Oh gosh, don’t repeat this nightmare.
Ohio State was undefeated and not allowed to go to a bowl game under the Big Ten’s no-repeat rule but could wrap up its second straight national championship with a final-game victory over arch-rival Michigan, coached by Ohio native Bo Schembechler, in his first season.
The year was 1969. Even if you weren’t born yet, if you intend to watch or listen to the game today, you’ll know what happened in that one.
Michigan won, 24-12, in Ann Arbor, smashing OSU’s 22-game winning streak, No. 1 ranking and history. It did not help that the Wolverines went on to lose the Rose Bowl that year. The OSU loss still hurts, 43 years later.
Ohio State stands 11-0 for today’s noon game and can’t go to a bowl because of an NCAA ban. This is it for the Buckeyes.
The coach across the way, in his second season, is Brady Hoke, another Ohioan, from Dayton, no less. His team is 8-3, and will be going somewhere to a bowl game, but not the Rose Bowl. Michigan needed Iowa to knock off Nebraska Friday to have a chance at that, and it didn’t happen.
At least that eliminates some of Michigan’s motivation.
In 1969, the Wolverines were 7-2 to OSU’s 8-0, and ranked No. 12. Everyone played fewer games – OSU even one less – before athletics directors and school presidents figured out a better monetary profile.
And there were so many scholarships available, OSU quarterback Rex Kern’s running backs were Larry Zelina, Jim Otis and John Brockington. Imagine three RBs like that on a team today.
Two of the receivers were Jan White and Bruce Jankowski. Defensive stars were Jim Stillwagon and Jack Tatum.
That was a powerful team.
Please, don’t let the nightmare happen again.