The loudest roar at this year's Rose Bowl didn't go up when Ohio
State quarterback Joe Germaine hit wideout David Boston for the
five-yard touchdown with 19 seconds to play that clinched a
20-17 win over Arizona State and a No. 2 national ranking for
the Buckeyes. No, the heartiest cheer went up at halftime, when
a tuba player from the acclaimed Ohio State marching band
stepped to the 35-yard line to dot the i of the band's famous
Script Ohio formation.

No band in the land is better at rousing fans and players than
Ohio State's. Buckeyes football coach Woody Hayes used to say
the band was so good it was worth six points at home and three
on the road. "Woody loved our band," says associate athletic
director and alltime great Ohio State running back Archie
Griffin. "Anytime he didn't think we were working hard enough in
practice, he'd gather us together and start yelling stuff like,
'If we worked half as hard as our band, we'd be champions.'" The
musicians, in turn, honored Hayes at an October 1983 game
against Wisconsin by letting him dot the i. That privilege is
normally bestowed only upon the highest-ranking tuba player or a
nonsports dignitary, though Griffin--whose 1974 and '75 Heisman
Trophies make him the only player to have won the award
twice--was also allowed to dot the i, at halftime of a
Cincinnati Bengals game in 1994.

Among the current or former Buckeyes who have not dotted the i
are Olympic hero Jesse Owens, Hall of Fame football coach Paul
Brown, basketball greats John Havlicek and Jerry Lucas, golfer
Jack Nicklaus, 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George, or
anyone from the '96 NCAA-champion men's gymnastics team or the
nationally dominant synchronized swimming team. Few schools can
match that list of notables. Nor can many claim to have a
stadium as venerable as Ohio State's 75-year-old, 89,000-seat
horseshoe, which with its splotchy stones and high arches looks
as if it might have been erected by the Romans. Ohio Stadium is
home to a student dorm (just look below the west stands for the
windows that have kill michigan on them) and a bevy of football
traditions, including Senior Tackle, in which Buckeyes seniors
get one last chance to hit the tackling dummy before playing the
archrival Wolverines; last year's Senior Tackle drew 25,000

But the stadium isn't the only hotbed of sports activities.
Students flock to the roller-hockey facility and dive to the
bottom of the Peppe Aquatic Center pool to play for the
underwater-hockey club. The diverse intramural program includes
horseshoes, inner-tube water polo, sports trivia and even darts
and euchre. And while Ohio State's varsity football team fell
one spot short of last season's national championship, an
intramural flag-football team from campus beat a team from the
University of Florida (thereby reversing the schools' finish in
the polls) 33-13 in the national final in New Orleans. It was
the first time a team north of Mississippi had won the title.
Had the band been on hand, Ohio State would no doubt have won by
even more.