Ohio State football was two, maybe three, wins away from the National Championship in 2021. If the Buckeyes had beaten Michigan (and/or Oregon) and won the Big-10, they would have had an opportunity to face Georgia in the College Football Playoff Semifinal.
Instead, after losing to the Wolverines, Ryan Day’s squad finished the year at 11-2 with an incredible back-and-forth, last-second win over Utah in the Rose Bowl. THE Ohio State University finished Day’s third year at the helm ranked No. 5 in the Coaches Poll.
And it was disappointing.
Now, despite losing some talent to the NFL in April, the Buckeyes have their sights set on a national title in 2022. They have 13 of 22 starters returning this fall.
Although Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson were both selected in the first round, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Marvin Harrison might be an even better duo. The latter is an absolute freak.
C.J Stroud will be throwing them the ball after being a Heisman Trophy finalist last season and running back TreVeyon Henderson has the potential to become a household name by the end of the year, if he isn’t already. Needless to say, the offense in Columbus is loaded.
As a result, there is a lot of hype and opposing coaches are taking notice. Two Big 10 coaches spoke anonymously to Athlon Sports and had very high praise for Ohio State.
“Most coaches in the country would do anything to have a season that’s considered a bad year for Ohio State. Their bad year is a great year for anyone else. When we broke down their roster last season, it was like editing your NCAA video game on dynasty mode and you put everyone at 99. Essentially they could do whatever they wanted to on offense for most of the season. Throw [Garrett] Wilson a bubble screen, he’d go 80 yards. First-round receivers, first-round QB, first-round back, hell, the tight end was an unsung hero who couldn’t shine because he couldn’t get touches, but he’s one of the best in the country. This was one of the best college offenses possible, and even losing NFL receivers, they’re still deep at that position. It’s insane.”
The Buckeyes open the 2022 regular season with a tough matchup against Notre Dame. Another anonymous coach thinks that if the Ohio State defense can improve from last year, it could be fairly invincible. Even if it loses to the Irish.
“The sole issue that kept them out of the playoff has been fixed. It’s all about how fast [DC Jim] Knowles gets them fit for what he wants. If you’re looking for a criticism here, they’re short superstars on this side lately. They’re solid in every phase on defense, but for instance, their linebackers were… fine? The reality is that no one, not even this team, is built to always win by outscoring the other team, and it finally bit them. You’re gonna find out right away with Notre Dame, and that will set the tone for how fast you can expect them to be back as a national title contender. Even if they lose that opener, they can still run through this conference. They’re that good.”
Look out for Ohio State. The Buckeyes are coming.
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