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1996 Ohio State Buckeyes football
Big Ten Co-Champions
Rose Bowl Champions
Rose Bowl, W 20–17 vs. Arizona State
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 2
APNo. 2
1996 record11–1 (7–1 Big Ten)
Head coachJohn Cooper
Offensive coordinatorJoe Hollis
Defensive coordinatorFred Pagac
Home stadiumOhio Stadium
(Capacity: 89,841)
Seasons
← 1995
1997 →
1996 Big Ten football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#2/2 Ohio State §   7 1         11 1  
#15/16 Northwestern §   7 1         9 3  
#7/7 Penn State   6 2         11 2  
#18/18 Iowa   6 2         9 3  
#20/20 Michigan   5 3         8 4  
Michigan State   5 3         6 6  
Wisconsin   3 5         8 5  
Purdue   2 6         3 8  
Minnesota   1 7         4 7  
Indiana   1 7         3 8  
Illinois   1 7         2 9  
§ – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll / Coaches' Poll

The 1996 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented the Ohio State University in the college football season of 1996–1997. The team's head football coach was John Cooper. The Buckeyes played their home games in Ohio Stadium. The team finished the season with a win-loss record of 11–1, and a Big Ten Conference record of 7–1. They finished co-champions in the Big Ten Conference with the Northwestern Wildcats and played in the 1997 Rose Bowl against Pac-10 Champion the Arizona State Sun Devils. Ohio State did not play Northwestern during the regular season and were selected to play in the Rose Bowl due to their better overall record of 10–1 (the Wildcats were 9–2). Northwestern had played in the previous Rose Bowl.

The Buckeyes used two quarterbacks throughout the year, junior Stanley Jackson, and sophomore Joe Germaine, the Buckeyes were dominant throughout the majority of the season, outscoring their opponents by a score of 455–131. The Buckeyes only loss came late in the season to their rivals, the Michigan Wolverines, by a score of 13–9.

Because of the late loss, Ohio State fell from second to fourth in the polls. Due to the Big Ten and Pac-10 not being involved in the Bowl Alliance agreement as the two champions were contractually obligated to play in the Rose Bowl, Ohio State was set to play #2 Arizona State, while #1 Florida State and #3 Florida played for the National Championship in the 1997 Sugar Bowl.

Ohio State went into the 1997 Rose Bowl with high hopes and Germaine came off the bench and threw a late touchdown pass to David Boston to steal a come-from-behind victory. With the Buckeyes dramatic upset victory over the Sun Devils, Buckeye fans hoped for a share of the national title. However, Florida would later avenge a late season loss to their rivals, and beat the Seminoles by a score of 52–20. Florida finished first and Ohio State second in both polls, followed by Florida State and Arizona State.

The Rose Bowl appearance was the Buckeyes first since 1985. The Rose Bowl victory was the sixth in school history, the first since 1974. Germaine was named Rose Bowl MVP.

ScheduleEdit

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 7* 12:00 PM Rice #10 Ohio StadiumColumbus, OH ESPN+ W 70–7   93,479[1]
September 21* 12:30 PM Pittsburgh #7 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH ESPN W 72–0   93,959[1]
September 28* 2:30 PM at #5 Notre Dame #4 Notre Dame StadiumNotre Dame, IN NBC W 29–16   59,075[1]
October 5 3:30 PM #4 Penn State #3 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH ABC W 38–7   94,241[1]
October 12 12:30 PM Wisconsin #2 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH ESPN W 17-14   94,215[1]
October 19 3:30 PM at Purdue #2 Ross–Ade StadiumWest Lafayette, IN ABC W 42–14   60,172[1]
October 26 3:30 PM at #20 Iowa #2 Kinnick StadiumIowa City, IA ABC W 38–26   70,397[1]
November 2 12:30 PM Minnesota #2 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH ESPN2 W 45–0   93,588[1]
November 9 12:30 PM Illinois #2 Memorial StadiumChampaign, IL ESPN W 48–0   54,412[1]
November 16 3:30 PM at Indiana #2 Memorial StadiumBloomington, IN ABC W 27–17   49,271[1]
November 23 12:00 PM #21 Michigan #2 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH (The Game) ABC L 9–13   94,676[1]
January 1* 4:30 PM vs. #2 Arizona State #4 Rose BowlPasadena, CA (Rose Bowl) ABC W 20–17   100,635[1]
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Eastern Time.
[2]

Game notesEdit

RiceEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Owls 0 7 0 0 7
Buckeyes 21 21 21 7 70




PittsburghEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Panthers 0 0 0 0 0
Buckeyes 21 31 13 7 72




Notre DameEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Buckeyes 12 10 7 0 29
Fighting Irish 7 0 3 6 16




Penn StateEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Nittany Lions 0 0 0 7 7
Buckeyes 10 14 7 7 38




WisconsinEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Badgers 0 7 0 7 14
Buckeyes 0 3 7 7 17





PurdueEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Buckeyes 7 7 14 14 42
Boilermakers 14 0 0 0 14





IowaEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Buckeyes 17 14 7 0 38
Hawkeyes 3 3 6 14 26





MinnesotaEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Golden Gophers 0 0 0 0 0
Buckeyes 0 10 21 14 45





IllinoisEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Buckeyes 0 28 20 0 48
Fighting Illini 0 0 0 0 0





IndianaEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Buckeyes 0 7 0 20 27
Hoosiers 0 3 7 7 17





MichiganEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Wolverines 0 0 10 3 13
Buckeyes 3 6 0 0 9





Arizona StateEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Buckeyes 7 0 7 6 20
Sun Devils 0 7 3 7 17





Coaching staffEdit

  • John Cooper - Head Coach - 9th year
  • Bill Conley - Recruiting Coordinator (9th year)
  • Walt Harris - Quarterbacks (2nd year)
  • Jim Heacock - Defensive Line (2nd year)
  • Joe Hollis - Offensive Coordinator (6th year)
  • Mike Jacobs - Offensive Line (2nd year)
  • Fred Pagac - Defensive Coordinator (15th year)
  • Tim Spencer - Running Backs (3rd year)
  • Chuck Strobart - Offensive Coordinator (2nd year)
  • Jon Tenuta - Defensive Backs (1st year)

Awards and honorsEdit

1997 NFL drafteesEdit

Player Round Pick Position NFL Club
Orlando Pace 1 1 Tackle St. Louis Rams
Shawn Springs 1 3 Defensive Back Seattle Seahawks
Rob Kelly 2 33 Defensive Back New Orleans Saints
Ty Howard 3 84 Defensive Back Arizona Cardinals
Mike Vrabel 3 91 Defensive End Pittsburgh Steelers
Nicky Sualua 4 129 Running Back Dallas Cowboys
Matt Finkes 6 189 Defensive End Carolina Panthers
[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Park, Jack (2003). The Official Ohio State Football Encyclopedia. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 1-58261-695-7.
  2. http://cfreference.net/cfr/school.s?id=227&season=1996
  3. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1997.htm

Buckeye Sports Bulletin (1997), Rose Bowl Championship Yearbook

Draft data
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