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The Ohio State Buckeyes football team is a collegiate football team that competes as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, representing The Ohio State University in the Leaders Division of the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State has played their home games at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio since 1922.
The Buckeyes have claimed seven national championships along with 36 conference championships and ten undefeated seasons.
Football was introduced to the university by George Cole and Alexander S. Lilley in 1890. Ohio State was a football independent from 1890 to 1901 before joining the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) as a charter member in 1902. The Buckeyes won two conference championships while members of the OAC and in 1912 became members of the Big Ten Conference.
Ohio State won their first national championship in 1942 under head coach Paul Brown.
Following World War II, Ohio State saw sparse success on the football field with three separate coaches and in 1951 hired Woody Hayes to coach the team. Under Hayes, Ohio State won 13 Big Ten championships and five national championships (1954, 1957, 1961, 1968 and 1970), and had four Rose Bowl wins in eight appearances. Following Hayes' dismissal in 1978, Earle Bruce and later John Cooper coached the team to seven conference championships.
Jim Tressel was hired as head coach in 2001 and led Ohio State to its seventh national championship in 2002 with a win in the Fiesta Bowl. Ohio State won seven Big Ten championships under Tressel and appeared in eight Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games, winning five of them. Through the 2012 season, Ohio State has compiled an official overall record of 837 wins, 316 losses, and 53 ties and has appeared in 43 bowl games, with the most recent coming in the 2012 Gator Bowl.
On November 28, 2011, two-time National Championship winning coach and Ohio native Urban Meyer became head coach. Meyer led his team to a pair of Leaders Division Championships in his first two seasons, as well as a school record 24 straight victories, beginning with a perfect 12-0 in 2012.
In the spring of 1890, George Cole, an undergraduate, persuaded Alexander S. Lilley to coach a football team at the Ohio State University. The Buckeyes first game, played on May 3, 1890, at Delaware, Ohio, against Ohio Wesleyan University, was a victory.
OSU's first home game took place at 2:30 p.m. on November 1, 1890. The Ohio State University played the University of Wooster on this site, which was then called Recreation Park. Just east of historic German Village, the park occupied the north side of Schiller (now Whittier) between Ebner and Jaeger in what is now Schumacher Place. The weather was perfect, and the crowd cheered loudly. Nonetheless, OSU lost to Wooster, 64–0. Wooster, physically fit for the game, showed OSU that training is critical to winning. Thus, the tradition of training continues.
Over the next eight years, under a number of coaches, the team played to a cumulative record of 31 wins, 39 losses, and 2 ties. The first game against the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, was a 34–0 loss in 1897, a year that saw the low point in Buckeye football history with a 1–7–1 record. Jack Ryder was Ohio State's first paid coach, earning $150 per season, and lost his first game, against Oberlin College and John Heisman, on October 15, 1892.
Ohio State's very first rival was Kenyon College, a small liberal arts college in Gambier, roughly 50 miles to the northeast. The Buckeyes first played them in their first season in 1890 on Nov. 27, Kenyon won the first two meetings; however, Ohio State won 15 in a row and the rivalry diminished. Kenyon made it their season goal to defeat OSU. After the Bucks joined the Big Ten they stopped playing Kenyon. The all-time record stands at 18-6, OSU.