“Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State are expected to compete for the Big Ten East title this season, with Michigan likely the underdog due to the Wolverines’ loss of talent to the NFL draft — especially on defense.”
With just under 100 days until the 2017-2018 college football season kicks off, one of the Vegas book operators (CG Technology) has broken out the opening odds of how they think teams will do.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Alabama and Ohio State are the two favorites. Bama is favored with 10.5 games, while the Buckeyes come in just a hair below at 10.0. Defending national champions Clemson come in at a solid 9.0 for projected wins this upcoming season.
In the land of the Big Ten, defending conference champion Penn State is just below OSU with 9.5 projected W’s; Big Ten West champions Wisconsin also opened up at 9.5 games. Coming in behind the Bucks, Nittany Lions and Badgers are the Michigan Wolverines. With a handful of UM players going to the NFL, CG Technology took that into account as they handed a 9.0 projected win total to Harbaugh’s crew.
Outside of those four teams, there is a drop-off. The Vegas book operator has Iowa and Michigan State at 6.5 games, Nebraska at 6.0 games and Indiana at 5.5. Last season, Iowa clipped the Wolverines, and Michigan State nearly pulled off the upset at home against the Buckeyes. Even though the Hawkeyes and Spartans are just a season removed since their matchup in the Big Ten Championship Game, they still pose threats to other teams around the conference.
The season is still months away, but with these odds coming out, you know college football is creeping into view.
“Luke Fickell has made a big splash in recruiting and won back the hearts of disgruntled University of Cincinnati football fans.”
— Tom Groeschen, a writer for the Cincinnati Inquirer, sat down with former OSU defensive coordinator and current UC head coach Luke Fickell
Fresh on the new job as head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats, Luke Fickell answered some questions with the Cincinnati Inquirer on a slew of topics. Since Fickell entered the position as the man in charge of the football program on Dec. 10, 2016, he has changed the culture of Cincy football and recruiting for the better.
In the interview with Tom Groeschen, Fickell talked about how life in the off-season in the HC role differs from the assistant role, and how he is always promoting the program. Fickell also touched on the topics of recruiting—which he’s taken by storm in The Queen City.
Recently, the signing of four-star prospects put the Bearcats on the map. Malik Vann, one of the best strong-side defensive ends in the 2018 class, had offers from the likes of Alabama and Ohio State, but chose Cincinnati instead. Fickell attributes the recruiting prowess of his assistants as the reason why the Bearcats have made a name for themselves on the rugged recruiting trail, as said to Groeschen.
One of the bigger offseason stories around both the Cincinnati and Ohio State programs was the transfer of Torrance Gibson. Gibson was moved from quarterback to wide receiver at OSU, but never played. (It’s worth noting that Gibson entered Ohio State as a five-star prospect). In the interview, Fickell said Gibson has enrolled at UC, but may sit-out due to transfer rules.
The interview with Fickell is definitely worth the read if you want to see how a Buckeye is changing the college football landscape.
Ohio State softball in the NCAA Tournament
NCAA Tournament games are something Ohio State athletics have been doing well over the past few weeks. On Friday, the OSU softball team kicks off their NCAA Championship bid as they take on USC Upstate.
To get to postseason play, the Bucks compiled a 35-16 record outright and a 15-8 record within the Big Ten. On top of that, the Scarlet and Gray reached the Big Ten Championship game—but fell to the unstoppable Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Ohio State was placed in the Knoxville Region, which means they are bunched with Tennessee and Longwood. Regardless of the outcome on Friday, the Buckeyes will get to play another game on Saturday.
Stick to Sports
• There are bird singing competitions.
• Cup O’Joe is closing at Lennox Center in Columbus.
• Ever celebrate winning a bike stage too early, which led to you coming in 148th place?
• Shortcuts on cleaning house.
• More information comes out from the James Comey, Trump saga.