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Ohio State, the B1G East, and the Columbus food scene

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How will Ohio State do in the East?

Ohio State v Michigan State Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

OTE, we’ve made it to the last week of the season previews, and we’re finishing up with the Ohio State Buckeyes. Last year Ohio State went to the playoffs, losing to eventual national champion Clemson, and on the way was the co-champion of the East with Penn State.

I’ve never been to Columbus for a football game, so I don’t know the great local places to eat. I have been on OTE for a long time, and I remember community member trasch_man helping us out a few years ago with some local knowledge of Columbus’s food scene. Thanks, trasch! I’ll be using that as reference this week.

Today’s food is Weiner Schnitzel und Gravy from Schmidt’s Sausage Haus and Restaurant in Columbus.

According to Schmit’s, the Wiener Schnitzel und Gravy is

Milk-fed veal cutlets, lightly coated with a crisp breading topped with fresh mushroom burgundy based gravy – a German tradition!

Question: With Penn State returning to championship form ahead of schedule, and MSU down, and Jim Harbaugh’s fightin’ Khakis (by their fanbase’s expectation) underachieving, will Ohio State be able to get back to sole possession of the East Crown?

Bonus Question: What’s your favorite German food?

JWS: I have lived in Columbus my entire life, and have been a Buckeye fan as long as I can remember. My last name is Snyder, which is obviously German, and there are two competing chip companies with the same moniker. My mother’s maiden name is also German, and is the name of a beer company over there. I was born to answer this question.

What was the question again? I have been drinking and I ate too much.

Townie: Nope...and I hate German food.

LPW: I think the Buckeyes will be OK. Former Indiana HC (and Oklahoma, Northwestern, and Miami of Ohio) OC has done some amazing things offensively, and now he has Urban’s roster to play with it could be scary. I think the defense will be fine.

My favorite German food is the Sauerbraten I get when I visit Berghoff’s in downtown Chicago. I’ve been getting that since the mid 80s with my uncle, and it’s just amazing. Berghoff;s has been around since pre-prohibition and if you’ve seen the Dark Knight it doubles as the restaurant where Sal Maroni and the Chechen’s gang’s hangout.

Aaron: Considering that Ohio State is returning a bunch of 2016 starters and has Penn State at home this year, the Buckeyes deserve to be the conference favorite. However, if they’re going to take care of business in 2017, J.T. Barrett needs to play better down the stretch. The super senior quarterback completed fewer than half his passes as Ohio State barely escaped defeat against Michigan State and Michigan in its last two regular season games. Then, he threw for just 127 yards and two interceptions as the Buckeyes were embarrassed by Clemon in the College Football Playoff.

Against a lot of the riffraff out there, Ohio State can just rely on its running game and defense to get the job done, but against fellow title contenders this year, Barrett must make plays in the passing game to move the chains. In that regard, it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but new offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson is someone who knows how to make a passing game work. It will be interesting to see how much influence the former Indiana head coach has on Meyer’s tried-and-true formula.

German food is just sausage and beer, right? I love all German food.

MNW: JT Barrett is still here? Are you fucking kidding me? Someone let me know who got him the Alex Olah Eligibility Special.

Returning 15 starters and getting Penn State at home, as Aaron rightly points out, is a great start to being considered the favorite. Add to that Kevin Wilson and an improved Mike Weber, along with an offensive line replacing only one player and shifting an All-B1G RG in Billy Price to C? Even a modest uptick in Barrett’s passing struggles over the last few games will help with that. We could have a scary-good, scary-fast, scary-efficient Ohio State offense.

It’s here that I would like to remind Ohio State fans that some of Kevin Wilson’s power spread ideas were honed during Northwestern’s magical 2000 Big Ten Championship season (and Miami Hydroxide before that, I guess). So you’ve got Zak Kustok and Damien Anderson to thank for this one, guys. Rest in peace, Coach Walker.

Two that end, the date on the calendar I have circled for watching OSU’s offense is 10/14, where Bob Diaco’s 3-4 base takes on the Buckeye attack. Can the Husker LBs get downhill and contain the read-option and other gadgets Urban and Wilson have in place? It could be a very interesting preview of the Penn State game.

I’ve completely taken the defense for granted here. Sorry. Sure, the Buckeyes should be considered the East favorites. My favorite German food is the pound and a half of cheesy spätzle that the gal made me eat in a bar in Munich after she got too drunk but insisted we eat it all because we were on a budget. At least she was a budget drinker—half a liter and she was good for hours.