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Ohio State opens as 9-point favorites over Michigan in early betting lines

Plus, updates on the $40 million Schumaker Complex and NCAA results for Buckeye rowing and track and field.

Ohio State v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

“Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Ohio State’s a narrow favorite to beat Penn State in Happy Valley.”

-Alex Kirshner, SB Nation

So, even before training camp officially begins for college football programs throughout the country, the odds for games next season are starting to make their way to the internet. Admittedly, I think it’s way too early to be thinking about Ohio State opening as 9-point favorite over Michigan, when a lot can happen in the weeks leading up to the final regular season game of the year — even if I love being projected to beat TTUN by more than a touchdown.

Some other betting lines to come out include Ohio State at -12 over TCU, -6 over Michigan State, and a narrow -1.5 over Penn State. Vegas having faith in the Buckeyes is nothing new, but they also have Michigan (-3.5) over Penn State, and Michigan State (-1) over Michigan.

So, while it’s a little too early to know if any of these lines even make sense, it’s seems safe to say that the competition at the top of the Big Ten East could get very interesting as the season progresses. Ohio State will go into fall with a firmly entrenched starting QB, now that Joe Burrow made his decision to transfer, but still have a long way to go before the still fairly-green Dwayne Haskins is ready to carry the team on his shoulders.

The new Schumaker Student-Athlete Development Complex is expected to open on October 25, 2018 and will be connected to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center off of Olentangy River Road. Ohio State demolished the Biggs facility in order to build a bigger, centralized location for several Buckeye programs.

The facility will be the new home for seven sports: Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, Softball, Rowing and Field Hockey.

The new SSADC (Is this what we’re going to call it? Or maybe just The Schumaker?) will feature training facilities, strength and conditioning rooms — which are all windowed, allowing the athletes to take in the fields around them while they hit the weights —, lockers rooms, and lounges.

Speaking of the Rowing team...

Heading into the NCAA Championship weekend, the Buckeyes were ranked No. 3 in the CRCA/US Rowing Coaches poll with 422 points, behind Washington and California with 499 and 456 points, respectively.

For the First Varsity Eight event on Friday, the Buckeyes were ranked No. 5 and were set to compete in Heat 4 against UCF, Wisconsin, Texas, Brown and Rhode Island. Ohio State ended up finishing No. 2, clocking a 6:27.62 finish behind Texas, and earning a automatic spot in the 1V8 A/B Semi-Finals on Saturday morning.

The first heat for the Buckeyes in the IIV8 didn’t quite go as well as the rest of the morning races, with Ohio State finishing third (6:37.54) against the likes of Michigan, UCF, Yale, Brown, and Navy, forcing them to wait until late-afternoon for their last chance to qualify for a spot in the Semi-Finals, Friday evening at 6:26 p.m. ET.

In the Fours race, the Buckeyes were the No. 1 seed in Heat 3, and were lined up against Navy, Indiana, Yale, Iowa, and Jacksonville. The Buckeyes started off holding the third place spot for the first 500m of the race — behind Iowa and Yale —, but Ohio State quickly pulled ahead and finished the heat in first place (7:15.87). Once the Buckeyes made their move, they didn’t slow down, and continued being a “freight train” (as described by the event’s announcer) through the finish.

With an automatic bid to the Varsity Four A/B Semi-Finals on Saturday, the Buckeyes have an opportunity to add some points to the overall team score as well.

“The Ohio State track & field team got down to business on the first day of the NCAA East Preliminaries on Thursday held at the USF Track & Field Stadium in Tampa, Fla.”

-Ohio State Athletics

Yesterday was the first day for the Buckeye men’s and women’s track and field athletes to attempt to earn spots in the NCAA Outdoor Championships. On Thursday, three Buckeyes earned tickets to Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon for the title run; Cole Gorski (pole vault), Zack Bazile (long jump), and Christine Frederick (10,000m).

After Thursday’s initial races and events, several more Buckeyes qualified to compete in the regional finals throughout the remainder of the weekend. Bazile will be going to the Championships regardless, but he did not qualify on Friday in the men’s 100 meter event.

Friday saw a host of first round runs and regional final events, with another Buckeye, senior Maggie Barrie (400m), punching her ticket to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, and four more Ohio State athletes qualifying for the regional final in their respective events on Saturday.

Tomorrow, looking to advance to the NCAA Championships, will be Chantel Ray (110m hurdles) and Avania Battle (200m), along with two Buckeyes advancing in the men’s 200 meter event, Eric Harrison Jr. and Nick Gray. Harrison set a personal best in his qualifying run of 20.27, and Gray ran a season-best 20.51, on his way to the finals.

So far, Ohio State has four athletes for sure heading to Eugene, Oregon for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, but there are plenty more that have the opportunity to join them with solid finishes in their respective regional finals over the weekend.

Here’s a LINK to the live results.

If you haven’t heard yet — ad nauseam —, Ohio State has a reputation as DBU, and with first-round draft picks year-after-year, it should be no surprise that the secondary, along with the Buckeye defense, is often the best in the country. This has been particularly true under Urban Meyer, and the video above illustrates exactly why that is.

The Ohio State defense isn’t just focused on stopping other teams, but also in capitalizing on any scoring opportunities they might get as well. There’s a good group of guys looking to continue that tradition in the 2018 season, with Kendall Sheffield emerging as the new leader in the secondary, and ready to work with Damon Arnette and Jordan Fuller to continue the now-legendary reputation of their position group.