Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/31/12

If you have been an Ohio State Buckeye fan for any length of time, then you know that each and every football game comes with some level of emotion behind it. Whether it's the positive outlook that we're going to crush Indiana, the vengeful remembrance of how Illinois knocked us out of contention, or the energy charged high of anticipating the defeat of Michigan, each and every game comes with its own memory induced emotional state that makes that particular game special. Those emotions pique even even more so when the game is the first game with a new head coach at the helm.

As Urban Meyer leads the Ohio State Buckeyes onto the field tomorrow, fans will be jittery with anticipation. How will the Buckeyes do? What will they look on the field? Will we look like a national contender? These questions and plenty more will be at the forefront when the Buckeyes start their 2012 season. 

There has been a considerable attempt by Ohio State to tone down the expectations of this year: There's not going to be any post-season for the Buckeyes, so let's not get too worked up about things. The players are not the players that Meyer would have recruited, so don't set your expectations too high. We have a lot of new coaches who are still learning how to work with each other. These are all mindsets that the Ohio State leadership wants you to buy in to. In other words, give the new guy a chance to get settled in. 

Of course, those concepts are falling pretty much on deaf ears. With the success that Meyer had at Florida (including a 41-14 pasting of the Buckeyes in 2007 Fiesta Bowl National Championship Game), everyone is expecting him to have even better success now that he has the Buckeye Nation behind him. So regardless of who we would play in the first game, it would be an emotional time for everyone. There is one person, though, for whom this game carries more meaning than anyone else.

That person is Urban Meyer.

The Buckeye traditions run deep for those who were raised with them. It's not just a thing to do, it's a way of life. When you look at past Buckeye coaches, you can get a feel for it. Woody Hayes pretty much defined the word "Buckeye". Many of the traditions that we enjoy were either started or strengthened during his time at the helm. If you've ever listened to Earl Bruce talk, you know that his heart is always in Ohio Stadium. Jim Tressel always made it clear that he felt it was an honor to coach at Ohio State, and was humbled by it. These are guys who grew up in Ohio and understood what it meant. Contrast that with Coach John Cooper who was raised outside of the state of Ohio. He tried to portray himself as a Buckeye, but even so his first few years especially were laden with results that showed a lack of understanding of the traditions.

Now it's Meyer's turn.

Because his last coaching gig was in Florida, many people don't realize that Urban Meyer was born and raised right here in the Buckeye State. He grew up in Toledo and played his college football at Cincinnati. He is a Buckeye. He's normally not one to show much emotion in public, but if you listened carefully to his press conference on Monday,  you caught a glimpse of how much this game – and being the head coach of the Buckeyes – means to him. 

"I'll be coming out of my shoes a little bit, because, like you said, since I was four years old or maybe I was three and a half, I can't really remember the exact time I first saw the scarlet and gray play. It's going to be an emotional time. Very much so."

As with many of us in Ohio, Urban Meyer has dreamed of this moment since he was a little kid. To be out on that field. To be inside the horseshoe. To be a part of that great Ohio State Buckeyes tradition. And to be the man in charge. It's something he's dreamt of for so many years. A chance that had to come at just the right time. And now it's his.

Saturday morning, when he finds himself in front of the Buckeyes in the tunnel waiting to come out onto the field, let's hope that Urban Meyer takes a minute to really let it soak in so he can savor the moment. Coming out of the tunnel for the first time only happens once. A lifelong dream finally come true.

If you look close, you might just see the hint of a tear in his eye – just before they step onto the field and throttle Miami. Now THAT's a deam come true!

- jeff@buckeyes101.com

@buckeyes101jeff

 

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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