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Ohio State Buckeyes
Much is being made of Ohio State's turnover since last year as only six total starters return on both sides of the ball. However, it's not like the Buckeyes don't have one of the best recruiting classes every year since Urban Meyer came in. They have the talent, it's whether they can put that all together. At the least, the Bucks have experience at the most important position, quarterback.
The Buckeyes are listed at odds of 10 to 1 to win the National Championship at 5 dimes sportsbook. Those odds make them the 3rd overall choice to win the National Championship. Odds change, so be sure to check in with 5 dimes and betonline for the lastest updates.
J.T. Barrett battled with Cardale Jones most of last year and they actually never really figured out that position. This year, Barrett won't have much competition with Joe Burrow the man stepping into the backup job. Injuries have always been an issue for Barrett, but as seen in 2014 (34 passing TDs, 938 rushing yards, 11 rushing TDs), he has the skill set to lead this offense. But who else will be there with him?
The Buckeyes return two guys on the line, but have plenty of talent in the waiting to step up into starting roles. The receivers are mostly new, but Parris Campbell, Torrance Gibson and Terry McLaurin all looked able in the spring game. And even at running back, Curtis Samuel should be just fine after spending the last couple years waiting behind Ezekiel Elliott. In limited appearances, he has shown his ability not only between the tackles, but also in the receiving game. At the end of the day, with Barrett in charge, this offense will be one of the better ones in the Big Ten yet again.
The same can probably be said about the defensive side with middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan leading the way. Most of the names are unknown, but again, a lot of them are some of the top recruits in the nation and chose Ohio State for a reason. In the spring game, linebacker Jerome Baker, safety Malik Hooker and lineman Jashon Cornell were the guys that stood out, but there are plenty more that can make an impact.
Ohio State's schedule isn't easy by any means, opening with tough smaller schools in Bowling Green and Tulsa, but the Buckeyes also draw Rutgers and Indiana at home in their first two Big Ten games. A trip to Oklahoma in the third weekend will be big, not only for the Bucks, but for the Big Ten as a whole. There isn't anything too difficult on the schedule for OSU, outside of closing the season at Michigan State and home to Michigan.
The Buckeyes have new faces, but with probably the best quarterback in the conference, there's no reason why they won't compete for the Big Ten title again. Getting past Wisconsin and MSU on the road will be their hardest conference tests of the season.
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2016 Ohio State Buckeyes Football Schedule
Sept. 3 vs. Bowling Green
Sept 10 vs. Tulsa
Sept. 17 at Oklahoma
Oct. 1 vs. Rutgers
Oct. 8 vs. Indiana
Oct. 15 at Wisconsin
Oct. 22 at Penn State
Oct. 29 vs. Northwestern
Nov. 5 vs. Nebraska
Nov. 12 at Maryland
Nov. 19 at Michigan State
Nov. 26 vs. Michigan
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