Ohio State Buckeyes: 2017 Season Outlook

The Ohio State Buckeyes are coming off one of the worst defeats in the Urban Meyer Era.  The loss at the hands of Clemson was one of the worst offensive displays in recent memory, dating back to 2011, when Ohio State finished 6-7 and it proved that wholesale changes needed to be made on the offensive side of the ball.
Coach Meyer made the necessary changes during the off season bringing in a new Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson and Quarterbacks Coach Ryan Day, and collectively his squad will be looking to improve the passing game and bring back the sizzle to the Buckeye offense.  The offense will need to maintain a balance between the passing and the ground game to secure another playoff berth in the 2017 season.
The goal is set firmly in place, but the Buckeyes will have to traverse through a perilous road to secure another coveted spot in this years College Football Playoffs.  The goal will be attainable because 7 of the 12 games will be played at home and the home field advantage in The Shoe, helps the Buckeyes chances. Unfortunately, 5 of the 12 games are going to be played away from home, far from the confines of Ohio Stadium.
According to Alexander P., odds maker at mytopsportsbooks.com, “Ohio State is the modest favorite to win the Big Ten despite losing three first-round talents to the NFL. While they have a tough schedule ahead, the fact that they get to host Penn State and Oklahoma is a massive advantage. Their toughest road game is against a Michigan team that’s arguably losing even more key pieces.  The Buckeyes should be good for ten wins, if not more.”
It’s the 7 of 12 games on this season’s schedule that can shift the Buckeyes from being modest favorites, however.  They’ll be taking place at home, at The Shoe.  Home field advantage definitely helps the Buckeyes, but they will still be tested during those games.
The big games on the home slate will begin with a tilt with the Sooners.  Oklahoma will come into town in week 2 looking for some revenge after the Buckeyes came to Norman and embarrassed them.  The Buckeyes will welcome Penn State in week 9 to get some payback after they fell in Happy Valley a season ago.  In week 11, Michigan State will visit after a down year to potentially spoil season for the Buckeyes.
This years non-conference home games providea decent level competition as well, with Army being the most dangerous of the bunch.  Army finished 8-5 and they run the triple option, which will test the Buckeyes Defense.  UNLV will be coming in after a down year, after they finished 4-8.
The Buckeyes will also welcome two up-and coming conference foes in Maryland and Illinois to The Shoe.  Both coaches are looking for their signature wins, and what better opportunity that spoiling the Buckeyes chances at the Playoffs?
D.J. Durkin worked under Meyer at Florida before taking a job at Michigan over Ohio State.  Lovie Smith has the NFL Head Coaching experience that could turn the program around.  So the Buckeyes shouldn’t take these two teams lightly.
5 of the 12 games will be played away from home and at hostile stadiums across Big Ten country.  The Buckeyes open the new season against an Indiana team that always gives the defense headaches.  The kicker is the offensive genius in Kevin Wilson does not lead that program anymore and he now calls the shots on offense for the Buckeyes.
From there, the Buckeyes will face off against another former coach in Chris Ash.  He is looking to resurrect a Rutgers program and will look for improvement in year 2 as the Head Coach.
The most intriguing away game will be played at Lincoln against Nebraska due to the heated Wide Receiver battles that both position coaches engage in on the recruiting trail.  They constantly butt heads and it often ends with fireworks and subtweets between the two.
The Buckeyes will then travel to Kinnick Stadium for a gritty, Big Ten style game.  The battles in recent memory have been low scoring affairs, and it will be interesting to see how they rebound after falling apart toward the end of last season.
The Buckeyes will cap their season off with a stopover at the Big House to engage in another installment of The Game.  With both teams suffering losses to the NFL Draft and with graduations, this will be fascinating as new pieces will face off in another high-stakes game for all the marbles.  The road to the Playoffs will run through The Big House and this clash will not disappoint.
The expectation is clear at Ohio State, but with key starters returning for redemption, the Buckeyes will look to build something special this year and for years to come.  J.T. Barrett returns to lead the team in his last season to rebound after the Fiesta Bowl.  He will have new pieces to play around and with new coaches on the staff, there is no reason to think good things are on their way.
Ohio State is has one of the deepest teams in recent memory and they certainly reload year after year, before and after the draft.  The players on the two-deep projections and beyond can play anywhere in the nation as they anxiously await for their shot.  They remaining players from last season are battle-tested and they will look to lead their younger teammates and their new starters.
The road will most certainly not be easy, but the overall schedule favors Ohio State with the majority of their games being played at home.  The rest of the Big Ten however, will not cooperate and they will try to play spoiler to ruin another shot at a title for Coach Meyer and his squad, and they most certainly will not go out quietly.

For more content or information on the projected Win/Loss total for every Big Ten Team please visit the link below: 

Big Ten Football: Buckeyes Lead 2017 O/U Win Totals (again)

 

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