Miami, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
When looking at the Ohio State 2010 schedule, those three games vs. those three teams are what will make, or break, the season for the Buckeyes.
Sorry to those other nine teams and their fans.
Sorry to the countless Buckeye haters who think we fans are cocky and our team is overrated—take a number.
We're good and we know it, and we're not afraid to show it. Now that I have all that out of the way, let's dig in to the meat of this article.
Ohio State almost certainly must go 12-0 to control their own destiny and to ensure their chance at another BCS title. Just one loss will likely derail the entire season, one in which the coaches, players, and fans all believe this really is our year.
EA Sports thinks this could be the year of the Buckeye too!
While I think it will be a tall task to win all three of those games, I do not believe that we will lose all three as ESPN's Brian Griese and Eric Kuselias (both Michigan guys by the way) predicted on Thursday's edition of College Football Live.
I do however believe it will prove to be very difficult to go undefeated, but it could happen and here's my take on each game.
9/11/2010 Vs. Miami
I believe Miami is good, but they are also being a tad over-hyped and overvalued by the sports media, their fans, and possibly themselves, just as Oregon was prior to the 2010 Rose Bowl.
Oregon was a better team last year than Miami will be this year. I don't personally subscribe to the transitive property but for what it's worth, last year Ohio State beat Wisconsin 31-13 and Wisconsin beat Miami 20-14, and that game was not as close as the final score.
As for the Buckeyes, too many people are predicting or expecting or hoping perhaps that their "D" will not be as good this season, when in reality, it will be as good and might actually be even better than last years.
I believe it could be close in the first half, but the Bucks will pull away in the third and fourth quarters and beat Miami by 14-17 points. 33-17 sounds about right in this one.
10/16/2010 At Wisconsin
Wisconsin is the game I expect to be our toughest.
John Clay is a great RB, although we held him down last season, but they also have a good QB in Scott Tolzien, and a solid O-line and pretty decent receivers too.
Plus it's in Camp Randall. I know we can win, but we could definitely lose this game just as easily. I'm expecting it to be much closer than last years game, so I am hoping for another finish to this game like the one in 2008 where we won in the final minute.
Then again, maybe our offense just overwhelms their defense and we win going away....
Wouldn't that would be sweet?
The key will be our offense not sputtering out as it did in 2009 against their defense, which is not nearly as good as their offensive unit.
Our "D" saved the day last year, but let's not take any chances this time around.
I'm going with the Buckeyes to win by less than 10, so 27-21 is my guess.
11/20/2010 At Iowa
Iowa will be another tough game, but it's their defense that could give us fits and a low-scoring close game could be on tap.
I must admit I'm much more confident that we can beat Iowa in their place than I am about playing in Madison, but I am not overconfident either.
Iowa is a good team and they didn't lose much from last year's squad. And remember, we needed O/T to beat them at home last year.
I think we will win this year, but it will probably be very close just like last season. Or maybe Stanzi is healthy and does what Stanzi does and our "D" turns 2010 OSU/Iowa into 2009 OSU/Wisconsin regardless of any potential woes we have on offense.
I think it will be a relatively low scoring, defensive battle with the Bucks pulling out a hard fought "W" by a score of 24-13 or something close to that.
BONUS: 11/13/2010 Vs. Penn State
Just in case anyone is wondering about Penn State being a legit threat to the Bucks this season, go ahead and stop now.
The Nittany Lions should be improved by the time they come to Columbus, but not enough to beat the Buckeyes in The Shoe—Not this year.
They were much better in 2009 and OSU went to Happy Valley and beat them up to the tune of 24-7.
This year's meeting could be an even bigger blowout. 38-13 sounds about right to me.
Then again, there's always Tresselball, so a modest ho-hum 28-13 win could be more realistic, but a win nonetheless.
We Are the Champions...
With the wins over those four teams, that's a 12-0 perfect season and another trip to the BCS title game for the Buckeyes!
Of course I know after reading this, there are many of you that hate Ohio State and me even more now than you already did.
That's why there's a comment section.
SO GO USE IT!