How many times has Ohio State ever been 11-0? Only
once during the regular season, when we blew away Indiana 42-3 in 1995.
Unfortunately, we then followed that with losses to Michigan and then to
Tennessee in the Citrus Bowl, to finish 11-2
That "unfortunately" word crops up a lot when you start
OSU sentences with phrases like "The last time we were…" What we need is
some new and different "finishes". We need new endings to old sentences. We
did go 10-0 to finish the season in both the 1955 and 1968 seasons, which
capped national championship and Rose Bowl victories in those bygone years. We
won game "11" in 1979 over Michigan. Unfortunately,
we then lost that particular national championship and the Rose Bowl to USC.
Payback, I suppose, for the 1955 and 1968 wins.
In 1996, we went
into Game 11 undefeated but, unfortunately,
we slipped against Michigan before closing out a successful Rose Bowl year
against Arizona State.
So, these 11-0
regular seasons put us in some rarified air. OSU – in all its storied history
– has never had a 12-0 regular season record. And 13-0? Don't ask. I'm
superstitious. But there are other pieces of the humble pie to digest when
considering that astonishing regular season record:
The Bucks are #7 in
all-time winning percentage. It has been pointed out, unfortunately, that each of the six teams ahead of us have won national championships
since OSU did it in 1968. And a few of the teams behind us, as well…
Since 1970, the Buckeyes
have started the season 8-0 nine times. Unfortunately, we are
22-10-1 in the remaining games in those particular seasons with not a whiff of a
Four times since 1975,
OSU has started 10-0. Unfortunately,
we were 3-5 after those glorious starts.
We have lost 11 times –
since 1968 – in years that we have been ranked #1, #2, or #3 in the country
after eight games of that season.
The Big Ten
hasn't done much better as a conference. Since the Buckeyes last won the
national championship in the aforementioned 1968 season, how many national
titles have Big Ten teams won? Half of one, when Michigan backed into part of a
title in 1997. All those years…
But wait – can
we look forward to not looking back any more? When that last Purdue pass sailed
into space on Saturday – I thought of Mike Doss from two years ago as we got
burned 31-27. But this year, Chris Gamble picks it off and "game over". Is
it really different this year? Can the Cubs finally win the World Series?
I submit that we
are a team of heroes this year and the same heroes are stepping forward each
week now. The list from last Saturday was short but stellar:
Chris Gamble again
Krenzel? He just
keeps winning. Despite the hurdles he gives himself, he overcomes them in the
end. In games Craig has started and
was allowed to finish, he is a perfect 12-0. The best way to statistically
measure a quarterback is with wins and losses. Krenzel has been a winner every