3. Ohio State
Plenty to do, like sneaking into the 'Shoe
Posted: Wednesday September 28, 2005 7:35PM; Updated: Thursday September 29, 2005 3:36PM
AFTER 2 A.M.: Catfish Biff's, settled amidst the south dorms, doesn't do catfish but does sling late night pizza to night owls. Sneaking onto the field at Ohio Stadium is a strictly late-late-night activity, so make sure to bring your own lights.
MUST-EAT: The Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe. Yes, there's all sorts of football crap on the walls (Archie Griffin's Heisman! The 2002 National Championship trophy!), and it's more deserving of a name like Chochkies or Shenannigans or somesuch. And yes, they serve something called the Stadium Colada. It's the Epcot Center equivalent of Buckeye Land. But is that so bad?
DOSE OF CULTURE: The historic German Village, on the South side of Columbus, isn't all lederhosen and fancy churches. (O.K., there are a lot of fancy churches, but....) Schmidt's Sausage Haus, for one, is worth a sidetrip. For a slightly sportier stop: The Jack Nicklaus Museum rests in the heart of campus.
RULE #86: No one will ever ask you, but for respect's sake, know what a buckeye is: It's a nut.
MUSIC MUST-STOP: Newport Music Hall brings in big acts like Kings of Leon, but in Columbus no one tops the Best Damn Band in the Land, OSU's 225-piece all-brass marching brigade.
GETTING AROUND: The CABS (that's Campus Area Bus Service, not "yellow cabs") run the campus routes; COTA buses go downtown -- about a 5-10 minute haul.
TICKET MASTER: Heard of eBay? Seats for the home tilt against Texas went for more than $1,000.
ONLY AT OHIO STATE: It's already spread elsewhere, but cornhole, a tailgating game that pretty much boils down to tossing a beanbag into a hole in a sheet of wood, got its start in the area.
PREGAME: Stroll Lane Street to mingle with the congregation, then catch "Skull Sessions" at St. John Arena. The band plays, the football team arrives and coach Jim Tressel says a few words before they tear off.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Michigan at OSU, Nov. 19. (Even on away years Columbus is worth a stopover, if only for "Wing the Wolverines," when local vendors roll out and taste test their best chicken wing concoctions.)
PACK YOUR: Pillow. In 2004, rain squashed an attempt to break the Biggest Pillow Fight world record. They'll try again in October.
RITE OF PASSAGE: Temps generally linger in the 30s, but that doesn't stop students from taking the traditional dip in Mirror Lake before the Michigan game.