Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Round 1, Game 8 - 2008 vs 2005

Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Round 1, Game 8 - 2008 vs 2005

Terry Johnson

Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Round 1, Game 8 - 2008 vs 2005

We are continuing our 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? Today, we conclude the first round with No. 15 2008 faces No. 2 2005.


Other Simulations:
Round 1:  
1998 vs. 2012  |  2002 vs. 1997  |  2007 vs. 2014 |  2015 vs. 2009
 1996 vs. 2003 | 2013 vs. 2016 | 2010 vs. 2006

Contact/Follow Terry P Johnson

Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Round One, Game Eight – 2008 vs. 2005

As we talked about last week, we’re going through the best Ohio State teams of the last twenty years by holding a single-elimination tournament of sixteen seeded teams. We’ve already gone through the top half of the bracket, and now we are focusing on the bottom half.

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.

Today, we conclude the first round with the 2008 Buckeyes squaring off against the 2005 Buckeyes.

(15) 2008 vs. (2) 2005

Setting The Table

The fact that the 2008 team is seeded 15th in this tournament speaks volumes about how great of a program Ohio State is. Most schools – especially TTUN – would love it if their 15th-best season was a 10-3 team that ended up in a BCS Bowl.

Make no mistake about it: the 2008 Buckeyes were a solid team. Sure, it didn’t win the Big Ten title, but OSU did post impressive road wins over Wisconsin and Michigan State. That same team nearly upset No. 3 Texas in the Fiesta Bowl, dropping a 24-21 heartbreaker in the final minutes.

The 2005 Buckeyes don’t exactly get the type of respect that they deserve, either. Many questioned how this team earned the No. 2 spot, when the 2002 and 2014 squads won the national championship. However, according to the SRS, the 2005 squad was the second-best team in the last 20 years.

A quick look at the schedule will show why this is the case. Yes, the 2005 squad lost two games. However, both of those losses were by less than a touchdown against teams that finished the season in the top three (No. 1 Texas and No. 3 Penn State). Instead of quitting after suffering its second loss in mid-October, Ohio State rallied to win seven straight contests (four over opponents that were ranked entering the game), capped off by decisive victory over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.

It’s tough to argue with those results!

How It All Went Down

Stop me if you heard this one: Troy Smith railed the Buckeyes to a decisive score. No, that’s not a repeat of the previous game: he merely worked his fourth quarter magic again. Only this time, it was for the 2005 team.

It looked as though the No. 15 seeded 2008 squad was going to pull the upset, as things were certainly clicking for the offense in the first half. Beanie Wells ripped a 48-yard touchdown run to pull the 2008 team ahead and then DeVier Posey caught a TD pass from Terrelle Pryor to give them a 10-point leading heading into the break. While the 2005 team rallied to retake the lead in the fourth quarter, the 2008 squad looked like it had the game in hand when Pryor connected with Brian Hartline for a 26-yard strike to go up 24-20.

And why wouldn’t they? After all, Hartline caught the game-winning pass in the previous game (ironically enough from Smith!)

Yet again, Smith ran the two-minute drill to perfection. He went four for four for 44 yards on the final drive. He did it all while eluding the pass rush in the final series, including a nifty run on fourth and 15, where he drew a facemask penalty to keep the drive alive.

Final Score And Link To Summary

(2) 2005 Ohio State 27, (15) 2008 Ohio State 24

That’s it for the first round. We’ll be back at it with our final eight in the second round early next week.

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