Bucknuts Mag Excerpts: Night Moves

Chances are you need no reminder of what is scheduled for this Saturday at 8 pm EST, but in the September issue of Bucknuts the Magazine, we took an early look at the hype that was starting to build towards the OSU/Texas showdown in Ohio Stadium. In today's Bucknuts Magazine Excerpts, we bring you that article in its entirety. Read on for more.

As part of the redesign of the Bucknuts.com web site, we have added an area where we can publish excerpts from Bucknuts The Magazine. Each week, we will put in a new excerpt from the latest edition of Bucknuts The Magazine.

BTM has evolved from humble beginnings as a 32-page magazine into its current format as an 80-page magazine. It is published 10 times a year (monthly from September through April, then once in the Spring and Summer).

The magazine retails for $4.95 on newsstands. We also sell annual subscriptions to the magazine on the Internet for $39.95.

But the best deal going is our annual subscription bundle. For $99.95, you get a full year of BTM as well as access to all of the premium content and message boards on Bucknuts.com. Subscriptions to the web site, itself, are priced at $9.95 per month. So, for roughly $100 you receive the value of almost $160 between the web site and magazine.

In each issue of Bucknuts The Magazine, we have in-depth features on Ohio State football players, coaches and prospects. We also have analysis pieces on the Buckeyes as well as their opponents, the Big Ten and college football world in general. Plus, we have features on OSU athletes in a variety of sports, including men's and women's basketball, hockey, wrestling, baseball and other sports.

Our current issue, with OSU hoops commitments Greg Oden and Mike Conley on the cover, is on newsstands now. Check out our special offer that is in effect now to find out how to get a great deal on the $99.95 total access pass!

In the September issue of Bucknuts the Magazine, we talked about the level of hype (at the time) and anticipation surrounding this weekend's OSU/Texas battle at the Horseshoe. Complete with what tickets were going for and how it compares to the OSU/Notre Dame game of 1995, here is an article on the OSU/Texas showdown.

Headline: Night Moves

By Dave Biddle

It's caused a buzz around Columbus and Austin for several months … and it's only getting stronger.

The Texas at Ohio State showdown on Sept. 10 feels like an in-season bowl game at worst; a national championship game at best. For Buckeye fans, it's reminiscent of the Notre Dame game in 1995 – a battle of two college football national powers, long overdue to meet on the gridiron.

But the Texas game has a little something extra to offer.

For starters, it will be played at night – just the seventh night game in the history of storied Ohio Stadium.

If OSU fans are looking for a good omen, here's one: the Buckeyes are 6-0 in night games at the Horseshoe.

The only game that was really close was the first one, a 10-7 victory over Pittsburgh in 1985. Yes, you remember the temporary lighting structures they rolled in for that one.

Other night games at OSU include: 1993, OSU 21, Washington 12; 1997, OSU 24, Wyoming 10; 1999, OSU 42, UCLA 20; 2001, OSU 38, Northwestern 20; and 2003, OSU 28, Washington 9.

If you've been to a night game at Ohio Stadium, you know the story. To say it's a few octaves higher than an afternoon game would be an understatement. The Northwestern game in 2001 sounded like a Michigan game. Think about that: The Northwestern game brought down the house as much (or more) than any Michigan game, save 2002.

What will it sound like for Texas?

Well, when you give OSU fans all day to "prepare" let's just say it will be difficult for Texas quarterback Vince Young to change the play at the line of scrimmage.

But Texas has played in hostile environments before. Kyle Field at Texas A&M doesn't take a backseat to anything.

However, those teams play each other every year. The fact that Texas and Ohio State have never played just adds to the intrigue.

And it's by no means one-sided in terms of excitement. Ohio State fans are dripping with anticipation. But the same is true of the Texas Longhorn fans.

Clendon Ross, publisher of InsideTexas.com, has never witnessed anything quite like it.

"The anticipation for this game is huge," Ross said. "And I'm sure you're feeling the same thing up there. It's amazing to me, in my years of covering the University of Texas and attending the University of Texas and being a Texas fan – which pretty much encompasses my entire life – I have never seen the type of anticipation for a game that this one is drawing. It's just absolutely amazing. On our message boards, the talk is only about Ohio State-Texas. It is just absolutely amazing. There's a lot of excitement."

Not that anyone needed a primer for the UT-OSU game, but Texas' 38-37 victory over Michigan in the 2005 Rose Bowl definitely served as a tasty appetizer. Many Buckeye fans had not seen much of Texas up to that point. Seeing the Longhorns knock off rival Michigan in Pasadena just added to the excitement and anticipation of Sept. 10.

Who knows what took so long for this game to happen. But the only thing that matters is that the wait is about to end.

"It's about darn time that these two teams played," Ross said. "I'm a football traditionalist and I know there's a lot of you out there, particularly when you're a fan of a big-time major college, like Texas or Ohio State. This is one of those match-ups that you just love to see. It's those ones that I remember watching back on Saturday afternoons when you didn't see many night games very often. Of course, this one will be at night, but it's just one of those that you will watch with such wrapped attention. I think I speak for just about everyone in the Longhorn Nation, saying, ‘We can't wait to be up in Columbus and take on the Buckeyes.'"

And just like after the Notre Dame game in 1995, Ohio State will make the return trip the following season. It's off to Austin in '06.

"Of course there's all the anticipation about the game in Columbus this year, but there's going to be just as much anticipation – if not more – down here in Austin, Texas, next season when the Ohio State Buckeyes come to Memorial Stadium," Ross said. "I go back to the tradition of the two schools and the amazing amount of success that they've both had. And seeing them matched up for the first time this year, head-to-head, on that football field, is just going to be an amazing experience.

"I know on the Texas side of the equation, the anticipation is huge. I know people are going to be scrambling for tickets, because I know how hard that is going to be. Despite the size of the 'Shoe, obviously the Texas contingent is going to be relatively small. And I guarantee that it's going to be one of those tickets that people frame when the game is over with."

It's also going to be a very expensive ticket. We did some research on ticket brokers and Internet auction houses, and the news isn't good for frugal fans who want to see this game.

"We could get you in the door for $300 each – upper level or end zone," said Caryn Schmidt of the Main Event ticket service in Columbus. "It would be about $850 each for best-available. Maybe $1,600 for the pair."

Those are simply the going rates, according to Schmidt. (Keep in mind, face value for these tickets is roughly $60.)

"I think we're actually pretty low," she said. "It's such a hot ticket and it being a night game just adds to it."

Blue Chip Tickets in Columbus offered similar prices during the summer.

"I could probably get you in the door for $300," said proprietor Greg Guy. "Best available would be around $700-$800 each.

"These are just preliminary prices. Sports tickets seem to always fluctuate. We don't set the market. It depends on supply and demand and the demand right now for this game is very high."

Guy says there is hope if you want to buy from a broker and you don't want to spend that much … as long as you're patient.

"For the time being, $300 is the lowest, but, again, that can fluctuate," he said. "It could go down to $175 or $150 to get in the door, or it could go up to $400. But it usually moves down the closer you get to the game, not up."

You read that right. For big sporting events, prices usually decrease the closer you get to game day.

"Yes, and there are a couple of reasons," Guy said. "First of all, there are only so many qualified buyers for a game like this. Your average sports fan cannot afford to spend that much, or is not willing to spend that much.

"And then businesses that want to bring clients to the game from out of town, there are only so many of those people. They tend to buy what they need early, so as we get closer to the game, the price might go down.

"There is also the weather. If there is rain in the forecast that weekend, prices will go down. But overall, you just don't know with this game. It is just so big that the demand could go up as we get closer to Sept. 10 and prices could go even higher."

On eBay, we found the best prices by far for the Texas-Ohio State game.

The lowest price a pair of tickets sold on eBay was $460 (unknown location; ID required).

For $510, a pair of tickets was purchased in 27C, row 41. That served as the second-best bargain.

The most expensive tickets that sold on eBay were a pair in 5A, row 46 for $750.

But most were sold in the $550-$630 range for a pair. There were others being offered for upwards to $1,000 for a pair, but none of those had bids by press time.

Guy was around for the Notre Dame game in 1995 (a 45-26 OSU victory at Ohio Stadium) and says the Texas game has a similar demand from fans.

"Yes, very similar to Notre Dame," he said. "I would say prices are pretty similar if you adjust for inflation. That was an especially hot ticket as well."

Giving the Texas-Ohio State match-up even more magnitude is the fact that both teams will begin the season ranked in the top 10 and both are seen as viable national championship contenders.

The Longhorns have one of the nation's best players in Young, an electrifying 6-5 junior. He could be the top overall pick of the 2006 NFL draft. The 'Horns need to find a bell-cow tailback, but they have an outstanding offensive line and always seem to feature a strong running game.

Defensively, they return nine starters from last year's 11-1 team.

They are talent-rich across the board. They remind some college football followers of the Ohio State teams from the mid-90's that had all the talent, but never broke through with a national championship. (Michigan is to John Cooper what Oklahoma is to Mack Brown.)

How much talent?

Well, most of you will remember Ohio State's ballyhooed 2002 recruiting class. It included the likes of Maurice Clarett, Justin Zwick, Troy Smith, Santonio Holmes, A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, Nick Mangold, Rob Sims, Quinn Pitcock and Nate Salley, just to name a few.

That class was the consensus No. 2 class in America.

The No. 1 class that year? The University of Texas.

The side-plots are endless for this one. Throw in the fact that ESPN's "College GameDay" will likely be on campus (and might not get a very warm welcome) and you'll know why Barnum and Bailey will have nothing on this circus.


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