Top 25 Buckeyes of the Decade: #3 Mike Doss

Written August 23rd, 2010 by Jim

The Buckeye Battle Cry will be counting down the Top 25 players of the past decade all spring/summer.  Every Monday and Thursday, Jim will be announcing a new player.  Our #1 player will be presented on Monday, August 30th.  Three days later, the 2010 season officially begins.  To view the previous entries in our Top 25, click here.

Mike Doss (2000-2002)

They say that safety is the ‘quarterback’ of the defense, and no player epitomized this concept more than Mike Doss. A three time All American at strong safety, Doss was the heart and soul of Ohio State’s defense for three years. Without a doubt, Doss’ emotional decision to return for his senior year was the spark that started the national championship run in 2002.

Doss had an uncanny ability to make a huge play just when the team needed it the most. Against Michigan in 2001, in the National Championship game, and in many other close games, time after time Doss would haul in an interception or make a big play at a key moment that turned the momentum of the game.

If you watch highlights from teams that Mike Doss was a part of, it is remarkable how often Doss makes an appearance.

Beyond his leadership, his clutch play, and being the foundation of the belief that no matter what, the Buckeyes would win in the end, Doss hit like a Mack truck in run support. It is easy to make the argument that Doss was the best run support safety ever at Ohio State.

He led the team in tackles in 2000 and 2001, and is 11th all-time in total tackles at Ohio State. While this may seem unremarkable at first, the fact that he is the only non-linebacker in the top 20 gives you an idea of what kind of hitter he was.

Beyond the numbers, you just got the sense that Mike Doss made the team he was playing on better, period. His will to win was contagious, and it is easy to see that the never say die attitude of the 2002 team that allowed them to pull through in every heart-stopping close game largely came from Mike Doss.

Doss was drafted in the second round of the 2003 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He had an outstanding rookie season and several other solid years, but injuries have marred his NFL career and after bouncing around, he is currently not on an NFL roster.

For his three All-American seasons, for being the heart and soul of Ohio State’s defense, for his decision to return for his senior year that ultimately resulted in him leading the team to a national championship, for his clutch play that always sparked the team at just the right time, for his off the field work in the community, and for simply having the heart of a champion and blessing Ohio State and its fans by bringing that will to win to Columbus, Mike Doss is #3 on our countdown of the top 25 Buckeyes of the last decade.


  1. KenNo Gravatar
    August 23rd, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Good selection, Jim. Doss seemed, to me at least, to have a (hard)nose for the ball. Truly a reliable playmaker.


    JimNo Gravatar
    August 23rd, 2010 at 10:39 am

    just to be clear, this poll was the result of all five writers at the BBC submitting ballots, so while I do the write ups, it is not technically my selection


    KenNo Gravatar
    August 23rd, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    But, as frontman for this series, you ought to take a bow anyway. OK, “attaboys” for the staff then.


    JimNo Gravatar
    August 23rd, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    I did do the math to tally the ballots, so I guess I do deserve a pat on the back or two.


    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    August 23rd, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    And it was your idea… Damn straight you deserve a pat on the back!


  2. Jeff at The BBCNo Gravatar
    August 23rd, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Best picture ever of Mike Doss…..

    Notice Kirk Hebrsteit and Eddie George in the background.


  3. JoshNo Gravatar
    August 23rd, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Great selection by the writers. Doss was always aware of where he came from, who helped him get there, and who he represented. Being from Canton myself, I was always proud to say I knew where Doss came from. Bringing national championships to Canton and Columbus didn’t hurt :)


  4. southbaybuckeye_ITSNo Gravatar
    August 23rd, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Ask Kurt Kitner how hard of a hitter Mike Doss is.


    KenNo Gravatar
    August 23rd, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    The only thing that saved Kitner from serious injury was that he had already started his slide.


  5. buckinncNo Gravatar
    August 23rd, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    My all time favorite Buckeye. Came back after a 7-5 season and a loss in the Outback Bowl to win a NC. As much as Krenzel and MoC, this cat willed tOSU to wins.


  6. OsustuNo Gravatar
    August 24th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I’m happy he is so high on this list. Definitely one of my favorite all time Buckeyes. I have been looking for his jersey for a couple of years now. Obviously, I could find a #2 jersey easily enough. But the sleeves aren’t right. Anyone know where I could find one?


    southbaybuckeye_ITSNo Gravatar
    August 24th, 2010 at 2:12 pm



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