It’s been a protracted 241 days since the Buckeyes roughed up Oregon in Pasadena to capture the Rose Bowl crown. Finally, Game Week has arrived and we’re now just three days away from watching Ohio State take the field to kick off the 2010 national championship quest.
With a new season brings the timeless traditions and individual rituals that make OSU football so communal yet personal at the same time. Skull session, the plume touching hallowed ground, Across The Field, the Hive, Script Ohio and a game capping Carmen Ohio are all looming just over the horizon. As for the personal side, what rituals must you perform leading up to kickoff to ensure you’ve done your part to secure an Ohio State victory this Thursday night? I believe we’ve gone through this exercise before so consider it an annual tradition at 11W. There’s always time to celebrate the fact Ohio State Football means so much to all of us - and that most of us are completely insane when it comes to supporting the squad.
For me, I always open the season sporting a throwback since those are reserved only for big games. Thursday, I plan to honor Jack Tatum by busting out my scarlet #32 and running full speed into the side of a Honda. I’ll also make sure the 16x20 framed Woody in his practice duds is leaning against the coffee table so he can watch the game, as he always does, with my brother and I. But, he won’t take that spot until he’s been passed around the room so everyone can rub his gut for good luck.
In addition to running down your gameday rituals, now is also a good time to lay claim to your breakout Buckeye. Considering the recent changes in the depth chart such as C.J. Barnett sliding into the injured Orhian Johnson’s starting strong safety spot and Andrew Sweat’s theft of Etienne Sabino’s starting Sam job with Sabino now shifting to 2nd string Mike and Johnathan Newsome backing up Sweat, there’s ample opportunity for you to look smart by nailing a new impact player. Right now, I’m still going with Philly Brown to make some noise in the receiving corps and on return teams and Johnathan Hankins to carve out a role in the defensive trenches but that’s just because it’s too easy to pick Jake Stoneburner, Zach Boren or Jaamal Berry. Who you got and why?
Switching gears for a minute, there are a few newsworthy items that require your attention. First, check out this article from Jon Spencer at the Mansfield News Journal explaining why relocating The Game to earlier in the season is the absolute right thing to do. While I don’t agree with the premise, Spencer explores the benefits of not having the always physically and emotionally draining Game right before the conference championship tilt in hopes of avoiding the proverbial letdown.
Also, in case you missed it in
Good Shizzy Buckshots, the Buckeyes appear set to land Florida State transfer Dionte Allen, a former Rivals #5 rated cornerback and high school teammate of Taurian Washington at Orchard Lake St. Mary's outside of Detroit. Say what you will of Washington's disappearing act in the fall, but you can't argue with his recruiting chops. Allen will have one year of eligibility left after sitting out the season. I’m not sure this is much more than an addition of depth but we’ll wait and see. Thoughts?
Finally, word out of Miami is that disgraced Ponzi-schemer and ‘Canes booster Nevin Shapiro is writing a book that will detail allegations of NCAA violations by various players from 2001-2010. Feeling used by players once they hit the NFL, “Little Luke” is looking for some payback for said treatment plus he needs the cash to repay investors who bought into his scheme. According to Shapiro he was close with Devin Hester, Antrel Rolle, Robert Marve and others including former ‘Canes recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt. The story gets even more juicy when you consider Paul Dee was the AD at “The U” from 2001-08 and is now the Chairman of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions. Shapiro claims to have the “utmost respect” for Dee which makes you wonder just how close those two were during Dee’s tenure.