USC-Ohio State: They Have The Swords, But We Have The Nuts

Michael ClineSenior Analyst ISeptember 11, 2009

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 8:  The Ohio State Buckeyes mascot Brutus Buckeye cheers during the game against the Akron Zips at Ohio Stadium on September 8, 2007 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 20-2. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

It's the Eve of the Collision in Columbus, and by now hundreds, if not thousands of articles have been written concerning the match up between the USC Trojans and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Professionals have made their analysis and predictions and fans of both teams have made their claims as well.

Now it's time to sit, or stand, and watch how it all plays out on the field of Ohio Stadium.

Questions from both sides will finally get their answer: Will Matt Barkley be able to handle the crowd? Will Terrelle Pryor take his place in stardom?

Looking at stats alone, it seems that those questions have probable answers that we can almost predict with certainty, but life and especially football are not so predictable.

It's a game where anything can happen. All we need to prove that statement is to look at last week's Oklahoma-BYU game in Dallas.

And although predictions hardly ever come to fruition as imagined, they still are a great catalyst to an already great game.

On paper, the Trojans seem to be the better squad. They're big, bad, and brutal.

Sure, San Jose State was playing to get paid, but they were limping as they counting the money.

The Buckeyes have a lot of talent, but they're young and lost leadership to the NFL Draft.

Favored by three touchdowns, Ohio State escaped a loss by late fourth quarter heroics by linebacker Brian Rolle.

And with week one in the books, USC visits the Buckeyes seven point favorites in the Horseshoe.

Seven point favorites in the Horseshoe. Not a misprint, it needed to be said twice.

However unbelievable it might be, spreads are made according to statistics. And the statistics show that USC should be seven point favorites in Columbus.

But the spread and the statistics are unable to measure one thing: the heart of the players.

It's hard to say whether one team has more heart than another, but the Ohio State Buckeyes have a lot to play for.

They've lost their last five games to Top Ten opponents and their name has been pulled through the mud by television analysts and everyday sports fans.

The Ohio State University is etched in tradition, and the players play with pride.

If they dig deep inside themselves and are able to turn that pride into positive productivity, its easy to say that they could beat anyone. 

The Trojans are also a team of tradition, and that tradition is winning. I don't assume that the USC players have no heart, I'm sure they do, but a wounded dog will fight harder than the one with no scars.

It's time for the Buckeyes to finally take a deep breathe and smell the aroma of the tradition that looms in Columbus. They might be outmatched, but it doesn't mean they have to be outplayed.

I hope that the Buckeyes use their past defeats as motivation to come away with victory.

To play the entire sixty minutes and leave it all on the field.

Sometimes the statistics are wrong. Sometimes the underdog wins.

Let's hope that that sometimes happens again Saturday night.