Ohio State received the mildest of scares against Virginia Tech this past Monday, trailing the Hokies 17-14 at halftime.
Then the second half happened.
The Buckeyes put up 28 unanswered points, ultimately winning 42-24. That 18-point margin of victory figures to be the Buckeyes’ most modest until late-November when they host No. 5 Michigan State (1-0) in Columbus.
“They’re going to be heavy, heavy favorites every time they take the field,” Sportsline.com analyst Todd Fuhrman said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “And of course that will start this week where they’re laying nearly six touchdowns against Hawaii who comes into Columbus. We’ve already seen that total open at 59 for that game and get bet up to 65. Ohio State right now is a 41-point favorite.”
Ohio State’s schedule has more cupcakes than a bakery. Hawaii, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Indiana, Illinois – the list goes on.
“You’re talking about Ohio State being north of a three-touchdown favorite in every single one of those games up until they see Michigan State on Nov. 21,” Fuhrman said.
Nothing is going to change that, either. Even if the Buckeyes play down to the competition in a game or two – or pull a Florida State, which last year played down to the competition seemingly every week – they’re still going to be heavy, heavy favorites week-in and week-out.
“I can’t see their number changing a whole lot,” Fuhrman said. “You look at the wealth of riches they have on the offensive side, and the one thing about Ohio State when you’re laying these heavy price tags: If Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett are in a arms race, so to speak, trying to earn playing time and catch the eye of Urban Meyer, Ohio State’s not going to take their foot off the gas. Whereas when you see some of these teams, they may go into more of a run-oriented offense. We’ve seen it in the past with Alabama when they build a three- or four-touchdown lead, you know they’re going to run the football. It’s up to the defense to try to stop them. Whereas Ohio State, it wouldn’t shock me in the least if we’re seeing them run play action or quarterback waggles or anything that they have in the playbook even with a five-touchdown lead midway through the third quarter.”