COLUMBUS, Ohio — Here we are, on the 238th anniversary of America declaring its independence from England in emphatic prose and pristine penmanship. If you listen, you can hear Thomas Jefferson right now, telling the English that they can take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom.
Five for Friday: Benefits of Ohio State Declaring Its Own Independence
By Tony Gerdeman
Now that's how you write a break-up letter!
But this being a day of reflection, I thought I would reflect back on a cry that comes from Ohio State fans whenever they feel wronged by the conference to which they are bound.
This is a cry of freedom. A cry of desired independence.
So I thought about it and wondered what the benefits of separating itself from the motherland would be for OSU. What good could come from the Ohio State football program declaring its independence from the Big Ten Conference?
While things would probably be rough for the first 150 years or so, there are plenty of good reasons for doing it. Let's take a look at just a few of them.
1. Won't have to be in a league with Rutgers.
To me, this alone may be worth going independent. Did you know that Rutgers has to register as a sports offender any time they move into a new conference? The value of Ohio Stadium will drop 8% every time Rutgers plays in Columbus.
2. Can control your entire strength of schedule.
How many times has Ohio State received guff for their conference schedule? Nobody respects it outside of the Big Ten, and only a few respect it inside of the Big Ten. If OSU became an Independent, then they could pick and choose which schools to play. No longer would some autonomous power dictate Ohio State's schedule for them. OSU could create a football schedule that screams respect, honor and difficulty. Of course, the only downfall to this is that if they want their schedule respected and honored, they'd have to stop playing Michigan every year.
3. Won't have to share money with football programs that won't use it.
No longer would Ohio State have to make money for Purdue only to watch Purdue hide the money away in the backyard and then pay their coaches in bus tokens and half-smoked cigarette butts.
4. The opportunity to be like Notre Dame, but successful.
This one is pretty self explanatory. If Ohio State was to go independent, they could sip tea with their pinky pointed out like Notre Dame does, but then once Saturday came, they'd revert back to dominating football. To be a successful Notre Dame, all you need to do is win something meaningful every 10 years or so, instead of every 25 years like the actual Notre Dame. Surely Ohio State could manage that.
5. You'll get to run your own television network.
Just imagine, 24 hours of only Ohio State programming. You know all of the games that you want to see that the Big Ten Network never shows? The OSU Network would have them. Heck, they'd have overflow channels showing those games 24/7. You'd have a month's worth of programming just from Jim Tressel's wins over Michigan alone.
Bonus: The head coach won't lose any more awards that he obviously deserves.
You can't lose a hackneyed Coach of the Year Award if there's no award to lose, right?
Bonus: No more random losses to Purdue.
The fact that Purdue appears on this list twice tells you all you need to know why Ohio State football would benefit from leaving.
Bonus: No more SEC teams ducking you because of the conference that you play in.
Instead, they'll just duck you because of how far they'd have to travel to play you. However, if you'd be willing to meet them halfway in, say, Atlanta, then maybe you've got a deal.
Bonus: You can choose more entertaining road trips.
Look, being from Ohio, we can all appreciate a good strip of farmland, but there is no need for our eyes to be assaulted by farmland for an entire seven-hour road trip. Could we see maybe an outerbelt or two? Would it be too much to ask to pass a Rally's at some point?
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