Amongst Ohio State fans the feeling going into this season is pretty optimistic. Along with being optimistic, there is also unease. There is almost a fear of being too successful and risk being over matched by an SEC opponent in the championship again.
Here are 5 reasons why this year can be different.
5. Easy Schedule- There is no doubting that the Big 10 is down this year. Ohio State is without question the class of the conference. Miami(FL) is a tough non-conference game, but I really think Ohio State is a better team should be able to win that one. On top of that, if Ohio State goes unbeaten and makes the Championship, the rest of college football is down. Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Oregon, Georgia, etc are not looking like they'll be at the elite level this season. Of course, Alabama is super loaded, but you never know about what could happen in the SEC. Ohio State could end up playing an unbeaten Big East school or Boise State.
4. Luck- As mentioned above the regular season is looking pretty doable for the Buckeyes. Of course, things like injuries could change that. Or bit of luck against a team like Purdue on an upset bid. The SEC could beat itself up and leave Ohio State with an easier opponent in the National Championship Game.
3. Defensive Strategy- Given the beatings that Ohio State received against Florida, LSU, and USC, an improved defensive strategy became necessary. The fear of blitzing against quality opponents is gone. A more aggressive defensive strategy has been proven to be effective against Texas in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl, USC in 2010, and (finally a victory) Oregon in 2010. Putting pressure on the quarterback is key to playing defense well in College Football.
2. The Defensive Line- Ohio State's D-Line is one of the best, if not the best in College Football. Being able to pressure with four down linemen allows tremendous freedom in defensive scheming.
1. Terrelle Pryor- Following the poor performance against Purdue last year, his improvement has been great. He's an elite athlete and when he is playing well he can keep Ohio State in any game.
Thanks for reading and please comment.