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LGHL’s 2021 Ohio State and college football season predictions

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Our staff predicted every thing for the Buckeyes, the Big Ten Conference, and college football as a whole.

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University of Wisconsin vs Ohio State University, 2019 Big Ten Championship Set Number: X163093 TK1

As the Ohio State football team prepares to embark on the 2021 college football season your favorite Ohio State SB Nation blog, no, not that one... not that one either... the other one. No, I’m talking about Land-Grant Holy Land. To get ready for the season, our panel of experts refuses to be silenced by the inevitable shaming at the hands of Freezing Cold Takes, and is putting their collective knowledge where their typing fingers are.

Fifteen LGHL writers and editors have made predictions about the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Big Ten Conference, and college football as a whole. Let us know who you are — and aren’t — agreeing with in the comments below. And don’t worry, we will be revisiting these come season’s end.

If you want to see how some of our returning LGHL prognosticators did in the 2020 season, check out the results from last season’s predictions.


Who will lead Ohio State in rushing yardage this season?

True freshman TreVeyon Henderson the clear leader in this predictions category.


Who will lead Ohio State in rushing TDs this season?

Despite Henderson taking the lead in the yardage question, veteran Master Teague is the presumptive leader in TDs. Henderson and Miyan Williams are close behind.


Will the coaching staff #FreeDemario this season?

I will never..... EVER..... give up on this. How dare you, person who is certainly not me who asked this question.


Who will lead Ohio State in receiving yardage this season?

No surprise here, Chris Olave leads the way with 60% of the vote, with Garrett Wilson close behind at 40%.


Who will lead Ohio State in receiving TDs this season?

Same thing as the question above.


C.J. Stroud Passing Stats Predictions

C.J. Stroud 2021 Passing Stat Predictions

LGHLer Yards TDs INTs
LGHLer Yards TDs INTs
Brett Ludwiczak 2,900 31 8
Caleb Houser 3,200 37 5
Chris Renne 3,500 32 5
Connor Lemons 3,450 33 6
Dan Hessler 2,850 37 7
Dante Morgan 3,000 25 4
David Wheeler 3,185 34 9
Gene Ross 3,000 40 5
Jordan Williams 3,500 38 5
Josh Dooley 3,500 32 8
Justin Golba 3,400 36 8
Matt Tamanini 3,151 41 10
Megan Husslein 2,500 35 12
Meredith Hein 2,900 35 7
Shane Bailey 4,288 40 5

While there is some variance amongst the responses, most everyone is in the same, general range.


How many passing yards will Quinn Ewers have?

Quinn Ewers 2021 Passing Yards Predictions

LGHLer Yards
LGHLer Yards
Brett Ludwiczak 347
Caleb Houser 350
Chris Renne 0
Connor Lemons 110
Dan Hessler 145
Dante Morgan 1,500
David Wheeler 420
Gene Ross 250
Jordan Williams 0
Josh Dooley 0
Justin Golba 0
Matt Tamanini 1 (we're playing "Price is Right" rules, right?
Megan Husslein 100
Meredith Hein 290
Shane Bailey 580

Not gonna lie, a lot more zeros in these predictions than I was expecting, but I respect Dante for going big. It’s a longshot, but if it hits, he’s gonna look like a genius.


Who will lead Ohio State in tackles this season?

2021 Ohio State Tackle Leader Predictions

LGHLer Player
LGHLer Player
Brett Ludwiczak Teradja Mitchell
Caleb Houser Teradja Mitchell
Chris Renne Cody Simon or Craig Young
Connor Lemons Teradja Mitchell
Dan Hessler Teradja Mitchell
Dante Morgan J.T. Tuimoloau
David Wheeler Teradja Mitchell
Gene Ross Haskell Garrett
Jordan Williams Cody Simon
Josh Dooley Josh Proctor
Justin Golba Teradja Mitchell
Matt Tamanini Cody Simon
Megan Husslein Haskell Garrett
Meredith Hein Sevyn Banks
Shane Bailey Teradja Mitchell

Come on, Chris. Pick one. If Simon or Young ends up leading the team, you’re only getting half credit when we tally this stuff up.


Who will lead Ohio State in sacks this season?

Zach Harrison leading in a big way here. I hope 2/3s of us are right!


Who will lead Ohio State in interceptions this season?

Sevyn Banks and Lathan Ransom in the lead here, which makes sense.


How many combined punts and field goal attempts will Ohio State have this season?

Combined 2021 Punts and Field Goal Attempts

LGHLer Total Combined
LGHLer Total Combined
Brett Ludwiczak 64
Caleb Houser 24
Chris Renne 71
Connor Lemons 50
Dan Hessler 69 (nice, Dan)
Dante Morgan 5
David Wheeler 59
Gene Ross 30
Jordan Williams 52
Josh Dooley 36
Justin Golba 65
Matt Tamanini 39
Megan Husslein 35
Meredith Hein 47
Shane Bailey 70

This is the one that I am by far the most invested in.


Which true freshman will end up having the biggest impact this season and why?

2020 Ohio State Impact Freshman Predictions

LGHLer Player Why
LGHLer Player Why
Brett Ludwiczak TreVeyon Henderson Perfect compliment to Williams/Teague. J.K. Dobbins 2.0.
Caleb Houser Jack Sawyer Too much promise and hype around Jack for him to not be getting on the field a ton and making a difference too.
Chris Renne Jack Sawyer His natural ability as a pass rusher will have him in on key passing downs and he’ll have the opportunity to make a lot of big plays defensively.
Connor Lemons Marvin Harrison Jr. He has a chance to be third or fourth in the WR pecking order by the end of the season. Also, he is good.
Dan Hessler TreVeyon Henderson
David Wheeler Emeka Egbuka He had an awesome spring game and will see lots of action.
Gene Ross Jack Sawyer Injury to Tyler Friday opens up some extra time along the defensive line and he might be the best defensive end on the team anyway.
Jordan Williams TreVeyon Henderson He will be the #1 back and get the most playing time out of the freshman.
Josh Dooley TreVeyon Henderson RB1 by midseason.
Justin Golba Marvin Harrison Jr. There will be so much attention on the top receivers, he will have opportunities.
Matt Tamanini Jack Sawyer With the injury to Tyler Friday and how Larry Johnson likes to rotate linemen, he will have plenty of opportunities to make a mark.
Megan Husslein TreVeyon Henderson He can take some of the load off of Stroud.
Meredith Hein Jack Sawyer Because there's always got to be a "next man up" defensive end!
Shane Bailey Jack Sawyer He simply looks like he eats offensive linemen's hopes and dreams for breakfast so far.

I expected a little more for Henderson in here, but I love that there are so many optionsand that all are legitimately viable.


Which Buckeye that nobody is talking about will step up to make the biggest impact (non-freshman edition)?

2021 Impact Non-Freshman

LGHLer Player
LGHLer Player
Brett Ludwiczak Taron Vincent
Caleb Houser Jaxson Smith-Njigba
Chris Renne Taron Vincent
Connor Lemons Dallas Gant
Dan Hessler Kourt Williams
Dante Morgan Josh Proctor
David Wheeler Tyreke Smith
Gene Ross Craig Young
Jordan Williams Julian Fleming
Josh Dooley Julian Fleming
Justin Golba Cody Simon
Matt Tamanini Taron Vincent
Megan Husslein Sevyn Banks
Meredith Hein Teradja Mitchell
Shane Bailey Jerron Cage

Apparently the mileage on “that nobody is talking about” will vary, but good options, nonetheless.


Which player and brand will end up being the most ubiquitous example of the new NIL rules during the season?

I won’t list all of these, but I will share some of my favorites.

Connor Lemons: Dawand Jones and Buckeye Donuts.

Shane Bailey: Dawand Jones definitely needs a Big Thanos clothing line; although I’m sure Marvel would take issue with that. If no Big and Tall stores have reached out to Dawand yet they are missing out on a huge opportunity.

Gene Ross: Miyan Williams doing a meatball/pork chop ad for a restaurant.

Chris Renne: The OL, people love their linemen and we’re going to see a lot of group opportunities as well as individual. Plus the OL are crafty dudes who will find some great opportunities.


If no games are canceled, what will Ohio State’s regular season record be?

2021 Predicted Regular Season Record

LGHLer Record
LGHLer Record
Brett Ludwiczak 12-0
Caleb Houser 12-0
Chris Renne 12-0
Connor Lemons 12-0
Dan Hessler 12-0
Dante Morgan 12-0
David Wheeler 11-1
Gene Ross 12-0
Jordan Williams 12-0
Josh Dooley 11-1
Justin Golba 12-0
Matt Tamanini 12-0
Megan Husslein 12-0
Meredith Hein 12-0
Shane Bailey 12-0

David and Josh, please report to my office immediately.


What will the score of the Ohio State vs. Michigan game be?

2021 The Game Predictions

LGHLer Score Winner
LGHLer Score Winner
Brett Ludwiczak 49-24 Ohio State
Caleb Houser 45-20 Ohio State
Chris Renne 40-24 Ohio State
Connor Lemons 35-24 Ohio State
Dan Hessler 48-23 Ohio State
Dante Morgan 45-10 Ohio State
David Wheeler 56-25 Ohio State
Gene Ross 63-28 Ohio State
Jordan Williams 66-17 Ohio State
Josh Dooley 38-24 Ohio State
Justin Golba 48-13 Ohio State
Matt Tamanini 100-1 (don't ask) Ohio State
Megan Husslein 42-24 Ohio State
Meredith Hein 49-14 Ohio State
Shane Bailey 52-14 Ohio State

Apropos of nothing, don’t forget that you can purchase our “Hang 100 on ‘Em” t-shirt here and have it in plenty of time for this year’s edition of The Game.


Please list your predicted order of finish in the Big Ten East (Top to Bottom)

2021 Big Ten East Predictions

LGHLer Order of Finish
LGHLer Order of Finish
Brett Ludwiczak Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana, Michigan, Rutgers, Michigan State, Maryland
Caleb Houser Ohio State, Indiana, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Maryland, Rutgers
Chris Renne Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Indiana, Rutgers, Maryland, Michigan State
Connor Lemons Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, Michigan State, Rutgers
Dan Hessler Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers
Dante Morgan Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana, Michigan State, Michigan, Maryland, Rutgers
David Wheeler Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana, Rutgers, Michigan, Maryland, Michigan State
Gene Ross Ohio State, Indiana, Penn State, Michigan, Rutgers, Maryland, Michigan State
Jordan Williams Ohio State, Indiana, Penn State, Michigan, Maryland, Rutgers, Michigan State
Josh Dooley Ohio State, Indiana, Penn State, Michigan, Maryland, Rutgers, Michigan State
Justin Golba Ohio State, Indiana, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Maryland, Rutgers
Matt Tamanini Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers, Maryland
Megan Husslein Ohio State, Indiana, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Maryland, Rutgers
Meredith Hein Ohio State, Indiana, Penn State, Maryland, Michigan, Rutgers, Michigan State
Shane Bailey Ohio State, Indiana, Penn State, Michigan, Maryland, Rutgers, Michigan State

I would have been pretty upset if anyone had gone off the map with their Big Ten East pick, to be honest.


Please list your predicted order of finish in the Big Ten West (Top to Bottom)

2021 Big Ten West Predictions

LGHLer Order of Finish
LGHLer Order of Finish
Brett Ludwiczak Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Illinois, Nebraska
Caleb Houser Wisconsin, Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue, Nebraska, Illinois
Chris Renne Wisconsin, Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Purdue, Nebraska
Connor Lemons Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois
Dan Hessler Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Nebraska, Purdue, Illinois
Dante Morgan Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Purdue
David Wheeler Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois, Nebraska, Purdue
Gene Ross Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Purdue
Jordan Williams Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois , Purdue
Josh Dooley Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue, Nebraska, Illinois
Justin Golba Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue, Nebraska
Matt Tamanini Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois, Nebraska, Purdue
Megan Husslein Northwestern, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Purdue
Meredith Hein Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois, Nebraska
Shane Bailey Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illnois, Nebraska, Purdue

Lots of Badger love here at LGHL.


Who is your Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year?

2021 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Predictions

LGHLer Player Position Team
LGHLer Player Position Team
Brett Ludwiczak C.J. Stroud QB Ohio State
Caleb Houser Chris Olave WR Ohio State
Chris Renne C.J. Stroud QB Ohio State
Connor Lemons C.J. Stroud QB Ohio State
Dan Hessler Chris Olave WR Ohio State
David Wheeler Ty Fryfogle WR Indiana
Gene Ross C.J. Stroud QB Ohio State
Jordan Williams C.J. Stroud QB Ohio State
Josh Dooley Chris Olave WR Ohio State
Justin Golba Michael Penix Jr. QB Indiana
Matt Tamanini C.J. Stroud QB Ohio State
Megan Husslein Michael Penix Jr. QB Indiana
Meredith Hein Mohamed Ibrahim RB Minnesota
Shane Bailey C.J. Stroud QB Ohio State

We might be homers, but five of the last nine people to win this award have been Ohio State quarterbacks, so it seems like a good bet to go with Stroud.


Who is your Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year?

2021 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Predictions

LGHLer Player Position Team
LGHLer Player Position Team
Brett Ludwiczak George Karlaftis DE Purdue
Caleb Houser George Karlaftis DE Purdue
Chris Renne Brandon Joseph Safety Northwestern
Connor Lemons George Karlaftis DE Purdue
Dan Hessler Brandon Joseph Safety Northwestern
David Wheeler Haskell Garret DT Ohio State
Gene Ross George Karlaftis DE Purdue
Jordan Williams Brandon Joseph Safety Northwestern
Josh Dooley Micah McFadden LB Indiana
Justin Golba Jack Sanborn LB Wisconsin
Matt Tamanini Haskell Garret DT Ohio State
Megan Husslein Haskell Garret DT Ohio State
Meredith Hein Haskell Garret DT Ohio State
Shane Bailey Zach Harrison DE Ohio State

Who is your Big Ten Coach of the Year?

2021 Big Ten Coach of the Year Predictions

LGHLer Coach School
LGHLer Coach School
Brett Ludwiczak Greg Schiano Rutgers
Caleb Houser Paul Chryst Wisconsin
Chris Renne Greg Schiano Rutgers
Connor Lemons Paul Chryst Wisconsin
Dan Hessler Paul Chryst Wisconsin
Dante Morgan Bret Bielema Illinois
David Wheeler Kirk Ferentz Iowa
Gene Ross P.J. Fleck Minnesota
Jordan Williams Tom Allen Indiana
Josh Dooley Kirk Ferentz Iowa
Justin Golba Ryan Day Ohio State
Matt Tamanini P.J. Fleck Minnesota
Megan Husslein Ryan Day Ohio State
Meredith Hein P.J. Fleck Minnesota
Shane Bailey Ryan Day Ohio State

Of course we all wanted to pick Ryan Day, but we’ve been burnt too many times before.


What is your boldest, most out-of-left-field prediction for Ohio State this season?

2021 Ohio State Bold Predictions

LGHLer Prediction
LGHLer Prediction
Brett Ludwiczak Steele Chambers sees regular time at linebacker.
Caleb Houser TreVeyon Henderson takes over the starting running back role after Week 3.
Chris Renne Ohio State has a top-25 passing defense.
Connor Lemons The Ohio State and Indiana game will go to double overtime.
Dan Hessler Ohio State will run two tight ends sets multiple times in multiple games with Jeremy Ruckert and Gee Scott.
Dante Morgan Ohio State will lose the Big Ten Championship.
David Wheeler Ohio State will beat Purdue by 60 points.
Gene Ross At least three true freshman earn starting spots on defense by season's end.
Jordan Williams Ohio State will win the national championship.
Josh Dooley Four freshmen are starting on defense by midseason.
Justin Golba Ohio State won't play a game by less than 14 points.
Matt Tamanini Ohio State will attempt seven or fewer field goals on the season.
Megan Husslein Ohio State will win the national championship and go undefeated.
Meredith Hein Ohio State will go to OT against a Big Ten opponent.
Shane Bailey On more than one occasion Ohio State will go for two in key moments in games because they don't trust the kicking game.

What is your boldest, most out-of-left-field prediction for college football this season (non-Ohio State version)?

2021 Non-Ohio State Bold Predictions

LGHLer Prediction
LGHLer Prediction
Brett Ludwiczak Iowa State wins the Big 12.
Caleb Houser North Carolina wins the ACC over Clemson (may not be true but wishing it to existence).
Chris Renne There will be two first time playoff teams this season.
Connor Lemons Iowa State will win the Big 12 and make the CFP.
Dan Hessler Alabama will miss the playoff.
Dante Morgan Georgia wins the national championship.
David Wheeler Alabama will lose to Texas A&M and Auburn, and therefore miss the SEC championship game and the playoffs.
Gene Ross Cincinnati makes the College Football Playoff.
Jordan Williams Clemson will not make the playoff.
Josh Dooley Alabama will lose multiple games.
Justin Golba North Carolina goes to the College Football Playoff.
Matt Tamanini The SEC will be left out of the College Football Playoff.
Megan Husslein Iowa State will make the College Football Playoff.
Meredith Hein A team not called Ohio State, Alabama, Oklahoma, Clemson or Notre Dame will make the CFP.
Shane Bailey North Carolina goes to the College Football Playoff.

Lots of folks down on Bama, huh?


Who wins the Heisman Trophy?

2021 Heisman Trophy Winner Predictions

LGHLer Player Position Team
LGHLer Player Position Team
Brett Ludwiczak Sam Howell QB North Carolina
Caleb Houser Bijan Robinson RB Texas
Chris Renne C.J. Stroud QB Ohio State
Connor Lemons Sam Howell QB North Carolina
Dan Hessler J.T. Daniels QB Georgia
David Wheeler Spencer Rattler QB Oklahoma
Gene Ross Spencer Rattler QB Oklahoma
Jordan Williams Breece Hall RB Iowa State
Josh Dooley D.J. Uiagalelei QB Clemson
Justin Golba Sam Howell QB North Carolina
Matt Tamanini Sam Howell QB North Carolina
Megan Husslein D.J. Uiagalelei QB Clemson
Meredith Hein Spencer Rattler QB Oklahoma
Shane Bailey Sam Howell QB North Carolina

Two people picked running backs? What decade are you living in, guys?


Will Ohio State have a Heisman finalist(s)? If so, who?

2021 Ohio State Heisman Chances

LGHLer Answer Player
LGHLer Answer Player
Brett Ludwiczak No N/A
Caleb Houser Yes Chris Olave
Chris Renne Yes C.J. Stroud
Connor Lemons Yes C.J. Stroud
Dan Hessler No N/A
Dante Morgan No N/A
David Wheeler Yes Chris Olave
Gene Ross Yes Chris Olave
Jordan Williams Yes C.J. Stroud and Chris Olave
Josh Dooley No N/A
Justin Golba No N/A
Matt Tamanini Yes C.J. Stroud and Garrett Wilson
Megan Husslein Yes Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson
Meredith Hein Yes Chris Olave
Shane Bailey Yes C.J. Stroud

It’s ok, you can say it. We’re homers.


College Football Playoff Seeding Predictions

2021 College Football Playoff Seeding Predictions

LGHLer No. 1 Seed No. 2 Seed No. 3 Seed No. 4 Seed
LGHLer No. 1 Seed No. 2 Seed No. 3 Seed No. 4 Seed
Brett Ludwiczak Alabama Ohio State Clemson Georgia
Caleb Houser Ohio State Alabama Oklahoma Georgia
Chris Renne Clemson Ohio State Alabama Iowa State
Connor Lemons Ohio State Clemson Alabama Iowa State
Dan Hessler Ohio State Georgia Clemson Oklahoma
Dante Morgan Oklahoma Alabama Ohio State Georgia
David Wheeler Oklahoma Georgia Ohio State Clemson
Gene Ross Oklahoma Georgia Ohio State Cincinnati
Jordan Williams Georgia Ohio State Oklahoma Alabama
Josh Dooley Clemson Oklahoma Georgia Ohio State
Justin Golba Oklahoma Ohio State Alabama North Carolina
Matt Tamanini Ohio State Oklahoma North Carolina Cincinnati
Megan Husslein Ohio State Alabama Clemson Iowa State
Meredith Hein Alabama Ohio State Oklahoma Cincinnati
Shane Bailey Alabama Ohio State Oklahoma North Carolina

I’ll take my chances with these lists.


Who is your National Champion?

2021 National Champion Predictions

LGHLer Prediction
LGHLer Prediction
Brett Ludwiczak Ohio State
Caleb Houser Ohio State
Chris Renne Ohio State
Connor Lemons Alabama
Dan Hessler Ohio State
Dante Morgan Alabama
David Wheeler Ohio State
Gene Ross Oklahoma
Jordan Williams Ohio State
Josh Dooley Ohio State
Justin Golba Ohio State
Matt Tamanini Ohio State
Megan Husslein Ohio State
Meredith Hein Ohio State
Shane Bailey Ohio State

What do you want? I told you we were homers.