Friday, October 2, 2009

Ohio State or Cincinnati: Who's The Best College Football Team In Ohio?

Posted by HD Handshoe

When you think of college football in the state of Ohio in the past, you very rarely think of the University of Cincinnati. UC is known as more of a basketball school, until recently.

You usually think of Ohio State when you think of college football in Ohio—Seven National Championships, seven Heisman Trophies, and Ohio State is thr No. 5 most successful program in college football history.

You wouldn't put these programs in the same sentence because Ohio State has been on a whole different level to UC, but head coach Brian Kelly has had something to say about that, as he continued to foster the mentality that Mark Dantonio left.

In Coach Kelly's first year at UC he won 10 games, beating big teams like Oregon State, Rutgers, and Syracuse. He followed that up with 11-3 season and making it to a BCS Bowl in 2008.

Now already the Bearcats are undefeated and have a pretty decent shot at being undefeated and making it to another BCS Bowl—Maybe even the National Championship game.

Ohio State has had big games already this season, barely losing to USC, and they have a very young and talented team that can heat up at any point this season. They are not out of the title race yet this season, and I can definitely see them making it to a BCS Bowl game.

Since these two teams don't play each other, the question is which one is the better team. Ohio State is ranked ninth in the country, but UC are right behind them and climbing.

I think that right now UC has a more offensive-minded coach in Brian Kelly. Jim Tressel is an amazing coach and he wins a lot of games, but what Kelly does with the amount of talent he has is pretty amazing.

He took Tony Pike, a player who was sitting the bench (4th string to start 2008) and expected to sit the bench his whole career, and turned him into one of the best quarterbacks in the nation.

He doesn't get all the five-star recruits or the most top-100 players in the nation, but the players he does have play for him as if they are five-star caliber.

When you look at the quarterback position, I think Terrelle Pryor is a better athlete, but Tony Pike is a more complete pocket-passing quarterback at this point.

I think that if the Bearcats win all their games, and Pike continues to put up the stats he has through four games, he will likely deserve an invite to the Heisman Trophy presentation come December.

At the wide receiver position, the Bearcats Marshawn Gilyard is a sure-fire playmaker. Ohio State has some young, but talented receivers, but none are individually as accomplished as Gilyard so far this season. He's been compared to former Buckeye Santonio Holmes, which is a fair comparison because he can, and has, single-handedly changed, and won games for the Bearcats.

There is no doubt that Ohio State has the better running game. UC is a spread team that prefers to throw the ball. The way the Buckeyes ran the ball against Illinois was a great testament to how much talent is in the backfield for Ohio State.

The Buckeyes only threw the ball two times in the first half, and were up at the half 13-0 because of the running of Terrelle Pryor, Brandon Saine and Dan Herron.

Defensively the Bearcats have had a lot of great things going on, but Ohio State has one of the best defenses in the nation, specifically their front four, and they showed that against USC.

Besides the last drive, the Buckeyes were solid against an always talented USC team. They contained "the stable" of running backs and forced freshman quarterback Matt Barkley to beat them. Unfortunately, the "D" was tired and USC scored the game-winning touchdown with just over a minute remaining in the game.

Barkley did take a beating and as a result was unable to play against Washington the following week, which could have been the reason for the upset loss USC suffered to the Huskies.

They held a potentially high-powered Illinois offense to less than 100 yards rushing and Juice Williams didn't reach the 100 yard marker passing either.

Regardless of the win/loss records at the end of the season, I can't ignore the level of competition each of the teams have and will face this season.

Cincinnati is a good team, but without a head-to-head matchup, on paper Ohio State gets the nod.

Unfortunately, the Buckeyes and Bearcats do have a home-and-home series scheduled, but not until 2012, and by then both teams could, and most likely will be vastly different than they are now.

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Original Article by Kyle Strittholt—B/R Featured OSU Columnist & BlockONation Contributor


  1. toledo is in the poll?

  2. Yes Toledo is in the poll, but not really b/c they had a shot, but rather b/c they are the only other half decent team in Ohio, so I was being "nice" when I included them!

  3. anybody know where I can watch the indiana game online? I don't have the BTN

  4. You might be able to find the Indiana-Ohio State game feed here tomorrow:


  5. thanks a lot, I hate the BTN sometimes :(

  6. you are missing an obvious opportunity for comparison in that both teams play Illinois this year in their home stadiums...while it will still be a comparison on paper it is the closest to a head-to-head match up this year.

  7. "you are missing an obvious opportunity for comparison in that both teams play Illinois this year in their home stadiums...while it will still be a comparison on paper it is the closest to a head-to-head match up this year."

    Let's just say Cincy has a lot to live uo to then, after Ohio State CRUSHED and DOMINATED Illinois 30-0

    And for the record if anyone wanted to know, All-time, Cincy is 0-4 against the Buckeyes losing in 1999, 2002, 2004, and 2006 by the scores of 34-20, 23-19, 27-6, and 37-7 respectively.

  8. Admit it, ohio state is second fiddle this year and maybe into the future. If the bucks had Brian kelly as a coach they might be in the same position as UC. From the games I watched the problen for ohio state is at the qb position. UC will win out the season and with a little luck might have a oppurtunity to play in the national game at the end of year.

  9. Does anyone know if and when UC was ever ranked higher than OSU in any national poll?

  10. Does anyone know if and when UC was ever ranked higher than OSU in a national poll?

  11. Before this year, the only time Cincinnati was ranked ahead of Ohio State in the AP Poll that I could find was in the November 12,1951 poll.

    When the poll was released that week, Ohio State's record was 4-2-1 and Cincy's was 8-0


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