Did you know that? I did not know that. 1997 was, of course, the year after the big Rose Bowl win over Arizona State. I was looking for similarities between the 1997 team and this year's team, but there just aren't that many. The 1997 team had a QB that had ended any quarterback controversy the previous season (Joe Germaine) and a defense that apparently replaced 9 starters, but that's about it. Nevertheless, the knowledge that a Buckeye defense can still be great after replacing so many starters does provide some comfort.
The concern over the OSU defense is the fact that the Buckeyes must find nine new starters. Historically, replacing that many new starters spells trouble for a defense. Or does it?The recent history says that's just not true. The Buckeyes replaced nine starters on defense in 1997 and fielded a team that was 10-1 heading into the Michigan game. That team also allowed just under 11 points per game for the season.
Besides, I don't think we'd really want this year's team to be like the '97 team. They were good, but they lost to Penn State and Michigan. They still made it to the Sugar Bowl, but, uh . . . that was the Florida State Sugar Bowl game. You might remember that. Not good times. Let's not think about that. Let's think back to that Rose Bowl instead.
Yeah, that's better.