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    Since 1890, Ohio State has fielded a football team and supplanted itself among the greatest in the sport, winning eight national championships, 39 Big Ten titles, and boasting the top all-time winning percentage in college football (.733). There’s quite a bit of history attached to Ohio State football, loaded with sustained and storied series with a collection of commonly-played opponents.

    Much change will come to Ohio State’s future football schedules as the Big Ten expands to include USC and UCLA, divisions disappear, and the team’s only permanent adversary will be Michigan. That will affect movement on this list, but it will take many years for that to take shape. You can expect this top 10 list of common opponents for Ohio State to remain relatively intact for a long time to come.

    Who Has Ohio State Football Played the Most?

    Includes all games through the 2022-23 season.

    10: Penn State – 37 Games (23-14-0, .622 win percentage)

    Ohio State didn’t play the Nittany Lions much during their century of independence – the first meeting between these two came in 1912 with a 37-0 PSU victory in Columbus, and the programs proceeded to play six more times through 1992 – but it has been a regular matchup since Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993.

    The Buckeyes have had the better of Penn State pretty consistently throughout the modern relationship. The Nittany Lions played foil to some of Ohio State’s seasons in the 2000s and 2010s, but outside of individual victories, Penn State has not amassed much of a streak in the series. In fact, since PSU became a Big Ten member, it has failed to beat the Buckeyes twice in a row. Still, Penn State has the second-best win percentage against the Buckeyes of any team on this list.

    OSU is currently riding a six-game positive run over PSU, last falling to the Nittany Lions in 2016, 24-21, in one of most iconic games of that decade. Ohio State won the last meeting, 44-31, in State College on Oct. 29, 2022, and the teams will play again this coming season on Oct. 21. The yearly renewal will cease after 2024, though, as the Big Ten chose not to protect this young rivalry as it alters its format and scheduling moving forward.

    9: Michigan State – 51 Games (36-15-0, .706 win percentage)

    The Buckeyes and Spartans shared a field for the first time in 1912 with the visitors winning in Columbus, 35-20. Michigan State joined the Big Ten in 1950, and a handful of contests between these programs occurred in the 1950s and 1960s before the series became more common in 1965. Since then, Ohio State and Michigan State have pitted against one another in nearly every campaign and competed annually dating back to 2011.

    Other than in the series’ earliest days, Ohio State has had a strong hold on this one. Since 1967, the Buckeyes have commanded the relationship, 34-10. From 1975 through 1984, OSU amassed its best run against MSU, claiming eight-straight contests, most of them in blowout fashion. Ohio State defeated Michigan State in seven-straight tries from 2000 through 2008, too.

    In the early 2010s, Michigan State was one of the main thorns in Ohio State’s side, beating the Buckeyes in huge games that had major regional and national implications. From 2011 through 2015, MSU won three of five outings against Ohio State. But that era has ended – OSU currently lords a streak of seven successes in a row over MSU that goes back to 2016, and other than the one that started this current run, they’ve all been slaughters of 20 points or more. The Buckeyes blasted the Spartans, 49-20, in East Lansing on Oct. 8, 2022, and will meet their northern neighbors next on Nov. 11. They will play again in 2024 but not in 2025.

    8: Minnesota – 53 Games (46-7-0, .868 win percentage)

    The Buckeyes beat the Golden Gophers, 27-0, in Columbus in the first-ever meeting between these two in 1921, setting the tone for what was to come over the course of the next century. Minnesota has mustered just seven victories over Ohio State in 53 attempts, and almost all of them came before the Berlin Wall fell. There is no series on this list more lopsided than this one.

    These programs played sporadically in the decades leading up to the 1970s before the meetings became annual in 1969. That lasted until the Big Ten expanded to 11 members in 1993, though OSU and Minnesota still met in the majority of campaigns until the conference grew to 12 in 2011 and divisions were introduced. There have been only four contests in this series since then.

    Ohio State’s best-ever run against Minnesota came from 1982 through 1999 to the tune of 16-straight successes, and the Buckeyes are currently on their way to matching it. OSU has won 11 games in a row versus the Gophers dating back to 2001, with a 45-31 triumph in 2021 in Minneapolis the latest addition to the list. Minnesota will have an opportunity to snap the streak this fall when it travels to Columbus on Nov. 18.

    7: Purdue – 57 Games (40-15-2, .702 win percentage)

    OSU and Purdue first met in 1919, resulting in a 20-0 shutout in Columbus in favor of the home team. It took the Boilermakers eight attempts before they finally outdid the Buckeyes in 1938, and the rest of this relationship has gone similarly. OSU has largely waxed Purdue when they’ve met, putting together four different unbeaten runs of five games or more over the Boilermakers and amassing a .702 winning percentage in the series.

    Purdue went undefeated against Ohio State across five contests from 1943 through 1952, then it managed back-to-back victories in 1960 and 1967. Otherwise, the Boilermakers haven’t put together much of a run in this series; the damage they’ve done has been individual, though occasionally devastating. Purdue has delivered OSU with some untimely defeats, like in 2018 when a 49-20 shellacking in West Lafayette was Ohio State’s only blemish, or when OSU’s trip to West Lafayette in 2009 ended in its only Big Ten defeat, 26-18. Since 2000, the Boilermakers are 5-8 against the Buckeyes (excluding the vacated 2010 defeat), which is quite impressive in comparison to how the other Big Ten challengers have fared versus OSU over the last two decades.

    Ohio State has had some important wins come at Purdue’s expense in modern times, too. The “Holy Buckeye” game in 2002 was crucial to OSU’s national title that season, and a wild comeback in 2012 was necessary for Ohio State to complete an undefeated campaign. Ohio State owns the bragging rights at the moment after a 59-31 triumph in 2021 in Columbus, but it will have to defend itself when it heads to West Lafayette on Oct. 14.

    6: Iowa – 65 Games (47-15-3, .723 win percentage)

    In 1922, Iowa eked out a 12-9 victory in Columbus to open this series and remained the aggressor to start, avoiding losses in five of the first seven contests against the Buckeyes through 1928. The four victories the Hawkeyes amassed make up more than a quarter of their all-time total.

    After the 1928 triumph, Iowa didn’t beat Ohio State again until six tries later in 1948. The Hawkeyes did better in the 1950s and early 1960s, but those days came to an abrupt close by 1963. From then through 1980, OSU took care of Iowa in 16 consecutive contests, and Ohio State is 18-4-1 (excluding the vacated 2010 victory) in the series since 1984.

    This series has been played less and less over the years as the Big Ten has expanded and no priority has been given to maintaining its consistency. In the last nine years, these teams have met just twice and experienced some of their longest times apart from one another dating back to World War II: Iowa pulled off a massive upset over Ohio State in 2017, 55-24, in Iowa City, and the Buckeyes hammered the Hawkeyes as revenge in Columbus in 2022, 54-10. Though the teams won’t meet again in 2023, the deletion of divisions after this coming season means OSU and Iowa will compete more often moving forward. They are scheduled to renew their series next in 2024.

    5: Northwestern – 80 Games (65-14-1, .813 win percentage)

    This series opened with Ohio State destroying Northwestern, 58-0, in Columbus in 1913, and that’s pretty much how most of the games between these two have gone. The Buckeyes have beat the Wildcats in more than 80 percent of their contests, and most of those margins have not been flattering.

    Northwestern had some brief periods of decency against Ohio State. It won four of five from 1927 through 1931, and the Wildcats went 4-3-1 in the series from 1936 through 1943. But since FDR left office, Northwestern has had the better of the Buckeyes just six times. From 1972 through 2003, Ohio State racked up 24 wins in a row in the series, and Northwestern’s 2004 victory is the only blemish the Buckeyes have suffered to the Wildcats since 1972.

    OSU presently holds a 10-game command on Northwestern that stretches back to 2005. The programs have played much less frequently over the last 15 years thanks to Big Ten expansion, meeting on only six occasions since 2009. Two of those games weren’t even scheduled, they happened by chance in the Big Ten Championship, setting stages for some of the biggest Ohio State-Northwestern contests in many years. The Bucks bulldozed in both, as well as in the most recent contests between the programs in 2022 in Evanston, 21-7. The Wildcats and Buckeyes are not slated to play again until 2025, though the series will become more regular in the future with the conference’s new scheduling models.

    4: Wisconsin – 85 Games (62-18-5, .729 win percentage)

    Wisconsin won its first game against Ohio State, 12-0, in 1913 in Madison. The series remained even in its earliest stages, knotted at 4-4 by 1920. Then the Badgers went a while before remotely keeping pace.

    From when the teams played for the ninth time in 1930 through 1980, Ohio State handed Wisconsin 35 Ls. In those 50 years, Wisconsin acquired payback on only three occasions. From 1960 through 1980, the Buckeyes stiff-armed the Badgers 21-straight times. OSU essentially owned Wisconsin for a half-century.

    The tide began to shift in the 1980s, though. The Badgers began a run of five victories in seven seasons after snapping the long losing streak in 1981, and they experienced another exciting run of form in the series between 1999 through 2004 with four wins in six tries. In 2010, Wisconsin upset the top-ranked Buckeyes in Madison, 31-18, on its road to a Big Ten title.

    But the Badgers haven’t replicated that since. Ohio State has had the last laugh in the previous nine meeting between these two dating back to 2011. Three of those have come in the Big Ten Championship, including the notorious 59-0 obliteration in 2014 that catapulted the Buckeyes into the College Football Playoff. Both programs have hurt the other with painful results that ruined seasons, but one side has issued such blows more often than the other.

    3: Indiana – 95 Games (78-12-5, .821 win percentage)

    The Hoosiers handled the Buckeyes, 18-6, in these programs’ introduction to one another in 1901 in Columbus, and Indiana went undefeated through the first six meetings with Ohio State before the Bucks started their success in 1914. IU has never matched that level of positivity since.

    Indiana’s win percentage against Ohio State isn’t quite as bad as Minnesota’s, but it’s notably atrocious. OSU’s current win streak in the series sits at 27 (excluding the vacated 2010 victory), and Indiana hasn’t outscored Ohio State for even longer: 1988 was the last time the Hoosiers outdid the Buckeyes. From 1952 through 1986, OSU went 30-0-1 versus IU. Indiana has just two wins over Ohio State in the last 70 years.

    Ohio State and Indiana sharing a division since the Big Ten went to that format in 2011 has helped move this series up this list, but it hasn’t helped the Hoosiers any on the competitive front. The Buckeyes flattened IU, 56-14, in Columbus in 2022, the third time in four years their margin of victory exceeded 40. Perhaps Indiana will have better luck in its next chance on Sept. 2 to open the 2023 season. If not, it’ll have to wait until 2025 to try again.

    2: Illinois – 102 Games (68-30-4, .667 win percentage)

    An illustrious series that doesn’t get the publicity now that it once did, the Battle for the Illibuck is the second-most played series in Ohio State football history. It began in 1902 with a 0-0 tie in Columbus, and it is one of 92 series in all of Division I college football to have at least 100 all-time meetings.

    The Illini were the big boys for the first couple of decades; Illinois amassed an 11-4-2 record against Ohio State through 1929. It has been almost all OSU since, with the Buckeyes clamping down hard in the 1930s and rarely looking back. Ohio State built its best run in the series from 1968 through 1982 with 15-straight victories, but it also experienced 11 wins in a row from 1935 through 1945 and plenty of mini-runs spanning half-decades or so. Illinois showed defiance in the 1980s and early 1990s with an 8-4 mark in the series from 1983 through 1994, and it scored a momentous upset in 2007 over the No. 1-ranked Buckeyes in Columbus, 28-21, that helped the Illini reach their first Rose Bowl in 24 years. Otherwise, it’s been all Ohio State.

    The Bucks have an eight-game run going against the Illini right now (excluding the vacated 2010 victory) that goes back to 2008. The Big Ten’s expansion in the 2010s harmed the regularity of this series, and these teams haven’t played one another since 2017 – a 52-14 Ohio State triumph in Columbus. That hiatus is scheduled to continue through 2023, but the series is finally set to revive in 2024 and should see more contests in coming years as a result of the new Big Ten format.

    1: Michigan – 118 Games (51-60-6, .436 win percentage)

    Who else could it be?

    Ohio State-Michigan is one of the most passionate, most historic, and most famous rivalries in all of North American sports. The impact a win or loss in The Game has on either team’s season is almost always enormous, though the meaning of a meeting between the Buckeyes and Wolverines is much deeper than that. The college football field is the modern venue to the venting of the hatred between the states of Ohio and Michigan, a much-preferred option to actual war.

    The Wolverines owned the start of the series, remaining undefeated against the Buckeyes in the first 15 games from 1897 through 1918. Michigan maintained its supremacy for much of the ‘20s, ‘30s, and ‘40s before the balance of power began to shift more evenly in the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. The 1990s were friendlier to Michigan, but the Buckeyes planted a flag of dominance at the turn of the millennium and spent the better part of the last two decades delivering defeats to That Team Up North. But the Wolverines have regained their footing lately, conquering their southern foes in each of the last two seasons, taking the most-recent renewal in 2022, 45-23, in Columbus.

    Between them, these two programs have 19 claimed national championships, 83 Big Ten titles, 10 Heisman winners, and 1,942 all-time wins. They’ve each had some of the greatest coaches, greatest players, and greatest teams the sport has ever seen. No matter the records or expectations, The Game is liable to be one of the most compelling contests of any given college football season. The next chapter in its story will be written on Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor, and to nobody’s surprise, the Big Ten has ensured that this series will remain annual.

    CFB FAQs

    How are college football bowl games determined?

    Only bowl-eligible teams are selected for College Football Bowls. At the NCAA Division I FBS level, the standard by which teams become available for selection in bowl games varies. For example, in 2018-19 season, the team had to have at least as many wins as overall losses. Wins against non-Division I teams do not count toward the number of wins.

    How do you play college football pick'em pools?

    Simply pick winners from the games each week selected by the Pool Commissioner, either straight up or against the spread. Whichever member has the most points at the end of the season wins

    What is a football pool?

    "Football Pool" is a broad term for a group of people competitively guessing the outcome of one or more football games. There are many types of formats, each assigning winners differently. They can be played informally between friends or through a more formalized system. They are often considered a great alternative to fantasy football given the ease of playing, although there are fantasy football pools as well.

    How to run a football pool?

    How you decide to run a football pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

    How to play squares football pools?

    Football squares are played by creating a grid, in which Team 1 takes the column and Team 2 the rows. In some cases, participants may claim as many squares as they like. In others, commissioners limit them to one. At the quarter times and end of the game, the winner is decided at the point the scores final digit intersect.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    What is a college football squares pool?

    In a college football squares pool, a commissioner starts with a 10x10 grid of 100 squares (though commissioners decide to use smaller 5x5 pools). Members pick one or more squares in that grid. Winners are determined based on the score of each team after each quarter and at the end of the game.

    How many squares in a football pool?

    In a traditional football squares pool, a grid is sectioned off into 100 squares with 10 columns and 10 rows. This accounts for a direct relationship between each possible digit from 0 to 9 on both the X and Y axis. For smaller square grids like 5x5, multiple numbers can be assigned to each column and row.

    How to read a football squares pool sheet?

    In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    How do you win college football confidence bowl pool?

    The winner of a college bowl confidence pool is the member with the most points after all games have ended. Members rank each game based on how confident they are in their pick (44 points = most confident, 1 point = least confident). For each game picked correctly, members receive the number of points they assigned.

    What is a college football bowl confidence pool?

    Players try to pick the winner of every bowl game, assigning a point value to each game. Picks are made "straight up," not using a point spread system. Members rank each game based on how confident they are (44 points = most confident, 1 point = least confident). A winner is determined by totalling the point values assigned to correctly picked games.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    How do you win college football bowl pick'em pool?

    As you might expect, the player who selects the most bowl winners will win their pick'em pool. You can win your college football bowl pick'em pool by choosing winners wisely, based on past performance, player starting status and other "intangibles."

    What is a college football bowl pick'em pool?

    In a College Bowl Pick'em pool members attempt to pick the winner of every College Bowl game (or a subset of games determined by the Pool Commissioner). Picks are made using the point spread system or "straight up", as assigned by the Pool Commissioner.


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