Ohio State poised to extend championship reign over Big Ten

Austin Ward9 months
Aritcle written by:Austin WardAustin Ward


northwestern-vs-ohio-stat-b1g-title-game-helmets by birm-lettermen row
Ohio State will play Northwestern for the Big Ten trophy on Saturday. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

The speculation, debate and conversations about Ohio State never end, and Lettermen Row is always ready to dive into the discussions. All week long, senior writer Austin Ward will field topics about the Buckeyes submitted by readers and break down anything that’s on the minds of the Best Damn Fans in the Land. Have a question that needs to be tackled, like the one today about Ohio State and the Big Ten championship? Send it in right here — and check back daily for the answers.

Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football-Northwestern

Ohio State is a double-digit favorite over Northwestern. (VegasInsider/Courtesy)

INDIANAPOLIS — All the sacrifices were made in hopes of a shot at championships for Ohio State.

Obviously the opportunity hasn’t arrived exactly like the Buckeyes would have expected. But after all the uncertainty of whether a season would even be played, the protests and the petitions, the schedule changes and the cancellations and every other complication along the way, they’re right where they always intended.

Ring Season has arrived for Ohio State. First on the calendar: The Big Ten title matchup with Northwestern on Saturday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“[Handling adversity] is something we’ve had to become really good at,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “If this was something that would have happened last year, if everything was going normal and then The Game got canceled, it would probably take a lot longer to recover from. But we’re actually getting used to receiving bad news and having to move on quickly. I think we’ve become hardened as a team, and because of that we moved on pretty quickly and transitioned right to playing in this championship game — because that’s what mattered next.

Justin Fields-Ohio State-Ohio State football-Buckeyes

Justin Fields and the Buckeyes destroyed Northwestern last season. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

“Early on when we would get bad news, you’d see long face and it would take a couple days to peel them up off the pavement. But these guys have learned a lot, and now we’re able to transition fast. … Now that we’re here, it’s like: OK, we’re playing for rings now.”

The Buckeyes have been fitted for the Big Ten jewelry three years in a row, and it would take a stunning upset for them not to do it a fourth-consecutive time. Ohio State still won’t have a full-strength roster after dealing with positive tests within the program for the last four weeks, but the expectation is that it should be closer than it was two weeks ago when it locked up the East Division bid at Michigan State. Either way, the Buckeyes remain double-digit favorites for a reason thanks to the absurd amount of elite players they have accumulated on the depth chart after stacking up record-setting recruiting classes one after another.

The winning mentality, the tight-knit brotherhood and cutting-edge coaching obviously all help as well. But when it comes to keeping the Big Ten crown, the overwhelming talent disparity has fueled the program’s dominance.

That won’t end on Saturday. And Ohio State can then start chasing more rings after that.

The Pick: Ohio State 56, Northwestern 6.

[yt-video v=aGeV5KxrE0k]

Miss any previous editions of Question of the Day? Catch up right here.