After starting the season 4-0, as predicted, Ohio State enters Big Ten Conference play this Saturday when they take on the Badgers of Wisconsin. We’ll run through the weekly opponent and give a breakdown in worst/best case scenario.
Week 5 Wisconsin: This game is going to be a physical matchup to say the least. Gary Andersen, a disciple of the Urban Meyer coaching tree, leads his Badgers in to a hostile environment at The Shoe this weekend. Wisconsin lacks a true pocket passer so they will be limited to running the ball the entire game, which is their game plan every week regardless if they had a true pocket passer. Ohio State has a strong front 4 which will be tested by the power run game of the Badgers this weekend.
Best: Ohio State jumps out to an early lead, and they never turn back. Buckeyes limit the Wisconsin power backs to under 150 yards rushing and Urban Meyer teaches his protege that he has not yet surpassed his teacher. Ohio State rolls and move to 5-0 on the season to keep the nation’s longest winning streak alive.
Worst: Buckeyes defense is pounded inside and Wisconsin runs all over the Silver Bullets. Braxton Miller and the offense can’t seem to get it going and the Buckeyes fall to 4-1 on the year.
Week 6 Northwestern: When Pat Fitzgerald was asked about this match up at the B1G Media Days in Chicago this summer he responded “This match up could be a program changing game.” Needless to say, this is going to be one of the best B1G match-ups we will see all season. Venric Mark and Kain Colter lead this Wildcat team at home in to a great environment at Ryan Field.
Best: Ohio State comes in to this game 5-0 and beats a darn good Northwestern team at Ryan Field to improve to 6-0.
Worst: The Buckeyes come in to another big night match up, and fail to impress as Northwestern continue their conquest for their elusive B1G Championship.
Week 7 (BYE)
Week 8 Iowa: The Hawkeyes come to Ohio Stadium for the third B1G match up. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is under a lot of fire for lack of performance recently. Iowa, who once was a year in year out contender has now moved to the middle of the pack in the B1G. Iowa has a pretty decent defense, but not good enough to slow down the Buckeye offense.
Best: Ohio State coming off a bye week steamrolls Iowa at the Shoe and keep their national championship hopes alive by improving to 7-0.
Worst: Ohio State has a sloppy offensive and defensive showing, but there is no way the Buckeyes lose this match up at home after a bye week.
Week 9 Penn State: Nittany Lions at Buckeyes in a night game at Ohio Stadium. This once would have been the game on the schedule to circle, and it still could be if Penn State continue to defy the odds and remain competitive, even without scholarships and a hefty post season ban. Penn State always has a good defense, but their offense is really starting to go down hill. I think we start to see the inevitable slide from Penn State this season.
Best: Buckeyes welcome the Nittany Lions into a hostile environment on the banks of the Olentangy. Students can start to smell the undefeated season and Penn State is the only team standing in between the Buckeyes and Michigan. Buckeyes continue to put on an impressive show and are 8-0.
Worst: Penn State is a mediocre side that comes in to the horse shoe and puts on a gritty performance and steals a win from Ohio State in their house.
Week 10 Purdue: First year Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell is a confident coach and realizes that he has a long road ahead of him to get the Boilermakers back to where they once were. Hazell has recruited good young talent, so don’t look for Purdue to be on the slide for as long as you might think. The Buckeyes have always had a little trouble dealing with Purdue in West Lafayette, however Urban Meyer was not the coach during those games.
Best: Buckeyes pick up the easy win at Purdue and come out untouched, as Braxton Miller puts himself back in to Heisman contention after missing those early three weeks in the season. Buckeyes end the week at 9-o.
Worst: Purdue gives Ohio State a nightmare of a game. The weather is dark and gloomy and Ohio State can’t get anything going offensively, but the defense steps up and wins another close game at Purdue.
Week 11 (BYE)
Week 12 Illinois: Illinois is exactly like Purdue this season. They are a team in flux and are heavily dependent on their experienced quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase. The Illini go as far as Scheelhaase can take them this season. But don’t expect too much from Illinois this season. Ohio State comes off another bye week which will really help their players take a mid season break. With back to back games against Purdue and Illinois the starters may get a lot more rest than they anticipate.
Best: Buckeyes easily win coming off a bye week. 10-0.
Worst: Buckeyes easily win, but don’t win big.
Week 13 Indiana: Ohio State could come in to this match up with the Hoosiers at 10-0 which would put their winning streak at 22 games. Indiana gave the Buckeyes a thriller of a game last season in Bloomington, and there’s no reason to think that Indiana can’t do it again. With the loss of Adam Replogle to the NFL, Indiana is a little weak up front, but veteran safeties Greg Heben, and Mark Murphy lead the defense. Indiana is an explosive offense and could give the Buckeyes trouble.
Best: Ohio State runs all over Indiana and holds their talented offense to a modest amount of points. Buckeyes continue their winning ways by improving to 11-0 and everyone starts talking about THE GAME.
Worst: Ohio State overlooks Indiana in preparation for Michigan. The Hoosiers could stun the Buckeyes in a shootout, and it is very possible that 100 points are put up by the two teams.
Week 14 Michigan: Michigan and Ohio State, need I say more? Ohio State travels to the state up north into the “Big House” where a hostile crowd awaits Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. This will be Coach Meyer’s first game in Michigan Stadium, and he will look to keep his undefeated record in the series. This will be one of the best games of the year if Ohio State and Michigan both come in to the game leading their respective sides of the conference. We could be looking at the only time in history where these two teams will play each other on back to back weeks.
Best: Ohio State finishes out their undefeated season with a huge win at the Big House. Buckeyes end 12-0 and look forward to facing their opponent in the B1G Championship game.
Worst: Ohio State gets beaten up by a Michigan team that is hungry to put an exclamation point on their season.
The B1G schedule this year favors the Buckeyes, but there are some major obstacles in their way to going to their first ever B1G Championship game. Do you think Ohio State has what it takes to run the table?