Every day for the entirety of the Ohio State football season, we will be asking and answering questions about the team, college football, and anything else on our collective minds of varying degrees of importance. If you have a question that you would like to ask, you can tweet us @LandGrant33 or if you need more than 280 characters, send an email HERE.
There’s just one more game to go before The Game. That means that to keep their hopes alive for all of their preseason goals, the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes will need to take care of business this afternoon in College Park, Md. as they take on the sputtering Maryland Terrapins.
Heading into today’s contest, we wanted to check in with the Buckeye fan base to see your thoughts on today’s game, the OSU season as a whole, and whether you might be looking a head a little. So, scroll down and see what you had on your minds.
Question 1: Where is your focus heading into Saturday?
In the words of Valerie, Miracle Max’s wife in “The Princess Bride,” you are a “Liar! Liar! Liaaaar!!!” It is inconceivable to me that nearly half of all Buckeye fans that responded to this poll are thinking about both Maryland and that other M-school which will remain nameless for the next seven days.
I suppose that could be on me, as I didn’t really specify that you were thinking about them equally, so this could be a 90-10 type of situation, but still, no one is really thinking about Maryland, other than maybe thinking about how bad it would be if a majorly important Buckeye got hurt against the Terps.
So, you are welcome to say all of the right things in our little poll, but I’m going to venture to guess that you, like all normal Buckeye fans, are thinking far more about the Skunk Bears than the Turtles.
Question 2: Who has been the Buckeyes’ MVP this season?
This one is tough for me because, objectively, I would say that C.J. Stroud, at least by virtue of his position, is the most valuable player on the team. While I’m sure that Kyle McCord would do a decent job stepping in for him if the Heisman front-runner were unavailable, Stroud is the best quarterback in the country, and that has to mean something.
As for Marvin Harrison Jr., I would agree if the question posed had been who has been the best player on the team this season, but it wasn’t. I certainly think that Big Marv deserves to be in this conversation, but I don’t know that I would have him first.
So, aside from positional bias being slanted toward the quarterback, I actually think that I might go with Tommy Eichenberg on this one. I know that he is not as flashy as some linebackers of Buckeye days gone by like Ryan Shazier, A.J. Hawk, Raekwon McMillan, James Laurinaitis, and more, but dude has been the backbone of a resurgent Ohio State defense this season. While not having Stroud or Harrison would obviously be a major loss, there are so many other talented players on offense — and the unit has been so good for so long — that I feel like their absences could be absorbed much more easily than not having arguably the best linebacker in the country captaining the defense.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that everybody on this list deserves a poop-ton of praise for their efforts this season, but for me, because of how bad the defense (and the linebackers specifically) have been over the last few seasons, I’d go with Tommy as the MVP.
Question 3: Ohio State is favored by 25 over Maryland; what will the margin be?
In our How to Watch article from this morning, I went on record predicting a 49-10 victory for Ohio State, so that would put me in the over 35 points category. I do believe that Day will try to get starters out earlier than normal this week if the score allows, simply to prevent putting players in opportunities to get hurt ahead of The Game next week.
However, it’s pretty clear that while Day has spoken about wanting to be collegial, especially against conference opponents, and not run up the score, that rule doesn’t apply to Maryland. Ever since they were allegedly the snitches who tipped off the NCAA about Chase Young’s girlfriend getting her flight to the 2018-season Rose Bowl paid for, leading to the Buckeye edge rusher being suspended, Ohio State has tried to give them their proverbial stitches at every possible turn.
So, while Stroud, Marv, Trey, Emeka, and Cade might not be the ones scoring, I do expect that Ohio State will look to keep putting points on the board as long as there is still time on the clock.
Bonus Question: Who Should Win the Heisman Trophy?
We didn’t ask this question in our Buckeye Nation-specific poll this week, but rather our friends at SBN Reacts asked it in their nationwide poll, and while I think the results are a little closer than they should be, I am glad to see that the right guy is in the lead.
There has been a lot of love for North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye recently, and while I will be rooting for the Tar Heels to beat Clemson in the ACC Championship game, I’m still not on board. But, if Stroud can put up the expected numbers today and can then lead OSU to a win in The Game and the Big Ten Title Game, then there should be no reason to expect anybody other than the Buckeye signal-caller to take home the Heisman.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.