Greater Columbus Sports Commission unites Buckeye legends at annual Morning Sports Report in downtown Columbus
Watch a video produced by the OSU Alumni Association in the photo player above. Below, look back on the standout seasons turned in by Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, Archie Griffin, Eddie George and Troy Smith.
Howard “Hopalong” Cassady
1955 Heisman Trophy Winner
In four years, Cassady helped the Buckeyes to a 29-8 record and their first of five national championships under legendary head coach Woody Hayes. Cassady also earned many individual honors including twice being named All-America, the 1955 Heisman Trophy winner and 1955 Associated Press Athlete of the Year.
In 1955, he rushed for 958 yards and 15 touchdowns. Cassady finished his college career with 2,466 rushing yards. A total that still ranks 10th on the all-time Ohio State rushing list.
1974 and ’75 Heisman Trophy Winner
In 1974, Ohio State tailback Archie Griffin became just the fifth junior ever to win the Heisman Trophy. In 1975, Griffin became the first player ever to win a second Heisman. Griffin, who in 2010 will celebrate the 35th anniversary of his second Heisman, remains the only two-time winner of college football’s most-coveted award.
Griffin, now the President and CEO of the Ohio State Alumni Association, was the Buckeyes’ starting tailback for four years, leading Ohio State to a 40-5-1 record and four Big Ten titles between 1972 and 1975. He started in four-consecutive Rose Bowls, the only player ever to do so, and was a three-time first-team All-American.
1995 Heisman Trophy Winner
In ’95, Eddie George rushed for 1,927 yards, a school record for a single season, and scampered into the endzone 24 times, the second most for a year of action.
He also recorded three of the Top 15 rushing performances in Ohio State history that year. In the early part of the season, George totaled 212 yards gained against Washington (9/16/95) before again igniting the home fans with 207 yards against Notre Dame (9/30/95).
The game that really got the attention of the rest of the nation was when Illinois came to town Nov. 11, 1995. Not only did he rush for a single-game record 314 yards, George scored two rushing touchdowns and added one receiving score. Add in 32 receiving yards and George’s 346 all-purpose yards is the second most in Buckeye history behind the 354 totaled by Keith Byers at Purdue in 1984. His rushing performance, though, is what all but engraved his name on the Heisman.
2006 Heisman Trophy Winner
A gifted runner and passer, Troy Smith saved his best for last in 2006. The Cleveland native piloted the No. 1 ranked Buckeyes to a 12-0 regular season record and a spot in the national championship game as a senior.
With one remarkable performance after another, he threw for a school single-season record 30 touchdowns and became just the second quarterback in Ohio State history to post a 3-0 record against Michigan as a starter. In a see-saw 42-39 win over the Wolverines, Smith threw four touchdown passes and topped the 300-yard mark in total offense for the third consecutive year.
Following the regular season, the consensus All-American was a landslide winner in the Heisman Trophy voting, recording the second largest margin of victory ever in the balloting to determine the most outstanding player in college football.
1944 Heisman Trophy Winner
Horvath was the first Buckeye in school history to win the coveted Heisman Trophy. The Big Ten’s Most Valuable Player in 1944, Horvath possibly was the most versatile player in the country during his time. He kicked, blocked, tackled, passed and ran OSU through its unblemished season and helped the team to a final No. 2 national ranking. He compiled over 1,200 all-purpose yards while leading the Big Ten in rushing (669 yards) and total offense (953 yards). By directing his team on the field, Horvath earned himself the nickname the “Playing Coach.”
After completing his OSU career with over 2,000 yards of total offense, Horvath entered the Navy in 1945. He was a dental officer by morning and assistant football coach (to Paul Brown) by afternoon. Horvath continued to coach in Hawaii and won the service championship. After a three-year stint with the Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns as a player, he returned to Los Angeles where he practiced dentistry. He also enjoyed coaching little league football.
1950 Heisman Trophy Winner
The 1950 Heisman Trophy winner, Janowicz is said to have been every player rolled into one with his great passing, running and kicking abilities. As evidence of his great athletic ability, he won the Heisman despite the Buckeyes’ 6-3 season record.
During his junior season in 1950, Janowicz put together one of the greatest campaigns by an individual player in OSU football history. Accounting for 16 touchdowns and 875 yards in total offense, he proved he could be a threat on both sides of the ball.
One of his masterful performances occurred in a game against Iowa, in which he ran for two touchdowns and threw for four more in an Ohio State 83-21 win. He completed five-of-six passes for 128 yards in the Buckeye win and also set a Big Ten record with 10 extra points.
But perhaps even more amazing was the Michigan game, now called the Snow Bowl of 1950, in which Janowicz kicked a 27-yard field goal into blizzard-like conditions. His kick is considered one of the greatest individual accomplishments in OSU history and perhaps sealed the Heisman Trophy nomination. His 21 punts for 685 yards set two more school records that day.
At the end of the season, Janowicz was named an All-America and the Heisman Trophy winner. In all, he had rewritten several records in the OSU football history book and forever put his name on its pages.