College Football, Ohio style…

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As a 1970 graduate and former assistant sports editor of these here pages, I read with interest Phil Consuegra’s piece on the college game and wanted to compliment him on his insights.

I am a Villanovan through and through, and those who know me by my and my fellow alumni and V.U. friends very well know my sentiments on I-A football vs. I-AA.

As someone who grew up as a rabid supporter of The Ohio State University, honestly, I would recommend Mr. Consuegra take a side trip to the Big Horseshoe and witness what I view, as a guy who covers college football for a living, as the best experience in the entire of the college game.

I love Villanova, never lose sight of that. It is me and I am it. But my second love still is O.S.U. and the through-the-entire-body feeling you get when “The Best Damn Band in The Land” rumbles down the stadium’s north ramp, with 105,000 fans standing and clapping rhythmically to a militaristic beat cannot be duplicated anywhere. I’ve been to Notre Dame nearly 40 times and I love the experience and the people.

I’ve been to 10 of the 11 Big 10 venues, many southern places and out west a bit as well.

But the electricity that enters Ohio Stadium, the staccato beat of “Le Regiment,” one of the world’s foremost military marches, and the Ohio State medley, culminating with maybe the only alma mater that matches ours — Carmen Ohio — simply stirs the soul.

The game is almost secondary, but the Buckeyes crowd, while sometimes a bit demanding and critical, is second to none as well.

I would invite Mr. Consuegra to touch base with Steve Snapp, Ohio State’s sports information director and try to obtain press credentials. Or better yet, check with one of the V.U. students — and there are a few — from the Columbus area and see if they can scare up a pair of tickets.

Even if the opponent is Bowling Green or Cincinnati rather than Michigan, Iowa, Texas or Penn State, it is one of the magic moments in all of college sport.

— Paul Smith Porter, Ind. Class of 1970