Fall in Ohio means only one thing on everyone’s mind…………….FOOTBALL. Every Saturday afternoon all over the country fans gather in front of the television or head out to the stadiums to cheer on their teams to victories. Draped in their favorite colors. Growing up in Ohio there was only one week that you looked forward to, each November and that was the big game against that state up north ……MICHIGAN. There is just something about that final afternoon in the regular reason that the weight of the world seemed to be riding on. Usually riding on it was a trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Coaches Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler had some really memorable battles over the years. Sure, beat Michigan week was full of jokes, challenges and an intensity like no other week. The schools battled back and forth, raising money for charity’s, having blood drives and coming up with the best jokes possible. Even in high school, we had beat Michigan Friday. In the marching band we also had our own salute to the Bucks. It was so cool and I have NEVER heard crowds cheer louder when we began the tones of “Script Ohio“
Didn’t matter where you went on that Friday, everything and everyone was covered in scarlet and grey. I only ever went on campus once during that week and it was like a complete different place on earth. You could feel the tension, excitement, nerves and every other feeling possible. Everyone was decorating, you could hear the echos of marching band practicing,the cheerleaders were going through their routines to make sure they were polished.
The coaches that came after Coach Hayes even felt the pressure of how important that week was in each of their careers:
Coach Jim Tressel was always known by the sweater vest he wore. Earl Bruce had the HAT. Each coach brought their own twist. They knew when that time of year rolled around the pressure on them would sky rock. Not only did it mean bragging rights for another year but if at all possible a shot at a national championship. That is just what happened, in 2002, with beating Michigan, OSU was on the way to that proverbial perfect undefeated season. We would have to WAIT, until January 3,2003 against the Miami Hurricanes for the holy grail of football. It would take a DOUBLE OVERTIME to achieve the one thing that no one else thought possible. The PERFECT season of college football. 14 – 0.
It 2010 it all came crashing down as a series of events involving players and Coach Tressel took its toll on the football department. Players were suspended and Coach Tressel wound up having to hand in his resignation. Talk about being STUNNED, how could this of happened with the quality of the department and all. I watched all this take place from here in Adelaide, I can’t even imagine what the tension and all was like in Columbus. What would they do for a Coach now, that Tressel was gone. Who would really want to take the reins of a program that had made mistakes and knew that they would have to suffer because of it.
Coach Luke Fickell on May 30,2011 was tapped to handle the Buckeyes for the upcoming season. I can’t even imagine the pressure on him at this point. It was going to take all he and the staff had just to get use though the season reasonably in one piece. We did manage a bowl game that year but we didn’t end on the high we would have hoped for . We made it though, with everything that the NCAA and everyone else threw at us we made it. In November of the same year Urban Meyer was made an offer he couldn’t refuse and became the 24th member of the Head Coaching Fraternity of the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Its going to be a long year not being able to really compete for the Big Ten Title or a Bowl bid but consider this a warning to the Big Ten and the rest of the world. No matter what is thrown at us, no matter how you try to hold us back……………..we will get past it, we will survive and we will rise again taller and stronger than ever……………..we are the OHIO STATE BUCKEYES