1974 was the first season in which Ohio State played an 11-game regular season schedule. The NCAA allowed teams to schedule 11 regular season games beginning in 1970, but the Buckeyes played only nine regular season games in 1970, their last nine-game regular season. Ohio State played 10 regular season games in 1971, '72 and '73.
Ohio State fans still insist that Brian Baschnagel scored from one yard out on the final play at Michigan State on November 9. The game officials ruled otherwise, and the Buckeyes suffered a 16-13 loss that cost them the no.1 ranking. Ohio State entered the game at 8-0 and the Spartans were 4-3-1. The frantic, final play occurred after Champ Henson was stopped within inches of the goal line with 13 seconds remaining. Ohio State was out of timeouts, and Michigan State's players were slow getting off the pile. The Buckeyes scrambled and snapped the ball, but it went through QB Cornelius Greene's legs. Baschnagel picked it up and ran into the end zone. Head linesman Ed Scheck signaled touchdown, but field judge Robert Dagenhardt ruled that time had run out before the play began. Fans of each school climbed atop the goalposts, uncertain which team had won. 46 minutes later, with about 40,000 of the 78,533 fans still in the stadium, the public address announcer told the half-empty stadium that Big Ten commissioner Wayne Duke had decided the officials were correct in ruling that time has expired. Referee Gene Calhoun also said the Buckeyes would have been penalized if time had not run out because they didn't come to a one-second set before the snap of the ball.