“For Ohio State to reach its potential and be part of the CFP final four, these five things must happen.”
We’re not talking the simple “win out” here. Johnston lists five things we must see out of the Buckeyes on the field for them to get back to the playoff. None of these factors are groundbreaking by any means, but are good reminders of what the Buckeyes have been, and what they need to be in 2017.
The five things are J.T. Barrett succeeding in the passing game, Mike Weber following up his freshman season, starting quickly, winning on the road, and retooling where necessary. The first two are things we can all assume off the top of our heads. The other three are where things are a little more complex.
The season opens at Indiana on a Thursday night. The past two seasons have proven that the Indiana game could be tricky for the Bucks. That could very well be different with Kevin Wilson on the Buckeyes sideline now. That also is in relation to winning on the road, where the Buckeyes have some challenging games at Nebraska, Iowa, and Michigan. Yet perhaps those games won’t be so tough, if they reload at defensive back to a similar if not equal level that Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker, and Gareon Conley played at in 2016.
“Here is a look at Ohio State’s 2017 schedule.”
We’re slowly but surely getting closer to the 2017 college football season. For now, we have time to look at, and over analyze everything. One thing that isn’t so tough to decipher is the schedule, and what it’s going to mean for Ohio State’s season. Dienhart broke it down for BTN, taking a look at the toughest non-conference game, the toughest conference game, the easiest game, and other items of note.
Of course, the toughest non-conference game and biggest opportunity for Ohio State to be upset comes when the Oklahoma Sooners make the trip to Columbus. We’ll all be hoping that one goes similarly to the one last year that produced Noah Brown’s breathtaking catch.
The Bucks’ visit to Michigan is unsurprisingly the toughest conference game. Ohio State will also have a pair of could-be tricky games at Nebraska and at Iowa. Luckily for the Buckeyes, they won’t play Wisconsin or Northwestern this season, who are expected to contend in the Big Ten West. Army’s visit to Columbus is expected to be the easiest things will get this fall.
“1. Oklahoma Sooners at Ohio State Buckeyes, Sept. 9”
ESPN ranked the 10 college football games with the highest stakes going into next season. The one most of us are looking forward to on the schedule just so happened to be No. 1 on their list — Oklahoma vs. Ohio State.
The game means a lot for both teams. Sure, a win would go a long way in helping that team make the College Football Playoff, but it’ll be an early test to help set the pace moving forward. Ohio State looked good in last season’s matchup offensively, but it didn’t resonate through the rest of the season. This time around, the game is at home, so a lesser performance might be a red flag for Ohio State, if it comes down to that.
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