I will sit there conflicted... Conflicted because Miami University is where I spent four and a half years, earning my degree proudly. Miami is where I had a tremendous college experience and where I met many of my closest friends, whom I still talk to/e-mail quite frequently.
Ohio State is the team I grew up rooting for, and the team that allowed me to serve as a volunteer recruiting assistant in 1995. Ohio State football is the one and only sport that I am truly passionate about, and pretty much the one sport that my wife, children, family, and friends know I will be following during fall weekends.
The conflict, as strange as this may sound to those of you reading this article is this -- I want Ohio State to win. I know Ohio State is ineligible to win the Big Ten or play in a bowl game this season, but I know how damaging and catastrophic an upset loss to Miami University would be to Ohio State's season (see University of Michigan, 2007 opener).
On the other hand, I do not want my alma mater to be crushed and embarrassed. Could I handle a loss like they had in 2000, or 2005? Sure.
To put this in perspective, my lovely wife Colleen and I were in attendance in Ohio Stadium back in 2000, when Ohio State defeated Miami 27-16, along with my friends Dave and Bryan, two former Miami roommates. Of course, we all enjoyed the pre-game tailgating festivities, so we entered into the stadium to watch this game.
The above-written logic then entered into my mindset, along with the pre-game consumption of liquid barley and hops. I wanted Ohio State to win, but I did not want Miami to be crushed. So I merely sat there, and cheered...for no one.
Of course, Colleen thought I was very drunk, as I sat there in what she believed to be a post-tailgate stupor. I had to explain to her the dilemma I was experiencing. Ohio State pulled the game out, and Miami had not been humiliated.
In 2005, I was not in attendance in Ohio Stadium, as Ohio State defeated Miami University 34-14. Ohio State started Justin Zwick at quarterback, as Troy Smith was serving his one-game suspension for accepting money from a booster. Miami was no match, but at least not embarassed.
The last time new Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer had a team face Miami University, it was a bit of a struggle...but Coach Meyer's team came out on the winning end, despite some struggles. How would Ohio State fans handle that, with all of the build-up for Coach Meyer's debut as Ohio State's head coach?
I suppose I will try to remember what my good friend and former Miami roommate Dave said at the 2000 pre-game tailgate, when we were asked by my cousin John's friends (John is a proud Ohio State alumnus who I usually tailgate with for Ohio State games, by the way) what we were expecting when the Miami
"Touchdowns. I am rooting for touchdowns.".