There is something about long rich traditions that stirs the spirit Recalling the great athletes that walked upon the hallowed turf of storied programs is etched in stone upon history. Their names passed down from generation to generation as legends of the greatest sport on earth. Tim Brown, Billy Sims, Johnny Lattner, Steve Owens, Leon Hart, George Conner, Roy Williams, "Rocket" Ismail, Keith Jackson, Paul Hornung, Adrian Peterson, John Lujack, Lee Roy Selmon. These names are more than just greats of the sport, they are the spirits of tradition with school colors and emblems brazened upon their uniforms and our hearts. Some of us had the immense privilege to see these giants of the game play for our schools. Others were told the stories by our fathers or grandfathers. Pride, loyalty, and unwavering dedication to the school program is the fuel of tradition, but success is the engine. Both OU and ND are churning powerful engines of tradition that go back generations. Nothing brings more honor to the sport than when these two programs meet on the field of competition.
This Saturday will be one of those rare games that fathers talk about with their sons. Two historical programs clash with some of the best talent the country has to offer. New heroes will emerge to cross the same lines on the ground where past legends planted their flags. No matter the score or outcome, it will be memorable and etched into the ongoing tradition of the programs. This is what tradition feels like and it feels good.
So called "experts" will put forth their "analysis" in a bid to gain intellectual prominence by predicting the outcome, but they are missing the significance. Number crunchers will stir the stat machine to erect the scales of victory, but they are missing the significance. Pundits will disect the post game victory but they will miss the significance.
Tradition. These two schools have it. It is in the blood and hearts of every player and fan. They play for more than a chance at a BCS bowl game or a title. They play for tradition. And few programs have it as rich and storied as these two schools. This is the best college football has to offer.