I've run over the stats already, and the internets are chock full of previews...so no more of that. Time for a little more opinion-based coverage.
- Brandon Saine won't be playing today. The Columbus Dispatch reported this morning that Saine underwent arthroscopic knee surgery yesterday. He's out for the Minnesota game also, but could be back by Purdue. "The procedure was considered minor" is the key phrase, and as a matter of fact, Saine practiced with the injury and didn't even know it. Sounds to me like a small tear was repaired before it became a bigger tear. It's unsettling that Saine will be out, but at least it's for Northwestern and Minnesota. Kudos to the OSU trainers and medical staff for picking up the injury and handling it immediately.
- In another "why the hell would you do that" comparison moment, Saine's injury is slightly reminiscent of the 2002 championship season with another freshman running back (He Who Shall Not Be Named). People tend to forget that HWSNBN was injured a lot in 2002 and missed more than a couple of games that year.
- Today is the 500th game played in the Shoe. Hat tip - The Buckeye Blog. Game 1 was played against Ohio Wesleyan on October 7th, 1922, the same day as Joe Paterno's 25th-year high school reunion.
- Today's a 3:30pm kickoff, and I like those....based entirely on results. The Buckeyes in 2006 always seemed to have trouble with Noon starts, and it often took them way too long to get motoring. I think it was too early in the day, and our players weren't yet awake. Just a theory. That trend has continued this year, as the Bucks have not started any game on all four cylinders, and we've had all three games with early kickoffs (I know, Washington kicked off at 330, but it was west coast time, so it felt like 1230 to the boys in the unis). Let's see if my theory is just a theory, or if there's something to it.....
- Beanie Wells will obviously get more carries now, but I was expecting to see him dominate today anyway. Northwestern has a below-average run defense, and Wells is playing against his old Akron rival, Tyrell Sutton. Wells seems to bring his A game in the bigger contests, and for him...this is that day.
- In baseball news, today the Cleveland Indians could clinch the American League Central Division. With a win over Oakland, they clinch at least a tie...and if Detroit loses to KC, it's official. Both games start at 7pm. I kinda hope the Tribe win takes about 10 minutes longer than the Detroit loss, so the sold-out house at the Jake can go nuts with the final out.
Also, the Indians go into today with the best record in baseball. No ties. they're in sole possession of that baby at 91-62. The Red Sox and the Angels are each a half-game back, at 91-63. So what the hell, let's do this....the Magic Number to get the #1 seed is 9 (for both Boston and L.A.).