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Why will the 2024 season be different than 2023 for Ohio State?

Mindset... and a new QB.

Iowa State v Kansas State Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

I think everyone believed that 2023 was going to be THE season for the Buckeyes. I know I certainly did. I truly thought that it would be impossible for them to lose to TTUN again and fail to make it to the College Football Playoffs. But, I was proved wrong. I absolutely refuse for that to be the case again next season, though.

I must admit, I 100% believed in this latest team. I thought the mindset was there, the brotherhood was there, the talent was there. I didn’t think anything was going to hold this team back. Clearly, I was wrong.

Kyle McCord was not the right fit at quarterback for Ryan Day and Ohio State. The offensive line never exceeded expectations. This year, the offense held this team back instead of the defense. Yet, they continued to find a way to win all season long.

If only McCord’s pass wasn’t picked off at the end of TTUN game... but then who knows what would’ve happened in the playoff. Obviously, after what happened at the Cotton Bowl, Ohio State did not deserve to be in the playoffs.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 29 Goodyear Cotton Bowl - Missouri vs Ohio State Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

So, what’s going to make this next team different? I think 2023 hit rock bottom, and there is literally no choice but to be great next year. Yes, rock bottom for Ohio State is going 11-1 and losing its bowl game, but everyone knows that it’s more than that. Three years of losing to TTUN, no conference championship, no playoff. Enough is enough.

And I think the players realize that. That is why so many of the big names have announced they are returning for another season when they have the option to go pro. I think that’s why a lot of them are taking a while to make their decisions, too.

These guys chose to come to Ohio State to WIN. Period. And they haven’t done that, and won’t be satisfied until they do so. Yes, some guys have entered the transfer portal and some have gone pro. But, a heck of a lot more are staying than you thought would at the beginning of the season.

Plus, the Bucks have landed some extremely talented players from the portal. A strong, veteran QB in Will Howard, a GEM of a running back in Quinshon Judkins to make up the best backfield in the country if TreVeyon Henderson stays, and a solid offensive lineman from Alabama in Seth McLaughlin.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Ole Miss v Penn State Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images

A lot of people still believe in this program and its winning culture. Guys are choosing to stick around and join the team because of the chance to win. This team HAS to. Ryan Day is on the hot seat. A lot of guys are using their final year of eligibility.

Yes, the Bucks will reload, they always do. But these guys who are still on the team deserve a rivalry win, a conference championship, and more.