That's what we think, so with that in mind, we're asking 20 Questions when it comes to the Ohio State football team. Every day from now until the opening game week, we'll have our BSB writers answer one question about the Ohio State football team. Some will be serious, some will be funny, and none will be "Animal, vegetable or mineral?" But all should help you think about the upcoming season, hopefully in a different way than before.
Question 13: Which opponents will score the most/least against Ohio State this season?
Ryan Ginn: The funny thing about questions like this is that the answers aren’t always what you’d expect. For every 56-0 win against Purdue that seemed preordained, there are examples going the opposite way – like Ohio State pitching a shutout in the Big Ten title game or allowing 35 against 2013 Illinois and 49 against 2012 Indiana. So I’m going to think outside the box at least a little bit here.
The obvious choice for least points scored against the Buckeyes would be Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors are a far cry from their days as point-scoring machines when Timmy Chang and Colt Brennan were running the show. But Hawaii features USC transfer Max Wittek and I have to imagine the OSU backups will see plenty of time here, so I think they’ll see the end zone a couple of times. Instead, I’m going to tab Maryland as the team the Silver Bullets fare best against. The Terps’ “key players lost” sections of previews might as well say “every functional member of the offense,” and I think the Buckeyes will be more inclined to put together a complete 60-minute performance against a Big Ten foe than a non-conference one.
I’ll go chalk on the other side of the equation and say Michigan State scores the most of any OSU opponent this season. I have a lot of faith in Connor Cook and the MSU offensive line, which is generally a recipe for good offensive production. The Spartans were a top-10 offense last season, so I see another shootout in the cards this year.
Blake Williams: It’s tempting to pick the best and worst teams on the Buckeyes schedule here and move on, but it may be more intricate than that. Since Urban Meyer took over in 2012 the highest scores posted against the Buckeyes in the regular season have come against Michigan State (37 points, 2014), Illinois (35, 2013) and Indiana (49, 2012). Only last year would you say the best team on the schedule scored the most points. On the flip side, Ohio State has shut out Kent State (2014), Florida A&M and Purdue (2013) while holding Miami (Ohio) to 10 points in 2012. That more closely follows expectations.
For this season I have a hunch that Meyer will substitute freely against Hawaii and Western Michigan in the nonconference, allowing those teams to get on the board. I think the Buckeyes hold Maryland to fewer points than any opponent they face. I don’t see a below average team putting up numbers on the Buckeye defense like Illinois did in 2013 and the Hoosiers did the year prior, so I’ll go with the conventional pick and say Michigan State lights up the scoreboard the most.
Jeff Svoboda: My BSB compatriots have done some solid research, so I'll just make my guesses here. The lowest points question is a tough one because I don't see a ton of teams on the Buckeye schedule that will just be hopeless on offense. Hawaii is really the only one I'm not sure of, but the Rainbow Warriors do have a USC transfer at quarterback and return some solid receivers. But I'm gonna go with chalk and pick that one, even if it does come just five days after the opener. As for the team that will score the most points, I'm not gonna pick Michigan State simply because I feel like Ohio State will be ready for that one. I'm gonna go with Indiana. It's an upset pick for sure, but the Hoosiers return Nate Sudfeld and should have a decent run game, plus the game is on the road and Ohio State should score enough points to give Indiana a lot of possessions as well.
Question 1: Who Will Start At Quarterback For Ohio State?
Question 2: If Ohio State swapped coaches with the other team for every game, what would its regular season record be?
Question 3: How noticeable will the loss of Tom Herman be?
Question 4: If Ohio State could bring back one player from 2014 for this season, who would it be?
Question 5: More all-purpose yards: Braxton Miller, Dontre Wilson or Curtis Samuel?
Question 6: Aside from Michigan State, which Big Ten team should Buckeye fans be most worried about?
Question 7: Seven Buckeyes made 1st or 2nd team All-Big Ten last year (four are back). How many make it this year?
Question 8: What kind of leash will the starting quarterback have? (Or to put it more clearly, what kind of performance would it take for the starting quarterback to fully lose that job – not just be subbed out for a series or two?)?
Question 9: How many true freshmen will have their redshirts pulled this season? Who will they be?
Question 10: Which player can Ohio State least afford to lose to injury?
Question 11: If you had to beat one team with 11 players playing both ways, which game do you choose and what does your starting lineup on each side of the ball look like?
Question 12: Which four players or coaches would you choose to appear with you on Family Feud?