Can A Coin Always Land On Tails? A Study of UM-OSU since 2001

Can A Coin Always Land On Tails? A Study of UM-OSU since 2001

Submitted by Swayze Howell Sheen on November 19th, 2017 at 10:23 PM
The greatest rivalry in sports has been lopsided since 2001, concurrent with the arrival of Jim Tressel and now continued under Urban Meyer at OSU. Let's examine this string of games.
 
My goal here is simple: to determine just how bad our luck really is. My memory is that we could have won a lot of these games, but didn't. Sometimes it was the refs, sometimes it was a single play, but in each case, UM's luck ran out.
 
I'll thus classify each game into the following categories: "Just plain lost" (where OSU was clearly better), "Could have won" (where a play or two would have changed the outcome),
"Won but could have lost (same but with the good guys ending up on top), or "Comfortable win" (where UM was clearly better).
 
The Tally
 
Comfortable win: 1 
Won but could have lost: 1
Could have won: 7
Just plain lost: 7
 
So there we have it. In the 16 games since the Tressel era began, we are 2-14. If we had crazy luck, we'd be 9-7. If we just had reasonable luck in that time, we'd be something like 6-10 (not great, but you can live with it). If you remove the RichRod era, that'd be 9-4 with crazy luck and 6-7 with average luck. 
 
In conclusion, we've had a shitty run of luck (I'm sure Buckeyes felt the same way during the Cooper era). It's time for that to change. It's time for the bounce of the ball or the call of a ref to go our way. In short, it's time for the f***ing coin to finally turn up heads.
 
 
Appendix: Per-game Assessments
-------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Ann Arbor Ohio State 26–20
 
Michigan easily could have won this game. Outgained the Bucks, had a large number of turnovers, and dropped a potential game winner. CURSE OF THE F***ING TRESSEL MONSTER BEGINS.
 
Conclusion: Could have won.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2002 Columbus Ohio State (#2) 14–9
 
Tough, close game. Michigan about 20 yards from the win and just a few seconds short of pulling off a great win in the Horseshoe. Bonus: would've prevented an OSU national championship. 
 
Conclusion: Could have won.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2003 Ann Arbor Michigan (#5) 35–21
 
This was a great game for a UM fan. Michigan came out on fire and was up 21-0 (and almost 28-0) in a heartbeat. Things did settle down, and OSU even drew within a score, but UM pulled away late.
 
Conclusion: Comfortable win.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2004 Columbus Ohio State 37–21
 
This was the Troy Smith coming out party. The game started well but the curse of that era, the mobile QB, was upon UM again, and OSU won going away.
 
Conclusion: Just plain lost.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2005 Ann Arbor Ohio State (#9) 25–21
 
A heartbreaking game. Michigan was up late and had the ball, and a first down would have ended the game. Instead, a punt, and another chance for Troy Smith heroics. He, alas, was a hero.
 
Conclusion: Could have won.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2006 Columbus Ohio State (#1) 42–39
 
The Game of the Century. Bo died. We put a slow LB on a fast slot receiver. Henne overthrew a wide-open Manningham. And Crable. 
 
Conclusion: Could have won.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2007 Ann Arbor Ohio State (#7) 14–3
 
Poor damn Chad Henne and many others were hurt. We had no offense. OSU just scored a few times and milked the game away.
 
Conclusion: Just plain lost. 
-------------------------------------------------------------
2008 Columbus Ohio State (#10) 42–7
 
The dark RichRod years begin. Why say more?
 
Conclusion: Just plain lost.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2009 Ann Arbor Ohio State (#9) 21–10
 
More of the same, though Michigan was game for about half of this one. Game, but outmatched.
 
Conclusion: Just plain lost.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2010 Columbus Ohio State (#12) 37–7
 
The conclusion of the RichRod era.
 
Conclusion: Just plain lost.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2011 Ann Arbor Michigan (#15) 40–34
 
Denard and everyone on fire. And still, one overthrow by OSU away from being a loss to OSU's worst team this century, coached by none other than Adam Sandler.
 
Conclusion: Won but could've lost.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2012 Columbus Ohio State (#4) 26–21
 
Close-fought battle that seemed to be leaning to OSU for much of the game, but any one-score game like this could have gone otherwise; remember when Shawn Springs slipped?
 
Conclusion: Could have won.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2013 Ann Arbor Ohio State (#3) 42–41
 
A better 2-point play would have done the trick. DG's game of a lifetime, wish he could have strolled in for the winning 2-pt play.
 
Conclusion: Could have won.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2014 Columbus Ohio State (#6) 42–28
 
The end for Hoke. A surprisingly good effort by UM all things considered, but game never really in doubt.
 
Conclusion: Just plain lost.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2015 Ann Arbor Ohio State (#8) 42–13
 
Harbaugh era begins, and we are overmatched by a team still angry over their very crappy effort against Sparty.
 
Conclusion: Just plain lost.
-------------------------------------------------------------
2016 Columbus Ohio State (#2) 30–27 2OT
 
A different spot and a win, among one thousand other things that could have changed the outcome. Also, f*** those Refs.
 
Conclusion: Could have won.