Posted by Adam Jacobi
The No. 12 Miami Hurricanes are about to head up to Columbus to face the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. And while there's plenty of aspects to the game that might play into one side's favor over the other, "insufficient crowd noise" is a highly unlikely candidate to work in Miami's favor. Lo and behold, though, that's precisely what the Sun Sentinel's Steve Gorten suggests:
Let’s be bluntly honest: The Horseshoe is over glamorized.
It isn’t intimidating. Nor is it much of a hostile environment.
Yes, it’s an impressively large stadium. And yes, it’s full of rich tradition — the dotting of the “I” is pretty cool.
But it’s not exactly a daunting place to play. The only reason ‘Canes players kept getting asked about it Tuesday, I suspect, is because it seats more than 105,000 (so yeah, there are more available voices to yell). But the Big House in Ann Arbor seats six digits, too. And that’s no house of horrors for opponents either.
The dismissive comparison to the Big House is probably the most heinously ill-informed aspect of this argument--the two stadiums are designed in significantly different ways, and OSU's two-tiered horseshoe system puts the upper crowds right on top of the players, rather than far away like in the "bowl" type stadiums, such as the Big House. As stadiums go, few are built to be as oppressively loud as the Horseshoe.
Thus, the unfavorable comparisons to the SEC stadiums that followed can really only be a thinly-veiled shot at Ohio State fans in comparison to their SEC counterparts. But here's the thing: OSU fans are every bit as "SEC" as the real thing down south: they're loud, obnoxious, loud, highly "lubricated," and loud. Opposing fans have many things they find wrong with OSU fans. I assure you: timidity is not one of them.
And look. There are plenty of reasons to think No. 12 Miami could pull an upset at No. 2 Ohio State this weekend. Matter of fact, I'm calling that upset in our Expert Picks. But I'm calling it because OSU almost always drops one home game a year, even when they're very good, and athletic defenses like Miami's have traditionally given Terrelle Pryor fits. But if Miami does pull the upset, it's not going to be because the Ohio State crowd was too gentle.