Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Round One, Game One - 1998 vs. 2012

Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Round One, Game One - 1998 vs. 2012

Terry Johnson

Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Round One, Game One - 1998 vs. 2012


It’s time to kick off the first round of the simulation series where we use our friends at WhatifSports.com to simulate matchups of the best Ohio State teams over the last 20 years. It may (or may not) determine which OSU team was the best over that time, but hey, it’s all good fun either way, right?


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Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Round One – 1998 vs. 2012

As we talked about last week, it’s time to take a look at the best Ohio State teams from 1996 – 2016, and we’re starting with a matchup between the No. 1 seeded 1998 team vs. the No. 16 seeded 2012 squad that was Urban Meyer’s first in Columbus.

And as a reminder, we used the seeding method used by 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 — not necessarily where you might think teams would be slotted based on record and trophies.

That’s enough talking, let’s kick things off.

(1) 1998 vs. (16) 2012

Setting The Table

You remember 1998 right? The team steamrolled through the season with a dominating defense and explosive offense that featured stars like Andy Katzenmoyer on defense and Joe Germaine and David Boston on offense.

You may also remember the lone, somewhat fluky loss to a Nick Saban Michigan State team that found a way to keep making plays in the second half to steal one in Columbus. It would be the Buckeyes’ only loss, and one that kept them out of a shot for the national title. That team may go down as the best to never win the ultimate prize in Columbus.

Then there was the 2012 squad. It was Urban Meyer’s first squad in Columbus after a season in purgatory with Luke Fickell. The interim Fickell took over for Jim Tressel who was let go because of a tattoo scandal and email cover up. The team — led by Braxton Miller at quarterback — surprisingly ran the table and went 12-0, but because of sanctions from the NCAA were unable to play in the postseason.

How It All Went Down

The final outcome of this contest was never in doubt. The 1998 squad raced out to a 34-3 halftime lead behind three touchdowns from running back Michael Wiley.

While the 2012 Buckeyes would rally to score 16 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter, it could not get the job done against the 1998 defense. Although it didn’t record a sack or interception, the secondary limited 2012 OSU to just 7 of 18 passing for a paltry 122 yards.

Michael Wiley (248 total yards, 3 TDs) narrowly edged out Joe Germaine (22 for 33 for 387 yards and 3 TDs) for MVP honors for the 1998 team.

Final Score And Link To Summary

(1) 1998 Ohio State 41, (16) 2012 Ohio State 19

Next up: (8) 2002  vs. (9) 1997 – tomorrow …

 

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