While Ohio State and Urban Meyer accomplished something no other team has ever before when they won the inaugural College Football Playoff in January, there still remained one lone bugaboo to a perfect 2014 season.
Luckily for the Buckeyes, they have a chance to amend the wrongs they endured last September at Ohio Stadium under the lights, with NBA megastar LeBron James on the sideline next to a slew of top recruits.
Five days stand between Ohio State's rematch with Virginia Tech, this time at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va.
Though the NCAA and college football traditionalists likely don't approve, betting is a massive part of college football's big business factor, just like any sport.
Each game during a typical college football week provides a level of intrigue reliant on the matchup, location, injuries, suspensions, weather, or any other nuance you can put a finger on.
|Feb. 2||OHIO STATE -19|
|April 27||OHIO STATE -20.5|
|June 19||OHIO STATE -18|
|June 26||OHIO STATE -19|
|July 17||OHIO STATE -14.5|
|July 22||OHIO STATE -14|
|July 23 (initial)||OHIO STATE -13.5|
|July 23 (secondary)||OHIO STATE -13|
|July 23 (final)||OHIO STATE -13.5|
|July 24||OHIO STATE -13|
|July 30 (initial)||OHIO STATE -12|
|July 30 (final)||OHIO STATE -10.5|
|Aug. 2||OHIO STATE -11|
|Aug. 8||OHIO STATE -11.5|
|Aug. 24||OHIO STATE -11|
|Aug. 31||OHIO STATE -12|
Ohio State opened as a 19-point favorite in February for its second matchup in as many seasons with the Hokies, according to the fine folks over at 5Dimes.
That was, of course, when J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller were on the mend from injuries, Meyer just locked up another impressive recruiting class, Noah Brown was healthy and the quartet of Joey Bosa, Dontre Wilson, Corey Smith and Jalin Marshall were still eligible.
As July crept along, however, the odds again began to teeter back toward an even line. Over a two-week period, Ohio State sat once as a 14.5-point favorite against the Hokies, before slowly dipping to a 12-point lean the morning of July 30.
Interestingly enough, the report of Braxton Miller's switch to H-back late July 23 bumped Ohio State's odds of beating Virginia Tech up a half-point, from 13 to 13.5, according to 5Dimes. However, nearly 24 hours later, that baby push was gone and Ohio State was once again a 13-point favorite, before again seeing it's odds drop to the 12-point figure mentioned above a week later.
Then, lightning struck.
Meyer and Ohio State announced the suspensions of Bosa, Marshall, Wilson and Smith just before the head coach took to the podium in Chicago at Big Ten Media Days.
That caused the oddsmakers to rethink things a bit, and by that evening Ohio State was a 10.5-point favorite according to the betting site.
The line's since risen, hovering around either having the Buckeyes as 11- or 11.5-point favorites until Monday, when 5Dimes released new odds and had them as a 12-point lean. The numbers weren't really affected by the loss of wide receiver Noah Brown to a broken leg Aug. 26.
Some oddsmakers still have the Buckeyes favored by as many as 14 points against the Hokies and as little as 10.
Sportsbook.ag likes the Buckeyes by 13 points, Odds Shark 11, and Fantasy911.com 13. The over/under on the rematch has mostly been in the mid to lower 50s the whole summer, meaning those in Las Vegas are expecting a good amount of points Monday evening at Lane Stadium.
How exactly things play out in Blacksburg depend on a laundry list of variables like Miller's comfort in his new position, how the young players on the defensive line show up in place of Bosa, who Ohio State's starting quarterback will be and much, much more. An in-depth analysis and breakdown from Odds Shark can be found here.
Should be a fun one on Labor Day.