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J.T. Barrett is without a doubt the Big Ten's best quarterback

Plus, Jim Harbaugh explains his Twitter feud with Gene Smith, Ohio State records two national championships in the pool and next year's cornerback lineup begins to take shape. All your Ohio State news, in one helpful place.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

"All those struggles, or obstacles, are gone this spring. This is Barrett’s team--and it’s worth reminding just how good he was when all that wasn’t an issue in the past."

-Josh Moyer, ESPN

Despite losing two of the three quarterbacks who initially battled for the starting spot last spring, there is little doubt in regards to the status of the quarterback position at Ohio State. Redshirt junior J.T. Barrett is unrivaled in his role starting at the helm of the offense. While controversy abounded last season--whether senior Braxton Miller would return to his former role after missing a season due to injury, if Cardale Jones, the hero of the post-season national championship run, would continue in his undefeated stretch, or if Barrett, who was the on-field general in 2014, would come back to the job after recovering from his own broken ankle--the battle this spring is much more clear-cut.

In fact, according to ESPN analysts, Ohio State is currently set up with the best quarterback in the Big Ten, ahead of Iowa with C.J. Beathard and Illinois’ Wes Lunt. Especially given the loss of many of the perennial starting Big Ten quarterbacks to the draft, including Michigan State’s Connor Cook, Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg and Indiana’s Nate Sudfeld, Barrett has little veteran competition remaining in the conference for the top-spot at quarterback.

Now, returning for his third season of play, and able to complete a full spring practice schedule, which he missed last season, Barrett is poised to improve on the momentum he built at the end of last season. Despite bumps after being reinstated in the starting role in the middle of conference play, Barrett improved as the season wore on, almost matching the prowess he showed during the 2014 season when he set 17 school records. Looking forward, he is already a Heisman contender for next year.

"It felt like one got shot over our bow. It wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction...So when no explanation came, thought it was time to fire one over their bow. Consider things even right now."

-Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, via Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News

Following Michigan’s spring practice Saturday, head coach Jim Harbaugh took the opportunity to explain the reasoning behind his Twitter battle with Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith. Earlier in the week, when asked whether the Buckeyes would consider taking their spring practice on the road, Smith had made comments to reporters which may have suggested that Michigan was aiming to "jump start" its program by taking its spring practice to Florida and other public venues such as Ford Field in Detroit. While Smith says that he did not intend for his comments to "discredit our rivals," Harbaugh took to Twitter to retaliate, stating that it was "Good to see Director Smith being relevant again after the tattoo fiasco. Welcome back!"

Harbaugh says that he held back several hours before responding to Smith’s comments, awaiting an explanation which would shed light on the perceived slight. When none ever came, Harbaugh took to social media to get back at Smith, stating that "scribes and pundits" were interpreting Smith’s comments the way Harbaugh had.

Smith had called Warde Manuel, Michigan’s newly instated athletic director, to explain the situation. Manuel, who also had a conversation with Harbaugh following the remarks, said that his talk with Smith was positive. Still, Harbaugh claims that he and his athletic director saw the comments the same way. Several Michigan players have also weighed in on the issue, including cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who said that Smith’s comments were "unprofessional" but that it was nice to see that his coach "doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty" in response.

The Ohio State Buckeyes notched two more individual national championships in the pool over the weekend with wins in platform diving and synchronized swimming.

Redshirt freshman Colin Zeng, a diver from China, earned the Buckeyes’ first national championship in men’s diving since 2008, and the 59th individual championship in program history. The win is just Ohio State’s third title in platform diving. This season, Zeng also secured two Big Ten Championships, and earned first-place finishes in 24 of 30 events in which he competed. In the NCAA meet, Zeng recorded three dives which scored at least 90 on a 100 point scale--with only two other dives meeting that mark on the night. On his last dive of the meet, Zeng managed a score of 90 to overcome a narrow deficit to earn the individual title.

The men’s swim team earned a 15th-overall finish in the NCAA Championships, making 2016 the 10th-straight season the team has finished in the top-20 nationally. In addition to Zeng, junior swimmer Matt McHugh earned all-American honors in the 100 meter backstroke and butterfly.

Meanwhile, junior Emma Baranski earned her own national title in synchronized swimming at the UC Collegiate Championships in Florida over the weekend, earning the Buckeyes their first individual title since 2012. Baranski and per partner, Monica Velazquez-Stiak, also earned a second-place finish in the duet. The two trio teams tied for third in the competition behind the two Stanford squads. Overall, Ohio State earned a second-place finish in the team competition behind Stanford.

"I’ve just got to show I can play. It’s a lot of players and I’m just going to battle, try to be tough, and just lock down the receivers...We’re head to head right now. The better man wins."

-Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore, via Tim May, The Columbus Dispatch

With the departure of cornerback Eli Apple, likely in the first round, of the 2016 NFL Draft, questions remain as to who will fill the void left opposite fellow corner Gareon Conley for the Ohio State Buckeyes secondary. Now, however, the choice seems clear to cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs, as redshirt sophomore Marshon Lattimore, who is able to participate fully in practice for the first time since his hamstring surgery last fall, has stepped up early in spring practice to be the frontrunner for the other starting spot. Lattimore, who has been slowed by hamstring injuries and ultimately surgery in the past, has plenty of competition for the role, however, including sophomore Denzel Ward and redshirt freshmen Damon Arnette and Joshua Norwood. While Ward, one of four true freshman who saw the field last season, got some playing time on special teams last year, the cornerback position itself was locked down almost exclusively to Apple and Conley, who each played in the area of 1,000 defensive and special teams plays last season.

The number of plays for the starters this year should not be as great, according to Coombs, who noted that the high number was the result of the fact that the starters, in fact, were so outstanding, but also that the backups were not up to par. This year, however, with one of the starting spots wide open, Coombs hopes that all four of the hopeful starters will see playing time this season.

The group has a long way to go in terms of practice, however, needing to gain experience with getting burned on the deep ball to be able to improve. Coombs noted in particular the perpetual need for cornerbacks to have short memories, and to be able to remain aggressive against the deep ball in spite of whatever happened on the previous play.