Will OSU ever lose to an Ohio team?Written by Matt Sussman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo’s 38-0 loss to Ohio State in Cleveland was, among being hilarious for BGSU fans, a most unlikely shutout. The Rockets hit the 50-point mark against a Big XII team the previous week. The Buckeyes’ defense had trouble against Navy. Certainly, it was at least going to be a close game?
Not so. When the trendy upset prediction was looming, the Buckeyes tightened their grip on the gullet of Ohio football, choking any chance of a rebellion in the Buckeye State. It’s a story you’ve read so many times before; it’s almost second nature.
Ohio State has always had a stranglehold on this fair land. The last time they lost an in-state game was 1921 against the mighty Oberlin College Yeomen (That’s a fantastic team nickname, by the way). There may not be a more populous state in which one team reigned longer and stronger. Ohio has more bowl subdivision teams (eight) than any state except Texas (10). You’d think that, at some point in the past 88 years, one of them would have had a better day than the Buckeyes.
Maybe it’s simply hard luck. Since OSU schedules nonconference opponents well ahead of time (they already have a game with Tennessee in 2019), it’s also entirely possible they have some arcane knowledge of when in-state teams will be at their worst. Or it could be the snowball effect of desperation like the Chicago Cubs. Or perhaps the thrill of the chase clouds the ability to succeed like the Trix Rabbit.
But the “Family Feud” most popular reason is probably that the game is almost always played in Columbus. Other than the Sept. 19 game against UT in Cleveland and against Cincinnati (at the Bengals’ Paul Brown Stadium) in 2002, Ohio State has never traveled anywhere else in Ohio to play football since 1934 (Not like that matters. The entire state is their backyard.)
In the next five years, the Buckeyes will face at least six Ohio schools. Do any of them have a chance at breaking the streak?
n Sept. 18, 2010 vs. Ohio: The Bobcats are nothing to write home about, except when Terrelle Pryor tells his mother about how many rushing touchdowns he will score against them.
n Sept. 3, 2011 vs. Akron: The last time the Zips went to Columbus, they scored all of two points. That’s all you need to know.
n Sept. 10, 2011 vs. Toledo: Then again, the Rockets would have killed for two points last week. But they still have time. 2011 will be Tim Beckman’s third year coaching UT, which is generally a statement season. And with the way Jim Tressel coaches during big games, the Buckeyes may be in a state of flux by then, the same way Michigan was last year.
The stars may align for something special on this day. Mark your calendar if you are over-prepared and already bought one for this year. The diploma on my wall, however, tells me this will be a 41-0 victory for the scarlet and gray.
n Sept. 1, 2012 vs. Miami University: Probably by then the RedHawks will not be giving up 40 points a game. But it’s not like Ben Roethlisberger will be going back to school for his master’s any time soon.
n Sept. 8, 2012 vs. Cincinnati: By 2012, the Cincy-OSU matchup should be a lot like Michigan State vs. Michigan, meaning it’s promising, but still not living up to expectations.
n Date TBA, 2014 vs. Kent State: Everyone who will play for the Golden Flashes in 2014 is currently in high school, if that. And the program has never been that great. However, since nobody can predict what will happen that far into the sports future — and, in five years nobody’s going to remember this — I can safely assume that Kent State will beat Ohio State and end the then-93-year reign of supremacy in Ohio, provided they change their mascot to the Golden Yeomen, which they will.