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Buckeyes Buckeye Archive The Ten Greatest Buckeyes Of All-Time: #10 Rex Kern
Written by Mike Furlan

Mike Furlan
One of my favorite pieces that we run here on the site, and a series that we run every summer, it's time once again for Furls' countdown of his ten greatest Buckeye football players of all-time. Today we get things started with #10, quarterback Rex Kern, who led the Buckeyes to a national championship in 1968 and suffered just two losses in three years behind center for the scarlet and gray.

 An annual rite of passage here at The Cleveland Fan, it's time once again to count down my ten greatest Buckeye football players of all time.

When Troy Smith was breaking records and busting Michigan during his fine career as a Buckeye, he was bandied about as potentially the greatest quarterback in Buckeye history. We'll leave my opinion on the matter veiled for now as we count down this list, but rest assured ... the guy Smith was chasing for those honors leads off our rankings.

Rex Kern still remains ranked as one of Ohio State’s all time leading passers. This is no small feat considering his coach was once quoted as saying, “There are three things that can happen when you throw a pass and two of them are bad.”

As the first representative of the 1968 “Super Sophomores” to grace this list, Rex Kern led the Ohio State offense to a national title in 1968 and near misses in 1969 and 1970. During his career at Ohio State Kern posted an unmatched 93% winning percentage and was instrumental in several of Ohio State’s greatest games. As a field general, Kern is unmatched. His Buckeyes, from 1968-1970, suffered only 2 losses in those three years and were in the running for the national title all three years.

I was not alive to see Kern play. I have seen the films. I have read the statistics. I have heard the stories. When I think of Rex Kern, I think of Craig Krenzel with more true ability. A quarterback that is not prone to the game-breaking mistake, a quarterback as important for his intangibles as his accuracy and arm strength.

Although Kern only played four years in the NFL, never behind center, his accomplishments as a Buckeye are unmatched and had Woody Hayes not gone to the “Wishbone” in 1970 who knows, maybe Kern would have won the Heisman and perhaps Ohio State does not drop that Rose Bowl to Stanford. We will leave that one to the philosophers to debate.

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