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Why is this news?: the Big Ten is looking better, and that's great for Ohio State football

We're not going to hear complaints about the schedule all season long, right?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

"So, although Ohio State and Michigan State fans should be happy this week, so should the rest of the Big Ten."

-Josh Moyer, ESPN

What's that saying?  A rising tide raises all boats?  It applies to the Big Ten this season, and the rest of the conference can thank Ohio State; and to a lesser extent Michigan State.  It truly has been quite a turnaround for the perception of the Big Ten since that weekend last September that saw the Buckeyes and Spartans both fall to the likes of Virginia Tech and Oregon.  A bowl season with victories against Auburn, Baylor, Alabama, and Oregon will do that; and with teams like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and even Penn State on the seemingly upswing, the conference is getting props for the first time in a long time.

As far as Ohio State is concerned, this can only help.  I was never a big proponent of the Buckeyes needing the Big Ten to be ultra competitive in order to make this bowl or that playoff, but it of course doesn't hurt to have the Big Ten be respected nationwide.  It's a conference full of tough teams, especially the East division where Ohio State resides.  Ohio State should win the Big Ten this year, and it only helps if that Big Ten is seen as competitive on a national level.

"Miller is No. 3 nationally with Jones at No. 11 and Barrett at No. 16."

-Fox Sports

The people who make the Bovada odds for the Heisman may know something the rest of us do not.  They peg Miller as the third most likely player to win the Heisman, trailing only TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin and his teammate Ezekiel Elliott.

If healthy, I do expect Miller to get the first crack at the quarterback job, as I would bet Urban sold him on this promise in order to keep him from transferring to another school.  Think about it.  Had Braxton not received assurances that he would get the first shot to play quarterback, the decision to come back to Ohio State looks a lot more complicated. He wants to be a quarterback at the next level, and while that may seem like a long shot, I'm sure he wants to give that a shot. Even if Braxton does not win the job, or isn't the quarterback for the entire season, he will still be heavily involved in the offense.  Perhaps this is what the odds-makers at Bovada are thinking.

"Allen, who played at OSU from 2000-2003, decided to spend part of his offseason interning at 120 Sports"

-Ryan Cooper, The Lantern

I was in the stands for Ohio State's victory over Michigan in 2002 that sent them to the national championship game.  As a result, I instantly became a big fan of Will Allen, following his game-clinching interception.  He has gone on to carve out a nice NFL career, being named to the Pro Bowl three times.  Now, as the 33 year olds career winds down, he is looking into his next step after his NFL career ends.  120 sports is a digital sports network based in Chicago that provides live and on-demand sports analysis.  Regardless of the field of work Allen enters when his playing days are done, and he would be great at sports analysis, it is impressive and refreshing to see someone begin to think about his next move while still in the league.  Gotta be that Ohio State education.

"With the Buckeyes passing out jersey numbers, let's talk roster numbers."

-Doug Lesmerises, Northeast Ohio Media Group

I always enjoy seeing the numbers the true freshmen will wear in the upcoming season.  It is also fun to see which returning players will switch numbers; often these number switches are to lower or more "cool" numbers.  And this year did not disappoint.  Sam Hubbard is moving from 49 to 6, and Gareon Conley is moving from 19 to 8.

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