The Ohio State University (OSU) Buckeyes football program has won a total of seven national championships during the 110 year history of the prestigious college football program. Since kicking off their first season in 1890 the Buckeyes have amassed an impressive 819-308-53 all-time record which equates to winning more than 71% of their games through the 2009 season. Chief amongst those 819 victories are the seven wins that secured the title of national champion.
The seven OSU national championships occurred in the following seasons:
The first national championship was won by head coach Paul Brown in 1942. For the 1942 season the Buckeyes went an impressive 6-1 in the Big Ten Conference while finishing the season with an overall record of 9-1 for their first national title.
Woody Hayes has a commanding lead for the most national titles by any Ohio State coach. The legendary Woody Hayes is credited with winning five separate national championships for the seasons of 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, and 1970.
OSU claims a national championship for the 1970 season despite the fact that the team lost its final game of the year when it played the Stanford Cardinal in the Rose Bowl. Despite the fact that the widely accepted Associated Press declared the University of Nebraska the top team in the nation Buckeye fans still count the 1970 season as a national championship because the National Football Foundation (NFF) declared Ohio State University as the best team in the country at the conclusion of the season. In the modern era the NCAA has moved towards the more universally accepted Bowl Championship Series (BCS) to crown consensus national champions in a sport where the best team at the end of the season has historically been a matter up for debate.
The most recent Ohio State national championship came in 2002 when head coach Jim Tressel lead his squad to a thrilling victory over the University of Miami Hurricanes in the Fiesta Bowl. Miami was an 11.5 point favorite going into the game and OSU pulled off the upset in Tempe, Arizona by scoring a touchdown in the second overtime to win by a final score of 31-24.
The Buckeyes competed in national championship games again following the 2006 and 2007 seasons. On both occasions OSU came up well short against Southeast Conference (SEC) opponents in the University of Florida and LSU.
While the 2009 season did not produce an eighth national championship it did conclude with a sound victory in the Rose Bowl. The 26-17 win over the University of Oregon Ducks on New Year’s Day of 2010 broke a streak of three consecutive tough post season losses for Ohio State.