Originally written on Buckeye Empire  |  Last updated 11/18/14
You’re lucky, you know. There are universities that would sell their anthropology departments for the right to have a stadium like The Shoe. That’s what makes weekends like this one so damn special. Saturday is about the Buckeyes. It’s about the Boilermakers. It’s about Ohio and Indiana. It’s about revenge and redemption. It’s about Braxton Miller’s budding Heisman candidacy. It’s about Carlos Hyde’s power. It’s about Devin Smith’s hands. It’s about the Buckeyes’ defense making a statement against a decent offense. In all of those respects, it’s about the molding, shining future of the Ohio State football program. But ultimately, The Shoe seems more important than most of those things. Ohio Stadium has seen many things over the years. Two of its proudest moments have come in the past 365 days. A year ago, in the midst of a spiraling 2011 campaign, the Buckeyes knocked off a ranked Wisconsin team and breathed new hope into the rapidly declining program. But, if you were in the stadium for that watershed moment, it was impossible to escape the feeling that the magic of that night was in part attributable to Ohio Stadium. Wisconsin seemed just as responsive to the ebb and flow of the crowd as they did to the Ohio State players themselves. Eventually, the Badgers succumbed. The students rushed the field and marched off singing “We Don’t Give a Damn for the Whole State of Michigan.” It felt like a rebirth. Two weeks ago against Nebraska, everything was different for the Buckeyes. But nothing had changed in The Shoe. The crowd was just as hungry as they were a year ago, albeit with less desperation and more classic Buckeye arrogance confidence. But the Buckeyes needed the help just the same. After a lackluster first quarter, the Cornhuskers finally seemed to accept that they were outclassed. If Wisconsin was a rebirth, this was a confirmation. It would be a mistake, though, to assume that the magical qualities of The Shoe are somehow reserved for night games. Or even game where the future of the program seems to be playing out on the field. Sure, there are nights when the crowd will be wilder than others. But fundamentals like Quick Cals (I guess), Script Ohio, O-H-I-O, and Carmen Ohio never change. Nor does the fact that over 100,000 fans come together to watch their team play. It’s there in September too, when non-conference opponents come to town for a sound beating. The weather is warmer and, yes, the crowd is a little more subdued (though the switch to semesters may alleviate some of that problem). It’s there during B1G play as well. So when the Buckeyes return to Ohio Stadium on Saturday for a matchup against Purdue, you know the place of battle will matter almost as much as the players themselves. Ohio Stadium is a place our conference has come to fear over the decades. Finally, The Shoe may be at its most potent when That Team Up North comes to town. Michigan Stadium and Ohio Stadium are both standing tributes to the importance of football not only in the two states they represent, but also in America as a whole. It’s impossible to tell the story of the rivalry between the two teams and states without making reference to and heeding the importance of the places where that rivalry has played out. Days like Saturday are why they build football stadiums. So are days like November 24th. With The Shoe’s help, the Buckeyes will be victorious on both.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced


Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

Five NFL players who could be cap casualties in 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls being deflated

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.