We're Talkin' Schedules - tOSU

Previously: Illinois, Indiana

Now: tOSU

2010 Overall Record: 12-1
2010 Big Ten Record: 7-1

Non-Conference Opponents
9/3: Akron (1-11)
9/10: Toledo (8-5)
9/17: @ Miami (7-6)
9/24: Colorado (5-7)

Divisional Opponents
10/15: @ Illinois
10/29: Wisconsin
11/5: Indiana
11/15: @ Purdue
11/19: Penn State

Crossover Opponents
10/1: Michigan State
10/8: @ Nebraska
11/26: @ Michigan

Do Not Play

If You Only Watch One tOSU Game in 2011: This one goes without saying. But for the sake of doing this the unbiased way, we will pick Nebraska. I don't see any other game on the tOSU schedule that looks scarier than that one. I think Nebraska is going to enter the conference as maybe the toughest team, so it's going to be up to tOSU to give them a good early test. However, you could also argue Michigan State is going to be tOSU's toughest test because of the suspended coach/players.

Non-Conference Loss: tOSU plays their usual MAC opponents, and I don't see any problems getting by Akron/Toledo or a struggling Colorado squad. So that just leaves Miami. The Hurricanes gave tOSU a good game in Columbus last year, and now the Buckeyes will travel to South Beach without their head coach and 5 starters. No question that game is a toss up right now.

It's a Trap!: I think the trap game for tOSU is Illinois on October 15. The Illini have offered up their trap services before for the Buckeyes, and their position in this year's schedule, right after Nebraska and right before Wisconsin makes them ripe to play spoiler again. If tOSU can get past Nebraska, they might just be overlooking the Illini before Wisconsin comes calling.

The Game Destined for ESPN3.com: September 10th against Toledo is going to be a snoozer. Even with Tressel and the tattooed five sitting out, this game should be over be halftime.

Final Analysis: The absence of Tressel, Pryor, Adams, Posey, Herron and Thomas will have a substantial impact on the first 5 games of the season. There are two very real obstacles in Miami and Michigan State. If they can clear those two teams, or maybe just one of them, then I think tOSU could string together another BCS-type of year. But the first game back for those fellas is the trip to Nebraska. I just don't see tOSU getting out of Lincoln with a win. But their first divisional game isn't until October 15th, so if they can get their act together by then, I can easily see tOSU going to the B1G Championship game. They are probably the best team in the "Woody" division.

Fearless Predictions
Non-conference record: 3-1
Division Record: 5-0
Crossover Record: 1-2
Overall: 9-3

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