Ohio has always been an enthusiastic participant, fielding five teams in 1920 when the American Professional Football Association formed. Interspersed with the great teams coached by Paul Brown and the play of greats such as running back Jim Brown and tight end Ozzie Newsome, Browns fans survived a three-year hiatus when Art Modell took his team to Baltimore. Paul Brown also was instrumental in bringing the modern-day Bengals to Cincy. Anthony Muņoz started at tackle for both of the Bengals' Super Bowl teams. Twenty-one NFL Hall of Famers were born in Ohio.
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The Buckeyes, who are in the hunt again, dotted the i with consensus national championships in 1968 under Woody Hayes and 2002 under Jim Tressel. Running back Archie Griffin won two of the schools' seven Heismans in 1974 and 1975. Miami of Ohio is known as the cradle of coaches because of developing more than two dozen head coaches, including Hayes, Tressel and Sid Gillman. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passed for 10,829 yards and 84 touchdowns with the RedHawks.
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Buckeyes fan Thaisa Gee: The blood that flows freely through my veins is scarlet and runs a path similar to the Olentangy River. ... The end of summer brings the turning of the leaves, which in turn brings the start to the best season of the year. Fall brings out a fresh Ohio State University football team. Read more from Thaisa
It might not be in the South, but high school football in Ohio has to apologize to no one. In addition to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio has excellent high school programs such as Moeller, St. Ignatius, Glenville, Colerain and La Salle. Ohio State fills its roster with in-state talent. The state's schools also supply seven other in-state Division I programs with players. Spring 2006 D-I signees: 129. Fall 2006 high school football teams: 720.
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Buckeyes fan Robert Hazlett: Taking nothing away from Texas, Friday nights in the fall were huge in the Ohio Valley where I grew up. Every little town closed down and the sidewalks were rolled up by 5:00 p.m. so everyone could head to the local high school football stadium. Read more from Robert