"1. Michigan State at Ohio State: This has developed into the must-see game of Big Ten play the past few seasons, and the Spartans present the No. 1 threat to the Buckeyes' Big Ten supremacy. Both teams should start the season in the top 10, and this game likely will carry major playoff implications."
ESPN's Brian Bennett gave a list of the top 10 Big Ten games to watch in the upcoming season, and Ohio State was featured four times. The Buckeyes first appeared at 10th, which was Penn State at Ohio State on Oct. 17. After last season's epic overtime game that resulted in an enormous road win for Ohio State, the Nittany Lions will come to Columbus riding on the shoulders of quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Given that Penn State's schedule is relatively favorable up to the Ohio State game, the Nittany Lions could potentially be sitting at 6-0 come mid-October.
Ohio State at Virginia Tech checks in at sixth on the list, as the Buckeyes open their season with a trip to Blacksburg. As the reigning national champions, all eyes will be on them as they look to avenge their only loss of the 2014 season. Ohio State at Michigan is placed at second, with Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh facing off for the first time. The Wolverines look to make a quick turnaround with their new head coach, and could possibly play spoiler to an Ohio State team that might be looking to repeat.
As you saw in the quote above, Michigan State at Ohio State finishes off the list with the top spot. After the 2013 Big Ten championship game gave the Spartans an upset win over the Buckeyes, Ohio State bounced back and earned a huge win in the following regular season to help propel their run at a national title. Now with both teams likely entering the 2015 season in the top 10, the stakes will be even higher for the classic conference matchup.
"This is gonna be fun. Expect Michigan's first-year coach to attack the current king of college football with Enthusiasm Unknown to Mankind. Harbaugh threw what might have been a barb at the Buckeyes in February over the signing of Detroit running back Mike Weber. While at Stanford, Harbaugh targeted Pete Carroll and USC and upset the Trojans in his first try. Meyer, equally competitive, surely knows what's coming, and he's not likely to let Harbaugh throw all the jabs."
With 100 days remaining until the start of the college football season, ESPN has 100 things they're looking forward to in the upcoming season. Right off the bat, the first thing listed is Urban Meyer vs. Jim Harbaugh. With Harbaugh making the move back into college after a stint with the San Francisco 49ers, and taking over his alma mater at Michigan, 'The Game' got a little more interesting. If he succeeds in turning around the Wolverines after a miserable season under Brady Hoke, then the end of the season matchup against Ohio State will be that much more exciting.
Some other Ohio State mentions on the list included "All three Ohio State quarterbacks scoring in the same game" and "Cardale Jones' aggressive-aggressive tweets" along with "Joey Bosa's latest sack celebration" and "Ezekiel's Elliott latest fashion statement after the NCAA banned crop-top jerseys."
"I love the kid coming of Ohio State [D'Angelo Russell]. I think he's the best player in the draft. I like the team going forward, to be honest with you. At some point you just got to just quit getting draft picks and get good players. But if the two big guys can play, I like D'Angelo Russell. I think, he ‘s probably in my opinion, he's the best player in the draft. Nobody wants to be patient anymore, but this is a big draft."
Following the NBA draft lottery, most NBA draft analysts project Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell to the Philadelphia 76ers. Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor are the favorites to go first and second, respectively. Towns is likely headed to the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Okafor is projected to go second to the Los Angeles Lakers. For most of time leading up to the lottery, Russell has been considered a top-three prospect, with some claiming he's the best player on the board this season.
You can add NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley to that list. As a former player for the 76ers, Barkley likes to weigh in his take on the latest happenings from Philadelphia, and thinks that Russell is the best player in the draft. Since the 76ers have the third overall pick, it's more than likely that Russell will be there for the taking, though another guard, Emmanuel Mudiay, has very high potential as well.
"The list leans heavily on past performance but also takes some guesses as to how players will fare in the fall. This is an attempt to reflect the best players you'll see on the field for the 14 Big Ten teams in 2015. Many of them will be Buckeyes. You'll have to wait to see just how many, and where they land, but we can tell you there are a lot in the top 25."
The staff over at Northeast Ohio Media Group will be breaking down their list of the top 50 players in the Big Ten over the course of the remaining offseason. From that list, there will surely be quite a few Buckeyes listed, as the reigning Big Ten and national champions enter the 2015 season with a bevy of talent at all positions. Ohio State will return 14 starters in all including three star quarterbacks (Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett, and Cardale Jones), a Heisman favorite at running back (Ezekiel Elliott) and a potential overall No. 1 NFL Draft pick at defensive end (Joey Bosa).
That's not even mentioning the talent that stepped up last season, including Jalin Marshall, Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, Raekwon McMillan, Joshua Perry, Darron Lee, and even Cameron Johnston. The 50th best Big Ten player was released Tuesday as well. Minnesota's punter -- Peter Mortell -- kicked off the top 50, returning as a first-team All-Big Ten player in 2014 and was ranked seventh in the nation (45.2 yards per punt) last season.