Ohio State Buckeyes Overview

Fast facts

League: NCAA Football

Head Coach: Ryan Day

Team Mascot: Brutus Buckeye

Year Opened: 1922

Capacity: 102780

City / State: Columbus / Ohio

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

Ohio State vs Michigan

Rival Team: Michigan Wolverines

Known by many followers as The Game, this rivalry has gained significant traction over the past forty years due to it normally determining who wins the Big Ten conference title. Ohio State hosts the game in even years while Michigan hosts in odd and as of the 2010 season, this matchup has determined the Big 10 conference champion 22 times. It is also a border war, making it one of the most exciting games to watch in all of college football.

Ohio State vs Penn State

Rival Team: Penn State Nittany Lions

The rivalry between Ohio State and Penn State began in 1912 with their first meeting, which Penn State won in a 37-0 victory. It has been riddled with controversy on both sides, but Ohio State and Penn State have since started fresh with new head coaches and have a bright, and competitive, future ahead of them.


Rival Team: Illinois Fighting Illini

One of the lesser-known rivalries for Ohio State is the one involving the University of Illinois, and the Illibuck turtle. The Illibuck Trophy is a wooden turtle with the scores of the Ohio State-Illinois matchups etched into its shell, but was initially a live turtle when the rivalry started in 1925. This is no longer an annual matchup due to divisional format, but when it does happen, it is a must see game.

Ohio State Buckeyes Tailgate Guide


Ohio State starts off their festivities two hours before kickoff at St. John Arena, where the OSU Marching Band holds a concert and pep rally. The event is free and draws over 10,000 fans.  If you don’t feel like listening to a marching band try out the River Jam.  Local radio station WNCI 97.9 holds a huge tailgate party on Lane Avenue with live music and entertainment, as well as food and drinks and the event, is free.

Because of the sheer size of the city of Columbus, many residents grow up bleeding scarlet and gray even if they didn’t go to school at OSU. A good tailgate can be found almost anywhere around campus, especially in the lots around campus. The flood of people coming onto campus for a home game creates one of the most impressive and exciting tailgating cultures in college football.  Literally anywhere in the town you can set up and tailgate and have thousands of fans surrounding you.  It’s truly amazing how the town is bleeding scarlet and gray from the rooftops to the curbs. There are a number of bars that have game day specials and the parking lots always present a great spot for you to park set up the grills and throw the beers in the cooler before you head into the Horseshoe to see one of the biggest powerhouses in collegiate athletics.  

The best game to go to is without a doubt is the Michigan game. This is one of the oldest rivalries in sports, and there is a great amount of trash talking, state hating, and program hating in this rivalry.  The fans show up in droves for every game from Cupcake weeks to the Big Ten Title games, but nothing compares to being at the Horseshoe when they roll over Michigan.


Skull Session

Before football games at OSU, the St. John's Arena holds a pep rally dubbed the Skull Session. Two hours before kickoff, the Ohio State University Marching Band performs for a ton of fans, followed by the coaches addressing the crowd. Many fans gather here early to partake in this Ohio State tradition.

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Beat Michigan Week

During the week leading up to the Ohio State-Michigan game there are a bunch of rallies and events. One of the most famous is the Mirror Lake Jump, which takes place on the Thursday before the game. If you’re a Buckeyes student then there’s a lot of fun to be had during Beat Michigan Week.

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Buckeye Grove

Buckeye Grove located on the Southwest end of the stadium next to Morrill Tower honors all the first team All-Americans in the history of the program. Each time a Buckeye earns first team All-American honors a tree is planted for him in the grove, so stop by and check out this tribute to all the greatest players in Buckeyes history.

Where to tailgate

Ohio State Buckeyes Stadium Guide

In Game

Ohio State is one of the most prominent and recognizable programs in all of college football. The Buckeyes play in Ohio Stadium and have a proud history of eight national championships, thirty-seven conference championships, three division championships, ten undefeated seasons, and six perfect seasons with no losses or ties. As of 2014, Ohio State has celebrated 125 seasons of football. In 2015, they won the College Playoff National Championship, continuing a long legacy of historical feats.

Ohio Stadium is a spectacle in itself, housing such a storied field. You will see markers and reminders mentioned all over the facility. Affectionately referred to as “The Shoe” because of its horseshoe-shaped build, the stadium seats 100,000 and has always given Ohio State a strong home field advantage. The stadium has undergone several significant overhauls and renovations while still maintaining a classic “like new” appeal.

Ohio State has a strong atmosphere that anyone not cheering on the opposition will get wrapped up in when visiting Columbus. Ohio Stadium oozes with tradition as right from the get go you’ll find yourself enjoying the band’s entrance as well as their pregame performance. If you wanted to show someone what a big time college football game looks all you’d have to do is take them to Columbus on any Saturday in the fall. The passion and tradition on display here makes attending a Buckeyes game one of the best experiences in all of sports.

Things to check out

Victory Bell

When at Ohio Stadium take a look at the Victory Bell, which can be found in the southeast tower. After every Ohio State victory, the victory bell is rung by Alpha Phi Omega members. The tradition goes back to 1954 and can be heard throughout Columbus on game day, so listen for the Victory Bell following the game.

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Dotting the "i"

One of the most famous sights at an Ohio State is the band’s performance of Script Ohio. The signature moment of this performance occurs when the Sousaphone player dots the “i.” Make sure to take in this amazing spectacle when attending a Buckeyes game.

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Ramp Entrance

At Ohio State the band has their entrances that usually takes place at 19:45 before kickoff. The percussion section leads the entrance as everyone chants O-H-I-O, Ohio repeatedly as the band enters the field.

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Buckeye Leaves

The Buckeye leaf decals have been an Ohio State tradition since 1967 and are awarded players based on merit. Look for the Buckeye leaves to adorn the helmet of your favorite players.

The Hive and Circle

Before their warmups the team enters the field with their arms linked in what is known as “The Hive.” Then after warmups, the team returns to the locker room and re-enters the field in a circle around the strength coach. Get to the game early so that you can take in this great tradition.

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Fight Songs

  1. O-H-I-O Chant

    The O-H-I-O chant at Ohio Stadium is quite the spectacle. The chant starts with the students in the South Stands when they yell “O,” then the East continues the chant by yelling “H,” the North follows with “I,” and the West ends with the chant with “O.” The chant can go around the stadium for an incredible ten minutes, and Buckeye fans have even managed to pull it off at other venues, such as Ross-Ade Stadium.


  2. Hang on Sloopy

    This song has been designated as the state rock song of Ohio and is played before the start of the fourth quarter at every Buckeyes game. Fans typically perform the O-H-I-O chant during the interval between refrains, which really gets everyone pumped up.

    Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
    Sloopy lives in a very bad part of town
    Everybody else, tries to put my sloopy down
    Sloopy I don’t care, what your daddy do
    Cuz you know sloopy, girl, I’m in love with you
    And so I say now
    Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
    Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
    (yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah)
    Wo, uh, wo, uh, wo, uh, wo, uh
    Sloopy let your hair down, girl
    Let it hang down on me
    Sloopy let your hair down, girl
    Let it hang down on me
    Come on sloopy (come on, come on)
    Come on sloopy (come on, come on
    So come on sloopy (come on, come on)
    Come on sloopy (come on, come on)
    Well it feels so good (come on, come on)
    You know it feels so good (come on, come on)
    Well shake it, shake it, shake it sloopy (come on, come on)
    Well shake it, shake it, shake it yeah, yeah, yeah (come on, come on)
    Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
    (yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah)
    Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
    (yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah)
    Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
    (yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah)

  3. Carmen Ohio

    After every game the coaches and players join the band in the south end zone to sing the school’s alma mater Carmen Ohio. This tradition is a great way to wrap up a game and show off your school pride.

    Oh! Come let’s sing Ohio’s praise,
    And songs to Alma Mater raise;
    While our hearts rebounding thrill,
    With joy which death alone can still.
    Summer’s heat or Winter’s cold. The seasons pass, the years will roll;
    Time and change will surely show How firm thy friendship O-hi-o.

  4. Across the Field

    The older of the two Ohio State fight songs, Across the Field features lyrics about the football team.

    Fight the team across the field
    Show them Ohio’s here,
    Set the earth reverberating
    With a mighty cheer,
    Rah! Rah! Rah!
    Hit them hard and see how they fall,
    Never let that team get the ball,
    Hail, hail, the gang’s all here,
    So let’s win that old conference now.

  5. Buckeye Battle Cry

    In old Ohio there’s a team that’s known thru-out the land;
    Eleven warriors, brave and bold, whose fame will ever stand.
    And when the ball goes over, our cheers will reach the sky, Ohio field will hear again The Buckeye Battle Cry.
    Drive! Drive on down the field,
    Men of the scarlet and gray; Don’t let them thru that line, We have to win this game today, Come on, Ohio! Smash through to victory.
    We cheer you as you go:
    Our honor defend
    We will fight to the end for O-hi-o.

Ohio State Buckeyes Bars & Restaurants

  1. Marcella’s

    Columbus Crew Marcellas

    Pasta, pizza & specialty cocktails are dispensed in a vintage-style dining room with an upbeat vibe.

    615 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215, USA


    Bar website

    italian - $$

  2. Village Idiot

    Columbus Crew Village Idiot

    Can never go wring with Village Idiot's selection of drinks and food combinations.

    1439 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  3. Jack’s Corner Pub

    Backyard Grill Beer Turfway Bar & Grill Beer The WingHouse of Daytona Speedway Beer The Golden Fleece Tavern Beer Darcys Restaurant & Bar Beer Hammers Sports Bar & Grill Beer MVPs sports Bar and Grille Beer Mtn Jax Beer Keg South of Homestead Beer Purple Turtle Beer The End Zone Pub Beer Gallaghers Bar and Lounge Beer

    You'll be amazed with the fantastic atmosphere and great drinks.

    2480 Summit St, Columbus, OH 43202, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  4. Oddfellows Liquor Bar

    Columbus Crew Oddfellows Liquor Bar

    Brick-lined joint with old-timey kitsch & a patio for craft draft beer, clever cocktails & trivia.

    1038 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  5. Adriatico’s New York Style Pizza

    Adriaticos New York Style Pizza

    A unassuming campus mainstay vending pies, subs, pasta & salads along with beer & wine.

    1618 Neil Ave, Columbus, OH 43201, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $$

  6. The Library

    The Library

    The Library Bar is one of the best spots in Columbus for OSU nightlife and has been a High Street icon for years.

    2169 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  7. The Thirsty Scholar

    The Thirsty Scholar beer

    Best burgers on campus and killer deals on drinks.

    2201 Neil Ave, Columbus, OH 43201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  8. Out-R-Inn

    Out R Inn

    Voted one of the TOP 50 college bars in the COUNTRY!

    20 Frambes Ave, Columbus, OH 43201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  9. Varsity Club

    Varsity Club

    Established in 1959, this old-school sports bar with pub grub has TVs, patio seating & free Wi-Fi.

    278 W Lane Ave, Columbus, OH 43201, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $

  10. Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant

    Schmidts Sausage Haus und Restaurant

    Unpretentious, long-running German eatery in a historic livery stable with live oompah music.

    240 E Kossuth St, Columbus, OH 43206, USA


    Bar website

    european - $$

  11. North Market

    North Market

    The North Market is a public market located in Downtown Columbus, Ohio.

    59 Spruce St, Columbus, OH 43215, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  12. Hang Over Easy

    Hang Over Easy beer fries

    Breakfast cures all.

    1646 Neil Ave, Columbus, OH 43201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  13. Northstar Café

    Northstar Cafe

    Modern cafe with an open kitchen serving up organic New American fare & house-baked sweets.

    951 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201, USA


    Bar website

    cafe - $$

  14. Melt Bar & Grilled

    Melt Bar Grilled

    Informal sandwich shop featuring over-the-top grilled cheeses plus burgers, beer & wine.

    840 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  15. Thurman Cafe

    Thurman Cafe bar

    Bustling, rustic American haunt with oversized, toppings-loaded burgers & a full bar.

    183 Thurman Ave, Columbus, OH 43206, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  16. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

    Raising Canes Chicken Fingers

    Fast-food chain specializing in fried chicken fingers, crinkle-cut fries & Texas toast.

    5132 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  17. Buckeye Donuts

    Buckeye Donuts

    24-hour donut shop in the heart of the OSU campus area serving breakfast fare, donuts & Greek gyros.

    1998 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  18. PJ’s

    PJs hotdog sandwich

    Boisterous counter-serve pit stop for late-night overstuffed sandwiches, fries & beer.

    15 Frambes Ave, Columbus, OH 43201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  19. Wings & More

    Wings, fried chicken & burgers round out the menu at this no-frills joint with late-night hours.

    2513 Summit St, Columbus, OH 43202, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  20. King’s Pizza

    Kings Pizza

    New York-style & Sicilian pizza, plus basic wings, burgers & pastas, are served here until 4 am.

    1950 N 4th St, Columbus, OH 43201, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $