The Ohio State manager sign a contract that will ultimately lead to his downfall

The Ohio State Buckeyes, who are rated by ESPN as the third-best team in the nation overall, will take on Indiana in their season opener on the road. The Associated Press has Indiana ranked third overall.

It seems like a consensus at this point that the Buckeyes are national championship contenders this season, which is the expectation in Columbus, which makes it no surprise that in their power rankings, ESPN’s panel of 57 experts made Ohio State’s ceiling in 2023 a national title, which isn’t a shocker considering how close they came to achieving that last season. The real shocker is ESPN penning the Buckeyes’ “floor” at four losses.

“A four-loss season is highly unlikely but possible for the Buckeyes,” ESPN writes. “It would stem from continued regression on defense and the abrupt end to a stretch of superb quarterback play. The questions at the offensive tackle spots would need to be amplified, as would health and production issues at running back. The defensive line has been ordinary lately and, in theory, could continue down the path despite so much talent and experience.”

Adam Rittenberg pointed out Ohio State’s tough road schedule as a potential reason for the Buckeyes dropping four games. The road slate for the Buckeyes this season includes trips to Michigan, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin, among others.

However, those are the three teams that Ohio State faces on paper as the toughest opponents on the road; the other three are Purdue, Rutgers, and Indiana (in the season opener), all of whom are still expected to be strong underdogs.

Seeing as though the Buckeyes have lost four games or more in a season just four times this century, this season would be an unmitigated disaster if it happened for a fifth time.

Considering how talented Ohio State is returning at receiver, linebacker, defensive line, and in the secondary, it is difficult to see how they could go from one play away from a national championship to not even being in a New Year’s Six bowl game.

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