“12. Ohio State: The Buckeyes are major unknown, maybe the toughest team to slot in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes were better than expected a season ago. This could be the bridge season. Wake Forest transfer Keyshawn Woods may end up helping Ohio State finish higher. But recruiting is going so well that the expectation is the Buckeyes will be back near the top soon.”
- Andy Katz, NCAA.com
I usually think that getting mad about preseason rankings and predictions is silly. In fact, spending any time at all on the opinion of exactly one person is pretty ridiculous, and in general, folks get way too worked up about rankings that don’t matter at all. This, however, is getting absurd, and I had to talk about it.
For the second straight season, Ohio State is entering the basketball season with little to zero hype, and Andy Katz of NCAA dot com ranked them as the 12th best team in the Big Ten, while predicting no postseason for the Buckeyes. Last season, the preseason skepticism made sense, because, well, Ohio State had been bad, and there was no real reason to think that they wouldn’t continue being bad.
As we all know, after being picked as the 11th best team in the Big Ten, Ohio State finished second in the conference standings last season. That finish makes the continued slights of Ohio State more and more nonsensical. Is this a young team? Of course. Are there questions about where the scoring will come from with so much talent gone? Yes. Is Ohio State going to be better than Iowa, Northwestern, Penn State, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, all of whom come in above Ohio State in these rankings? Absolutely!
Hell, Indiana is fourth in these rankings, despite being hot trash last season. Michigan lost a ton of top talent, and they’re fifth. Michigan State lost their only two consistently good players from last season (yeah that’s right, I’m slandering Cassius Winston and Nick Ward online) and they sit atop the conference. It’s a down year for the conference, and there’s no reason at this point that Ohio State can’t contend, let alone that they’re the 12th best team in the league. Don’t even get me started on Kaleb Wesson and C.J. Jackson being snubbed from the preseason All-Big Ten selections.
“The team is staging its 50-year reunion this weekend, including introduction on the Ohio Stadium field Saturday during the No.3 Buckeyes’ game vs. Minnesota. One of the 1968 captains, linebacker Mark Stier, and backup quarterback Ron Maciejowski handled the planning. Stier said at least 50 players from the team, plus another 120 family members, were expected for the private banquet Friday night.”
- Tim May, Columbus Dispatch
If you didn’t know, Ohio State is honoring the 1968 national championship team this weekend, as part of a huge 50 year anniversary event. Roughly 50 players from that team are expected, and will be recognized on the field during the game against Minnesota on Saturday.
While that 1968 season has mostly faded, with very little in the way of archived video to remember what the team actually played like, the memories of the “Super Sophomores” that led the team are still held in high esteem amongst Ohio State fans. I imagine the members returning to Columbus will be met with a warm reception in the Horseshoe on Saturday, as they should be.
“The No. 1-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team kicks off the 2018-19 season with two games at Arizona State (2-0) this weekend. The teams will meet at 10:05 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday in Oceanside Arena in Tempe, Ariz.”
Looking for a new championship contending Buckeye team to follow outside of football? Allow me to introduce you to the 2018-19 men’s Hockey team. They come into their first games this weekend at number one in the nation off of their 26-win season and Frozen Four appearance last season.
This hype is largely thanks to the sheer amount of talent returning. Last year’s team was super young, and nearly every contributor is back to play this year, as the Buckeyes look for their first ever national title.
If you’re looking for players to watch, forwards Mason Jobst and Tanner Laczynski are both former All-Americans, and goalie Sean Romeo is one of the nation’s best. It should be a great season, and this weekend’s series against Arizona State is a great first test. Both games can be streamed on the Pac-12’s website.
Buckeyes in the NFL
It was yet another good Thursday game for former Buckeyes last night, as Malcolm Jenkins and Cameron Johnston’s Eagles squared off with Eli Apple’s Giants. The defensive backs were both pretty solid, as Jenkins picked up six tackles, while Apple had eight, and three pass deflections. Eli was burnt a couple of times, but in general it was one of his better games of the year.
Cameron Johnston, meanwhile, continued his punting dominance. He averaged 48 yards per punt over five attempts, and had two downed inside the 20. It looks like our big beautiful Australian is going to have a long career at the next level.
Former Buckeyes matchup of the week: Indianapolis at New York. Malik Hooker and Tyquan Lewis take on Darron Lee and Terrelle Pryor this week. I don’t know a lot about the NFL, but I’m pretty sure both of these teams are terrible, so maybe don’t watch this one.