The Ohio State Buckeyes will kick off their 2011 season in just three short days, and I'm here to tell you why suspensions and distractions aside—the Buckeyes will start 2011 5-0.
Ohio State has finally seen their name out of the ESPN headlines for the first time in months, though they will soon be in the headlines once again.
This time however, the Buckeyes will be the center of national media attention for good reasons—such as starting 5-0.
For Buckeye fans, this will be a great way to put the off-season behind them, for the college football fans and media alike that do not care much for the Scarlet and Gray, too bad.
Senior quarterback Joe Bauserman is the "starter," but everyone knows that freshman Braxton Miller will be taking his share of snaps from week one.
For defenses, they must game plan for two completely different styles of quarterbacks.
Bauserman presents your more traditional pocket passer, though he still will tuck it and run at times. Braxton Miller, on the other hand, presents a unique challenge to opposing defenses.
Miller has a quick release in the pocket, but his athletic ability is what will drive defensive coordinators nuts. When Braxton Miller decides to scramble out of the pocket, he brings a unique blend of speed and elusiveness to evade defenders.
When Miller steps on the field, defenses will have to alter their entire defensive strategy.
For all the questions Ohio State has had this off-season surrounding the quarterback position, the running backs are much more of a sure thing.
Ohio State has one of the best stable of running backs that the program has seen in years, with four (five with Dan Herron, but he will be out the first five games) backs who have starter talent.
The Buckeyes will have a good mix of power backs—Carlos Hyde and Roderick Smith—and speed backs, Jordan Hall and Jaamal Berry.
Defenses will have to adjust to many different styles of runners, which will be an advantage for the Buckeyes.
When teams are faced with adversity, one of two things can happen—they either struggle or they unite.
Ohio State has put a point of emphasis on their "Shock the World" mentality. The locker room is united with determination to be successful and turn a negative into a positive.
The players know what has been said of them and the program—don't think for a second they won't be using that for motivation.
Most teams have a handful of players with chips on their shoulders, every player on the Ohio State roster has a giant chip on their shoulder.
Ohio State will play four of their first five games in the comfort of the Shoe, which could be huge for a young team like the Buckeyes.
Ohio State will have what should be nothing more than a tune-up game against the University of Akron on opening week before their showdown in Miami against the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes have been under NCAA investigation as well, and they will have a few starters missing the game due to suspension.
If Ohio State can get by the Hurricanes, which I feel strongly they will, they will be undefeated when they face Colorado at home before their Big Ten Conference opener against the Michigan State Spartans.
I expect week five to be the toughest test for the Buckeyes in their first five games, but by the time week five rolls around the Buckeyes should be clicking on both sides of the ball.
The defense may not be the most experienced bunch, but the Ohio State Buckeyes' defense will be one of the quickest and most athletic groups of recent memory.
If the offense has trouble getting the ball rolling the first few games of the season, the silver bullet defense will still be there to back them up.
With guys like Nathan Williams and John Simon coming off the edge, opposing offenses are going to have their work cut out for them.
Throw in linebackers Storm Klein, Etienne Sabino and Andrew Sweat with corners Travis Howard and Bradley Roby—what this defense lacks in experience, they make up for in ability.