“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 always 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 and end 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.
7. Indiana Hoosiers (5-7 in 2017; Sept 29 3:30pm or 4pm EST kickoff TBD)
Indiana head coach Tom Allen comes into his second season knowing that the Hoosiers were one win away from a third consecutive bowl bid last year.
As a matter of fact, Indiana came up 27 points shy of what could have been a 9-3 record, as those 27 points made the difference in losses to Michigan (27-20), at Michigan State (17-9), at Maryland (42-39), and at Purdue (31-24).
What had to be even more galling to Indiana fans was knowing that the Hoosiers were actually outplaying Ohio State in the season opener, leading the Buckeyes after three quarters (21-20), only to fall in the season opener 49-21.
Indiana was truly outmanned in losses at Penn State (45-14) and to Wisconsin (45-17), but were one of the more competitive teams within the B1G in 2017.
Why did I rank Indiana as a game of medium concern?
Yes, Indiana did play Ohio State tough for three quarters last season, and has played Ohio State tough throughout Urban Meyer’s tenure. Indiana had their reasons for parting ways with Kevin Wilson, despite what the vast majority of Ohio State fans such as myself think of their decision — I am merely pleased that the Hoosiers replaced Wilson with a coach who seems to “get it” like Tom Allen does.
Indiana had those close games in 2017, and Tom Allen seems to have the program going in the right direction, but the Hoosiers did lose nine starters from their defense that helped to keep them in those games.
With a revamped secondary facing several talented and speedy Buckeye receivers, it does not seem likely that the Hoosiers will be able to match Ohio State’s firepower.
Indiana is catching Ohio State after what promises to be a challenging road game at Penn State, but the Buckeyes will have the homecoming crowd in all their glory in what will be a 3:30pm or 4pm kickoff in Ohio Stadium.