After a heartbreaker against Michigan State, Indiana faces an even more formidable challenge this week when Ohio State travels to Bloomington for a game that will be broadcast in prime time on BTN. The Buckeyes are ineligible for postseason play this season, but if they were, they would be inching into national title discussions, especially in light of their 63-38 beatdown of Nebraska. OSU is far from assured of an undefeated season--they still have to go to Madison and State College--but they are playing increasingly well after flirting with disaster against Cal and UAB. Urban Meyer, who won two national titles as Florida's head coach, is back in business after a year's hiatus and obviously is quickly shaping the Buckeyes into his team.
Historically, IU's success has come against Buckeye coaches who are in either their first or their last year. IU's last win over Ohio State, a 41-7 win over OSU in Bloomington, came during John Cooper's first season at OSU. The previous season, IU's 31-10 win over the Buckeyes in Columbus is a big reason that 1987 was Earle Bruce's last year as the Buckeye coach. Before the '87 win, IU's previous win came in 1951, Woody Hayes's first season as OSU's coach. Obviously, Jim Tressel and Luke Fickell missed the boat, and the bigger lesson is that IU simply doesn't beat Ohio State very often. In fact, the 1988 win is IU's only win over Ohio State in Bloomington in the last 108 seasons. This stat is somewhat skewed by the unbalanced schedules characteristic of the Big Ten through the 1950s (only 8 of the 42 meetings between IU and OSU before 1960 were played in Bloomington), but it's striking.
Well, we have all week to talk about Braxton Miller's emergence, and all of the studs populating the Buckeyes' two-deep. For now, let's reminisce a bit about happier times.