Ohio State was the first College Football Playoff national champion. A shocking home loss to Michigan State derailed the Buckeyes’ chances to repeat in 2015.
Aaron Torres’ five reasons:
5. They’ve got more talent than you do
4. The defense is better than you think
3. The schedule is manageable, in a down year for the Big Ten
2. Ohio State has J.T. Barrett and you don’t
1. Urban Meyer is a better coach as an underdog
Some of the reasons are obvious — Barrett is probably the Big Ten’s most realistic Heisman candidate and Ohio State will always be loaded with talent and potential due to the way Meyer and his staff recruit.
Plus, even if Ohio State loses to Oklahoma early in the season, the Buckeyes will likely be favored the rest of the way (the Michigan State road game the biggest question). We’ve already seen a situation where Ohio State lost a non-conference game early and then won out to win a national title. With Michigan coming to Columbus this year and no real imposing conference foes outside Michigan and Michigan State, the Buckeyes have little reason to think they won’t be contenders in 2016.