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Ohio State fans in Columbus deal with loss in BCS title game

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Another championship game, another
disappointment for Ohio State fans.

Hundreds of fans with heavy faces emptied out of campus-area
bars Monday night following the Buckeyes' 38-24 loss to LSU in the
BCS national championship game, one year after losing the title
game to Florida.

"I'm a little shocked. I thought that coming off the Florida
loss, and being the underdog, we would have been more pumped,"
said Keith Homstad, a 20-year-old junior from Mount Vernon who
watched the game in a movie theater near campus. "We just couldn't
get the ball moving. Our offense just didn't show up to play."

Plainclothes and uniformed police officers patrolled the streets
around campus to guard against drunken disorderly conduct, said Lt.
Tom Quinlan.

Nine people were arrested, mostly for fighting, and would face
yet-to-be-determined charges of disorderly behavior, police Lt. Tim
Becker said. Four trash bins had been set on fire, he said.

Precautions were all around. Permanent street lighting installed
over the past year would help police better monitor people coming
out of bars, Quinlan said.

Also, a parking ban on three campus-area streets was in effect
until 4 a.m. Tuesday. Ohio State fans overturned cars after a 2002
victory over rival Michigan.

"We have enough officers to respond to any disruption,"
Quinlan said.

The scene along High Street -- the main drag on the edge of
campus -- was somber, with people walking quietly to their dorms and
homes. The raucous partying that usually follows big victories was
absent.

Ohio State jumped out to an early lead but self-destructed with
turnovers and penalties.

"Stupid mistakes, little things that cost us big," said Maggie
Labraney, 18, a high school senior from Howard who plans to attend
Ohio State in the fall.

The only break in the post-game silence was the singing of
"Carmen Ohio," Ohio State's school song, at Eddie George's
Grille, a bar-restaurant named for the school's 1995 Heisman Trophy
winner.

"This era of students isn't as crazy as past students. I mean,
yeah, we lost, but I'm not going to act out because of it," said
Chris Thomas, 20, a junior from Cincinnati, as he walked up the
street.

His friend, Miken Shellhammer, a 20-year-old junior from Toledo,
said the beefed-up police presence also had an effect.

Monday started out like an unofficial holiday in Ohio. Thousands
of people used up sick days or exhausted an early vacation day --
some to travel to New Orleans, some to gear up for the game on TV --
to watch their Buckeyes in the national championship game.

Government meetings throughout the state were postponed or
shortened. Some colleges canceled night classes. Ohio State
students started winter quarter Monday -- with many of them in the
Louisiana Superdome or on Bourbon Street, not in classrooms in
Columbus.