Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin is one of the toughest places in college football to play for visiting teams. Wisconsin fans revel in making it as difficult as possible for the opposition.
Ohio State is certainly no exception to this premise. Before the season,
I predicted this game versus Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium as being
the toughest game on Ohio State's 2012 schedule. It would be fair to
say most Ohio State fans probably would have marked this game as a loss
for Ohio State. Wisconsin even enters this game as a 3 point favorite
over the Buckeyes after opening as one point favorites.
Through the years, Wisconsin has been a major thorn in Ohio State's
side. Growing up, I can recall Ohio State losing to Wisconsin when Earle
Bruce was the head coach for Ohio State. During the 1980s, Wisconsin
seemed to be the team Ohio State would inexplicably lose to, despite
Ohio State having superior talent than Wisconsin.
Former Ohio State head coach John Cooper was not impervious to losses at Wisconsin during his tenure at Ohio State.In 1992, Ohio State lost at Wisconsin, 20-16. In 1993, Ohio State tied at Wisconsin, 14-14.
(Remember when college football used to have tie games?) That tie game
with Wisconsin allowed the Badgers to claim the Rose Bowl berth at the
conclusion of the 1993 season instead of Ohio State.
Another former Ohio State head coach, Jim Tressel, had mixed results
when it came to leading Ohio State to victory at Wisconsin. As memories
go, two of the most painful losses during Coach Tressel's tenure took
place at Camp Randall Stadium.
In 2003, Ohio State was undefeated when the Buckeyes took on the
Badgers in Camp Randall Stadium. Ohio State, despite having virtually no
threat of a running game because of the season-long suspension of star
running back Maurice Clarett, was ranked number three and in contention
of another national championship.
And then Chris Gamble cheated on coverage. Lee Evans blew right by him.
And Wisconsin knocked Ohio State from the ranks of the unbeaten, 17-10.
The dream of back-to-back national championships were essentially gone
that night in Camp Randall Stadium in 2003.
Want to think back to the last time Ohio State visited Wisconsin? I
know the answer is an emphatic "no", but let's look back at that painful
episode in 2010.
During the 2010 season, Ohio State was ranked number one in the BCS
when the Buckeyes took on Wisconsin in Camp Randall Stadium. David Gilreath of Wisconsin took the opening kickoff 97 yards
to stake Wisconsin an early 7-0 lead over the Buckeyes. Ohio State
trailed Wisconsin 21-3 at the half. Even though Ohio State rallied to
make it a game, Wisconsin physically dominated Ohio State on its way to a
rather dominant 31-18 victory over the Buckeyes.
Of course, there is one important concept for Ohio State fans to hang
their hats upon. The 2010 season, with the exception of that Wisconsin
loss, did not take place. All of the Ohio State victories were vacated
I kind of look at that 2010 Wisconsin game with a dose of the wisdom of George Costanza: "Just remember – It's not a lie if you believe it.".
Will this year's contest at Camp Randall be a positive trip? We shall see Saturday afternoon, beginning at 3:30pm EST.