Ohio State Football Schedule 2012: The Biggest Must-Win Game and Trap Game

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2012

Ohio State Football Schedule 2012: The Biggest Must-Win Game and Trap Game

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    The Ohio State football schedule has been released, and if you haven’t seen it already, you can check it out here.

    The only notable out-of-conference game is at home against Cal, and the Buckeyes have to play Michigan State, Nebraska and Michigan out of the Legends division.

    Here’s a breakdown of the must-win games as well as potential traps.

Must-Win: Nebraska

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    Maintaining home-field advantage is an absolute must for Ohio State next season because Michigan and Nebraska both visit Columbus.

    The Buckeyes dominated the Huskers for most of this year’s game, but once quarterback Braxton Miller went down, Nebraska made a furious comeback to win the game.

    They simply could not defend mobile quarterbacks this year, and there’s no reason to assume they will next year.

    They should also be ranked for their visit to the Shoe. Fresh off a game at East Lansing, this could be a make-or-break game for Ohio State.

    The team may not be eligible for the postseason, but this is a game they absolutely need to win for moral reasons.

Must-Win: Michigan

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    It goes without saying that the most important game on the Buckeyes’ schedule is against Michigan.

    It is one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports, and the winner holds bragging rights for the next calendar year.

    The Wolverines bested State this year in the Big House but should be even better next year when they travel to Columbus, where they haven’t won since 2000.

    This will essentially be the bowl game for Ohio State, and the players will want to finish on a good note at the end of Urban Meyer’s first season.

Trap Game: Penn State

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    The Nittany Lions have finally settled on a head coach and will be working furiously this offseason to move past everything that happened in 2011.

    The fans still want something to cheer for in Happy Valley, and Bill O’Brien should immediately help the quarterbacks develop to help out underrated running back Silas Redd.

    Michigan State is the first road game, so the Buckeyes will be prepared for that one, and they get a bye week right before traveling to raucous Madison, Wisconsin.

    With Indiana the only road game and Ohio State playing so well at home, Penn State is definitely the most likely game that could end disastrously.