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?
Round 2 Results: 1998 vs. 2002
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Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Round Two, Game Two – 2007 vs. 2015
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. Round One certainly didn’t disappoint, as we had some tight-contests and a couple of upsets.
Just 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. I mention that specifically for this matchup because many fans wrote in to ask why the 2002 national championship wasn’t seeded in the top three.
(12) 2007 vs. (4) 2015
Setting The Table
The 2007 Buckeyes pulled off the upset of the tournament (so far), by knocking off the 2014 national championship team 27-24 behind some fourth quarter heroics from Todd Boeckman. The 2015 team — eager to show it was just as good as the aforementioned national championship squad — throttled the 2009 team 30-7.
Now it’s time to see who wins this one to challenge the top-seeded 1998 squad.
How It All Went Down
Ezekiel Elliott ran for 254 yards and three touchdowns to lead the 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes to victory over the 2007 squad.
The 2015 Bucks took control of the game on the opening possession. Although the 2007 team went on a 16-play, 88-yard drive, it failed to get on the scoreboard after a Gareon Conley interception on third-and-goal. On the following play, Elliott ripped a 62-yard run to put the Buckeyes inside the 10-yard line. He scored two plays later to give the 2015 squad all of the points that it would need in this contest.
Although Elliott was the MVP, it’s hard not to be impressed with the 2015 defense. It kept the pressure on Todd Boeckman all afternoon, sacking him three times and recording three interceptions.
Final Score And Link To Summary
Tomorrow: (3) 1996 vs. (11) 2013