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Why is this news?: Gene Smith against expanding playoffs, D'Angelo Russell's NBA future becoming clearer

All the big Ohio State news, in one helpful place.

Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

"Anything can happen between now and the draft on June 25, but it seems unlikely that Russell would fall past Philadelphia at No. 3."

-Bill Landis, Northwest Ohio Media Group

He won't be the top overall selection, but D'Angelo Russell figures to be off the board within the top four picks.  While Minnesota owns the top pick and will almost certainly take big man Jahlil Okafor, the three teams sitting in spots two through four could all take the former Buckeye.  The Lakers, 76ers, and Knicks could all use a tall swingman who can shoot and handle the ball.  OK all three could use a lot of help, but whoever takes Russell is receiving a special kind of player.

Conventional wisdom at this point has the 76ers keen on Russell, as Karl-Anthony Towns is considered the best player in the draft behind Okafor.  You never know though.  I think Russell would look good in purple.

"Smith's primary concern about potential expansion to the College Football Playoff appears to be the health of the players."

-Kevin McGuire, NBC Sports

Gene Smith echos what Urban Meyer was saying during the season: a longer season means more player injuries.  The simple math makes sense.  Ohio State played 15 games last season; a standard 12 game regular season followed by a conference championship game and the college football playoff.  Expanding the playoffs means adding games, which means exposing players to more opportunities to get hurt.

I tend to agree with Smith on this one.  Ohio State and Oregon nearly played NFL-length seasons this past year.  It would be interesting to see a medical study done on the relationship between games played and amount of significant injuries suffered.  I would bet we would see a direct relationship between the two.  Unfortunately it seems inevitable that they playoff will be expanded beyond four teams in the future.  More games also means more money.

"In his three seasons in Columbus, Urban Meyer has yet to fall to a Big Ten foe in the regular season."

-Austin Ward, ESPN

Bask in the glory of that headline folks.  Ohio State has a good football team.  Ohio State has a good football coach.  We know these things.  Ward gives a quick breakdown of the offense and defense, citing names like Bosa, Jones, Elliott, and Lee to have big seasons.

The one weakness?  Ward lists the defensive secondary, which gave away a lot of passes over ten yards last year.

If championships are truly won in November, Ohio State is in for a stiff challenge this fall.

-David Regimbal, Bleacher Report

The first half of the Ohio State season is, shall we say, not the most daunting.  Aside from opening the season in Blacksburg against the Hokies, there is not a single game that gives fans pause.  Ohio State will be expected to win big in each game.  Even the middle portion of the season schedule looks fairly navigable, though the home game at night against Penn State catches the eye.

The last couple weeks of the season look to be more challenging.  Ohio State hosts Michigan State on senior day before paying a trip to the team up north to welcome back Jim Harbaugh to the rivalry.  The Buckeyes will need to take care of business early in the year however in order to enter the final two weeks of the regular season with everything still to play for.

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