On Saturday, a bit before noon, the Ohio State Buckeyes football team will take the field for the first game of the 2011 season. When The Best Damn Band In The Land marches down the ramp to the cheers of more than 100,000 fans, it will mark the end of what has seemed like the longest off-season in college football history. I’ll be thrilled when that happens, and I’m confident that countless other members of Buckeye Nation agree with that heartfelt sentiment.
I’ll have a bit more to say about the 2011 version of the Buckeyes later. For now, I just want to say how wonderful it will be to focus on what happens on the field once again. I’m ready to get seriously into the minutiae of college football and the strangeness of talking about the Legends and Leaders divisions of the Big Ten. (Let’s see . . . which one is Ohio State in, again?) I want to talk to my buddies about the freshman phenom, the senior who is under-performing, the stud defensive lineman, and the safety who hits like a ton of bricks. I want to debate play-calling and controversial penalties. I want to focus on the fact that Nebraska is now part of the Big Ten, and argue about who should be ranked number one. Those are the things that make college football the greatest sport of all — not the off-the-field noise and controversy.
I say, let the games begin!