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Allstate Sugar Bowl 2011: What Are the Ohio State Buckeyes Playing for Now?

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Allstate Sugar Bowl 2011: What Are the Ohio State Buckeyes Playing for Now?
David Purdy/Getty Images
Will we see the highly recruited freshman, Braxton Miller, take Pryor's position come Fall?

Tradition, excellence, passion.  A few words that describe the Ohio State football program.  The latest news release on the team was a lack of those driving factors, unless the passion for money is one of them.

Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, Daniel "Boom" Herron, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas. The players who broke rules that the NCAA claims they should have known, and what the players claim they didn't.  For many people, this has become a laughingstock.  

Let's be serious, no one likes Ohio State (ask Mark May).  Unless you have a connection with the state of Ohio in some way, it's safe to say you're not an Ohio State fan.  

But for those who withhold the pride of the Buckeyes, whose ring tones are set to "Buckeye Battle Cry" and for the fans who witnessed the mistakes these players have made on their reputation as a buckeye—what are they playing for now?

 

The Fans or Their Draft Stock

If only the 49 other states knew how much the Ohio State Buckeyes meant to the state of Ohio.  I think they'll know soon enough.  In honesty, a majority of Buckeye fans wouldn't care to see these players play another down in a scarlet & gray uniform.  

I have to give it up to DeVier Posey though, who apologized, as well announced his return for his senior season, to characterized himself back to a leader.  But Pryor—who might I quote, "Thank you for this opportunity,"—as sad as it is, just came to Ohio State to raise his draft status.

Cie Grant sings the Ohio State alma mater (Carmen Ohio) in Columbus after their 2002 national championship victory.

On Jan. 4, there will be nothing easy about understanding if these players are playing for what the Buckeye faithful stand for.  It was only 1-2 months earlier that Pryor announced that he would be returning for his senior season.  Now everything is up in the air.

As a fan, you believe and you hope that these players are playing for the reasons of tradition and the passion of football in Columbus.  Dec. 23 changed all that.  Along with their 2008 Big Ten Championship ring and 2008 gold pants went their reputation in the eyes of Buckeye fans.

With one of the five athletes already promising his return in 2011, the Sugar Bowl is now turning into the NFL Scouting Combine.  Who knows what we'll witness?

It all comes down to the final whistle this Tuesday night.  Will it be the last time these teammates stand in front of thousands and sing "Carmen Ohio?"  Or will the papers wait to be filed for the 2012 NFL Draft?

What are they playing for?

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