One of the most prominent teams in college football has been “THE” Ohio State University. The Buckeyes have won eight national championships and hold 35 Big Ten Conference titles. They also have 7 Heisman winners and 83 consensus All Americans. The Buckeyes have had a long-standing tradition of winning in Columbus and are sixth all-time with 890 wins, with a win percentage of 72.4 percent.

However, we cannot judge Ohio State’s ability to win the Big Ten East on their history alone. We must only look at Ohio State and what they’ve done in the past few years.

Ohio State has been in the top 10 in the AP college football rankings every year for the last five seasons. They’ve won a national championship in 2014 and have been one of the top teams in the Big Ten East. Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes are 65 – 7 in that span with only four losses in the past three years.

So can Ohio State win the Big Ten East this season?

Ohio State’s Strengths

Ohio State has at the helm one of the greatest head coaches in all college football. Urban Meyer has three national championships (one with Ohio State and 2 with Florida).

AP Photo- Eric Gay

He, like all great coaches, seems to motivate his players to play their very best. Native to Ohio, Meyer is the ultimate figurehead of the Ohio State program. He always has Ohio State in contention for a Big Ten Championship and this year is no different. His success in recruiting has led to a formidable football program.  Urban Meyer is a big fan of the spread offense and has brought in a master of this offense to help propel his team forward.

The new offensive coordinator, Kevin Wilson, is considered to be one of college football’s top offensive technicians. The former Indiana head coach brings a new speed to this Ohio State offense that will make them a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten.Kevin Wilson favors the spread out and fast-paced no-huddle, which is designed to target any weaknesses in a highly talented defense. Considering who Ohio state has to face in the Big Ten East, his contribution to this offense will be instrumental to the Buckeye’s success.

Players

AP Photo-Darron Cummings

Another strength for the Ohio State Buckeyes is their high-powered offense. Led by their quarterback JT Barrett, the Buckeyes are third in college football for yards gained and are fifth overall in yards per game. They are in the top 10 of every significant statistical category for their offense. The main reason for this is their quarterback J. T. Barrett, he has a completion percentage of 63.6 and has 13 touchdowns with only one interception.

Ohio State also has a lot of talent at their skill positions. Their running back, freshman J.K. Dobbins, already has 500 yards rushing with an average of 7.6 yards per carry. This team has three wide receivers replacing Curtis Samuel, who led the team in receptions and receiving last year. The pair of junior wide receivers can be the key to the Ohio States success this season. If the wide receivers and JT Barrett can connect, Ohio State will have the ability to beat anyone in the Big Ten.

AP Photo – Jay LaPrete

Another key for the Ohio State Buckeyes this year will be their placekicker Sean Nurnberger. He is still perfect with this year with seven field goals made with seven attempts. Stability at the placekicker position is crucial to any team’s success. He will be called on to make crucial kicks in clutch situations.

Ohio State’s Weaknesses

Ohio State’s biggest weakness this season will be their lack of experience. The Buckeyes only have three returning starters on the offense and four starters returning on the defense. Like any college team, lack of experience can decrease a teams chance of winning against strong opponents. If Ohio State is to have an opportunity to make it to the Big Ten championship game, the underclassmen will have to come through for the Buckeyes in a big way.
Joe Maiorana – USA TODAY Sports

The real thing that will make or break Ohio State season is how they will perform against top-ranked opponents. They already played poorly against the 5th ranked Oklahoma Sooners which resulted in a 31- 16 loss. J.T. Barrett had only 183 yards with no touchdowns, and J.K. Dobbins only rushed for 72 yards with one touchdown. Ohio State is also going to face a highly-ranked Penn State and a highly-ranked Michigan. The only chance they have to make the Big Ten championship game is if they win every game from here on out.

The Buckeyes have the raw talent and the coaching to win the Big Ten East it’s up to the players to execute and make it happen.

 

Oct 7

vs Maryland 4:00 PM EDT

Oct 14

@ Nebraska 7:30 PM EDT
Bye Week

Oct 28

vs Penn St. 3:30 PM EDT

Nov 4

@ Iowa Time: TBD

Nov 11

vs Michigan St. Time: TBD

Nov 18

vs Illinois Time: TBD

Nov 25

@ Michigan 12:00 PM EST