I was involved in a message board debate with several SEC fans (and at least one Texas fan) recently about whether or not Arkansas should be considered a bottom-tier SEC team, or doormat, as I referred to them.
I certainly believe they are but you don't have to take my word for it. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
SEC Win/Loss records since 1992
1. Florida - 116-29
2. Tennessee - 101-40
3. Georgia - 87-51
4. Auburn - 84-53
5. Alabama - 80-62
6. LSU - 79-60
7. Arkansas - 63-74
8. Ole Miss - 56-80
9. S. Carolina - 53-82
10. Miss State - 49-87
11. Kentucky - 38-98
12. Vanderbilt - 23-113
(W/L records above are intra-conference games only)
Even with the records in hand, there was still resistance.
One fan asked, "A doormat is a team that other teams look at on their schedule and consider it an easy win so would you consider Iowa a doormat?"
I replied not every year, but a lot of the time, at least as an Ohio State fan, overall yes.
I then decided to look through the all-time records to find out what the series head-to-head record was for OSU vs. Iowa, and the idea for this article was born.
Up to and including the 2008 season, Ohio State's overall record vs. current and former Big Ten member schools is 450-189-28.
Here is how that breaks down team-by-team.
10 wins, 2 losses, and 2 ties vs. the Chicago Maroons
62 wins, 30 losses, and 4 ties vs. the Fighting Illini
65 wins, 12 losses, and 5 ties vs. the Hoosiers
44 wins, 14 losses, and 3 ties vs. the Hawkeyes
42 wins, 57 losses, and 6 ties vs. the Wolverines
27 wins, 12 losses, and 0 ties vs. the Spartans
41 wins, 7 losses, and 0 ties vs. the Golden Gophers
59 wins, 14 losses, and 1 tie vs. the Wildcats
12 wins, 12 losses, and 0 ties vs. the Nittany Lions
37 wins, 12 losses, and 2 ties vs. the Boilermakers
52 wins, 17 losses, and 5 ties vs. the Badgers
As you can see above, the only team in the conference to have an advantage over the Buckeyes is Michigan, but since 1919, UM only leads by one at 43-42-5.
The Michigan lead in the series was "padded" in the first 15 meetings between 1897 and 1919. The Wolverines dominated a very young Ohio State program, with Michigan winning 14 of those 15 games—the only caveat for OSU coming in 1910 when the teams battled to a 3-3 tie in Columbus.
Even with the very lean John Cooper years (2-10-1 vs. UM), Ohio State leads the head-to-head, 30-28-2, from 1950-2008. That span is widely considered the modern era of college football.
Michigan is the all-time wins leader in college football with 872, so to be trailing only them in Big Ten history is nothing to be ashamed of.
The Buckeyes are currently on a five-game winning streak and Coach Jim Tressel has a 7-1 record since taking over in 2001.
Unless I die a premature death, I do believe Ohio State has a chance to close the series gap significantly over the next 20 to 30 years and maybe even overtake Michigan during my lifetime.
We all should cherish our teams history, but it gets old every time I have to listen to a UM fan, living solely in the past, throwing out the "57-42-6" comeback to my arguments about how the series is a dead-heat since 1919.
It sure would feel amazing to see the Buckeyes take the lead in the overall series vs. Michigan, so I really hope it happens before I check out. I'll add it to my Bucket List.
It may not happen, but it's not impossible either, especially as long as Jim Tressel is in charge in Columbus.
Just eight years ago, 57-42-6 was 56-35-6, and even though it is a rivalry game, talent-wise, I just can't see the Buckeyes losing to Michigan anytime before 2012 or 2013, at the earliest.
Thanks for visiting and please post your thoughts in the comments section!
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