In today’s edition, we celebrate number 55, specifically Ohio State’s 31-24 multiple overtime win over the Miami
Hurricanes Thugs on January 3rd, 2003 in the (Tostitos) Fiesta Bowl for The National Championship. Nothing mythical about this one. The double-digit underdog Buckeyes showed a tenacity and athleticism that surprised many (national) collegiate football fans. However, True Believers, such as us, pretty much knew how this game would end up.
In fact, as I write this, I have the game DVD playing, on mute of course, since Dan Fouts is such a jackass and Keith Jackson was well beyond his “whoa Nellie” days. Fouts was jones’ing so much for a Miami win.. suck it Dan.
This was as gritty performance by any Buckeye team, particularly QB Craig Krenzel. I’ll forego the stats for this game, since there weren’t any outstanding numbers other than Craig Krenzel’s 2 TD’s and Maurice Clarett’s 2 TD’s.
And thus, it was over, the season completed at 14-0 and let the celebrations begin. Special shout-out to Cie Grant of New Philadelphia, OH. A lad from Tuscarawas County seals the National Championship for Ohio State. In the previous link, Cie showed his guns; here he shows his pipes. O-Hi-O.
In order to help us get through the long summer months, we will be starting a countdown of the top 25 Buckeyes of the decade (2000-2009).
The staff submitted their ballots and the votes have been tallied. We will unveil a new Buckeye in the countdown once a week and as the season approaches the frequency may increase (I haven’t done the exact math to figure out how this is going to work out).
We will only be covering football players for this countdown, even though Ohio State has had some fine basketball players over the last decade as well, sorry Evan Turner.
One thing to note is that we didn’t really define what it means to be in the “Top 25 Buckeyes of the Decade.”
Do you measure on the field accomplishments? wins and losses? statistics? post season accolades? who you’d want most on this year’s team?
In the end, it is a mix of all of the above and then some, which means that different people will have different opinions about this list. We tried to eliminate some of the individual biases by polling all five writers here at the BBC, and I have to say I am happy with the results. However, by no means is this list definitive, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts.
And with that, here are the guys that didn’t quite make the cut for the top 25, but did receive votes, making them worthy of an honorable mention. Read More
When compiling a list of the best linebackers ever to play at Ohio State, the list is long. Spielman, Cousineau, Hawk, Laurinaitis, Gradishar, Pepper Johnson, etc etc etc.
While he rarely shows up on the list of all-time best LB, Matt Wilhelm is one of my favorites. And on his next-to-last play of his career, he saved a National Championship for us.
In the Fiesta Bowl in 2003, Miami was facing third down and goal from the Ohio State 1 yard line. The Buckeyes led 31-24 in the second overtime, and the Hurricanes had to score a touchdown or lose the game.
QB Ken Dorsey turned and handed the ball on an off-tackle run to Quadtraine Hill. He was hit at the line of scrimmage by Wilhelm, but kept his legs moving. Hill’s momentum kept him moving forward to the 1-foot line, and Wilhelm used his upper body strength to force the ball carrier backwards. He stayed on top of Hill and rode him to the ground, keeping him just shy of the end zone. Miami would fail on fourth down when LB Cie Grant forced a bad throw from Dorsey into the end zone and the title was ours.
Matt Wilhelm, you are our guest of honor today!
35 days until kickoff!
By now you’ve seen it several hundred times. LeBron James burying a buzzer-beating three-point shot to win Game 2 and save the Cavaliers season.
The BBC and many others have quickly labeled it as “The Greatest Moment In Cleveland Sports History”. But is it truly? I’ve spent 36 hours, since the shot went through the rim, debating that very topic. Frankly, I can’t find another moment that would top it.
Yes, I do believe that Cie Grant wrapping his arms around Ken Dorsey and forcing an incomplete pass to win the 2003 Fiesta Bowl (and the National Championship) for Ohio State to be the best moment I have ever experienced in sports….but that’s not Cleveland sports. It’s Ohio State, and many Clevelanders adopt OSU as their second home, yet that moment is not a Cleveland moment.
So, can you find a better moment in Cleveland history? Here’s a few of my personal favorites;
All of these moments are legendary in Cleveland. But do any of them really top what we saw two nights ago?
To be truthful, that hasn’t fully been determined yet. If the Cavs go on to win the series and the Finals, yes. Without a doubt. But as was the case with most great moments, they were wiped away when the corresponding Cleveland team failed in the goal to win a title.
If LeBron James wants his moment to live forever the way it should, he needs 7 more wins to do it.
Tonight, Mr. James, you can defend your moment. Beat the Magic and continue that goal.