Ohio State returns eight starters on offense highlighted by QB J.T. Barrett who threw for 2,555 yards and had a 24-7 TD to INT ratio. Barrett also had 845 yards rushing. Barrett will have a new offensive coordinator this season in Kevin Wilson. The Buckeyes also return RB Mike Weber who rushed for 1,096 yards in 2016. The receiving unit did lose their top three receivers from last season and their leader on the offensive line in All-American center Pat Elflein but return four starters led by 1st-Team All-Big Ten Billy Price. On defense, the Buckeyes suffer some big losses as they lose leading tackler and also three starters in the secondary that were all taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. The defensive line should be the best in the country, led by DE Tyquan Lewis (Big Ten DL of Year) and Sam Hubbard who had 8 tackles for loss. The special teams unit did loses both kicker and punter from 2016.
The Buckeyes have not been an underdog since the end of the 2014 season and it looks like they will be favored in all of their games in 2017. The season starts off with a road trip to Indiana where Ohio State has failed to cover their last six meetings vs the Hoosiers. This could be a look ahead game for the Buckeyes as week two features the Buckeyes hosting the Oklahoma Sooners. The Buckeyes do play at Nebraska, but figure to be a double-digit favorite after annihilating the Cornhuskers last year. Ohio State gets the all-important bye week prior to their revenge game vs Penn State at home. The season wraps up with a road trip to Michigan which Ohio State has won 12 of the last 13 meetings. Ohio State has only lost three regular season games in five years under Urban Meyer. 2017 sets up for a playoff spot for the Buckeyes.
Written by Brian Hay of 10StarPicks.