The Ohio State Buckeyes haven’t won the Big Ten in multiple years. Will that change with Kyle McCord at quarterback?
Ohio State Preview
The Ohio State Buckeyes will look to earn another College Football Playoff bid in the 2023-24 season.
Ohio State went 8-1 in the Big Ten and has gone 45-6 in Ryan Day’s tenure as head coach of the Buckeyes. Day has averaged under two losses per season with Ohio State.
The Buckeyes were a missed field goal away from earning a College Football Championship Game appearance. However, the Buckeyes can’t dwell on that. They’ve got a lot of new talent and new faces that will likely be the face of the team this year.
The primary thing is Ohio State against Michigan. They’ve lost to Michigan in back-to-back years, typically unheard of for Ohio State. That needs to change this year if Ohio State wants to return to the College Football Playoff.
Michigan is the returning two-time Big Ten Champions. Not Ohio State. And now the competition is getting more difficult in the Big Ten, with Penn State surging, Wisconsin creating some buzz, and Michigan.
Here’s a preview of the Buckeyes’ season for the 2023-24 season.
The Ohio State Buckeyes no longer have C.J. Stroud. Instead, they’ll rely on Kyle McCord.
The Buckeyes have always been tremendous at developing quarterbacks. The list began with Terrelle Pryor, Braxton Miller, JT Barrett, Cardale Jones, Justin Fields, and Stroud all coming to mind.
McCord is in good hands, but Ohio State fans should be cautious to start. McCord has all of the potential in the world, but many other teams in the Big Ten have more experienced quarterbacks. That could hurt Ohio State early on this season. However, they’ve got Marvin Harrison Jr. at wide receiver and one of the best running back duos in the nation between Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson.
Beyond Harrison at wide receiver, includes Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming. They’ve also got Lorenzo Styles, who came from Notre Dame, and Cade Stover, who added 36 catches as a tight end last year.
McCord has enough around him to help his development.
While the offense typically spits out more talent into the NFL, the defense is still always excellent.
Last year’s defense was 13th in the nation in total defense and 24th in scoring defense. However, they’ll need to improve at getting off the field on third downs.
The secondary has Denzel Burke and Davison Igbinosun. The safeties on the roster are also excellent. Meanwhile, Tommy Eichenberg added 120 and 12 tackles for a loss last year. Steele Chambers had 77 tackles, and both will be back for this season.
While the linebacker core is the biggest strength, the defensive line has plenty of talent. They’ve got JT Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer on the edges, and Michael Hall, Ty Hamilton, and Tyler Williams can all rotate in the middle of the line. Plus, Tywone Malone should be an excellent get from Ole Miss. He’ll also make an impact in the middle of the defensive line.
Ohio State Win Total
The Buckeyes are projected to win 10.5 games, with the Over at -105 betting odds.
They’ll start the season against Indiana, Youngstown State, and Western Kentucky. Ohio State should win all three games relatively easily. However, they’ll take on Notre Dame, on the road, on September 23. That’s going to be closer than some think. Notre Dame added Sam Hartman and has the veteran quarterback against a rookie in Kyle McCord.
I’ve got Ohio State earning back-to-back wins there, giving them a 5-1 record before facing Penn State at home. Penn State’s going to be very good, but Ohio State has the Nittany Lions’ number and should escape with a victory at home.
Ohio State would be 6-1 with a road game against Wisconsin. I like Ohio State’s chances in that one. They’d be 7-1 with games against Rutgers, Michigan State, and Minnesota. That would give Ohio State ten wins before a rivalry matchup against Michigan.
With Michigan at home, it’s going to be difficult for Ohio State to earn a win against Michigan. Michigan has won the last couple of games against Ohio State and the Big Ten.
This game could be for playing in the Big Ten Championship. If Ohio State wins that game, they’d be at 11 wins.
NCAAF Pick: Ohio State Over 10.5 Wins (-105) at Caesars Sportsbook