Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | Home RSS

No upset brewing for OSU

September 8, 2012
By JIM NAVEAU - Special to the Herald-Star

COLUMBUS - One of the most vivid memories from Ohio State playing football at West Virginia in 1998 was that there was a little bar located just across a narrow street from the stadium.

It was just a stone's throw, or more accurately, a can's throw from the outer wall of the stadium.

And as OSU's team buses drove down that street as they approached the stadium, some of the patrons of the bar saluted the Buckeyes by firing beer cans against the sides of the buses.

So, when I read last year that West Virginia had decided to start selling beer inside its stadium, it seemed like the football version of giving nuclear weapons to a country as volatile as Pakistan.

West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck - father of NFL quarterback Andrew Luck said, even though it sounded counterintuitive, this would actually cut down on the Herculean consumption of alcohol at Mountaineers games because the university would have more control of beer sales.

After one year, West Virginia reported a decrease in alcohol-related arrests at games, plus a profit of more than $500,000 from beer sales.

Currently, 22 of the 120 NCAA Division I schools sell beer at their football games, with only 11 of those being on campus stadiums.

Interestingly, three of those on-campus stadiums are in Ohio - Bowling Green, Cincinnati and Akron.

Do not expect Ohio State to increase that number anytime soon, though. Minnesota is the only Big Ten school which sells beer at its stadium and OSU and the rest of the teams in the conference are not interested in doing it.

Week Two of Urban Meyer's first season as OSU's coach will bring Central Florida to Ohio Stadium today.

Some people, Meyer included, have been pushing the idea that the Knights could be brewing, so to speak, an upset.

Meyer even went so far as to say former Ohio State coach John Cooper, who does some scouting for NFL teams, told him Central Florida has five or six NFL-worthy players on its roster.

Maybe. But they also have a quarterback who has started one game in college and their No. 1 running back won't play.

They're favored to win the Eastern Division of Conference USA and they're moving to the Big East next season.

Their coach, George O'Leary, is a proven winner who is more famous for an exaggeration on his resume that cost him the Notre Dame job than for his victories.

And Storm Johnson, who will be the featured running back this week, is a former Florida recruit who broke a 71-yard touchdown run during his brief time as a Gator.

But UCF was 5-7 last season and the excitement over its 56-14 win against Akron in this season's opener should be tempered by the memory of Akron looking like a glorified JV squad when it came into Ohio Stadium last year.

Central Florida was up 35-0 at halftime against the Zips and two of its scoring drives in the game started inside Akron's 10-yard line.

Meyer described his team as "average" earlier this week, possibly trying to reinforce the idea that Central Florida is above average, at least in terms of the non-conference opponents Ohio State usually sees.

Today's game could be closer than OSU's 56-10 win over Miami of Ohio in the opener. But not that close.

The prediction: Ohio State 35, Central Florida 17.

I am looking for: