2018 Ohio State Buckeyes Season Win Total Picks and Predictions for NCAA Football
2017 Record: 12-1
2018 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 10.5
2018 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Under'
The Urban Meyer debacle has thrown any attempt to forecast Ohio State's season into chaos. So any projection here has to be taken with a grain of salt. I'm not here to cast aspersions. Most college football coaches are terrible people. But the show will go on, with or without Meyer, and as a handicapper I need to be able to assess where this team may be heading.
On the surface, Ohio State looks like a national title contender. That is in spite of losing standout quarterback J.T. Barrett. Meyer has been recruiting at such a high level in Columbus that the Buckeyes really have a plug-and-play situation. And Dwayne Haskins, who picked up some experience last year, looks like a capable replacement.
Ohio State will lean on an outstanding offensive line, led by Michael Jordan and Isaiah Prince, to pave the way for the spectacular running back tandem of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber. They should be able to pound teams into submission while Hoskins finds his feet.
The Buckeyes also have a bevy of playmakers in the passing game, with their top six pass catchers all back in the fold. This is one of the deepest position groups on the field and is teaming with four- and five-star recruits.
Just five starters are back from the nation's No. 9 total defense. Ohio State was No. 15 in points allowed (19.0) and No. 6 in rushing defense last year as well. Gone are difference makers Jerome Baker and Denzel Ward. But first team All-American Nick Bosa is back on a deep and talented line and linebacker Tuf Borland is a potential breakout candidate. Like on offense, there are blue chip prospects up and down the roster.
Ohio State has to play only four true road games all year. But they do have a rough nonconference "neutral site" game against TCU in Arlington, Texas. And of the three other powers in the Big Ten East, they have to face two of them, Penn State and Michigan State, away from home.
Beyond that, it really is a pretty easy schedule for Ohio State. If they survive TCU and Penn State (both games are in September) then the Buckeyes should be undefeated heading into November, where Michigan State and Michigan loom as two of their final three opponents.
I wouldn't touch this season win total until I knew exactly what was going to happen to Meyer. If he is gone then it will fall on first-time coach Ryan Day. If Meyer does come back then he could be a distraction for the entire season. They have four losable games. And I think that they will drop two of them - with or without Meyer - so I will take the 'under' here.
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