A Saturday to Remember

Columnist Ben Koo takes a light hearted approach to what developed into a crazy Saturday for many fans of Ohio State University.

Today was supposed to be an off day for Buckeye nation. Many of us had plans to use this day off to catch up on items like yard work, sleep, holiday shopping, studying, and all the other activities that were ignored during the at Buckeye's march to Glendale. Besides basketball games against Cincinnati and Florida and the Heisman ceremony, December was pretty much a whole month off from the rigors of being an Ohio State fan. We went to sleep or in some cases passed out on Friday, content that we had this Saturday off. It was not to be.

It was in the early hours of our "day off", we were alerted with the news that Greg Oden would unexpectedly play against Valparaiso. The scramble was now on to see if your cable or satellite package carried this game. I suspect many of us stopped procrastinating and finally gave into ordering ESPN's Full Court package. It was around the time when Greg Oden scored his first point (a left handed free throw), when our supposed BCS Championship game opponent kicked off to an average UCLA team. Getting the oil changed would have to wait until night time.

After a lackluster first half, the Buckeyes show why they are ranked in the top three of most polls and why Greg Oden has been on more national sports magazine covers than Troy Smith. Oden finishes with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks all of which resembled Billy Madison dominating the key against third graders. The big man looks fantastic and more importantly plays intelligently on both sides of the court while showing a determined work ethic to get into great position against his man.

A quick flip to the USC game, and it was obvious that buying the wife Codebreakers on DVD for Christmas was just going to have to wait. A couple quick Booty to Jarrett TD's and we would be on our way, because this was the USC team that rolled over perennial BCS bowl game loser, Notre Dame.

However, our would be opponent wilted under a surprisingly ferocious UCLA defense that didn't allow a single point in the second half. A rematch with Michigan?

Most of us have feared this possibility from the moment it was mentioned, while a minority of us believe the Buckeyes could probably beat the AFC Pro Bowl team. It was now official, our day off from worrying about the Buckeyes quest for a national championship was indefinitely postponed.

Looking for confirmation that a rematch was looming on the horizon Buckeye fans tuned into post game coverage or logged on to see what the experts were saying. Suddenly, the SEC Championship game became the game to watch as the experts were now saying an impressive win by Florida could lead the Gators to Glendale.

For the second time in less than a few hours Buckeye fans were forced to tune into a game to try to figure out who the Buckeyes will face in Troy Smith's last game as a Buckeye. Those of us who watched the USC game to "scout" our potential opponent were now scribbling notes on the notoriously unexplosive Florida offense.

With the pressure on, Florida starts the 3rd quarter cold, but pours it on in the fourth quarter to win the SEC Championship and a berth in the ……? This was going to be interesting. Holiday shopping may have to be done online this year, because USC choked.

Saturday Night now resembles election night with the results being to close to call Urban Meyer makes his case in a press conference and later on ESPN with our favorite coach, Lloyd Carr, doing the same. Every expert chimes in with their opinion on who is more "worthy" to play in the title game. An ESPN poll shows an almost even split of the American public imitating the stance of all the experts. Nobody is confident how this will end up.

So tonight ends with Buckeye fans tossing and turning in bed. Not because they didn't do anything mildly productive today, or that a rematch against Michigan maybe a little more then a month away. Instead, Buckeye fans will have a tough time falling asleep knowing that tomorrow morning there will still be no clarity in determining who will face Ohio State in The National Championship Game.

Today was an exciting day for the "Buckeye Nation". A future Buckeye legend made his debut and lived up to the hype that only a handful of living athletes have ever been given. We saw an intense rivalry game where a two touchdown underdog surprised all college football fans outside of Westwood. Lastly, we saw Florida silence all its critics by finally showing the ability to score enough points to be a considered a championship worthy team.

We may have also seen the day the BCS died. For the third time in four years a team will be left out of the championship game who had a very compelling argument to be included. Only time will tell who will be left out and who will be praising the wisdom of the BCS system. Saturday added a lot of uncertainty surrounding "Buckeye Nation" but two things were clear. First, our day off from passionately rooting for Ohio State quickly became a Saturday to remember. Second, whoever gets the call to play Ohio State will to still have to face Troy Smith.

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