When Texas quarterback Vince Young was asked about the ear-splitting Rose Bowl crowd that watched his Longhorns beat Southern California for the 2005 national title, he basically rolled his eyes.
“It wasn’t that bad,” he said after the game. “Ohio State, man, Ohio State was the loudest place I’ve ever played.”
It may also be the loudest stadium I’ve ever written. (Good luck calling a deadline audible with the copy desk as 105,000 strong clamor for a late defensive stand.) If other places have a better argument on being consistently louder -- LSU, Wisconsin, etc. — I at least put Ohio Stadium in the conversation for big games. I was there the night Texas beat OSU in 2005, and it indeed remains the loudest I’ve heard a stadium.
But count Central Florida coach George O’Leary among those not buying the mystique. Here’s the full quote that sent Ohio State's message boards into overdrive:
“I tell you what, it’s like Michigan. It’s not a loud stadium," O'Leary said on his weekly radio show. "I mean, they sit on their hands in that stadium. I’ve been there before. You take Wisconsin, you take Iowa, you take UCF, it's much louder than that stadium. It really is as far as the noise is concerned, because it is so far away from the field. But a lot of stadiums are a lot louder than that place. I didn’t even bring in music this week, or any type of noise because I think we should be able to execute without it.”
My take: When this is what qualifies as controversy these days, it's a good bet Ohio State officials are smiling.