Simulation Series: The Best Ohio State Teams between 1996 and 2016

Simulation Series: The Best Ohio State Teams between 1996 and 2016

Terry Johnson

Simulation Series: The Best Ohio State Teams between 1996 and 2016


Senior Editor Terry Johnson attempts to answer an impossible question the only way that he knows how: letting the best Ohio State teams of the last twenty years settle the issue on the gridiron.


 

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Simulation Series: The Best Ohio State Teams between 1996 and 2016

Which football team was the greatest in Ohio State’s storied history?

That’s a very tough question to answer. After all, it’s virtually impossible to compare teams from different eras. We have no way of knowing whether Woody Hayes’ physical teams would be able to stop Urban Meyer’s spread offense. Nor do we have any clue how either would match up against Jim Tressel’s stellar squads from the 2000’s.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could?

Well, we can… sort of. Thanks to What If Sports, we’re able to match up any team from 1996 until 2016. This allows us to simulate a 16-team tournament to (somewhat) settle the debate about which Ohio State team was the greatest in the last 20 years.

Before I unveil the pairings, I wanted to bring a couple of things to your attention:

  • All of these games will be played on a neutral field. You’ll see why in the final bullet point.
  • All of these games will be played in 70 degree weather. I don’t want the elements to enter into the equation.
  • I used the Sports-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System (SRS) to seed the teams. SRS uses both strength of schedule and margin of victory, so it gives preference to teams that beat quality opponents.

It’s also worth noting that the SRS listed Ohio State third in the final rankings in 2017, validating that the Buckeyes belonged in the College Football Playoff last year.

With that out of the way, let’s unveil the bracket (and feel free to engage both BuckeyeWire and TerryPJohnson with any feeback, discussion or predictions)

Simulated on Monday 5/7

(16) 2012 (12-0, Urban Meyer) vs. (1) 1998 (11-1, John Cooper)
(9) 1997 (10-3, Cooper) vs. (8) 2002 (14-0, Jim Tressel)
(12) 2007 (11-2, Tressel) vs. (5) 2014 (14-1, Meyer)
(13) 2009 (11-2, Tressel) vs. (4) 2015 (12-1, Meyer)

Simulated on Tuesday 5/8

(14) 2003 (10-3, Tressel) vs. (3) 1996 (11-1, Cooper)
(11) 2013 (12-2, Meyer) vs. (6) 2016 (11-2, Meyer)
(10) 2010 (12-1, Tressel) vs. (7) 2006 (12-1, Tressel)
(15) 2008 (10-3, Tressel) vs. (2) 2005 (10-2, Tressel)

Stay with us as we begin to piece this all together and join in on all the fun. Let the games begin!

 

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