“At some point in an individual battle, the other guy says, ‘I don’t want to go anymore, I’ve had enough.’ The same thing with a team. At some point that team says, ‘No, wait a minute. That’s too much for us to handle.’ That’s called tapping out. We will never see this here. That’s a culture. That’s a mindset.” — Urban Meyer, 2012
Heading into his seventh season as Ohio State’s head coach, Urban Meyer has successfully implemented the desired culture and mindset in every aspect of the Ohio State football program. Competition throughout every position group reigns supreme, and the bluest of blue-chip recruits are on the way in the form of reinforcements.
Throughout the spring and summer, I want to review the upcoming 2018 Ohio State football opponents, using the theme of competition as the baseline. While Ohio State has had more challenging schedules in the past, there are several games on the schedule that could potentially trip the Buckeyes up, as well as their goal of repeating as B1G champions.
These articles will examine the 2018 opponents, from least concerning to most concerning, based on various factors that I will list in the respective articles. As always, I encourage interaction, either through the comments section below, or directly @ChipMinnich. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I look forward to writing them.
12. Oregon State Beavers (1-11 in 2017)
New head coach Jonathan Smith comes back to Oregon State after playing there from 1998-2001 as a quarterback, stating during his introductory press conference, “Now I’m sitting here in front of you with my dream job, in my dream town, at my dream school.” For a first-time head coach, traveling across the country to take on an Ohio State team that is certain to be ranked in the top 5, the dream job may look like the stuff of nightmares at the onset.
Oregon State’s last win was on September 2, 2017, against FCS opponent Portland State, 35-32. Oregon State came close against Colorado (36-33 loss) and Stanford (15-14 loss), but the Beavers were on the losing side of the ledger eleven times in 2017, with the last game at rival Oregon a one-sided blowout (69-10 loss).
Smith comes into this job with some capable assistant coaches, namely former Oregon State/Nebraska head coach Mike Riley as assistant head coach, and former Wisconsin outside linebackers coach Tim Tibesar as defensive coordinator. As with every rebuilding effort, it will take tremendous patience and commitment from the Oregon State fan base, as Smith will try to implement a pro-style offense similar to what he helped coach under Chris Petersen as Washington’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach from 2014-2017.
Why did I rank Oregon State as the game of least concern?
Quite simply, the 2017 results are impossible to ignore or overlook. While Jonathan Smith may be able to improve the Beavers throughout the 2018 season, coming into Ohio Stadium in game one against an extremely talented Buckeye squad led by Urban Meyer is a very tall task. Oregon State has been ranked 112th in the nation coming into the season, and the Buckeyes are favored by 30 points by Las Vegas oddsmakers.