2012 feels like it was forever ago as both Notre Dame and Ohio State fans remember the campaign well. Notre Dame ran the table during the regular season, going 12-0 and earning a spot in the BCS national championship game that ended horribly against mighty Alabama.
Ohio State also went 12-0 that regular season, their first under urban Meyer, but were banned from playing in the postseason. Since the start of that year the Buckeyes have hosted 67 games at Ohio Stadium and lost just three.
10 seasons have now passed since that 2012 campaign and both Notre Dame and Ohio State have seen assistants replace their then-head coaches, but in that stretch the Buckeyes have managed to lose just three games on their home turf.
I can’t reiterate that enough.
Ten years and three home losses.
In case you were wondering it took Charlie Weis just eight home contests to lose three times at Notre Dame Stadium and it took Brian Kelly just six tries to lose three home games during his first season as head coach.
So back to Ohio State – who were those three games against, what did they have in common with what Notre Dame has in store, and how big of upsets were each of them?
Ohio State has gone an absurd 64-3 at home since the start of the 2012 season, just to further emphasize that.
Here is a deeper look at those three.
2014: 35-21 loss vs. Virginia Tech
A week after beating Navy to start the season in Baltimore, Ohio State was greeted rudely when it opened its home slate of the 2014 campaign against Virginia Tech. The Hokies jumped out to a 21-7 halftime lead and controlled the contest throughout as they shocked the host Buckeyes.
Virginia Tech would go just 7-6 overall in 2014 while Ohio State wouldn’t lose again, running the table and taking home the first College Football Playoff championship.
2017: 31-16 loss vs. No. 5 Oklahoma
It was another week two contest that Ohio State dropped as they fell to Baker Mayfield, Lincoln Riley, and No. 5 Oklahoma in September of 2017. Mayfield and the Sooners unloaded for 21 points in a 7:51 starting late in the third quarter to shift the tide from a 13-10 deficit to a 31-13 lead that they wouldn’t give up against the second-ranked Buckeyes.
2021: 35-28 loss vs. No. 12 Oregon
C. J. Stroud nearly won the Heisman Trophy in 2021 as Ohio State’s starting quarterback but on this Saturday afternoon in September C. J. Verdell of Oregon was the best C. J. in the game, scoring three touchdowns in a game the Ducks controlled from very early on. Oregon entered the game as a 15-point underdog as they handled the Buckeyes despite playing without their star defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux.
As you’ve probably caught onto, a few things occurrences in these three games are set to occur when Notre Dame visits Columbus this September.
For instance, Virgina Tech, Oklahoma, and Oregon are all not members of the Big Ten (at least at the time of this posting). Despite what many want (myself and most Notre Dame fans excluded), Notre Dame will not be a member of the big ten by this September (and God willing, ever).
Those three loses all came in Ohio State’s home opener of their respective seasons which Notre Dame will be the guest for this fall. Furthermore, the only Power Five programs that Ohio State has beaten in a home opener since 2012 was Oregon State who the Buckeyes dismantled 77-31 to open the 2018 campaign and Nebraska who was a pushover to start the COVID-shortened season of 2020.