The Ohio State Buckeyes are coming off a 14-1 season that saw them tear apart Alabama and Oregon in the first ever four-team playoff to win the national title, their eighth overall.
They start off the 2015 as the favorites to repeat, and Las Vegas has them as prohibitive favorites to not only win it all, but finish the season undefeated.
That road starts in Blacksburg on September 7th against Virginia Tech. This is the same Hokies team that upset the Buckeyes in Columbus last season. A team that if the Buckeyes take lightly, could ruin their perfect season before it even gets started. Frank Beamer always seems to have his squad up for the task on opening day, and with the way that squad plays defense, it will not be a walkover for Urban Meyer’s guys.
Now comes word there will be fewer of those “guys” for Meyer to coach on Labor Day. All-Everything defensive lineman Joey Bosa, h-back Jalin Marshall, running back Dontre Wilson and wide receiver Corey Smith have all been suspended for the first game of the season.
Though the reasons have yet to be confirmed, the suspension is as a result of a “violation of athletic department policy”. One reports insists that the players were suspended for marijuana and academics.
Bosa was named a Big Ten player to watch by the league offices and is expected to be one of the top players drafted in next April’s NFL Draft.
With Braxton Miller’s switch of positions, and also his ability to return punts, the loss of Marshall will easily negated. The loss of Wilson and Smith can also be covered, with the explosiveness the Buckeyes have on offense, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them not miss a beat.
No, it is the loss of Bosa that could be huge for the Buckeyes to overcome, especially for a Virginia Tech team that already has the confidence of knowing that they beat this team last season.
It’s a shame that the first game of their title defense could ruin their perfect season. It would sort of give this stacked Buckeye team a proverbial black eye.