The state of Ohio has produced the most U.S. presidents, and only Notre Dame has produced as many Heisman Trophy winners as Ohio State. The Buckeyes were poised most of this season to play in the BCS National Championship game.
But Ohio State leadership and football haven't mixed well with the Palmetto State. Buckeyes head coach Woody Hayes was fired after losing to Clemson (and attacking linebacker Charlie Bauman) in the 1978 Gator Bowl, and John Cooper was let go the day after losing to unranked South Carolina in the 2001 Outback Bowl.
Then there's the Charleston RiverDogs' popular "Go Back to Ohio Night" promotion.
Here's an Ohio State - and state of Ohio - primer as the Buckeyes and Clemson prepare for the Jan. 3 Orange Bowl:
Ohio State's bowl record: 20-23
Against teams from South Carolina: 0-3 (17-15 loss to Clemson in 1978 Gator Bowl, 24-7 loss to South Carolina in 2001 Outback Bowl, 31-28 loss to South Carolina in 2002 Outback Bowl).
Coach Urban Meyer's record in bowl games: 7-1
"It means a lot for us to go back and play in a BCS bowl game," Ohio State senior tackle Jack Mewhort said. "To get a win in a big-time bowl and at the same time show some resiliency would be a great way to go out."
What's a buckeye?
A small, shiny, dark brown nut with a light tan patch that comes from Ohio's state tree. Ohio folklore insists that carrying a buckeye brings good luck.
Buckeye leaf stickers have been applied to Ohio State helmets to reward good plays since coach Woody Hayes started the practice in 1968. A tree honoring each of Ohio State's All-Americans is planted in Buckeye Grove on campus.
Ohio State's Heisman winners
Year Winner, position
1944 Les Horvath, QB
1950 Vic Janowicz, HB
1955 Hopalong Cassady, HB
1974 Archie Griffin, RB
1975 Archie Griffin, RB
1995 Eddie George, RB
2006 Troy Smith, QB
Party like it's 1978
There have been a few changes since Clemson and Ohio State met in the 1978 Gator Bowl .
Gallon of gas $3.19 63 cents
U.S. President Barack Obama Jimmy Carter
ACC members 14 7
Super Bowl champion Cowboys Ravens
New gadget iPhone 5 Sony Walkman
Kobe Bryant The Comeback The Birth
Oscar, Best Picture "Argo" "Annie Hall"
Grammy, Best Album "Babel" (Mumford & Sons) "Rumors" (Fleetwood Mac)
Meyer's S.C. connections
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer got a big break when Lou Holtz hired him to work as a Notre Dame assistant coach from 1996-2000. Meyer was introduced to Lou Holtz by Skip Holtz - Lou's son and a former Gamecocks assistant coach - when Meyer and Skip Holtz were on the same staff at Colorado State.
Meyer's first head coaching job was at Bowling Green (2001-2002), and one of his first games was supposed to be against South Carolina in Columbia. But the game was canceled because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks (Wofford replaced Bowling Green on the Gamecocks' schedule later that season).
Former Florida head coach Steve Spurrier got the best of his alma mater in Meyer's first season at Florida, winning 30-22 at Columbia in 2005. Meyer's Gators beat Spurrier and the Gamecocks 17-16 in Gainesville on the way to a 2006 national title.
"You have no idea what a relief it is to get that off my back," Meyer said of defeating Spurrier.
One of Meyer's top players during his run of two national titles in three seasons at Florida was defensive tackle Carlos Dunlap, a Fort Dorchester High School graduate.
Meyer upon taking the Ohio State job tried to hire Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris.
Clemson Ohio State
BCS ranking 12 7
Sagarin computer 16 11
Points/rank 40.2 (12th) 46.3 (4th)
Points allowed/rank 21.1 (17th) 21.3 (21st)
Schedule strength 55 57
Best win Georgia, 38-35 Wisconsin, 31-24
Worst loss at USC, 31-17 Michigan State, 34-24 (Indianapolis)
Meyer on Tajh Boyd
Urban Meyer while serving as an ESPN analyst in 2011 worked Clemson's home wins over Auburn and North Carolina.
"I've been watching Tajh Boyd play for many years now, and his development," Meyer said Wednesday at an Orange Bowl news conference. "I saw incredible transition from a good player to a great player."
And this: "(Boyd's) surrounding cast might be the best in America - a tremendous challenge."
Ohio's presidential precedent
William Henry Harrison 1841
Ulysses S. Grant 1869-1877
Rutherford B. Hayes 1877-1881
James Garfield 1881
Benjamin Harrison 1889-1893
William McKinley 1897-1901
William Taft 1909-1913
Warren Harding 1921-1923
'Go back to Ohio'
Don't be fooled, South Carolinians love people from Ohio.
The gobacktoohio.com website is all in fun.
And the Charleston RiverDogs' "Go Back to Ohio Night" a few seasons ago was just another gag from minor league baseball's most creative promotion staff. But the prize for the "Best-Dressed Ohioan" - a one-way bus ticket to Ohio - was real.
By the way, RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols is from Delaware, Ohio. His wife Debra is a Clemson graduate.
"I was a Buckeye fan growing up," Echols said. "My Charleston house is a Clemson household."
- GENE SAPAKOFF
See www.postandcourier.com for Thursday story on Wisconsin - the state, the cheese, South Carolina's Capital One Bowl opponent