Ohio State Football: How the Buckeyes Would Fare in the SEC
With Ohio State's win in State College, Pennsylvania on Saturday, the Buckeyes got off to a 9-0 start on the year and moved all the way up to sixth in the country in the AP Poll. So far, Urban Meyer's squad has gone 5-0 in conference play while outscoring fellow Big Ten opponents by nearly 10 points per game.
After watching the Penn State game as well as a few others on Saturday, I got to wondering how my beloved Buckeyes would stack up against teams of the SEC. As most Buckeyes fans know, Ohio State hasn't had much success versus teams from that pesky conference in the past. At least in bowl games, that is.
So I picked a random SEC school (Tennessee), and in this slideshow I will evaluate how I think the Buckeyes would do if they played the same teams as the Volunteers did this season at the same location as them.
Game 1 vs. NC State
I think that if the Buckeyes were matched up against a decent North Carolina State team in the season opener, the score would stay rather close for at least the first half of the ball game.
In the end, however, a little too much of Braxton Miller would be let loose, and Ohio State would come away with a double-digit victory.
Record after this game: 1-0
Game 2 vs. Georgia State
If Ohio State was ever matched up against Georgia State, they would make the Panthers wonder why they ever left Division I FCS football to take a step up and play at the Division 1 FBS level this year.
Record after this game: 2-0
Game 3 vs. Florida
Last year, Ohio State played the Florida Gators in the Gator Bowl and came up short in a 24-17 effort, but not before the same Buckeyes offense that was 104th in the country generated more total offensive yards than the Gators.
While both of these teams have gotten better on offense and defense this season, I think the Buckeyes improved the most and that they would come away with a win if they played the Gators at home.
Record after this game: 3-0
Game 4 vs. Akron
The last team from the state of Ohio to beat the Buckeyes in football was a school by the name of Oberlin College way back in 1921. The Akron Zips would stand no chance against Ohio State in Columbus.
Record after this game: 4-0
Game 5 at Georgia
The Buckeyes would most likely match up very well against the Georgia Bulldogs. However, Georgia is playing lights-out at home this season, outscoring their opponents by 23.6 points per game in Athens.
I think the Bulldogs would hand the Buckeyes their first loss of the year.
Record after this game: 4-1
Game 6: At Mississippi State
Mississippi State isn't too bad of a team at 7-1 this year. However, they have the tendency to underperform against tough teams.
The Buckeyes would cruise to victory, as the Bulldogs haven't beaten a team ranked in the AP Top 25 since halfway through the 2010 season.
Record after this game: 5-1
Game 7 vs. Alabama
Is there a team in the country who's playing better than Alabama right now? If Ohio State had to play the Crimson Tide, they would most likely get dominated in the trenches.
The Buckeyes would also have a rough time moving the ball downfield and figuring out how to stop Alabama's balanced attack on offense. However, they wouldn't have lost to the Tide as badly as Michigan did in their 2012 season opener.
Record after this game: 5-2
Game 8 at South Carolina
Even though this game would be played at South Carolina and they would have a guy named Marcus Lattimore to worry about, I like Ohio State in this one.
The Buckeyes rush defense has shown glimpses of greatness when it is needed the most, and the Gamecocks would have a rough time getting things going.
In South Carolina's two losses this season, they rushed for a total of just 70 yards. They would have the same exact difficulties versus Ohio State's defensive front. Just ask Michigan State's LeVeon Bell what I'm talking about.
Record after this game: 6-2
Game 9 vs. Troy
Ohio State rolls by Troy big at home, as they have no answer for Braxton Miller and Ohio State's steadily improving offense.
Record after this game: 7-2
Game 10 vs. Missouri
Remember when Missouri was a pretty good team that had a legitimate chance to play in the national title game? Just wondering, because neither do I.
Ohio State would triumph over the Tigers no matter how well James Franklin operated the offense.
Record after this game: 8-2
Game 11 at Vanderbilt
For years now, Vanderbilt has been the punching bag of the SEC conference. I don't see the Buckeyes slipping up at all versus the Commodores.
Record after this game: 9-2
Game 12 vs. Kentucky
Coming into this matchup with the momentum of winning four consecutive games, the Buckeyes would dominate the Wildcats regardless of where the game is played.
This contest would help Ohio State finish strong and have an immense amount of confidence headed into the 2013 season.
Record after this game: 10-2