With the holiday season coming to a close and award season right around the corner, there's no better time to hand out some Ohio State awards for the year that was 2013. It was a crazy year for the Buckeyes, both on the field and on the hardwood, and narrowing this list down took both time and debate.
So without further ado, here are your first annual BSBys:
The Archie Griffin Athlete Of The Year: Carlos Hyde
After a shaky start to his season that included a three-game suspension for what Urban Meyer deemed to be “conduct not representative of this football program or this university," Hyde bounced back with a dominant senior campaign that saw him become the first running back to ever rush for at least 1,000 yards under Meyer. The Naples, Fla. native rushed for 1,408 yards and 14 touchdowns in OSU’s first 13 games this season, tacking on 108 receiving yards and two more scores en route to being named a third-team All-American by The Associated Press.
Hyde played an instrumental role in the Buckeyes’ second consecutive undefeated regular season, rushing for at least 100 yards in each of the final eight games of the calendar year. Currently sitting at sixth on Ohio State’s career rushing list (3,085 yards), Hyde will have the opportunity to add to his lengthy list of accomplishments when the Buckeyes take on Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl on Jan. 3.
Runner-up: Aaron Craft
Also in consideration: Braxton Miller, Ryan Shazier, Deshaun Thomas
The Snow Bowl Game Of The Year: Ohio State at Michigan football, Nov. 30
Deemed an “instant classic” by Meyer, you’d be hard-pressed to find an edition of The Game that topped this past year’s version. Despite the Wolverines being perceived to be an undermanned team in comparison to the Buckeyes, Devin Gardner spearheaded an offensive assault that saw Michigan tally 451 passing yards to help equalize a 226-yard performance from Hyde.
Ultimately, however, the two yards that Gardner needed the most proved to be too difficult to come by.
After pulling within one point of the Buckeyes thanks to a last minute touchdown, the Wolverines opted to attempt a 2-point conversion in hopes of taking the lead with 32 seconds remaining in regulation. Gardner’s attempt, however, was picked off in the end zone by OSU defensive back Tyvis Powell, sealing a 42-41 win for the Buckeyes in the 110th edition of The Game.
Runner-up: Ohio State at Michigan basketball, Feb. 5
Also in consideration: Ohio State vs. Iowa State basketball, March 24, Ohio State vs. Arizona basketball, March 28, Ohio State at Northwestern football, Oct. 5, Ohio State vs. Notre Dame basketball, Dec. 21
The Woody Hayes Coach Of The Year: Thad Matta
Back on Feb. 17, it would’ve been hard to imagine Matta winning this award.
It was on that day that the Buckeyes appeared dead in the water thanks to a 71-49 whipping at the hands of Wisconsin. The loss moved Ohio State to 18-7 on the year, with a gauntlet of games remaining on the schedule before the NCAA Tournament.
But rather than fold, the Buckeyes bounced back, reeling off 11 consecutive games en route to an eventual loss in the Elite Eight to Wichita State. Despite losing their leading scorer and rebounder in Thomas to the NBA Draft, Matta and Ohio State picked up right where they left off when the new season came around in November and are currently unbeaten at 12-0 with the Big Ten season right around the corner.
The Sam Thompson Play Of The Year: Hyde’s 19-yard touchdown run against Iowa
How good was Hyde's run against the Hawkeyes? It was so good that he just beat out the namesake for this award for its first ever edition.
With Iowa having tied Ohio State to start the fourth quarter of their Oct. 19 tilt, Hyde was handed the ball at the Hawkeyes' 19-yard line. After rushing his way up the east sideline and toward the north end zone, the bowling ball of a running back was bounced backward at the 10-yard line, but somehow managed to stay on his feet.
Even after being nearly turned around toward the opposite direction, Hyde maintained his balance, dancing back toward the Iowa goal line. Capping the dazzling run off with a dive into the end zone, Hyde scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown, in what was ultimately a 34-24 Ohio State victory.
Runner-up: Craft's game-winner vs. Iowa State
Also in consideration: Any Thompson highlight, LaQuinton Ross' game-winner against Arizona
The Mark Titus Fan Favorite Of The Year: Kenny Guiton
Despite being the backup quarterback, there may not be a more popular man in Columbus than Guiton, who already etched his name in Ohio State lore with his comeback effort against Purdue in 2012.
Guiton was given even more time to shine in his senior season, with Miller missing the better part of three games early in the year thanks to a sprained MCL. In Miller's absence, the Houston, Texas native did his best to create a quarterback controversy of sorts, passing for 643 yards and 12 touchdowns, while rushing for 180 yards and an additional score in three OSU victories.
After returning to full strength, Miller got his job back, although Meyer contemplated putting Guiton in the game when his starter struggled against Northwestern. Guiton may have stayed away from the spotlight for the remainder of the season, but his status as a fan favorite at Ohio State is unquestioned, as "Kenny G" will always have a special place in Buckeye history
Runner-up: Amedeo Della Valle
Also in consideration: Jake Lorbach
The Greg Oden Freshman Of The Year: Joey Bosa
It's rare for a true freshman to crack the starting lineup in football. It's even rarer for one to do so on the defensive line.
But Bosa did just that -- and then some -- tallying 39 tackles, 12.5 of which came for a loss, and 6.5 sacks in his debut campaign. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. native hardly looked like a freshman throughout his first season in Columbus, as he supplanted an injured Adolphus Washington at the Buckeyes' strong-side defensive end position.
Named a freshman All-American by multiple outlets, the future is undoubtedly bright for Bosa. And with at least two more seasons left in his college career, he has already proven himself to be a constant mainstay in Big Ten backfields.
Runner-up: Dontre Wilson
Also in consideration: Marc Loving
That's all for this year. Congrats to all of the recipients of the first ever BSBys! Thanks for joining us through this incredible journey that was 2013. We'll see you in 2014.