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From the outside it may appear that everyone in Ohio is a Buckeyes fan.  Ohio State probably gets more publicity than all the other institutions in Ohio combined, and for a long time it was the only Ohio school in a BCS conference, so it’s easy to see why some may believe this.

Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been an Ohio Bobcats diehard since the day I stepped on campus in September 2008.  Coincidentally, my hatred for Ohio State, which had laid dormant during my grade school years, has awoken while on the campus of another university.  This is partially due to the fact that on game day I see more scarlet and grey jerseys in campus bars than green and white ones in the stands of Peden Stadium.  This article in Ohio University’s student newspaper pretty much sums up my opinion on the Ohio State issue.

It’s hard to be a fan of a non-BCS school (unless that school is a perennial power like Boise State, TCU or Utah).  The mainstream media only reports on our team if something really amazing or really terrible happens, and you won’t see Lee Corso putting on a Bobcat head anytime soon.  The only times our games are shown are early in the season when we pick up our paycheck to play one of the BCS schools or during the conference season on a Tuesday night on ESPN U.

I decided to document my experiences this past Saturday as my beloved Bobcats opened Mid-American Conference play against the Toledo Rockets in an attempt to describe what it’s like to root for a school big enough to play at the same level as the big boys, but small enough to remain off the mainstream radar.

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Penn State travels to Tuscaloosa to battle Alabama in the nightcap of an excellent second Saturday of college football.  Penn State enters the game ranked 18th in the AP poll and 14th in the Coaches after a 44-14 win over Youngstown State.  Defending National Champions Alabama sit atop both polls after their 48-3 thrashing of San Jose State.

This game is yet another National Championship rematch, the 1979 Sugar Bowl, when #2 Alabama stopped #1 Penn State on the goal line to give Bear Bryant his fifth National Championship.

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None of us have forgotten the last time these teams clashed in the 2003 National Championship game. You would think after seven years these players wouldn’t look to that game as a source of inspiration, but the ‘U’ is out for vengeance. None of the 2010 Hurricanes were even out of high school yet, being somewhere between 10-14 years old when the Buckeyes took down the favored Miami team in a double-overtime 31-24 upset that prevented the ‘U’ from back-to-back titles. Even still, the Miami Hurricanes of today haven’t forgotten about the loss.

still hurts after all these years

Defensive end Olivier Vernon told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “It’s revenge time. Nobody’s forgotten about that. I feel like I was playing in that game.”

For the Buckeyes what happened in 2003 simply happened in 2003. Even Jim Tressel claimed to be puzzled by the idea that this game holds a sense of revenge for Miami. As for the superstar quarterback of the Buckeyes, the game wasn’t even important enough at the time for him to watch.

Terrelle Pryor, originally from Jeannette, Pa., said, “I’d be lying if I said I watched that game”.

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If this were earlier in the decade, a nation would’ve turned its eyes on this match-up. A regular season clash between Florida State and Oklahoma? If Saturday Night Football existed then, this game would’ve been a no-brainer. Possibly the most important match-up of the season!

But it isn’t 2001 or 2002. In 2010, a Florida State-Oklahoma match-up gets to be a national TV game, but it’s scheduled opposite the more hyped Ohio State-Miami game, and the prime time slot belongs to Penn State-Alabama.

Like its afternoon counterpart, these two teams also met in a championship game. The 2001 Orange Bowl, where Oklahoma beat an FSU team that leapfrogged Miami in the BCS standings 13-2, was their last meeting. Unlike the Fiesta Bowl re-creation though, this is no grudge match. It’s pitting two teams battling back to respectability.

Miami, 2001.

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As reported today, troubled former Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli is now eligible to be a nuisance for the Ole Miss Rebels. Masoli may have stolen from a fraternity house and cited for weed possession during his time in the tolerant Pacific Northwest, but Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt insists that’ll change. Because apparently he’s “in the people-helping business.” Are you a social worker, Houston?

Nonetheless, Nutt has to be on to something. Because not only will Masoli have to contend with people like this in the beautiful south, he’ll be on the straight and narrow with his master’s program… in Parks and Recreation Management!

This dynamic program just had to prepare Masoli to be a shining example of an American leader. I just had to investigate…

  • This is a growth industry, but he’ll be facing “keen competition” as well as a couple priors for that position as Student Activities Officer.
  • He’ll be taking such rigorous courses as “Leisure Programming for Senior Adults” and “Advanced Independent Study”. Read the rest of this entry »

The college football season begins in 24 hours, the final season before yet another seismic change in the landscape. But before Nebraska bolts to get their ass kicked by Ohio State instead of Texas and Colorado moves to become irrelevant on the west coast, there’s still one last chance to challenge the system as is.

Boise State for the national championship.

This kid could be Tim Tebow if he were from, like, Florida.

The Broncos were thought of as a cute little sideshow for beating Oklahoma in 2007. Two consecutive undefeated regular seasons later, they’re being scolded for wanting to leave their little niche in search of a BCS-level program. Kid Cudi can’t empathize here- the haters won’t even shake the Broncos’ hand. Read the rest of this entry »

Usually the only time I see my hometown in the news is when the latest most dangerous or most miserable cities list is released, so I was surprised to see this gem while browsing Deadspin.

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