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Buckeye Bits: Ohio State No. 1 in early preseason rankings, NCAA details plans for upcoming season, more

All of the latest Ohio State news from around the beat and beyond

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 30 Ohio State at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everybody. Out here on the East Coast the weather has been absolutely gorgeous, providing for some much needed escapes to the beach (at an acceptable social distance from others, of course) or poolside hangouts. The world is slowly returning back to its normal state, and with some of the progress being made as a result of nationwide protests for social justice and equality, maybe we’ll all come out of this even better than before.

Sports are on the horizon, and the momentum looks good for college football to be played in full this season. With that being said, lets dive into some of the latest Ohio State news.

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

Ohio State recruiting has been rather quite for the last few weeks after such a hot start. On Monday, the team learned it had made the top four schools list for one of the top remaining offensive lineman in the country. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Buckeyes’ O-line recruiting looks from here on out, as it does appear they’ve missed out on five-star OT JC Latham.

The MLB Draft begins this Wednesday, and Ohio State — in a rare twist of events — has a pair of prospects likely to be selected in the first two rounds of the incredibly truncated process. Dillion Dingler, a two-time captain for the Buckeyes, showcases plus power and athleticism from behind the dish, and is projected to be off the board in the first round.

Continuing with our Ohio State baseball coverage, the other MLB prospect for the Buckeyes this week is left-handed pitcher Seth Lonsway. With the experts saying he has the best curveball of all pitching prospects in this year’s draft, his command of the strike zone has raised some question marks as to where exactly he will be selected. However, his stuff is undeniably good enough for the pros, and he is expected to be taken somewhere in the first two rounds.

ICYMI, Tia has you covered with all of the latest Ohio State updates from Monday’s news cycle, which included the return of players and coaches to the Woody, former Buckeye hooper D.J. Carton raising some eyebrows on Instagram, and much more.

From around the gridiron...

  • If you look at the betting odds for this college football season, you’ll notice a trend. There are clearly three teams that are simply ahead of the pack when it comes to talent, with that trio being Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State. It gets a bunch more murky after that, but you can expect at least two if not all three of those teams to be among the top four when the final CFP rankings come out this upcoming year, and the betting oddsmakers agree.

As previously mentioned, the college football season happening as originally planned (albeit likely with less/no fans) is looking better and better by the day. With the Division I Council set to meet on June 17, the group is expected to approve a proposal that would provide for an on-time start for this upcoming season. This proposal would feature four phases to ramp back up to game action, which would include a six-week period of mandatory workouts and preseason camp beginning in early August.

The Buckeyes like to tout the fact that they don't rebuild, they just reload when it comes to talent on the roster, and the experts seem to agree with that notion. Despite losing almost all of their most productive players on both sides of the ball outside of Justin Fields, Ohio State is a popular pick to win a national title this upcoming season. That trend continued on Tuesday, as 247Sports has OSU sitting at the top spot in their preseason rankings. The rest of the top four is no surprise, with Clemson right behind the Bucks at No. 2, Alabama at No. 3, and Georgia at No. 4.

As part of their Take/Counter-Take series, the guys over at 11W debate whether or not the Buckeyes’ current QB is their best ever at the position. When comparing him to some of the former Ohio State greats in Troy Smith and Dwayne Haskins, Fields’ numbers look pretty darn good. He had fewer passing yards than Haskins by quite a bit, but Fields also had nearly 200 fewer attempts and threw five fewer picks. It’s an interesting debate for sure, and there's certainly some merit to both sides.

  • Michael Thomas is already one of the best on the field, but he’s doing his best to also try and take the crown as one of the best people off the field as well.

From around the hardwood...

  • Three years ago today, Chris Holtmann was hired as the head coach of Ohio State hoops. In his first three seasons, Holtmann has led the Buckeyes to a 66-34 record, with a .586 winning percentage within the tough Big Ten conference and what should have been a trio of NCAA Tournament appearances had this year’s March Madness not been cancelled due to COVID-19. Holtmann became just the second Ohio State coach to win 20-plus games in each of his first three seasons in Columbus, joining his predecessor Thad Matta.

From everywhere else...

  • For the ‘stick the sports’ crowd, Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma put out a great piece in the Players Tribune about why it’s important now more than ever for athletes to use their platform to speak up for what they believe in. He believes we all have to come together as a nation in order to actually get anything changed for the better, and that begins with getting the national conversation headed in the right direction.
  • The MLB should be starting up any day now, as the concerns for resuming the sport have shifted from coronavirus to monetary differences between players and the front office. In case you were wondering, yes — the owners are still incredibly greedy and can’t prove the supposed ‘losses’ they would be taking if a season is played this year.
  • Do you want to see Brian Hartline get out there and start catching passes from Justin Fields? Well, don't expect that to happen anytime soon, as the assistant coach says he wouldn’t even crack the current team’s top six wide outs.