First I just wanted to say that I will be attending the BCS Championship game and plan on blogging about the experience (maybe even some video and pics to go along). Sinking in the time and money on this trip is always a gamble. Some of my fondest memories in life are of hitting the road for a highly anticipated game, soaking up a new city, watching a closely contested game, and soaking up the thrill of victory.However when traveling into enemy territory (that’s what it can feel like) the harassment, travel time, ticket/trip costs, coupled with a painful defeat can make the experience a complete nightmare.
Many Buckeye fans are weary of going this year, espicially with the game being in LSU’s backyard in New Orleans. Factors making the decision tough for Buckeye fans include
– Buckeyes being 4 1/2 point underdogs
– Pricier than normal prices on flights and hotels
– Thoughts of last year’s debacle in the desert, which hurt all Buckeye fans heart’s while burning a hole in other’s wallets.
– Fear of a very hostile pre game and post game atmosphere with LSU fans having a reputation for being very enthusiastic, vocal, and full of bravado
I was on the fence about making the trip but am optimistic it will turn out for the better. Only time will tell. I am also on the hook for convincing 2-3 friends to make the commitment as well. The saying applies, “In Tressel We Trust”
Other Interesting Items
– On a somber note, starting CB Donald Washington has been suspended for the championship game for the Buckeyes for violating team rules. Washington had an absolutely stellar year and will be missed come January 7th. Many believe Chimdi Chekwa will start in his place with Jamario O Neal filling in the Nickel Defense.
– Florida State will be without the services of about 1/2 of their starters due to an academic cheating scandal (23 players suspended.. This news leaked yesterday and many shrewd betters were able to use this information before the line was pulled until the formal announcement was made.
– This football recruiting season has had a disproportionate amount of early commitments. While not really newsworthy all the coaching changes and reshuffling of staffs has caused a sizable amount of committed players to re open up their college recruitments as well.
The case of DJ Woods is an interesting one as Woods opted for Nebraska in early September over Ohio State. By October, Woods was looking at other schools as Nebraska started to implode, with OSU rumored to have pulled his scholarship offer. Bill Callahan was fired and Woods was back on the free market not wanting to be part of the program rebuilding efforts in Lincoln. Woods settled on West Virgnia only to have head coach Rick Rodriguez move onto Michigan. Woods has not heard anything from the West Virginia staff about his standing with the program and has yet to hear anything from Rodriguez and his new regime in Michigan.
Woods’ case is one of many interesting story lines on the national recruiting scene where the coaching shuffle and other fluid moving scenarios have stirred up the recruiting landscape. Although not affected by major coaching changes, Florida State and Miami’s woes have caused some of their commits to re evaluate their options.
– There are some absolutely wild rumors circulating about West Virginia regarding Big name recruits, the current coaching staff, the possibility of Rodriguez returning, and who his replacement will be. Very interested to see what materializes.
– Lastly its being reported that regardless of Brian Billick’s man crush on Kyle Boller, Troy Smith is likely to get his first NFL start on Sunday. Smith is a legend in Buckeye lore, with many believing that the NFL has turned a blind eye to his potential. Baltimore fans, media, and players have seemed to embrace Smith (and have soured Boller and Billick) so it will be very interesting to see what unfolds on Sunday.
– My colleague at Bucknuts, Jeff Rapp, wrote a fantastic article about Nader Abdallah, a New Orleans native on the Buckeyes whose family actually moved in with him at OSU due to be displaced because of Hurricane Katrina. Great story.
I have some future bucknuts articles in the works so stay tuned.