We’re two weeks into the season. The tailgates have been good, the parking has been ideal and the football … well, I’m not sure about the football yet. Here’s a rundown:
The Parking: Hooboy, this has been the best part about the season so far. you’ll recall that we felt pretty good about getting back to our usual lot before the season started, and so far, that’s worked perfectly. We have shade, we don’t have crowds and we have nearly all of the things — with the possible exception of grass — that we’ve enjoyed in the past. It could be that no one has questioned us about being there because no one has noticed us, but with each week, I’m feeling better about the prospects of us just being able to stay there.
The parties: As is often the case attendance was a little light the first week, but we recovered nicely on Saturday. The noon games are tough — tough on me, because I’m up at 5 a.m., and tough on the rest of y’all, because there just isn’t a whole lot of tailgate party to work with before it’s time to pack up and go inside. I am hopeful we won’t have many more noon starts for the rest of the year.
And did we eat well? Yes we did. Bud volunteered to make his breakfast hash for the first week; we’ve covered that recipe here before, and in spite of some technical difficulties with the propane skillet, it was as good as it always was.
I did the Groundhog-standard eggless breakfast casseroles on Saturday, and they were apparently popular. The basic recipe is here, but of course, I made some changes. One was simple — the base, but I substituted two pounds of bacon for the two pounds of sausage. The other was tweaked a little more. I used a pound of regular ground sausage and a pound of spicy; I also added a couple diced jalapenos to the mix, enough for flavor but not so much that it would blow anyone’s head off.
And it was good.
The pigskin: Damn, we looked good against Akron. Bauserman had the kind of day I didn’t know he was capable of, the receivers were sharp — THREE TOUCHDOWN CATCHES BY A TIGHT END WHAT? — and we didn’t appear to miss the suspended starters a whole bunch. It was the kind of game that made you feel good — but you realize that the opponent was good enough that you learned a whole lot about what to expect from your team later on.
And then there was Toledo.
I’m hoping that the near-upset was because of a couple of things: the fact that the Rockets are really good (we’ll find out more about that this weekend, when they host Boise State), and the attention of the Buckeyes was focused more on Miami this week than the game last week. Whether or not that’s the case, here’s one thing that’s certain — if Toledo hadn’t racked up the penalties they had, we would have lost that game. To an in-state team. For the first time since 1921.
I don’t think a lack of focus will be a problem this weekend, but hooboy the competition gets a lot better. We don’t know if the NCAA will let us have the Charity Three — as opposed to the Tat Four — back for the game against the Hurricanes, but their guys who were suspended in Week One, including quarterback Jacory Harris, will be back on the field, if they don’t crash any more Jet Skis into yachts in the interim.
How good is Ohio State? I think we’ll know the answer to that question by about 11 Saturday night.