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Published: Wednesday, 9/15/2010

The End Zone: OSU 09-16

BY MATT MARKEY
MMARKEY@THEBLADE.COM

Excitement sizzles through the air. The pressure ramps up. Both sides are fraught with anticipation of a matchup for the ages. Somebody contact ESPN Classic and have them reserve a time slot — No. 2 versus No. 2 happens so rarely.

Ohio State is ranked No. 2 in the nation in college football. Ohio University is ranked No. 2 in college partying. They meet in a football game Saturday, not a chugging contest, so the numbers appear to favor the Buckeyes.

Ohio has won five Mid-American Conference championships. Ohio State is trying to win its sixth straight Big Ten title, and its 35th overall. The Bobcats are going for their 500th win in school history. The Buckeyes are playing for No. 822.

More numbers. The two teams have met a half dozen times in the past 110 years, and Ohio State has won six. Ohio State has not lost to an opponent from inside the Buckeye State since 1921 (Oberlin).

Ohio has four players from Nebraska, Ohio State has none. Not sure that favors the Bobcats. Ohio State has won 55 straight home games against non-Big Ten teams that are unranked. Pretty sure Ohio's prodigious partying rank from The Princeton Review does not count in the Bobcats' favor here.

Zero represents the number of wins by a MAC member over Ohio State. Ohio State's coaches insist the Buckeyes have a bare knuckle fight on their hands. The numbers scream otherwise.



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