The 2002 Ohio State football team went 14-0 and defeated the Miami Hurricanes in the Fiesta Bowl, earning the Buckeyes' first national championship since 1970.
|1942: (9-1) The 1942 team under Coach Paul Brown began with a first-game rout of
Fort Knox, winning 59-0. Later in the season, the Buckeyes were able to battle
back from a third-quarter deficit to beat Indiana 32-21. Several more victories
followed against USC, Purdue, and Northwestern, but the streak ended with a loss
1942 Ohio State Football Team
|Madison against the Wisconsin Badgers. While the Buckeyes left this game
defeated after barely avoiding a shut-out, they rebounded with several more wins
against Pitt, Illinois, and Michigan. The season ended with a win against the
Iowa Seahawks, clinching the national title.
1954: (10-0) In what was only Woody Hayes’ fourth season at Ohio State, he struck gold with a perfect record and a national championship. Several outstanding players made up the 1954 team including Howard “Hopalong” Cassady and Robert Watkins on offense, and Jim Parker on defense. The perfect record was almost smashed by the Wolverines in the regular season finale that had both teams tied at 7 for the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter, however, the Buckeyes scored 14 points and were ready to head to Pasadena. At the Rose Bowl, the Buckeyes played a spectacular game against the Southern California Trojans, gaining 22 first downs and 370 yards on offense. They won the game and the 1954 national title.
1957: (9-1) After a first-game loss to Texas Christian, the Buckeyes remained steady
for the rest of the season, winning the last nine games. The team proved
especially strong in the fourth quarter, allowing only six points in the last
quarter all season long. Twice throughout the season the team was tested by
second-half deficits against Iowa and Michigan, but rallied to victory and
another trip to the Rose Bowl. In Pasadena, the Buckeyes faced the Oregon Ducks
in a tough match-up that kept the teams tied until the fourth quarter. In the
fourth quarter, OSU scored a field goal, then they held their ground until time
expired, going home champions.
|1961: (8-0-1) Scoring an average of more than 30 points per Big Ten game, the
Buckeyes rolled to a tenth Big Ten Championship and fourth National Championship
in 1961. Three running backs - Matt Snell, Bob Ferguson, and Paul Warfield - led
the way for the outstanding offense with Ferguson ending the season as a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. Even with such an exceptional team, the Buckeyes did
not play in the Rose Bowl that year when the OSU Faculty Council decided to
reject the bid. The team ended the season ranked No. 2 to Alabama in both the UPI and AP polls, but were declared champions by Football Writers Association of America.
|1968: (10-0) The 1968 Ohio State football team lives forever as a legend with the Ohio
State community. Eleven players from this team earned All-American honors, and
six went on to become first-round draft picks in the NFL. Jim Otis and Rex Kern
powered the offense, which
1968 Ohio State Football Team
|averaged 440 yards per game while Jack Tatum and Jim
Stillwagon anchored a strong defense. The team’s breakout game came against the
No. 1 ranked Purdue Boilermakers. The defense proved invincible in this game,
scoring the first touchdown and shutting out the Boilermakers. The team tallied
only victories throughout the rest of the season and found themselves in the
Rose Bowl ranked No. 1, facing No. 2 Southern California. Coming from 10 points
behind, the Buckeyes won the game 27-16 and secured their fifth national title.
|2002: Coach Jim Tressel’s second season boasts of a
perfect record, a national championship, and a die-hard team that always found a
way to win. Quarterback Craig Krenzel proved to be a play maker in moments when
a game would hang in the balance. Chris Gamble showed incredible talent making
landmark plays on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The team
won half of its games by seven points or less, leaving fans on the edge until
the end. So many times, it seemed as though the game would be lost, but the
team always pulled out a victory in the end. The last game of the
regular season was no exception as the Buckeyes trailed the Michigan Wolverines
9-7 late in the fourth quarter, but pulled ahead before time expired. Heading
into the National Championship game, the Buckeyes faced a top-ranked and heavily
favored Miami team. Overcoming numerous tense moments, including a
fourth-and-fourteen call in the first overtime, the Buckeyes broke Miami’s
34-game winning streak in a spine-tingling double overtime triumph. Coach Jim Tressel
was recognized with numerous coaching awards and honors for his exceptional
leadership and tremendous success throughout the year.