Winston Churchill once wrote, "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."
In Montee Ball's case, he has a chance to put pen to paper this weekend and put his mark on college football forever. Two more touchdowns are all that are needed for the mercurial running back to become the sport's all-time touchdown leader. Two goal lines will need to be crossed if Ball wants to see his name in the ring of honor, and mentioned in the same breath as Dayne and Dickerson.
Ball's journey has been as dramatic as his rise to the top of the pigskin world. He has been second guessed, beat up and counted out. He has also been picked up, stood behind and honored. All of those storylines come to an exciting culmination as Ohio State comes back to Madison and reminds Ball of a time when it seemed his star was fading.
Most Badger fans remember the the 2010 victory of the then top-ranked Buckeyes. Montee Ball does, because he was more spectator in that game than participant. He watched John Clay and James White slash the Buckeyes from the sideline.
Two years later, Ball has gone from the bench to setting the bar.
He has amassed enough touchdowns to be within striking distance of the record held by Miami (OH) Travis Prentice. Prentice had 78 touchdowns. Ball has a chance at 79.
In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Prentice thinks the running back formerly known as Montee (when it was pronounced Mont-AY) will write the next chapter:
It was good while it lasted, but records were made to be broken. I set a certain standard, and he’ll set another standard. It’s all good.
Ohio State will not make it easy. Meyer and his squad have the 16th ranked rushing defense allowing only 107.9 yards per game. For a frame of reference, Michigan State is ranked 20th with 113 yards per game. The Spartans kept Ball to a paltry 19 yards.
The history books are open. The ink is out. It will be up to Ball on whether he is the hero, or simply a footnote.