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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos will franchise tag Demaryius Thomas

Marshawn Lynch on final SB play: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers acquire Keith Yandle from Coyotes

Report: Bucs to keep Vincent Jackson under current contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Twins to limit players' smartphone use on game days

Shane Battier: Carmelo Anthony is not that tough to guard

Ronda Rousey would be 'happy' to fight Cat Zingano again

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans after loss

Cowboys to let DeMarco Murray test free agency?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184, keeps MMA rumors alive

WATCH: Sidney Crosby gets leveled in open-ice hit

PHOTO: Pacquiao has message for Mayweather with t-shirt?

Nuggets break team huddle with countdown to end of season

WATCH: James Harden kicks LeBron in the groin

Jim Harbaugh tells Madonna he respects her toughness

Are the Oakland Raiders finally trending up?

Durant blasts Instagram hater for Westbrook comment

Three potential big signings the Steelers could make

Kevin Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for Timberwolves fans

Michigan fan has incredible Charles Woodson tattoo

WATCH: NIU C brings down basket on dunk

McCown plans to embrace mentoring role with Manziel

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos to franchise Demaryius

James Harden kicks LeBron in groin

Lynch: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers get Yandle from Coyotes

Harbaugh respects Madonna's grit

Twins to limit game day cell phone use

Kevin Durant blasts hater on Instagram

KG buys 1,000 tickets for T-Wolves fans

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans

Cowboys letting Murray test market?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
Help
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.