While a lot of attention can go to pro sports leagues such as the NFL, college sports are as vibrant as ever. The health of the college scene is actually vital to pro leagues because it is where the next generation of stars will come from. College football is huge and one of the best leagues is the Big Ten conference. It boasts some of the most well-known teams, such as the Wisconsin Badgers and Michigan Wolverines.
Ohio State, though, are the most recognizable name for most people. Also known as the Buckeyes, they went 5-0 in regular season last year and won the Big Ten Championship in 2020. This has left many people backing them to impress again in 2021. But can they do it? Looking at the latest college football odds spreads is one way to answer this, as it will show you the chances of Ohio winning their next game and eventually making a title bid.
Of course, now that the new season is under way, you could also take a look at Ohio’s current form to see how they might do moving ahead. But what is this looking like so far?
Ohio State Buckeyes 2021 form to date
After a Big Ten winning campaign last time out, expectations were high again for Ohio State. But what has their form in the first few games told us?
Their opening game against Minnesota went very well and saw Ohio notch a 45-31 win. This was even more impressive when you think this was victory on the road and the side showed no off-season rust. Ohio looked in total control for the entire game and never in danger of slipping to defeat. Their second game against Oregon was always going to be a tough ask, especially with it being so early in the campaign.
A 28-35 loss confirmed this but was not a huge disaster. Although it was a home defeat, which always stings, Ohio did play well and the scoreline shows it was a pretty tight game. The major concern was a sloppy defense, particularly against the Ducks running game. While this will be a worry, you have to think that this will be sorted out quickly.
Of course, with the season only two games in, a lot can happen in terms of form and finishing positions. But what reasons are there to think Ohio State will shake off the Oregon defeat and get back to good form again?
Elite-level wide receivers
If the Buckeyes are to perform as they did against Minnesota, a lot will rest on Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. These two players are widely considered the best WRs in college ball. If they can stay fit and firing, they will allow Ohio to blow teams away. Against Minnesota, for example, Olave made over 100 yards and two touchdowns from just four receptions. Wilson made 80 yards and bagged one touchdown in the same game. This shows just how explosive Ohio’s offense could be in 2021 and why they could have an awesome season.
New QB in CJ Stroud
When reports that saw freshman CJ Stroud named as Ohio States new QB came to light, many were unsure. His form to date, though, looks promising and bodes well for the side moving ahead. If the Buckeyes are to bounce back from Oregon and show the form of their opening game, then he will surely be a major factor in this.
While he might have experienced rocky periods in both games so far (that late interception against Oregon hurt!), he has a great arm and the vision to make good passes. In addition, he does not hide and has the courage to keep making his plays. Even in the loss to Oregon, he threw for three touchdowns and 484 yards!
Experience and winning mentality
If Ohio are to kick on with a good run of form in 2021, then coach Ryan Day will be key. After 2019’s perfect 12-0 championship-winning campaign and 2020’s success, he knows what it takes to beat teams. He also knows what it takes to win and to bring home the points against tough opposition. His input will be key in helping them bounce back from the latest defeat and get back to top form.
Ohio State could be in for another top year
The recent form of the Buckeyes seems to suggest another enjoyable year is in store for fans. Although a loss against Oregon was disappointing, they still played well and there is no reason to panic. When combined with the first game victory against Minnesota, they still look to be set for a good run.