Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Decision

Derek Piper and Jake Southey making our “decision”. Check us out at our new home ILLINI-NATION.NET

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Scouting the Opponent: Ohio State

Overall Series: 61-30-4 Ohio State

Last matchup: Ohio State 30, Illinois 0 (2009)

Background: It’s obvious to see that the Buckeyes have dominated this series over the years, but the Illini have made their mark of late. Since 1988, Illinois is 7-3 at the Shoe, highlighted by the amazing upset of 2007. That record is crazy, and is easily the best record of any Big Ten opponent at Ohio Stadium over the past 22 years. As for games in Champaign, Ohio State doesn’t mess around. Usually filling Memorial Stadium with tons of Buckeye faithful, Ohio State has made Memorial their second home going 33-12 in Champaign. This Saturday, the Illini will attempt to beat Ohio State in Champaign for the first time since 1991.

Ohio State

Best Player in Program History: Archie Griffin, RB (1972-1975). The Buckeye’s rich history did not make this choice an easy one, but how can you go against the only player with two Heisman trophies sitting in the trophy case? Griffin was a four year starter for the Buckeyes, leading them to a 40-5-1 record and four Big Ten titles. Griffin’s 5,177 yards rushing ranks fifth in NCAA history. Griffin also holds the record for most consecutive games rushing for over 100 yards with 31. I don’t think it would be hard pressed to call Mr. Griffin and Illini great Red Grange the best two running backs in NCAA history.

My Favorite Buckeye: Troy Smith, QB (2002-2006). It’s difficult to choose your favorite player to continuously beat the Illini, but if I had to choose, it would be Troy Smith. Smith finished his Buckeye career with nearly 8,000 total yards and 68 TD’s. In 2006, Smith found the end zone 31 times, winning the Heisman and leading his team to a National Title. Smith also participated in one of my most memorable Illini football games when Ohio State barely squeaked out of Champaign with a 17-10 victory in 2006.

My Most Hated Buckeye: Beanie Wells, RB (2006-2008). Injury prone, overrated, oh yeah and  this…

Favorite Illinois-Ohio State Moment: I’m glad you asked. November 10, 2007 will forever be remembered as one of the best days in Illinois football history.  Juice Williams threw for four touchdown passes, the Illini defense picked off Todd Boeckman three times, and the Illini shocked the number one rated Buckeyes and the nation, winning 28-21. This is easily my favorite moment during my Illinois football fan-hood. Watching that game and then meeting the team at Willard Airport with hundreds of other ecstatic Illini fans was awesome.

Reasons to Like Ohio State:

1. The Buckeyes make the Big Ten look good (for the most part).    Hate them or love them, if you’re a fan of the Big Ten, you have to at least respect the fact that Ohio State is the cream of the crop from a football standpoint. If Ohio State struggles, then the Big Ten is weak. Sure, they have gotten dominated in their past two championship appearances, but if the Buckeyes continue to win BCS games, like they did last year in the Rose Bowl, the Big Ten will move closer and closer to the SEC for conference supremacy.

Okay… that’s about all I got

Reasons to dislike Ohio State:

1. Buckeye fans.   Congratulations Ohio State faithful, you win the award for my most hated visiting fans at Memorial Stadium. No other fans do a better job of being consistently obnoxious than you do. Over the years hearing comments like “where’s the chief” and “this looks like a high school stadium” only add to the fire. You act like you are the royalty of the Big Ten, making it that much sweeter when you get taken down. Don’t worry though, Hoosier basketball fans own a special place as the my most hated Big Ten fans PERIOD.

Thank you Michigan fans for that one

2. Big Ten harassment.   Remember when I said that we should like Ohio State because they make the Big Ten look good, well, that has not applied on the biggest of stages since 2002. All this talk about the Big Ten lacking speed and whatnot comes thanks to Florida and LSU spanking the Buckeyes in back to back seasons. For the talent you had, there is no reason that should not have at least competed in those games.

 

3. THE Ohio State University (pronounced “thee”).  Oh so you attended Ohio State University? No, I attended THEE Ohio State University. Putting the word THEE in front of words has not been cool since Shakespeare. Even the Northwestern nerds are laughing 

4. Win, win, win, and win some more.  Don’t you ever get tired of winning? Even Michigan decided to take a couple years off. The first three reasons definitely factor into the overall hatred of Ohio State, but this is by far the number one reason. Stop beating up on the rest of the Big Ten and maybe more people will start liking you. Deal?

Prediction: Ohio State 38 – Illinois 21

I think there is a chance for an upset, like any game in college football, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Illinois will keep it close for most of the game but the Buckeyes will come out on top.

-Derek Piper

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