The long awaited redemption week is finally here.
Even though Ohio State and its Big Ten brethren have only been taking body blow after body blow to its reputation since 2006, its seems like much longer.
There is no need to recap the trials and tribulations of a team and conference that has not had a prime time stage win since 2003, for it is an all too familiar punch-line.
The losses have come in all sorts of ways: from blowouts, to heart wrenching epilogues, they have all stung to the core of the scarlet and gray and mid-westerners' pride.
Despite all of the fallacies of games past, there is yet another opportunity to right the ship; for on the horizon, a Trojan Horse-who just steamrolled another hapless opponent is descending into the 614 area code with its sword drawn.
One can search long and hard to find a time in college football history when a conference's reputation swung so heavily in the balance, but here we stand.
Right or wrong, the reputation of the area that has stamped its ancestry in the game of football, will be forecast for another season, and perhaps beyond based on the outcome of this game.
The two teams enter the game on two different planets. On one, you have USC—"THE" college program of the moment. On the other, you have "THE" Ohio State University, the college program with more bumps and bruises than a tourist in Manhattan.
Just to sharpen the sword a bit more, despite replacing the majority of its defense, and christening in a true freshman quarterback, USC looked the part.
USC, lest anyone forgot, is still unsurprisingly GOOD. A decent San Jose State was nary a speed bump on the road to Columbus.
And just In case you didn't notice, Ohio State fought Navy to almost the equivalent of a "cease fire." This was all done without the benefit of an aircraft carrier or anyone named Maverick.
Ohio State, lest anyone forgot, is still looking for answers in a land littered with questions.
So the stage is set. An entire 11 member Big 10 Conference (even Michigan) will be pining for something good to happen this Saturday night in Columbus.
From the Wisconsin Cheese Heads, to the plane Jane uniforms in State College, PA., all will be living vicariously through the Silver Bullets shot at redemption.
Lose the game and the disgrace continues. Win, and the road to recovery begins.
I can barely watch. Nonetheless, GO BUCKS!