COLUMBUS — The Horseshoe is no stranger to marquee events. Now it’s Taylor Swift’s turn to captivate a crowd at Ohio State.
But as the superstar prepares to take the stage in a building that the Buckeyes call home, is it possible that there have been some hidden messages in her hit songs that secretly apply to the reigning Big Ten champions all along? Was T-Swizzle following every development this spring while Urban Meyer was overseeing a Delicate quarterback battle? Now that Dwayne Haskins is taking over, has she been eagerly awaiting a new era with the Buckeyes ready to Begin Again at the most important position on the field?
Probably not. But that’s not going to stop Lettermen Row from poring through the clues and seeing exactly how Swift’s song catalog might be applied to the home team ahead of her concert at Ohio Stadium on Saturday night. And there might even be a good chance at least one staff member will be investigating in person from seats way up in C-Deck to confirm all this, um, good-natured research.
Let’s check the tape.
Love Story and You Belong with Me: Sure, Taylor Swift has always been known for a love of love that she has never bothered to hide in her lyrics. But maybe the ultimate tale of true romance was the relationship of Urban Meyer and Ohio State, and she’s known the two were always destined to be together if the opportunity ever popped up for him to return home where his career was launched. Plus, Swift is also at the top of her profession, so she can relate to Meyer on a level that few can.
Shake it Off: What, everything has to revolve around the quarterbacks? Clearly this song about the importance of bouncing back from rough patches and unleashing even better footwork the next time around was all about offensive tackle Isaiah Prince. Two years ago, he couldn’t have been any lower after struggling mightily in his first season as a starter. But it didn’t get him down, and last year he responded with a bunch of sick beats on overmatched defenders as one of the best blockers in the Big Ten.
Bad Blood: The Buckeyes already have an anthem that blares in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center once The Game rolls around every November. But It’s Time for War doesn’t really fit with the rest of Swift’s vibe, so her ode to the greatest rivalry in sports had to be a little more subtle. The feud has never seemingly had much “mad love” to go around on the surface, but obviously that’s just a clever way for a diehard football fan to address those old ties between Woody and Bo.
End Game: Right to the point, Swift clearly appreciates the budding dynasty the Buckeyes are unleashing on the edge of the defensive line. An A-Team group that has featured stars like John Simon, Joey Bosa, Tyquan Lewis and Sam Hubbard since Meyer took over is only getting more dangerous with Nick Bosa and Chase Young poised to dominate for Ohio State this season. Really, it’s almost just Mean what the Buckeyes can do to opposing quarterbacks.
Back to December: There was so much magic, so much potential for Ohio State as it walked off the field in Indianapolis with a Big Ten trophy. Then just like that, everything that could have been for the Buckeyes last December was ruined by a College Football Playoff selection committee that sabotaged something special. It was clearly a painful time for everybody, even if Swift would have needed a lot of foresight when she was laying down this track to specifically be referencing 2017. Strangely, it also made for some different plans around New Year’s Day.
Blank Space: The debates over depth-chart battles in training camp have gone worldwide thanks to Taylor Swift’s interest in the competition at safety and center for Ohio State heading into August. Can Brady Taylor or Josh Myers do enough to convince Meyer to write their names? Is Josh Proctor going to emerge instantly as a freshman to make Sparks Fly in the secondary? The intrigue even has the music world focused on the Buckeyes.
We are Never Ever Getting Back Together: Sorry, Tim Beck.