The Big Ten is taking a big role in this season’s College Football Playoff picture. With four teams ranked in the top 11, it seems like only a matter of time before one of them will be crowned champion. Ohio State has been the most successful team so far, but Michigan and Penn State are not too far behind. It will be interesting to see how these teams compete against each other over the course of the season. Without further ado, here are the Buckeye’s biggest games of the season.
Although the game will be played in Columbus, this is still a very important game for Ohio State. With an early kickoff, Ohio State will have to get out of the gate fast against a team with high expectations coming into this season. Replacing Heisman winner Baker Mayfield is no small task, but Kyler Murray was expected to do just that before being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of this year’s NFL draft. The early start time will be good for the Buckeye’s first game of the season, but they have to deliver a strong performance.
This game takes on an entirely different meaning now that Mark Dantonio is back on the sidelines. Although Ohio State has dominated this rivalry recently, it won’t be fun for the Buckeyes to get a win against their former head coach. In order to get this big win, Ohio State will have to shut down Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke. He has been very productive so far this season and is looking like a darkhorse Heisman candidate. If Ohio State can contain him, this game will be a win for the Buckeyes.
This is another game with added meaning now that Urban Meyer has been suspended. Many have speculated that this game will decide who wins the Big Ten East, but Ohio State can’t look past Maryland at all. The Buckeyes showed last season how a team can lose focus and lose games they aren’t expected to lose. Also, the Terps are coming off a 26 point win against Minnesota in which they combined for almost 500 yards of offense on 98 plays. Ohio State cannot take this game lightly, even with Meyer suspended.
If there’s any game that could decide the Big Ten East Division, it will be this one. With both teams atop the division at the moment, this game will be big for both sides. Penn State has already won one huge game in Ohio Stadium against Ohio State, but they’ll have another tough test in Columbus. They face a better opponent in Week 3 with home-field advantage on their side. If Ohio State can win this game with Meyer suspended, it sends a strong message that they’re not going to give up the East Division without a fight.
This game is big in the sense that Ohio State will be playing another ranked opponent in an early kickoff. This isn’t entirely unheard of for Meyer, who has had some issues with early kickoffs when his team was accustomed to later starts during their previous seasons. Other than that, the Buckeyes have a chance to get another quality win against a ranked opponent. Not only this, but Ohio State could potentially be undefeated when they travel out to Happy Valley for this matchup.
This is one of the most underrated games of the regular season for Ohio State. Maryland has been very impressive in their first two games, especially with freshman quarterback Kasim Hill at the helm. Ohio State may not be as big of a favorite in this game as they were for their previous matchups, so it will be interesting to see how they handle playing yet another ranked opponent early on in the day. The Buckeyes should win if they play like we know they can, but don’t be surprised if it’s a close game.
This is the last big matchup of the regular season for Ohio State, and this one will have Big Ten championship implications. As usual with Michigan, Ohio State doesn’t get much of a break from playing ranked opponents early in the day. The Wolverines aren’t expected to do much this season after having so much turnover, but they have gotten off to a strong start. If the Buckeyes want the East Division crown, this is one of the games that will determine whether or not they get it.