Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the Eye on College Football examines what current hot topic the fans of one BCS team are obsessing over -- rationally or not. Today's team: the Ohio State Buckeyes.
What they're talking about ... is unverified info about a quarterback recruit. Listen, it's hard to pick out just one topic that Ohio State fans are talking about when it comes to football at any given time. That's because Buckeyes fans, particularly those on message boards, don't talk about anything but Ohio State football. Recruiting, coaching, rivals, the "$EC," and anything else that garners their attention.
So what I did was I just chose a thread I found on Bucknuts that started out with a typical message board rumor and then just got weird.
No matter what board you're on, if it's an active board, there are always the "insiders" that show up and share information they're hearing from various sources. They show up, share some of this "inside info" that only they have, couch their statement, and then leave to go back to whatever recruiting oracle they came from. And then everybody else spends the next few hours talking about what was said.
What they're saying is ... they're talking about the Civil War for some reason. Essentially the original poster says that he's always coming across information that he can't normally share, but he's going to "make an exception" today, as he's heard from "$E$" coach that Torrance Gibson is "Ohio State's to loose."
He then ends his statement by pointing out that "recruiting is fluid." So, you know, if Gibson goes somewhere else it's because something changed, there was certainly no way that this person was making things up.
Pretty typical stuff, but things got weird because the original poster also said that "they don't like us and they sure as hell don't respect us," with they being a reference to the SEC. And that just led to a bunch of people talking about the Civil War for no reason.
-- "Wow good for you man, that is awesome. No southerner ever respected a northerner. They're taught to hate us since the battle of northern aggression."
-- "The war of northern aggression. Can you believe there are some that still call it that?"
-- "Interesting that they don't respect northerners, especially Ohioans, after two Ohioans smacked them around."
-- "Some? I live in Texas (which was not even one of core slave holding states and did not loose [Edit. note: Nobody on a message board knows the difference between lose and loose, nobody.] that many men in the war), and I have often heard "War of Northern Aggression" from the native Texans I meet. They most mostly say it with a grin here; I don't think Georgians and Alabamians have anything close to smile on their faces when they say it."
-- "I worked with a guy from Texas who really wanted the state to break off from the U.S. He was dead serious."
Seriously, an Ohio State message board was given anonymous info about a five-star quarterback wanting to play football for the Buckeyes, and the resulting conversation quickly shifted focus to the Civil War and then Texas for some reason.
It was amazing. I've been reading a lot of message boards for this series in recent months, and I have never seen anything like this.
What we think is ... honestly we have no idea what to think. I'm actually still trying to wrap my head around the whole thing. It's important to remember that message boards are basically nothing more than entertainment for the people who use them. A place to gather with like-minded individuals and talk about common interests.
Sure, a lot of what you're told from anonymous posters is crap. Somebody just trying to make themselves more important in the local hierarchy, but that's fine. It's all mindless fun, nothing more.
But this? I have no idea what to think of this. I know I found it all incredibly entertaining, though, and I'd like to thank each one of these posters for opening my eyes to something new on a message board.
I feel like I've discovered a new island.