We’ve previewed the offense and gotten hopeful about the defense, and now is the time to see who these guys are playing and tell you how this operation is going to go. We at OTE preview the games and give your more time to watch Saved By The Bell or whatever the hell you watch on your new Peacock subscription.
September 3rd: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Here come the Irish, led by a heavy Buckeye contingent of head coach Marcus Freeman and linebacker coach James Laurinaitis. Brian Kelly is gone, but his old staff remains (as they apparently wanted nothing to do with the guy). The story here besides the coaching situation is question marks on the offensive end. Tyler Buchner takes over for your old friend Jack Coan at quarterback. He has one NFL starter to throw to in tight end Michael Mayer, but a lot of newbies everywhere else. The defense shouldn’t be much of a question mark, and is the key for the Irish to make this a game. If they can muck up the Buckeye offense enough to keep the score reasonable, this is a game the Irish can win.
Notre Dame 30, Ohio State 28
September 10: Arkansas State Red Wolves
The Red Wolves come in led by Tennessee whipping boy Butch Jones. They went 2-10 last season and finished second to last in total defense. The Buckeyes finished as the top offense in America last year. Expect points.
Ohio State 56, Arkansas State 21
September 17: Toledo Rockets
The mighty Rockets have been a pretty strong MAC program for years now. Last season, while they finished 7-6, all their losses but one were by seven points or less, including a three point loss to Notre Dame. They finished 56th on the SP+, right in the Florida State/Maryland/North Carolina part of the landscape. Not a bad team, and they should once again compete for a MAC championship. The hope here is the defense gets sorted out and the Buckeyes start hitting their stride going into B1G play.
Ohio State 35, Toledo 17
September 24: Wisconsin Badger
The B1G opener is against our old friends, the stinkin’ Badgers. Wisconsin is extremely interesting this season, where they are replacing a ton from an excellent defense and return a lot from a very average offense. Braelon Allen seems primed to run for 175 yards and also watch Graham Mertz throw four picks. Pan to Paul Chryst on the sidelines, looking confused and wondering how he ended up there instead of teaching math to sixth graders.
Ohio State 28, Wisconsin 24
October 1: Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Greg Schiano returns to the Horseshoe. Rutgers wasn’t, like, good last season. But they weren’t completely terrible. SP+ projects a bit of an improvement, from 88th last season to 78th this season. Noah Vedral returns at quarterback for what appears to be his 18th season in college football. The man is developing a keen sense for rocking chairs and blended whiskeys and Kirkland brand tennis shoes. If he doesn’t hurt his back using the toilet, Rutgers may surprise. But probably not in this game.
Ohio State 48, Rutgers 13
October 8: @ Michigan State
Another Very Interesting Team, the Spartans had a wild season last year. One major blip was getting obliterated by the Buckeyes. This was the game where OSU had an almost perfect half and were up 49-0 at halftime. Do you remember that? Remember Ohio State up 49-0 at halftime? I doubt we’ll see a repeat of that, unless Mel Tucker has the same work ethic I would have after signing a $95 million dollar contract. Which is to say show up for whatever the minimum time required to get paid and spend the rest of the day hiring prostitutes to play Elden Ring with me.
Ohio State 38, Michigan State 21
October 22: Iowa Hawkeyes
No Kinnick, no chance for the Hawkeyes? This isn’t a test for the Buckeyes defense - that would require something approaching competence from the other side. Iowa finished 121st in total offense last year. There has been lots of talk about the haves and have-nots of football with the B1G emerging decidedly in the “HAVE” part of the deal. But if Iowa is a Have, why do they get fewer yards than Bowling Green?
Ohio State 24, Iowa 7
October 29: @ Penn State Nittany Lions
Road games against Penn State have been on the tougher variety for the Buckeyes over the past decade, and this game should be no different. The Nits promise a tough defense, and with a new coordinator they look to improve on offense, too. This one will be a bear for the Buckeyes. While they can usually count on some boneheaded call from James Franklin, my gut says he finally gets to be the hero.
Penn State 34, Ohio State 31
November 5: @ Northwestern Wildcats
Ah, Northwestern. What to make of you. The Cats have made do on some really strong defenses that muddied up the waters enough to get them some great seasons here and there. Last year, after the retirement of long time coordinator Mike Hankwitz, the Cat defense melted into a flimsy stack of used paper plates. With no offense and no defense, Northwestern turned into the dumpster fire of the league. Will things turn around? Not in this game.
Ohio State 38, Northwestern 7
November 12: Indiana Hoosiers
The second surprising dumpster fire from last season, the Hoosiers were unexpectedly butt. With the offense putrid, Indiana went after Walt Bell as their new coordinator, fresh off his 2-23 performance as head coach at UMass. His last OC job was in 2018 with Florida State, who finished 113th in scoring.
Ohio State 42, Indiana 14
November 19: @ Maryland Terrapins
The darlings of the offseason, your Maryland Terrapins look destined for some sort of improvement. With this game on the road, you could see a bit of a track meet break out. At this point in the season, you’d like to think the new defense isn’t so new anymore, and track meets are a thing of the past. Like how people think cryptocurrency is a great investment.
Ohio State 48, Maryland 35
November 26: Michigan Wolverines
The Rematch. The Revenge. It’s been a while since OSU was so keyed up on The Game, but getting your teeth kicked in will do that. By this point in the season, we will know if Ryan Day’s Buckeyes are a juggernaut or a pretender. I’m going to go with almost a contender, and almost a champion, and almost a playoff participant, and that means they will almost lose to Michigan.
Ohio State 28, Michigan 20
All this adds up to a 10-2 record for the Buckeyes. No real shame in losing to Notre Dame and Penn State, but if this comes to pass the storm clouds will start surrounding Ryan Day.
People in Columbus have already talked themselves into the Buckeyes being national champs. The offense should be great. But the defense had real problems, and not just with the coaching. While they should be improved, they aren’t going to turn in Georgia in one offseason, and will probably be the reason the Buckeyes don’t quite get where they want to go.
The OTE Writers’ Verdict
But what say you, OTE reader?
In the Big Ten in 2022, Ohio State will go...
This poll is closed
6-3 or worse
Overall in 2022, Ohio State finishes...
This poll is closed
8-4 or worse
This poll is closed
College Football Playoff
Some NY6 bowl
About time the Buckeyes got Duke’s Mayo like the rest of us