Ohio State’s homecoming this coming weekend isn’t just an invitation to former students (and fans) to make the pilgrimage back to the holy land.
Rutgers head coach Chris Ash, arguably the most important hire Urban Meyer’s ever made with the Buckeyes, returns to town as a head coach for the very first time.
His early tenure with the Scarlet Knights hasn’t exactly been short on drama. Rutgers was darn near blown out of the stadium in Week 1 against a top 10 team in Washington. The team needed a huge comeback to beat a bad FCS team in Howard the following week. The Knights needed another big come from behind win to take down a New Mexico team that lost the previous week to transient program New Mexico State.
About the best moment so far in Ash’s short tenure came this past weekend when they played Iowa, fresh off a loss to defending four-time FCS champions North Dakota State in their own right, to a tight 14-7 loss.
Given how mature for their age Ohio State, one of the youngest teams in college football, looked against a preseason Top 3 team in Oklahoma, bookmakers think the Buckeyes are going to follow in Washington’s footsteps and really take it to the State University of New Jersey.
With OSU slotted as 37-point opening favorites, Vegas projects to get a favorable amount of action on both sides of a massive six plus score spread. Even to the most fervent Buckeyes, given how well Ash knows the Buckeyes’ personnel and scheme, you’d almost have to think that 30 would’ve been a more sane starting point.
With such a large spread, you should expect to see plenty of action on Rutgers, which could bring the spread back to earth. Of course if the Bucks come out anywhere near the way they played against the Sooners, maybe 37 won’t be enough either.