"The Buckeyes opened at 11.5, more than a win higher than any other team listed."
- David Purdum, ESPN
The predictions from oddsmakers are starting to roll in for the college football season, which kicks off for Ohio State on Sept. 7 against Virginia Tech. One sportsbook, CG Technology, was the first to release its predictions for the season win totals with each team. The Buckeyes were at the top of the list, as expected, opening with 11.5 as their total wins for the regular season. TCU and Baylor were tied for the second highest, both at 10 wins total.
As explained in the article, only regular season games count for the total, and it's clear that the Buckeyes are the team to beat. The next highest in the Big Ten was Michigan State, who was listed at 9.5 wins. Ohio State's arch-rival Michigan checked in at 7.5 wins. The Wolverines finished at 5-7 last season, but hired Jim Harbaugh during the offseason in hopes to get Michigan back to a contender level.
"Obviously, the NBA Draft is the biggest thing in your life and you want to devote all of your energy and your time to it, but at the same time, you have a couple of more weeks of academic responsibility. It's just something you have to get done."
- Sam Thompson via Scott Phillips, NBC Sports
Sam Thompson hasn't just been focused on improving his jumper or ball-handling for the NBA draft on Thursday. Thompson has also been making sure to complete his college degree. Following advice from his family, Thompson was able to finish and graduate with a degree in finance, all while preparing for the draft and his basketball career. He mentioned former Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft as someone he learned from, in that finishing a degree while getting ready to play professional basketball was possible, despite the constant workouts and two-a-days.
Now Thompson has been able to focus solely on basketball, while still having a backup plan in case basketball doesn't work out for the high-flying prospect. And should he have a long career in basketball and find success, Thompson says it's still a comfort to know that once he retires, he can always find a career in his field.
"5. Ohio State's Ohio Stadium"
- Bryan Fischer, NFL
NFL.com's Bryan Fischer posted a list of the 15 best college football stadiums in the country, and Ohio State's Ohio Stadium made it high on his ranking. The Horseshoe, as it's commonly known, is only topped by Oregon's Autzen Stadium at fourth, Washington's Husky Stadium at third, LSU's Tiger Stadium at second, and the Rose Bowl topping the list in first. Michigan Stadium came in at 10th, behind Georgia's Sanford Stadium at ninth, Clemson's Memorial Stadium at eighth, Notre Dame Stadium at seventh, and Texas A&M's Kyle Field making it at sixth behind the Buckeyes.
There were a pretty good amount of Big Ten teams that also made the list, but I don't want to spoil the entire thing. I will say I was a little surprised not to see some marquee stadiums make the list. Florida, Alabama, USC, and Auburn where some of the stadiums I might have added to the list, but it seems history and tradition played a big role in this specific list.
"I think our staff is certainly aware of coach Harbaugh's history. Any time the adversary has quality people in there, you're aware of everything they're doing and their work. I don't know if (the rivalry) is ratcheted up. I think aware is the appropriate word. We're certainly aware and want to make sure we're staying on top of our business. We're constantly thinking about the rivalry, working on the rivalry."
- Urban Meyer via Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch
The Game between rivals Ohio State and Michigan is 157 days away, and yet, the rivalry is on the mind of Buckeyes and Wolverines already. With the hiring of Jim Harbaugh, fans of the sport are hopeful it can spark the one-sided rivalry that has been favorable to Ohio State in the last decade. Since taking over the program in 2012, Urban Meyer has an unblemished record against Michigan, winning all three games against former Wolverines coach Brady Hoke.
As the shots across Twitter and social media continue to be fired from every direction, the rivalry has already been heating up. Harbaugh's first season back in college football won't be an easy task, as he tries to turn around a team coming off a 5-7 record in 2014. If he could somehow pull off a win against Ohio State in Ann Arbor this season, Harbaugh would secure his position immediately for at least a few seasons. His track record on the college level only shows success, so Meyer and his staff are well aware of the challenge to come. Only 157 days left to go.
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