Ohio State on the rise after big win against Wisconsin
Ohio State might have lost a legendary head coach and possibly one of the best quarterbacks to come through Columbus ever.
So maybe they are not the best team in the Big Ten, but I agree with ESPN Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg who says they might be the most dangerous team.
Ohio State just beat a previously unbeaten Illinois team and then coming off of a bye week, they handled the Wisconsin Badgers who have now lost two straight games. The Buckeyes already have three losses this season, but that might be all they lose the rest of the way.
A home game against Indiana and a road game against Purdue are the final two games that stand between Ohio State and two late-season matchups with Penn State and Michigan that could decide who goes to the Big Ten championship game.
Nobody thought Ohio State had a chance--including myself--and now it looks like they could challenge for yet another Big Ten title despite all that has gone on this offseason.
The biggest factors in a potential comeback of the year in the Big Ten for Ohio State are going to be the play of Braxton Miller at quarterback and the continued resurgence of the defense.
Miller showed on Saturday that he can come out and make plays not just in the passing game, but he proved he is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the conference, netting his first two rushing touchdowns of the season. He will obviously need to become more of a threat in the passing game if the Buckeyes are going to beat a team like Penn State, and he will be getting a huge boost for that game.
If Ohio State can beat the Hoosiers and Boilermakers, they will get back wide receiver DeVier Posey for the Penn State game--just in the nick of time to make a run at a Big Ten title.
We have already seen what kind of impact getting Dan Herron has had. Obviously this is a guy who can make plays, and he has done just that with 274 yards in two games this season. He will continue to get the bulk of touches in the running game and will be a huge reason for Ohio State's late-season success.
This has to be really encouraging for first-year head coach Luke Fickel, a guy who walked into one of the toughest situations in all of college football. It looked early this season like Ohio State was going to be a team that laid down, but they are really on the rise and just beat the team that in my opinion is the best overall team in the Big Ten.
Ohio State is a young team with a lot of flaws, but they are hot right now and have a lot of confidence going into two games that on paper look like easy wins. If they can go into the Penn State game with a 7-3 record, I think this team could really be one to watch as the Big Ten continues to unfold.