This is a pretty simple exercise. Heading into the season, I'm curious where Buckeye fans are in terms of their confidence in OSU running the table and going to Indy (hopefully) undefeated.
So here's the schedule, with the parentheses (#) representing the opponent's current ranking as per FPI (for reference, FPI has Ohio State at #2, only a few decimals behind #1 Clemson). I'd like to know what your confidence level is for each game out of 10.
For the purposes of this exercise, let's assume that attrition due to COVID and other factors is kept to a minimum, so Justin Fields and Shaun Wade and the other major pieces stay healthy.
October 24th: Nebraska (38)
October 31st: @Penn State (6)
November 7th: Rutgers (82)
November 14th: @Maryland (91)
November 21st: Indiana (20)
November 28th: @Illinois (61)
December 5th: @Michigan State (73)
December 12th: Michigan (17)
Here's my confidence:
October 24th: Nebraska 8/10. Nebraska has been a bad team for years now, and there's little reason to think they're going to take a giant leap this year, at least not one that would make them competitive. Still, they gave us trouble 2 years ago and had some flashes of quality last year, so I'm not going to say this is a shoe-in.
October 31st: @Penn State 7/10. Penn State is tough and has played us tough recently, but without the Whiteout and no Micah Parsons, I've gotta ride with the Buckeyes here.
November 7th: Rutgers 10/10. The day may come when Rutgers isn't a punchline. That day has not yet come, however.
November 14th: @Maryland 9/10. Maryland is probably terrible, but unlike Rutgers I'm not going to dismiss them out of hand.
November 21st: Indiana 7/10. Indiana is good, and has historically been a scrappy team that challenges Ohio State more than it should. I think we win, but I think outside of the obvious PSU, MSU, and UM games, this is the one with the most upset potential.
November 28th: @Illinois 8/10. This one I may have to revise depending on if Illinois's resurgence to semi-respectability last season was just a blip, but for now I'm going to say that a late November roadtrip to Champlain could be nervy.
December 5th: @Michigan State 7.5/10. Most of my discomfort has to do with whether the weather will cooperate or not in December. MSU should be a scrub team, but weather is the great equalizer.
December 12th: Michigan 8/10. Yes, that's right, I feel less worried about Michigan than I do about Indiana or MSU. Is that recency bias talking? Of course it is, and I understand that older fans will never dismiss our bitter(ly disappointed) rival, and they're right not to. But for my part, I really don't think this is the year Michigan beats us, not if we're at or near full strength in our own house.
So how about the rest of you?