For What It’s Worth

Marty Bannister's "For What It's Worth"

Ohio State heads to Indiana Thursday night to open not only the season, but the Big Ten title chase as well. For whatever the reason, the Buckeyes have struggled in their last two visits to Bloomington with the outmatched Hoosiers. In 2012, Urban Meyer’s first year, the Buckeyes survived a wild 52-49 shoot-out. In 2015, the defending national champs got the scarlet and gray scared out of them by IU before hanging on for a 34-to-27 win.

Maybe it’s the fact it’s Indiana, and players know no matter how much coaches tell them otherwise, the Hoosiers are a bottom-tier B1G program. Always have been, and most likley always will be. Certainly now OSU offensive coordinator and then Indiana coach Kevin Wilson was able to drive the Buckeye defense crazy with his numerous sets and schemes. That played into the games being tighter than many would figure.

But I go back to the fact that it’s INDIANA, and not Sparty, or Penn State, or Michigan. No matter what you do, going to IU will never be considered a dangerous stop. The visitors lockeroom is a joke, (at least on my last visit), and despite the Ohio State-leaning crowd, the atmosphere there is not the same at other stadiums. I would not be surprised if Thursday is again a relatively tight tussle, with Ohio State’s overall depth and superior athletes making the plays and turning the game the Buckeyes way.

College football notebook: The 3 college football playoff championship winners all lost 1 game during the season, all 3 lost at home, all lost before November. The losses were to, in order, Virginia Tech (by Ohio St), Ole Miss (by Alabama) and Pitt (by Clemson). For what it’s worth….

I did not think the hit by much-maligned Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on a Chiefs running back was worthy of a five-game suspension by the NFL. Unfortunately, he has a mammoth sized target on his back (much of that his own fault), and I don’t know if he ever overcomes that.

Finally, proof that good things happen to very good people. Columbus native and former local radio personality Tony Castricone was named the new play-by-play voice of the Washington Huskies this week. Castricone was unceremoniously bounced from his job at the city’s top rated sports-talk radio outlet (something I can tell you ALL about) in 2010. He battled through much adversity, often questioning his career choice. But he has proven that talent eventually wins out…as does being simply a good person to all whom he encountered. I speak for many who wish him nothing but the best in Seattle