It’s been just over a year since we climbed that mountain and took down the bully. A year since Marcus Allen rose above the clouds and a year since we witnessed Grant Haley stumble into the end-zone and rise with his fists clenched pointing towards the night sky. It’s been just a tad over 365 days since a Whiteout crowd spilled onto the field to celebrate together. A year since an enormous weight was lifted off our shoulders.
Yes friends, hard to believe, but it’s been a year already since we watched Penn State stare the Evil Empire square in the eyes and come out victorious. The images are etched into our memories forever and it’s a Penn State moment that ranks alongside the greatest of all time. Life has a way of coming full circle and here WE ARE at a crossroads once again, ready for round two.
It’s Penn State versus Ohio State week and it would be impossible to discuss without bringing up the most improbable from a year ago. It’s a moment that has festered between the two ever since. The script’s been flipped and Buckeye Nation is none too happy with the current situation. The Nittany Lions sit at a robust No. 2 in the polls and after last week’s domination of Michigan, any doubt that lingered has been washed away as to who currently rules the roost in the mighty Big Ten East.
The Buckeyes have revenge on the mind and a home crowd ‘Black Out' in Columbus to help them get it. For us, as sweet as that victory may have been a year ago, we remained on the outside looking in as Ohio State managed to get the nod in the four-team playoff. We have had a year’s worth of taunts telling us that win was nothing more than a fluke. We've been labeled the ‘one-hit wonders' and dared to repeat the ‘miracle’ from a season ago. Revenge, you say? Nah, this is not a case of revenge, it’s strictly a matter of unfinished business on our behalf.
To their credit, the Buckeyes have made a feast of opponents ever since that early season loss to Oklahoma. They have faced a gauntlet of their own and demolished powerhouses to the likes of which college football has never seen before. UNLV, Rutgers, Army, mighty Maryland, and a shell of what once was Nebraska all lay in their furious wake. They have re-staked their claim as a force to be reckoned with and head into this one 6-point favorites. After all, they are the Evil Empire you know, and they have the college football world shaking in their cleats once again.
Everyone that is but US, the only squad in the Big Ten that fails to fall prey to their aura. WE ARE the crack in their armor, with unfinished business hanging in the balance. The forecast calls for soggy conditions and a crowd all dressed in black. Fitting, as the Nittany Lions pound the final nails in their coffin with a round two knockout, 31-16.