Preview: Ohio State vs Indiana

 

When:  Thursday, August 31st @ 6:00 PM on ESPN

Where:  The Rock, Bloomington, Indiana


With the 2017 College Football season fast approaching, I could not help but preview opening day of the upcoming season.  After my brief break due to my move back to the states, I am proud to say that I am back MOTSAG faithful!

To open the 2017 season, Ohio State will collide with a seasoned Indiana team that is capable of putting up huge numbers on opposing defenses, but that was under former Head Coach Kevin Wilson, who coincidentally was dismissed by Indiana and is now the Offensive Coordinator at Ohio State.
In an unusual turn of events and because of some luck, Coach Meyer jumped at the chance to improve their offensive deficiencies by employing Wilson.  Wilson has a proven track record of reinventing offenses under his watch with stints at Miami (OH), at Northwestern and at Oklahoma. He will bring a quick tempo attack to Ohio State, and it is what the Buckeyes lacked after Texas Coach Tom Herman left.
The search for improvements did not stop there, as Coach Meyer plucked another young coach from the NFL ranks to bolster their staff in Quarterback Coach Ryan Day.  Day, a Chip Kelly disciple, will be tasked to improve the QB play.  Day and Wilson will work side by side to resurrect an anemic Buckeye offense that was shut out in last years CFB Playoffs.
J.T. Barrett will lead the team for his last season donning the Scarlet and Gray for a Thursday game at Bloomington, Indiana.  With him, he has 4 returning starters along the O-Line, but a new RG that has yet to be announced.  Bruising RB Mike Weber returns and TE Marcus Baugh is back as well.
Ohio State will break in many first year starters at WR, with Dixon, Campbell, and McLaurin leading the way.  Ohio State also has a mix of older and younger players at the position vying for playing time in Hill, Mack, Victor, Harris, and Grimes, so we will have to see how the offense adapts to their newer, faster system.
The defense returns the majority of the front seven and their backups.  The biggest question would be the secondary, which lost 3 first rounders to the NFL Draft.  The projected starters at CB will likely be Arnette, Sheffield, and Ward with Okudah as the fourth man up.  While Wade, Williamson and Riep will be looking for playing time in during garbage time.
At the Safety spots, Webb is the only returning starter, while the other spot is up for grabs between Erick Smith and Jordan Fuller, who no matter who wins, both will play this season.  Both bring different playing styles, but both would do well when called upon.
Indiana has a bit of a QB battle going as Richard Lagow is trying to fight off a Redshirt FR Peyton Ramsey, who did well during the spring game.  They will have 5 returning starters on offense and a BIG leading 9 on defense led by Tegray Scales.  Scales will attempt to stymie his former Head Coaches new team in the season opener.
Prediction:  44-20 (Ohio State)
The Barrett led offense will shine in the opener, with obvious improvements across the board.  It will be a balanced attack with 200+ yards passing and at least 100 on the ground.  The WR’s will be the biggest improvement and the TE will be featured more frequently than the previous seasons.  O-Line will improve as well with Prince and the new RG being the key players, but also the key matchup.  
The defense will be stout, but the secondary with the new starters will give up a few huge chunk plays before the lock in.  The Rushmen package will be lethal the LB’s will give Indiana fits.  I look for them to have a least 2 sacks and a forced fumble, while the secondary snags 2 interceptions. Scales will lead the defensive charge and he will be a problem.  He will be near the ball the entire game.  

Why I believe Ezekiel Elliott is Innocent Based On Evidence!

First, let me just be emphatic in this statement. I am an OSU fan through and through. I am as biased as they possibly come. I also have zero tolerance for violence of any kind. I detest it and truly believe their is no place in this world for any kind of violence. Having said that let me share what I have learned through a collection of the evidence provided by media and lawyers. Which is far less than the NFL and Prosecutors had access too no doubt.

So how did Zeke get here? Well you see he is as visible as anyone in the NFL right now. Zeke has made himself visible by his play on the field and his infectious smile off of it. He also has put himself in situations that are high risk of negative situations. That happens. To everyone. Being a member of the Dallas Cowboys also puts a spotlight on him like no other team in sports.

Is Ezekiel Elliott guilty of anything? The answer to the best of my knowledge is no. The actuality is though that it doesn’t matter. Society labels. They get out their pitchforks and create mobs out of thin air. He is a victim of society. Society says if a woman says you hit them then you absolutely did. Society says if you are accused of anything you and guilty until proven innocent. That is ass-backwards. Alas though this is the way society works and Zeke needs to learn that and do whatever he can to keep society off his back.

Let’s tackle this domestic violence situation now. The evidence provided by the accuser is suspect at best. She claims to have been beaten over 5 days several times and also claims these weren’t the only times he did it to her.
Battered women absolutely can and do return to their abusers. When they do though in general they are very submissive and hide the abuse. They don’t try to get their friends to lie and say that their boyfriend hit them in front of them. Which is exactly what this girl did.

You can go here to TMZ to see the alleged bruises. In the pictures you can see lots of bruises some appear much older than others. You can see a picture of her hand which is clearly the result of her punching someone. Which goes hand in hand with the accusation that she was in a bar fight the week before with another female. Look at the pictures and judge for yourself. They aren’t the typical pictures of a battered woman. They certainly aren’t the pictures of a 125 pound woman beaten several times over a week by a 225 pound athlete. They appear to me to be the result of a typical girl fight. Lots of grabbing and wrestling and very little punching.

Listen to the 9-1-1 call listen to her voice and her words. Tell me this is the response of a battered woman.

Read the text messages where she asks her friend to lie for her and say she saw Ezekiel Elliott grab her and drag her and beat her.

The totality of this situation leads me to honestly believe Zeke is innocent. Could he be guilty? Yes. Is there enough evidence to say he is by even a 51% to 49% basis? Nope. The Columbus Police and the Franklin County Prosecutors have said the case doesn’t warrant an arrest or trial. Why? Because they don’t believe the “victim”.

Lastly, Info has come out today that NFL commish Roger Goodale did not attend a single meeting with Zeke or the accuser yet still was the judge, jury, and executioner should send you into a rage. The NFL decided this case well before the alleged incident ever happened. The day they received criticism for their handling of Ray Rice they knew they had to fix that image and they are doing it on the back of Ezekiel Elliott.

Until the NFL produces some actual evidence to support their 6 game suspension there is only one thing to say. Shame on the NFL.

BREAKING: Ohio State Lands the Country’s No. 1 Tight End

Ohio State Buckeyes’ head coach Urban Meyer has always been excellent at recruiting. A preliminary glance at the amount of his former players are on NFL rosters is evidence of that in itself. Well, add another diamond to his treasure trove of talent, as Meyer and the Buckeyes landed the country’s No. 1  tight end, Jeremy Ruckert, Monday afternoon.

The 6-5.5 238 lbs prospect out of Lindenhurst, NY was a star at ‘The Opening’, bolstering him from the country’s No. 52 ranked prospect to No. 11 in the 247sports composite rankings, and earning him a fifth star. Ruckert is the third five-star prospect to commit to Ohio State in the 2018 class, and he certainly won’t be the last.

He is a crucial pick up for the Buckeyes, as, although they have the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class at this particular moment, the one thing it lacks is people to throw the football to. In came Ruckert to help fill that void.

So, what exactly do we get in Ruckert? Well, you get a big-bodied tight end with the athleticism of a wide receiver, whose combination of route-running abilities, size, great hands, and his propensity to make secondaries look bad make him a five-star prospect.

“Updated rankings got me my 5th star.. #1 TE and #11 Overall player in the nation!! #blessed”, Ruckert said on a Twitter post last Monday. 

Yes, indeed Ruckert is blessed. However, he’s not nearly as blessed as Ohio State is after receiving a commitment from him. If the rankings remain the same (or even close to the same) come national signing day, Ruckert will be the highest ranked tight end recruit Ohio State has landed in 247sports.com history.

He is a big reason why Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class will end Alabama’s six-year streak of having the No. 1 class in the country.

Until next time, God bless and GO BUCKS!

OSU Commit Jeremy Rucker

By Trevor Arnold

Boooom! Ohio State lands a big time target out of New York. Jeremy Ruckert, a 5-star and number 1 tight end is exactly what Ohio State needed to continue this great 2018 class. Ruckert commits with a crazy go-kart video on his twitter @Jeremy_Ruckert1.

Ruckert is 6 ft-5.5, and has great size and strength. At 236 pounds, Ruckert is hard to tackle, but also has a great vertical. In his Junior and Senior years of high school, Ruckert had 118 catches for 1618 and 15 touchdowns.

Ohio State has had a hard time over the years with recruiting tight ends missing slightly on many. This is a big time commit for Urban and his staff. Kevin Wilson also loves using tight ends, so this recruit is only going to make his offense scarier. Ruckert is going to be a great addition to this stellar class. With many top recruits left, Ohio State is on pace to have the greatest recruiting class of all time.

Things That Have Happened Since Michigan Last Beat Ohio State In Football  

When you’re a fan of arguably the most successful program in the history of college football, the Ohio State Buckeyes, you have a lot to brag about. However, for every single success story that is published or brought up in conversation about the men who have essentially made the sport of college football a secular religion in Ohio over the course of 100+ years, you have a Michigan naysayer around to remind you that the Womanrines have more total wins, more conference titles, more national titles, and have more wins in the rivalry.

For their sake alone, I have written this article. First and foremost, I would like to mention that, as of today, it has been 2,057 days since Michigan has beaten Ohio State in football. Their last win versus the Buckeyes came in 2011 when Ohio State was in between head coaches and had a true freshman at quarterback.

That was the year Luke Fickell was Ohio State’s interim head coach and the Buckeyes had their first losing record in 23 years. Of course that happened to be the year the Wolverines finally topped the Buckeyes (for the first time since 2003). Since then, however, be it due to controversial calls or utter dominance, the Wolverines have failed to beat their cross-state counterparts.

In the time since, a whole heck of a lot of things have happened. Thanks to Wikipedia and onthisday.com, I was able to concoct a small list of such things. Without further ado, here are some of the things that have happened since the Wolverines’ last victory over the Buckeyes on November 26, 2011:

  • December 18, 2011 – Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq: The last United States troops withdrew from Iraq under the terms of the U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement.
  • September 11, 2012 – The Benghazi attack: An attack that was coordinated against two United States government facilities in Benghazi, Libya by members of the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Sharia.
  • October 25–30, 2012: Hurricane Sandy: A devastating hurricane wreaks havoc for the Eastern United States coast.
  • November 6, 2012: United States presidential election, 2012: Barack Obama is reelected as president.
  • December 14, 2012: Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting: Occurs in Newtown, Connecticut killing 20 Children and 6 Staff Members
  • January 20, 2013: Barack Obama is inaugurated for his second term as president.
  • April 15, 2013: Boston Marathon bombings: Two pressure cooker bombs explode during the Boston Marathon
  • April 16, 2014: Malaysia Airlines Flight of Malaysian airlines went missing and hasn’t been seen since.
  • May 23, 2014: 2014 Isla Vista killings occurs, killing 6, and wounding 14 others, perpetrated by elliot rodger.
  • June 2014: President Obama orders the return of a small number of troops to Iraq to help bolster Iraqi and Kurdish military forces
  • August 9, 2014: Michael Brown was shot and killed, in what was ruled by a grand jury to be self-defense, by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, igniting protests and riots in the following months.
  • November 3, 2014: New building, 1 World Trade Center, opens in New York City.
  • December 17, 2014: President Obama announces a restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since 1961.
  • April 27, 2015: Baltimore protests: Protests and rioting occur in Baltimore, Maryland after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.
  • June 17, 2015: Charleston church shooting: A gunman killed 9, including a state senator in a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • June 26, 2015: Gay marriage is fully legalized in all 50 states
  • July 20, 2015: Restoration of relations with Cuba.
  • December 22, 2015 San Bernardino attack: Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married radical Muslim couple, kills 14 people at a center for the developmentally disabled.
  • June 11, 2016: Orlando Nightclub Shooting: A self-proclaimed Islamic State fighter, Omar Mateen, kills 49 and injures 53 at a gay nightclub in Orlando, before being shot and killed by an officer.
  • July 7, 2016: Shooting of Dallas police officers: Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed and fired upon a group of police officers in Dallas, Texas, killing five officers and injuring nine others. Two civilians were also wounded.
  • August 12–22, 2016: Louisiana floods and prolonged rainfall in southern parts of the U.S. state of Louisiana resulted in catastrophic flooding that submerged thousands of houses and businesses.
  • August 13, 2016: Milwaukee riots: A riot began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sparked by the fatal police shooting of 23-year-old Sylville Smith.
  • November 8, 2016: Donald Trump wins the 2016 presidential election
  • January 20, 2017: Donald Trump is inaugurated as the forty-fifth president of the United States
  • February 22, 2017: Discovery of 7 Earth-sized planets orbiting star Trappist-1 announced in Journal “Nature” – raises possibility of alien life
  • March 22, 2017: Terrorist attack on London’s Westminster Bridge and Houses of Parliament kills 4 including a police officer and injures 40
  • May 10, 2017: President Donald Trump shares classified information about ISIS plot with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office
  • June 2, 2017: Trump announces the US is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement
  • July 5, 2017: 101 people reported shot, 15 killed in Chicago, Illinois over 4th July weekend

It’s safe to say that for Wolverines fans, a win versus Ohio State is long overdo. This explains why so many of them were so upset about the double overtime fourth down spot in the 2016 edition of “The Game”.  Nevertheless, it has still been over 2,000 days since Michigan has beaten Ohio State in football.

This list could have literally been 100 pages long.

 

Post Spring Game Depth Chart: Defensive Line

The biggest strength of the Ohio State defense, the Rushmen, will wreak havoc this season.  After losing multiple starters to the NFL Draft over the past two years, Ohio State managed to return their key D-Linemen for at least one more season in the Scarlet and Gray.

At Defensive End, both starters from last year, Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis have returned and the will lock down the two starting positions for the Buckeyes.  Behind them, Nick Bosa, Jalyn Holmes and Dre’Mont Jones wait patiently to spell the aforementioned starters or during the Rushmen Package.

Defensive Tackle is the most open out of all the positions with Dre’Mont Jones returning and Tracy Sprinkle returning from injury from a season ago.  Michael Hill also has spent some time as a starter, and he will look to build further because his eligibility is running out.  Sprinkle was supposed to be the starter coming into last season, but an injury prevented him from starting.

Jones, Sprinkle and Hill will be fighting for the starting spot, while trying to stave off Landers who shined during spot duty.  Davon Hamilton will be nursing his broken foot and is this years Sprinkle, with an unfortunate injury.

The depth at Defensive Linemen is similar to what Coach Meyer had at Florida and the talent is in place.  Year after year, they team adds a couple of highly touted and quality recruits, and all of them train to make each other better.

A few names to watch for are Robert Landers, Jashon Cornell, Haskell Garrett, Jerron Cage and Chase Young.  They add to the depth of the team and they all will be looking for a more permanent role on the team.  The biggest advantage is that they could all play and most of the DL are versatile and could play multiple positions.  It will be up to Coach Johnson to decide, but this will be an exciting group of players to watch for years to come.

Best Possible (and Realistic) Finish to Ohio State’s 2018 Recruiting Class by Billy “Buckeyebillz” George

Oh, what a wonderful time it is to be an Ohio State fan! You may be wondering how can one say this after seeing their beloved Buckeyes get absolutely blown by Clemson in their last game. Well, it’s easy to be optimistic about the future of your program when it recruits as well as Urban Meyer has/is.  

Last year I predicted that Ohio State would end Alabama’s six-year streak of having the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. Needless to say, I was wrong. But I am almost 100% certain that the Buckeyes will dethrone the Crimson Tide in that department with its 2018 class 

If one were looking for an example of a quintessential recruiting class it would look a lot like Ohio State’s does at the moment. The Buckeyes currently have fourteen commits in its 2018 class thus far, which is ranked No. 1 in the country at this juncture, and the average rating per commit is 0.9530 according to the 247sports.com composite rankings. Expect the class to only get better in due time.  

Players that have already committed to Ohio State are five-star defensive linemen, Tyron Vincent and Brenton Cox, four-star safeties Jaiden Woodbey and Josh Proctor, four-star linebackers Dallas Gant and Teradja Mitchell, four-star offensive linemen Max Wray and Matthew Jones, four-star running backs Jaelen Gill and Brian Snead, Four-star dual-threat quarterback Emory Jones, four-star cornerback Sevyn Banks, four-star defensive end Andrew Chatfield, and three-star running back Master Teague. 

This is merely a small sample size of just how good this class could get. Allow me to present to you what would, and very well could, be the perfect finish to Ohio State’s 2018 class, as each of the potential future Buckeyes I will mention is crystal ball favorites to pick Ohio State.  

The Five Stars 

Along with the two five-star prospects that have already committed to Ohio State, the Bucks are in good shape –and are the favorites – to land five-star defensive end Micah Parsonsfive-star offensive Tackle Jackson Carmen, and five-star cornerback Anthony Cook.  

Parsons, the one-time Penn State commit, would be the fifth five-star defensive lineman the Bucks will have landing in the last three recruiting classes, and the third one in this class alone. Before he even verbally committed to Penn State, he seemed to have narrowed his choices down to Ohio State and Penn State. After having de-committed from Penn State, however, many speculate that he will end up playing his college ball in Columbus. That would give the Buckeyes by far the nastiest d-line haul in the country.  

Perhaps the biggest (no pun intended) must-get” prospect from Ohio that Urban Meyer has targeted since his arrival at Ohio State, Jackson Carmen could very well be the best offensive lineman in the country. Carmen is the No. 1 ranked offensive tackle in the country according to the 247sports composite rankings, and the majority(66.7%) of recruiting experts that have cast their crystal ball on him have him going to Ohio State, despite him stating that Clemson was his leader 

Anthony Cook, the nation’s eight-ranked prospect overall and second-ranked cornerback, has been high on Ohio State from the get-go as well. At the moment Ohio State seems to be his leader, but it may be hard to lure him away from in-state school Texas and its new high profile head coach Tom Herman, whose offensive wizardry helped Urban Meyer and Ohio State win a national title with its third-string quarterback in 2014.  

Nevertheless, it’s exciting to see such high-profile prospects showing so much interest in Ohio State, which has become a regularity under the tutelage of Meyer.  

The Four Stars: 

Four-star targets whose crystal ball predictors have favoring Ohio State are Tyson CampbellKamryn BabbJeremy RuckertTyreke SmithL’Christian SmithMichael HarrisChristopher Oatsand K’Vaughan Pope. 

Oats, Tyreke and L’Christian Smith are three prospects that the Buckeyes are hoping to keep in Ohio. L’Christian is listed as an athlete, but will likely play either wide receiver or h-back in college. One of a small handful of receivers that are showing strong interest in Ohio State in this class, he is a top priority of Urban Meyer’s. And, like Jalyn Holmes a few years ago, Tyreke Smith is a four-star Ohio defensive end that the Buckeyes are really high on. Christopher Oats, on the other hand, seems to have an equal amount of interest in Cincinnati University as he does in Ohio State. He is the second-best linebacker prospect in Ohio.  

Along with L’Christian SmithKamryn Babb is another four-star receiver who’s favored to go to Ohio State, and is a crucial piece to its 2018 class, as it is starving for receivers at this point. The country’s tenth-best receiver and second-best player in the state of Missouri, Babb is considered a heavy Ohio State lean. Another Ohio State lean that could potentially help the Bucks out in the receiving corp. is Jeremy Ruckert, the second-best tight end in the country.  All signs are pointing toward the 6’5.5″ 238 lbs. New Yorker becoming a Buckeye.

Lastly, Tyson Campbell is the nation’s third-ranked cornerback, stemming from Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s American Heritage high school, the very place where Ohio State landed Torrance Gibson in its 2015 class. Ohio State is deadlocked with Miami (Fl) University as Campbell’s leader in crystal ball predictions, with five out of thirteen (38%) of them. Campbell could be yet another stud that the Buckeyes add to its already stacked secondary.  

So, in conclusion, you may be wondering just how Ohio State’s class would look if all of the players that are crystal ball favorites actually did wind up picking Ohio State. Don’t worry, I already did the math for you. Assuming there are no de-commitments, the addition of the prospects mentioned above would give the Buckeyes’ 2018 class a composite score of 323.25. 

In other words, Ohio State may very well be in the process of piecing together the greatest class in247sports.com history! 

Post Spring Game Depth Chart: Offensive Line

The Offensive Line or the Slobs have been a staple at Ohio State since the new Playoff system and as time has passed, the tradition still remains.  The Buckeyes have one lone member of that Championship team remaining.

At Left Tackle, Jamarco Jones will return to protect J.T. Barrett’s blindside for the 2018 season.  Jones was a solid contributor the entire year and he will try to continue to improve as the offseason continues and as the 2018 season approaches.  Behind Jones, a talented true freshman Josh Myers will look to make the two-deep as his back-up, but nothing will be given to him.  He will try to beat out upperclassmen such a Branden Bowen and Kevin Feder for the back-up spot.

Left Guard will return Michael Jordan, a rare true freshman starter who was the second Buckeye to earn a starting role along the Offensive Line just like Buckeye Legend Orlando Pace did years ago.  Behind Jordan Gavin Cupp, Matthew Burrell, Brady Taylor and Demetrious Knox will try to earn their way onto the two-deep.

The Center will be leaned on because the lone member on the Offensive Line, Billy Price will cap off his Ohio State career and start at the position.  He brings the experience and the stability to ensure the rest of the line lives up to the standard.  Behind him is Gavin Cupp and Jack Wohlabaugh who are two more versatile linemen wanting to help the team this season.

Right Guard was the only question mark as Price changed positions and Pat Elflein left for the NFL.  There are a bunch of good candidates in play here as incoming freshman Wyatt Davis will try to impress the coaches to be the third true freshman to start, but he will have to fend off the competition.  Malcolm Pridgeon, Matthew Burrell, Demetrious Knox, Brady Taylor and Gavin Cupp are all in play as well, making Right Guard the most interesting open spot on the roster.

Finally, at Right Tackle Isaiah Prince will look to rebound after surrendering a dreadful amount of pressures a season ago.  Prince was the weak link for the Slobs and he will have a fire in his belly to ensure he protects Barrett.  Behind him is incoming freshman Thayer Munford and the upperclassmen Bowen and Feder, who will try to unseat him or earn spot on the two-deep.

Consistency will be key and with 4 of the 5 starters from last season returning, the Buckeyes will search for improvement in communication and protection.  The trenches will be the biggest point of emphasis along with the lack of creativity with play calling.  Coach Meyer made some changes to his staff and it is now fight or flight.  How his team will respond to adversity and change.  Clemson did a number on the Slobs and they are looking for redemption and quite possibly, payback after the beatdown that they endured at the Fiesta Bowl.

 

Recruiting Spotlight: Matthew Jones

Another resounding boom is shot across the twittersphere, and just like that another key cog in the 2018 recruiting class was added to the puzzle.  Coach Meyer found a way to get another gem, this time in the form of the #1 player in the state of New York, Matthew Jones.  Jones is another versatile player who plays on both sides of the ball, but he is was recruited to play across the offensive line.  He is listed as a Defensive Tackle and Tackle on his Hudl profile, but the Ohio State coaches see and want him on the Offensive Line.  He is currently 6’4″, 315 lbs, but after a couple of months under Coach Marotti’s program, he will improve with time.  Jones will join Tackle Max Wray as members of the 2018 recruiting class, the #1 class according to 24/7 Sports.  This class has the potential to be another good one and if the dominoes fall in place, they could potentially add Tackle Jackson Carman to the mix.

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)