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What are the odds that Oklahoma can upset Ohio State this fall?

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How do the teams’ coaching changes impact the Week 2 matchup?

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

“Things seem to set up much better for Oklahoma this year than they did last year. That doesn't mean Ohio State is destined to lose, but it does mean that -- despite this came (sic) being in Columbus -- beating Oklahoma could prove a little more difficult than it did last year.”

- Bill Landis, cleveland.com

There is no doubt that Ohio State’s Week 2 matchup against Oklahoma will be the biggest (if not only) test of the first half of the season. The Sooners return fifth-year senior Baker Mayfield, as well as many key starters from last year’s squad that arguably was playing the best football post-Week 2.

However, to me what is most interesting about this game is how the coaching changes on both sides will impact the play on the field. Following the shocking “retirement” of Bob Stoops last month, Lincoln Riley is now calling the shots for OU. The 33-year-old is in his first year as a head coach, following stops at Texas Tech and East Carolina as an assistant, before becoming Stoops’ offensive coordinator in 2015.

The trip to Columbus will mark Riley’s first major test in the new position, and one has to wonder if the environment of a major, nationally televised night game at the home of a highly-ranked prestige program will impact the young coach’s performance. Fortunately for OU, he will be buoyed by a veteran QB and a well-seasoned defensive coordinator in Mike Stoops.

On the other side, how will the changes in OSU’s offensive staff change how the game is played. I am not ashamed to admit that last year’s 45-24 Buckeye victory shocked me, especially in retrospect, considering the offensive deficiencies that plagued the team the rest of the year.

So, how will the additions of Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day change what we see from J.T. Barrett, Mike Weber, et. al? Unlike the Sooners, who open up against UTEP, the Buckeyes’ first game is against conference foe Indiana, where Wilson was the head coach until he was unceremoniously relieved of his duties last December.

Therefore, Week 1 will probably provide more insight about what to expect from the Buckeyes than from OU, but facing stiffer competition (not to mention doing say two days earlier), should give Ohio State a bit of an advantage when the Sooners come to town.

“Sam Hubbard has all the natural talent you could ask for. With size, strength, and athleticism being strengths for him, he is set up very well for an illustrious NFL career. With really only needing to add pass rush moves to his arsenal, Hubbard should be a dominant player once again for the Scarlet and Gray. ”

- Dynasty Football Factory

Despite already being recognized as a Freshman All-American and All-Big Ten team honorable mention, Sam Hubbard has been a bit under the radar in his first three years in Columbus. After red-shirting in 2014, he has often been overshadowed by fellow linemen including Joey Bosa, Adolphus Washington, Tyquan Lewis, and more. However, he has been an important part of the defense since 2015, and will be even more valuable this fall.

As the article says, Hubbard is an incredibly gifted athlete with the speed and strength necessary to be a dominate bookend to Jalyn Holmes on the other end. Coming into his third year on the field, and second as a starter, if he is able to continue to develop his skills as a pass rusher, not only will that benefit the Buckeyes this season, but should also help him when he eventually transitions to the NFL.

“Ohio Staters, Inc. is creating a sculpture to commemorate The Ohio State Marching Band and their signature ‘Script Ohio...’ This granite sculpture will be 12 feet wide and 8 feet tall, weighing a total of 20,000 pounds!”

- Ohio Staters, Inc.

I’m going to get a little sentimental here; without fail, whenever I see the Ohio State Marching Band perform, whether it is in The ‘Shoe, on TV, or when I have fallen down a YouTube rabbit hole, I get emotional, and am often beset by goosebumps and tears.

We all know how special of a place Ohio State is, and there is no better embodiment of that than the unrivaled precision and artistry of the best damn band in the land. So, whether you contribute $20 or the $27,900 that the Ohio Staters still need, I think it is an incredibly worthwhile investment to help get a gigantic “Script Ohio” erected on campus to honor just how important TBDBITL is to the Buckeye community.

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