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How Ohio State Would Fare If Buckeyes Played Alabama's 2013 Schedule

Randy ChambersAnalyst IMarch 13, 2013

How Ohio State Would Fare If Buckeyes Played Alabama's 2013 Schedule

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    The debate between which team is better between Ohio State and Alabama is going to be an ongoing discussion leading up to the college football regular season. I considered a couple of months ago that the Buckeyes have one of the best shots to knock off Nick Saban this season for the national championship, and that opinion remains strong.

    However, one thing that is hard to argue is which conference is stronger between the SEC and Big Ten. Even a traditional Big Ten fan would have to admit that the conference down south is superior to the group of teams in the midwest.

    But what if you were to throw away a lot of the quality teams in the SEC and give the Buckeyes the 2013 Alabama schedule this season? Flip the home games that would take place in Tuscaloosa and put them in Ohio, while Urban Meyer and his guys make the occasional road trips that the Tide was scheduled to make.

    How would the Buckeyes stack up?

    The answer may actually surprise you.

Vs. Virginia Tech (In Atlanta, GA)

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    How the Buckeyes Win

    Put pressure on quarterback Logan Thomas, who really has no offensive weapons around him. We saw last season how much he will force passes when players can get to him, and that won't change when he will have much of the offense on his shoulders yet again.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Jump out to an early start. With the game being somewhat of a home game for the Hokies and nine starters returning from the second-best defense in the ACC, momentum in this game would be huge. Virginia Tech may not be as talented as the Buckeyes, but getting off to a quick start could make the difference.

     

    Prediction

    Ohio State wins, 24-10. There just aren't enough offensive playmakers for Virginia Tech to keep up.

     

    Record: 1-0

At Texas A&M

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    How the Buckeyes Win

    Find a way to slow down quarterback Johnny Manziel. In case you haven't heard, the kid is kind of good at the quarterback position and can cause headaches for defensive coordinators.

    The Aggies defense has proven it can be scored upon, but there is absolutely no answer for that offense if you can't contain the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Texas A&M would just need to do what it did all of last season, and that is let Manziel do what he does.

    Yes, when you are carving SEC defenses with ease, you don't change much. Tell the defense to get one or two stops and then dare the opposing defense to come up with a game plan on how to stop Johnny Football.

     

    Prediction

    Texas A&M wins, 35-21.

    Ohio State is too young on defense to think there is an answer to slow down the Aggies. When you add the home-field advantage, you have to like Texas A&M even more.

     

    Record: 1-1

Vs. Colorado State

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    How the Buckeyes Win

    Just show up and stay relatively healthy. The only way the Buckeyes lose this game is if there is an injury to a key player.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Colorado State wins if the entire Buckeyes roster catches the flu. Urban Meyer is then forced to forfeit the game and hand over a victory, which would be a quarter of the victories the Rams had all of last season.

     

    Prediction

    Ohio State wins, 56-3.

    I think the result speaks for itself.

     

    Record: 2-1

Vs. Ole Miss

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    How the Buckeyes Win

    The key to this game would be turnover margin. Ole Miss was a solid team last year on both sides of the ball, but the Rebels had the ability to cough up the ball a few times in big games.

    With at least three turnovers in seven games, Ohio State becomes victorious by forcing a few game-changing plays on the defensive side of the ball.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Sticking to the same theme, the Rebels would need to force Braxton Miller into mistakes. Ole Miss returns 10 starters defensively and has a bunch of young talented recruits coming in as well. With a young and fast group of guys, chasing down and making things difficult for Miller wouldn't be a stretch.

    Forcing a few bizarre decisions could lead the Rebels into an upset.

     

    Prediction

    Ohio State wins, 28-17.

    The Rebels just aren't on this level yet, especially with the game at Ohio State.

     

    Record: 3-1

Vs. Georgia State

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    How the Buckeyes Win

    Keep an average body temperature in the upper 90s. Trust me, that's all it is going to take to win this one.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Georgia State is already a winner. You see, the Panthers show up and lose the game, but walk away with a hefty check that they can use to build the program. We are all winners at the end of the day.

     

    Prediction

    Ohio State wins, 62-0

    No explanation needed for this one.

     

    Record: 4-1

At Kentucky

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    How the Buckeyes Win

    Take advantage of experience.

    Kentucky is a young football team and has a new coaching staff, which includes a first-year head coach in Mark Stoops. While they should should be more victories than the two they earned last season, youth usually shows at some point on game day.

    Ohio State just needs to play disciplined and let Kentucky beat themselves.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Kentucky is able to stay healthy on the offensive side of the ball and is able to score more than three touchdowns. This is an offense that has potential to impress next season, but that 'p' word can only take you so far.

    If the Wildcats can move the ball at a decent pace, they could pull off the shocker of the year.

     

    Prediction: Ohio State wins, 35-14

    Experience and talent is too much to overcome.

     

    Record: 5-1

Vs. Arkansas

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    How the Buckeyes Win

    If the Buckeyes were to score 17 points in this game, this baby is over with.

    Arkansas only returns four starters on the offense, which doesn't include a quarterback, running back or three starting offensive linemen. Needless to say, the Razorbacks have a lot of work to do and will struggle with teams capable of scoring in a hurry.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Rely on a defense that returns seven starters from last season. Sure, Arkansas finished 12th in the SEC in total defense last year, but at least there is experience on that side of the ball.

    The offense lost every familiar face. It is going to take some time to replace all of that talent.

     

    Prediction: Ohio State wins, 35-14

    New team, new staff, questions offensively. Give me the Buckeyes.

     

    Record: 6-1

Vs. Tennessee

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    How the Buckeyes Win

    Braxton Miller and his offense shows up and sees that this Tennessee defense surrendered 471 yards a game in 2012.

    Urban Meyer and his staff then give the guys free range to light it up, and they just pour it on in a game that is likely over by the time players are throwing up four fingers. 

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    I'm not sure. Tennessee is a mystery entering the upcoming season with a new head coach, a revamped offense and one of the worst defenses in the country from last season.

    Does anybody know what to expect from the Volunteers this year? This team would have to play the game of the year and then get some help on the side from the Buckeyes. 

     

    Prediction

    Ohio State wins, 42-14.

    Tennessee will soon see better days, but having too many questions entering the upcoming season doesn't help now.

     

    Record: 7-1

Vs. LSU

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    How the Buckeyes Win

    Ohio State would first have to avoid turning the ball over, as this is one of the few games it could truly lose in this imaginary schedule.

    Another key to this ball game is slowing down the running game and forcing quarterback Zach Mettenberger to make plays with his arm. If the young defense can step up, the Buckeyes will continue to roll.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    The same way LSU wins all of its games, and that is with a solid running game and defense. A formula that never changes, the Tigers could be very successful considering Ohio State is young defensively and hasn't faced a defense of this quality in the Big Ten.

     

    Prediction

    Ohio State wins, 17-14

    I flipped a coin and it landed on Ohio State. I then decided to provide a more reasonable answer and give the edge to the home team. 

     

    Record: 8-1

At Mississippi State

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    How the Buckeyes Win

    Just be a ranked team entering this contest. No, this isn't a joke. Mississippi State is a combined 1-12 in the last three seasons against ranked opponents under head coach Dan Mullen.

    Maybe it is the pressure that comes with these types of games, or maybe it is some type of curse, but if Ohio State is in the top 25 at this point, mark a victory down for the Buckeyes.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Unleash the offensive playmakers in quarterback Tyler Russell and running back LaDarius Perkins. Really two of the more underrated players in the SEC, Mississippi State has a nucleus that could be very surprising this upcoming season.

    If the offense could get rolling and match the Buckeyes in offensive production, this is a contest that will be tight.

     

    Prediction

    Ohio State wins, 28-14

    Tougher game than most would have imagined, but overall talent gives the Buckeyes the nod. Well, that and the fact the Bulldogs have been horrible against ranked opponents.

     

    Record: 9-1

Vs. Chattanooga

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    How the Buckeyes Win

    The Buckeyes win as long as nothing freaky happens. You know, like an asteroid touching down a few miles away or a sinkhole swallowing the stadium.

    As long as football is still scheduled to take place, this is yet another victory for the scarlet and gray. 

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Ohio State shows up to Ohio Stadium and finds out that there is a similar explosion as the one that took place in The Dark Knight Rises.

    Much like the flu game against Colorado State, Urban Meyer is forced to hand the opponent the victory and this goes down as one of the craziest events in college football history.

     

    Prediction

    Ohio State wins, 50-6.

    I think we are getting out of hand with these matchups. Don't you think?

     

    Record: 10-1

At Auburn

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    How the Buckeyes Win

    Urban Meyer proves that his form of the spread offense is better than the new Auburn coach's ever was.

    Even with polished skill position players, the Buckeyes win the game on the defensive side of the ball. Ohio State has elite talent and the Tigers are still trying to piece things together.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Auburn is going to be great defensively in a few years with the way recruiting has taken off as of late. But with this game scheduled to be played this year, the Tigers would have to win this game like Gus Malzahn-coached teams win. Put quarterback Kiehl Frazier in the shotgun and let the kid duke it out with Braxton Miller for a showdown for the ages.

     

    Prediction

    Ohio State wins, 35-21.

    Give us this matchup a couple years later and then we are talking about an actual game to pay attention to. 

     

    Record: 11-1

What We Learned

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    We really learned a bunch of nothing.

    Both Alabama and Ohio State are extremely talented on both sides of the ball. While nobody should be foolish enough to argue against the fact that the SEC is better than the Big Ten, the Alabama Crimson Tide don’t exactly have to battle it out with this schedule.

    Besides an early road trip to take on the Texas A&M Aggies, Nick Saban and his squad don't have a true road test all year.

    Teams such as Florida, Georgia and South Carolina were missed on the schedule, and even LSU is a scheduled home game for the defending national champions. If you flip the schedule in Ohio State's favor, the same two teams Alabama is going to have a hard time with (Texas A&M and LSU) are the same two that would give the Buckeyes fits.

    The Crimson Tide is the better team between the two and should be considered the front-runners to win the national title yet again. However, if you put the Buckeyes in the SEC right now with this cupcake of a schedule, there is no reason to believe they wouldn't be receiving the same treatment.

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