2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Ohio State Buckeyes
No. 2: Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State Buckeyes Prespring Status
When we last saw the Buckeyes, they were busy getting their doors blown off by Clemson in a brutally ugly Fiesta Bowl, Considering that came off a double-overtime win over Michigan and a close call against Michigan State, they didn’t exactly close out the season in dominant fashion. Of course, 11-2 and a second trip to the College Football Playoff in three years is hardly anything to dog, no matter what.
But there are plenty of questions going into the spring, with the passing game needing to be more consistent, the depth needing to come through at running back, and with more superstar prospects taking off early for the NFL.
Last year’s team had bigger problems, though, after giving up a record-setting number of top players to the high end of the draft. This time around, it should be a piece of cake to reload with nine starters back on offense and seven returning on D, but …
Ohio State Buckeyes Biggest Issue
Even for Ohio State, the secondary has a ton of work to do. The passing game will get the scrutiny this spring – especially after losing receivers Corey Smith, Noah Brown, and Curtis Samuel – but the defensive backfield has to replace corners Gareon Conley and Marshon Lattimore along with S Mailk Hooker. That’s not just an NFL trio of defensive backs – those are Pro Bowl losses from the nation’s third-best pass D.
Ohio State Buckeyes Biggest Positive
The defensive front will be ridiculously good. Thanks to the shocking return of DE Tyquan Lewis for one more year, everyone is back. All the starters, all the backups, all the talent to what should be a fresh front four that gets into the backfield in waves. The Buckeyes should obliterate the 28 sack total of last year.
Really, Why Are The Ohio State Buckeyes Ranked Here?
Again, don’t be fooled by the Fiesta Bowl – this should be another dominant team that could be even better on both sides of the ball. J.T. Barrett is a better quarterback than you think, the O line will be amazing for RB Mike Weber and the new backs in the rotation, and the defensive front seven will be another killer. This time around, Ohio State should get into the College Football Playoff after actually winning the Big Ten championship.