Admittedly I cheer for a different team (ND), but I don't quite get the confidence coming into this season for OSU. You're obviously the definitive favorite to win a weak big ten, but I'm hearing national championship talk from my OSU people and that seems a little unrealistic to this outsider. Losing half the defense and an entire defensive line... wow.
In my opinion, Ohio State crushes a lot of weaker Big Ten competition next year, but here's where I see trouble:
Wisconsin (assuming their new coach doesn't ruin everything): They've got two quality, proven running backs and somehow manage to turn random farm boys into 1st round picks every year. With a suspect D-line (especially a young, inexperienced one), things could get ugly very quickly if they establish their usual running game.
At Northwestern: Playing away from home... against (according to the hype, who knows) the best Northwestern football team in a LONG time... the week after wisconsin... players tend to overlook northwestern... this one just feels like a trap game.
at Michigan: sorry, but I think there's at least a 50/50 change scUM wins this one. They overachieved/had their lucky year when then won the sugar bowl, crashed back to reality last year, but I just can't see them trending downwards from last year given how they've recruited recently. If their QB gets his stuff together and their defense continues its recent improvement, they could actually be a top 15, maaaaybe top 10 team. Add in that it's at Michigan and I'd pick Michigan 6 times out of 10. or maybe 11 out of 20.
My impression is that OSU will lose at least 2, maybe all three of those games, depending on how good wisconsin and northwestern turn out to be. If Braxton gets hurt, the season could train wreck FAST.
What do you guys see that makes you think those games won't be a problem? Good luck anyway, especially against scUM!