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Dave Maetzold

If November is for Contenders, What's December for?

 
If November is for Contenders, What's December for?

For most people, November is for turkeys.

In college football, November is for contenders. The phrase/cliche is not new. I'm sure the first coach to realize the rhyming magic in those words used them to motivate his football team decades ago.

Former OSU coach Jim Tressel made it a month-long theme during his tenure at Ohio State. A tenure that coincided with 24-hour online Buckeye information overload. So, the expression has enjoyed renewed success since the turn of the century.

But it's December now. With college football's 12-game, conference championship landscape being what it is, this month is more important than November.

What rhymes with December?

Let's go with "remember".

As memorable as the season's last Saturday in November was,(and it'll be tough to beat) the first Saturday in December is setting up to be a scintilating encore.

First, a quick review. Ohio State ran through November unscathed while others contenders stumbled.

Oregon lost on November 7th.

Stanford lost on November 16th.

Baylor lost on November 23rd

Alabama lost on November 30th.

And the BCS gates that seemed to lock out the Buckeyes at the beginning of November, swing open now as Christmas month begins.

December's devine intervention? It seems so.

Ohio State is now second in the BCS rankings. Good enough for a shot at the title.

But there's one more hurdle to clear.

In December.

The Buckeyes must beat Michigan State in Saturday's Big Ten Championship game.

You think Woody ever envisioned a game after the Michigan game that was more important that The Game? Well, here it is. In December.

Once viewed simply as a conduit to print more money for major conferences, there are at least three conference championship games this weekend that will determine the fate of the national champion.

The Buckeyes play in one of them.

Top-ranked Florida State plays 20th ranked Duke for the ACC title Saturday. But the game that has the potential to impact the Buckeyes the most matches 3rd ranked Auburn against 5th ranked Missouri for the Southeastern Conference title.

Both sets of Tigers believe they can lay claim to a spot in the national title game by winning the SEC championship game. Both also know one of the two teams ahead of them would have to lose for that to happen.

The Buckeyes need to keep the steamroller moving along. Flatten Sparty Saturday and they'll make it a December to remember.

And put a nice Scarlet and Gray gift under the tree at the same time.

 

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