Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ohio State-Southern California: Looking Back Historically—Looking Ahead Realistically

Written by HD Handshoe

Week two of the 2009 college football season features what will be the 23rd all-time meeting between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the USC Trojans.

In recent years, a lot has been made of Ohio State's big-game losses on the national stage.

Because of those losses—all but one to a team ranked in the the top three—they have unjustly been ridiculed and labeled as an overrated program that always loses to every good team they play—usually in a blowout.

In this age of the Internet, and with the ease with which I was able to research and compose this article, you would think that today's fans outside of Ohio would know that college football was actually played before 2006.

Believe it or not, it's really true.

Way back in 1937, college football Goliaths, USC and Ohio State played each other for the first time.

Here is the all-time, head-to-head series listed by year, including the game result and where the game was played.

1937—Los Angeles

Southern Cal 13
Ohio State 12


Southern Cal 14
Ohio State 7

1941—Los Angeles

Ohio State 33
Southern Cal 0


Ohio State 28
Southern Cal 12

1946—Los Angeles

Ohio State 21
Southern Cal 0


Southern Cal 32
Ohio State 0


Ohio State 20
Southern Cal 0

1949—Los Angeles

Ohio State 13
Southern Cal 13

1954—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Ohio State 20
Southern Cal 7

1959—Los Angeles

Southern Cal 17
Ohio State 0


Ohio State 20
Southern Cal 0

1963—Los Angeles

Southern Cal 32
Ohio State 3


Ohio State 17
Southern Cal 0

1968—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Ohio State 27
Southern Cal 16

1972—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Southern Cal 42
Ohio State 17

1973—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Ohio State 42
Southern Cal 21

1974—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Southern Cal 18
Ohio State 17

1979—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Southern Cal 17
Ohio State 16

1984—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Southern Cal 20
Ohio State 17

1989—Los Angeles

Southern Cal 42
Ohio State 3


Southern Cal 35
Ohio State 26

2008—Los Angeles

Southern Cal 35
Ohio State 3

That adds up to 12 wins for USC, nine wins for Ohio State, and one tie.

Of the 22 meetings, only seven have been played in Columbus. The other 15 have been either been played in Los Angeles or Pasadena. Since 1968, eight of nine have been played in California.

After the Ohio State-Navy game today, and the fact that USC has won six straight in the series dating back to 1974, the overwhelming sentiment is that Ohio will lose, and lose badly, once again.

It might be a little premature to make that statement since I believe Navy is a very good team that will win at least eight or nine games, and maybe even as many as 10.

The Buckeye O-line still needs to play better and defensively, a couple of personnel moves are needed in my opinion. That being said, Pryor, Herron, Saine, Sanzenbacher, and Carter were all bright spots for the offense, so all is not lost after this win.

Either way, I am not sure that USC is going to just show up in Columbus and win with their freshman QB. Technically, it is possible, so we'll just have to wait and see. I hope they are over-confident now after today's games.

To the haters reading this who will inevitably post comments below that say Ohio State sucks and that they are overrated, and how they will get crushed next week...

I'm sorry my Buckeyes invited a real team from the FBS, and coincidentally, the nation's leading rushing team four years running, into the Shoe instead of Akron, San Jose State, Louisiana-Monroe, or Charleston Southern.

But then, that's another article all together.

Ultimately, the bottom line here is that Ohio State is one of the top teams of this decade, and of all-time and college football existed before 2006.

Yes, in the past three years, Ohio State has lost to the likes of Florida, LSU, Texas, and USC, but they have also beaten the teams they are supposed to beat.

Go ahead and kick us while we're down (in your mind anyway), but just take note that we are only going to get better all year long from week to week, starting next Saturday night versus unsuspecting USC.

After a successful LIVE in-game chat for the OSU-Navy game, we're doing it again!

Next Saturday, BlockONation will host another LIVE in-game chat for the OSU-USC game right here on-site, starting at 7:30PM.

No registration is required. All you have to do is show up, create a handle and join in the LIVE discussion. We hope to hear from you then.

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  1. Coming from a Buckeye for life guy, you couldn't have said it any better. Too often fans see what happened in the last 5 minutes compared to the last five or 10 or 30 years. I'm not a USC-hater---they have a great team. To my knowledge they've always been pretty damn good. Of course you don't turn out Heisman winners or contenders without a decent team or decent talent.

    Typically USC also has a tough schedule and this year is no different for them. I can't say that for some other schools, especially the ones from Florida. But I'm not getting picky either. Hey, they're good...right now. So was Miami (FL) in the 80's and early 90's, but where are they now? The problem with strength of schedule is it varies year by year and games are projected out sometimes 5 years in advance.

    Well, like I said, it's hard to predict. I just say enjoy the games for what they are. Have a beer or two with some buddies, get in some good shots, watch and leave patting each other on the back when it's over. Seriously, what are you going to do? Throw a sucker punch at your friend like good 'ol LeGarrette Blount. It's a game guys. No one is shooting rocket-propelled grenades over your head because your driving through their town. Think back 10 or 20 years prior when you were playing sandlot football in your backyard with your school friends. There were no glocks or oozies used afterwards and Koolaid was treat for all, even the other team.

    So here's what I'll do. Watch the game with some friends. Cook up some brats, have a beer, laugh and maybe get pissed off cuz Prior throws a ball into the speedy USC defense. I hope that doesn't happen, but odds are they have the edge, a big one. After the games I'll fret for a feww hours then go to bed. I'll wake up Sunday and still work on Monday (no, actually on that Monday I'll be going to Italy for vacation). When I return I'll watch more football, cursing the team OSU plays and hoping for more wins.

    That's it. A pretty simple life for a die-hard Buckeye fan. I can't wait for Saturday.

  2. write it down: USC is going to smash Ohio State worse than last year.

  3. To the 2nd guy:

  4. USC fans / Ohio State haters, LISTEN UP!

    I forgot, USC has NEVER struggled with an unranked team that is supposed to be blown out by several touchdowns.

    *See USC v. Stanford, Oregon State, UCLA*.

    At least Ohio State struggled but won and it was the first game of the season which leaves plenty of room for improvement.

    How many teams can say they were never surprised by a lesser team? Not one.

    Besides, how about the fact that Navy has had the #1 rushing attack in ALL of college football for four years in a row.

    Plus, Dobbs is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in all of college football and certainly, the best QB Navy has had in forever.

    I can't see into the future just like everyone else so we'll all just have to sit back and wait for next Saturday night to see what transpires.

    Ohio State will definitely be the underdog even at home and like I said, we all know USC has NEVER lost to an underdog...



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