Buckeye Battle Cry: Where Will Ohio State Football Finish In 2018?

Buckeye Battle Cry: Where Will Ohio State Football Finish In 2018?

BuckeyeWire

Buckeye Battle Cry: Where Will Ohio State Football Finish In 2018?


All the preseason magazine fun is about to hit newsstands. The writers of Buckeye Wire take their turn at all the buzz and tell you where Ohio State football will finish in 2018 in the latest Buckeye Battle Cry.


Buckeye Battle Cry: Where Will Ohio State Football Finish In 2018?

Expectations don’t change at a place like Ohio State, especially one in which Urban Meyer is steering the ship.

To that end, the Buckeyes are expected to be ranked high up in the preseason polls yet again and have a shot at another conference title — and potentially — a chance to be in the College Football Playoff again.

In this week’s Buckeye Battle Cry, we asked our writers to look into the crystal ball to see where they believe Ohio State will finish when all the fun and shouting stops just prior to all the preseason magazines begin hitting the stands.

Mr. Johnson is all set to kick it off …

Contact/Follow Terry Johnson

A few weeks ago, I examined every game on Ohio State’s schedule. In that piece, I predicted that the Buckeyes would go 11-1, with the lone loss coming on the road at TCU in a “neutral site” game.

I see no reason to change that now. Yes, the FPI predicts that Ohio State will lose on the road at Penn State, but there’s not a metric out there that can account for the loss of offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead. If there were, it would put that as a win for the Buckeyes, whose only loss to Penn State in the last five meetings was on a fluke blocked field goal.

Simply put: Ohio State has more firepower on offense than it has ever had. Now that there’s no longer a quarterback controversy, the coaching staff can figure out how it’s going to get enough touches for all these weapons. I expect the results to be similar to Urban Meyer’s 2004 Utah team that averaged 499.8 yards per game (263.7 through the air, 236.1 on the ground).

To summarize: I’ll say that Ohio State will finish an 11-1 record, another Big Ten championship, and a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Contact/Follow Mark Russell

Terry, I’ll admit, I’m a Buckeye homer through and through and I’m on the same page as you. Pretty much every year since winning the 2002 National Championship I’ve gone into the next season optimistic that The Ohio State University would compete to be the top team in the land.

This year is no different. Does OSU have a four-year record-setting QB to replace? Yes. Are there holes to fill due to NFL departures on the offensive and defensive line, linebackers, and DBs? For sure. But I see the world through scarlet lenses.

The Bucks should be ranked somewhere in the preseason top four. And I believe it will be well within reason to have them there. They should be a playoff team with the talent coming back and young studs ready to take their turn.

Of course there are questions that cannot be answered until we see this team in action. However, not many teams can boast that they are returning two 1,000 yard rushers, the full starting receivers group from the previous year, as well as three of five starting offensive linemen. The biggest question will obviously be if a new quarterback can step in and replace JT Barrett.

The story is similar on the defensive side of the ball. Nick Bosa and Dre’mont Jones will anchor the D. Add in a host of four and five-star recruits and the Silver Bullets should again be a top defensive unit in the country.

I’m not a huge fan of the preseason polls. Too many times in the past, reputation has trumped actual games. With this team however, I fully expect the Bucks to take care of business on the field in the regular season with a chance to compete in the postseason, proving the polls accurate.

Contact/Follow Phil Harrison

So, along the same lines of Terry and Mark, I am going to agree (twist my arm) that this team has the talent to be there for some really special things at the end of the year.

This team is a pool of talent on offense that’s maybe the deepest any has had under Urban Meyer’s watch so far. There are a multitude of weapons that should make game-planning against Ohio State a headache of Scarlet and Gray proportions, as long as the Buckeyes can figure out what kind of team they are.

But here’s the deal — as we’ve seen in year’s past, it might not be enough to go 11-1, or 10-2. The Big Ten East is arguably the best division in all of college football and Ohio State has had some unfortunate luck in both 2015 and last year with how tiebreakers and the rest of the landscape of college football played out.

However, I’m going for it here. I say this team eeks out a close one out in the heart of Texas against TCU trying to figure itself out, losing the game at Penn State but then runs the table the rest of the way to go 11-1 and finishes atop the East division, goes to Indy and then plays Wisconsin yet again for a shot at the College Football Playoff.

But here’s the deal, you have to root hard for the combination of Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State to lose two games or miss out on tiebreakers in conference somewhere along the way if this holds true.

I really believe folks are taking for granted how good this team can be in 2018 though, especially as the season progresses with Dwayne Haskins slinging it around a bit.

 

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