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Should Ohio State leave the Big Ten for the SEC? // B1G 2022, Ohio State Potluck Preview #1

Fine dining in Ohio, and whether the South has won the Waffle War.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

We’ve already lost the war, friends.

Nathan Rooy, Mapping Out IHOP vs. Waffle House (2016)

For once, this is only tangentially about Ohio State football.

Take the Heather Cox Richardson thesis from How the South Won the Civil War and look to the history of one traitorous Clement Vallandigham, and…well, Ohio, do you (or, I should say, y’all) really want to be here?

WSR has spent the morning trying to convince me that there’s some connection between Ohio and hush puppies (which, I’m pretty sure, that was a Southern/Confederate thing built, as most of the South’s wealth and culture was, on the backs of actual traditions of enslaved African and African American labor)...but all he’s managed to do is point me to the existence of hushpuppy-breaded fish sticks at Arby’s. Which: YUM.

Seeing as how, in Ohio, chain restaurants count as “fine dining” and chain bars count as “great places to stick your fingers up a woman’s ass,” let’s call that good enough. Writers:

1. Hush puppies: we’re all in accord that these are delicious, yes? Your thoughts on the Arby’s hushpuppy-breaded fish sticks?

2. Do you HAVE a Waffle House-related anecdote, or are you comfortable, as The Onion suggested back in satirical times, with the idea that the IHOP-Waffle House line has replaced the Mason-Dixon line?

Green Akers: No fish from fast food chains. Ever. Not under any circumstances.

Living outside their footprint, my only Waffle House recollection was, on a drive to Florida in like 1996, my usually-completely-inexpressive father, after we finished eating, with a look of satisfaction on his face like Thanos after the snap, probably because he’d just fed his family and drank an entire pot of coffee for like $4.12. That’s all I got though

WSR: Hush puppies? Yes. Sure. Why not. I know better than to argue with some people. Fish from a fast food place? Not with your digestive system and your toilet.

Waffle Houses are good and wonderful. I have been to quite a few after family wedding receptions in the south and have lived to tell about them.

MaximumSam: Hush puppies are good and wonderful things. As breading for fish sticks? I’m skeptical, though not because of some bougie feelings about fast food. Give me all those little crunchy things from Long John Silvers. But in my experience, whenever restaurants try weird stuff, it always tastes like something offbrand.

No Waffle House stories from me, mostly because I didn’t grow up near one. As such, my drunken midnight meal was usually Taco Bell. I always feel ripped off buying breakfast, anyway. Paying seven bucks for eggs and bacon and toast and then knowing I could buy a pound of bacon, a dozen eggs, and a loaf of bread for the same amount makes me really appreciate how much money I’m wasting.

Kind of…: I’ve never been to a Waffle House, in large part because I’ve spent very little time in the South. Then again, I just checked, and there’s one in Lancaster, home of Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens, so I guess I have all the confirmation I need that Heather Cox Richardson is right.

Hush puppies are fine, but I never seek them out. When I was a kid, my grandmother would take me to Long John Silver’s and I would get chicken. But there was a good pizza place in Madison where I would regularly order fried fish. So, um, let’s just agree not to pay me any attention on this subject.

BoilerUp89: Hush puppies are good but definitely a southern thing not an Ohio thing. Whoever came up with that is wrong. Whatever Arby’s is selling is probably awful. Speaking of fish at fast food places, McDonald’s filet o fish was invented for the Cincinnati market because of the city wide refusal to eat burgers on Fridays.

I’ve been to a waffle house once - prior to the opening game of the Darrell Hazell experience at UC. Everything about that day was a mistake.

As for the wider slander of my state being confederate sympathizers, I’ll note here that Cincinnati was a staging point for Union forces in the Midwest and has a proud history as a stop along the underground railroad. Yeah, there was the occasional traitor back then but by and large the general populace supported the Union. The fact that the majority of rural Ohio today supports the confederacy makes them all traitors but we should remember all those people are also rabid The fans so they don’t have that much common sense anyway.

BRT: I don’t know that I’ve ever had a hush puppy, to be honest. If I did, apparently it wasn’t memorable.

I’ve never eaten at a Waffle House, but one of my students a few years ago did his senior thesis on Waffle House and the commodification of working class culture and it was pretty good. Every meeting I had with him that semester made me crave breakfast though.

MNW: …I want to read that thesis, please and thank you.

I definitely want to try the hush puppy fish sticks, and I do not apologize.

The only Waffle House I’ve ever been to was somewhere along I-70 after I got pulled over by a fucking Madison County (I think it was Madison. Maybe Monroe) County sheriff for speeding. Asshole.

Poll

Hush puppies?

  • 60%
    Yes.
    (97 votes)
  • 22%
    No.
    (36 votes)
  • 17%
    Like the shoe?
    (28 votes)
161 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Waffle House?

  • 36%
    Absolutely. A must.
    (62 votes)
  • 50%
    Meh.
    (85 votes)
  • 12%
    Absolutely not.
    (21 votes)
168 votes total Vote Now

The Football

1. Was a humiliating loss to Michigan and an irrelevant/shaky bowl win over Utah enough to shut up Ohio State fans, or are they going to come back louder and angrier than ever? Where DO the Buckeyes stand in the conference imagination in 2022?

2. Would you miss Ohio State if they seceded from the Big Ten to join the Alabama-Texas-Oklahoma-USC Superconference that feels inevitable some days?

Green Akers: They might have retreated to shitting in their own coolers this off-season, but given the Vegas odds for the conference, don’t bank on them being down for long. That program is basically the financial sector these days - they may take an L once in a blue moon but overall, the whole system is built in their favor and the rest of us are swimming upstream.

Re: Q2, I honestly don’t know. Dealing them losses in 2013 and 2015 were enormously satisfying, validating events - can’t tell me those MSU teams weren’t any good, because they landed two haymakers on Urban Meyer OSU - but since then, they’ve just warped so far ahead of the rest of us that maybe it would be nice to have an easier road occasionally.

WSR: Oh God no. They’ll never shut up. Now they’re angry at themselves in addition to everyone else. Things may actually get worse. That being said, they’re still the most talented team in the conference and we should be surprised if they don’t win the East and the B1G title.

Yes but no but yes? I respect what they do, but I wouldn’t cry too long or hard if we didn’t get to play them every 5-10 year in football.

MaximumSam: We will never shut up. Our caterwauling only changes from how much you suck to how much the coach sucks and will remain at the same volume. Accept it. My feeling is fans and the country see last year as an aberration and the Buckeyes will dominate everyone going into the playoff, and if that doesn’t happen Ryan Day will be shot into the sun.

Can’t say I will miss the Buckeyes, as I’ll probably travel with them. That said, the obliteration of conferences and lack of leadership at the top makes college football less fun. Would be nice to see a more organized approach to the whole thing, but that is more of a fever dream.

Kind of…: OSU really should dominate this year. There are athletes enough on D and Knowles sure seemed to know what he was doing with Okie State’s athletes, so if the Buckeyes miss the playoff this year I will be stunned.

As for Ohio State leaving, look, they’re basically Juventus, so doing so would certainly be on point. Would I miss them? No, not if it was only them. But that seems unlikely. Honestly, I’d be rather indifferent. I’m not solely a football fan, and, while UW has been within spitting distance of a playoff bid, there’s enough “old bowl system” in me, that I think I’ll be fine with whatever the future holds so long as UW has a program and other B1G teams to play.

BoilerUp89: They have been slightly more quiet than usual - more of a jet engine at takeoff than a space shuttle launch. If they want to leave, more power to them. I would not miss them.

BRT: The truly stupid are never silent. Do with that what you will.

I would not miss them, no. In spite of not being in their division, Nebraska plays them every year. It has generally not gone well.

Poll

Should Ohio State secede from the Big Ten?

  • 30%
    Yes.
    (74 votes)
  • 69%
    No.
    (170 votes)
244 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Would you miss them?

  • 31%
    Yes.
    (74 votes)
  • 68%
    No.
    (159 votes)
233 votes total Vote Now