“While they don’t have a high-profile non-conference game on their schedule this season, the Buckeyes will have a more difficult Big Ten schedule.”
-Stephen Means, Cleveland.com
The odds are out, and they aren’t looking too bad for the Ohio State Buckeyes under first-year head coach Ryan Day. According to Vegas, the betting line for the Buckeyes’ win total in the 2019 season is set at 10. Hitting that number would be impressive for any other school, but Day will be following up Urban Meyer in the head coaching role, who went a perfect 12-0 in his first season at Ohio State in 2012. Ohio State has won at least 10 games every year of Meyer’s tenure.
From an out-of-conference perspective, there appears to be little with which to trip Day up in his opening games at the helm. The Buckeyes open against Florida Atlantic and follow-up with Cincinnati before traveling to Indiana. Per the usual, the Big Ten East will present serious challenges in the form of Penn State and Michigan (on the road) as the final two games of the regular season. Complicating things, however, is the growing power of the Big Ten West. At the end of September, the Buckeyes look to travel to Nebraska. Ohio State is then scheduled to head to a strengthening Northwestern in October, and will face Wisconsin in Columbus.
Still, even if Day doesn’t beat the odds and emerge as a wunderkind among current head coaches a la Lincoln Riley, he’ll be in good company among historically great head coaches. Frank Beamer went 2-9 in his first season with Virginia Tech, while Kirk Ferentz took Iowa to an abysmal 1-10 before both turned their respective programs around. While Day has big shoes to fill, and high expectations from Buckeye nation, he should be set up for success by his predecessor.
“Nine of the 10 weight classes during the tournament featured No. 1 nationally ranked wrestlers, and this star-studded group also included six previous NCAA champions, eight former Big Ten champions and one undefeated true freshman phenom.”
-Shannon Scovel, NCAA.com
Leading up to the NCAA Wrestling Championships later this month, the Big Ten once again asserted its dominance as the best conference in college wrestling as both literal and figurative heavyweights of their sport battled it out for individual and team titles. The downside of that dominance is that, despite being one of the top wrestling programs in the country this season, Ohio State finished in second place in the conference standings at the conclusion of the Big Ten Tournament in Minneapolis Sunday.
Penn State, once again, emerged victorious from the weekend as the Nittany Lions prepare to defend their title in the NCAA Championships. Penn State took home four individual titles, and looks to enter this month’s tournament as the top-ranked program nationally with a pristine, 14-0 record. .
Headlining the Buckeyes’ run were two individual conference titles by seniors Joey McKenna at 141 pounds and Myles Martin at 184-pounds. Martin, who holds an individual NCAA Championship from 2016, had never previously won an individual conference title, having finished second twice and third once in his previous three seasons of eligibility. The top wrestler at his weight class for the duration of the season, Martin remained undefeated in duels, moving to 20-0 with his wins over the weekend. Making the win even sweeter is the fact it came over Penn State’s Shakur Rasheed, who had also been previously unbeaten on the year.
McKenna, meanwhile, successfully defended last year’s Big Ten title with his defeat of Nebraska’s Chad Red in the finals of his weight class. In fact, this year’s win gave McKenna his fourth conference championship. McKenna will enter the NCAA Championships with a 19-2 overall record.
Ohio State will have a chance to avenge its loss, both in the regular season and conference tournament, at the NCAA Championships, scheduled for March 21-23 in Pittsburgh.
Impossible not to like @Daddyluv2250. pic.twitter.com/xWzInufqla— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) March 10, 2019
It was a big weekend for former Ohio State basketball standout Greg Oden. Nearly 12 years after Oden led the Buckeyes to the NCAA final as a freshman, the center was honored on Senior Day when his college team took on Wisconsin in its regular season finale. The celebration was fitting, considering that Oden, who went back to school after his professional career came to a close, is on track to graduate from Ohio State in May with his bachelor’s degree in sports Industry. Oden made his return to Columbus as a participant in Ohio State’s degree completion program, which assists former student-athletes in completing their coursework.
Since coming back to Columbus in 2016, while the basketball team was still under the reigns of head coach Thad Matta, Oden has continued to be a part of the basketball program as a student manager. In that role, he has had a chance to influence the current senior class which was honored alongside him Sunday, including C.J. Jackson, Joey Lane and Keyshawn Woods.
Oden’s sole season in Columbus was marked with massive success, ultimately leading to his selection as the No. 1-overall pick by the Portland Trailblazers in 2007. It was a storied year for the Buckeyes, who achieved their first No. 1 AP ranking since 1962, and even more exciting for Oden, who was able to play alongside high school teammate Mike Conley Jr., who was taken just three picks behind Oden in 2007.
Unfortunately, Oden’s career was cut short by a series of injuries and surgeries which kept the top pick sidelined for much of his abbreviated time in the NBA. However, the opportunity to come back to Ohio State, continue to be part of the basketball program, and, ultimately, to earn his degree gives this story a happy ending.
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