There‚??s no doubt the city loves OSU athletes. But who gets the most love? Well, we‚??ll tell you. Here is our list of the 15 Most Beloved Buckeyes.
The rankings were based on affection. In other words, this is a big ol' popularity contest, not determined solely on accomplishment. Two important criteria: Candidates had to be Buckeye jocks and still living (sorry, Woody fans).
1) Archie Griffin
Two Heismans, approachable, humble, homegrown, devoted to the university. The perfect storm of Buckeye attributes.
2) Eddie George
Winning personality and a Heisman-plus strong ties to the community, including a popular campus restaurant.
3) Jack Nicklaus
The golfing great and most famous ex-Buck gave Central Ohio the Memorial Tournament and Muirfield Village.
4) Rex Kern
The unflappable and gritty field general who led Woody's best team to the 1968 national championship.
5) Jerry Lucas
Ohio State's greatest basketball player; leader of the 1960–1962 teams that played in three national championship games, winning one.
6) Chris Spielman
Adored for his old-school, fearless play; captured hearts by quitting pro football to be with his family while his wife overcame cancer.
7) John Havlicek
Lucas's running mate on those great OSU b-ball teams of the early 1960s; made fans proud by excelling in the NBA.
8) Kirk Herbstreit
A decent quarterback whose popularity skyrocketed after becoming an ESPN star while living in town and keeping his local radio show.
9) Clark Kellogg
A class act as a Big Ten MVP, an NBA star and now a major national basketball announcer who chose to settle in Westerville.
10) Katie Smith
Aw-shucks attitude and awesome talent. A sensation at OSU, the Detroit Shock guard might be the best women's basketball player ever. Lives in UA, too.
11) Jay Burson
Scrappy overachiever who won overwhelming support when forced to wear that hideous halo brace after a fractured vertebra ruined his marvelous senior year.
12) Hopalong Cassady
A Heisman, a great nickname, his number retired in the Shoe and a long stint as a Columbus Clippers coach.
13) Bill Hosket
All-American forward, Olympian, NBA champ with the Knicks and a longtime sports broadcaster who calls Columbus home.
14) Michael Redd
Overcame doubters to help OSU make its magical run to the Final Four in 1999-now an NBA star with hometown ties.
15) Troy Smith
Inspiring rags-to-riches story, impressive leadership skills and a Heisman still rise above his performance in that game we'd rather forget.
This story appeared in the October 2007 issue of Columbus Monthly.