With the season just around the corner it's time to take a look at the schedule and circle the big games. After all the turmoil of this offseason there is only one medicine, and that is some Ohio State football!
With four ranked opponents, a new member of the Big Ten, and college football's greatest rivalry, there are plenty of games to get excited about, but three have especially caught my eye.
The Buckeyes first real test during the five game suspension of their star players is easily Week 5 against Big Ten opponent Michigan State. It also proves to be Ohio State's first conference game.
The Spartans come into this season preseason-ranked right behind OSU at No. 17. It will be difficult to beat a solid team while lacking fire power, but if the Buckeyes can steal this win it would do wonders for their shot at a Big Ten title. This is also the last game before the suspended players are allowed to return to the field. A win here could be extremely momentous for the rest of the season and instill confidence throughout the locker room.
Of course! This list would be completely illegitimate if it did not include the greatest rivalry in sports!
In recent years, Ohio State has dominated their arch-nemesis under their former head coach Jim Tressel. Now that Tressel is out the door it will be interesting to see if the Buckeyes are able to continue their supremacy over Michigan. Luke Fickell should circle this game as his biggest one personally. A win in Ann Arbor will help Fickell's efforts toward remaining the head coach at Ohio State tremendously.
Not to mention, who doesn't love watching our Buckeyes destroy that team up north?
Any man, woman, or child who claims to be a part of Buckeye nation is licking their lips at a shot for revenge against Wisconsin. Last year the Badgers ended up being the only team that stood between OSU and a shot at a national championship.
Wisconsin comes in preseason ranked at No. 10, the highest in the Big Ten, and is the favorite to win the conference this year. The Buckeyes would like nothing more than to not only avenge last year's lost but also spoil Wisconsin's plans. The game will be in Columbus and is scheduled as an 8 pm prime time game for ABC. Look for the Shoe to be packed to the fullest with deranged Buckeye faithful surrounding the visiting Badgers...I smell an upset!
But if revenge and pride aren't enough to have you salivating for this matchup, remember that Wisconsin is now a part of the Leaders division along with Ohio State. A win for the Buckeyes would be HUGE in their efforts to contend in the first Big Ten championship game. Bottom line is, if you can't be in Columbus for this game, thank your lucky stars it will be on ABC.