A Look Back At 2014's Best Ohio State Moments

There was a lot to like about 2014 if you're an Ohio State athletics fan. Remember it all as BuckeyeSports.com takes a look back at the top moments and memories of the year gone by.

As usual, it's been an amazing year for Ohio State athletics. And with time ticking down to 2015 -- which could start on its own high note given the New Year's Day game vs. Alabama in the Sugar Bowl -- BuckeyeSports.com decided to look back at some of the most memorable and coolest moments and accomplishments for Ohio State in 2014.

Spooner Wins Gold

Ohio State saw an alum win gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics when Natalie Spooner scored the first-place medal for Team Canada in the women's hockey tournament. Ohio State's all-time leading goal scorer with 100 in her career, Spooner was on the Canadian team that faced almost certain defeat then rallied to beat the Americans in overtime, becoming the second Buckeye in as many Olympics to win on Team Canada, joining now-TSN sports reporter Tessa Bonhomme.

National Titles Abound

Ohio State saw a number of national titles in 2014, none bigger than when Logan Stieber made it three in a row for the wrestling team. The junior 141-pounder dominated his way through the tournament and posted a major decision over Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the final match.

Ohio State also captured a second straight NCAA title in women's rowing, dominating the field in that as well, and won the national pistol crown. Synchronized swimming also captured the U.S. nationals title and men's tennis won the ITA National Indoors crown and then set an all-time NCAA mark for consecutive home wins in any sport.

LINK: Stieber Wins Third In A Row

LINK: Tennis Sets NCAA Record

Smith's Number Goes Up

It was only fitting that Troy Smith saw his numbered go up on the facade at Ohio Stadium during the Michigan game. The Heisman Trophy winner dominated the Wolverines in his career, going 3-0 as a starter in memorable fashion -- announcing himself on the big stage in 2004 with a breakthrough showing, leading a last-minute charge in 2005 and winning the 1 vs. 2 game in 2006. Smith is the eighth OSU player to have his number honored over the program's illustrious football history.

LINK: Smith Reflects On Legacy

Barrett Finishes Fifth

The season didn't end the way J.T. Barrett wanted it to, but he was a star in the making for the Buckeyes in 2014. Elevated to the top backup role midway through fall camp, the redshirt freshman found himself thrust into a starting role when Braxton Miller suffered a season-ending shoulder injury Aug. 18. All Barrett did was set a bevy of records on the way to leading OSU to an 11-1 record in his starts before his season ended in the Michigan game. It was a historic year, and Barrett was rewarded by finishing fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

LINK: Barrett Reflects On Breakout Year

Craft Sets Assist Record

It took four years as a starter but Aaron Craft left with his name almost indelibly marked in the Big Ten record book as the league's all-time steals leader. Also OSU's No. 1 man when it comes to assists, the rosy-cheeked point guard posted four steals against Michigan State in the last home game of his career to break the record. The beloved Buckeye finished his career atop the chart with 337 steals and went out with a bang as OSU beat Michigan State on Senior Day.

LINK: Ohio State Legacy: Aaron Craft

OSU Beat Michigan

The Game is The Game is The Game, many say, so any win vs. Michigan -- even a versiono of the Wolverines with a losing record -- is a big one. Barrett was lost for the year in the game but he still helped lead a comeback win, sprinting and juking 25 yards through the U-M defense to tie the score late in the second quarter and then lead a pair of TD drives to start the second half to give OSU the lead for good. Ezekiel Elliott's run clinched the win and Urban Meyer improved to 3-0 as the Buckeyes' head coach vs. the rival, making him the first coach to reach that mark since the 1930s.

LINK: Buckeyes Lose Barrett, Beat Michigan

Gibson Commits

What's the No. 2 obsession to Ohio State football in Ohio? It might be Ohio State recruiting these days, and no player excited the fan base more than Torrance Gibson when he gave his pledge to the Buckeyes on Nov. 3. The nation's No. 44 overall player and No. 6 signal caller brings dynamic speed and athleticism and could be the next Buckeye in a long line of standout QBs, and his commitment created a buzz at OSU.

LINK: Commitment Analysis: Torrance Gibson

Buckeyes Get Revenge

The low point of the Urban Meyer era might have been summed up by his sad pizza eaten on a golf cart in the bowels of Lucas Oil Stadium after the Buckeyes' lost the 2013 Big Ten Championship Game vs. Michigan State. But the Buckeyes got sweet revenge Nov. 8 in East Lansing this year in a 49-37 win that vaulted the team into College Football Playoff contention. Penalties and mistakes hurt the Buckeyes early but the team went on a 28-3 run to turn a 21-14 deficit into a 42-24 lead the team never gave away. Long TD passes from Barrett to Mike Smith and Devin Smith gave the Buckeyes the lead for good at the half, and the second half was a reminder that the Buckeyes are the team to beat in the Big Ten East.

LINK: Buckeyes Earn Statement Win At MSU

OSU Honors Jacob

Ohio State's football team has gone out of its way this year to include Jacob Jarvis as part of its program this year. The young fan battling Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy has accompanied the team throughout the year and he and his brother Noah were honorary captains for the Cincinnati game earlier this year, after which the team presented Jacob with the game ball after the game.

LINK: Urban Meyer, Ohio State Fight Against MD

Winning It All

But the game people will remember forever in the 2014 season is the one that happened in Indianapolis. What a difference a year makes as the Buckeyes' house of horrors the year prior was the sight of one of the most thorough beatings in college football history. Ohio State scored on its first possession and never looked back, leading 38-0 at halftime and beating Wisconsin 59-0 to win the Big Ten title and move into the first playoff. It concluded an emotional week that included Cardale Jones stepping in for the injured Barrett as well as the stunning passing of defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge.

LINK: Complete Game Sends Buckeyes To Playoff

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