It is Thursday, August 31st — kickoff. Tom Allen is calling it the biggest season opener in Indiana Football history. Urban Meyer admits it’s the most consequential Ohio State game in months. ESPN College Gameday is coming to Bloomington, but before they roll out their all-too-predictable predictions, we ranked the possible outcomes of the game using the kind of unhinged metric only those who have been denied live college football action for eight months could possibly understand. Likelihood was involved; novelty was paramount.
Here’s every potential outcome of the game, ranked:
5. A Buckeyes blowout win shows Kevin Wilson has cured Ohio’s two-year passing malaise. Indiana, dearly missing Devine Redding, gets nothing going on the ground, and ignominy is added to insult when Indiana running backs coach Mike Hart, a former Wolverine, shoves Mike Weber as the latter talks trash while trotting down the sideline. JT Barrett has a Heisman-campaign-announcing game where the Bucks put up 40+ and win by 20+. With the game pretty much over by halftime, Urban leaves early to catch his daughter’s volleyball game.
4. Indiana hangs with the Buckeyes for three quarters before inferior talent and careless mistakes catch up with them, the 34-17 result proving yet again that coaches and players do not matter, time is an endless loop, and we are doomed to repeat ourselves for all existence.
3. With 17 seconds left in the fourth, Indiana pulls within one with a leaping one-handed touchdown grab by Nick Westbrook that has the true believers of Memorial Stadium in apoplexy. Invigorated, his veins coursing with manly energy, Tom Allen goes for two and the win. But Sam Hubbard easily sacks Lagow on an ill-conceived, poorly executed rollout play, and the Buckeyes survive.
2. A close game takes an unexpected eschatological turn in the 3rd quarter when The Rapture goes down more or less how those Left Behind assholes imagined it. The heavens open, the pious ascend. Ohio State’s coaching staff and offense are largely intact, but Indiana’s defense is decimated, the Hoosiers a victim of their own upright living. Mostly Buckeyes fans are left in the stands. So Ohio State, already the more talented team, has more players left and the crowd on their side in Bloomington. It looks like hell on earth is going to start, fittingly enough, with a Buckeyes blowout, but then something incredible happens.
Star IU linebacker Tegray Scales, a fine young man, is floating into the sky, but, seeing his team needs him, fights against the ethereal pull of eternity and returns to earth, turning down salvation for a shot at beating Ohio State. The damned Indiana players remaining go fucking nuts at the return of their captain and hit the field like bats into hell. Scales stuffs JT Barrett on a critical 4th and 2 (there are no punters left) in the 4th and then obdurate sinner Richard Lagow leads the drive of his wicked life. Simmie Cobbs, who blew up a frog with a firecracker when he was 12, catches the game-winning touchdown with seconds left. Hoosiers douse Tom Allen in celebratory sulfur. Hell on Earth is Indiana Country.
In the postgame presser, surrounded by fire and brimstone, Urban Meyer’s upper lip is a waterfall. He insists The Rapture was ‘just a distraction,’ and shouldn’t be used as an excuse for the Bucks’ inability to finish on the road. That falls on the coaches. It’s been a rough night for Meyer, but he takes some solace in the fact that his wife and kids have been raptured, ending mandatory family time.
1. Indiana just kicks the shit out of them.