The first round of our Big Ten Champions Tournament is over, and the top four seeds have all advanced. But the No. 4 team had quite a battle on its hands from a familiar-looking foe.
The 2006 Ohio State team edged out 1998 Ohio State with 53 percent of the vote, our closest match yet. Here are a couple of comments from those who voted:
Matt from DC writes: I feel there is some anti-Cooper bias about the 1998 team. This is the best team in my life--I'm 26--even better than the 2002 team. 98 team started 9 NFL guys on defense alone that year. Rolled every game minus MSU. Closest game was a ten point win against Texas A&M and it was never that close. I consider that loss to MSU when they self-collapsed much worse than the loss of the 06 Team. Florida was clearly better than OSU in 06 and MSU was not in 98. Replying that game in my mind OSU wins 99 out of 100 times. I will never be convinced that OSU team would not have beaten Tee Martin and the Vols by two scores that year.
Lee W. from Columbus writes: Brian, the 1998 team was by far the best OSU team since Woody's 68-69 teams. The game against Michigan State was a travesty. Tennessee won the National Championship that year, but Vegas odds showed that of the top 5 teams - Ohio State was the only team that would have been a favorite against the other teams on a neutral field. That defense is what separated them from the 2006 team. While the 2006 defense had great stats, the 1998 defense had a great team.
OK, so our Final Four is now set. Here are the matchups:
No. 1 Ohio State 2002 vs. No. 4 Ohio State 2006
No. 2 Nebraska 1997 vs. No. 3 Michigan 1997
Should be some interesting debates here. The matchups will begin a little later in the blog.