Everybody knows that one of the best parts of being a sports fan is debating and dissecting the most (and least) important questions in the sporting world with your friends. So, we’re bringing that to the pages of LGHL with our favorite head-to-head column: You’re Nuts.
In You’re Nuts, two LGHL staff members will take differing sides of one question and argue their opinions passionately. Then, in the end, it’s up to you to determine who’s right and who’s nuts.
Today’s Question: What 2023 Ohio State football game are you most excited for this season?
Jami’s Take: Wisconsin
The Buckeyes have a tough schedule in the back half of their season, with Penn State, Wisconsin on the road, Minnesota, and a trip to Ann Arbor to hopefully keep those pesky Wolverines from three consecutive wins.
Now, I’m not going to choose the Michigan game as the one I’m most looking forward to, partially because it feels like low-hanging fruit, and partially because I can’t say I’m looking forward to it so much as I’m losing sleep over it.
Instead, I’m excited to see the Buckeyes head to Camp Randall to face off against the Badgers.
The Badgers will be midway through their first season under new head coach Luke Fickell, a man who is no stranger to Buckeye Nation. After his six-season run at the University of Cincinnati, he’s returned to the Big Ten at the helm of a team with brand new staff and offseason momentum that included picking up a number of quality transfers from the portal.
Both teams could very realistically be undefeated when they meet at Camp Randall in late October, and Fickell knows how to prepare the Badgers for the Buckeye team. Add to that the fact that Camp Randall is a notoriously tough place to play, and we’ve got ourselves a football game.
I do not take kindly to losing, and I know that this game could very realistically swing in Wisconsin’s favor. But I’m looking forward to it because the Fickell matchup is a great story, the football is sure to be top-notch, the energy at Camp Randall will be nothing short of electric, and this is exactly the kind of challenge the Buckeyes need before heading to Ann Arbor.
This is the game where they see what they’re made of. Have they been able to fill absolutely critical holes in their secondary? How has our starting quarterback settled in, and how will they handle the pressure of a big game like this? Can the team stay composed during a tough road matchup?
This battle against Wisconsin will be tough, and it brings with it opportunities for a critical analysis of this team’s postseason potential.
Am I concerned at all about this game’s potential to be the Alabama-Tennessee matchup of 2023? Yes, absolutely. After struggling with inconsistency on offense for years, this Wisconsin team is fresh.
Tanner Mordecai, the former SMU quarterback who the Badgers nabbed via the portal, is projected to be QB1 (though they have depth at this position, with former Oklahoma QB Nick Evers as the likely backup). Mordecai will be using up his final year of eligibility, and that experience could potentially work against the Buckeyes, whose starter will be a little greener. Fickell has discussed his plan to bring this offense up to date, and Mordecai could certainly be the man for the job.
The Badgers also have an experienced room of running backs, which brings the potential for a monster of a rush game for the Buckeyes to handle (a test for their defense if I ever saw one).
And then there is the question of how our Buckeye offense will hold up to Wisconsin’s defense?
All of this remains to be seen on the playing field, but I’m excited by the possibility of the Buckeyes getting a real test—and hopefully a real, hard-fought victory in Madison. Is it a perfect predictor of how the rest of the season will go? Certainly not. But at the very least, we’ll get exciting football, and at best, we’ll build on momentum heading into Ann Arbor a few weeks later.
Matt’s Take: Indiana
Will the Ohio State matchup against the Indiana Hoosiers be the game I am most excited about throughout the course of the 2023 football season? Almost assuredly not, but as we sit here on Wednesday, March 22 in the Year of Our Lord (Woody Hayes) 2023, the season opener against Tom Allen’s squad set for 164 days from now in Bloomington, Ind. is absolutely the thing that I am most amped for.
With all of the hype surrounding spring football, pro days, and the upcoming NFL Draft, it is getting my football juices flowing now that the disappointing men’s basketball season has concluded. While the dream of a Nine-Windiana seems difficult to imagine this season, just seeing what the new version of the Buckeyes looks like is enough to get me pumped up.
Not only will Ryan Day have to settle on a new starting quarterback, but the game against the Hoosiers will also be the first time that we see the reconfigured offensive line, Jack Sawyer finally playing a true defensive end, and hopefully a markedly improved cornerback room.
There is just something so special about the season opener, it’s the culmination of eight months of anticipation, concern, excitement, anguish, and hype, and at a place like Ohio State, every year, it could be the beginning of a historic run. Is Indiana going to be good this year? Honestly, I have no idea, but they probably won’t be the best team that the Buckeyes face this season. But who cares? It’s the first game of the year, and I am already counting down the days.
Who has the right answer to today’s question?
This poll is closed