Ohio State doesn’t lose to Minnesota often. We don’t lose to many teams often, which is always a good thing2. Minnesota’s last victory over Ohio State came in Ohio Stadium in 2000, Cooper’s last year at the helm. The #5 and undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes dropped a 29-17 decision, which seemed to set the gears in the minds of Ohio State fans that John Cooper was just never going to get us to the promised land. A promising season led to his termination after a dumb loss to South Carolina in the bowl game. The last Minnesota victory before then was in 1981. A meek Gophers team upset the eventual Big Ten co-champions in the last game in the series played outdoors in Minneapolis. Coincidentally, the Buckeyes also lost to the Badgers in Madison, far before they were good at the football under Alvarez. The last Minnesota victory before then? 1966.
My preview went online yesterday. I like to conclude previews of games against non-patsies with keys to victory for the opposition. It’s difficult to identify such circumstances in this game. Minnesota’s only advantages this game lie in hosting the Buckeyes in a night game. A victory would be a feather in the cap for interim head coach Jeff Horton as he prepares for his next job. It would also be talking point for these current Minnesota players when their playing days conclude. Beyond that? Ohio State has the advantage in every aspect of consequence for this game. Beating the Gophers will be a matter of taking care of business, ending any and all doubt efficiently.
It’s a night game and 80% of the country will be getting USC-Oregon instead. If you are outside the Big Ten’s geographical footprint, you will have to follow this on ESPN3.com or justin.tv. As for the live blog? I’ll be there. See you there.