My dad used to tell me, “Every year a Buckeye fan wants three things. Most important is beat Michigan. Second is win the Big Ten. And finally win the Rose Bowl.”
Yeah, this one stung for a little while. But I keep thinking back to the beginning of the season. If you would have told me that we would be playing Michigan for the Big Ten title and a possible trip to the Rose Bowl, I’d have taken that grinning from ear to ear. This was supposed to be a ‘down’ year for the Buckeyes. This team is young and was supposed to be learning how to win. They had not faced adversity yet this season. Now, they have their backs to the wall a little.
I’m not saying I don’t care about the National Championship, because that is certainly not true. With the disappointments of the pro teams that we follow here in Cleveland it is nice to be in the hunt for championships at the college level. Truth is that I was raised believing getting to the Rose Bowl through Michigan was the goal of every season. Anything on top of that, (National Titles or Heisman Trophies) was gravy. I may be one of the few that still believes in that. Possibly because Tressel has us in the top 5 every year. If we weren’t in the running for the BCS championship every year we would still be happy that we were beating Michigan. Don’t forget that.
So this year’s game will be without as much national attention. Last year we invited the rest of the world into The Game because of it’s BCS significance. This year it has the feel of a backyard football game again. Just us and them. And you know what? That’s fine by me. Because when you strip away the whoop-la, it is still Ohio State vs Michigan. One game for year long bragging rights. Game on!