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Big Ten 2023: The Ohio State Cocktail Party

Columbus is an underdog

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Buffalo Wings
Not all wings (or schools) are equal
Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

August is tomorrow, and with August we are officially starting football this month. Well, next month. In a month. In roughly a month, your favorite team, The Ohio State Buckeyes, take the field against the ferocious Indiana Hoosiers. Today kicks off the best of all weeks, the Buckeye week.

1. Schedule

September 2nd: @ Indiana Hoosiers

September 9th: Youngstown State Penguins

September 16th: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

September 23rd: @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish

October 7th: Maryland Terrapins

October 14th: @ Purdue Boilermakers

October 21st: Penn State Nittany Lions

October 28th: @ Wisconsin Badgers

November 4th: @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights

November 11th: Michigan State Spartans

November 18th: Minnesota Golden Gophers

November 25th: @ Michigan Wolverines

2. Pizza

Imported from the banks of Chicago, Columbus pizza has grown into its own thing. Most of the top pizza shops in Columbus sell basically the same thing. A thin crust with some crisp to it, square cut, topped edge to edge with provolone and as many toppings as one can hold. The mass market version of this is Donato's, which happens to be have started in Columbus by an Ohio State grad.

Donatos is ok, but the true Columbus pizza experience will be a heck of a lot better. JT’s gets a lot of love, as does Stadz and The Pizza House. But for my money, and a lot of people in Columbus, the best shop is a little hole on Cleveland Avenue called Terita’s. They make their own sausage, they source their pepperoni from the local Ezzo Sausage Company, and generally they make the best pizza.

3. Wings

Columbus loves football and junk food, and you can’t swing a cat without hitting a wing spot. The seminal bland wing restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings, was founded in Columbus. Originally Buffalo Wild Wings and Weck, they dropped the Weck because no one outside of Buffalo knew what it was, and eventually became known for serving tiny wings for large amounts of money.

Luckily, options abound. Roosters is the more local chain and is a decent option. They make their own ranch and blue cheese, and for my money the blue cheese is one of the best. Of course, purists don’t care about such things, and may think it’s sacrilege to let the wing touch a dipping sauce.

Non-chain wise, the king at the moment for Columbus wings is Shakers Public House, which serves both breaded and naked options and a variety of flavors, including Grippos dry rub, itself based on the Ohio potato chip company. My money is on the Garlic Menace sauce, and they also serve giant pretzels.

4. Conclusion

The Buckeyes find themselves as a bit of of an underdog this season. Of all teams. Michigan has beaten the Bucks, won the conference, and made the playoffs for two years in a row. That’s like going to Bdubs and getting served good food - implausible but apparently a real thing. The defense is what has let them down the past two seasons, and with breaking in a new quarterback and offensive line, they will need the defense to carry them and not give up several big plays. Whether the Buckeyes end the season crispy and delicious or soggy and sad depends largely on the secondary and defensive line really making lives hell.