Believe it or not (checks calendar), we are less than 100 days away from the start of the college football season, and that means you’ll be able to watch some Ohio State football very soon on a streaming device or television set near you.
The preseason publications and polls have yet to come out in full force, but those will start to hit the newsstands and ah-hem, the interweb sooner rather than later.
Most of what we’ve seen from the national media types is an expected slight drop-off for OSU since it lost Justin Fields at quarterback and some key members of the defense, but most are only asking questions rather than expecting a depressing year on the banks of the Olentangy.
However, the Sporting News still believes Ohio State could be a monster in 2021. So much so that it doesn’t really have the Buckeyes dropping very far at all in its 2021 preseason college football rankings.
So where does the popular sports magazine have the Bucks and what does it say about this fall?
NEXT … Ohio State’s preseason ranking according to The Sporting News
No. 3 – Ohio State
Apr 17, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Jack Sawyer (33) and defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste (8) and defensive tackle Taron Vincent (6) following the annual spring game at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
What Bender Says
“Ryan Day enters his third season as coach of the Buckeyes, who are again the favorite to win a fifth straight Big Ten championship. Justin Fields is gone, and C.J. Stroud is the favorite to emerge as the starting quarterback in a battle with Jack Miller III and Kyle McCord. Ohio State has what LSU and Alabama had the last two seasons, with the most depth at receiver in the FBS. That starts with future first-round picks Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Defensive end Zach Harrison and cornerback Sevyn Banks are All-American candidates on the defense, and freshman Jack Sawyer — who had four sacks in the spring game — should be an immediate contributor. The Buckeyes get Oregon and Penn State at home, too.”
NEXT … What we say
No. 3 – Ohio State?
Apr 17, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Master Teague III (33) and running back Demario McCall (3) and lineman Cormontae Hamilton (83) following the annual spring game at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
What We Say
The more and more we look at the makeup of this roster, the more we are starting to believe in folks sleeping on this Ohio State team. With the offensive line and skill position players on that side of the ball, it’s going to be hard for opposing defenses to get enough stops to hang with the Buckeyes, even with a new quarterback running the show.
And while there are some concerns in the secondary, the defensive line might be able to make up for any shortcomings with guys like Haskell Garrett, Taron Vincent, Tyreke Smith, Zach Harrison, and Jack Sawyer wreaking havoc in the trenches. If all of those guys have the years we expect, that’s going to be a game-wrecking crew.
In fact, we like The Sporting News’ rankings so much, we have the Buckeyes around the same spot in our own way-too-early-rankings.
Head on over to the next page to see the complete preseason college football rankings from The Sporting News.
NEXT … The Rest of The Sporting News Preseason Top 25
The Sporting News Preseason CFB Top 25
3. Ohio State
6. Notre Dame
7. Texas A&M
9. Iowa State
14. North Carolina
17. Oklahoma State
19. Miami (FL)
21. Ole Miss
23. Coastal Carolina
25. Penn State