss to Wisconsin.

Downfall

On March 8, 2011, OSU suspended head coach Jim Tressel for the first 2 games of the 2011 season and fined him $250,000 for not informing the university and the NCAA that he had knowledge of his players receiving improper benefits. Coach Tressel's suspension would later be increased to 5 games by the university. On May 30, 2011, Jim Tressel resigned as head coach of the Buckeyes.[43] On June 6, 2011, a story in Sports Illustrated reported that at least 28 players, including Rob Rose, T. J. Downing, Louis Irizarry, Chris Vance, C. J. Barnett, Dorien Bell, Jamaal Berry, Bo DeLande, Zach Domicone, Storm Klein, Etienne Sabino, John Simon, Nathan Williams, Jermale Hines, Devon Torrence, Donald Washington, Thaddeus Gibson, Jermil Martin, Lamaar Thomas, and Doug Worthington traded team memorabilia or used equipment for tattoos or other merchandise or services between 2002 and 2010. The report alleged that Tressel had violated NCAA bylaw 10.1, unethical conduct, three times by not acting when told of the tattoo improprieties, by signing a statement saying he knew of no violations, and for withholding information on what was going on from university officials.[44]

Luke Fickell (2011)

On July 8, 2011, Ohio State University decided to vacate all victories from the 2010 football season as self-imposed punishment for major NCAA violations.[45] Former coach Jim Tressel received more than $52,000 from the university and didn't have to pay a $250,000 fine for his involvement in the scandal. His status was also changed from "Resigned" to "Retired" in keeping with his wishes to "remain a Buckeye for life".[46] Ohio State named Luke Fickell interim head coach for the 2011 season following Tressel's resignation, and Fickell coached the 2011 Buckeyes to a 6–7 record; going 6–6 in the regular season and losing in the Gator Bowl to Florida.

Urban Meyer era (2012–2018)

Former head coach Urban Meyer, who led the Buckeyes to seven division titles, three Big Ten Championships, the 2014 national championship, and the team's all-time record winning streak (24).

Early years

On November 28, 2011, former University of Florida head coach and ESPN college football analyst Urban Meyer accepted the position of Buckeyes head coach.[47] Meyer assumed head coaching responsibilities following the Buckeyes' January 2012 Gator Bowl appearance. Meyer's first season at Ohio State did not include a postseason contest, as the Buckeyes were sanctioned with a one-year bowl ban on December 20, 2011. The NCAA sanctions also included the loss of three scholarships each year for the following three years and three years' probation to end on December 19, 2014. Ohio State was required to vacate all wins from the 2010 season, the 2010 Big Ten Conference championship and their win in the 2011 Sugar Bowl. The school's share of the Sugar Bowl proceeds was forfeited as well.[48] In Meyer's first year, the Buckeyes went a perfect 12–0, winning the 2012 Big Ten Leaders Division, though the previously mentioned sanctions kept them from playing in the 2012 Big Ten Football Championship Game and a postseason bowl game.[48] On November 23, 2013, the Buckeyes clinched their second straight Leaders Division Championship, after defeating Indiana 42–14. With the victory over Indiana, Ohio State set a team record for all-time consecutive wins, with 23. The following week, Ohio State defeated Michigan 42–41 in Ann Arbor, to increase the streak to 24. The streak ended with Ohio State's 34–24 loss to Michigan State in the 2013 Big Ten Conference Championship game on December 7, marking Meyer's first loss as the Buckeyes' head coach. On January 3, 2014, the Buckeyes were defeated by Clemson in the Orange Bowl 40–35.

National Championship

The logo for the 2014 National Champion Buckeyes, which celebrated the football program's 125th anniversary

On November 22, 2014, the Buckeyes clinched the first-ever Big Ten East Division Championship when they defeated Indiana 42–27, earning a berth in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game, where they defeated West Division champion Wisconsin 59–0 to win the Big Ten Conference Championship and qualified for the four-team playoff to decide the National Champion. OSU defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl 42–35, on January 1, 2015, to qualify for the National Championship Game against Rose Bowl winner Oregon on January 12 (the Rose and Sugar Bowls were the designated semifinal games in 2014). OSU claimed the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship by defeating Oregon 42–20.[49][50][51]

Later years

The 2015 season for the Buckeyes began with a 10–0 start before losing on a last-second field goal to Michigan State on November 21, ending the Buckeyes' quest to repeat as National Champions. However, the Buckeyes recovered their 2 next games with dominating wins over Michigan and then over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl to finish the season at 12–1. The 2016 season started off great with 6 straight victories, including a win over the Oklahoma Sooners, but the streak came to an end as the team lost a heart-breaker to the Penn State Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes went on to win the rest of their regular-season games, finishing 11–1. They did not play in the Big Ten Championship as Penn State took the division. In a controversial call, the College Football Playoff committee gave Ohio State a spot in the Playoff. Ohio State lost in the Fiesta Bowl to the Clemson Tigers in an embarrassing 31–0 loss, ending the season 11–2. The 2017 season started out on a high note with a victory over the Indiana Hoosiers, but the next week the Buckeyes fell to the Oklahoma Sooners. The Buckeyes won the next 6 games, including a win over No. 2 Penn State in a revenge game of sorts. The Buckeyes suffered an embarrassing defeat against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Buckeyes ended the season 12–2 overall, winning the rest of their games including a Big Ten Championship victory over Wisconsin and a Cotton Bowl victory over USC.

Downfall

Urban Meyer was suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season for mishandling domestic violence allegations against then-wide receivers coach Zach Smith. Co-Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day served as interim coach and led the Buckeyes to a 3–0 start. Meyer returned to the sidelines and coached the team to four more victories before the team suffered a loss on October 20 to Purdue, 49–20. The Buckeyes won their last four games of the regular season, including a 62–39 win over archrival Michigan, in Columbus. The win gave the Buckeyes a share of the Big Ten East Division title, and the right to face Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game, which Ohio State won for its second consecutive Big Ten Championship. Ohio State would go on to win the Rose Bowl over Pac-12 Champion Washington 28–23, giving Ohio State their 8th Rose Bowl win.

Ryan Day era (2019–present)

Current head coach Ryan Day, who has led the Buckeyes to two Big Ten Championships

On December 4, 2018, the university announced that Meyer would retire after the 2019 Rose Bowl and be replaced by co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day.[52][53]

In Day's first year, the Buckeyes went a perfect 13–0, including a win over archrival Michigan by a score of 56–27 and defeating Wisconsin for the Big Ten Championship. They would earn a spot in the College Football Playoff but would lose to Clemson 29–23 in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl. In Day's second year, the Big Ten season didn't start until late October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Buckeyes would only play five out of a scheduled eight games due to several virus-related cancellations - including the Michigan game. Nevertheless, the Buckeyes would go 5–0 in the regular season, win the East Division title, and go on to beat Northwestern 22–10 in the Big Ten Championship Game, giving Day his second straight conference title. On January 1, 2021, the Buckeyes defeated Clemson 49–28 to win the Sugar Bowl in a rematch of the 2019 Fiesta Bowl to advance to the CFP National Championship Game against Alabama on January 11, which they lost 52–24. On September 11, 2021, he suffered his first regular season loss as head coach when the Oregon Ducks defeated the Buckeyes 35–28 in the 2nd game of the season. Ohio State's streak of defeating Michigan also came to an end on November 27, 2021, in Ann Arbor, when Ohio State lost 42–27.[54] They then won the 2022 Rose Bowl against Utah 48–45 on January 1, 2022.

In 2022, Day led the team to an 11–0 record and was ranked #2 going into the Michigan game, which #3 Michigan would win 45–23 on November 26, 2022 (outscoring the Buckeyes 28–3 in the second half), in Ohio State's first loss to Michigan in Columbus since 2000, and first back–to–back losses to Michigan since 1999–2000. The Buckeyes would go on to play the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 national semifinal game on New Year's Eve, taking a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter, but ultimately seeing their season come to an end with a 42–41 loss.[55] Kicker Noah Ruggles' would-be game-winning field goal attempt sailed wide left just as the clock struck midnight on New Year's Day, 2023.

In 2023, Day led the team to an 11–0 record and was ranked #2 going into the Michigan game for the second consecutive year. This time, Michigan won by six points 30–24 on November 25, 2023. This marked the first three game losing streak to Michigan since 1995–97. The Buckeyes were then invited to the 2023 Cotton Bowl, where they lost to the Missouri Tigers 14–3 on December 29, 2023.

Championships

National

Ohio State recognizes eight national championships from NCAA-designated "consensus" selectors,[56][57] including six (1942, 1954, 1957, 1968, 2002, 2014) from the major wire-service: AP Poll and/or Coaches' Poll.[57][58]

The following is a list of Ohio State's claimed national championships:

Year Head coach Selector(s) Overall
Record
Big Ten
Record
Bowl Game(s) AP
Poll
Coaches
Poll
1942 Paul Brown AP 9–1 6–1 No. 1
1954 Woody Hayes AP 10–0 7–0 Won Rose Bowl No. 1 No. 2
1957 Coaches, FWAA 9–1 7–0 Won Rose Bowl No. 2 No. 1
1961 FWAA 8–0–1 6–0 No. 2 No. 2
1968 AP, Coaches, FWAA, NFF 10–0 7–0 Won Rose Bowl No. 1 No. 1
1970 NFF (co-champion)[59] 9–1 7–0 Lost Rose Bowl No. 5 No. 2
2002 Jim Tressel BCS, AP, Coaches, FWAA, NFF 14–0 8–0 Won Fiesta Bowl (BCS National Championship Game) No. 1 No. 1
2014 Urban Meyer CFP, AP, Coaches, NFF 14–1 8–0 Won Sugar Bowl (CFP semifinal)
Won CFP National Championship
No. 1 No. 1

Ohio State has also been selected an additional eight times by various NCAA-designated "major selectors", in 1933, 1944, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1998,[60] and 2006.[57][61][62] However, the Buckeyes do not recognize any of those championships.

Conference

Ohio State joined the Big Ten in 1912; before that they were a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) and won two OAC titles. Ohio State has won a championship in the Big Ten 39 times, second-most in the conference.[63]

Year Conference Coach Record Conference Record
1906 OAC Albert E. Herrnstein 8–1 4–0
1912 OAC John Richards 6–3 4–0
1916 Big Ten John Wilce 7–0 4–0
1917 Big Ten John Wilce 8–0–1 4–0
1920 Big Ten John Wilce 7–1 5–0
1935 Big Ten Francis Schmidt 7–1 5–0
1939 Big Ten Francis Schmidt 6–2 5–1
1942 Big Ten Paul Brown 9–1 5–1
1944 Big Ten Carroll Widdoes 9–0 6–0
1949 Big Ten Wes Fesler 7–1–2 4–1–1
1954 Big Ten Woody Hayes 10–0 7–0
1955 Big Ten Woody Hayes 7–2 6–0
1957 Big Ten Woody Hayes 9–1 7–0
1961 Big Ten Woody Hayes 8–0–1 6–0
1968 Big Ten Woody Hayes 10–0 7–0
1969 Big Ten Woody Hayes 8–1 6–1
1970 Big Ten Woody Hayes 9–1 7–0
1972 Big Ten Woody Hayes 9–2 7–1
1973 Big Ten Woody Hayes 10–0–1 7–0–1
1974 Big Ten Woody Hayes 10–2 7–1
1975 Big Ten Woody Hayes 11–1 8–0
1976 Big Ten Woody Hayes 9–2–1 7–1
1977 Big Ten Woody Hayes 9–3 6–2
1979 Big Ten Earle Bruce 11–1 8–0
1981 Big Ten Earle Bruce 9–3 6–2
1984 Big Ten Earle Bruce 9–3 7–2
1986 Big Ten Earle Bruce 10–3 7–1
1993 Big Ten John Cooper 10–1–1 6–1–1
1996 Big Ten John Cooper 11–1 7–1
1998 Big Ten John Cooper 11–1 7–1
2002 Big Ten Jim Tressel 14–0 8–0
2005 Big Ten Jim Tressel 10–2 7–1
2006 Big Ten Jim Tressel 12–1 8–0
2007 Big Ten Jim Tressel 11–2 7–1
2008 Big Ten Jim Tressel 10–3 7–1
2009 Big Ten Jim Tressel 11–2 7–1
2014 Big Ten Urban Meyer 14–1 8–0
2017 Big Ten Urban Meyer 12–2 8–1
2018 Big Ten Urban Meyer 13–1 8–1
2019 Big Ten Ryan Day 13–1 9–0
2020 Big Ten Ryan Day 7–1 6–0

† Co-champions

Division

From 2011 to 2023, Big Ten has moved to divisions to ultimately decide who would play for the conference championship. The divisions were known as Legends and Leaders from 2011 to 2013. In 2014, the divisions were realigned geographically into East and West.

Year Division Coach Opponent CG Result
2012 Big Ten Leaders Urban Meyer N/A – Ineligible (postseason ban)
2013 Big Ten Leaders Urban Meyer Michigan State L 24–34
2014 Big Ten East Urban Meyer Wisconsin W 59–0
2015 Big Ten East Urban Meyer N/A lost tiebreaker to Michigan State
2016 Big Ten East Urban Meyer N/A lost tiebreaker to Penn State
2017 Big Ten East Urban Meyer Wisconsin W 27–21
2018 Big Ten East Urban Meyer Northwestern W 45–24
2019 Big Ten East Ryan Day Wisconsin W 34–21
2020 Big Ten East Ryan Day Northwestern W 22–10
2021 Big Ten East Ryan Day N/A lost tiebreaker to Michigan

† Co-champions

Undefeated seasons

Year Overall Record Big Ten Record Head Coach
1899 9–0–1 John B. Eckstorm
1916 7–0 4–0 John Wilce
1917 8–0–1 4–0 John Wilce
1944 9–0 6–0 Carroll Widdoes
1954 10–0 7–0 Woody Hayes
1961 8–0–1 6–0 Woody Hayes
1968 10–0 7–0 Woody Hayes
1973 10–0–1 7–0–1 Woody Hayes
2002 14–0 8–0 Jim Tressel
2012 12–0 8–0 Urban Meyer

Bowl games

Ohio State has played in 55 bowl games in which they are 27–29–0.[64] The Buckeyes have been to the Rose Bowl 16 times. Below are the team's most recent bowl games.

Season Coach Bowl Opponent Result
2014 Urban Meyer CFP Semifinal at Sugar Bowl Alabama W 42–35
2014 Urban Meyer CFP National Championship Oregon W 42–20
2015 Urban Meyer Fiesta Bowl Notre Dame W 44–28
2016 Urban Meyer CFP Semifinal at Fiesta Bowl Clemson L 0–31
2017 Urban Meyer Cotton Bowl Classic USC W 24–7
2018 Urban Meyer Rose Bowl Washington W 28–23
2019 Ryan Day CFP Semifinal at Fiesta Bowl Clemson L 23–29
2020 Ryan Day CFP Semifinal at Sugar Bowl Clemson W 49–28
2020 Ryan Day CFP National Championship Alabama L 24–52
2021 Ryan Day Rose Bowl Utah W 48–45
2022 Ryan Day CFP Semifinal at Peach Bowl Georgia L 41–42
2023 Ryan Day Cotton Bowl Classic Missouri L 3–14
Bowl records:
Overall New Year's Six College Football Playoff
27–29[65] 21–15 3–4

Vacated

Home venues

Marching band

Script Ohio

Ohio State University Marching Band[66] is the most visible and possibly best-known tradition of Ohio State football.[67] Home games are preceded by four marching band traditions:[68]

Rivalries

Michigan

Ohio State's first game with Michigan dates to 1897. Michigan leads the series 61–51–6 through the 2023 season.[69]

Illinois

The series versus Illinois began in 1902 and became the longest continuous series in 2002 when the schools played in their 89th consecutive year. In 2007, Ohio State was given their only defeat of the regular season by the Illini. Through the 2019 season, Ohio State leads the series 68–30–4.[70]

Penn State

When Penn State was added to the Big Ten conference football play in 1993, every member was given two designated rivals, teams to be played every year, with the other conference teams rotated out of the schedule at regular intervals. For geographic convenience, the Big Ten named Penn State as Ohio State's new designated rival in addition to Michigan. Ohio State leads the series 24–14 through the 2023 season.[71]

Coaches

The Buckeyes have had 24 head coaches in their 121-year history.

Of the team's eight national championships to date, Woody Hayes won five, with Paul Brown, Jim Tressel, and Urban Meyer each having one.

Personnel

Roster

2023 Ohio State Buckeyes football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
WR 2 Emeka Egbuka Jr
RB 3 Miyan Williams Sr
WR 4 Julian Fleming Sr
RB 5 Dallan Hayden So
QB 6 Kyle McCord So
WR 7 Kyion Grayes So
TE 8 Cade Stover Sr
WR 9 Jayden Ballard Jr
WR 10 Xavier Johnson GS
WR 11 Brandon Inniss Fr
QB 12 Lincoln Kienholz Fr
QB 13 Tristan Gebbia GS
WR 14 Kojo Antwi So
TE 15 Jelani Thurman Fr
QB 16 Mason Maggs So
WR 17 Carnell Tate Fr
WR 18 Marvin Harrison Jr. Jr
QB 19 Chad Ray Sr
RB 19 Chip Trayanum Sr
RB 21 Evan Pryor Jr
WR 24 Nolan Baudo Fr
WR 25 Kai Saunders So
RB 26 Cayden Saunders Jr
RB 28 TC Caffey So
RB 30 Will Hartson Fr
RB 32 TreVeyon Henderson Jr
QB 33 Devin Brown So
WR 34 Brennen Schramm Fr
TE 46 Jace Middleton Jr
TE 49 Patrick Gurd Sr
OL 51 Luke Montgomery Fr
OL 54 Toby Wilson Jr
OL 55 Matthew Jones GS
OL 59 Victor Cutler Jr. GS
OL 62 Joshua Padilla Fr
OL 63 Julian Goines-Jackson So
OL 64 Quinton Burke Sr
OL 65 Zen Michalski Jr
OL 66 Enokk Vimahi Sr
OL 67 Austin Siereveld Fr
OL 68 George Fitzpatrick So
OL 69 Trey Leroux Sr
OL 70 Josh Fryar Sr
OL 71 Josh Simmons Jr
OL 72 Avery Henry So
OL 73 Grant Toutant Sr
OL 74 Donovan Jackson Jr
OL 75 Carson Hinzman So
OL 76 Miles Walker Fr
OL 77 Tegra Tshabola So
OL 78 Jakob James Sr
WR 80 Noah Rogers Fr
TE 81 Sam Hart Jr
WR 82 David Adolph So
WR 83 Joop Mitchell Jr
TE 84 Joe Royer Sr
TE 85 Bennett Christian So
WR 86 Bryson Rodgers Fr
WR 87 Reis Stocksdale Jr
TE 88 Gee Scott Jr. Sr
TE 89 Zak Herbstreit Jr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
CB 1 Davison Igbinosun So
S 2 Kourt Williams II (C) GS
S 3 Cameron Martinez Sr
CB 4 Lorenzo Styles Jr. Jr
S 6 Sonny Styles Jr
CB 7 Jordan Hancock Jr
S 8 Lathan Ransom Sr
CB 10 Denzel Burke Jr
LB 11 C.J. Hicks So
CB 12 Ryan Turner So
S 13 Kye Stokes So
S 14 Ja'Had Carter Sr
CB 15 Calvin Simpson-Hunt Fr
LB 17 Mitchell Melton Sr
CB 18 Jyaire Brown So
LB 20 Arvell Reese Fr
S 21 Jayden Bonsu Fr
LB 22 Steele Chambers GS
DE 23 Omari Abor So
CB 24 Jermaine Mathews Jr. Fr
S 25 Malik Hartford Fr
S 26 Cedrick Hawkins Fr
LB 28 Reid Carrico Jr
LB 30 Cody Simon Sr
S 32 Brenton "Inky" Jones So
DE 33 Jack Sawyer Jr
CB 34 Colin Kaufmann So
LB 35 Tommy Eichenberg (C) GS
LB 36 Gabe Powers So
LB 37 Nigel Glover Fr
DB 38 Cameron Kittle Sr
DB 39 Andrew Moore Jr
S 41 Josh Proctor Sr
CB 43 Dianté Griffin So
DE 44 JT Tuimoloau Jr
S 46 Ryan Rudzinski Fr
LB 50 Alec DelSignore Fr
DT 51 Michael Hall Jr. Jr
DE 52 Joshua Mickens Fr
DL 53 Will Smith Jr. Fr
DL 56 Kayden McDonald Fr
LB 57 Jalen Pace Jr
DT 58 Ty Hamilton Sr
DL 60 Cade Casto Jr
DE 61 Caden Davis Fr
DL 62 Bryce Prater Jr
DT 90 Jaden McKenzie Sr
DT 91 Tyleik Williams Jr
DE 92 Caden Curry So
DT 93 Hero Kanu So
DL 94 Jason Moore Fr
DT 95 Tywone Malone Jr
DE 97 Kenyatta Jackson Jr. So
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 23 Parker Lewis Sr
P 29 Jesse Mirco Jr
K 38 Jayden Fielding So
P 42 Joe McGuire Fr
LS 43 John Ferlmann Jr
LS 48 Max Lomonico Jr
K 95 Casey Magyar Jr
LS 96 Collin Johnson Jr
K 98 Austin Snyder Jr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured Injured
  • Redshirt Redshirt

Roster
Last update: August 9, 2023

Staff

Coach Title Years at Ohio State
Ryan Day Head Coach 8th
Ross Bjork Senior Vice President / Athletic Director 1st
Mickey Marotti Assistant Athletic Director for Football Sports Performance 15th
Tony Alford Assistant head coach for offense / running backs coach 10th
Justin Frye Run game coordinator / offensive line 3rd
Larry Johnson Associate head coach / defensive line coach 11th
Brian Hartline Co-offensive coordinator / wide receivers coach 7th
Jim Knowles Defensive coordinator / linebackers coach 3rd
Chip Kelly Offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach 1st
Keenan Bailey Tight Ends coach 9th
Tim Walton Secondary coach / cornerbacks coach 3rd
Todd Fitch Offensive Analyst 4th
James Laurinaitis Graduate Assistant (LB) 2nd

All-time records

All-time Big Ten records

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This table reflects the results of Big Ten match-ups when both OSU and its opponent were members of the conference through November 9, 2019.[72] Ohio State began Big Ten play in 1913. Examples of excluded results are Chicago after 1939, Michigan between 1907 and 1916, Michigan State before 1953, Penn State before 1993, and Nebraska before 2011 (see Big Ten History for further information). Ohio State's vacated wins from 2010 are not included (see 2010 Ohio State Buckeyes football team for further information).

Team Big Ten wins Big Ten losses Big Ten ties Winning percentage Streak First Big Ten meeting Last meeting
Chicago Maroons 10 2 2 .786 Won 8 1920 1939
Illinois Fighting Illini 69 30 3 .691 Won 8 1914 2017
Indiana Hoosiers 80 12 5 .851 Won 28 1913 2023
Iowa Hawkeyes 49 15 3 .754 Won 1 1922 2022
Maryland Terrapins 9 0 0 1.000 Won 9 2014 2023
Michigan Wolverines 52 60 4 .466 Lost 3 1918 2023
Michigan State Spartans 38 15 0 .717 Won 8 1953 2023
Minnesota Golden Gophers 48 7 0 .873 Won 12 1921 2023
Nebraska Cornhuskers 9 1 0 .900 Won 7 2011 2021
Northwestern Wildcats 66 14 1 .821 Won 10 1913 2022
Penn State Nittany Lions 22 8 0 .733 Won 7 1993 2023
Purdue Boilermakers 42 15 2 .729 Won 2 1919 2023
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 10 0 0 1.000 Won 10 2014 2023
Wisconsin Badgers 64 18 5 .764 Won 10 1913 2023

Individual awards and achievements

Through the 2006 season, Ohio State players have by a significant margin won more trophies than any other NCAA Division 1A program. Ohio State players have won 34 of the listed major awards, with the next closest being 26 (Oklahoma). Ohio State is the only university to have received each of the awards at least once. Of the five awards created prior to 1980 (Heisman, Lombardi, Maxwell, Outland, and Walter Camp), Ohio State has received the most with 25 (Notre Dame follows with 23).

Retired numbers

No. Player Pos. Tenure No. ret. Ref
22 Les Horvath RB 1940–42, 1944 2000 [73]
27 Eddie George RB 1992–95 2001 [73]
31 Vic Janowicz HB 1949–51 2000 [73]
40 Howard Cassady HB 1952–55 2000 [73]
45 Archie Griffin RB 1972–75 1999 [73]
47 Chic Harley HB, QB, E, K 1916–17, 1919 2004 [73]
99 Bill Willis DL 1942–44 2007 [73]

Honored numbers

Although these numbers are cited as "retired" on Ohio State website,[73] they are considered enshrined rather than retired, and are available to be worn. All previously retired jersey numbers remain retired.[74]

No. Player Pos. Tenure Honored Ref.
10 Troy Smith QB 2003–06 2014 [73]

Block O Jersey

In 2020, the NCAA approved the use of the No. 0.[75] In order to further pay tribute to Bill Willis, Coach Day decided to start a new tradition and choose the player who will wear the number each season.[76]

Season Name Pos. Class Previous No.
2020 Jonathon Cooper DE Senior (RS) 18
2021 Thayer Munford OT Senior (RS) 75*
2022 Kamryn Babb WR Senior (RS) 1
2023 Xavier Johnson WR Senior (RS) 10

Note: Due to number restrictions, Thayer Munford could not wear number 0. Instead, he wore his regular number and honored the award with a patch.

Honored coaches

Two head coaches have also been honored by the Buckeyes, with banners at Ohio Stadium:

  • Paul Brown (1941–43) - led OSU to their first National Championship in 1942
  • Woody Hayes (1951–78) - led OSU to school records of 205 wins, five National Championships (1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970), and 13 Big Ten Championships

Award winners

Heisman Trophy winners

Ohio State players have won the Heisman Trophy seven times, which ties Notre Dame and Oklahoma (7) for the most awards for any school. Archie Griffin is the only two-time recipient in the history of the award.[77]

Season Name Pos. Class Points
1944 Les Horvath RB Senior 412
1950 Vic Janowicz RB Junior 633
1955 Howard "Hopalong" Cassady RB Senior 2219
1974 Archie Griffin RB Junior 1920
1975 Archie Griffin (2) RB Senior 1800
1995 Eddie George RB Senior 1460
2006 Troy Smith QB Senior 2540

Lombardi Award

Ohio State players have won the Lombardi Award six times:

Maxwell Award

Four Ohio State players have won the Maxwell Award:

Outland Trophy

Four Ohio State players have won the Outland Trophy:

Walter Camp Award

Ohio State players have won the Walter Camp Award four times:

Fred Biletnikoff Award

Ohio State Players have won the Fred Biletnikoff Award twice:

Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Ohio State Players have won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy award twice:

Dick Butkus Award

Ohio State players have won the Dick Butkus Award twice:

Jim Thorpe Award

Ohio State players have won the Jim Thorpe Award twice:

Rimington Trophy

Ohio State players have won the Dave Rimington Trophy three times:

Chicago Tribune Silver Football

Ohio State players have won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football award 23 times:

Graham–George Offensive Player of the Year

Ohio State players have won the Graham–George Offensive Player of the Year 13 times:

Nagurski–Woodson Defensive Player of the Year

Ohio State players have won the Nagurski–Woodson Defensive Player of the Year 11 times:

Other

All-American and All-Conference honors

Through 2017, 199 Buckeyes have been named first team All-Americans since 1914. Of those 85 have been consensus picks. 388 have been named to the All-Big Ten team, and 16 have won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football, the Big Ten's Most Valuable Player award, including Troy Smith for 2006. The Athletic Directors of the Big Ten Conference voted Eddie George Big Ten-Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year for 1996.

On November 22, 2006, ten Buckeyes were named to either the Coaches or Conference media All-Big Ten First Team selections for the 2006 season, and seven were named to both. Troy Smith was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. Four other Buckeyes received Second Team honors.

List of All-Americans

All records per OSU Athletics.[78][when?]

1910s
  • 1914: Boyd Cherry (E)
  • 1916: Chic Harley (B), Robert Karch (T)
  • 1917: Charles Bolen (E), Harold Courtney (E), Chic Harley (B), Kelley VanDyne (C)
  • 1918: Clarence MacDonald (E)
  • 1919: Chic Harley (B), Gaylord Stinchcomb (B)
1920s
  • 1920: Iolas Huffman (G), Gaylord Stinchcomb (B)
  • 1921: Iolas Huffman (G), Cyril Myers (E)
  • 1923: Harry Workman (QB)
  • 1924: Harold Cunningham (E)
  • 1925: Edwin Hess (G)
  • 1926: Edwin Hess (G), Marty Karow (HB), Leo Raskowski (T)
  • 1927: Leo Raskowski (T)
  • 1928: Wes Fesler (E)
  • 1929: Wes Fesler (E)
1930s
  • 1930: Wes Fesler (E), Lew Hinchman (HB)
  • 1931: Carl Cramer (QB), Lew Hinchman (HB)
  • 1932: Joseph Gailus (G), Sid Gillman (E), Lew Hinchman (HB), Ted Rosequist (T)
  • 1933: Joseph Gailus (G)
  • 1934: Regis Monahan (G), Merle Wendt (E)
  • 1935: Gomer Jones (C), Merle Wendt (E)
  • 1936: Charles Hamrick (T), Inwood Smith (G), Merle Wendt (E)
  • 1937: Carl Kaplanoff (T), Jim McDonald (QB), Ralph Wolf (C), Gust Zarnas (G)
  • 1939: Vic Marino (G), Esco Sarkkinen (E), Don Scott (HB)
1940s
1950s
1960s
1970s
1980s
1990s
2000s
2010s
2020s

Team MVP

1930: Wes Fesler – (E) – Big Ten MVP
1931: Robert Haubrich – (OT)
1932: Lew Hinchman – (HB)
1933: Mickey Vuchinich – (FB)
1934: Gomer Jones – (C)
1935: Gomer Jones – (C)
1936: Ralph Wolf – (C)
1937: Ralph Wolf – (C)
1938: Jim Langhurst – (FB)
1939: Steve Andrako – (C)
1940: Don Scott – (QB)
1941: Jack Graf – (FB) – Big Ten MVP
1942: Chuck Csuri – (OT)
1943: Gordon Appleby – (C)
1944: Les Horvath – (QB) – Big Ten MVP
1945: Ollie Cline – (FB) – Big Ten MVP
1946: Cecil Souders – (E)
1947: Dave Templeton – (G)
1948: Joe Whisler – (FB)
1949: Jack Lininger – (C)
1950: Vic Janowicz – (HB) – Big Ten MVP
1951: Vic Janowicz – (HB)
1952: Fred Bruney – (HB)
1953: George Jacoby – (T)
1954: Howard Cassady – (HB)
1955: Howard Cassady – (HB) – Big Ten MVP
1956: Jim Parker – (G)
1957: Bill Jobko – (G)
1958: Jim Houston – (E)
1959: Jim Houston – (E)
1960: Tom Matte – (QB)
1961: Bob Ferguson – (FB)
1962: Billy Armstrong – (C)
1963: Matt Snell – (FB)
1964: Ed Orazen – (DL)
1965: Doug Van Horn – (OG)
1966: Ray Pryor – (C)
1967: Dirk Worden – (LB)
1968: Mark Stier – (LB)
1969: Jim Otis – (FB)
1970: Jim Stillwagon – (DL)
1971: Tom DeLeone – (C)
1972: George Hasenohrl – (DL)
1973: Archie Griffin – (RB) – Big Ten MVP
1974: Archie Griffin – (RB) – Big Ten MVP
1975: Cornelius Greene – (QB) – Big Ten MVP
1976: Bob Brudzinski – (DE)
1977: Dave Adkins – (LB)
1978: Tom Cousineau – (LB)
1979: Jim Laughlin – (LB)
1980: Calvin Murray – (TB)
1981: Art Schlichter – (QB) – Big Ten MVP
1982: Tim Spencer – (RB)
1983: John Frank – (TE)
1984: Keith Byars – (RB) – Big Ten MVP
1985: Jim Karsatos – (QB)
1986: Cris Carter – (WR)
1987: Chris Spielman – (LB)
1988: Jeff Uhlenhake – (C)
1989: Derek Isaman – (LB)
1990: Jeff Graham – (WR)
1991: Carlos Snow – (TB)
1992: Kirk Herbstreit – (QB)
1993: Raymont Harris – (TB)
1994: Korey Stringer – (OT)
1995: Eddie George – (TB) – Big Ten MVP
1996: Orlando Pace – (OT) – Big Ten MVP
1997: Antoine Winfield – (DB)
1998: Joe Germaine – (QB) – Big Ten MVP
1999: Ahmed Plummer – (DB)
2000: Derek Combs – (TB)
2001: Jonathan Wells – (TB)
2002: Craig Krenzel – (QB) / Chris Gamble – (WR/DB)
2003: Michael Jenkins – (WR)
2004: Mike Nugent – (PK)
2005: A. J. Hawk – (LB)
2006: Troy Smith – (QB) – Big Ten MVP
2007: Chris Wells – (TB)
2008: Chris Wells – (TB)
2009: Kurt Coleman – (SS)
2010: Dane Sanzenbacher – (WR)
2011: Daniel Herron – (TB)
2012: Braxton Miller – (QB) – Big Ten MVP
2013: Braxton Miller – (QB) – Big Ten MVP
2014: Evan Spencer – (WR)
2015: Ezekiel Elliott – (RB) – Big Ten MVP
2016: Malik Hooker – (SAF) / Pat Elflein – (C)
2017: Sam Hubbard – (DE)
2018: Dwayne Haskins – (QB)
2019: Justin Fields – (QB) / Chase Young – (DE) – Big Ten MVP
2020: Justin Fields – (QB) – Big Ten MVP
2021: C. J. Stroud – (QB)
2022: C. J. Stroud – (QB)

All-Century Team

Paul "Bear" Bryant Award

AFCA Coach of the Year

Academic awards and achievements

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College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America

Academic All-American Hall of Fame

Academic All-American Player of the Year

Academic All-Americans

National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame

William V. Campbell Trophy

National Scholar-Athlete Awards

Hall of Fame inductees

College Football Hall of Fame

Name Position Year Inducted
Howard Jones Head Coach 1951
Chic Harley HB/QB 1951
Wes Fesler End 1954
John Wilce Head Coach 1954
Les Horvath HB/QB 1969
Bill Willis DT 1971
Francis Schmidt Head Coach 1971
Ernie Godfrey Asst. Coach 1972
Gaylord Stinchcomb HB/QB 1973
Jim Parker OT 1974
Gust Zarnas OG 1975
Vic Janowicz HB 1976
Jim Daniell OT 1977
Gomer Jones C 1978
Howard Cassady HB 1979
Woody Hayes Head Coach 1983
Warren Amling OG 1984
Archie Griffin RB 1986
Doyt Perry Asst. Coach 1988
Sid Gillman Asst. Coach 1989
Aurealius Thomas OG 1989
Jim Stillwagon DT 1991
Bo Schembechler Asst. Coach 1993
Bob Fergueson FB 1996
Randy Gradishar LB 1998
John Hicks OT 2001
Earle Bruce Head Coach 2002
Jack Tatum S 2004
Jim Houston DE 2005
Rex Kern QB 2007
John Cooper Head Coach 2008
Chris Spielman LB 2009
Eddie George RB 2011
Orlando Pace OT 2013
Jim Tressel Head Coach 2015
Tom Cousineau LB 2016
Keith Byars HB 2020
Rudy Hubbard Asst. Coach 2021
Mike Doss S 2022
Chris Ward OT 2024

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Name Position Year Inducted
Paul Brown Coach 1967
Jim Parker OT 1973
Lou Groza K 1974
Dante Lavelli End 1975
Bill Willis DT 1977
Sid Gillman Coach 1983
Paul Warfield WR 1983
Dick LeBeau CB 2010
Cris Carter WR 2013
Orlando Pace OT 2016
Randy Gradishar LB 2024

Media

The Buckeyes are covered on the radio by Ohio State Sports Network, operated by Learfield IMG College. WBNS/Columbus (1460 AM) and sister station WBNS-FM/Columbus (97.1 FM) serve as flagship stations, with more than 60 affiliates in Ohio, and two additional affiliates in West Virginia. Paul Keels is the play-by-play announcer, while former Buckeye left guard Jim Lachey serves as color analyst. They are joined by sideline reporter Matt Andrews and Skip Mosic, host of the network pregame and halftime shows.[79]

WBNS-TV (channel 10) in Columbus is the long-standing "official TV home" of the Buckeyes, airing the official coach's show Game Time with Ryan Day (simulcast statewide on Bally Sports Ohio).[80]

In addition, Ohio State football games are broadcast by their student radio organization, Scarlet and Gray Sports Radio on OhioStateSports.net

Future conference opponents

Schedule announced October 5, 2023[81]

2024 2025 2026 2027 2028
at Michigan State at Illinois at Indiana at Michigan* at Illinois
at Northwestern at Michigan* at Iowa at Minnesota at Maryland
at Oregon at Purdue at Nebraska at Northwestern at Penn State
at Penn State at Washington at USC at Oregon at UCLA
Indiana at Wisconsin Illinois at Rutgers Michigan*
Iowa Minnesota Maryland Michigan State Minnesota
Michigan* Penn State Michigan* Nebraska Rutgers
Nebraska Rutgers Northwestern Purdue Washington
Purdue UCLA Oregon USC Wisconsin

(*) denotes protected matchup

Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of September 28, 2023.[82]

2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033 2034 2035 2036
vs Akron (8/31) vs Texas (8/30) vs Ball State (9/5) vs Bowling Green (9/4) vs Buffalo (9/2) vs Nevada (9/1) at Georgia (9/14) vs Georgia (8/30) Boston College (9/15) at Boston College (9/13)
vs Western Michigan (9/7) vs Ohio (9/13) at Texas (9/12) vs New Hampshire at Alabama (9/9) vs Charlotte (9/8)
vs Marshall (9/21) vs UConn (10/18) Kent State (9/19) vs Alabama (9/18) vs Northern Illinois (9/16)
  • Ohio State has no opponents scheduled for 2034 yet.

Fan base

In 2011, a study conducted by Nate Silver of the New York Times determined that Ohio State had the most fans of any college football team.[83]

Notes

References

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Further reading

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Ohio State Buckeyes football
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