Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007
ESPN 'GameDay' crowd goes beyond Missouri and Oklahoma
By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star
SAN ANTONIO | With the Buckeyes back home watching their fate unfold with Saturdays action, some Ohio State fans got antsy.
I picked up the paper (Friday) morning and said, You know what? I think Ill go to a football game and cheer for the Buckeyes, said John Diurba from University Heights, Ohio.
Diurba joined a dozen or so Ohio State fans at Alamo Plaza on Saturday morning to take in ESPNs GameDay program and later the Big 12 championship game between Missouri and Oklahoma.
The Buckeyes had a vested interest in the day. With an Oklahoma triumph, Ohio State, which entered the weekend ranked third in the BCS standing, figured to move to second and earn a spot in the BCS National Championship game.
A Tigers victory would send the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowl.
David Landefeld, an attorney from Lancaster, Ohio, had to be in San Antonio on business this weekend anyway. But the Ohio State fan didnt pass on the opportunity to throw on a scarlet and gray polo shirt and support the cause.
I had to show up and show the colors, Landefeld said.
But with his game ticket coming from a Missouri fan, Landefeld said he couldnt wear any shade of red -- Ohio State or Oklahoma -- tonight. Still, deep down hes pulling for the Sooners.
Hey, were not proud, well back into the national championship, he said.
The plaza was full of fans from other schools as well. Michigan, Tennessee, Kansas, Texas Tech and Alabama jerseys and caps were spotted, plus a group wearing red t-shirts that said, T.O. Restore the Order.
Jeff Leonard and his father-in-law Bill Whitmore from Omaha havent missed a Big 12 championship game in years, no matter where its played, no matter the participants.
Were just big college football fans, Leonard said.
As for Nebraskas new coach, several reports point to LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini replacing Bill Callahan, the Huskers at the Alamo know fortunes will turn.
Cant do any worse, Leonard said.