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Countdown To Kickoff: Best Buckeye Ever To Wear No. 10

As the countdown to Ohio State's season opener against Bowling Green gets closer, the Buckeye Sports staff is continuing its Best Buckeye Ever series. We stand just 10 days from kickoff, so it is time to reveal our pick for the Best Buckeye Ever to don that number.

We have had our fair share of loaded numbers on this countdown, but you might not find a more crowded room of stars than at No. 10 of our Best Buckeye Ever countdown. 

A trio of Buckeye signal callers headline our list, but the first one we will discuss won the Heisman Trophy, so he gets the nod. 

Troy Smith (2002-06) will forever be known to Buckeye fans as a Heisman winner, but maybe even more so for his success against archrival Michigan. Against the Wolverines, Smith went 3-0 as a starter, throwing for 857 yards and seven touchdowns while adding 194 yards on the ground to go along with two scores. In his three games against the Wolverines, Smith threw just one interception, which came on a tipped pass in the 2006 edition of The Game. 

In his Heisman winning season, Smith threw for 2,542 yards and 30 touchdowns which at the time was a program record. He threw just six interceptions that season, helping the Buckeyes to a perfect 12-0 regular season record. 

Unfortunately for Smith, his legacy will forever be tarnished by the 41-14 loss he and the Buckeyes took at the hands of Florida in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game. After that loss, Smith would spend four seasons in the NFL, making his last appearance with the San Francisco 49ers in 2010. 

Smith ranks fourth in Ohio State history in total offense, having accumulated 6,888 yards in his career. The next man up on our list, is first in that category. 

Art Schlichter started at quarterback all four years in Columbus from 1978-81 and ranks first in Buckeye history in total offense, having racked up 8,850 yards in his four seasons. 

His first season as a starter didn’t exactly go as planned. Schlichter threw an Ohio State program record 21 interceptions as a freshman, the last of which ultimately helped end the coaching career of Woody Hayes. After Schlichter threw an interception to seal Ohio State’s loss in the Gator Bowl, Hayes infamously slugged Clemson defender Charlie Bauman in the throat on the sideline. Hayes was fired the following day. 

Under Earle Bruce, Schlichter had much more success. In 1979, the Buckeyes completed an undefeated regular season in which Schlichter threw for 1,816 yards and 14 touchdown passes to just six interceptions. He would finish his Ohio State career as the 1981 team MVP, team captain, two time first team All-Big Ten player and a first team All-American in 1979. 

Schlichter would be the fourth overall draft pick in the 1982 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts, however his professional career was short lived. Drug and gambling problems over the years continued to haunt him as he is currently serving a 10 year prison sentence for his involvement in a multi-million dollar ticket scam and for drug possession. 

Last, but certainly not least on this list is Rex Kern, who helped lead the Buckeyes to the 1968 national title as a sophomore. 

A three year starter at quarterback, Kern won two Rose Bowls, went 2-1 against Michigan and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Because the Buckeyes rarely threw the ball under Hayes’ tenure, Kern did not amass nearly the stats that Smith and Schlichter did, but his impact on Ohio State football will forever be felt. 

His 4,158 career yards gained ranks 15th in program history as he went 25-2 as the starting quarterback at Ohio State. He was a first team All-America selection in 1969 and was a captain on the 1970 team. 

Do you agree with our list? Make sure to weigh in on our premium message boards with you selections. 

Bettridge, John W. ..............1934-35

Brown, Corey (WR)......2010-11-12-13

Burrow, Joe.............................. 2015

Cannavino, Michael L. ........1946-48

Cooper, Joe........................ 1998- 01

Cramer, Carl F. ......................... 1933

Hamilton, Ray L....................1949-51

Holmes, Jalyn ......................2014-15

Houston, Dave ......................... 1989

Hoying, Tom........................1993-97

Isaman, Derek.....................1986-88

Kern, Rex W.........................1968-70

Kessel, Joel.............................. 1992

Lang, Mark ...........................1974-75

Ledman, Kenneth..................... 1955

Matus, Paul............................... 1942

McAllister, David ...................... 1988

McLellan, Jenova.....................1990

Phillips, Thomas W....................1937

Rosen, John .............................. 1941

Saunders, Keith.........................1977

Schlichter, Arthur..................1978-81

Shazier, Ryan....................2011-12-13

Smith, Troy........................ 2002-06

Spangler, Rich .....................1982-85

Stranges, Tony J........................1944

Terry, Carl ................................. 1939

Torrence, Devon .......... 2007-08-09


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