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RIP Earle Bruce

Former head football coach of The Ohio State Buckeyes from 1979-1987, the 87-year-old Earle Bruce, has died.

There’s so much to say about Mr. Bruce–on and off the gridiron–but at this reflective moment, there’s one memory that rises above the rest.

There are few greater honors as a Buckeye than to dot the “i” in Script Ohio in the Horseshoe back in 2016. And Mr. Bruce was provided that unforgettable opportunity.

RIP Earle Bruce. 

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uNequivoCAl stAbility

Was Alabama “unequivocally” better than Ohio State in determining that all-powerful fourth and final spot in this year’s college football playoff?

The only thing that’s “unequivocal” in college football right now is the instability of, well, college football.

Put simply, there were legitimate reasons for and against Ohio State’s case to be the fourth seed in the forthcoming college football playoff next month. This coming from a lifetime Buckeyes fan. To spare you a lengthy relitigation of that fierce debate (a 51-49 decision either way), I’m going to give the megaphone to former Colorado Buffalo quarterback and Fox College Football analyst Joel Klatt. His reaction to the controversial criteria of the playoff selection committee and the playoff’s future, heard and seen yesterday on The Herd radio/TV hybrid program, was insightful and necessary.

Simplicity is one of the fastest routes to unequivocal stability and, equally important, trust. Will the influential power players of the NCAA apply Mr. Klatt’s thoughtful suggestions in the near future concerning college football’s playoff qualifications?

Perhaps, except the NCAA thrives on complicating things and Mr. Klatt’s easier and more rational format could mess all that up.

Tomorrow’s Forecast Up North: Gold Pants Weather

THE Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines will collide for the 114th time on the gridiron in “The Big House” in Ann Arbor tomorrow at noon on FOX for another installment of the greatest rivalry in sports.

The intensity is real, the history is storied and the legendary rivalry between two bordering Midwestern states continues with a lot at stake for both programs and states. Eternal pride and a pair of small gold pants are always on the line. And this year, there’s potentially a little something extra down the road for Ohio State if the men in scarlet & gray drive away victorious with the aforementioned gold pants for the sixth consecutive season. The Buckeyes are still (metaphorically) looking for a Hail Mary to sneak into the College Football Playoff.

More on this in a future blog post.

As usual, the rankings don’t matter in this rivalry. The #9 Buckeyes and the unranked Wolverines will compete like it’s the national championship and tomorrow’s game should add an amazing new chapter to an already amazing and evolving story. And winning those cherished gold pants against ‘That Team Up North’ defines legacies, like with quarterback J.T. Barrett seeking his school-record 4th pair as Ohio State’s starting quarterback in this rivalry.

(Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett in April 2017 receiving his gold pants for the win against ‘That Team Up North’ last season, courtesy of Eleven Warriors)

Losing this game can equally break legacies. You don’t have to remind John Cooper of that reality…

Analysis of the game will follow later. For now, here’s a subtle reminder of the greatest rivalry in sports.

OH-IO. 

Go Bucks!

Toledo’s Favorite Sons Go to Battle

“THE Game” is finally upon us.

The Ohio State Buckeyes will play That Team Up North at noon tomorrow in the chilly confines of The Horseshoe in Columbus, OH.

  • #2 Ohio State vs. #3 That Team Up North
  • Urban Meyer vs. Jim Harbaugh (both 52 years-old and both born in Toledo, OH)
  • A spot in the college football playoff
  • A (potential) spot in the Big Ten Championship Game
  • Gold Pants
  • Bragging Rights
  • Statewide Pride

All of this will be on the line when these two football powerhouses collide. And this rivalry is not only the best in college football, but it’s the greatest rivalry in sports. Why? The Toledo War.

The Toledo War was a border dispute between the State of Ohio and the Michigan Territory Territory Up North during the first several decades of the nineteenth century.
–Ohio History Central online

Poetically, Toledo, OH remains divided between Buckeyes and Wolverines loyalties. There’s a sports store that’s literally divided in half for these two fan bases. The animosity and hatred between two neighboring states and universities didn’t begin because of an athletic competition, but from a conflict rooted in something much more profound. In the case of Ohio and That State Up North, the answer is a war.

That’s unrivaled in sports.

The Game of the Century: Volume 2 is at noon tomorrow on ABC.

GO BUCKS!