When you think of football teams in Ohio, chances are people will think of the Buckeyes of Ohio State first. In the second place would be the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, followed by any high school program that people follow, coach, have kids in that school, or graduated from.
It’s already Week Two in the High School football world, we’re about to being another season of College Football with the Buckeyes playing on the 2nd of September, and the NFL teams have one more week of preseason before starting up for the year. Needless to say, it’s almost football season.
There are two NFL franchises in Ohio, an Arena Football League team in the Cleveland Gladiators, forty-one college programs (not counting club teams, found the entire list here), and countless high school football programs.
I went to a high school where football was celebrated every day. I go to a university where a club football team is taking the nation by storm (no really, they’re ranked #1 in the Pre-Season Polls) but basketball is still the gem and while the league doesn’t support football, three schools in the Horizon League still play football. I work for a radio station where the football broadcasts have to be the best for a Division I high school.
I should also mention the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio and the legacy of Paul Brown who coached Ohio State and Cleveland before creating the Cincinnati Bengals franchise.
In a normal football season week, Tuesdays through Thursdays are usually work days, Fridays are for High School football, Saturday is College Football, and Sunday is for the pros. Of course, Monday Night Football is big when either the Browns or Bengals are playing and of course some games might be played (such as tonight’s contest between the Buckeyes and Marshall).
At Wright State, people have been trying to get football since the dawn of time (which in campus terms, is 1967). For awhile, the library had a showcase of sports at WSU and in a glass case was a letter to start up a football team from 1988. I was on the committee in 2008 to get football here to Wright State (mainly to get football on the air, but enough about me) and there was a solid buzz around campus. The first team went undefeated for the first season and expectations are sky high for the Raiders.
The Buckeyes are ranked #2 in the country, right behind Alabama. Cincinnati has a new head coach after losing Brian Kelly to Big East foe but football independent Notre Dame. Whoever you root for, it should be a great season for football.
The Bengals added TO (Terrell Owens) but also cut Antonio Bryant after not living up to expectations. Carson Palmer now has more weapons to throw to as well as a solid core of running backs.
The Browns got rid of both Derek Anderson (now starting at Arizona) and Brady Quinn (Denver) and picked up Jake Delhomme. It should be an interesting year since Mike Holmgren is in his first year and Eric Mangini is on a very short leash.
I could go on and on about college teams and high school teams, but I wanted to give you a small taste of football in the Buckeye state. The majority of football fans are full-time Buckeye fans (unless they went somewhere else where football is prominent), then are split between the Bengals or Browns (or even the Indianapolis Colts if you are close enough to Richmond, Indiana).
Great seasons all around for Ohio football coming up!