Ohio State-USC: Looking Back Historically—Looking Ahead Realistically

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Ohio State-USC: Looking Back Historically—Looking Ahead Realistically

Week two of the 2009 college football season features what will be the 23rd all-time meeting between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the USC Trojans.

In recent years, a lot has been made of Ohio State's big-game losses on the national stage.

Because of those losses—all but one to a team ranked in the the top three—they have unjustly been ridiculed and labeled as an overrated program that always loses to every good team they play—usually in a blowout.

In this age of the Internet, and with the ease with which I was able to research and compose this article, you would think that today's fans outside of Ohio would know that college football was actually played before 2006.

Believe it or not, it's really true.

Way back in 1937, college football Goliaths, USC and Ohio State played each other for the first time.

Here is the all-time, head-to-head series listed by year, including the game result and where the game was played.


1937—Los Angeles

Southern Cal 13
Ohio State 12

1938—Columbus

Southern Cal 14
Ohio State 7

1941—Los Angeles

Ohio State 33
Southern Cal 0

1942—Columbus

Ohio State 28
Southern Cal 12

1946—Los Angeles

Ohio State 21
Southern Cal 0

1947—Columbus

Southern Cal 32
Ohio State 0

1948—Columbus

Ohio State 20
Southern Cal 0

1949—Los Angeles

Ohio State 13
Southern Cal 13

1954—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Ohio State 20
Southern Cal 7

1959—Los Angeles

Southern Cal 17
Ohio State 0

1960—Columbus

Ohio State 20
Southern Cal 0

1963—Los Angeles

Southern Cal 32
Ohio State 3

1964—Columbus

Ohio State 17
Southern Cal 0

1968—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Ohio State 27
Southern Cal 16

1972—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Southern Cal 42
Ohio State 17

1973—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Ohio State 42
Southern Cal 21

1974—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Southern Cal 18
Ohio State 17

1979—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Southern Cal 17
Ohio State 16

1984—Pasadena (Rose Bowl)

Southern Cal 20
Ohio State 17

1989—Los Angeles

Southern Cal 42
Ohio State 3

1990—Los Angeles

Southern Cal 35
Ohio State 26

2008—Los Angeles

Southern Cal 35
Ohio State 3


That adds up to 12 wins for USC, nine wins for Ohio State, and one tie.

Of the 22 meetings, only seven have been played in Columbus. The other 15 have been either been played in Los Angeles or Pasadena. Since 1968, eight of nine have been played in California.

After the Ohio State-Navy game today, and the fact that USC has won six straight in the series dating back to 1974, the overwhelming sentiment is that Ohio will lose, and lose badly, once again.

It might be a little premature to make that statement since I believe Navy is a very good team that will win at least eight or nine games, and maybe even as many as 10.

The Buckeye O-line still needs to play better and defensively, a couple of personnel moves are needed in my opinion. That being said, Pryor, Herron, Saine, Sanzenbacher, and Carter were all bright spots for the offense, so all is not lost after this win.

Either way, I am not sure that USC is going to just show up in Columbus and win with their freshman QB. Technically, it is possible, so we'll just have to wait and see. I hope they are over-confident now after today's games.

To the haters reading this who will inevitably post comments below that say Ohio State sucks and that they are overrated, and how they will get crushed next week...

I'm sorry my Buckeyes invited a real team from the FBS, and coincidentally, the nation's leading rushing team four years running, into the Shoe instead of Akron, San Jose State, Louisiana-Monroe, or Charleston Southern.

But then, that's another article all together.

Ultimately, the bottom line here is that Ohio State is one of the top teams of this decade, and of all-time and college football existed before 2006.

Yes, in the past three years, Ohio State has lost to the likes of Florida, LSU, Texas, and USC, but they have also beaten the teams they are supposed to beat.

Go ahead and kick us while we're down (in your mind anyway), but just take note that we are only going to get better all year long from week to week, starting next Saturday night versus unsuspecting USC.

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