The game "King of the Mountain" is one of those childhood memories I sometimes look back upon fondly, sometimes wistfully. Those times when I was able to knock some neighborhood friend from the lofty perch of King of the Mountain, becoming the king myself, are the fond moments. The instances where I was the one unceremoniously toppled from my lofty perch as the king are the wistful memories.
This analogy is being made for Ohio State fans who wonder what lies ahead for the 2015 Buckeyes. In 2014, Ohio State was able to get beyond the disappointment of a week two loss at home to Virginia Tech, and become the fourth seed in the inaugural College Football Playoff.
When the four-team tournament commenced, Ohio State rode the momentum of a dominant Big Ten Championship Game victory over Wisconsin to defeat Alabama, then Oregon, to claim its first national championship since 2002. Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer even had banners throughout the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, defined as "The Chase," for the players to rally around for the 2014 season.
This season has a different motto. "The Chase" has been replaced by "The Grind."
"The Grind" simply reflects the realities of what will confront Ohio State throughout the 2015 season — the Buckeyes are being hunted by every program throughout the country.
Coach Meyer has already outlined the challenges that will confront his coaching staff and players, which you can see in this video:
Will Ohio State embrace "The Grind" as much as they did "The Chase"? After all, as we can reflect upon our respective childhood memories of playing "King of the Mountain," sometimes the climb was the best part of the game. Defending the title became more and more difficult, the longer the game continued.
With the college football season ready to begin, all eyes will be focused on Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. After all, as William Shakespeare once wrote, "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."
— Written by Chip Minnich, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a diehard Ohio State fan. Minnich also writes and podcasts for menofthescarletandgray.com, a site dedicated to Ohio sports with a special emphasis on the Buckeyes. Follow him on Twitter @ChipMinnich.