B1G Schedule Breakdown: Ohio State

Previously: Illinois, Indiana

2011 Overall Record: 6-7
2011 Big Ten Record: 3-5

Sept 1Miami (Oh)
Sept 8Central Florida
Sept 15California
Sept 22UAB
Sept 29@ Michigan State
Oct 6Nebraska
Oct 13@ Indiana
Oct 20Purdue
Oct 27@ Penn State
Nov 3Illinois
Nov 17@ Wisconsin
Nov 24Michigan

Do Not Play

Biggest Game
This one's pretty obvious. Ohio State hangs their hat on beating Michigan every year. They have no other rivals. The 2012 contest is especially important because no matter what, it's the last game of the year for the Buckeyes – who will serve a 1-year post-season suspension for tat-gate and the related violations that have stemmed from it. Michigan is Ohio State's national championship game this year. The best they can hope for is to play spoiler for Michigan. But given they're in separate divisions, Michigan would really need to be on the fence for OSU to knock them out.

Non-Conference Loss
Cal is really the only non-conference threat for the Buckeyes this year. Urban will almost certainly be 2-0 going into his first real test as the head ball coach.

It's a Trap!
Either Purdue, who constantly plays spoiler for Ohio State, or Illinois. Both are Leaders division games leading into other Leaders division games against better teams, so there's that, but I honestly doubt they lose to either of them. Ohio State plays the best 3 teams from the Legends division, so no let down those weeks.

The Game Destined for ESPN3.com
UAB sounds like a snoozefest.

Final Analysis
I fully expect Ohio State to be better than they were a year ago. Urban can coach circles around whatshisname from last year, so there's really nowhere to go but up. Yes, there's no chance they can win the league or go to a bowl, but they will be competitive in every game they play. But I think there will be some road bumps for this new coaching staff. The B1G can be rather tough on new coaches from other leagues, and the B1G is going to be just as tough this year as it was a year ago.

Fearless Predictions
Non-conference record: 4-0
Division Record: 4-1
Crossover Record: 0-3
Overall: 8-4
Bowl: N/A

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