This is it. The moment we have all been waiting for. The time has finally arrived.
In less than 24 hours, we will see the return of Ohio State football.
There are a lot of unknowns about this year’s group of Buckeyes. Which running back will step up and fill the shoes left by J.K. Dobbins? How will Ohio State’s defensive line perform without Chase Young? Will the young guys in the secondary outside of Shaun Wade be able to make the necessary leap to fulfill the mantra of BIA?
However, for all the question marks surrounding this team, Ohio State is still in better shape to start the season than most others in the conference. The roster contains without a doubt the best player in the entire Big Ten with Justin Fields at the helm, and the offensive line should be stellar. They also have a proven and deep core of linebackers, as well as perhaps the most talented and well-rounded group of wide receivers anywhere in college football.
Speaking of the rest of the college football, we turn to our weekly Bits Bets segment. We escaped by the skin of our teeth last weekend to finish with a positive 3-2 card, bringing our record on the year to 14-12 overall. With the return of the Big Ten, there is now much more action to throw some money on, and so we will try to use that to our advantage.
Here are some of my favorite plays of the weekend (10/24):
- Illinois (+21) at No. 14 Wisconsin — Friday night, buy the hook
- Maryland at Northwestern (under 54)
- Memphis (-13) vs. Temple
- No. 20 Kansas State (-20) vs. Kansas
- South Carolina (+6) at LSU
It pains me to say this, but I also don't hate Rutgers with the points. I can’t, in good faith, put the Scarlet Knights on my card, but I really think Michigan State is going to be that bad this year, and 11 is a lot of points.
With that all out of the way, let’s get to today’s headlines.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Buckeye Bash set to host huge target as late addition to the guest list
(Caleb Houser, LGHL)
Originally scheduled to visit Georgia this weekend, one of the nation’s top safeties has reversed course, and instead will be taking in the festivities in Columbus on Saturday.
Ohio State vs. Nebraska: 2020 game preview and prediction
(Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL)
Still not fully prepared for the season opener? Well Brett has written almost 3,000 words on the matchup to get you all the information you may need.
Ohio State’s Perfect Season - National Championship vs. Alabama
(Gene Ross, LGHL)
I started this series when we thought there wouldn't be any real football this year, but luckily that is not the case. Today we wrap it up with a faux national title game against the Crimson Tide.
LGHL’s Big Ten Week 1 staff picks
Ohio State isn’t the only Big Ten team that plays this weekend. Who do the LGHL staff predict to all of the games on the first B1G slate of the year?
Play Like a Girl Podcast: Pretending to worry about the 2020 OSU football team
(Tia Johnston and Meredith Hein, LGHL)
In this week’s episode, Tia and Meredith struggle to come up with things to worry about when this year’s Buckeye team hits the field — which goes to show you just how good we think they will be.
Cincinnati and Oklahoma State battle ranked foes in Week 8 action
(Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL)
After diving into the Big Ten games on Thursday, Brett is back to preview some of the national action. If you want gambling advice from someone who actually did more research than myself just giving you my gut feelings, definitely check out Money, Cash and Joes.
From around the gridiron...
The biggest Ohio State news of the day was the release of the team’s weekly status report. The program announced they will not be making public the depth chart this year, and so this is really the only indication we will get as to who will play in Saturday’s game.
Most notably on today’s report, neither Haskell Garrett nor Taron Vincent are listed, meaning they are both presumably available against Nebraska. Garrett is recovering from a gunshot wound sustained in the offseason, and the team was not sure he would be medically cleared to return this soon. Vincent is recovering from an injury that kept him out all of last season, but appears to be ready to go against the Cornhuskers.
Ohio State’s status report for Saturday.— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) October 23, 2020
Justin Hilliard and Jaden McKenzie are game-time decisions.
Gavin Cupp, Marcus Crowley, Lejond Cavazos, Jacolbe Cowan, Tommy Eichenberg, Jaylen Harris, Kourt Williams and Miyan Williams among the unavailable players pic.twitter.com/aNyvEfo80y
The guys over at Letterman Row made their usual weekly bold predictions for this weekend’s game, and some of them have very lofty expectations. The hot takes range from Garrett Wilson leading the team in catches to Justin Fields throwing for seven TDs.
Ohio State’s recruits are officially in town for Buckeye Bash, including five-star RB TreVeyon Henderson.
Columbus, Ohio— TreVeyon Henderson (@TreVeyonH4) October 23, 2020
Justin Fields has gained national recognition for his work on the field at Ohio State, but this offseason he became just as important off the field as he became a leading voice for himself and the rest of the players in the Big Ten who wanted to play football in 2020.
In petitioning for a fall season, Justin Fields became the torchbearer for Big Ten football in 2020.— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) October 23, 2020
On the quarterback’s expanding voice, inside and outside the Ohio State locker room: https://t.co/YRr4tiZ59r
Is this a joke? SMASH that over button...
He finished with 41 passing TDs in 14 games last season and is primed for another huge season— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 23, 2020
Do you think Justin Fields will throw for more or less than 25.5 TDs this season?
(Odds via @FOXBet) pic.twitter.com/kFTTFOMvVL
It was a long and tumultuous offseason for all of the players at Ohio State, but perhaps no more so than for Shaun Wade. On top of being (wrongly) ejected in the team’s final game last year and the uncertainty surrounding the Big Ten season, the star corner had to deal with whether or not to enter the NFL Draft.
From @nwbaird on @shaunwade24— Doug Lesmerises (@DougLesmerises) October 23, 2020
Wade now sat in that locker room, shocked and alone after being required to leave the field. When he broke the silence on the phone with his girlfriend, "he was yelling at the TV like he was out there on the sideline."https://t.co/dxlaPZTBmV
From everywhere else...
TBDBITL will not get to perform inside Ohio Stadium on Saturday — which, imo, is dumb and theres no reason they can’t give them a section to space out and provide at least some semblance of a college football atmosphere without fans — but they will still be heard!
The Big Ten is joining the fight of the athletes, as we as a society look to bring about positive social change and work to eliminate racial injustices in our country. The different schools across the conference are doing things in their own ways to show their support, with Ohio State specifically donning “Equality” stickers on their helmets and wearing specially designed shirts in pregame against Nebraska.
Some big news from elsewhere in the Big Ten, Purdue star wide receiver Rondale Moore is expected to miss the team’s season opener against Iowa. The team did not disclose the reason for Moore’s absence, but ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg later announced that he is expected to return for next week’s contest, so it’s safe to assume it isn’t COVID-related.
#Purdue’s great WR Rondale Moore is out for tomorrow’s game vs Iowa.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) October 23, 2020
College football officially has a new name for bowl season, and its... wait no, they're just calling it Bowl Season. I wonder what stroke of genius it took to come up with that.
BOWL SEASON ANNOUNCED AS NEW NAME OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S POSTSEASON— Bowl Season (@collegebowls) October 23, 2020
Logo and visual identity developed for the annual “Celebration of College Football”#bowlseason #breakingnews
More: https://t.co/aQaubASpVW pic.twitter.com/KYQl2VSdFZ
Enjoy your weekend, everybody! Ohio State football is back!!