LeBron expected on Buckeyes' sideline
September, 27, 2013
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Jay LaPreteLeBron James brought along Dwyane Wade to the Duke-Ohio State basketball game in Columbus in 2011. James is expected to be on the Buckeyes' sideline for Saturday's game against Wisconsin.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The royalty theme has been taken to another level.
After publicly calling Wisconsin the current "king" of the Big Ten early in the week, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has trumped that by welcoming another "King" to his sideline on Saturday night as the programs collide in a critical meeting of conference favorites.
The rivalry, the stakes and the recent history with the No. 23 Badgers were already enough to build the buzz for the divisional showdown, but now LeBron James has been thrown in the mix as a confirmed guest of the No. 3 Buckeyes, potentially throwing even more fuel on the fire with an NBA superstar in their corner.
"Give me all kinds of LeBrons," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said this summer. "He’s a great role model. The way he articulates, his look, the way he treats people, the focus -- those leadership videos we use, his face is plastered all over them.
"First of all, the guys all admire him. The head coach really, really admires him."
Meyer even once tried to recruit James to play football for him, at that time not realizing who he was or how bright the future was for the four-time NBA most valuable player.
And aside from that tie to Meyer, James is also an outspoken Buckeyes fan after growing up in Ohio and even has a locker in the newly renovated basketball complex that displays his line of shoes and the clothing the team wears.
Ohio State already had plans in place for a "Scarlet Out" for the anticipated crowd of around 106,000 while the team will be wearing special rivalry uniforms, which made it clear well before kickoff how much importance the program is placing on a chance to showcase itself on a national stage.
And in case all that stuff didn't have the Buckeyes fired up, Meyer calling the Badgers the reigning "king of the Big Ten" certainly got their attention as well.
"I mean, we know we’re the kings," cornerback Bradley Roby said. "We’re not worried about anybody else. Simple as that."
Ohio State has a chance to reclaim that crown on Saturday, and it will have the support of basketball royalty and a proven champion on its sideline.
Saban vs. Meyer
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Halftime South Alabama 7 Bowling Green 20 Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38
6:00 PM ET Marshall Northern Illinois 9:30 PM ET Navy San Diego State
12:00 PM ET Central Michigan Western Kentucky 8:00 PM ET Fresno State Rice
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State