I know that no matter how talented teams are, at skilled positions or otherwise, they are a bit rusty in the first game of the season. That's why big-name teams usually play teams like Appalachian State (sorry, Michigan) in their season opener.
However, Ohio State is scheduled to play blue-blood Notre Dame, which has the fifth-most wins in college football history and is coming off an 11-win season, in its opening game. I don't think the game will be close.
For starters, Ohio State has an already proven quarterback in CJ Stroud who's arguably the best QB in college football going into the 2022 season, and his favorite target, Jackson Smith-Njigba, is arguably the best wide receiver in college football.
They also have one of the best running backs in college football in TreyVeyon Henderson who rushed for 1,248 yards while averaging 6.8 yards per rush and was the team's fourth-leading receiver, just behind two first-round wide receivers (Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson) and Smith-Njigba.
Notre Dame has a different story.
The quarterback battle has not yet been settled and the Irish will be relying on an unproven starter. Replacing Jack Coan at quarterback will be tough to do. Notre Dame is also losing two-time 1,000-yard rusher Kyren Williams. Its leading returning rusher is last year's backup quarterback Tyler Buchner. And although he went just 21 of 35 (60.0%) for just 298 yards, 3 TDs, and 3 INTs, Buchner is also the team's leading returning passer.
Though the Fighting Irish will return last year's second-leading receiver in terms of yards in tight end Michael Mayer, it has to replace its two leading wide receivers in Kevin Austin Jr. and Avery Davis as well.
On top of everything mentioned above, Notre Dame head coach and former Buckeye linebacker has taken a few shots at Ohio State in interviews. The first one was about him making the wrong decision by choosing Ohio State over Notre Dame as a recruit, and him being glad that he didn't make "the wrong decision twice" when choosing to coach at Notre Dame over Ohio State.
The second shot he took was during an interview with CBS Sports while discussing Notre's academics.
"I'm not saying from top to bottom, but the majority of our kids, they -- I want to say this the right way -- are pushed to learn and their study habits are formulated every day. You can't cheat academics at Notre Dame."
As mentioned, Freeman played linebacker for Ohio State under head coach Jim Tressel. After a short stint in the NFL, Freeman quickly earned a reputation as one of the best defensive coordinators in the country at the University of Cincinnati. But what he said while referring to Ohio State later in the interview with CBS Sports was not cool.
"You don't go to class [at places like that]?" Freeman said rhetorically. "OK, take some online classes, show up for your appointments. At Notre Dame, you're forced every day to go to class."
If you think that Ryan Day will not use these interviews as fuel going into its season opener, then you simply don't know Coach Day.
But when you take all of these things into consideration and add the fact that the Buckeye defense should improve drastically under first-year defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and that the game will be under the lights at 7:30 PM in Columbus with 100,000+ screaming Ohio State fans, it very well could be a recipe for disaster for Notre Dame