We are concluding 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. We started a few weeks ago with sixteen 10-plus win teams and now only two remain. Will the 2015 Buckeye team prove that it should have played in the College Football Playoff, or will the 2013 squad come up with the stops that it couldn’t come up with in the final two games of its season?
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Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Championship Game: 2015 vs. 2013
As we talked about a few weeks ago, we’re going through the best Ohio State teams of the last twenty years by holding a single-elimination tournament of sixteen seeded teams. The first three rounds 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.
(4) 2015 vs. (11) 2013
Setting The Table
The 2015 team enters this contest hotter than the 2014 team was during its championship run. It hardly broke a sweat in the first two rounds, demolishing the 2009 and 2007 clubs by a 62-10 margin. The 2015 Buckeyes followed that up with the most impressive win in the tournament (so far), knocking off the top-seeded 1998 squad 21-17.
On the other hand, the 2013 team enters the championship game as one of the more pleasant surprises of the tournament. In the first round, it knocked off the 2016 club — which played in the College Football Playoff. After that, it throttled both the 1996 team and the 2006 team.
Which of these squads will win the inaugural championship? We’ll find out shortly!
How It All Went Down
Thanks to JT Barrett’s fourth quarter heroics, 2015 Ohio State defeated 2013 Ohio State for the inaugural Simulation Series championship.
As with any game between great teams, this contest was a seesaw battle with plenty of twists and turns. The 2015 club dominated most of the first two quarters, racing out to a 19-0 lead. However, the 2013 team scored the next 20 points – highlighted by a 43-yard run by Jordan Hall – to retake the lead with just over 10 minutes remaining.
It was all 2015 Ohio State after that.
Rather than worrying about blowing a lead, Barrett was absolutely brilliant in what turned out to be the game-winning series. He went four-for-four on the drive, including two huge completions on third-and-long. He also picked up a crucial first down on third-and-11 with a 19-yard scramble late in the game to put the 2015 Buckeyes inside the 2013 20-yard line.
Two plays later, Ezekiel Elliott scored the go-ahead touchdown from nine yards out. He finished the game with 197 yards on 28 carries.
Final Score And Link To Summary