As a fellow Bengals fan, I'll translate. He basically said: "Lacking a pro team to root for, I root for Buckeyes in the league."
I was in St. Petersburg in 2011, and saw a Terrelle Pryor version then. Also saw versions for Jim Tressel, a couple Michigan players, European soccer stars, etc.
I don't think it's the necessarily case that these folks are all that popular in Russia. The ones I saw were in a shop geared to serving cruise-ship tourists -- meaning, it's probably "some Russians' idea of what is popular elsewhere."
After the end of the previous play, #81 had run to the OSU bench and someone (Marshall?) came in for him. The rule is that if the offense substitutes, then the defense is given an opportunity to do so as well, so the official stood in the way preventing the ball from being snapped until Alabama's substitutes came in.
Alabama's players walking pretty slowly on and off the field. I'd assume that there's some limit on how long the officials will hold up play, and Alabama was pushing that limit. But the stoppage of play with the clock running was OSU's fault. If they didn't want the officials holding up play, they should have made do with the same players they had on the field for the previous snap.
That seemed odd to me, because you'd expect an even number of teams (since each conference game has two B1G participants).
But I worked it out: 1&2: Maryland and Indiana; 3: Northwestern (but not their opponent Penn State); 4&5: Iowa and Purdue; 6&7: Minnesota and Michigan; 8&9: Illinois and Nebraska.
Rutgers (playing non-conference) and Penn State (playing Northwestern) don't count since they played each other to "open conference play" already. Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State are still playing non-conference opponents.
The analysis of "the gauntlet" also has to include an analysis of the ease of getting into the playoff. It's a natural reaction to think that an MNC recently became twice as hard to get (win B1G title game) and will become twice harder yet (win first round of 4-team playoff). But that's not so, in my view.
Let's say that Ohio State has a uniform 10% chance to finish each of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th (in the BCS rankings or selection committee's view) after the B1G title game.
Under the old BCS system, they'd have a 20% shot to get into the final game, since 1st and 2nd always get straight into that game and 3rd and 4th are always left out. In the new system they'd be 40% to get into the 4-team playoff, and if they had a 50-50 shot of winning the first round, they end up with the same 20% to get into the final game.
Unless one hypothesizes a fairly strange probability distribution (e.g., "much more likely to finish 1st-2nd than 3rd-4th, but at the same time less likely than 50-50 to win the first round game") the size of the playoff is pretty much irrelevant to the odds of winning the title. In the end there's still exactly one MNC per year, so they haven't become any scarcer.
As a tangent: Similarly, the B1G title game may seem like it makes it hard to win B1G titles, but it depends on how you look at it. It is now easier to win outright B1G titles (there is now one every single year, so they have become less scarce). There's no longer a straight equivalent to a shared B1G title, though based on total number of co-champs over the recent pre-Nebraska years, a berth in the B1G title game could be considered roughly equivalent (and "division co-champ" far easier) if you're trying to compare success across eras.
Are you fazed by homonym substitution errors? :-)
Even if looking at it from a money-only angle, how much concessions profit is there for the extra 40,000 people?