We’ve reached the end of our season predictions, and it’s only fitting we end it with the one team that has the most debate around it — Ohio State. The Buckeyes were an easy media pick to win the Big Ten East and the championship game, that is until Braxton Miller went down.
A revote conducted by ESPN saw Michigan State an overwhelming favorite. Why? Losing Miller means starting a quarterback with exactly zero collegiate experience. But, is there enough talent surrounding new starter J.T. Barrett to make them still a favorite to win the East?
Let’s answer that question for you with a look at our season prediction.
Aug. 30 – at Navy (Baltimore): WIN
If Ohio State comes out and sleeps on Navy, it could be a long day for the Buckeyes. Keenan Reynolds is a great athlete and a very underrated passer for the Midshipmen. Luckily for OSU they’ve got a good defense, and one that works well when attacking up the field. OSU should win, but I’m not confident it will be so easy.
Sept. 6 – vs. Virginia Tech: WIN
If OSU wants to beat the Hokies it needs to run the football, and showing it in week one against Navy will be hugely important. Look for Elliot and the ground game to be the difference maker for the Buckeyes as they get some national attention with this win.
Sept. 13 – vs. Kent State: WIN
Snooze fest…Kent State isn’t that good of a MAC program, let alone able to compete against one of the top Big Ten programs out there. At home in Columbus, no way in hell the Buckeyes lose this one.
Sept. 27 – vs. Cincinnati: WIN
This could be a tricky game, as Cincinnati are a sneaky good program. The big question is if the Bearcats can do anything to stop a relentless pass rush. If it doesn’t happen it could be a long day for Cincy, but I see this as being the scariest of the non-conference games for OSU.
Oct. 4 – at Maryland: WIN
Spread offense vs. spread offense, so what makes all the difference? The run game, and that’s advantage Ohio State. The Terps getting this one at home will also make this one a bit closer, but still it should be a 2-3 touchdown win for O-H, I-O.
Oct. 18 – vs. Rutgers: WIN
Gary Nova isn’t very good, we saw that much on Thursday night. Ohio State’s defensive line could also have a field day with Rutgers’ offensive line. This is also part of the brutal gauntlet stretch for the Scarlet Knights and confidence will be low. This should be a nice win.
Oct. 25 – at Penn State: WIN
Penn State is going to throw for a ton of yards this season, such is the nature of having a great passing quarterback and some talented receiving options all over the field. That could be a problem against a secondary in rebuilding mode. However, I expect Ohio State to be able to control the line of scrimmage and win this one because of it.
Nov. 1 – vs. Illinois: WIN
There may be a trophy and a “rivalry” between these two schools, but it is perhaps the biggest mismatch of any rivalry out there in the Big Ten right now. Illinois hasn’t won the Illibuck since 2007, and unless OSU can’t find any offense at all I don’t see a way that trophy is coming back to Champaign with the Illini.
Nov. 8 – at Michigan State: LOSS
For all the talent and recruiting hype associated with Ohio State, Michigan State may be the deepest and most talented team in
Nov. 15 – at Minnesota: WIN
Nov. 22 – vs. Indiana: WIN
The Hoosiers are getting better, but they aren’t good enough on defense to handle all the talent that will come their way. Look
Nov. 29 – vs. Michigan: WIN
This pick is as simple as being at home…Urban Meyer doesn’t lose home games and neither do the Buckeyes. I also don’t trust that Michigan has solved it’s offensive line issues, and that doesn’t bode well considering OSU has one of the best defensive lines in the country, let alone the Big Ten.
Overall Record: 11-1
Big Ten Record: 7-1
Big Ten East Standings:
1. Michigan State: 11-1 (8-0)
2. Ohio State: 11-1 (7-1)
3. Michigan: 8-4 (5-3)
4. Indiana: 6-6 (3-5) *wins tiebreaker w/ W over PSU
5. Penn State: 7-5 (3-5)
6. Maryland: 5-7 (2-6)
7. Rutgers: 4-8 (1-7)