If you haven't figured it out, Buckeye fans are loyal to W's; the Fightin' Urbans need precisely 14 of them to win a title. Now that pesky opening day is over, we're in the "middle" of the season. the middle is that span from week 2 to the last game before the bowl.
When dealing with the "middle" there is one metric which eludes all voters... I'm sure it has an official name, but I'll call it OWB (Opponents Week Before). For example, last year when Alabama lost to Texas A&M the week before they had a gut wrenching game vs. LSU while A&M played 4th-best-in-their-own-division-Miss.-State. The Tide spent weeks in practice prepping for LSU that they only had 5 days to readyup for Manziel. Give Saban more time and that 5 point loss becomes another ho-hum Tide Victory.
So... how does OSU's OWB stack up?
|Date||OSU Game||OPPONENTS "Week Before"|
|September 7||San Diego State||Eastern Illinois|
|September 14||at *California||Portland State Vikings (HB)|
|September 21||Florida A&M (HB)||Samford|
|October 26||Penn State||Bye|
|November 16||at Illinois||Indiana|
*OTRAN: On The Road At Night - HB: Honorable Bye
What I hoped to see: Every opponent plays Alabama the week before and swims the English Channel the day prior.
What I found out: 4 opponents come off Bye weeks, while Cal has an HB (honorable Bye) vs, Portland State. (Just a note: while the Viking Eirik the Red discovered Greenland and his son Leif Ericcson discovered North America, they never ventured further than Nova Scotia. They were also congenial liars: Eirik named a vast wasteland Greenland to entice people to settle, his son Leif called freezing Nova Scotia Vinland (grape land) to lure settlers, and the Portland State head coach deceives his pupils that a Pac12 victory is in sight.)
What About the OTRANS: OTRANS stand for On The Road At Night. It's not "another day at the office." For many freshmen, it may be their first time on a plane, first night in a hotel. These are amateurs, not pros: Distractions and unfamiliarities abound. Unfortunately, both OTRANS (On The Road At Night) have fresh and ready opponents.
(Update thanks to ColerainBuckeye33: Northwestern plays William & Mary the 14th & Maine on the 21st, THEN a Bye... Basically, the Earth revolves 27 times between competitive games.)
Four in a Row, Really: Four opponents in a row (NWU, Iowa, PSU, & Purdue) ALL have an extra 168 hours of preparation.
Fortunately, Urban also has the bye before Iowa: but on paper OSU has the edge in every metric except head coaching salary. I don't know why it scares me, but Purdue scares me. It's the 4th of 4 in a row, and they seemingly hire SEC ringers on their D-Line every OSU game.
The 2nd toughest: Wisconsin's week-before is semi-bad Purdue, while OSU's is Florida A & M Rattlers. FAMU should prove easier than practice as the Bucks could win 73-9 with half their starters suspended and the other half leaving at half.
How bad is FAMU? Last year they were 4-7 and lost to Howard. Odds are, they wouldn't beat Howard, Fine, & Howard. (That's The Three Stooges, just in case you were born after 1970.).
The Easiest: Illinois is the only game where OSU has the single Bye. Illinois would prove to be a great Division II team or an above average FCS team. But, they choose the Big Ten. It is on their home turf, which means Buckeye fans will only occupy 49% of the seats (Thank you StubHub). Please Note: This may prove to be a trap game provided the Illini put actual bear traps on the field of play.
THE GAME: about even. OSU's week before: Legacy Losers Indiana. Michigan's Week Before: Newly Knighted Losers Iowa.