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I've been a fan since birth, which means 36+ years. In my lifetime this win ranks third. Here are mine in order:
This year was special, and as time expired I just sat there, head in my hands, with a big smile on my face. We had done it...again. And for as much success as we've had over the past decade I can tell you that the feeling of beating Michigan never gets old. This was a win for the ages.
1. 2006...a game so unbelievable, the final score, 42-39, were the winning #s in the Ohio lottery that night
3. 1979...Earle's first year...played in AA...they'd beaten us 4 straight years...Columbus was on fire...literally
4. 1981...we were unranked and they were #7...beat them 14-9 in AA
5. 1987...Earle's last game...we were coming off 3 straight losses...beat them 23-20 in AA
6. 2001...Tressel's first year...we were unranked, they were #11...beat them 26-20 in AA
“The only thing they can get me for is running a funeral parlor without a license.”
Probably not even in my top 10
I pretty much agree with your top 5 except for #2. I'd put yesterday's win there simply because of the stakes.
There were no doubt high stakes in '06. In fact high stakes for both programs which is why worst case scenario, we lost, it wouldn't have hurt me as much as when we lost in '93, '95 and '96 or had we lost in '98 or '02.
You had to figure we still had an outside shot at playing them again for the title. See I didn't explode with rage when we lost to them in '97 or even had we lost to them in '04 since they were the ones playing for a big prize. There's a part of me that hates teams that flop all year and then when it comes to their big game, play above and beyond their ability. That's why our animosity toward scUM grew exponentially during the '90s.
I saw the same coming to fruition in '02 and then again yesterday as well.
This was the first win that I was elated over since the one in '05. I didn't get excited after the epic '06 matchup because I was too worried about who our opponent in the title game would be. Whereas in '02, it was all about getting over that hump. In '01 we were playing loose and free. But now that the stakes were once again high as they were throughout the '90s and we could just sense them doing all they could to hold us back, it revved up our nerves and tension. The nerves that they were doing all they could to keep us from achieving our goal that season. And I think once we triumphed there, the curse and stranglehold they held over us would be broken.
Sure we'd lose in convincing fashion the following year but it was one of those, "if only we had done this, that or the other" coupled with the fact that they also had something at stake to play for. Sure I always want us to beat scUM but I don't stress over it quite as much when both schools have something at stake. Or even if it's just them.
I guess it all emanates back to '69 when they upset our shot of a second consecutive national title. Then fast forward 24 years later when they just obliterated our undefeated season with a 28-0 wipeout and then throughout the remainder of that decade. It's why I can go with '98 being ranked in the top 5. That was our first win over scUM in the Cooper era when we were a very good to great team with still an outside shot at playing for a national title.
This win, outside of the undefeated streak as in '02 being at stake, was also similar to the one in '87 in that we weren't playing for a post-season bowl but for pride. This win wasn't about any awards or anything else. It was personal. It was personal then when the players said "To hell with them firing our coach, we're going to go out and win this one for him." To now where it was about showing the NCAA that they could strip us of what we earned on the field two years ago but we'll go out and get them right back no matter what we have to do.
1996 - Rose Bowl year vs ASU
1998 - Best team for me
2002 - No explanation necessary.
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