Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ohio State Football All 1990's Team


When the Ohio State football program, at the end of the 1980's, was in decline, the University turned to John Cooper to turn things around. Having had a brief but successful stint at Arizona State, in which he defeated the Wolverines in the Rose Bowl, he seemed like a decent pick for the job. But little noticed was the fact that Cooper, in three tries, never beat rival Arizona in their end of the season match up, managing only a tie during the 1987 campaign. This despite ASU having a record that was as good or better than Arizona each year.

What John Cooper did for ASU, he also did for Ohio State. He brought some top talent into the program, managed a Rose Bowl win, but performed atrociously against the eternal rival. In the 1990's Ohio State produced enough talent for multiple national championships. In no decade other than the seventies did so many top athletes put on the Scarlet and Gray, but only twice could they conquer the Maize and Blue.

It was a decade of great teams and terrible heartbreaks. There were some memorable wins but too many losses against teams that had no business beating the Buckeyes. Nevertheless, the talent from that decade is well worth celebrating. Here is your humble bloggers choice of the All '90's Team.


BACKFIELD

QB Joe Germaine - As good as Hoying was, no one had accuracy and grace under pressure like Joe Germaine. He deserves the nod for the 1997 Rose Bowl alone. It was absolutely criminal that he spent two years alternating with Stanley Jackson.

FB Matt Keller - The days of the Woody Hayes fullback were long gone at this point, but Keller was a good athlete and solid performer.

TB Eddie George - No explanation needed.


RECEIVERS

WR Terry Glenn - Possibly the most explosive receiver in Ohio State history.

WR David Boston - With his almost TE size, a good complement to Glenn. Great Hands.

TE Ricky Dudley - Ohio State is not known for its Tight Ends, but Dudley was a strong receiver and a decent blocker.

OFFENSIVE LINE

OL Orlando Pace - Could well be the best offensive lineman in Ohio State history, and that's a proud history! They invented the pancake block stat just for him.

OL Rob Murphy - If he had been academically eligible for his senior year, this one would have been a three time All-American.

OL Korey Stringer - It says something about your program when a lineman of this caliber is not the greatest Tackle of the decade.

OL Jason Winrow - Solid performer and All-Big Ten honoree.

OL Alan Kline - Four year starter, All-Big Ten from the early nineties.

DEFENSIVE LINE

DE Mike Vrabel - All time sack leader at Ohio State, perhaps the most versatile defensive end the Buckeyes have ever had. Led a ferocious defensive of the mid to late nineties. Two time All-American.

DE Jason Simmons - Finished career with 27 sacks, a stalwart on the '93 defense.

DT Dan Wilkinson - Only played for OSU as an underclassmen, but left an indelible impression. Oh what he could have done for the '95 team!

DT Ryan Pickett - Fickell was good, but we must give the edge to Mr. Pickett, also from the '98 squad.

LINEBACKERS

LB Andy Katzenmoyer - Injuries ruined his pro career, but this All-American was everything a linebacker needed to be. Some belittled his '98 stats, but when Bailey, Diggs, Johnson, and Pickett all returned for the '99 season up front and the run defense was still far inferior, you knew something was missing.

LB Na'il Diggs - Without this All-American, the '99 team would have been a disaster instead of just a disappointment.

LB Steve Tovar - You can't argue with two All-American honors. It's a shame he never got to play on a memorable Buckeye team.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

DB Shawn Springs - Ohio State has never had a better coverman than this All-American and #3 draft pick.

DB Antoine Winfield - Another in a long line of standout secondary men for OSU. All-American.

S Damon Moore - All-American, a starter for both the '96 and '98 powerhouses.

S Rob Kelly - There are many solid athletes to pair with Moore, we'll take this solid performer with a decent pro career.

5 comments:

alison said...

this is sort of just one big, heartbreaking list when you look at all that talent and then think about the records that could have been. and then remember on top of the heartbreaks on the field, all the trouble players on those teams were getting into whether it be academic, criminal or just running their mouths off to the press all the time. oh, how i love jim tressel.

Spirit of '73 said...

alison,

Yeah, I look back on the nineties with a big mix of nostalgic emotions. So many could-have-beens.

And the drastic change in player attitude from 2000 to 2001 shows that Tressel's better behaved players aren't that way just because of recruiting targeting.

All hail Jim!

Jack said...

How these 90s teams managed to avoid ever winning anything is just amazing. Tressel with any of the 90s teams, especially the teams in 95-98 could have won four straight national titles.

And I agree, Germaine was better than Hoying. That 1998 team was almost too good for Cooper to ruin; plus, he made Steve Bellisari look that much worse the next year.

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Anonymous said...

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