by Bill Rausch
Growing up in central Ohio I was raised to be a buckeye with vivid memories of watching games in the horse shoe, dancing along to Script Ohio, wearing Scarlet and Gray, and jamming to Skull Sessions prior to the game in St. John arena on the same court I would play on en route to a High School State Championship in basketball.
Despite my love for The Ohio State, I wanted to be an Officer in the United States Army which led me to West Point where I became part of the long grey line. I marched in game day parades and never missed a home game at Michie Stadium. I did push ups after every touch down, I chanted “fix bayonets” during goal line stands and have been saying “Beat Navy” my entire adult life!
Every year I want Ohio State and Army to destroy their oldest rivals in a relevant and rowdy game. In recent years I hoped the game would mean something for all teams involved and of course I want the entire world to watch.
Since 2001, Ohio State is 13-2 in “The Game” against the team up north. The only rivalry that competes on the national stage that has been more lopsided is the 14-1 record Navy has over Army during the same time period that includes a 14 game win streak. For perspective, the last time Army beat Navy I was a cadet! Ouch.
Well, I’m happy to say that THE GAME is back (and so is Army/Navy)! #boom
The Game means something again in 2016 (AP No.2 vs No.3) and hasn’t had this much relevance since 2006 (AP No.1 vs No.2) when the victor (OSU) played in the BCS Championship game leaving many analysts arguing that the loser (Michigan, of course) should play a re-match for the national championship. Of course, that didn’t happen and Michigan hasn’t been the same since.
This year the stakes couldn’t be higher as Ohio State is poised to make the College Football Playoff for the second time in three years, regardless if they play for the Big Ten Championship. Jim Harbaugh has his team up north playing better than they have in years which is how it’s meant to be. Beating Michigan when they aren’t any good is always nice but beating the maize and blue when they are a top 5 team is what a rivalry game is all about!
Of course, I expect the Buckeyes to bring home another set of “Gold Pants” (google it) and later in December when Army beats the hell out of Navy, two of the biggest rivalries in sport will have the same lopsided record since 2001: 14-2.